Best Homemade Salmon Skin Dog Treats Recipe

two large pieces of baked salmon skins for dogs

Are you looking for a homemade salmon skin dog treats recipe that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg?

What if I told you that you could make these DIY dog treats for FREE? Today I’ll show you how to cook salmon skin for dogs in a way that creates a delectable, high value dog treat!

If you need a high value treat for your dog, but can’t afford to buy the prepackaged salmon skin dog treats, this is the way to go.

I came up with this homemade salmon skin dog treats recipe on a whim one day, our family had eaten salmon for dinner and I was cleaning up the pan with all the skin in it.

I had all this skin with bits of salmon meat stuck to it (plus some salmon meat that my kids didn’t finish) that was going to get thrown away. As I thought about it, I realized it could be very useful to train my reactive dog.

Yup, I make these homemade dog treats out of the skin and bits of meat that are left over from cooking a salmon fillet. Read on to learn this easy trick!

Can Dogs Eat Salmon Skin?

The first thing I googled was “can dogs eat salmon skin?” I knew fish oil was healthy for dogs, but wanted to make sure the skin was ok for them to eat.

The answer? Yes, dogs can definitely eat salmon skin.

Salmon (wild pacific) is super-healthy for our dogs, with benefits like:

  • Improves joint mobility by decreasing joint inflammation
  • Supports healthy skin and fur
  • Improves skin allergies and irritations
  • Supports and strengthens the immune system
  • Improves brain function

Third, salmon is a high value treat. In other words, it smells. A lot. Dogs love the fishy smell – and will work hard to get it!

How Do I Use Homemade Salmon Treats for Dogs?

woman training dog using salmon skin treats for dogs after making sure can dogs eat salmon skin first

On some days, I will bring a bag of 100% baked salmon skins for dogs (from this recipe) – if you know how to cook salmon skin for dogs, you can create standalone crispy dog treats. But more often, I mix these pieces in with other treats.

For example, I will take a bag of cubed chicken and mix these salmon pieces in. It makes all the chicken smell deliciously fishy and the entire bag of treats becomes higher value.

What do I mean by high value? When you are training a dog, the more they like the treat you are offering, the more motivated they are to learn.

If your dog is reactive, they are much more likely to focus on a high value treat instead of react at an approaching dog or person. I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of baked salmon skins for this purpose.

My dog, Tico, is dog-reactive, and in the last few years I finally found a reactive dog training method that actually WORKED! I needed high value treats that he really, really loved to use when I trained him, and these salmon skin dog treats along with my tapioca flour dog treats (they are pumpkin and salmon soft dog treats, the tapioca flour makes them stay soft) were perfect for my training needs.

If your dog needs single ingredient dog treats like Tico, I have an article that lists the best single ingredient dog treats (homemade and store bought) that you will want to read after this one!

If you only have so-so treats (treats that are crunchy or do not have a strong smell), a reactive dog will choose to bark since the treat isn’t that appealing to them.

Homemade Salmon Skin Dog Treats Recipe

So let’s get to it and I’ll show you my homemade salmon skin dog treats recipe.

salmon skin dog treats sitting on a cutting board

How to cook salmon skin for dogs

Ingredients:

1 or 2 large salmon fillets
Olive oil
Coconut oil

Directions:

  • Brush salmon (meat side) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Cook in 425° oven until meat flakes with a fork, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Slide a metal spatula between the skin and the salmon meat. Remove the meat and put on your dinner plates.
  • Eat!
  • After dinner, put any leftover meat from dinner plates in the pan with the salmon skin. Brush the leftover skin and meat with melted coconut oil.
  • Put back in oven, and set oven temperature to 200°.
  • Continue to cook the salmon skin for 2-4 hours until skin and any meat becomes stiff and jerky-like. Remove the baked salmon skin for dogs from oven and let cool.
  • Break or cut into bite-size pieces, and vwa-LA! Your homemade salmon skin dog treats recipe is now ready to use with your dog!
  • Put into small zip-lock bags and freeze all but one bag – put that in the frig. Don’t put too much in a bag: just enough for 1-3 days of training.
  • As you start to use up one bag, remove the next bag from the freezer and put into the frig to thaw.

If you prefer to use the whole salmon fillet, make salmon jerky dog treats by cooking the whole fillet until it becomes hard, then slice into jerky pieces.

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Bonus Idea: Dry the leftover salmon meat too!

I also will throw leftoever salmon meat back in the oven and dry it if we won’t be able to use the leftovers for human meals in the next day or two. Slow cook until it’s dried to a level where it is easy to handle and you have a great single ingredient dog treat!

picture of homemade salmon dog treats (baked salmon and skins for dogs)

Homemade Salmon Skin Dog Treats for FREE!

Two hungry dogs looking at a piece of baked salmon skin for dogs
Taco the dog eating baked salmon skins for dogs

Congratulations— you now know how to cook salmon skin for dogs, and you just made excellent baked salmon skin for dogs training treats that are super-motivating for your dog and didn’t cost you a thing!

Give it a try: most dogs will really, really want to earn these DIY dog treats and your training sessions will improve.

Remember, rotate the type of high value treats you use with your dog. If they get used to a treat its value goes down. Another great option if you like to make your own dog treats is my soft pumpkin treats for dogs recipe.

If you don’t have the time to make your own, read these articles for more high value dog treat ideas and single ingredient dog training treats.

Do you have a favorite homemade dog treat you make for your dogs? Share it in the comments below!

Until next time-

Naturally,

Karen

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Homemade Salmon skin Dog Treats pin image showing that dogs can eat salmon skin

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Karen Pedersen Written by:

Karen is an independent copywriter who loves dogs and everything about them. She is married to Scott, has 4 kids, and likes to take a natural and holistic approach to living and pet ownership.

2 Comments

  1. Lesley
    May 21, 2022
    Reply

    I am so glad I found this! I cannot wait to try the salmon treats. I have 4 rescues and i always give them the skin. This is better. They will get their crunches in.

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