Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?


Next time you steam up some shrimp, you might want to consider setting a few aside for your dog. Not only can dogs eat shrimp, but a few pieces now and then may even offer them some health benefits.

1. Shrimp Is A Good Source Of Glucosamine

Glucosamine is an amino sugar made from glutamine and glucose. It helps form and repair cartilage for better joint health.

Cartilage is a connective tissue that acts as a cushion between bones to absorb shock.

Dogs produce glucosamine naturally. But as they get older, their bodies produce less and less. This reduces shock absorption and can cause joints to stiffen up.

Adding glucosamine to your dog’s diet can help improve mobility.

Shrimp shells (including the tails) are a great source of glucosamine.

2. Shrimp Is Full Of Antioxidants

Have you ever wondered why shrimp turn pink when cooked?

When heated, astaxanthin stored inside the shrimp is released.  

Astaxanthin is a red pigment that turns animals that eat it pink … flamingos, salmon, lobsters, and shrimp.

But it doesn’t just add a bit of color to our world. Astaxanthin is also a powerful antioxidant.

That means it can fight against free radicals which damage your dog’s cells, proteins and DNA and lead to:

  • Cancer
  • Premature aging
  • Chronic diseases

Astaxanthin in shrimp also:

  • Reduces inflammation and pain for improved joint health.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Crosses the blood-brain barrier and provides essential nutrients.
  • Eases conditions like dry eye.
  • Reduces C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the body, a marker for inflammation and heart disease.

3. Shrimp Contains Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that supports the:

  • Heart
  • Eyes
  • Brain
  • Immune system  

Like glucosamine, dogs can create their own taurine. But adding taurine to their diets can help decrease your dog’s risk of dilated cardiomyopathy and blindness. Especially as they age.

4. Shrimp Has Lots of Vitamins & Minerals

Shrimp live in mineral-rich water. This means they are full of nutrients to help your dog live a healthier life.

  • D3 for immune function and cancer prevention
  • B12 for gastrointestinal health
  • B3 (Niacin) for energy production, blood circulation and enzyme function
  • Phosphorous for heal

Shrimp are also low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, which makes them a good choice for dogs on a diet. However, shrimp are high in cholesterol. This means that while an occasional shrimp can be a healthy treat, too many can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Raw, uncooked shellfish contain harmful pathogens; you can easily avoid these by cooking shrimp before feeding them to your dog. It is also a good idea to completely remove the shell, as shrimp shells are a choking hazard and can cause obstructions, especially in small breeds. Steamed shrimp is best for dogs, as fried and/or breaded shrimp contain unnecessary fats and oils that can be harmful.

But seafood can be made safe by freezing it for a week before feeding it.  

How Much Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is the key to adding any new food item or treat to a dog’s diet. Every pup is different, and some might react differently to shrimp than others. One or two pieces of shrimp are usually enough for most dogs, and it is a good idea to offer a partial piece of shrimp to small dogs as a precaution.

Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you want to add shrimp or other shellfish to your dog’s diet on a regular basis. They can offer you professional advice about the proper quantities for your dog and advise you of any potential health concerns. Stop feeding shrimp if your dog shows symptoms of intestinal discomfort or illness, and call your vet if symptoms worsen.

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