You likely already know that there are risks to feeding your dog raw shrimp, including shellfish poisoning. Although it’s becoming more popular to feed our pets raw foods, it isn’t recommended by the FDA due to the risks to both humans and animals.
That said, can dogs eat cooked shrimp? Or is this one of the many foods that are better unshared with our pampered pups?
Dogs can eat cooked shrimp so long as it’s unseasoned and the shell, veins, and tail are removed. Dishes with shrimp may contain toxins such as garlic or onion, and is likely seasoned to human taste. Therefore, the best way to serve shrimp to your dog is to cook it yourself.
In this article, we’ll talk about whether dogs can eat shrimp, its health benefits, and its risks.
Is Cooked Shrimp Safe for Dogs?
The main problems with cooked shrimp are its high cholesterol and sodium levels. Otherwise, it can be a fairly healthy snack when cooked plain and fed in moderation.
It doesn’t matter how you cook the shrimp—fried and boiled shrimp are both safe as well as cooked shrimp. However, it’s best not to season the shrimp or add butter or oil to it. This makes it less healthy for your pup, and certain seasonings are toxic to dogs.
Also avoid feeding shrimp if the dish contains garlic, onions, or other toxic ingredients. Check the ingredients carefully before feeding meals with shrimp in them—and know that these are likely to be less healthy for your dog than a plain, home-cooked piece of shrimp due to the added ingredients.
Adding shrimp as a staple in your dog’s diet is likely a bad idea. Always consult with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s daily diet.
But if you’re just looking to feed your pup a piece of cooked shrimp as a one-time treat, this is very unlikely to hurt them. Exceptions include if your dog has heart problems, as they’ll be more sensitive to the high cholesterol levels in shrimp.
As we discussed above, also ensure the shrimp is free of any toxic ingredients.
Risks of Cooked Shrimp for Dogs
- High in cholesterol
- High sodium levels
- Shrimps cooked into meals may contain unsafe or unhealthy ingredients such as garlic or onion
- Seasoned shrimp may be toxic, depending on the seasonings used
- New foods may cause stomach upset
If you do choose to feed your dog shrimp, it’s best to cook it yourself without any additives or seasonings and feed it in moderation.
Too much shrimp can cause health problems or stomach upset. Consult with your veterinarian before feeding shrimp if your dog has a heart condition.
Benefits of Cooked Shrimp for Dogs
Shrimp is low in fat and carbohydrates, so it may be a good choice as an occasional treat for dogs on a diet!
It also contains many vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin B12, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iodine. Shrimp is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well.
How Much Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs should only have a small amount of shrimp, and it shouldn’t be a large part of their diet. Small dogs can be fed up to half of a shrimp, while large dogs can have a few shrimp at most.
If your dog has heart problems, it might be best to skip the shrimp. Talk to your veterinarian before feeding it as a treat, because shrimp is high in cholesterol.
If you’d like to feed your dog more shrimp or add it to their meals, I also recommend speaking to your veterinarian. Do know that they’re unlikely to agree to it, as your dog’s daily dog food should provide the nutrients they need. There are risks to feeding shrimp too often, as we addressed above.
What To Do if Your Dog Eats Shrimp
If your dog eats cooked shrimp, the first thing you should do is look at the ingredients in whatever it ate. Check for toxins like onion or garlic. If the dish contains a toxin, call your nearest emergency vet clinic or a pet poison hotline for help right away.
Next, try to estimate how much shrimp your dog ate. Small amounts of cooked shrimp without toxic ingredients are very unlikely to hurt your dog. Larger amounts might cause stomach upset or in rarer cases, more serious symptoms.
Keep an eye on your dog and note any symptoms of illness such as decreased appetite, tiredness, gulping, lip licking, and stomach pain.
If your dog vomits multiple times, has excessive diarrhea, vomits or poops blood, seems weak, or collapses, call an emergency veterinarian.
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- CVCA, Available here: https://www.cvcavets.com/canine-heart-diseases/
- Pet MD, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-shrimp
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Available here: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/get-facts-raw-pet-food-diets-can-be-dangerous-you-and-your-pet