Feed the Skin & Coat: Salmon, Chia Seeds, Sweet Potatoes

by Jennifer Wheeler

Can you think of a more enjoyable way to give your dog a healthy, lustrous coat than by feeding her a delicious meal? This recipe is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that will not only nourish your pup’s fur, but her body and brain as well!

Salmon filet
Plate with salmon
Dog bowl with salmon skin


Ingredients: Filet of salmon with skin on, raw chia seeds, sweet potatoes, and any seasonal veggies for a salad.

Budget: You’ll save on sweet potatoes which are inexpensive everywhere, but salmon is a splurge. We find it on sale for about $10/pound, but because we feed the skin to our dogs, their meal doesn’t add anything to the budget!

Nutrition: This meal is all about the skin and coat. Salmon and salmon skin is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are among the most important nutrients for canine skin and coat. Sweet potatoes are a skin superfood, with vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, calcium, folate, potassium, copper, and thiamine. And chia seeds? They have everything – vitamins, minerals, protein, Omega-3s and loads of antioxidants

Waste Not: None of the humans in our family like the skin, so feeding it to the dogs is a perfect way to avoid waste. Sometimes we even ask the butcher for extra trimmings that would otherwise be thrown out.

The Humans Get: 

This is our girls’ favorite meal, and the only time that they will eat seeds! We oil the salmon then generously pour chia seeds on the top, patting down a little bit. Grill on both sides for a few minutes, and the seeds form a beautiful crust. Thanks for the recipe Uncle Chuckie! Serve with sweet potatoes however you like them.

The Big Guy Gets:

  • Salmon skin and any leftover bits of fish
  • Raw slices of sweet potato
  • Chia seeds scattered over the top of everything

Hint: This meal is rich in nutrients, but the quantity of protein is small. We often supplement this dinner with kibble for the big guy.

The Little Guy Gets:

  • Same as the big guy – some skin and leftover fish bits. 
  • 1/3 of a sweet potato, raw. This is one of the few raw veggies he actually loves!
  • Chia seeds scattered on top

Hint: Use the fat and drippings from cooking the fish to poor over the sweet potatoes.

About the author

Writer, Owner at NYC Doggies

Jennifer is a writer and graduate of NYU School of Law. Jennifer researches and writes original, science-based articles for the NYC Doggies blog, and her writing on other topics can be found in the Huffington Post. Jennifer and Ovidiu have co-authored the upcoming book, WHOLE DOG PARENTING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO RAISE AND TRAIN AN URBAN PUP