Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Is It Safe?
It’s always a little alarming when your pup jumps up on the counter and helps themselves to whatever is lying around. But what if it’s last night’s leftover shellfish? Can dogs eat shrimp? Or is shrimp potentially poisonous to pups?
Generally, shrimp can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. But there are a few things you need to know about how to prepare it, cook it, and how often is healthy for your pup to enjoy these delicious snacks.
Are Shrimp Good for Dogs?
Shrimp are a great source of protein, they’re low in fat, and have those all-important fatty acids. They also contain vitamin B12, niacin, and antioxidants which are crucial for your pup’s brain and body development. These are all things that can be missing in standard dog food, which is why shrimp can be a great added extra to your pup’s meals (or given as a tasty snack)!
Should You Cook Shrimp First?
Uncooked shrimp can be bad for both humans and dogs to eat. They can contain pathogens that cause a bacterial infection called Vibriosis. When dogs eat raw shrimp, there’s also a possibility that they could get a gastrointestinal infection. So, can dogs eat raw shrimp? No, they really shouldn’t. Not because the raw shrimp itself is bad for them, but because the likelihood of them getting food poisoning is quite high.
So All Cooked Shrimp is Fine for Dogs?
Shrimp is the most popular shellfish in America. We prepare them in many different ways, and – even if they’re cooked – many of the ways we eat them are unhealthy for our pups.
Additives such as garlic, salt, herbs, and other sauces can contain high levels of fat and sodium, which are not good for dogs. Shrimp are also often battered or coated in breadcrumbs which are high in fat and can be difficult for pups to digest. It’s not recommended that dogs eat fried shrimp (even though this means they’re cooked)!
Over half of all dogs in America are overweight and suffer from health conditions associated with it. Watching what you give them can really help to keep their weight under control.
How Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Safely?
Apart from ensuring the shrimp is thoroughly cooked, it’s important you prepare them correctly so your pup can easily eat them. Can dogs eat shrimp tails? Can dogs eat shrimp shells?
It’s best to feed your pup cooked, de-shelled shrimps that haven’t been prepared with anything else. Especially for smaller pups, shrimp shells and shrimp tails can be a choking hazard. So, make sure you remove them first!
How Much Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?
As with everything, when it comes to your pup’s diet, balance and moderation are really important. Too much shrimp could easily upset your dog’s stomach and cause vomiting, diarrhea, or gas (which no dog or dog owner wants)!
Dogs should get all the calories they need from a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Fresh dog food can be a great option because it’s healthy and pre-portioned. The odd extra snack isn’t a problem though, as long as they get plenty of exercise too!
One or two shrimps a day should be enough for a medium-sized dog. After cooking shrimp, you might want to cut them up into smaller pieces for tiny pups.
If you want to regularly feed your dog shrimp, run it by your vet or canine nutritionist first. They can advise on exactly how much you can safely give your pup depending on their weight, age, activity level, and breed.
What Other Risks Are There When Feeding Your Dog Shrimp?
Apart from the risk of them choking on shrimp shells, or eating harmful pathogens, it’s also possible that your furry friend has or develops a shellfish allergy. Make sure you watch them when you give them shrimp and make a note of any possible signs of an allergy they develop.
These can include itchy or red skin and vomiting and diarrhea. If you suspect that your dog has a shrimp allergy, stop feeding them it and check with your vet.
So, Should You Feed Your Dog Shrimp?
Shrimp can be a really nutritious treat for your pup and a good alternative to highly-processed snacks bought in the store. In order for the food to be safe, you need to thoroughly cook the shrimp to kill any possibly harmful bacteria they may contain. You should also de-shell them and not feed your dog shrimp tails to minimize the risk of choking.
Only feed your doggo plain, non-breaded shrimp and avoid any sauces or ingredients that they may love, but that won’t be good for them. When prepared correctly, moderate amounts of shrimp can be a wonderful added extra to your pooch’s diet.
Does your pup like shrimp? Have you ever given them shellfish?