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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Everything You Need To Know

Yes, dogs can eat shrimp in moderation as an occasional treat. Shrimp is tasty and easily likable to dogs. It also improves the metabolic system in your dog. Shrimp has vitamin B12, which boosts dog’s gastrointestinal health and vitamin B3 helps work on enzyme function. So, shrimp contributes as a significant healthy food to your dog’s diet.

What is Shrimp?

Shrimps are seafoods consumed worldwide, especially a famous dish in Asian Cuisine. Shrimps are widely seen as very similar in appearance to prawns. In North America, “shrimp” is widely used for large-sized prawns. It is a nutritional food and consists of seven calories according to its size and 20g of protein equivalent to chicken.

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

Yes, shrimps are generally good for dogs in moderation. However, these are the few things that you must keep in mind:

  • Raw shrimp: Raw shrimp can be hazardous to their health due to parasites or bacteria. 
  • Shrimp shells: Removing the shrimp shells is necessary as it can cause obstruction or choking hazards in dogs. Shrimp shells can also be caught between the gums and teeth, causing pain and discomfort in dogs. 
  • Undercooked shrimp: Always remember to cook the shrimp well before serving it to your dogs. It is said that cooked shrimp makes it more nutritional by diminishing the harmful pathogens. However, some dogs can be allergic to shrimp. Some symptoms include face swelling, itchy skin, diarrhea, or vomiting.
  • Seasoned shrimp: Shrimp cooked with spices, garlic, onion, and excessive salt are toxic for dogs to consume. You should not offer them any food cooked with spices. 

Why Is Shrimp Good for Dogs?

Yes, shrimp is a portion of a very healthy diet for dogs. It contains several vitamins: omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, phosphorus, antioxidants, astaxanthin, choline copper, and iodine. These proteins and vitamins are essentially beneficial for your dogs as it helps them in various ways such as:

Omega 3: Omega 3 helps in the metabolic system. It is suitable for skin and bones, reduces brain aging, and prevents inflammatory issues. 

Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3 or Niacin helps in energy production, healthy blood circulation, keeps the heart healthy, and helps in various chemical signals. 

Vitamin B12 is especially beneficial for dogs. Vitamin B12, according to the vets, is an essential vitamin to be included in your dog’s healthy diet. It helps in improving enzyme function, reduces gastrointestinal problems, and works well in dogs with poor metabolism.

Vitamin D3: It helps in the immune function of the dog’s body and aids in reducing the risks of cancer. 

Phosphorus: Necessarily healthy for bone health, fights free radicals, and boosts brain health. 

Antioxidant and Astaxanthin: They take care of the immune system; antioxidants and astaxanthin fight and prevent diseases by protecting the cells from damage. Antioxidants also reduce the chances of cancer, premature aging, and chronic illness. Astaxanthin in shrimp aids in reducing inflammation, aids the immune system,and cures dry eyes.

Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health that he gets adequate calcium.

Glucosamine: Shrimp is an excellent source of glucosamine, which aids in dog cartilage formation and repairment. 

Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that aids the heart, eyes, brain, and immune system. It also reduces the risks of blindness and dilated cardiomyopathy. 

Copper: Copper is necessary for producing bones, tendons and ligaments, collagen, and myelin in dogs. Copper also aids in absorbing iron, making it an essential component of red blood cell activity.

Manganese: Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbohydrates, and form fatty acids in dogs. Manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints.  

Selenium: Selenium is a microelement necessary for the proper functioning of the metabolism. It is crucial in a dog’s body for various functions, including antioxidant activity, thyroid metabolism, DNA synthesis, and reproduction.

Note: Shrimps are cultured in a very unhealthy way with the help of antibiotics, disinfectants, and pesticides. Hence, always look for buying wild shrimps from a trustable source. 

Why Is Shrimp Bad for dogs?

Shrimp is generally not bad for dogs. However, it is essential to look out for the downsides of shrimp. 

Salmonella: Salmonella is generally concentrated in raw shrimps. Salmonella may cause salmonellosis leading to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • GI upset
  • Abdomen pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating

Parasites: Parasites are also found in raw shrimp. Parasites may trigger:

  • Tapeworm
  • Ringworm
  • Flukes

Organ/Throat Injuries: Shrimp shells are dangerous for dogs. It is vital to remove the shrimp shells and discard them right away before the dog can reach them. Shrimp shells can choke your dog and lead to:

  • Throat injuries
  • Mouth injuries
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding tongue
  • Organ perforation
  • Ruptured intestinal tract
  • Loss of blood
  • Death

Undercooked shrimp: Undercooked shrimp can be as dangerous as raw shrimp. From salmonella to parasites, anything might affect your dog. Consuming undercooked shrimp can lead to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • GI upset
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Whining
  • Panting

Seasoned shrimp: Seasoned shrimp contains garlic powder, onion powder, paprika powder, oil. They are poisonous for dogs and can lead to:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • GI upset
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Pancreatitis
  • Shaking of head
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Joint pain
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Coma
  • Death

Sodium: Shrimp has sodium content in it. If your dog suffers from kidney disorders, it is best to avoid shrimp. The consequences of consuming sodium are:

  • Dehydration
  • High urination
  • Disorientation
  • Kidney issues
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Allergic reactions: Your dogs could be allergic to shrimps. Suppose you are feeding your dog with shrimp for the first time. In that case, start with minimal quantity. Consult a vet before providing your pet with shrimps. However, the allergic symptoms your pet would show after consuming the seafood are:

  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy skin
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

How Much Shrimp to Feed Your Dog?

Shrimps are an excellent nutritional food. However, it has high-fat diets, which can lead to pancreatitis. So, you should constantly feed shrimp in small quantities. For example, a small dog or a pup can have a half to one shrimp a day, a medium or a grown-up can have not more than two a day. So, moderate consumption always makes the diet healthy and safe.

How to Serve Shrimp to Your Dog?

Avoid seasonings in the shrimp. Some seasoning contains garlic and onions that can cause harm to your dog. Grilled or boiled shrimp is the best way to feed your dog. Avoid using greasy spices, garlic salt, and onion onto the shrimp. 

Pro tips:

  • Buy fresh shrimp. 
  • Avoid buying shrimp with a fishy odor. 
  • Cook shrimp at 145 degrees of Fahrenheit. It should look pearly white. 
  • Make sure it is peeled and deveined. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I feed shrimp every day to my dog?

Yes, you can feed one shrimp every day as a significant portion of your dog’s diet. Although shrimp is a good diet low in fat, rich in fiber, and has good energy production vitamins. Still, it is high in cholesterol. So, avoid serving more than one shrimp.

What if my dog ate shrimp tails?

Shrimp tails are not poisonous to your dog and also not a safe option to feed. Swallowing shrimp shells is equivalent to consuming a fishbone. It can cause choking hazards and irritate them for their sharp edges. 

Can shrimp fight obesity in dogs?

Yes, shrimp is low in fat, calories, and fiber. In addition, it boosts the metabolic system—moderate shrimp consumption can cause weight loss in a dog. 

Can dogs eat fried shrimp?

Fried shrimp is not good for dogs. It is because the oil and grease can upset their stomach. It is better to serve shrimp boiled or grilled with no oil, spice, salt, or garlic.

Can dogs drink shrimp cocktails?

No, dogs cannot drink shrimp cocktails as it has added sauces. This sauce is poisonous for dogs, containing onion, garlic, oil, and spices.

Can dogs eat shrimp tempura?

No. Dogs should not eat shrimp tempura. It is a deeply fried shrimp that’s very oily, hard, and high in calories. 

Final Thoughts

Shrimp is an excellent protein food and can be the best choice to feed your dog. Some dogs can be allergic, so make sure to provide shrimp in moderation. Avoid using seasonings, such as garlic, salt, or onion. This can upset their stomach. Shrimp should always be properly cooked and then served. The good thing about shrimp is that it has more proteins and less fat, making it an excellent diet for your dog. In addition, it has taurine, antioxidants, vitamin B, and D, which boosts energy. And these proteins must be fed to dogs who are aging. Ensure a healthy and happy lifestyle for your furry friend with a proper diet!

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