Can I Give My Dog Shrimp?

Can I Give My Dog Shrimp?Feeding a dog shrimp might sound alright at first, after all it’s meat and dogs are meat eaters. But after further research and consideration it’s clear that shrimp is not something that belongs on your dog’s menu. This is our view despite a majority that says it’s generally OK in small amounts.

Some say that shrimp contains protein which falls in line with a meat eating animal, but others also point out that they’re high in cholesterol. If you normally give your dog its daily dog food, anything out of the ordinary stands to disrupt their digestion. You also have to consider long-term effects on your dog if you plan on giving them shrimp on a regular basis.

There is also some debate as to whether or not cooking the shrimp makes a difference in how your dog digests it. Some say that by cooking it you’re killing off the bacteria that can upset their stomach, while others say that eating raw shrimp is the closest a dog would come to eating shrimp on their own.

Can I Give My Dog Shrimp? Answer: Not Recommended

While a bit of shrimp likely isn’t going to send your dog to the ER, but it’s not really an item you want to make a habit.

Shrimp are a type of shellfish. Some dogs have digestive trouble after eating certain kinds of seafood, in any amount.

Possible Digestive Blockage

If you end up giving your dog shrimp as a treat you should make sure to remove the shell, including the tail, head, and legs. These will often get swallowed whole and can lead to intestinal blockage in your dog.

If you’re dog accidentally eats something they shouldn’t that’s one thing, but giving your dog something that’s a known problem is another. If you plan to give your dog a morsel of shrimp as a reward or a treat, make sure it’s completely peeled before doing so.

Not a Natural Food Item

Shrimp reside at the bottom of the ocean, and a dog’s natural habitat is on land. In the lifetime of wild dog such as a coyote or wolf, the two would not meet and those wild dogs have no problem surviving. There’s simply no reason to think that your dog needs to eat shrimp for any reason.

Domesticated dogs still share most of their genetic make up with their wild counterparts, so it’s not right to think that living with humans has made it so you can feed them everything we eat. Dogs have been evolving for millions or years, and have been with humans for tens of thousands of years, which sounds like a long time, but not when compared to millions and millions.

Some Accidental Shrimp

Sometimes it happens that your dog will get into things, and if that’s the case you should expect either vomiting or diarrhea, or both. Their body will do its best to rid them of the shrimp they can’t handle.

Depending on the amount eaten, you might want to quarantine your dog in an area that is easy to clean, or keep them outside for a while if the weather permits, because it’s probably going to get messy.

A Dog’s Normal Diet

Since it difficult to replicate the sort of diet a dog would be eating out in the wild, dog food manufacturers have come up with formulations for dogs that closely mimic the ratio of proteins, carbs, and fats in an easy-to-distribute form.

If you get your dog a high-quality dog food they won’t need you to supplement their diet with anything like shrimp or other people food. If you want to get them a treat you don’t have to think about, just have a supply of dog biscuits on hand for when they do something good, or when they’re begging you for what you’re eating.

Conclusion on Shrimp

There are valid reasons why you wouldn’t want to give your dog shrimp. However, some owners provide this seafood creature to their four-legged friends without incident. If you’re keen on feeding your dog certain human foods, keep track of the kinds that you give them and the reactions they have. This way you’ll always remember if something like shrimp negatively affects your dog or not.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron March 14, 2015

We owned 3 miniature Poodles and they all loved cooked shrimp, maybe only 2 times a week but they really looked forward to them. Deveined is probably best way to serve it. They all lived pretty healthy lives, between 16-18 years.

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Chase January 31, 2015

Most dog food, high quality or not, contains strange things like corn, soy and various meats. While dogs might not need to be eating shrimp, dog food and what’s considered good dog food needs to be investigated a little more. I’d rather feed a dog a shrimp from the ocean than ground up corn and mutated soy proteins.

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Tara February 11, 2015

I definitely agree with you, Chase. Some dog foods are plain scary when you look at the ingredients or when you imagine all this mush heated for ages into basically a pebble. That’s not food! If I don’t eat dry human food, I’m not going to feed my dog dry food.

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