Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Woman Holding a Piece of Sushi between Chopsticks

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Yes, It’s Safe if Prepared Properly. Dogs can eat shrimp as long as it is properly cooked and served without harmful seasonings or additives.

Shrimp is a low-calorie, protein-rich food that can be a healthy occasional treat for dogs, but there are a few precautions to consider.

Nutritional Benefits of Shrimp for Dogs

Shrimp can provide several nutritional benefits for dogs:

  • Protein: Shrimp is high in protein, which is essential for muscle development and overall health.
  • Low in Fat: Shrimp is low in fat, making it suitable for dogs on a low-fat diet.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Shrimp contains essential nutrients like vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can support cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

How to Safely Feed Shrimp to Your Dog

While shrimp can be a healthy treat for dogs, it’s important to prepare it correctly.

Always cook shrimp before feeding it to your dog, as raw shrimp may contain harmful bacteria and parasites.

Then remove the shell, tail, and veins, as these parts can pose choking hazards and be difficult for dogs to digest.

And serve shrimp plain, without any seasonings, garlic, onions, or butter, as these ingredients can be harmful to dogs.

Potential Risks of Feeding Shrimp to Dogs

While shrimp is generally safe for dogs, there are some risks to consider:

  • Allergies: Dogs can be allergic to seafood, including shrimp. Signs of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, and gastrointestinal issues. Introduce shrimp gradually and monitor your dog’s reaction.
  • Digestive Issues: Shrimp is high in cholesterol, which can be problematic if fed in large quantities or if your dog has underlying health issues like pancreatitis.
  • Choking Hazard: The shells and tails of shrimp can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages. Always remove these parts before feeding shrimp to your dog.

Other Seafood Safe for Dogs

In addition to shrimp, other types of seafood that are safe for dogs include:

  • Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but it should be thoroughly cooked to avoid parasites.
  • Sardines: High in omega-3 fatty acids and can be served as a nutritious treat, but should be given in moderation due to high fat content.
  • Tuna: Contains beneficial nutrients, but should be given sparingly due to mercury levels.

Seafood Not Safe for Dogs

Oysters on Plate

While some types of seafood are safe for dogs, others can pose health risks. It’s important to know which seafood options should be avoided to keep your dog healthy. Here are some examples:

  • Raw Shellfish: Raw shellfish, including clams, mussels, and oysters, can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause illness in dogs. These should always be cooked thoroughly before feeding them to your pet.
  • Raw Fish: Raw fish can contain harmful parasites, bacteria, and even bones that could be dangerous for dogs. Cooking fish thoroughly eliminates these risks. Fish such as salmon, if undercooked or raw, can also harbor a parasite that can cause salmon poisoning disease, which is potentially fatal for dogs.
  • Fish with High Mercury Content: Fish like tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel have high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to dogs when consumed in large quantities. Mercury poisoning can lead to serious health issues, including neurological damage.
  • Fried or Battered Fish: Fish prepared with batter or fried in oil can cause digestive upset in dogs. The added fat and seasonings can also contribute to health problems like pancreatitis and obesity.
  • Fish with Bones: Fish bones can pose a choking hazard and potentially cause internal injuries to dogs. Small, sharp bones can get stuck in a dog’s throat or cause damage to their digestive tract. Always remove bones before feeding fish to your dog.
  • Fish with Added Salt or Seasonings: Fish that is prepared with added salt or seasonings can be harmful to dogs. Excessive salt intake can lead to sodium ion poisoning, while certain seasonings like garlic and onions are toxic to dogs.


Feeding seafood to dogs can be safe and nutritious if done properly.

While shrimp is a good option, it’s important to cook it thoroughly, remove the shells and tails, and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.

Always introduce new foods gradually and consult with your veterinarian, especially if your dog has any pre-existing health conditions.

When prepared and served appropriately, seafood can be a delicious and healthy treat for your dog.