Are you cooking shrimp? And wondering if you can share some with your furry friend too? Well, the good news is that you can make cook some more. Because, YES, your dog can eat shrimp.
But hey, before running to the seafood store to get shrimp for your dog, read this article!
Here we’ve discussed everything you should know about giving shrimp to your favorite pet.
Health Benefits Of Shrimp For Dogs
Shrimps can be beneficial to your dog’s health if provided in small quantities. While dogs can sometimes have shrimps, please remember that a dog’s primary food source should never be shrimp or any shrimp-based food.
Let us now look at the primary benefits of feeding shrimps to dogs.
1. Shrimps Can Boost Your Dog’s Immunity System
Just like humans, dogs also need antioxidants in their daily food. For example, shrimps contain an antioxidant called astaxanthin. This helps in increasing the immunity power of dogs.
Astaxanthin can attack free radicals to improve the immunity system of your dog. Otherwise, these free radicals oxidize the cells in a dog’s body and can also hamper cell production. This is a serious condition and can lead to several issues like cognitive disorders and even cancer.
It is one of the antioxidants that can save your dog’s cells from such free radicals and make them strong enough to fight any infection.
2. Shrimps Can Improve Your Dog’s Brain Functions
Besides antioxidants, shrimps are a good source of polyunsaturated fats. These fats are beneficial for developing brain functions in dogs, especially if fed when your dog is a young puppy.
Even if your dog is an adult one, do not worry. Polyunsaturated fat can also boost kidney and heart health in older dogs, which can also prove to be beneficial in the long run.
3. Shrimps Are An Excellent Source Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Like other fatty fishes, shrimps contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This compound can benefit your dog in two ways.
First, it will take care of your dog’s daily level of nutrition. Second, in the later stage of life, the omega-3 fatty acid will also save your dog from serious conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
4. Consumption Of Shrimp Can Improve Your Dog’s Energy Level
Shrimps contain different minerals and vitamins that are required for the normal functioning of a dog’s body. Vitamin b3 (also known as niacin), vitamin B12, and selenium are vital nutrients in shrimps.
Additionally, shrimps also have a minimal amount of glucosamine and phosphorus, which is also required in a canine’s body.
Such nutrients improve the immunity in a dog’s body and increase the general energy level in dogs. Also, these nutrients react with calcium to increase the bone strength of your dog. This takes care of any joint or bone-related problems in dogs.
Dangers of Feeding Dogs Shrimp
While it has been established that dogs can have shrimps, it is unsafe. You can introduce shrimp into your dog’s diet, and it will enjoy having shrimp; there are still some lingering risks.
Let us now look at the dangers of feeding shrimp to your dog.
1. Shrimp Tails Can Make Your Dog Choke
Shrimps, as you must have noticed, have shells in them. This shell needs to be removed before human consumption.
Similarly, dogs also can’t eat and digest shrimp shells. So, carefully remove the shell before giving them any, as dogs tend to chew and swallow the whole shrimp at a time.
Besides, shrimp tails are hard and sharp at the same time. While this makes a fried shrimp crunchy, and your dog may love to chew it, once it is trying to swallow, the hardtail of shrimp can get lodged in your dog’s throat.
Besides, the sharp edges of shrimp can also damage your furry friend’s digestive tract, which can also be a serious problem.
2. Shrimps Can Indirectly Lead To Obesity Among Dogs
Since raw shrimp is unsafe, many pet owners believe fried shrimp can be the solution. But let us warn you, fried shrimp can increase the calorific value of shrimps, and oily food is not healthy for dogs.
Also, some people make the mistake of frying shrimp in garlic-infused oil and feeding it to their dogs. We recommend that you don’t commit the same error, as garlic and onion are harmful to dogs.
So, feeding fried shrimp can make your dog obese in the long run. This condition can lead to complications like pancreatitis or chronic joint pain.
Additionally, shrimps have a high amount of cholesterol, and if your dog is already suffering from issues related to its circulatory system, it is better to avoid shrimps altogether.
3. Raw Shrimps May Have Parasites
Any raw fish can have certain parasites, which can be risky for your dog. Shrimps are no exception to this risk. Raw shrimps can have different types of parasites in them. Among these, the most dangerous ones are salmonella, E. coli, and listeria.
If ingested, these parasites can seriously impact your dog’s health. While to begin, they can cause severe vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, and serious gastrointestinal problems in the long term.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Yes, dogs can eat shrimp. However, as dog parents you need to be very specific about what type of shrimp they can consume.
Here is a list we have discussed about what type of shrimp your dog can consume and what they shouldn’t. Let us dive right into it.
You should not give your dog Raw Shrimp. Why? because before consuming raw shrimp, the digestive part needs to be cleansed properly. And, eating raw can be harmful to your and your dogs health. So, if you love your pup, stay away from giving them raw shrimp!
Fried shrimp is not a good option as your pup’s food. First, it’s not so healthy. Second, the oil and grease that it has may upset your dog’s stomach. However, if you still insist, we’d suggest that you can give your dog fried shrimp, But only on special occasions. And if you want your pet to have a healthy life, limit their access to fried food.
Your dog can consume cooked shrimp. If you cook the shrimp properly before feeding your dog, there won’t be any problem. Now, don’t make use of seasonings and additives to make it tasty for your four-legged buddy. Dogs can eat cooked shrimp only if it’s free from any additives such as garlic and other spices. Also, before you start cooking, make sure to remove the shell of the shrimp.
Your dog can have boiled shrimp. You just have to make sure that it’s been cleaned thoroughly and doesn’t have the shell. Do you know how to prepare it?
First, take some water in a bowl, place it on the gas, and leave it to boil. Now add the shrimp to it. Boil it until it reaches 145° F. Now take it down from the gas, let it cool down, and feed your pup. Remember, after boiling, the flesh of the shrimp should be opaque.
“NO” to shrimp shells, especially for dogs. Once you cook the shrimp for your dog, remove its shells. Or, you can do it before cooking it. This will make it easier for you to remove the shrimp vein too. Use a knife, cut the back of the shrimp open, and take out the vein.
Now, let’s tell you a secret!
Don’t throw away the shells. You can make a nutritious and delicious seafood stock with them! Take some water in a pan, heat it, and put the shells in it. Now add some vegetables and wait for the mixture to come to a boil. Then strain the liquid. You can share this tasty shrimp broth with your furry pal and let them get the nutrients from the shrimp shells as well.
Shrimp tails for your dog is not safe. If they swallow it accidentally, it can be a choking hazard. And you don’t want that. Also, did we tell you that the sharp edges of shrimp tails can irritate the upper GI tract of your dog?
Which is why, these shrimps are not for your dog.
If your Dog is Obese, Can Shrimp Treat it?
Shrimp is healthy food, and that is why a lot of people believe that it can help your dog lose some significant weight. But is that so? Can shrimp really help in weight loss?
Well, shrimp store loads of proteins in them.
These proteins have fewer calories compared to other dog food. And your pup needs protein. So if you feed your dog shrimp instead of some store-bought preservative-filled dog food, then shrimp can actually help lose weight. Those commercial dog food contain high fat.
Here’s a word of CAUTION!.
Don’t replace a large portion of your pup’s diet with shrimp just because it can aid in weight loss. Instead, it would be best if you fed shrimp to your dog only in moderation. Also, remember not to feed your dog the type of shrimps which are harmful to them.
Go for boiled or cooked shrimps only!
If your dog is suffering from obesity, it’s better to consult a vet before making any drastic change to your furry friend’s diet.
Can dogs be allergic to shrimp?
Yes, just as with any other food, dogs can be allergic to shrimp.
If this the first time that you’re giving shrimp to your dog, then start with a tiny amount. Look out for any adverse reaction. The signs of an adverse reaction include:
- Swelling on the face
- Difficulty in breathing
- Itchy skin
Most dogs love eating shrimp. And, if you give them in small amounts, their stomach can handle it!
Do Shrimp Provide Essential Nutrients to Dogs?
A big YES!
- Full of antioxidants
Have you ever noticed that shrimp turn pink when cooked?
Do you know why?
Shrimp have astaxanthin stored inside it. When you cook the shrimp, it gets released.
Now, what is astaxanthin? Well, it’s a pigment in red that changes the color of the food when cooked.
Do you know what the best thing about astaxanthin is?
Well, it’s full of antioxidants.
That means it can prevent free radicals, which can damage your beloved dog’s proteins, cells, and DNA. If not taken care of, these free radicals can lead to premature aging, cancer, and chronic diseases.
And that’s NOT it!
The astaxanthin found in shrimp can:
- Help with the dry eye condition
- Improve joint health by reducing pain and inflammation
- Decrease the C-Reactive protein, commonly known as CRP, in your dog’s body. This is a marker for heart disease and inflammation
- Provide essential nutrients to your dog by crossing the blood-brain barrier
- A powerful source of glucosamine
Made from glucose and glutamine, glucosamine is an amino sugar. It assists in forming and repairing cartilage. Also, it provides your dog with excellent joint health.
Now, what is cartilage?
It’s a connective tissue between bones. It acts as a cushion and absorbs shock.
Your pooch produces glucosamine in their body. However, when dogs get older, the amount of this production starts to lessen. As a result, their ability to absorb shock also reduces. This can stiffen their joints.
You don’t want that to happen to your four-legged love, right?
So add glucosamine to your pet’s diet and see how their mobility is improved.
And the best way to do that is by feeding shrimp to your dog!
- Filled with Taurine
What is taurine?
Well, it’s an amino acid that supports your pup’s immune system, brain, eyes, and heart of your pup.
We’ve already mentioned that dogs can create their own glucosamine. Well, they can produce their taurine too!
Feed your dog foods that have taurine in them. It can help your dog by reducing their risk of blindness and dilated cardiomyopathy. Also, it can protect them from seizures.
Shrimps are a fantastic source of taurine! One oz of shrimp contains about 48 mg of taurine.
Rush to the fish market now!
- Loaded with minerals and vitamins
You already know that shrimp live in water that is rich in minerals.
This makes it evident that the shrimp are full of essential nutrients enough for your doggo to live a long, healthy life. Let’s summarize the benefits of these minerals and vitamins:
- Vitamin B3, commonly known as Niacin, is great for blood circulation, energy production, and enzyme function
- Vitamin B12 is superb for maintaining gastrointestinal health
- Vitamin D3 fights against cancer and improves the immune function
- Phosphorous plays a huge role in the healing process
How Many Shrimp is Safe For Your Dog to Eat?
Well, it depends on the size of your dog.
What is the size of your dog?
Are they medium-sized? Then one or two shrimp a day is more than enough.
If your dog is a small one, feed them not more than half to one shrimp a day.
There’s no denying the fact that shrimp contain loads of beneficial nutrients. However, don’t forget that they’re high in fat too. And if your dog is sensitive to high-fat diets, it will do more harm than good to them. In addition, some nutritionists say that shrimp can also be high in contaminants such as chemicals and antibiotics. So be cautious.
Is there any Alternative to Shrimp for your Dog?
In general, seafood can be risky bait for your four-legged companion. There’s always a risk of internal injuries or choking from shells, tails, or bones.
Looking for protein-rich, healthy treats for your pet who loves to indulge in seafood?
Well, shellfish have many alternatives. You can get your hands on these dog-friendly foods:
Remove the bones from salmon, cook it thoroughly, and serve it to your furball. Dogs love delicious, wholesome, and cooked salmon!
Bonus read:- Can Dogs Eat Salmon? | Nutritionist Advice
Sardines are full of essential nutrients that your dog needs. These tiny fish are an excellent source of Omega -3 fatty acids and proteins.
- Green-lipped mussels
Does your dog have arthritis?
Then make sure to include green-lipped mussels in their diet. Loaded with glycosaminoglycans and essential fatty acids, these have been raved about by canine experts. In addition, these are well known for their pain-relieving properties – perfect for dogs with arthritis!
How To Feed Shrimp To Your Dog?
Introducing or making your dog eat shrimp is not a challenge, as our furry friends love to munch on anything we do. But shrimp should not be treated as a principal component in a dog’s meal. They are only partially safe for dogs.
But if you are still looking forward to feeding your dog shrimp, here are the steps you should follow to ensure that your dog can adapt carefully to this new food item.
Adjust The Portion Of Shrimp According To The Size Of Your Dog
We recommend that you only feed one shrimp to your dog if you are sure it can digest the shrimp, especially if it is an average-sized one. Then, you can give the shrimp along with their regular food, like dry dog food, grain-free dog food, or regular kibble.
Also, it would be best to remember that certain dog breeds and small dogs are often more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems or immunity-related issues. So, it is better if they eat less.
Besides, although shrimp is tasty, it can negatively impact your dog’s health and pose a choking hazard.
Keep An Eye Out For Any Allergic Reaction
Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from allergies triggered by shellfish. Therefore, it is better to feed them a very small amount of shrimp at the beginning to check if your dog is intolerant to shrimps.
If your dog is allergic to shrimp, it will show signs like itchiness, swelling, and gastrointestinal problems. In such cases, you should avoid giving shrimp or any other variant of shellfish to your dog. You should also visit the vet and be sure about allergies.
Look Out Of Your Dog’s Stomach Gets Upset
Shrimp is usually cooked in butter with lots of seasonings, spices, and garlic. Interestingly, none of such ingredients are suitable for dogs. This is because they can cause inflammation in your dog’s digestive tract.
In this case, your dog will show clear symptoms. However, it may suffer from a range of issues like vomiting, loss of hunger, and diarrhea. Besides, it may also show changes in appetite and bowel movements.
If these symptoms continue for a few days, visit the vet and let the vet decide the future course of action about your dog consuming shrimp.
Please Pay A Visit To The Vet At The Very Beginning Of Itself
Some pet parents opine that instead of taking the harder way of feeding your dog shrimp and observing it, you can also visit the vet first. Let the vet decide if your dog will be able to digest shrimp.
Then, it will be easier for you to determine whether to feed shrimps to it or not. Besides, it will be easier to decide on the amount of shrimp.
It is perfectly fine if your dog eats just one or two shrimp. But your dog should not be suffering from any intolerance or allergies towards shrimps. Besides, shrimps have specific hazards, like the presence of parasites. Once ingested, they can cause serious problems.
No, one shrimp will not hurt your dog. One or two shrimp can be beneficial if fed with a dog’s regular diet. It can improve the brain function and immunity of your dog. Besides, it can also make your dog more energetic.
Some of the toxic seafood items to a dog are tilefish, king mackerel, swordfish, and albacore tuna. Besides, dogs can also have allergies or intolerance towards shellfish, which includes shrimps, crabs, oysters, and lobsters.
Yes, dogs can have frozen shrimp. But it should be given in small quantities and kept from being fed regularly. Also, some dogs may have allergic reactions to shrimps, and you should avoid providing shrimp to them in any form.
Yes, dogs can eat broccoli. While dogs are not very fond of vegetables, both cooked and raw vegetables are good. But cooked vegetables should not have added salt, oil, or seasoning.
Moreover, if you are feeding broccoli to your dog, ensure that it is only in a small quantity. The broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause gastric irritation in your canine friends.
Yes, you can feed cooked shrimp to your dog. However, while shrimp is an excellent source of proteins and vitamins, cooked shrimp are generally fried. This fried shrimp is high in calories, and persistent consumption of it can make your dog obese.
Besides, shrimps are often fried in garlic oil with a good amount of salt, and both garlic and salt are harmful to your dog.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.