Can Dogs Eat Mussels? Are There Any Benefits of Mussels for Dogs?

Seafood is not everyone’s cup of tea. But those who are big fans of the tasty delights swear by the deliciousness and benefits of seafood.

It is believed that dogs and their owners usually tend to be alike. So, if you are a seafood lover, there’s a chance your dog might also relish different kinds of seafood.

Mussels are shellfish belonging to the bivalve family. Resembling clams and oysters, mussels have a mildly sweet and tender flavor that can be appealing to pooches.

But can dogs eat mussels? Are mussels safe for dogs? Let’s find out!

Can dogs eat mussels?

Yes, mussels are safe for dogs to consume. The palatable mollusk has several health benefits for pooches. Mussels are rich in nutrients, especially Omega-3s, that promote improved health and lifestyle in canines.

If your dog is attracted to the briny smell and oceanic taste of mussels, consider it sheer luck, as not every dog develops a liking for seafood.

Mussels can be a nutrient-dense addition to your dog’s diet.

However, don’t go mussel hunting at beaches. Mussels found there can have harmful bacteria present in them.

Always buy certified mussels from the store. You can also find many dog foods having mussels as an ingredient.

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What are the benefits of mussels for dogs?

The list is decently long when it comes to the health benefits of mussels for dogs. Some of the many ways in which mussels contribute to a dog’s health include:

Rich in protein

Mussels are a great source of protein. Full of amino acids, mussels have a whopping 24g of protein per 100g serving. Foods rich in protein not only help in effective muscle growth and improving nerve function but also boost the immunity of the pooch. Moreover, the protein content present in mussels is highly bioavailable. High bioavailability means the protein is easy to digest and absorb for the dog’s body.

Source of healthy fats

There is a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids in mussels. These polyunsaturated fats can act as great pain reducers in pooches. The omega-3 fatty acids aid in joint pain and prevent the progression of joint problems in dogs. Healthier skin and coat are also one of the perks of consuming healthy fats in dogs.

Great supplier of essential minerals and vitamins

Different minerals and vitamins are needed to maintain normal body function. Some vital minerals and vitamins in mussels are:

  • Iron: A balanced intake of iron is necessary to form red blood cells and the successful circulation of oxygen throughout the dog’s body. There is a decent amount of iron present in mussels.
  • Manganese: It helps in the maintenance of bones and joints. It also supports the stimulation of many enzyme functions in dogs.
  • Zinc: Ingesting balanced amounts of zinc accounts for a good thyroid function and plays a significant role in maintaining a dog’s immunity.
  • Selenium: The microelement protects the dog’s body against oxidative damage while also helping in reproduction. It also plays a key role in thyroid metabolism in pooches.
  • Vitamin C: Around 22% vitamin C is present in a 100g serving of mussels. It reduces the number of free radicals present in your dog’s body and can also treat inflammatory issues.
  • Vitamin B-12: Cobalamin or vitamin B-12 is required for a healthy brain function in canines. It promotes a healthy gut and is vital for producing red blood cells. A notable quantity of cobalamin is found in mussels.
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Besides the listed ones, many other beneficial nutrients are present in mussels.

Source of glucosamine and chondroitin

The two dietary supplements present in the shellfish are crucial for sustaining normal joint function in dogs. They can also drastically slow down the progression of arthritis and also help reduce inflammation in our furry companions.

How many mussels can dogs eat?

When it comes to feeding mussels to your dog, the optimum amount would be 1 mussel a day for smaller dogs and 2 mussels a day for larger dog breeds. Dog treats containing mussels can also be fed at the same frequency. Whether you’re giving mussels to your dog in a solid-state or powdered form, make sure they don’t make up for more than 10% of your dog’s nutritionally balanced diet.

How to serve mussels to your dog?

There are three ways you can serve the nutritious shellfish to your furry buddy:

Fresh mussels

You can serve your dog raw mussels. However, get rid of the shells before giving the mussels to your dog. Ingesting mussels with shells can be fatal for your dog’s health.

Cooked mussels

Giving your dog cooked mussels is also a viable option. When cooking mussels for your dog, make sure not to add any extra seasoning or ingredients.

Powdered mussels

Another way to feed your dog mussels is in the powdered state. You can add powdered mussels to your dog’s food.

Freeze-dried mussels

The best way to treat your dog with mussels is to serve them in freeze-dried form. Packaged freeze-dried mussels can be found in many stores. They retain the highest nutritional value and also have the longest shelf life compared to other states of mussels.

What type of mussels is best for dogs?

Green-lipped mussels are the popular choice for dogs among the various edible mussels. They are chewy, which makes them more appealing to dogs. Green-lipped mussels are very nutritious as they contain vitamins C and E, antioxidants, and minerals that are extremely beneficial for dogs.

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Related FAQs to mussels and dogs!

Are mussels toxic to dogs?

No, mussels are not toxic to dogs. Mussels are quite healthy and offer loads of nutritional benefits to dogs.

Can dogs eat frozen mussels?

Yes, dogs can eat fresh and frozen mussels. If you do not want to feed raw mussels to your pet, it’s better to steam cook the mussel and freeze them for later use. You can thaw the frozen mussels and then serve them to your dog.

Can dogs eat smoked mussels?

Dogs can eat smoked mussels as long as their stomachs are not sensitive. If your pooch has a sensitive tummy, it’s better to serve raw or freeze-dried mussels.

Why are mussels good for dogs?

Mussels contain many nutrients like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, manganese, several vitamins, etc. They are great for your dog’s health.

Can dogs eat clams?

Clams are safe for dogs to eat. They are excellent sources of nutrients such as vitamin C and E and minerals such as zinc, copper, and selenium. Moreover, clams offer several health benefits to dogs as well.

Can dogs eat mussel shells?

Dogs cannot eat mussel shells. Swallowing a mussel shell can cause intestinal blockage in dogs, leading to death in severe cases.

Concluding our thoughts on can dogs eat mussels!

Mussels can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Having no known side effects, mussels are a preservative-free natural source of many essential nutrients for your furry friend.

If your dog does not suffer from shellfish allergy, you can balance mussels with other nutritional foods to make a fairly healthy diet plan for your pooch.

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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