Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Is Shrimp Bad for a Dog

Nothing tastes better than some delicious, steamed, hot shrimp.  Being a delicacy among just about every culture there is, shrimp is hands down the most consumed type of seafood in the world.  Every now and then, you may even be tempted to give some of this magnificent food to your dog. If you have done this before, chances are that you have also asked yourself whether or not dogs can actually eat shrimp.  

Are Dogs Able to Eat Shrimp?

If you have ever wondered whether or not your dog is able to eat shrimp, the answer is that they absolutely can eat shrimp.  However, if you are going to give your dog shrimp, it is best to do so in only smaller amounts. So if you have just finished making yourself a delicious meal that is packed full of shrimp, feel free to give some to your dog, as long as it’s cooked shrimp.

However, you never want to give your dog, or any kind of pet for that matter, any type of raw shrimp.  Just like any other type of raw meat, raw shellfish (including shrimp), normally contain tons of pathogens that are extremely harmful to your dog, and can even cause diseases that can be life threatening.  So unless the shrimp you plan on giving your pup has been completely cooked all the way through, it would be in your best, as well as your dog’s best interest to steer clear of any raw shrimp.

Is it Safe for my Dog to Eat Shrimp?

When it comes to any kind of shrimp, you need to keep in mind that it is only going to be safe for your dog if it is cooked shrimp.  This is the only type of shrimp that you want your dog to consume, ever. Just like raw meat and raw fish, when your dog eats raw shrimp, it can become extremely dangerous for them.  This is all due to the fact that shrimp are classified as a type of shellfish by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that they are considered to by a type of mollusks.  And as classified by the FDA, raw shrimp, as well as other shellfish, will more than likely contain a number of very harmful bacteria that are considered to be very bad for your dog. Some of these bacteria include:

  • Salmonella spp
  • Shigella spp
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Vibro spp

As if that weren’t enough, raw shrimp is also known to contain other viruses that can be extremely harmful to your dog, such as:

  • Norovirus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Other harmful viruses

So is Shrimp Healthy to Give to my Dog?

If you are now nervous about feeding your dog shrimp, don’t be.  As long as it is cooked shrimp, your dog will be perfectly fine. But if you still aren’t convinced that giving your dog shrimp is a good idea, there are actually numerous health benefits that your dog will receive when they eat cooked shrimp.  In fact, they are actually packed with tons of nutritional awesomeness.

While shrimp has in the past, been accused of not having any of the ‘heart healthy’ fats like some other types of seafood contain, it is actually not true at all.  Shrimp actually works to increase the level of your ‘bad cholesterol’, but it also works to increase the levels of your dog’s High-density lipoproteins contained within their blood.  This is exactly what your dog is going to need to help itself fight off heart disease. So by adding shrimp to your dog’s diet, you will be helping them fight heart disease.

On top of that, if you would like your dog to have a nice, glossy coat, shrimp is going to help with that as well.  Contained within shrimp are some high levels of different fatty acids, some of which include:

  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

So know you know that shrimp will help you get even more healthy fatty acids, as well as heart-healthy fats into your pup.  But is that all shrimp can do for them? Absolutely not. Shrimp is also rich in many other minerals, vitamins and other antioxidants as well.  Listed below are the more common minerals, vitamins and other antioxidants that are contained within shrimp.

  • Vitamin B12
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper
  • Vitamin B3
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Selenium
  • Protein
  • Choline
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Pantothenic Acid

With all of the health benefits of feeding your dog shrimp, why wouldn’t you want to put them on an all shrimp diet?  Unfortunately, having your dog only eat shrimp isn’t a great idea as there are some side effects and potential hazards that can come along with eating shrimp as well.

Possible Side Effects of Feeding Your Dog Shrimp

Yes, shrimp is considered to be safe for your dog to eat as long as it is cooked all the way through, it is still one of those foods that should either be avoided altogether or only given as a special treat on occasion.  This is due to the potential side effects your dog may experience if they are allowed to eat shrimp in larger quantities. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Potential Allergic Reactions
  • Fever
  • Upset Stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

As if these symptoms weren’t bad enough, there is always the potential that your dog is actually allergic to shrimp as well.  This means that they would be susceptible to any of the symptoms related to having a food allergy as well. Because of this, it is simply best if you just don’t feed your dog shrimp.  

While your dog is able to eat shrimp if it is cooked all the way through, with all of the potential hazards that come along with that, it is best if you don’t feed your dog shrimp on a regular basis.  If you do decide to give them a taste, be sure that you are only giving them a smaller piece, and then keep an eye out for any of the signs or symptoms that have been listed above. If they do experience anything out of the normal, be sure to call your veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
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