Dog Tips

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp and Shrimp Tails

October 21, 2022

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp and Shrimp Tails

Finding the best food for your dog can be a comprehensive experience. After all, some things provide significant health benefits while others can be potentially toxic. Seafood is such a broad category that it is worth asking, “can dogs have shrimp and shrimp tails?”

The answer is slightly more thorough than “yes” or “no.” In short, dogs can eat shrimp so long as it has been properly prepared and cooked. On the other hand, it is definitely not advisable to feed them shrimp tails or any part of the shell.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

The first question that pet owners will ask regarding seafood is whether or not dogs can eat shrimp. Shrimp is arguably the most common type of seafood out there, and it comes in a plethora of different styles and flavors.

Because of its popularity, it is only natural to wonder, “can dogs eat shrimp?” The good news is that, yes, your dog can eat shrimp. It cannot be raw, however. Make sure that the shrimp has been fully cooked.

Don’t just feed shrimp to your dog, however. Dogs have allergies, just like humans do. Check with your vet first to see if implementing shrimp as a treat or part of your dog’s meal is a good idea. Even after you feed them shrimp, keep a keen eye on them to look for any adverse reactions.

There is also fried shrimp to consider, though it isn’t necessarily the best option. Fried foods have breading and oil involved, which can be a lot of fat for your dog in one single meal. Too much fat can also lead to health problems like pancreatitis.

When in doubt, steam shrimp before you give it to your dog. Steaming is quite healthy and will ensure that you keep the fat content of their treat in check.

Benefits and Risks of Shrimp

The good news is that there are some great potential health benefits to eating shrimp. They are high in protein, low in calories, and can provide a nice boost of omega-3 fatty acids. Considering the latter winds up in a number of supplements for not only dogs but humans as well, it is easy to see why they are a good idea.

The good news is that there are no dangers to eating shrimp unless it is served raw or has been improperly cooked. With raw shrimp, there is always the risk of vibriosis, a bacterial infection. That said, the risk is relatively low when cooked properly.

Even if your shrimp is under, there is more of a risk of an upset stomach than vibriosis. For dogs, undercooked shrimp can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting, among other symptoms.

There is also the risk of contamination. Though it is rare, contaminated shellfish can potentially lead to major toxic reactions. Those reactions include not only gastrointestinal distress but neurological

symptoms and even paralysis. If you think that you have given your dog contaminated shellfish, take them to the vet immediately.

How Much Shrimp Can You Feed Your Dog?

Like any other type of food, it helps to know how much can be too much. The question isn’t so much, “can dogs have shrimp” rather than “how much shrimp can a dog have?” The simple fact of the matter is that there are millions of obese dogs and cats in the United States alone.

Overfeeding your dog can have a lot of potential detrimental health impacts. Dogs, in particular, should get the majority of their calories from a complete, balanced diet. A lot of pet food has been created to meet the minimum of those needs, though adding supplements can be a great way to boost their diet.

Treats, which are considered to be extra, should account for around 10 percent of their diet. This leads us to just how much shrimp your dog can eat without it becoming a problem.

Small shrimp has around ten calories. Though the weight of your dog can vary depending on its own size and breed, there are some safe assumptions to be made. For a dog that weighs around 30 pounds, you could expect between 1,000 and 1,350 calories per day. They should get around 110 to 135 calories from treats, which means that if you give shrimp as treats, your dog can have 10 to 13 of those small shrimp each day. Your dog will definitely be appreciative of that.

As always, just be certain that you consider not only calorie counts but also their dietary needs. It is always good to check with your vet to make sure that their lifestyle and intake are in step.

Finally, there are allergy issues to consider. Dogs can be allergic to any number of foods, just like a human might be. Make sure that you test small amounts of shrimp with your dog, keeping a keen eye on any potential allergic reactions.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Tails?

Because dogs can eat shrimp, it is only natural to wonder, “can dogs have shrimp tails?” It is definitely not recommended that you let your dog eat shrimp tails. There are a few notable reasons but maybe not the one you may think.

First and foremost, shrimp tails are not toxic to dogs. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon for people to eat shrimp tails. Where the danger exists is that they could break apart, creating jagged pieces. Those jagged pieces have the potential to damage your dog’s digestive tract, which can lead to a lot of issues. Dogs don’t typically chew their food as thoroughly as humans do, which leaves them more vulnerable to injury than humans.

There is also the risk of choking. Because they aren’t naturally easy to digest, even getting them down can be difficult for your dog. Though it isn’t something that you may notice right away, shrimp tails can lead to digestive issues for your dog at some point. If you can avoid it entirely, remove the tails before giving shrimp to your dog.

Even if the shrimp tails have been cooked, it is not advisable. As far as your dog’s safety, even cooked shrimp tails should not be given to your dog. The only case that would be okay is if the shrimp tail was cooked down to a mushy point. Then, and only then, would it be okay to give your dog small amounts of mushy shrimp tail.

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 or crab, 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

Shrimp can be a fine addition to your dog’s meal plan. Just make sure that the shrimp has been properly cooked, with the tails removed entirely. The shells present not only a choking hazard but can also cause obstructions in small breeds. What different seafood can your dog eat? In addition to shrimp, it is safe for them to eat crab, lobster, and a plethora of fish types. Flounder, salmon, herring, cod, catfish, whiting, light tuna, and more are all suitable to feed your pup.


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