Dishes with shrimp remind many people of vacations by the sea. But this is not the only reason they are so popular but also because they are tasty and full of nutrients and proteins. Can dogs also eat shrimp and benefit from the valuable nutrients?
Most dogs are allowed to eat shrimp in moderation. However, always prepare the shrimp; never feed it raw, and do not use spices, oil, or other additives. Some dogs have sensitive stomachs or are allergic to crustaceans, so shrimp is unsuitable for those dogs and can have serious side effects.
While shrimp is a healthy food, you should only feed it to dogs in small amounts, as it can be harmful in large quantities.
In this article, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of shrimp for dogs, explain the nutrients they contain, and give you tips on preparing them properly.
What Nutrients Do Shrimp Contain?
Shrimp mainly provide dogs with essential proteins and numerous vitamins and minerals that contribute to a dog’s good health.
Since they are very nutrient-rich, most dogs can eat them regularly but in limited quantities.
Due to their low fat and carbohydrate content, they are a perfect alternative to commercial dog treats. With only seven calories per shrimp, they are also suitable for overweight dogs on a diet.
So shrimp are a great source of low-calorie protein for almost any dog.
Of course, smaller dogs have lower nutritional needs than larger dogs. So, you should determine the serving size for your dog according to his size.
Since it’s difficult to give dogs the nutrients they need through dry food alone, it makes sense to give them natural foods like shrimp as a source of protein and fruits like pineapple as a source of carbohydrates.
Should Dogs Get Shrimp Cooked, Raw, Or Fried?
While you can give your dog most meats raw, seafood is a little different.
When served raw and uncooked, shrimp contain harmful bacteria that can negatively affect your dog’s digestive system. For this reason, dogs should only eat cooked shrimp.
It would be best if you did not give your dog fried shrimp. While they may be delicious for humans, they are processed, fatty food.
An excess of fried foods can quickly cause digestive problems in dogs. You will likely have to mop up your dog’s diarrhea.
If you cook a dish with shrimp, prepare it separately and set aside some of the shrimp for your dog before seasoning it, as he should not be given spicy or seasoned shrimp.
Generally, only give your dog fresh, plain, cooked shrimp without salt, pepper, oil, or any seasonings.
What Parts of Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?
Like humans, dogs should only eat the meaty, muscular tails.
So be sure to remove the head and shell before giving them to your dog. These parts are sharp, irritating the dog’s digestive tract, and sometimes even cause choking.
You should also cook the shrimp thoroughly before serving. Check to make sure they are fully cooked. Shrimp tails should have a pink color and look slightly glazed.
How Many Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?
150 grams of shrimp per week is a good rule of thumb for an average-weight dog. You can vary this amount slightly depending on your dog’s weight.
Shrimp are low in fat and calories but contain a lot of cholesterol. Therefore, you should think of them as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of every meal.
Fortunately, the cholesterol found in shrimp is the healthier variety of cholesterol and can benefit the cardiovascular system. This is another reason why shrimp is good for dogs in moderation.
Are Shrimp Good for Dogs?
Like most crustaceans, shrimp are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are also suitable for the cardiovascular system and promote healthy skin and coat.
In addition, shrimp contain various nutrients such as astaxanthin, selenium, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, and E, albeit in small amounts.
In addition to these and the protein and energy benefits mentioned above, shrimp also contain other essential nutrients.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the health of the dog’s gastrointestinal tract and metabolic functions.
It also helps keep his blood cells healthy, which contributes to his daily well-being and provides him with the energy he needs.
A deficiency of this vitamin leads to fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Therefore, the dog must receive its daily intake of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is an important antioxidant that repairs cells and converts energy into glucose, providing the energy the body needs to function.
It also helps maintain healthy hormone levels, and without this vitamin, the dog suffers from fatigue and mental sluggishness.
Phosphorus is a mineral similar to calcium and helps maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth. However, it is also essential for the absorption and function of the other B vitamins mentioned above.
In addition, it contributes to healthy kidney function and may even prevent rickets, a bone disease caused by malnutrition.
Possible Side Effects of Shrimp for Dogs
As with any introduction of a new food, you should only feed a small amount to your dog at first. A few shrimp is enough to determine any side effects.
Side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive flatulence. If you notice these symptoms, you should not give your dog more shrimp.
Other side effects include itchy skin, hot spots on the skin, and ear infections. If you notice any of these symptoms, it should be clear that shrimp is unsuitable for your dog.
More severe side effects include anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
If you notice symptoms such as hives, a swollen face or snout, excessive drooling, or red hot skin, you should immediately take your dog to the vet.
Fortunately, this is a very rare side effect. However, it is more likely to occur if he eats raw or undercooked shrimp.
Most seafood does not contain fiber. This means that you will need to provide your dog with the fiber he needs in other ways so that he can go to the bathroom well.
Can Shrimp Cause Bad Breath in Dogs?
It is entirely possible for dogs to get bad breath from shrimp. Most fish or seafood-based foods have the unsightly side effect of giving your dog bad breath.
To counteract this, you should go for a dog food that prevents bad breath and improves your dog’s oral hygiene with regular dental care.
Summary: Are Dogs Allowed to Eat Shrimp?
Most dogs can eat small amounts of shrimp if appropriately prepared.
However, dogs should only eat the fleshy tail, and you must remove the head and shell. Also, shrimp must be cooked thoroughly and prepared without spices or additives.
Shrimp has various health benefits and is packed with healthy fats and nutrients. The smell alone makes most dogs happy.
However, be sure to give a small portion the first time he eats shrimp and watch his reactions. Ensure he doesn’t have an allergic reaction or even undergo anaphylactic shock.
You can add shrimp to his weekly diet if he reacts well to it the first time.