Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Key Considerations for Your Dog’s Diet
Any responsible dog owner has wondered if it’s okay to give their dogs shrimp. This is a reasonable cause of worry since shrimp seems to be one of the most common sources of allergic reactions.
However, with dogs, prawns don’t appear to be a major allergen, although some dogs may be allergic to it.
Health Implications of Shrimp
Shrimps are a good source of protein and this is quite ideal for dogs. On the downside, however, shrimps contain high levels of cholesterol. On top of this, allergic concern should not be taken for granted.
Despite this, shrimp does not only taste good. They are also a good source of nutrients that dogs need such as phosphorous, vitamin B12, anti-oxidants, and niacin among them. Phosphorous is needed for healthy bones.
Vitamin B12, on the other hand, is crucial for metabolic processes as well as a key factor in gastrointestinal health.
Then, there are anti-oxidants that help get rid of free radicals in the body. Finally, niacin or Vitamin B3 is needed for energy production and proper enzyme function.
Aside from these nutrients, these crustaceans are also low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories. This means shrimps are actually a good source of nutrients for dogs that need to go on diet.
However, because they are high in cholesterol, too much of this food is also not healthy. It is advisable to feed dogs with shrimp occasionally instead of making it a staple in their diet.
Is Raw Shrimp Okay?
Feeding your dog raw shellfish makes him or her susceptible to harmful pathogens that are easily avoided if you simply cook the shrimp before feeding them to your dog.
It is also highly advised for you to make sure you completely remove the shrimp shells as they are choking hazards to small dogs.
When it comes to preparation, steamed shrimp is more recommended than fried ones. Breaded or fried shrimps tend to have more oils and unnecessary fats. These can be harmful to your dog’s health especially since shrimps are already high in cholesterol to begin with.
Proper Way of Feeding Shrimps to Your Dogs
Before learning how to prepare shrimps for your dogs, remember that moderation is the key. Remember that each dog is different from the other. Some dogs are okay with this addition to their diet, while others may be allergic to it.
Thus, proceed with caution when introducing shrimps to your dog.
In fact, as a precaution, it is best to try out small portions first especially of your dog is tiny. If the dog shows intestinal discomfort or any signs of illness, contact your veterinarian and totally discontinue feeding shrimps.
With that said, there are ways to prepare shrimp and ensure it is safe for your dog. First, make sure they are properly peeled. See to it you remove the veins as well.
Aside from being a possible obstruction, shrimp shell can also be difficult to digest. At the same time, the tough outer shell can also lodge in between their teeth.
Make sure you remove the tail part as well. Like the shell, the tail is the toughest part of the shrimp and leaving it for dogs to chew is not a good idea. They can even gather in the intestine as they are very hard to digest. Dogs don’t have the teeth for this job.
Once you have removed the entire hard outer layer, cut the shrimp into pieces before you serve it to your dog. When it comes to cooking, remember that fried shrimp is a no-no. The amount of fat that comes with fried shrimp may lead to inflammation of the pancreas and digestive upset.
Do not add too much salt to the meal as well. This is harmful to canines because it results to high blood pressure and dehydration. Get rid of onion and garlic as well as they are toxic to dogs especially those that are in powdered form.
When you take the risk of feeding shrimps to your dogs, prepare for the possible consequences. In the event of diarrhea and vomiting, make sure fresh water is always available.
When necessary, consult your veterinarian for medications. Do not self-diagnose your dog or give medications even if you know it’s because of the shrimp.
Shrimps have nutritional value that is quite good for their overall health. However, too many shrimps and wrong preparation are two things that may have adverse effect to your dog’s health.
When preparing it for your dog, make sure you remove the hard tail and shell. It is also advised to steam it instead of frying the shrimp.
Hopefully these information help enlighten you with whether or not you should introduce shrimp to your dog’s diet. If you do introduce it, make sure it is prepared properly as outlined earlier. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to write them in the comment area.