Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

By helloBARK!
Updated on 6 August 2021

Seafood can be pretty divisive – either you love it or can’t stand the sight of it.

Grabbing some shrimp to eat can be one of life’s tasty treats but it can be as appealing to dogs as it is to us.

If you’re driving down the coast and decide to stop for shrimp with your dog, you’ll have two big eyes looking up at you.

While shrimp may be a delicious snack for pet parents, some human food can be harmful to our faithful canines.

Disclaimer: Before we get into the bones of this article, we must emphasise this isn’t expert content. We recommend talking to your local vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or giving your cat/dog a new type of food to try.

In this article, we’ll discover whether dogs are able to eat shrimp.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. Our articles and the products featured in them are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems for you and/or your pet. It's always best to consult your vet regarding any health issues your pet may have.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

We love to eat shrimp but it can be tempting to reward your dog with a little taste of this delicious sea food.

The good news for your dog is the American Kennel Club write on their website that shrimp is safe for pooches to eat as long as it is cooked properly.

There are a variety of ways that we can eat shrimp, such as shrimp tacos, shrimp pasta or rice and shrimp.

While dogs can eat shrimp, dog owners should keep in mind a number of important factors to protect their precious pooch from potential illness.

We’ll touch on some things to remember a little later in this article, but let’s look at the benefits of shrimp for your dog.

You should always consult with your vet before deciding to feed your dog a new food for the first time.

What Benefits Does Shrimp Have?

You can give your dog a taste of shrimp as it contains nutrients that are beneficial to pups. write on their website that shrimp is a great source of protein, B-vitamins, and phosphorus for dogs.

Shrimp contains Vitamin B12 that helps stimulate metabolic processes and protect gastrointestinal health.

Your dog will also benefit from some Vitamin B3, which helps a dog’s body to release energy or make fats from carbohydrates.

Vitamin B3, which is sometimes called Niacin, can also help with blood circulation and chemical signals.

That’s not all – though. Shrimp is rich in the mineral phosphorus. This aids blood coagulation, muscle growth and nervous system function in dogs.

However, a word of warning! Too much phosphorus can result in fractures, bone deformities and weakness.

The benefits don’t stop there. Shrimp can serve as a low fat treat for a dog on a diet.

But the bad news is this type of seafood is high in cholesterol so too much shrimp can be damaging to a canine’s cholesterol levels and overall health.

So while it’s safe for dogs and it has some benefits, it’s generally not recommended for pups.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Shrimp?

So we’ve established that dogs can eat shrimp. But as a pet parent, you’ll want to know the most health conscious way of serving this seafood snack to your pooch.

Experts recommend steaming the shrimp rather than frying it in oils which could result in an upset tummy, diarrhea or an inflammation of the pancreas.

It goes without saying that using butter is a no-no to limit the fat you’ll dog will be ingesting as much as possible.

The use of salt is not advisable given it can affect your dog’s blood pressure or result in potential dehydration.

You should try to to avoid seasoning shrimp that you intend to give to your dog to protect against any unwanted reactions.

Don’t forget that garlic and onions are poisonous to dogs as well – so make sure not to use these products in vegetable or powder form.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Raw?

As you’ve probably gathered from the previous section, your dog cannot eat shrimp raw.

Shrimp that your purchase at a fishmonger or supermarket could have germs even if you believe storing your dog’s serving of shrimp in the freezer will kill the bacteria.

According to AKC, uncooked shrimp contain harmful pathogens that are easily avoided by cooking shrimp before feeding them to your dog

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Tails?

You shouldn’t allow your dog to eat shrimp tails. This part of the shrimp is extremely hard and your dog will have a difficult time chewing it.

It could cause a potential obstruction in the throat or the stomach should a pooch get its mouth on a shrimp’s tail.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Shells?

It’s a similar story with shrimp shells. They’re a potential hazard that could cause a blockage in the throat resulting in choking or serious problems in a dog’s digestive system.

So if you’re planning to give your dog a small portion of shrimp as a tasty treat, it’s a good idea to remove the shell to avoid any unwanted emergencies.

Can Dogs Eat Breaded Shrimp?

Just like frying shrimp, it’s not advisable to feed your precious pooch breaded shrimp. The AKC explain that breaded shrimp contains “unnecessary fats and oils”.

Breaded shrimp can also contain a lot of salt and additives so you should stick with steamed shrimp for a tasty snack for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Crackers?

While a couple of shrimp crackers won’t do serious damage to your dog’s health, it’s not a good idea.

Given the crackers are likely to be seasoned with a lot of salt, it could prompt a spike in your dog’s blood pressure.

Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Shrimp?

Given popcorn shrimp is breaded, it’s not advisable to give popcorn shrimp to your dog given it’s likely to contain unnecessary salt and additives.

Can Dogs Eat Scallops?

Your dog can eat scallops as long as their properly cooked.

They’ve got a lot of health benefits to keep both you and your dog happy.

In fact, scallops contain protein, magnesium, and potassium.

Anything else to consider?

A pug at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

A pug at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)

It’s always a good idea to consult with your local veterinarian before you make any changes to your dog’s diet.

While one or two shrimp are ok for a dog as a treat, if you’re thinking of introducing them as part of their daily meals, you should definitely speak to your vet.

It’s generally recommended that a dog doesn’t eat more than two scallops, while small dogs may substantially less.

Some dog food delivery companies have home-cooked recipes that can be delivered directly to your front door.

In conclusion

So the short answer is your dog can eat cooked shrimp. You shouldn’t serve it raw, breaded or if it’s been cooked in fatty butter or oils.

In fact, shrimp has a lot of benefits such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3 and Phosphorus.

However, you should use common sense and apply portion control to avoid any unwanted complications.

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