Is Turkey or Salmon Better for Dogs with Allergies?

Is Turkey or Salmon Better for Dogs with Allergies?

When managing food allergies in dogs, selecting the right protein source is critical. Both turkey and salmon are popular options for dogs with sensitivities, offering unique benefits and potential drawbacks. 

Understanding Dog Allergies

Food allergies in dogs can manifest through persistent itching, red or inflamed skin, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic ear infections. Identifying and eliminating the allergen from your dog's diet is essential for alleviating these symptoms and improving their quality of life. Both turkey and salmon are often recommended for dogs with allergies, but which one is truly better?



Nutritional Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is a nutrient-dense fish, rich in essential fatty acids and high-quality protein. Here’s a breakdown of the key benefits:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Salmon is renowned for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation caused by allergies, promote healthy skin and a shiny coat, and support brain health and cognitive function.

High-Quality Protein

As a high-quality protein source, salmon provides all the essential amino acids that dogs need for muscle maintenance, growth, and repair. Protein is vital for overall health and supports the immune system, which is particularly important for dogs suffering from allergies.

Additional Nutrients

Salmon is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins D and B12, and selenium. These nutrients contribute to overall health by supporting immune function, promoting energy production, and acting as antioxidants to protect cells from damage.

Nutritional Benefits of Turkey

Turkey is another excellent protein option, often considered hypoallergenic. Here are the key benefits of including turkey in your dog's diet:

Hypoallergenic Properties

Turkey is a novel protein for many dogs, meaning it’s less likely to cause allergic reactions compared to more common proteins like beef or chicken. This makes it a safer choice for dogs with known food sensitivities.

Lean Protein Source

Turkey is a lean meat, providing a high-quality source of protein that is low in fat. This is beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight and supporting muscle growth and repair without adding excess calories that could contribute to obesity.

Nutrient-Rich Profile

Turkey is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, zinc, and selenium. These nutrients support overall health, immune function, and energy metabolism, making turkey a nutritious choice for dogs with allergies.

Potential Drawbacks

While both salmon and turkey offer significant benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Allergy Risk: Some dogs may be allergic to fish, including salmon. It’s crucial to monitor your dog for any signs of allergic reactions when introducing salmon into their diet.
  • Cost and Availability: Salmon can be more expensive than other protein sources and may not be as readily available in all forms (fresh, canned, or dried).
  • Lower Omega-3 Content: Compared to salmon, turkey is not as rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for reducing inflammation and promoting skin health.
  • Preparation and Cooking: It’s important to ensure turkey is prepared plain without added ingredients that could trigger allergies. Cooked turkey should be free from seasonings, onions, and garlic, which are toxic to dogs.

Practical Considerations

When deciding between turkey and salmon for your dog with allergies, several practical factors should be taken into account:

Individual Allergies

Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It's essential to consult with a veterinarian to identify specific allergens and choose the most suitable protein source for your dog's individual needs.

Taste Preferences

Some dogs may prefer the taste of one protein over the other. Observing your dog’s preferences can help ensure they enjoy their meals and maintain a healthy appetite.

Budget and Availability

Consider the cost and availability of high-quality turkey and salmon products. While salmon is often more expensive, both proteins should be accessible in various forms to fit your budget and shopping preferences.

Balanced Diet

Regardless of the protein choice, ensuring a balanced diet that includes all essential nutrients is crucial. Both turkey and salmon can be part of a complete and balanced diet when paired with the right ingredients.

Comparative Table




Omega-3 Fatty Acids



Protein Quality




Possible, but some dogs are allergic

Highly hypoallergenic

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins D, B12, Selenium

Vitamins B6, B12, Niacin, Zinc


Generally higher

Generally lower

Fat Content



Alternative Protein Options

While turkey and salmon are excellent choices, there are other novel protein options available that can benefit dogs with allergies:


Duck is a highly digestible protein source that is rich in iron and B vitamins. It is a good alternative for dogs who might be allergic to more common proteins like beef or chicken.


Venison is a lean protein source that is rich in iron and zinc. It is often used in hypoallergenic dog foods due to its low likelihood of causing allergic reactions.


Rabbit is a hypoallergenic protein that is low in fat and calories, making it an excellent choice for dogs with sensitivities and those needing to maintain a healthy weight.


Kangaroo is another hypoallergenic protein that is low in fat and calories. It is not commonly found in standard dog foods, reducing the risk of allergies.

These alternative proteins provide variety and can help manage food sensitivities, ensuring your dog does not become intolerant to a single protein source over time.



Managing Allergies Beyond Diet

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Frequent visits to the veterinarian are essential for managing allergies in dogs. Your vet can provide tailored advice and monitor your dog's progress, making necessary adjustments to their diet and treatment plan.

Avoiding Common Allergens

In addition to selecting the right protein, it's crucial to avoid common allergens such as grains (wheat, corn, soy) and artificial additives (preservatives, colours, flavours) that can exacerbate allergic reactions.

Maintaining a Clean Environment

Keeping your dog's environment clean can help reduce exposure to environmental allergens. Regularly vacuum your home, wash your dog's bedding, and bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoos to remove potential allergens from their fur and skin.

Supplements for Allergies

Adding certain supplements to your dog’s diet can support their overall health and help manage allergy symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and vitamins like E and C can bolster immune function, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health.


Choosing between turkey and salmon for dogs with allergies depends on individual needs and circumstances. Both proteins offer unique benefits and potential drawbacks, and the best choice will vary from dog to dog. 

Is your dog experiencing persistent itching or digestive issues? My Pet Sensitivity's at-home dog food sensitivity test can help identify the root causes of these problems. This easy-to-use test analyses your dog's reaction to over 300 food and environmental factors, providing fast and accurate results. With this detailed report, you can make informed dietary choices that improve your dog's health and comfort.



Take control of your dog's well-being today. Order My Pet Sensitivity's dog food sensitivity test, and within days, you'll have the insights needed to tailor your dog's diet, eliminate allergens, and enhance their quality of life. Start your journey towards a healthier, happier pet now.