Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? (Nutrient Rich, but Beware!)

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Can my dog eat shrimp? Yeah, dogs can eat shrimp if you’re looking for quick responses, but you should avoid giving them as a daily meal and proceed with caution. We know, it’s contrary because dogs are carnivores and shrimps are also juice and meaty. But before judging anything, you must know all the facts, not just the quick answer whether you can feed shrimps to your lovely dogs or not.

Dogs can, theoretically, eat shrimp. These aquatic animals are full of protein and are not toxic to dogs. However, they are also high in fat and can cause serious illness in dogs, leading to allergic reactions, or blocking of intestines.

Considering the dangers of feeding shrimps to dogs, the risks outweigh the benefits. But, if your dog is not sensitive to shrimps and wants to eat those shrimp, make sure you take the necessary precautions. Shrimp should be well cooked, deshelled, and only small portions should be provided.

Some canines have no problem eating shrimps, but, unfortunately, many things have been unnecessarily encountered after eating shrimp. So before serving your dog with shrimp in a meal or as a treat, think twice.

The Pros and Cons

In short, is shrimp good for dogs? For some pros and cons, see the chart below.

High in proteinHigh in fat
Great source of Omega-3Some breeds can have serious allergic reactions.
Contains high levels of antioxidantsIntestinal blockage risk plus the danger of choking
Potential of poisoning from Salmonella or Listeria if not cooked properly.

Can dogs eat cooked shrimp?

Cooked shrimps are less likely to cause problems related to infections, but raw shrimps are more likely to cause bacterial or viral infections in dogs. So, if you do give shrimp to your dog, make sure it is well cooked before giving it to your dog.

Raw shrimp, like the deadly Salmonella and Listeria, is a source of all kinds of bacteria. Even a single shrimp can make your dog ill, so be sure to call your veterinarian if you think your pup has eaten some raw shrimp.

Can dogs eat shrimp shells and tails?

Shrimp shells and tails also pose a serious threat to dogs. They can pose a choking hazard to small dogs and some dog owners may say that their dog has eaten the shell of the tail and they have been fine.  All dogs, however, are different and your dog may not be so fortunate.

Dogs shouldn’t eat shrimp shells or shrimp tails because they pose a high risk of suffocation and can even cause a blockage in your dog’s intestines. Shrimp tails and shells are made up of chitosan, which is difficult for a dog to digest. Also, the brittle or broken shell may possibly get stuck in the digestive tract or perforate the intestinal wall leading to severe issues in canines.

Can dogs have shrimp

How to Safely Share Shrimp with Your Dog

Shrimp can be a delightful addition to your dog’s diet if you wish to still give them to your dogs after reading all of the above information.

Even though shrimp is not toxic to dogs, you should be careful which shrimps you give them, as processed shrimps can be full of dangerous chemicals and flavorings that are potentially life-threatening for your canines.

Now let’s see how shrimps are suitable/beneficial for your pooch.

There are many nutritional benefits that shrimps can provide to your dog’s such as:

1. Shrimp Contains Glucosamine

Glucosamine (glucose and glutamine) is a natural sugar. To promote healthy joints, glucosamine helps the production of new and healing of cartilage. Cartilage is an integrated tissue to withstand shock, acting as a cushion between the bones.

Dogs naturally produce glucosamine. But with age, their bodies become worn out, which reduces shock absorption and reduces the ability to bear pressure. So, by giving shrimp to your canines, you giving them glucosamine which strengthens the joints. Also, adding glucosamine to your dog’s diet can benefit them by increasing mobility.

Shrimp shells (including tails) contain high amounts of glucosamine.

2. Shrimp Contains Antioxidants

Shrimps, when cooked, turn pink. This is because, when heated, the extracts stored inside the shrimp are released. Astaxanthin is a red color that is naturally present in flamingos, lobsters, salmon, and shrimp. So along with that, Astaxanthin is also a powerful antioxidant that boosts canine immune systems and helps them keep active and alert.

Antioxidants combat free radicals, which destroy protein, cells, and DNA of your dog and can cause:

  • Cancer
  • Premature aging
  • Chronic diseases
Hungry dog

Other benefits of Astaxanthin present in Shrimps are:

  • Improves joint health and decreases pain and swelling.
  • The blood-brain barrier is crossed and offers vital nutrients.
  • It eases dry eye conditions.
  • It lowers the body’s C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a sign of inflammation and heart disease.

3. Shrimps Contain Taurines

Taurine is an amino acid that helps to preserve canine organs such as the Heart, Brain, and Immune systems.

Dogs can make their own taurine, like glucosamine, and it can help reduce your dog’s risk of chronic cardiomyopathy and blindness, particularly as they age, by adding taurine to your dog’s diet. Taurine also acts as a nervous controller, which can prevent seizures.

4. Shrimp are an abundant Source of Vitamins & Minerals

Shrimp live in water rich in minerals, which means they are full of nutrients that will help your dog maintain a healthy life.

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Are All Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

Although shrimps offer many benefits, many shrimps are raised on farms. Therefore, they may contain antibiotics, pesticides, and surprisingly, even disinfectants.

Therefore, it is advisable to only purchase wild shrimp and ideally fresh. The problem is that the packaging of seafood products cannot always be trusted.

If you are not happy as to where the shrimp came from, wild or farm-raised for example, choose a different treat to share with your canine companion.

Feeding Shrimp to Your Dog

To benefit from the shrimp, remove the tail, shell and cook thoroughly. But remember, foods like salt and some spices are not suitable for dogs.

You can even create a glucosamine-rich broth by boiling shrimp in water for a few hours and then offering it to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

It is true that when eating raw shrimp, there is a risk of parasites, such as Tapeworms and Roundworms among others.

Therefore, it is not advised you give dogs raw shrimp.

The only way to serve shrimp is cooked, ideally steamed. Like many foods, heating a shrimp can reduce the number of nutrients your dog gets, however, cooking will kill any harmful pathogens that are present in the shrimp.

Your dog can benefit from all the advantages that shrimps offer if you observe these rules.

Alternatives to Shrimp

In general, fish and other seafood is one of the most dangerous food groups for canines. In addition to allergies and toxins, shrimp/fishbones or shells are always a risk of choking and internal injury or perforation.

If you are considering a robust and protein-rich treat for your dog who likes to eat Seafood, there are many alternatives to shrimp. Salmon and Sardines, just to name a few.

Of course, there are many other nutritious foods, including store-bought items and home-cooked meals which include vegetables or meat food you can give to your dog instead of shrimp. It all depends on your pet’s choice and what he is accustomed to!

Common Questions

What to do if your dog eats shrimp tails?

Contact your veterinarian. It is possible that shells or tails can block your dog’s intestines or they have caused internal damage that you cannot see. While your dog may recover, there is always the possibility of serious problems that could lead to the death of your pet if you do not hurry to contact your veterinarian in an emergency.

Can Dog have Allergies to Shrimp?

Humans are not the only ones to have allergic reactions to some foods, some canines have them too and shrimp is a common one.

Common symptoms of Shrimp allergy are:


Can a dog eat shrimp? Although shrimps are not toxic to dogs, you should avoid giving them to your pet. They can cause allergic reactions, be challenging to digest, and overall, do not make safe choices as a treat.

Remember to always consult your veterinarian before adding any human food to their dog food, and adhere to their advice.

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