Can I Give My Dog Shrimp?

Can I Give My Dog Shrimp?Feeding your best buddy some shrimp may seem okay because, after all, it’s meat and dogs are eager carnivores. Does this tasty crustacean really belong in a dog’s diet? Most folks will tell you that it’s generally okay in small amounts.

In truth, shrimp contains a lot of protein which is desirable for canines. On the other hand, it’s well known that this popular seafood contains high levels of cholesterol.

Providing a few on occasion is certainly much different than giving it on a regular basis. Here we’ll weigh all aspect of feeding shrimp to a beloved pet dog.

Can I Give My Dog Shrimp? Answer: On occasion, when cooked and properly prepared

But keep in mind that out-of-the-ordinary human foods can disrupt digestion.

Further, it’s not wise or economical to provide this type of shellfish regularly. A few here and there isn’t likely to be harmful but some dogs have digestive trouble or allergies to certain types of seafood. Just be smart and practice moderation. If your dog loves shrimp, don’t turn it into a habit where they’re often expecting to receive some.

The Nutritional Facts

It turns out that, if your dog can tolerate shrimp, it can be a nutritious treat. Often overlooked, they contain selenium which is a great antioxidant. In fact, this ocean critter has two different types of antioxidants which means there are potential health benefits. Phosphorous and vitamin-B12 are also plentiful in shrimp. At the same time, it’s low in calories, carbs and fat. Sure, cholesterol is a concern but since you hopefully won’t be feeding it often the risks will be minimized.

Raw vs. Cooked Prawn

Cooking shrimp obviously helps to kill off any harmful bacteria that can cause upset stomach and/or sickness. Others say that eating raw shrimp is the closest a dog would come to eating some on their own. We favor playing it safe by serving it cooked and this goes for any type of seafood!

Other Shrimp Considerations

If you do give your dog some shrimp, be sure to remove the shell completely. This includes the tail, head and legs. Eating anything other than the meat could cause a digestive blockage. Even if your dog only gets a morsel of shrimp, as a reward or a treat for example, make sure it’s completely cooked and properly peeled before letting them indulge.

Shrimp Accidentally

Sometimes dogs get into things that they shouldn’t. In such cases, and shrimp is no different, expect vomiting or diarrhea or both. Their body will do its best to rid themselves of the shrimp, assuming it doesn’t agree with them. Depending on the amount eaten, consider quarantining your dog to an area that’s easy to clean up. Weather permitting, outdoors makes sense because things could get messy. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water!

More seriously, if your dog seems to be allergic to prawns, consult with a veterinarian if the symptoms are concerning. Shellfish, such as crab, are a common allergen.

A Better Diet Plan

Dog food manufacturers try to replicate the sort of diet a dog would be eating out in the wild. They’ve successfully come up with canine formulations mimicking the ratio of proteins, carbs and fats in an easy-to-distribute form. Yes, shrimp contains an element of what’s desirable for an active dog, yet they aren’t used to chowing down on this ocean creature.

A high-quality dog food is superior because it’s more practical over the long term. You won’t need to do supplementation with something like shrimp or other people foods. For a safe and healthy treat, quality dog biscuits are a consistent way to nourish your pet with the same levels of protein.

Conclusion on Shrimp

You can occasionally treat your dog to some shrimp or prawns but limit consumption and don’t make it a habit. Responsible owners have reported providing it to their four-legged friends without incident. If you’re keen on feeding your dog this protein packed food, restrict the amount they get but also be sure to properly prepare it. Afterwards, closely monitor them for allergic reactions especially when providing it for the first time.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bryan June 19, 2015

I buy dog food that is primarily salmon. As a result, my dog is much healthier than she was when she was on the major brands. In the past, humans were not able to eat many of the healthy foods they can today mostly because of their geographic location. There needs to be a specific reason to convince me not to feed my dog a shrimp here and there. (i.e. liver or kidney damage, poisonous, etc.)

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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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