Dogs will eat just about anything, including many things that they probably shouldn’t. So, when it comes to seafood, where does shrimp fall on the list?
Shrimp is safe for dogs, and it contains a number of health benefits. Shrimp has vitamin B12, Niacin (or vitamin B3), antioxidants, phosphorus and is high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, shrimp can be perfect for diets.
However, like everything else, shrimp is only good in moderation. The rest of this article will explain the nutritional benefits of shrimp and how to give your dog a safe and healthy treat.
The Health Benefits of Shrimp
Shrimp has an array of health benefits for dogs. As mentioned before, shrimp has vitamin B12, Niacin, antioxidants, phosphorus, and other qualities that make it a particularly healthy food choice.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in gastrointestinal health and the dog’s metabolic process. Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is essential because it is necessary for proper energy production, chemical signals, fat production, blood circulation, and enzyme function.
Antioxidants can reduce brain aging, and inflammation. They can also destroy free radicals, making them a potential preventer of cancer and diabetes. Phosphorus can help maintain bone health.
Shrimp is also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, making it optimal for dogs on a diet and a healthy treat in general. Additionally, it’s high in omega 3 fatty acids and protein. Omega 3 fatty acids can help treat chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Dogs, like humans, cannot produce their own omega 3 fatty acids, so they need to receive them from their diet.
Overall, shrimp has many excellent health benefits, so the short answer is yes, your dog can eat shrimp. In fact, it might be a good choice to add it to their regular diet! However, there are a few things to be wary of when choosing to include shrimp in your dog’s diet.
When Shrimp can be Dangerous
While shrimp can have numerous health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation like many other foods. Shrimp are very high in cholesterol, and too much can cause your dog’s cholesterol to become unhealthily high, putting them at risk of becoming obese.
It is also crucial to always make sure to cook the shrimp first. Raw shrimp can be very dangerous to consume, as it contains harmful pathogens that only cooking will remove. In addition to cooking the shrimp, it’s essential to make sure you remove the shell and tail. These can be a significant choking hazard, especially for small dogs, and the sharp edges could cut your dog’s digestive tract.
Just like people can be allergic to shellfish, dogs can be as well. Some dogs may not respond well to shrimp, so it is always good to consult your veterinarian before adding shrimp to your dog’s regular diet. If they have any concerns, it is possible to do an allergy test to make sure your dog isn’t sensitive to shrimp.
If your dog exhibits any intestinal discomfort or illness after consuming shrimp, you should stop feeding it to them and call the veterinarian if the symptoms worsen.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen face or muzzle
- Trouble breathing
- Bluish color of tongue and gums
- Loss of bowel control
How Much Shrimp is Too Much?
When adding shrimp to your dog’s diet, it is good to consult your veterinarian, as they can give you specific information regarding safe and healthy portion sizes for your particular canine.
According to the American Kennel Club, one or two shrimp should be safe for most dogs, but for smaller dogs, a partial shrimp would be the best option.
How to Properly Prepare Shrimp
The best option for dogs is steamed shrimp. Cooking it kills the harmful pathogens that raw shrimp contains. If consumed, raw shrimp could cause vibriosis, a severe bacterial infection.
It could also cause salmonella and listeria, which have a slew of dangerous symptoms that could negatively affect your dog’s health. So cooking it thoroughly is a must.
While fried or breaded shrimp are a favorite among many people, you should avoid sharing this delicacy with your dog. It’s okay if they sneak a piece off the table or snatch it off the floor, but fried shrimp can be unhealthy and potentially harmful if consumed excessively.
Fried shrimp contains a lot of fat and calories, which could cause obesity in dogs if eaten regularly, leading to joint and heart problems. Certain batters can also contain seasonings like onion or garlic, which has the potential to be highly toxic to dogs.
It might also be tempting to add some seasoning, a little salt, onion, garlic, etc., but unless you’re planning on eating it yourself, it’s best to skip the extra flavor. Steamed shrimp, not fried or seasoned, will be the safest and healthiest option for your dog and will still be a tasty treat.
5 Top Dog Foods with Shrimp
Are you interested in adding shrimp to your dog’s diet? Here are some recommended dog foods that include shrimp. But don’t forget to consult your veterinarian before introducing your dog to new foods.
This particular dog food is made up of shrimp and chicken with a base of tomato and rice for a fully balanced meal. Perfect for small dog breeds, this dog food also contains turmeric for an anti-inflammatory plus. With a five star rating on Petco, this dog food is a great way to incorporate shrimp into your dog’s diet.
These tasty treats are a great source of vitamins and proteins for your dog, and they have no preservatives, supplements, or additives. These are pure fish treats and are 100% sustainably fished. This bag of treats contains real shrimp packaged for your dog to enjoy.
Like the Tiki Dog Petites, this dog food is a chicken and shrimp paella, but it is packed with a lot more ingredients, all of which are 100% non-GMO. This dog food contains real chicken and shrimp, as well as a high moisture broth that is great for hydration. With a five star rating on Petco, it is great for dogs of all ages and breeds.
This is the perfect combination of seafood, with cod and shrimp mixed together to make tasty little treats for your dog. These treats are 100% sustainably fished, with no added ingredients. It’s just cod and shrimp! The Cod and Shrimp dog treats are high in protein and low in fat, making it an ideal addition to your dog’s diet.
This combination of salmon and shrimp is a great wet food choice for your dog. With a 4.6 star rating on Petco, this dog food is made completely with real ingredients and is high in protein and vitamins. It is grain free and contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or fillers. It is perfect for small breeds of all ages.
Shrimp is a great choice to add to your dog’s food list. Light in calories and full of flavor, shrimp is a must. It contains many vitamins and other nutrients that have many health benefits to improve your dog’s quality of life.
When adding shrimp to your dog’s diet, don’t forget to consult your veterinarian and watch out for potential sensitivities your dog might have.
It is also important to remember to remove the shell and the tail from the shrimp and cook it thoroughly to kill any dangerous pathogens before giving it to your dog. Portion control is also vital, as with everything, moderation is key.
Now that you know all of the benefits shrimp can have for your furry friend, try out some of the recommended dog foods listed in this article!