Let’s Talk About Salmon

The Nutritional Powerhouse and Its Source Matters for Your Dog's Health

4 salmon pieces with dill on the table top

Salmon, often regarded as a nutritious ingredient, varies significantly in health impact based on its source.

Contrary to the belief that all salmon is the same, the source of salmon plays a crucial role in its nutritional value and its effect on health.

Choosing the best salmon for our dogs involves understanding the labels on salmon packages in supermarkets.

Why is Salmon Considered a Superfood for Your Dog?

Salmon is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital for your dog's health. These fatty acids contribute to reducing oxidative stress in joints, skin, coat, and gut health.

Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids on the table top

A 100g serving of cooked wild-caught salmon offers:

  • Low calorie content (182 calories)
  • High protein content (25g)
  • 127% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, essential for nervous system functioning
  • Selenium, crucial for DNA synthesis, thyroid hormone metabolism, and reproductive health
  • An omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of 11:1

Salmon has been clinically proven to be more digestible than chicken and is particularly recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Choosing High-Quality Salmon for Health Benefits

Salmon is marketed under three general labels today:

  • Farmed salmon
  • Wild salmon 
  • Wild-caught salmon

Our products exclusively use wild-caught salmon. Here's why and what these labels signify.

Farmed salmon

Initially, salmon farming occurs in water tanks before moving the young fish to large netted pools in the sea. These conditions are often overcrowded, leading to parasite infestation and illness from swimming in their own waste.

Salmon farms out in the ocean - fish net tanks

To meet market demands, these fish are fed frequently with feed and antibiotics. This environment necessitates antibiotic use due to bacterial infections, with a side effect of accelerated growth, making antibiotics desirable to farmers.

Salmon overcrowded - feeding salmon jumping out

To combat parasites and diseases, pesticides and other harmful chemicals are employed, which, while not fully resolving the issues, significantly pollute the environment and affect other organisms.

In the final weeks, artificial colorants are added to their feed to alter the meat colour.

Wild Salmon vs. Wild-Caught Salmon: Understanding the Difference

Wild salmon are born and raised in the wild from start to finish, whereas wild-caught salmon are part of a "hatch-and-catch" process, where hatcheries release baby fish into the sea to be caught later.

The quality of meat from both types, in terms of fat, protein, and omega ratios, is comparable. The main advantage over farmed salmon is the absence of antibiotics, artificial colorings, and pesticides, making this meat safer for health.

A man holding a caught salmon in his hands above the water.

Health Risks of Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon is known to contain harmful substances like antibiotics, artificial colorants, and pesticides, which can lead to various health issues, including allergic reactions and gut bacteria imbalance. Farmed salmon's high fat content (60%) and imbalanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratios can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Dog coat missing from scratching - allergic reaction

Mislabeling Issues

Some companies mislabel salmon raised in farming pools as "wild," misleading consumers about the quality of the product they are purchasing, as Oceana report shows.

Two pieces of wild salmon

Consumer Tips for Choosing Quality Salmon

To ensure you're getting the best quality salmon, check the meat color and fat lines. Wild salmon typically has a more intense color and less visible fat lines compared to farmed salmon.

Two pieces of farmed salmon and two pieces of wild salmon on a cutting board.

(Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-oXKWck9SQ)

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon: A Comparative Overview

Let’s compare the two by some of the most important pros and cons for consumer and consumers health.

Framed salmon
  • Lower costs for consumers,
  • Large amount of fatty acids
  • Lesser traces of pollutants
  • Traces of antibiotics that can cause allergic reactions and harm gut bacteria
  • Traces of artificial colourants that can cause an allergic reaction
  • Rich in fat = risk for diabetes and obesity, heart failure
  • Pollutants of natural habitats
  • Other fish and living organisms are affected
  • Containing numerous parasites, tumours, disease
  • Can be genetically modified
  • Wrong ratio of fatty acids (1:1)
Wild salmon
  • Natural source of lean protein
  • Right ratio of fat and protein
  • Contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids in the right proportion - 11:1
  • Does not contain antibiotics - not harmful for gut bacteria
  • Does not contain artificial colourings that can cause allergic reactions
  • Expensive for the end consumer
  • Lower contents of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
  • Can also be affected by salmon farms if passing by
  • Commercial fishing can cause harmful changes in the environment (net fishing)


Opting for wild salmon is essential for maximizing health benefits and avoiding harmful substances. Avoid farmed salmon to prevent exposure to antibiotics, pesticides, artificial colorants, and excessive fat intake. The omega ratios in salmon are beneficial for your dog's health only if they are balanced—farmed salmon often fails in this regard, whereas wild salmon offers an ideal ratio of 11:1 (omega-3 to omega-6).

Salmon jumping out in the open ocean.

At Pawital, we prioritize your dog's health and longevity by choosing ethically and sustainably sourced wild-caught salmon for our products, ensuring they are free from unnecessary antibiotics and artificial colorants. Supporting conscious consumerism, we advocate for making informed choices for the well-being of our dogs.