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Sweet, savory, and mouthwateringly tender, shrimp is a delicious dish for many. Even fish haters appreciate the taste of shrimp, especially when cooked well.
But what about your furry companion? Can dogs eat cooked shrimp, or is it best to keep the sweet juicy delight to yourself? Let’s find out!
Yes, but only if certain circumstances are met.
When feeding your dog shrimp, make sure it’s fully cooked and deshelled. Although large dogs can wolf down a shell-covered shrimp without any issues, it may pose a serious choking hazard with puppies and small dogs.
With that said, shrimp is actually super healthy for dogs. Shrimp boasts a pretty impressive array of nutrients for dogs, including:
- Vitamin B12 and D
Additionally, shrimp is low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, making them an ideal choice for dogs with certain food restrictions.
With that said, keep in mind that shrimp is quite high in cholesterol. In fact, it has 150% more cholesterol than chicken breasts. Therefore, it’s best not to feed your dog too much of it to prevent unhealthy levels of cholesterol in your dog’s diet.
You’ll also want to avoid cooking it in butter, onions, garlic, and other seasonings.
Like humans, some dogs are allergic to shellfish. Others have food sensitivities and intolerance towards them.
If you notice your dog showing signs of distress or illness after eating shrimp, including vomiting, gas, and diarrhea, eliminate the food from your dog’s diet. If said symptoms persist for longer than a day, call your veterinarian straight away.
Raw or undercooked shellfish may carry intestinal parasites, which is why it should always be cooked first. If your dog gobbles down raw shrimp without your permission, seek medical care if the following symptoms appear:
- Distended abdomen
- Sudden weight loss
If you want to feed your dog raw shrimp, freeze it for a week or two before using it, as parasites are killed at temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless, cooking with heat is the most effective means of parasite prevention.
Also, some shrimps are farm-raised. This means they’re full of antibiotics, disinfectants, and pesticides. Frozen or packaged shrimp are unreliable, too. As such, always make sure you’re buying wild shrimp from a trustworthy source if you’re planning to feed it to your dog.
Due to its high cholesterol content, never feed an overweight dog shrimp. The same is said for dogs with circulatory issues, heart disease, and diabetes.
As with any other type of food or treat, moderation is key to keeping your dog healthy. Usually, one or two shrimps are enough for most dogs. For small dogs, offer half a shrimp.
If you’re planning to add shrimp to your dog’s daily diet, consult your veterinarian for portion advice and recommendations.
Shrimps are excellent treats for dogs. If you’re planning to feed your dog shrimp, make sure it’s fully cooked and deshelled. Refrain from adding additives and flavorings (salt, pepper, butter, etc) to the shrimp.
If you’re worried about initial preparation, your dog can also enjoy shrimp as an ingredient in canned or dry food.