Next time you steam up some shrimp, you might want to consider setting a few aside for your dog. Not only can dogs eat shrimp, but a few pieces now and then may even offer them some health benefits.
Shrimp’s Beneficial Nutrients
Shrimp are not only tasty, but they are also full of nutrients that dogs need. Vitamin B12 is important for your dog’s metabolism and plays an important role in gastrointestinal health. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is required for proper enzyme function, energy and fat production, blood circulation, chemical signals, and many other processes. Phosphorus is necessary for healthy bones, while antioxidants help fight free radicals and can reduce brain aging.
Shrimp are also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, which makes them a good choice for dogs on a diet. However, shrimp are high in cholesterol. This means that while an occasional shrimp can be a healthy treat, too many can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?
Raw, uncooked shellfish contain harmful pathogens; you can easily avoid these by cooking shrimp before feeding them to your dog. It is also a good idea to completely remove the shell, as shrimp shells are a choking hazard and can cause obstructions, especially in small breeds. Steamed shrimp is best for dogs, as fried and/or breaded shrimp contain unnecessary fats and oils that can be harmful.
How Much Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?
Moderation is the key to adding any new food item or treat to a dog’s diet. Every pup is different, and some might react differently to shrimp than others. One or two pieces of shrimp are usually enough for most dogs, and it is a good idea to offer a partial piece of shrimp to small dogs as a precaution.
Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you want to add shrimp or other shellfish to your dog’s diet on a regular basis. They can offer you professional advice about the proper quantities for your dog and advise you of any potential health concerns. Stop feeding shrimp if your dog shows symptoms of intestinal discomfort or illness, and call your vet if symptoms worsen.
For more information about other human foods that are safe for dogs, read our list of human foods that dogs can and can’t eat.