Whether you’re like Bubba from Forrest Gump and can recite every way to cook them, or the only way you’ve ever seen them is with a side of cocktail sauce on New Year’s Eve, it’s hard to deny just how appetizing shrimp can be. If you have dogs, you also know that enjoying any food can mean having to listen to them whine and beg for a bite of what you’ve got on your plate. But deciding to haphazardly give them a piece of what you’re eating can be dangerous. You’ve got to be sure they can stomach it. So, can dogs eat shrimp? Or are they something you should avoid giving them at all costs?
Shrimp is Safe for Dogs to Eat
Unless your dog is allergic to seafood, there is no need to worry! Dogs can eat shrimp in moderation with minimal risk. According to Dr. Danielle Bernal, a veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food, eating shrimp actually provides multiple beneficial nutrients to dogs.
What Benefits Does Eating Shrimp Have for Dogs?
Not only are these crustaceans insanely delicious, but they’re also rich in nutrients that dogs need. Shrimp’s high vitamin B12 content helps maintain your dog’s gastrointestinal health by aiding in metabolic processes. Shrimp also contains high concentrations of vitamin B3 which assists in energy production, fat production, blood circulation, chemical signals, and more. Additionally, shrimp is rich in antioxidants and phosphorus which promotes bone health and reduces brain aging.
Besides its undeniable nutrient density, shrimp is a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb food, making it an excellent source of protein for dogs on a diet. However, dogs should only eat shrimp in moderation as a means to control their weight; there are plenty of other foods, such as green beans, that are dense and fibrous (resulting in your dog feeling full) that make up part of a grand plan for weight loss for your dog
Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?
Unfortunately, dogs should not be fed raw shrimp. This is because raw and undercooked shellfish can contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria including salmonella and listeria and this may lead to a very sick pup!
How to Prepare Shrimp for Dogs
If you’re going to give your dog shrimp, you must take some precautions in how you prepare it. First, remove the shrimp shell. You need to do this because shrimp shells are tough and hard for your dog to digest.
After de-shelling the shrimp, remove its tail. Like its shell, shrimp tails are notoriously tough and can even perforate your dog’s intestinal system. Then, devein the shrimp. In the same manner in which you don’t want to accidentally ingest the grime and feces from a shrimp’s digestive system (by not deveining the shrimp), neither does your pooch!
After taking these precautions, you’re ready to cook! Remember to cook shrimp all the way through if you’re serving it to dogs – that way you eliminate any harmful bacteria that remains.
It’s advised that you steam shrimp so your dog isn’t consuming unnecessary calories that come from other methods that involve using oil or breading.
Lastly, remember to serve shrimp plain – that means no garlic, onions, or other seasonings that may upset their tummy!
If Your Dog Is Allergic To Shrimp
If your dog ends up snagging a bite of shellfish and is allergic, watch out for the development of certain complications such as hot spots or yeast infections.
If your dog presents with the symptoms of either of these complications, visit our dog page to learn more about our non-toxic, no-odor, fast-acting treatment options!