Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Shrimp is a tasty and convenient source of protein that dogs can eat — but with certain limitations. 

If you’re looking for dog-safe snacks that will supplement your pup’s everyday needs, a protein source is the best direction to take. 

While humans need a balance of protein, carbs, and fats to fuel their bodies and feel their best every day, dogs don’t have much of a need for pure carbohydrate sources. Their bodies prioritize protein and small amounts of fat, which give them the energy they need to run and play. 

It’s generally known that dogs can eat most lean meats in moderation, but can dogs eat shrimp? Yes! Shrimp is a safe food for dogs that very rarely causes any kind of adverse reaction. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be putting shrimp in your dog’s bowl every day of the week.

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

While shrimp is not toxic or unhealthy for dogs, it’s important to practice moderation when supplementing your pup’s diet with any human foods. 

Remember that your dog’s kibble and/or wet food is designed to meet their nutritional needs. This means that as long as you’re feeding your dog properly with high-quality dog food, you shouldn’t need to add too many extras to their diet. Even foods that can boost health in some ways can negatively affect health in other ways if eaten in excess.

What Are the Benefits of Shrimp for Dogs?

Shrimp is high in protein, which is an essential macronutrient for both dogs and humans. Small amounts of shrimp added to your dog’s diet could help their energy and longevity, especially for highly active dogs. 

Additionally, shrimp is considered to be a low-calorie protein option — this can make it an optimal snack for dogs that need to lose a few pounds on vet’s orders.

In addition to protein, shrimp contains a wide range of health-boosting vitamins and minerals that can help fill in nutritional gaps in your pup’s diet. Vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids are just a few of the nutrients found in a serving of shrimp. 

Shrimp is also easy to eat when cooked properly. Cooked shrimp is naturally soft and squishy. That makes it comfortable for the majority of dogs to eat, even dogs with sensitive or missing teeth. However, it’s still important to cut up the shrimp into small pieces before feeding it to your dog to prevent any risk of choking. 

Are There Any Risks When Dogs Eat Shrimp?

What happens if your dog eats too much shrimp? While shrimp is packed with protein, it is also high in cholesterol. And depending on what kind of shrimp you use and how it’s prepared, shrimp may also be high in sodium. These factors can add up to poor health effects if you feed shrimp to your dog too often. 

Additionally, there’s always a possibility that your dog could be allergic to shrimp. When you give your dog shrimp for the first time, give them a very small amount and wait to give them more until you’re sure they don’t have an allergy. 

Some of the most common signs of a shrimp allergy in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, and shortness of breath. 

Ways for Shrimp to Be Prepared

Shrimp is a staple in many cultures. This means that it can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. Some people cook shrimp into stews or soups, while others use it as a primary ingredient in fried rice, tacos, or pasta. 

If the shrimp you have on hand has been prepared for any of these or similar dishes, you probably shouldn’t give it to your dog. While shrimp itself isn’t dangerous to dogs, the seasonings that are used in shrimp dishes can be toxic to your furry friend. 

Garlic and onions in particular are dangerous to dogs even in small amounts, and these are two very common seasonings in a variety of cultures. To ensure your pup’s safety, make them their own batch of shrimp that’s prepared specially for their needs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Never feed your dog raw shrimp. When shrimp is raw, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause shellfish poisoning when ingested. Shellfish poisoning can range from mild to severe, but if your dog comes down with a bad case, you could both end up at the emergency vet clinic.  

Can Dogs Eat Boiled Shrimp?

Boiled shrimp is safe for dogs. In fact, boiling is one of the best ways to cook shrimp for dogs so that they can digest it properly. You can also bake, steam, or grill your shrimp depending on what you prefer. Just remember — if you’re preparing shrimp tossed with seasonings and spices, make sure your dog doesn’t get any pieces from that batch. 

Keep in mind that special shrimp dishes are generally not dog-friendly and should not be fed to animals. This includes things like shrimp cocktail, coconut shrimp, and shrimp tempura. 

How Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Safely?

Shrimp should be prepared separately for animal consumption, but how exactly should you prepare it? There are many ways to cook shrimp at home, and just about all of them are safe for dogs. Seasonings and shrimp size are where the real risks come in. 

If your shrimp contains a small amount of salt, it’s okay for your dog to eat it in limited portions. Just don’t add any extra salt on top of what is already included. Cut your shrimp into small pieces after cooking to avoid any choking hazards, and make sure to wait for your shrimp to cool down before feeding it to your dog. 

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Jeffrey Manheimer

I have grown up with dogs my entire life. My current fur baby is Frankie, a Bernese Mountain dog that is scared of flies, running water and the gameshow Jeopardy. Her health and joints have been managed by key supplements, vitamins and a variety of food.

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