Sometimes it is very tempting to share food with our dogs, out of love for them, and of course, because it is so hard to resist their begging. Yet, it’s essential to remember that our dear quadrupeds have different food requirements than humans. While there are many snacks that you and your dog can easily enjoy, shrimps require a little bit of cautious approach.
Are Shrimps Safe for Dogs?
For those who wonder if dogs can have shrimps, the short answer is Yes, shrimps are not bad for dogs if you follow the serving recommendation. They are also considered good sources of nutrients and vitamins, but to keep your dog healthy, maintaining a balanced diet is a must.
Incorporating seafood into your dog’s diet might help you meet their daily requirements of amino acids and proteins easier. However, seafood should not be your dog’s regular food because it does not replace a balanced diet.
Some other types of seafood besides shrimps that canines can safely eat include cooked fish, sardines, seaweed, herrings, and anchovies. When it comes to feeding fish to your dogs, make sure to thoroughly debone it to avoid choking or blockage of a bone in the gums, which can be extremely painful. Also, always cook seafood and fish well done before serving to make it safe for your dog. It can contain various types of harmful bacteria that can threaten your dog’s health as well as yours.
What Makes Shrimps a Good Snack for Dogs?
Aside from being tasty, shrimps are full of necessary nutrients that your dog needs, such as vitamin B12, phosphorus, niacin, and anti-oxidants. Let’s see how each of these nutrients benefits your dog’s wellbeing:
- Vitamin B12 – plays an essential role in gastrointestinal health and assists in the metabolical processes of dogs.
- Phosphorus – helps your pet in maintaining strong and healthy bones.
- Niacin – also known as vitamin B3, it is required for optimal energy, enzyme, and fat production, chemical signals, blood circulation, and other processes.
- Anti-oxidants – fight free radicals and lowers the risk of brain aging.
Furthermore, shrimps are low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, making them an ideal snack or treat.
When Are Shrimps Bad for Dog’s Health?
Raw, uncooked shrimp contain harmful pathogens that may put your dog’s health at risk. You can easily avoid this by cooking shrimps well done before serving to your pet and also devein them for extra caution. Also, we recommend to remove entirely the shrimp’s shells since they can cause unwanted obstructions and choking hazards.
It is also important to remember that shrimps contain high amounts of cholesterol. Giving your dog too much may cause their levels to surpass the recommended values for optimal health. To avoid this, we recommend moderation, no more than 1-2 shrimp once in a while. Some shrimp bites a week are usually safe for those in good shape, which cannot be affected by their relatively high cholesterol content.
When introducing new food products to your dog, you should also do it slowly, because unfamiliar food may ‘shock’ their system. You can do this by starting with small bites, continually monitoring your dog’s reactions.
Another reason to give small servings of shrimp at first is the possibility of allergies. If your dog is generally sensitive to allergens, it is likely to be allergic to shrimp as well. Signs of allergic reactions in dogs include itchy skin, upset stomach, vomiting, and sometimes excessive sneezing. Once you notice these signs, you should immediately stop serving shrimps and contact your veterinarian for further investigations.
Quick Tips: How Dogs Can Have Shrimps
The best way to prepare shrimps for your dog is by steaming them without any added flavors. Although some spices are proven safe for dog consumption, going spice-less would be the ideal option, as plain shrimps are tasty and healthier anyway.
Since raw shrimps contain high cholesterol levels on their own, frying them will increase the amount even more, which is best to avoid.
If you are giving your dog some leftovers from your meal, make sure to remove any sauces, garlic, and onion, if any, as they are harmful to dogs in all forms (raw, cooked, and powdered.) While little amounts of these spices can be safe, it would be best to avoid them entirely. Also, pet owners who have tiny dogs, make sure to cut shrimps into even smaller, bite-sized pieces to make them easier to chew and swallow.
Some of us end up sharing almost everything with our dogs: the bed we sleep in, our favorite armchair in the living room, even our favorite foods. All this happens out of care and love for them, but also out of care, we must make safe choices for our pets, so that they do not suffer later.
If ever in doubt about your dog’s food or reactions to food, consult your veterinarian.
Read more: Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?