Can Dogs Eat Shrimp And Is It Healthy For Them?
Can dogs eat shrimp? The short answer is yes. But there are some technical details that you need to be aware of. And as with all things in life, you should only be giving your dog shrimp in moderation. It can be a nice treat for your dog and beneficial to its diet.
Is It Okay for Dogs To Eat Shrimp?
The most important thing to be aware of, is that the shrimp has to be cooked properly. Raw shrimp contains dangerous bacteria that can cause shellfish toxicity. Your grocer might try to convince you that the shrimp is safe for sushi use, but this doesn’t mean it’s safe for your dog to consume.
Also, keep the amount of shrimp per feeding small. It’s only really an exotic treat for your dog, there are other much better protein sources such as salmon or tuna. But it is low in calories and dogs can digest shrimp quite easily. Shrimp is high in minerals that can help to strengthen bones and teeth, plus speed up a dog’s metabolism. Minerals found in shrimp include calcium, iron and phosphorous.
Another potential danger to be aware of, is that shrimp contains high cholesterol levels. If your dog is already struggling with its weight, rather stay clear of shrimp. It can also negatively affect your dog’s cardiovascular system.
Health Benefits of Shrimp
Can dogs eat shrimp and how healthy is it for them? Although shrimp is not a great source of proteins, it has other useful traits such as being high in antioxidants, including copper and selenium.
Plus a very special one, namely astaxanthin. This is a potent anti-inflammatory carotenoid. In animal studies it has been shown that this special antioxidant offers support to the nervous system as well as the musculoskeletal system. Research has furthermore shown that intake of astaxanthin decreased risk of diabetes and colon cancer. On average a single 4-ounce serving of shrimp can contain between 1 to 4 mg of astaxanthin.
Other vitamins and minerals contained in shrimp: vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin E, iodine, omega-3 fats, pantothenic acid, zinc, choline and protein.
Preparing Shrimp for Dogs
Keep your dog’s dietary needs and restrictions in consideration when preparing the shrimp. Stay clear of seasoning as excessive salt intake can be dangerous for dogs, causing their blood pressure to spike or leading to dehydration. Don’t fry the shrimp or cook it in butter, the fat can cause digestive upset and even inflammation of the pancreas. Do not add any garlic or onion powders.
Shrimp is not a dietary necessity for your dog. It can be a nice snack from time to time, but only in moderation. Check with your veterinarian first before feeding your dog shrimp on a regular basis.
Peel and Devein the Shrimp
Remove the veins before cooking. Use a knife or scissor to cut along the shrimp’s back and carefully pull out all the veins. Unpeeled shrimp can be dangerous for your dog. Try peeling it only after it’s cooked to make sure the shrimp doesn’t lose any nutritional value and to make sure you remove all of the shell.
A trick for pulling off the shell in one piece: slip your fingers under the shell, at the end of the shrimp head and carefully pull the shell away.
Take note: Always feed freshly cooked shrimp to your dog. The cooked shrimp will only last for about a day or two when refrigerated.
Can A Dog Eat The Tail and Shell?
No, it’s not recommended. They can create a stomach blockage or potentially be a choking hazard. Your dog’s ancestors did not have access to shrimp, so a dog’s teeth and digestive system is not equipped to deal with the outside of shrimp. Cleaned shrimp is much easier for your dog to digest.
Also, make sure you buy high quality shrimp. If the shrimp has any rings or black spots on the shell, it means the flesh has begun to deteriorate and break down. Stay clear of gritty or yellow shells. This indicates that chemicals such as sodium bisulfate has been used on the shrimp. If the shrimp smells like ammonia, it is spoiled.
Shrimp isn’t poisonous to dogs when prepared correctly, but your dog might be allergic to it. And if not cooked properly, it can cause shellfish toxicity. Read this article to be aware of dog allergy symptoms.
Your Dog Has Eaten Raw or Too Much Shrimp: What Now?
Can dogs eat too much or raw shrimp? In excessive amounts or when not cooked properly, your dog’s body will reject the shrimp. Your dog will most likely experience stomach discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. The dog’s body will deal with the shrimp on its own. These symptoms should only last for about 24 hours. If they continue for longer, you will should consult your veterinarian.
You need to keep your dog hydrated while its body fights the foreign substance consumed. Make sure it has continues access to fresh water. Other than that, there’s not really anything else you can do to assist your dog. Read this article before you try inducing vomit in your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp – The Disadvantages
Shrimp contains lots of healthy vitamins and minerals, but there are a few drawbacks for your dog’s nutritional needs. As mentioned above, your dog’s ancestors did not have access to shrimp years ago, so their digestive system is not truly compatible with it.
One of the biggest drawbacks of shrimp, is the high cholesterol value. Four ounces of shrimp can contain up to 220 mg of cholesterol. So you need to keep it as an occasional treat, not a regular snack. The biggest health risk of shrimp is the potential shellfish toxicity it can cause, so you need to take extra precaution when preparing it. Make sure it is cooked properly before offering it to your dog. Introduce the shrimp gradually as a new treat to prevent stomach upset.
After feeding your dog shrimp for the first time, you need to keep a close eye on it. If it starts acting strange or showing allergy symptoms, immediately go to your veterinarian.Some dogs might love the taste, but others will just pull their noses up and refuse to try it.
Other Seafood That Are Safe for Dogs
Adding a little bit of seafood to your dog’s regular diet can be very beneficial. But emphasis on the “little bit”.
A great extra source of protein. But it also needs to be cooked properly to deal with a parasite that causes Salmon Disease.
Another great source of protein, but you need to keep in mind its high mercury and sodium content. Read this article to find out more about the health benefits.
Part of the shrimp family, but it contains a lot of iodine. Some dogs can be allergic to it and you don’t want to overdo it, the verdict is not quite out if it is truly safe for dog consumption.
Lobster, Clams, Oysters
Some more shellfish that can enhance your dog’s diet. But remember to not feed your dog the shells. The shells can cause puncture holes in your dog’s digestive system.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Feeding your dog shrimp can be a nice little healthy treat. Just make sure you follow the cooking instructions as described above. And remember to first test your dog’s reaction to the shrimp. It’s always best to first chat to your veterinarian to make sure a new addition to your dog’s diet will be beneficial.