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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? (Cooked or Raw; Flesh and Shells)

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

If you’re like me, shrimp is a much-loved treat in your house. If you can be convinced to share your shrimp, there’s no one better to share this delectable food with than your best friend and pet. But can dogs eat shrimp? Is shrimp safe for dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

The short answer is yes, most dogs can eat shrimp as well as many other types of shellfish. But before you start planning a trip to Red Lobster with your dog, read below to find out the best way to feed your dog shrimp and other seafood.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Cooked?

Dogs can eat shrimp only when it’s thoroughly cooked and properly peeled. Make sure any cooked shrimp you feed to your dog is unseasoned because seasonings such as onion, garlic, and lemon can be irritating and even harmful for your dog (also see Oranges). So, throwing your dog a piece of shrimp from the barbecue grill is dangerous, especially if it’s been seasoned with any garlic. Even a small amount of garlic can cause problems for your dog.

To properly peel shrimp and other shellfish, the legs, shell, and tail should be removed to avoid the sharp edges cutting into your dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, or intestines as it’s being digested. Make sure any shrimp or shellfish you feed your dog is thoroughly cooked and cooled first. Other shellfish such as crab, lobster, scallops, and clams can be safe for dogs under the same conditions.

When feeding your dog shrimp or any other shellfish, start off with a small amount initially. Shellfish are a well-known allergen for people as well as pets. After feeding your dog shellfish for the first time, watch for any signs of an allergic reaction or any signs of distress before giving them any additional amount.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Raw?

Even though dogs can eat a variety of different meats raw, it’s dangerous for dogs to eat shrimp raw. The bacteria that are found in raw shrimp can cause “shellfish toxicity”. Dogs experiencing shellfish toxicity may exhibit any one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Stomach pain
  • Pale or abnormal color
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Other things such as increased thirst, swollen limbs, weakness, increase urination, or jaundice can also signal toxicity in your dog. If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating shrimp or any kind of shellfish seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Shells?

Just like people, it’s not a good idea for dogs to eat shrimp shells or tails. If you are purchasing shrimp for your dog, purchase shrimp that has had the tails removed or remove them yourself before cooking and feeding to your dog.

The best way to remove shrimp shells is to hold one end with your fingers and gently pull and twist the tail until it comes free. Any remaining shell can be simply peeled off. Discard the tails and shrimp shells as these can be a choking hazard for your dog. Shrimp shells can also be somewhat sharp and may cut the tender skin of your dog’s mouth and gums.