Are Salmon Bites Worth it for Your Dog?

Salmon bites sound like the hot new thing, but are they actually useful? Let’s find out!

Dog eating treat while lying on the carpet.

Salmon bites are dog treats made of salmon skin and meat. Rich in omega-3s, salmon bites provide a number of health benefits to your dog. Zesty Paws is one of many dog food companies selling salmon bites and other oils for dog health, but the prices nearly double or triple standard pack of dog treats. Why are we so willing to spend so much money on fancy dog treats like salmon when a regular brand works just fine?

68% of pet owners prefer to put their dogs on a similar diet to them. For example--those who don’t eat pork won’t buy their dog food with pig products in it. But why is this? It’s an animal with different needs than us, so why do we place our values onto our dogs? Well, that comes from the humanization of pets.

In this article, we will cover:

  • What is the humanization of pets?
  • Benefits of salmon for dogs
  • Making your own salmon treats
  • And is it worth it to buy salmon bites?

Let’s begin!

Person sits on a stoop surrounded by their two dogs. The dogs are wearing matching red and blue sweaters.
The pet goods industry is worth 261 billion dollars in 2023-2024. People feel a connection to their pets and want to treat them as closely to a human as possible.

Humanization of Pets

Pet owners are seeking out quality products and enriching food for their pets. Thanks to anthropomorphism, and animals being ‘part of the family,’ people want to give their animals human-like food and experiences. Things like dog clothes, toys, enrichment games, and of course, salmon bites fall under the human-like category. All of these products are how global expenditure on pet goods will reach an expected 261 billion dollars in 2023-2024.

In the food category, people know that animals get the same illnesses and diseases as humans, so they want to feed their dogs the highest quality food possible.

84% of pet owners believe manufacturers need to go further to ensure the safety of pet food. Nearly ¾ want more transparency regarding the ingredients and where they come from.

This is backed up by sales trends in the pet industry.

  • The global natural pet food market has a 22.8 billion dollar value
  • Raw dog food has seen a 147% increase in purchasing trends over the past five years
  • 42% of pet owners are willing to spend more money on higher quality food
  • Since 2020, pet food sales has increased by roughly 18%
  • With increases in the market, the global pet industry is expected to earn 350 billion dollars per year by 2027

Pet food companies like Merrick know that people want to buy food that sounds appealing to them, so they label the food with human names. Grammy’s Pot Pie, Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner, and Cowboy Cookout are all flavors of dog food, not menu items at a barbecue restaurant.

Though the humanization of pets is fueled by the capitalistic goal to churn out products and create as much profit as possible, natural pet treats like salmon bites can improve your dog’s health.

Chef cutting slices of raw salmon
Salmon is rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants, and omega-3s. It is a power food for humans, therefore a power food for dogs.

Benefits of Salmon Bites

Like in humans, different foods give dogs different health benefits. Salmon is a superfood for humans and dogs alike– it is rich in vitamins and has numerous positive effects.

Salmon is absolutely packed with vitamins and some common ones in salmon bites are:

  • B3
  • B5
  • B6
  • B7
  • B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

That’s a ton of vitamins for a human, and even more for a dog! Here are some ways vitamins can positively affect your dog.

Skin Moisture

Dogs often get dry skin in the winter. The lack of humidity makes their skin more likely to break. Dry skin is usually nothing to worry about, but the itching and flakiness can evolve into something more serious if not addressed.

To assist your dog with dry skin, omega-3s are an essential. Salmon is full of omega-3s and fatty acids. It should not be a staple, but salmon can supplement a diet as a treat for training and walks.

Reduces Oxidative Stress

Like in humans, oxidative stress is caused by the animal’s body not having enough antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals. Excessive free radicals lead to cell or tissue damage and can cause chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

The free radicals can be neutralized by antioxidants, including the likes of salmon, thus lowering the chances of heart disease and cancer.

Supports Immune System

The immune system keeps your dog’s body healthy and functioning. It identifies bacteria, fungi, and other harmful pathogens and destroys them before they can cause harm. It also detects cells that are reproducing at abnormal rates, preventing cancer. When the immune system is compromised, your dog becomes vulnerable to all sorts of illnesses. They can develop cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions.

All those vitamins in that long list help the immune system function at its full capabilities.


If your dog is struggling with digestion, salmon is the way to go. Unlike starch, it quickly breaks down with saliva and can make its way through the body with ease. It also gives lots of enzymes to the pancreas, for easier food breakdown.

Too much raw salmon can lead to pancreatitis because of the oil, but in treat form, your dog can reap all the benefits with less risk.


The omega-3s and fatty acids in salmon can improve physical capabilities. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which prevent muscle damage.

Salmon also helps with muscle formation and strengthening bones.

Healthy Aging

All of this combines into healthy aging. Everyone wants their pets to live as long as possible, and salmon’s nutrients are amazing for keeping dogs (and humans of course) healthy for longer. Fatty acids improve cognitive function, keeping your dog sharper for longer.

All of this sounds amazing but…

Salmon bites are 30 dollars?! With 60% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, buying 30 dollar dog treats is just not a possibility. There are cheaper bags, but those don’t have as many benefits. So what are we supposed to do?

There is the option of making your own salmon dog treats– you can make a high quantity with canned salmon, flour, and eggs. This is a way to show your dogs you love them (not that they’ll notice) and keep costs down.

Dog with leash sits on a hiking path
Whether or not you buy salmon bites, your dog will still love and adore you.

So…are salmon bites worth it?

Honestly, that’s up to you. Zesty Paws sells salmon bites for 30 dollars. Other brands have it at lower prices, but they may not have the same amount of benefits. If you love your dog and think a little salmon treat every now and then will prevent cancer, go for it. If you love your dog and think 30 dollars for treats is absurd, maybe hold back.

It’s easy to get swept up in wanting the highest quality, the most nutrients, lots of protein, and whatever the industry tells you. But your dog will eat anything and still cuddle up to you at the end of a long day. So buy it or don’t, your dog will love you regardless.

Lydia Rosenstock

Lydia Rosenstock is a writer, fashion-lover, and theater nerd based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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