The Facts about Raw Salmon

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Salmon drawing

The Facts about Raw Salmon

Updated:  05-16-2022

All salmon used in Northwest Naturals fish recipes are wild caught salmon from Alaska and fit for human consumption.  This includes raw and freeze-dried dog and cat diets and salmon treats.

Sourcing & USDA Guidelines

However, Chinook salmon from the Pacific Northwest (Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Southern Vancouver Island) can contain a parasite Nanophyetus salmincola that in turn may be infected with Neorickettsia helminthoeca.  This duo can be deadly if salmon is consumed raw by a dog or cat. NWN uses a different species of salmon living far to the north that is not known to carry this parasite. But for the safety of our pets, our facility manufactures all salmon products in accordance with the USDA guidelines for freezing fish to kill parasites.

Freezing for Safety

Northwest Naturals diets are flash frozen -30 degrees at the time of production and then are maintained at -20 degrees until shipped.  Unlike bacteria, molds and viruses, most parasites are relatively easy to destroy by holding the raw material or finished product at freezing temperatures for a specified period of time. While parasites can be killed by freezing the finished product, it is generally considered more appropriate to freeze the raw material prior to processing and this is how NWN handles our wild caught salmon.

Symptoms of Salmon Poisoning Disease are usually seen within a week of the dog eating infected raw fish when the flukes begin producing eggs in the dog’s small intestine. Lassitude, loss of appetite, diarrhea, tremors, and discharge from the nose and eyes are a few of the signs of SPD. Hemorrhaging in the small intestines and liver rupture causes a swift death.  With early diagnosis a veterinarian will use antibiotics to control the infection and medications to kill the flukes.

Be assured that Northwest Naturals uses only the safest salmon species and treats them with the strictest protocols for fish consumption safety.