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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

By Colleen Williams
December 31, 2018 • 2 min. read
shrimp cooked on a plate

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, dogs can eat plain, cooked shrimp in small amounts
  • Shrimp isn’t as nutritious for dogs as other meats, but there are some health benefits.
  • Peel shrimp to get rid of veins and tails before giving it to a dog.
  • Do not give fried shrimp or raw shrimp to a dog.

Yes, dogs can eat shrimp as long as it is plain and cooked, and only in small amounts. Steaming is the best way to cook shrimp for dogs, as fried or breaded shrimp contains unnecessary fats and oils that can be harmful.

Benefits

Truth be told, shrimp doesn’t provide a wealth of health benefits to dogs compared to other, much better protein options like beef, fish, chicken or turkey. However, it is low in fat and calories, and some pups love the taste.

  • High in iron, calcium, and phosphorous
  • High in vitamin B12 and B3 (niacin) which is necessary for metabolic and GI health
  • High in antioxidants

Hazards

While cooked, plain shrimp is okay for pups to eat, there are other things to consider when feeding your dog shrimp:

  • Raw shrimp is loaded with bacteria that can give your dog shellfish toxicity. It should always be thoroughly cooked and brought to the proper temperature before sharing it with your dog.
  • Shrimp has high cholesterol, which can be harmful to your dog’s cardiovascular system.
  • Shrimp must be peeled and rid of veins and tails. Though not toxic, unpeeled shrimp is a choking hazard and can be hard to digest. If your dog eats a lot of unpeeled shrimp or shrimp with tails at once, those tough skins can get lodged in the intestines.
  • When cooking shrimp, remember that fried shrimp is unhealthy for your dog (large amounts of fat can cause GI upset or pancreatitis). Avoid cooking in butter, garlic and onions, or any other seasoning as well.
  • Remember – while shrimp may be okay served plain, that cocktail sauce is loaded with lots of dog no-nos (like garlic, onions, Worcestershire sauce), and especially if it’s low carb or “diet” and made with xylitol.

If you’re not sure what to share, Healthy Paws has a great list of foods that are safe and not safe for dogs; Pets at WebMD has a thorough list of no-no’s for cats.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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