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5 Best Salmon Dog Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food with salmon.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Salmon Dog Food?

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Vet’s Advice

Salmon is an extremely nutritious protein source, full of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins. These nutrients help with joint health, acting as natural anti-inflammatories, as well as promoting a healthy brain and nervous system. You might be looking at salmon-based dog food because you want your dog to reap these health benefits as well as enjoying the tasty flavor. Some dogs have food allergies or intolerances, which means a fish-based diet like salmon would be more suitable than other protein sources such as chicken or beef. Whatever the reason, here is what you should look out for when choosing the best salmon dog food for your pet.

Look for a hypoallergenic diet

If you are choosing a salmon-based diet because your dog has allergies, then select a hypoallergenic diet. This means that it ideally contains a single protein source (the salmon) and should have a fairly short list of ingredients, which helps limit the potential for reactions.

Look for salmon at the top of the ingredients list

Choose a food that has a high percentage of salmon. Ingredients are listed on the packet in descending order — the main one is at the top. If salmon appears toward the bottom of the list, this means there is only a small amount present in the diet. If you want to reap the benefits of this nutritious fish then choose a protein-rich diet that features salmon first.

Don’t automatically choose a grain-free diet

Salmon appears in many grain-free diets, but unless your dog has been diagnosed with a sensitivity to grains you shouldn’t be avoiding these particular ingredients (things like wheat, corn, and rye). In fact, there is some evidence to suggest the recent trend in grain-free diets is doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to heart health in dogs.

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Salmon Dog Food Reviews

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Menhaden Fish Meal
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 496 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Salmon is one of the best salmon dog foods and is formulated of supreme quality ingredients to meet all of the high points an adult dog needs from its diet.

A food comprised of a limited ingredients list of only eight superfoods, this diet’s main ingredient is whole deboned salmon, a powerhouse protein that is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy coat and skin and provide dogs with vital energy.

CANIDAE contains no grains, soy, wheat, corn, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. A proprietary probiotic blend has been included as a supplement to support optimal digestive processes.

Pros

  • Dogs suffering from food-related allergies found complete relief from their symptoms when fed this diet consistently.
  • Owners feel the size of the kibble pieces in this diet are ideal for their dogs. They are pleased they don’t have to be concerned the morsels may cause their dogs to choke.
  • Owners love that this food is high in calories, meaning less of it needs to be fed per meal for their dogs to achieve eating satisfaction.
  • Most dogs enjoy the taste of this food, looking forward to their every meal.
  • This diet is grain-free, giving owners confidence that this food is an excellent choice for dogs suffering with food-related allergies.

Cons

  • A few owners expressed that they felt this diet had a very strong smell to it. They found this off-putting.
  • Some owners noted their dogs’ stool smelled very unpleasant after a steady diet of this food.
  • In rare cases, dogs with itchy skin found no relief when switched to this diet. This is likely due to a sensitivity to one of the food’s ingredients.
  • Owners of large breeds felt the kibble pieces in this diet were too small for their dogs and may pose a choking hazard.
  • A few owners indicated this diet was quite expensive in their opinion.

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American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Salmon
    2. Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate)
    3. Turkey Meal
    4. Peas
    5. Sweet Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 390 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 5%

American Journey Salmon Grain-Free is an exceptional quality diet available at a budget-friendly price point, making it one of the best dog foods with salmon on the market today.

A food that takes its carbohydrates from high-fiber and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, American Journey contains no corn, wheat, or soy, common allergens for many dogs. Among the powerhouse foods included in this recipe are blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp to encourage a strong immune system and good digestion.

American Journey contains high amounts of protein and lists deboned salmon as its primary ingredient. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids found in the salmon provide an excellent boost to skin and coat health. The diet has also been enriched with both salmon oil and flaxseed.

Pros

  • Owners were pleased to report that their dogs’ coat quality greatly improved when fed a steady diet of American Journey Salmon Grain-Free. Their fur was thick, lustrous, shiny, and soft.
  • Dogs that struggled with itchiness found complete relief when fed this food consistently.
  • Dogs fed this diet on an ongoing basis had increased energy levels and a return to their playful ways.
  • This diet is chock full of flavor. Dogs look forward to their every meal and happily lick their bowls clean.
  • Owners love the price of this food, feeling it offers them great nutrition and good value for their dog food dollar.

Cons

  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. American Journey has many different formulations based on other proteins. One of these diets may be a better fit for these dogs.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that includes some whole grains in its formula, believing these ingredients play an important role in dogs achieving ideal digestion.
  • A few owners expressed they found the kibble pieces to be dark and quite hard. They found this off putting.
  • In rare cases, some dogs experienced mild gastrointestinal distress when fed this food. This may be the result of too quick a dietary change and may resolve in time.
  • Some owners noted their dogs’ coats seemed full of static when fed this diet consistently.

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Merrick Grain-Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Whitefish Meal
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 381 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

Merrick Grain-Free Real Salmon is a powerhouse food that has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of active adult dogs. Deboned salmon is the foundation of this premium diet, a superfood that is rich in healthy fats to promote excellent coat and skin and provide dogs with the energy they need to enjoy an active lifestyle. A diet that is easy to digest, Merrick Grain-Free earns high marks as one of the best salmon foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Merrick contains no grains, taking its carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables that are full of flavor, fiber, and antioxidants to support good health. This food is free from gluten, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It has also been enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin to encourage healthy joints. 

Pros

  • Owners are pleased to report that their dogs love this food. They look forward to their every meal with great enthusiasm.
  • Owners really like that this diet is available in many different flavors. This allows them to give their dogs some variety in their daily diet to prevent boredom.
  • Dogs with recurring allergies found complete relief from their symptoms when transitioned to this diet.
  • Owners love that this diet is grain-free, giving them confidence this diet is a great choice for dogs with allergies.
  • This diet includes prebiotics and probiotics to help dogs achieve ideal digestion.

Cons

  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. Another Merrick formulation with a different protein may be a better fit for these dogs.
  • A few owners expressed that they found this diet costly.
  • Though this diet is heavily fish-based, several owners indicated their dogs no longer had fishy smelling breath when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • A few owners noted that the product was sometimes inconsistent. On occasion, the food appeared different from what they were accustomed to receiving.
  • In rare cases, some dogs developed mild gastrointestinal distress after eating this food. Most often, this is simply a matter of too rapid a dietary change.

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Salmon
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    3. Peas
    4. Pea Protein
    5. Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 415 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 6%

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon is a fish-based diet that packs a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition, flavor, and value. A diet based on whole deboned salmon, this food is rich in both amino acids and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote excellent skin and coat health and optimal energy levels in dogs.

Included in this formulation is LifeSource Bits, a unique combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to promote health and wellness through a strong immune system. This food is grain-free and also contains no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a food packed full of flavor, making it one of the best salmon dog foods for picky eaters.

Pros

  • Owners love that their dogs display coats that are shiny, healthy, and soft when consistently fed this diet.
  • This food is highly flavorful. Dogs look forward to their every meal and eagerly lick their bowls clean.
  • Dogs with very sensitive stomachs do very well on this food, finding relief from their symptoms.
  • Owners are pleased with the size and texture of this kibble, expressing it is ideal for their dogs.
  • This diet is grain-free, making it a great choice for dogs suffering from allergies.

Cons

  • Owners indicated this diet has a very strong smell. They find it off putting.
  • A few owners felt this diet was a little bit on the costly side.
  • This diet includes LifeSource Bits, a dark kibble piece that most dogs seem to find unpleasant.
  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this diet and will not eat it. A switch to a different Blue Buffalo Wilderness formulation with another protein source may yield better results.
  • A few owners indicated the kibble pieces were quite soft in this diet. They prefer crunchier morsels to assist with better oral hygiene for their dogs.

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Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Salmon & Lentils Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Dried Potatoes
    4. Lentils
    5. Chickpeas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 426 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 20%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Nutro LID Grain-Free Salmon is a diet that families can feel good about feeding their best canine pal. A food based on a limited ingredients list, the foundation of this excellent-quality food is salmon, a powerhouse protein that is rich in amino acids and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to fuel a strong metabolism and encourage lean, strong muscles.

There are only ten ingredients in this food; all of which were selected for their high nutritional value. Nutro LID Grain-Free Salmon contains no GMO ingredients or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, an important quality that has earned this powerhouse food a high ranking when it comes to best salmon foods for dogs.

Pros

  • Dogs suffering with itchy skin found complete relief when transitioned to Nutro LID Grain-Free Salmon.
  • Owners love the price of this food, feeling it offers them top tier nutrition and exceptional value.
  • Owners really like that this diet includes no grains in its recipe. They feel it is an excellent choice for dogs suffering from food-related allergies.
  • Dogs that regularly struggled with ear infections no longer had this problem when transitioned to Nutro LID Grain-Free Salmon.
  • Owners are pleased to report that their dogs’ coats showed great improvement when fed a steady diet of this food. Their fur was healthy, soft, and shiny.

Cons

  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and would not eat it. This is most likely simply a matter of personal preference and not a reflection on the food itself.
  • A few owners noted this diet has a very strong fishy smell to it. This is to be normal for a diet that includes salmon in its formula.
  • Owners indicated that their dogs need to eat larger portions of this food to reach full eating satisfaction. As a result, the small bags of food don’t last very long.
  • Several owners shared that the price of this food saw a substantial price increase recently. They found the new price more difficult for them to afford.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that includes some nutritious whole grains in its recipe.

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How to Choose the Best Salmon Dog Food

Salmon is a powerhouse protein that dogs just love. There are many reasons to consider making the switch to a food that lists salmon as one of its protein sources. It is an extremely healthy meat filled with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, critical nutrients to nourish skin and coat and provide dogs with the energy they need to maintain an active lifestyle. Joint health is also supported by the oils found in this flavorful fish. With so many benefits to be gained from a switch to a salmon-based diet, it is not hard to see why dog foods with salmon are among the best diets around!

Salmon is also believed to act as a powerful brain booster, encouraging cognitive function through its healthy fats such as DHA and APA. This is particularly helpful for young puppies undergoing sensitive periods of growth as well as for senior dogs experiencing some brain impairment.

Many types of fish contain ample servings of amino acids, and salmon is no exception. These vital nutrients assist with such important things as ensuring proper hormone function and building cartilage.

Salmon is also extremely rich in many important vitamins and minerals required for health and wellness both in people and in dogs. These include magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

But perhaps the biggest selling point when it comes to dogs is salmon’s potent flavor. Dogs love it canned, grilled on the barbecue, oven-baked, or as part of their daily kibble quota.

When selecting the best salmon food for a dog, it is important to carefully read labels to understand what the diet contains. Whole salmon is the best choice for dogs, and this is particularly important for dogs suffering from allergies or skin and stomach sensitivities as any additional ingredients may incur further health problems.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dog Foods with Salmon

Determining the correct amount of the best salmon food to feed a dog can be difficult. The best course of action is to consult the bag of food and follow the suggested serving size as a basic guideline. This can be adjusted with the dog’s weight, appetite, and activity serving to help with ascertaining the proper portion size.

Care should be taken not to overfeed the dog as weight gain can occur rapidly.  Measure all food and monitor intake to prevent the dog from becoming overweight.

Dietary Requirements for Dog Foods with Salmon

Any salmon-based diet that is ideal for dogs to enjoy should contain salmon or salmon meal as its first ingredient. Whole salmon is the best choice, but meat meals offer dogs excellent quality nutrition as well. By-products are not often seen in salmon; however, should a label list them, they should be avoided.

Should a diet contain plant-based proteins such as corn, wheat, or soy, they are best left on the shelf. These are common allergens for many dogs and can neutralize some of the positive effects of the salmon. Diets containing these ingredients cannot be considered among the best foods with salmon for dogs.

Carbohydrates included in a salmon-based diet should be easy for dogs to digest. Unless a dog has expressed a sensitivity to grains, they may freely eat a grain-inclusive or a grain-free formula without any ill effects. The primary importance of any food included in a salmon-based diet is its fiber and antioxidant content. These items promote good digestion and a strong immune system to protect against disease.

Healthy fats are a vital element in a dog’s diet. Salmon contributes a powerhouse punch of this all on its own; however, the addition of such ingredients as chicken fat, salmon or herring oil provide additional benefits through their omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to encourage healthy skin and coat.

Any salmon-based diet that is optimal for a dog’s daily food should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.

Things to Look for in the Best Salmon Dog Food

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a salmon dog food:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics, digestive enzymes, and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Includes healthy fats such as chicken fat or salmon oil

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