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Can Dogs Eat Crabs?

October 21, 2022

It is safe to say that pet owners want the best for their dogs. They want to ensure that their pup is getting the necessary nutrients as well as something that can be enjoyed. There is any number of foods that one could choose, with seafood being a popular option, which leads one to wonder whether crab is a viable option for your dog.

It is best to have an understanding of what you are feeding your dog before feeding it to them. There are some underlying risks and concerns with just about anything. With crab, it is important to know not only whether they can eat it but whether it is good for them. Consider this your guide to seafood for dogs.

Can You Feed Your Dogs Crab?

The short answer is that, yes, crab meat is quite safe to eat for dogs, at least in some cases. There are no known toxins within the crab, and it can actually provide a few benefits as well. Of course, there are definite risks to be aware of before you go adding it to your dog’s diet.

It is also notable how the crab is prepared and given to your dog. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of introducing crab into their diet, as well as some of the downsides.

The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Crab

Whenever considering a certain type of food, it is important to consider the nutritional benefits. If whatever you are considering doesn’t really provide nutritional value to your dog, you have to ask yourself whether it is worth introducing. Anything that doesn’t contain vitamins, protein, energy, or nutrients should be ignored.

The good thing about feeding your dog crab meat is that it is a fantastic source of lean protein. Protein is one of the most vital portions of any good diet. That protein gives your dog as many as ten different amino acids that they are incapable of producing themselves. Those amino acids can aid in several vital functions and are a necessity for your dog’s health.

Adding in crab meat can be a great way to boost the lean protein in your dog’s diet. It also has several minerals and vitamins that are essential in promoting not only physical but mental wellness in your dog. One of those vitamins is zinc, which is necessary for good skin health, creating proper enzymes, and overall immune health. Vitamin B12 is also present, helping to aid in your dog’s cognitive health.

Finally, crab can be a great source of fatty acids. Fatty acids are often times implemented into a dog’s diet to help promote skin and heart health as well as renal function. Fatty acids also go towards their growth and produce the necessary energy to function.

Beware of the Shell

Of course, there are also downsides to be aware of. Yes, there are a number of benefits to feeding crab to your dog so long as it has been properly prepared and cooked. There are inherent dangers if it has not been properly prepared.

The most dangerous aspect of crab is the shell. Like any other form of shellfish, it should never be given to a dog with the shell on. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first reason not to give your dog crab with the shell on is because of the dangers it could present when ingested. Broken crab shell can be quite sharp and has the potential to puncture their stomach lining or digestion tract.

There is also the danger of choking. Crab shells can be awkwardly shaped and quite jagged. It is not unheard of for broken pieces of shell to become lodged in their throat. This can lead to choking or worse in some dogs.

Unfortunately, the shell is not the only possible danger to a dog. Proper preparation goes a long way towards ensuring that crab is safe for your dog to eat, but there is more to it than that.

The Other Dangers of Crab

With the shell out of the way and disposed of, you may think that crab is perfectly fine to give to your dog otherwise. But it has to be properly cooked to ensure that it is as safe as it can be before consumption.

Dogs should never eat raw crab meat. For crabs caught from the beach, that is especially true. There are dangers of the shell, but raw crab can be quite detrimental to their health as well. Raw crab has a number of parasites that can not only live but thrive in the intestines.

The intestines are a sensitive area for your dog. Major disruptions can compromise their ability to digest food and cause serious illness. Those parasites from raw crab can lead to discomfort, intestinal damage, and larger health concerns.

Even cooked crab is not 100% safe for your dog. It is important to know that crab is naturally high in iodine, sodium, and cholesterol. In small quantities, they should have little to no impact on your dog. But regular implementation into their diet can lead to health problems later on down the line. Give them crab meat sparingly at best, always thoroughly cooked first.

Finally, there is the matter of allergies. Yes, dogs can have allergies just as humans can. If you are introducing crab to your dog, do so in small amounts. Observe them and be on the lookout for potential allergic reactions.

A Note About Imitation Crab

There is also imitation crab, which is actually just comprised of a number of different fish types. These have been combined with preservatives, artificial ingredients, and additives to make it seem like crab, even if it isn’t.

Though imitation crab might not propose the same risks, there are others to be aware of. Just like normal crab, imitation crab in large amounts can be anything but good for your dog. Remember, they contain chemicals, additives, and preservatives that are not naturally found in food.

With regularity and time, they can have adverse effects on the health and diet of your dog. Make sure to limit the amount of imitation crab that you give to your dog. If anything, they should be given as a small treat from time to time rather than a fully integrated part of their regular diet. Moderation is your friend with anything crab related.

What Else Can Your Dog Eat?

Our furry friends are notorious for eating whatever they want, whenever they want. Unfortunately for them, they don’t know when they’re getting into something potentially dangerous, and sometimes neither do we. It helps to know which foods are toxic to our dogs so we can understand when they could be in trouble. Sometimes the treat we enjoy is just as beneficial to our dogs. Here are some healthy snack choices that you can securely and moderately incorporate into their diet.

Seafood Your Dog Can Eat

Dogs can safely consume seafood. If they eat shellfish like lobster, their shells, legs, and tails should be removed to avoid the possibility of puncturing their internal organs. Dogs can also eat fin fish, like salmon, shrimp, and some tuna (in moderation) if their bones are removed for the same reason. Your dog might benefit from staying away from canned tuna if it comes in a package filled with salt water or contains any extra salt. Likewise, seafood given to dogs should not be seasoned at all.

Seafood can have bacteria and other toxic elements in it when they’re undercooked. Because of this, seafood should always be thoroughly cleaned and cooked before it’s offered to your dog.

Fruits Your Dog Can Eat

Several fruits are healthy favorites for dogs and provide a nutritional treat and supplement in their diet. For example, dogs love bananas. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamins. Dogs can have many kinds of melons, like watermelon, plus kiwis, oranges, apples (without the core, seeds, or stems), pineapples, and mangos. Fruits that are packed with antioxidants like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are very healthy for dogs when they’re offered in chunks and thoroughly cleaned.

Grapes, raisins, and sultanas are poisonous to your dog and shouldn’t be eaten at all. Cherries and other fruits with pits, like peaches, plums, and the like, are not considered safe either. The flesh of the fruits is safe to eat, but pits are hazards and poisonous. You should always take the pits out of fruits before giving them to them. Here is a full list of fruits your dog can eat.

Vegetables Your Dog Can Eat

Eating onions, leeks, and garlic could be lethal for your dog. Seasonings that contain these ingredients could be just as deadly, which is why it’s a good idea to avoid them. There are some other veggies that you can feed your dog during safe snack time. Dogs can have carrots, spinach, green beans, and pumpkin safely. Furthermore, they can eat kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, and they are all completely safe and actually very healthy for them. Sometimes too many veggies can cause gas, so pay attention to how much vegetables can dogs eat in one sitting.

Beans Your Dog Can Eat

Beans are packed with important nutrients for a dog’s diet. Dogs can have lima beans, black beans, garbanzo, pinto, kidney, soy, and butter beans, too. Feeding your dog too many beans could cause them to have gas. To avoid an upset stomach, only give them beans in moderation.

Nuts Your Dog Can Eat

Some nuts should be completely avoided, like macadamia nuts and walnuts. These are very poisonous to dogs. Fiber and potassium may be the only nutritional benefits of nuts, and there are many other safer ways for dogs to receive these nutrients. However, If they’re begging for a treat, they can eat pistachios and peanuts in moderation without posing a threat. Nuts should never be seasoned or shelled. Here is a full list of all the dry fruits your dog can eat.

Final Thoughts

What different seafood can your dog eat? The great news is that your dog can eat any number of different kinds of seafood. They can eat lobster, crab, shrimp (when properly cooked), and a litany of different types of fish.

As always, it is better to consult with your vet before making any dietary changes. They can help you determine whether changing course is the right idea and what might be best for your pooch. Crab can be a delicious treat for your dog and a welcome addition to their diet.


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