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Can dogs eat shrimp?

Can dogs eat shrimp
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Can dogs eat shrimp? You may have wondered if you've ever caught your pooch eying your seafood pasta if they can enjoy a little crustacean treat. Dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both fish and vegetables, but that doesn't mean that everything humans eat is safe for dogs. 

For many dog owners, it can be confusing to figure out what human food can dogs eat. A ton of the same food we enjoy can be enjoyed by your dog – but not all of it, and some of it can be especially dangerous. If you're unsure about what you can give your dog, you may want to just stick with what you know – like the best dog food or  some healthy dog treats.

The AKC states that dogs can, in fact, enjoy some shellfish, but there's some things you need to take into account like quantity and preparation. We've got you covered here, so don't fret. Read on for all the answers to the question can dogs eat shrimp.

Is shrimp good for dogs?

Shrimp actually contains a ton of nutrients that are good for your dog, like niacin, phosphorous, vitamin B12 and other antioxidants. B12 helps your dog's metabolism and also helps regulate their gut health, while niacin (aka vitamin B3) helps with energy production, blood circulation, and enzyme function. Phosphorous helps fortify your dog's bones, and other antioxidants can help keep their brain working well even in old age.

Shrimp is low in carbs, fat, and calories, which means even dieting dogs can have a few. But a ton of shrimp isn't the best option for any dog, and here's why. 

When is shrimp bad for dogs?

Shrimp is high in cholesterol, so while you can give your dog some of the pink shellfish as an occasional treat, too much shrimp could increase your dog's cholesterol levels. High cholesterol in dogs can increase their risk of heart disease and other health complications.

Your dog can also not eat raw, uncooked shellfish as it contains harmful pathogens. There are some ways you can ensure you prep the shrimp safely.

Tips on feeding your dog shrimp

Make sure you completely remove the shell and tail when cooking shrimp for your dog as these can pose choking hazards. Steaming the shrimp is the healthiest way to prepare them for your dog, as breading or frying them can add unnecessary oils and fats to your pup's diet. 

Remember, moderation is key, especially when introducing a new food to your dog's diet. Every dog has a different digestive system and appetite, so keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, and call a vet if there are signs of abdominal discomfort like vomiting or diarrhea. For a dog, one or two shrimp is usually enough – and cut it into pieces to ensure your dog can easily eat it. If you're concerned or curious about incorporating shrimp or other shellfish more regularly in your dog's diet, you can always talk to your vet. 

Conclusion 

Shrimp is healthy for dogs in moderation – even dogs currently on a diet. Make sure you remove the shells and tails and steam them to ensure they're as healthy as possible, and only offer a few shrimp cut up into small pieces. But yes, dogs can eat shrimp!