Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Risks, Benefits, Advice

Seafood is the source of many nutrients. Shrimps are one of the most delicious types of marine life that people like to pamper themselves with. But can dogs eat shrimp? Is it safe? Let’s find out if it is possible for dog owners to treat shrimp to a pet, what benefits or harm they can bring to the animal. 


The benefits of shrimp meat can be estimated based on the composition of the substances: 

  • vitamin B12;
  • choline (B4); 
  • niacin (PP), or nicotinic acid; 
  • trace elements: iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, selenium, iodine; astaxanthin – the strongest antioxidant; 
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. 

The rich composition makes shrimp useful for almost the whole body:

  1. Strengthens the cardiovascular system (strengthens the arteries, dissolves blood clots). 
  2. Supports the functioning of the brain and nervous system (improves memory, attention and concentration). 
  3. Helps maintain iodine levels in the body. 
  4. Ensures the normal functioning of the reproductive organs. 
  5. Astaxanthin has beneficial effects on skin and hair health and immunity. 

Harm and allergies 

Despite the enormous benefits of shrimp, they also have properties that do not allow them to be consumed by everyone and in large quantities. 

The presence of tropomyosin in their composition makes the product highly allergenic, that is, the allergy can manifest itself in a severe form: 

  • skin rashes; 
  • tingling sensation in the mouth;
  • disruption of the digestive tract; 
  • up to anaphylactic shock, accompanied by convulsions and loss of consciousness.

Excessive and regular consumption of shrimp in food, even in the absence of allergies, negatively affects the organs of vision, the functioning of the digestive system, and contributes to the exacerbation of diseases of the genitourinary system.

It is also worth considering the fact that all the benefits of marine life are available only if their wild representatives are consumed. But products from shrimp farms are often found on store shelves. 

The danger is posed by various medicines used by farmers to maintain health and increase the shrimp population: antibiotics, antiseptics, pesticides. In order not to inflict a serious blow on the liver of the dog, check that the packaging has the inscription wild, or sea caught. If the product is unpacked, it must be borne in mind that wild crustaceans are never large. 

Then how should I feed my dog? 

Serving your dog seafood, including shrimp, is best boiled. In their raw form, they cause diarrhea and indigestion in most cases. 

In no case should these crustaceans be fried. High cholesterol in itself is not dangerous, but when frying, it oxidizes and can cause great harm to the body, clogging blood vessels and accelerating the development of atherosclerosis. 

Shrimps must be cleaned of their shells and legs, which are composed of hard chitin, which the dog’s stomach cannot digest. At best, they will naturally come out of the dog undigested. At worst, chitinous sharp scales can seriously harm health by damaging the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.

How many can I give? 

If the dog is fed with premium ready-to-eat foods, it is not recommended to supplement the diet with shrimp. Due to the high content of proteins, the balance of substances will be disturbed, which can cause a malfunction not only of the gastrointestinal tract, but also of all body systems. Elderly individuals and puppies of dwarf breeds, which do not need protein saturation in large quantities, and even can be dangerous, can be attributed to the same category. Shrimp meat will be an excellent supplement for naturally-fed animals, as a source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Along with shrimp meat, you can not give any other protein. That is, it should be a separate meal as a treat. The volume of a treat depends on the parameters and weight of the dog, individual preferences and health characteristics.

If my dog ate it without permission?

If your pet ate even a small amount of shrimp left unattended, it is recommended to carefully monitor his condition for the next 24 hours.

At the first symptom of uncharacteristic behavior, give an antihistamine. If the condition worsens, or there is no improvement, seek qualified help. 

The dangerous amount of shrimp is difficult to determine. Individuals of the yard keeping, having eaten even 0.5 kilograms of unpeeled shrimp, may not feel any discomfort. For individuals with a sensitive digestive system, especially those on a diet of high quality feed, the meat of 3-4 small wild shrimp can become dangerous.