Yes, dogs can eat mussels in moderation. Their nutritional richness makes them a great addition to your canine’s diet. However, you must feed them appropriately and ensure to deshell them before serving.
What are Mussels?
Mussels are marine organisms that thrive in brackish water environments. They are a type of bivalve mollusk similar to clams and oysters. Despite the availability of a variety of mussels species, only 17 of them are edible. The most common among them include:
- Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis)
- Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis)
- Pacific Blue mussels (Mytilus trossellus)
- New Zealand green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus)
Are Mussels Safe for Dogs?
Mussels are pretty safe for your dog’s consumption. However, some dogs may exhibit allergic reactions. So, feed them in smaller portions, mainly if you include it in their diet for the first time. This way, you will get to know if it is suitable for your canine’s digestive system. Further, you must always deshell the mussels before serving them to your dogs to avoid choking hazards. Finally, it is always good to feed steamed mussels to prevent your pup from harmful bacteria.
Why are Mussels Good for Dogs?
As mentioned earlier, mussels are low-calorie, nutritionally rich seafood containing the below ingredients, offering the respective health benefits.
|Proteins||It maintains healthy muscles.It aids in developing healthy skin and nails. It promotes a faster healing time for tissues.Protein is also vital for the production of energy.|
|Vitamin A||Vitamin A helps your dog’s vision and skin and heals wounds quickly. It also aids bone growth, reproduction, and the immune system.|
|Vitamin B12||It helps in improving enzyme function. Reduces gastrointestinal problems, and works well in dogs with poor metabolism.|
|Zinc||It is essential for :Immune system healthMetabolic functionHealing|
|Iron||It aids in oxygen transport throughout the body.It ensures your dog has good strength and energy.It aids in proper hormone functioning.|
|Magnesium||Promotes the absorption and metabolism of other minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium.It helps in the utilization of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C and E.|
|Selenium||It is essential for :Healthy reproductionThyroid healthCombatting free radicalsPreventing oxidative stress|
|Calcium||Facilitates muscle movement.It helps keep the heart in rhythm.Stimulates wound healing.Prompts the release of hormones.Promotes skeletal formation.Aids in digestion.|
|Phosphorus||This mineral teams up with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth.Acts as a catalyst for bodily functions like growth, maintenance, and cell repair.|
|Potassium||Potassium helps in the proper functioning of your dog’s kidneys.Aids in maintaining cardiac and digestive health.It strengthens your pet’s bones.It regulates fluid levels and promotes muscle development.|
|Manganese||Manganese helps in supporting your dog’s metabolism.|
|Omega-3-fatty acids||This nutrient supports the cardiac health of dogs.It aids in reducing the inflammation, irritation, and itchy skin.It ensures proper immune function.It helps overall health and wellness.It promotes healthy skin and coat.It has a positive impact on your pet’s mood and behavior.It alleviates pain.|
|Glucosamine and chondroitin||Reduces inflammation. Lessens the probability of illness.Prevents joint problems.|
Why are Mussels Bad for Dogs?
Mussels are not outright bad for your canine’s health. However, they must be cooked and served appropriately to benefit your canine’s health. If not, it can lead to severe consequences:
As mentioned above, deshelling the mussels before feeding them to your dogs is vital. Their shells are rigid, potentially blocking your pet’s gut. In addition, if your canine accidentally swallows a part of it from your plate, it can lead to a choking hazard.
Symptoms of choking hazards in dogs:
- High-pitched squeaks or whistling noises
- Have discolored gums or tongue
- Paw at his mouth
- Struggle to breathe
Seasoned mussels contain garlic powder, onion powder, paprika powder, and oil. They are poisonous for dogs and can lead to:
- GI upset
- Weight gain
- Shaking of head
- High blood pressure
- Muscle tremors
- Joint pain
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
Some dogs are allergic to seafood like mussels. Start with minimal quantities if you are starting to include mussels in your dog’s diet. Alternatively, you can consult a vet before feeding mussels. However, the allergic symptoms your pet would show after consuming the seafood are:
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Itchy skin
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Feeding Raw Mussels
Raw mussels are pretty unhealthy for your dog. They may contain harmful bacteria which can impact your pet’s health. Hence, prefer to feed steamed mussels.
How Many Mussels to Feed Your Dog?
Seafood like mussels can be fed as treats for your dogs. Although mussels are a low-calorie, healthy
and delectable snack, you must not allow your buddy to munch on it excessively. This is because
a well-balanced meal for your dog must constitute only 10% of treats. Therefore, restrict your feeding
to a single or couple of pieces of mussels.
How to Serve Mussels to Your Dog?
You can serve deshelled and cooked mussels to your pet as part of their regular diet as canned or dry food, or as a special treat.
If you are treating your pet, you can:
Cook or steam
Cook or steam the mussels on the stove and serve without seasonings, sauces, butter, or oil.
Serve as Dehydrated Treats
When it comes to dehydration, there are three methods:
- Freeze-drying is the most beneficial method, wherein fresh food is frozen and then sent through a vacuum chamber to remove the remaining water in the form of ice. The food is then sent through a second drying phase to extract any lingering water molecules. Finally, 97 percent of the food’s moisture is removed while most nutrients remain intact. You can try this for your dogs:
- Low-Temperature Air-drying is yet another beneficial method that removes water from your dog’s food with low heat. Hence, it also retains most of the nutrients from the food.
- Food Dehydrator Dried (heat): Uses a dehydrator to remove excess moisture. Still, this method removes 50 percent of nutrients from the food.
On the other hand, if you are adding it to their meal:
Feed in the powdered or crumbled form
You can add a pinch of green-lipped mussel powder to your canine’s meals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
Yes, dogs can eat scallops in moderation. They are rich in magnesium, potassium, protein, phosphorus, vitamins, and minerals that will benefit your pet’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Yes, dogs can eat shrimp in moderation as an occasional treat. It enhances your dog’s metabolic activity and is rich in vitamin B12, which boosts the dog’s gastrointestinal health, and vitamin B3 helps work on enzyme function.
Mussels are an excellent protein food and can be the best choice to feed your dog. However, some dogs can be allergic, so make sure to provide mussels in moderation. Avoid using seasonings, such as garlic, salt, or onion, which upsets their stomach. Mussels should always be properly cooked and then served. The good thing about mussels is that it has more proteins and less fat, making them an excellent diet for your dog. Ensure your furry friend has a healthy and happy lifestyle with a proper diet!