Can Dogs Eat Lobster? Is It Safe or Deadly?

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Published: June 4, 2022
Image Credit Gilmanshin/Shutterstock.com
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Osiris Beef Flavored Dog Chews
Dogs are carnivores that can eat chicken, ham and beef, but can they eat lobster?

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Can dogs eat lobster? We all know that dogs love to eat. If there’s anything that’s surely on a dog’s menu, it has to be meat. Dogs are carnivores which means they love to eat different kinds of meat. Everyone agrees that it’s okay to feed dogs chicken, ham, and beef. However, the jury is typically divided on other forms of meat, such as lobster.

 If your dog has ever stared at you while you eat your special lobster dish, you’ve probably wondered if it’s okay to slip them some crumbs of lobster while you eat. Of course, before you feed your dog anything, you have to confirm if it’s safe to do so. 

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Is Lobster Safe For Dogs To Eat? 

Oldest Lobster - Large Canadian Lobster
Turns out, dogs can eat lobster. Not only is it safe to feed your dog lobster, but it can make for a healthy treat!

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Wondering if it is safe to give your dog lobster? The short answer to that question is yes. You can safely feed lobster to your dog. However, there are certain warnings and precautions to keep in mind. In fact, not only is it safe to feed lobster to your dog, it is healthy as well. Lobsters have certain nutritional benefits which make them a healthy addition to a dog’s diet. 

Cooked lobster is rich in various nutrients such as protein, minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of feeding these nutrients to your dog include: 

  • Protein: contributes to healthy muscle development and maintenance in dogs.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: contribute to various aspects of a dog’s health, boost immunity, and decrease the risk of inflammation. 
  • Zinc: promotes healthy joints and prevents joint issues such as arthritis in older dogs. 
  • Phosphorus: is needed for the development of healthy bones.
  • Magnesium: aids the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. 

Can Dogs Eat Lobster-What Are The Risks?  

A beagle scratching under its chin with its rear paw
Lobster should be fed in small amounts the first time to gauge whether there is an allergic response.

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As a dog owner, you should be aware of the different foods that are safe for your dog to eat and the ones that are risky. Eating lobster is only safe and healthy for dogs under certain conditions. Before you give up a morsel of lobster from your plate or serve it as a treat, there are specific considerations to keep in mind. 

Raw Lobster Can Cause Diseases 

Lobster and pretty much every seafood is likely to contain internal parasites and bacteria in raw food. These microorganisms are destroyed if the food is properly cooked. This is why you should only eat (and feed your dog) cooked lobster. The best way to serve lobster to your dog is to steam or broil it properly without seasoning or any other ingredients. 

Allergies

Seafood allergies aren’t all that common in dogs. But that’s not to say it’s not a real risk. When you want to give your dog any food for the first time, you have to be wary of allergies. You should feed your dog a tiny amount of lobster first, then observe him for a few hours for any adverse reaction before feeding him more. Some of the signs of allergic reactions to watch out for include: 

  • Excessive scratching or licking 
  • Bald spots 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Reddened skin 
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting 
  • Stomach cramps

If your dog shows these signs or any other abnormal behavior shortly after having a lobster meal, it is an indication that it might be allergic to it. Do visit a vet immediately for urgent care. Since you only gave it a tiny amount, your dog should be fine. 

Sodium

Lobster contains an incredibly high amount of sodium. Almost 5% of this crustacean’s body is made up of sodium. This quantity is a lot even for humans. Sodium is beneficial to the body in small quantities. It helps to keep the body hydrated and supports cell respiration. However, excessive consumption of sodium can have different adverse effects. These include diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, high temperatures, tremors and more. This is another reason you should only give your dog a small quantity of lobster at a time. 

Cholesterol and Fat

Lobster contains high amounts of fat and cholesterol, which makes it unhealthy for dogs when consumed in high quantities or too often. High cholesterol contributes to various ailments such as obesity, pancreatitis, heart disease, high blood pressure and other possible risks. 

Added Ingredients

It is generally not recommended to feed your dog lobster directly from your plate. When humans cook food for themselves, they typically add seasonings and extra ingredients like onion, garlic, and butter, which may not be good for dogs to consume. 

Lobster Shell is a Choking Hazard

One of the major risks with feeding your dog lobsters and other seafood is choking. Lobster shells are hard, and dogs cannot chew them. If the shells are not removed before feeding the lobster to your dog, it could swallow it, and this can lead to a choking accident. Similarly, the lobster shells may also break into sharp pieces that can injure the dog’s gum, teeth, or even internal organs if swallowed. 

Mercury Poisoning 

Lobsters and other seafood contain a high amount of mercury. This makes them dangerous when consumed in large amounts at a time. Mercury poisoning in dogs may lead to bloody diarrhea, vomiting, paw numbness, convulsions, stomach pain, blindness, and loss of coordination and kidney problems. 

Best Ways To Serve Lobster To Your Dog

wet food for senior dogs
Lobster can make a decadent treat if properly prepared for your dog.

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While lobster may not be the best dog food for serving on a regular basis, it could make a decadent treat. If you intend to serve lobster to your canine as a treat or mixed with regular food, you need to know how to prepare it safely. The most important thing to keep in mind when serving any type of seafood to your dog is to make sure it is properly cooked. This helps to get rid of any type of bacteria or parasite that may be present. 

Rinse the lobster properly, then boil or steam it in plain water until it is properly cooked. Be sure to remove any bones and shells on seafood meant to be served to dogs. They can cause a choking accident or obstruct your dog’s GI tract. Remember that spices and seasoning have no place in food meant for your dog, so don’t use any spices while preparing the lobster. 

Whether as a snack or part of your dog’s meal, always start small when introducing lobster to your dog. This will help you ascertain if there are any allergies and keep your dog safe. Even if it turns out that your dog does not react negatively to seafood, you should still serve it in moderate quantities at all times. 

Conclusion 

Treating your dog to a special lobster treat once in a while is fine. It is safe (and even healthy) to feed lobster to your dog as long as you follow all the recommendations and precautions. Just make sure you’re doing it in moderation. Also, always watch your dog for any signs of negative behavior or reaction after each meal. It makes sense to speak to a veterinarian before introducing any food to your dog. This is particularly important if there are any medical conditions or history of allergies that may make the food unsafe to eat. 

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated freelance writer on Upwork. He can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing on health, technology and animals. He is inquisitive and currently aspires to become a software engineer. He loves animals, especially horses and would love to have one someday.