Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Picture this:

Your aunt called you ahead and says she wants to visit. She mentioned that she is bringing along her specialty: shrimp!

You love shrimp. Who doesn’t? They’re so delicious to snack on whatever the occasion might be, and your aunt coming in with a big bowl full of shrimp is most definitely enough to make you day – heck, your week, even!

But as soon as you put down your phone conversing with your aunt, you see your dog looking at you, tilting its head wondering why you suddenly lit up from that call. And then it occurs to you:

Can dogs eat shrimp? It’s a bit of a mix between yes or no, so there’s definitely a grey area in there somewhere.

While there are many who say the can and a significant number say they cannot, it is only ideal that we tackle this conundrum once and for all, so you can determine whether you can share some of your shrimp to your dog.

dog accidentally ate shrimp tail

What’s The Consensus – Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

The answer is: yes, they can!

Shrimps in the meat and protein family contain the least amounts of the stuff. It can be credited to their relatively small sizes and due to their diets which consist mainly of plankton and seaweed, they do not contain as much fat per square inch compared to most meaty meals such as fish. 

Shrimps are also low in fat, and because of their close association to plankton, animals that use photosynthesis to sustain themselves, shrimps contain lots of Vitamin D, B12 and iron.

But there are some precautions that you have to keep in mind before you chuck in a piece or two of shrimp somewhere in the direction of where your dog is waiting and slobbering. 

First and foremost, you must remove the shell, the head as well as the legs and veins of the shrimp. Only feed your dog the meaty part of the shrimp.

Secondly, never in under any circumstances must you give your dog raw shrimps. Shrimps are basically the bottom feeders of the ocean, and it is by no means a coincidence that they contain loads and loads of bacteria and all sorts of contaminants found in the sea such as that. 

Shrimps have to be cooked thoroughly and properly with this in mind, given that only through proper cooking and hygienic preparation can one be fully guaranteed that shrimp will be ideal for consumption, both for human and dog.

Shrimps are often prepared with lots of salts, butter, onions, garlics and all sorts of sweeteners and artificial flavourings, so it is only natural that you give your dog only as little as possible. Too much will result in indigestion, stomach aches and constipation.

My Dog Accidentally Ate Shrimp Tale! Is it safe?

Shrimp may seem so feeble and innocent, but do not be deceived by their relatively small sizes, for they still pack quite a punch when inflicting harm towards both humans and dogs.

One such instance is their heads. Shrimp heads are quite sharp, so it would not even be strange for you to know that there are people who have scratched themselves trying to carelessly pry off a shrimp’s head from its body and get scratched by their sharp pointy parts. 

With that in mind, it is only natural that these parts pose a choking hazard for your dog. The worst that could come is if it accidentally swallowed a shrimp head and it ends up injuring its throat and oesophagus, thereby leading to an infection.

You must never allow your dog to gorge any of the discarded shells, heads or legs of the shrimp. These parts still contain the same flavourings as the meat and are quite hard to distinguish by dogs, so they might perchance upon these discarded parts from your trash bin and inadvertently eat them without you being the wiser.

A good practice to handle these discarded shrimp shells, legs and heads would be to wrap them up in an airtight plastic bad and discard them somewhere out of paw’s reach from your dog. 

Dog Shrimp Allergy Symptoms and Other Things You Must Know to Avoid Putting Your Dog in Danger

As good and easy as it all seems to be when feeding your dog any shrimp with all those precautions mentioned in mind, it is also good practice to watch your dog and observe it after it has eaten shrimp, especially if this is the first time have given it as a treat.

Chances are, your dog might be allergic to it, the same way you know of a friend, acquaintance or relative who is unfortunately allergic to shrimps and prawns. 

The best practice to go about with this precaution would be to firstly feed it a couple of shrimps and observe how your dog behaves in the following hours to come.

A clear symptom of an allergic reaction would be a reddish hue on their skin and fur, which is characterized by your dog incessantly scratching itself as if literally itching to get rid of a non-existent flea from its neck.

If you observe these symptoms, it is a clear indication that your dog is indeed allergic to the stuff and that is going to be the last time you are going to feed shrimp to it.

If the symptoms persist and has gotten worse, it is best to consult your dog’s veterinarian and ask for advice on what to do next. 

dog shrimp allergy symptoms

In conclusion to the query “Can dogs eat shrimp”,

We have discussed that yes, they can, as long as the heads, legs and shells of the shrimps are removed before being fed to your dog, and that these discarded parts must be disposed of properly and be kept out of paw’s reach.

Shrimps may cause allergies in some dogs, so observe your dog for any allergic reactions such as skin irritation, incessant scratching or red marks on its skin.

As with any type of food, serve shrimp to your dog in moderation.