You are at a dinner table with a blissful plate of shrimp in front of you but you are hesitant to take a bite. You are hesitant because your pup has been looking at you with droopy eyes, hoping that you would offer him some. This is a truly dire situation and you’d naturally ask, can dogs eat shrimps?
Shrimps are completely safe for dogs. Although raw shrimps are unhealthy, cooking them to perfection, you can unpack dozens of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are healthy for your dog. However, you should only feed a few shrimp every day to avoid health risks.
I’m sure you’re still filled with questions and those hungry eyes are melting your heart.
But don’t worry, this post details everything you need to know about shrimps, and the possibility of your dog eating some.
Are Shrimps Safe For My Dog?
To put it plainly:
It is perfectly fine to give your dog some shrimp to eat.
Shrimp are filled to the brim with vitamins and since they are mainly protein, their legitimacy as a food force can’t be questioned.
Humans eat them without any ill effects so dogs must be the same, right? Well, kind of.
See, here is the deal:
Human anatomy is way different than that of a dog. Our digestion system differs quite significantly. It is not to say that there are similarities, but the differences outweigh the similarities.
Keeping this in mind, there are a number of things that you need to consider, and a bunch of safety measures you need to take.
Raw Shrimps Are a Big No
The first thing that you need to keep in mind is this:
You shouldn’t even think about giving your dog raw shrimp.
Shrimp is a type of shellfish and almost all shellfish are filled with pathogens. From bacteria to viruses, raw shellfish are a carnival of doom. To make the point clear, we can ask:
Can dogs eat lobster?
Of course, they can if it is perfectly cooked.
So, when it comes to dogs, raw shellfish are a bad idea.
Raw shrimp can be contaminated for a couple of reasons:
- Shrimp contain pathogens in their digestive tract
- They can become contaminated during handling and transportation.
Giving your dog raw, uncooked shrimp may lead to a number of problems the least of which is indigestion. In more severe cases, your dog can become extremely sick. But don’t worry all is not lost.
If you follow the directions detailed in the section below and use some common sense, shrimp has the potential to become your dog’s favorite food.
Cook It to Perfection
Now that you know that raw shrimp are a bad idea, it is time for you to know what makes sense.
Steam the shrimp!
Yes, you read that right! Cooked shrimp is perfect for your dog. And within the domain of cooking, steaming is the best way to prepare a shrimp for your pup.
Cooking kills most of the harmful bacteria. And because the meat is cooked, it will also help in digestion.
So, steam the shrimp until they are pink and serve. Bon Appetite!
Too Much Shrimp Is a Bad Idea
There is a Chinese saying:.
This saying holds especially true when it comes to giving your dog shrimp to eat.
No doubt shrimp are rich in nutrients like Vitamin B12, and anti-oxidants among other things. But, here is the catch, they are also high in cholesterol. If you give too much shrimp to your dog, there will be a cholesterol imbalance which can lead to severe complications.
So, how much shrimp should you be giving to your pup?
Ideally, you should only give your dog about half a cup or a couple of shrimp per day. This quantity ensures that you are giving enough to get the benefits, but not too much to take the risks.
Incorporating Shrimp into Your Dog’s Diet
Considering how limited of a quantity you are to give to your dog, shrimp make the most sense when given as a treat or as a supplement to your dog’s main diet.
If you want to incorporate shrimp into your dog’s regular diet, the first thing you need to do is to check if your dog likes it or not. Here is what you should do:
- Give your pup a couple of shrimp to eat
- Wait a few minutes for any signs of a reaction
- If there are none, you are good to go
In case of an allergic reaction like vomiting, gas, or any sign of discomfort, don’t give your dog any more shrimp to eat. Your dog can be allergic to shrimp. If you let your dog eat any more shrimp despite it being allergic, the results could be fatal.
Now, if you find your dog responding well to shrimp, slowly incorporate it into its regular diet. Add a few, well-cooked shrimp once a day to its food.
In addition to all these measures, it is best if you take your vet’s advice on this matter.
No Tail and Shell, Please
There are two things that you need to do before serving shrimp to your dog:
- Cook it properly
- Get rid of the tail and the shell
Getting rid of the tail is necessary because shrimp-tails can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Problems like:
- Irritation in the intestine
- Blocking of the respiratory pathway
In a similar fashion, failure to remove the shell off of the shrimp before letting your dog eat it can cause:
- Blockage of the air canal
Dogs aren’t humans. Sometimes we tend to forget that and give them things to eat in a form we are used to. So, keep the above-mentioned things in mind.
To sum it all up, when it comes to dogs and shrimps, common sense always prevails.
Don’t give raw shrimp to your dog. If your dog shows signs of discomfort, stop with the shrimp and give your vet a call. Cook them properly and feed your dog only a limited quantity per day.
Shrimp are a great source of vital nutrients. Use them as a supplement and not the actual diet and you’ll be good to go.