Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Surprising Health Benefits Explained

Feeding a well-balanced diet to your furry friend will prevent various deficiency disorders and other health-related issues. Shrimp is considered as one of the most delicious seafood and is also a part of our traditional meal but can you feed Shrimp to your doggo?

If you are hesitant that whether you should share Shrimp with your dog or not, then we are here to help you.

The simplest answer is “YES”, you can share it but it should be properly cooked not raw because undercooked shellfish may cause some health problems to your dog. It will be much better if you feed Shrimps with some moderation.

Now let’s look at some few more details, health benefits and hazards associated with feeding Shrimps to your dog.

Health benefits of Shrimp for your dog!

Just like other animal meat, Shrimp is also a good source of protein, low in saturated fat and calories, and has a neutral flavor. The average protein content in a fresh Shrimp is nearly 19.4 g/100 g which supplies 87% of total energy.

Shrimp is also a good source of Glucosamine especially the Shrimp shells (Including Tails). Glucosamine is a monosaccharide found in the Cartilage (Tissue that cushions bone joints). So Glucosamine improves overall bone health and thus mobility of your dog. That’s why vets often use Glucosamine Sulfate supplements to treat osteoarthritis in dogs.

One of the major advantages of providing shrimp to your dog is its low lipid content. The average lipid content in Shrimp is around 1.15 g/100 g which is far lower than any other meat. The benefits of low lipid content are as follows:

  1. Reduction in various cardiovascular heart diseases.
  2. Reduction in Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)
  3. Low cholesterol
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Shrimp is also a good source of Astaxanthin which is present in most red-colored aquatic organisms like Salmon, Lobster, Shrimp, Trout, Krill, etc. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Astaxanthin to use it as a food-coloring for seafoods. Astaxanthin acts as a natural anti-oxidant that will help to fight against free radicals that have the potential to damage your dog’s cells, DNA and causes cancer, early aging, etc.. Note that the anti-oxidant activity of Astaxanthin is nearly 10 times the antioxidant activity of Beta-Carotene and 500 times of Alpha-Tocopherol.

Your furry friend’s diet requires minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, etc.. to keep your doggo healthy. A 100gm quantity of Shrimp provides more than 100mg of Calcium, and 300mg of Phosphorus. Minerals help to maintain the fluid balance of your dog’s body, bone health and enzyme production. Shrimp also contains important Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, etc..

Is it okay for dogs to eat cooked Shrimps?

Yes, it is absolutely okay to offer cooked shrimp treats to your furry doggo. Shrimp is often considered a very good diet for your furry friend because of its low lipid content and calories. It also contains essential amino acids like Methionine, Tryptophan, and Lysine. On the other hand, Shrimp has a little bit high amount of Cholesterol which, if consumed in excess may cause some health issues.

Steaming is the best way to cook Shrimps for your cute doggie. You have to avoid frying because it doesn’t remove the fat from the meat which may cause Gastrointestinal upset for your dogs.

Another thing is that you have to avoid using garlic, onions, butter, and spices while cooking Shrimps for your dog.

Can dogs eat Shrimp tails?

Shrimp tails are made of Chitin. Scientific studies show us that Chitin helps to lower cholesterol. For dogs, it is not recommended to eat because like fishbones it may cause choking hazards for your dog. The sharp edges of shrimp tails may irritate your dog’s Gastrointestinal tract and make them a little bit uncomfortable. So, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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You can buy clean Shrimp from the frozen section of the supermarket and ask fishmonger to remove the tails for you.

Can dogs eat Shrimp shell?

Shrimp shells have some health advantages like it helps to lower cholesterol, improves bone health, etc. but like Shrimp tails, it is also not recommended for dogs.

Shrimps must be peeled properly to get rid of tails and veins. Unpeeled Shrimp may cause Gastrointestinal problems, Pancreatitis for your dogs and it is also hard to digest.

Another thing you can do is that you don’t need to throw away the shells. You keep it as a seafood stock and boil it with other vegetables. Note that dogs can eat boiled Shrimps. Just make sure that you have to boil the Shrimp until it reaches 145°F. You can however share a small portion of Shrimp shells from your meal so that your dog can get Glucosamine from that.

Can dogs eat Shrimp cocktail?

Shrimp cocktail means Shrimp with some added sauce. It’s not suggested to offer because sometimes sauce may be made with Xylitol which is poisonous for your dogs. The cocktail sauce also has garlic, onions in it so it’s not at all recommended for your dog. However, you can offer properly cooked Shrimps removing the shells and tail part.

Can dogs eat Shrimp fried rice?

The answer is Yes. There is no harm in it because most of the ingredients in Shrimp fried rice are rice, vegetables, eggs, and of course Shrimps. It’s a good occasional treat for your dog. However, try to make sure that the ingredients you are using to make Shrimp fried rice must not contain garlic, onion, or any type of artificial sweetener like Xylitol.

Can dogs eat raw shrimp?

As we have earlier mentioned that it is recommended to offer raw Shrimps because it contains harmful bacteria and parasites like Roundworms, Tapeworms, etc..

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So it is better to steam Shrimp even if it reduces the number of nutrients like fat.

Seafood like Prawns, Lobsters, Shrimp can be made safe by freezing them for a week before cooking them.

Can dogs eat red Shrimp?

It is not safe to offer red shrimp in raw form because of the chance of food poisoning. Red shrimps are found deep in the ocean and while offering them, you have to offer properly cooked shrimp treats. Red Shrimps are often compared to “Lobsters”. You can feed few bites of Red Shrimp to your doggo but offering it as a meal is not at all recommended.

It is better to offer Red Shrimp in small portion to your dog along with fried rice or eggs. After feeding Red Shrimps to your dog, it is always advisable to watch whether your dog is feeling comfortable or not. If not, then you must consult with your Vet as early as possible.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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