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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? Debunking Myths and Setting Facts Straight

If you love seafood and sharing your food with your dog, you’ve probably wondered: “Can dogs eat shrimp?” Depending on your favorite way to prepare the tiny crustaceans, you may also be wondering: “Can dogs eat cooked shrimp? Can dogs eat fried shrimp? Can dogs eat raw shrimp?”

The short answer is that shrimp is safe for dogs as long as it isn’t fried or otherwise cooked in or covered in ingredients that are harmful to dogs, like oil, butter, or spices. Keep reading for everything you ever wanted to know about feeding shrimp to dogs.


Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

In short, yes, dogs can eat shrimp that’s been steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, or even raw as long as you buy wild-caught (rather than farm-raised) shrimp and freeze it for at least a week before serving it to your dog to kill parasites.

Dogs should not eat fried, spicy, seasoned, or oily shrimp because the added ingredients may upset their stomach or cause other, potentially serious, problems.


Benefits of Shrimp for Dogs

Not only are shrimp delicious, but they’re also full of nutrients, including:

  • •Antioxidants, which fight against damaging free radicals

  • •Glucosamine, which is excellent for joint health

  • •Taurine, which helps reduce the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy

  • •Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties

  • •Many vitamins and minerals, including D3, B3 (niacin), B12, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and more


Risks of Feeding Shrimp to Dogs

Shrimp straight out of the ocean may contain parasites such as tapeworms, flukes, and roundworms, so fresh, raw shrimp has the potential to make dogs ill. However, freezing shrimp for at least a week should kill off these parasites.

Additionally, farm-raised shrimp may be full of pesticides, disinfectants, antibiotics, and other potentially harmful chemicals, so only feed your dog wild-caught shrimp.

If you have a dog who likes to gulp their food without chewing it, shrimp could be a choking hazard, so be sure to cut shrimp into bite-sized pieces for dogs who aren’t thorough chewers.

All in all, shrimp is a very low-risk food to share with your pup, especially when fed without any seasonings, breading, or spices.

Cooked shrimp

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Shrimp?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked shrimp as long as it hasn’t been fried (although you could peel the breading off before serving it to your dog), cooked in fatty oils or butter, or seasoned with onion or other spices that may be harmful to canines.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Shrimp?

No, dogs should not eat fried shrimp since the breading is very fatty and full of unnecessary carbs. However, you could peel the breading off of fried shrimp and give a little bit to your pup.


Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Yes, dogs can eat raw shrimp as long as the shrimp is wild-caught and has been frozen for at least a week to kill potential parasites. You can even leave the shells on because they’re chock-full of joint-supporting glucosamine.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Shells?

Yes, dogs can eat shrimp shells. They could potentially cause a choking hazard in dogs that like to gulp their food, however, so cut the shrimp or shells into smaller pieces if you think your pup is prone to choking on the shell.


Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Tails?

Despite myths to the contrary, dogs can eat shrimp tails. The crunchy bits most humans don’t like to eat are unlikely to damage your dog’s insides, despite what fearmongering sites would have you believe.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat! If your pup loves shrimp, they’re likely to adore raw dog food. A raw diet for dogs offers many benefits, including a stronger immune system, better gut health, whiter teeth, fewer allergies, smaller poop, and much more. Find out how much it would cost to get your dog started on raw here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is shrimp safe for dogs to eat?

Yes, shrimp is safe for dogs to eat, as long as it isn’t covered in breading, oil, butter, or dangerous seasonings, like onion. You can feed shrimp cooked plainly or raw as long as it’s wild-caught and has been frozen for at least a week.


How much shrimp can I give my dog?

Keeping in mind that treats (like shrimp) should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet, small dogs can eat one medium shrimp per day, medium dogs can have a couple of shrimp each day, and large dogs can manage a few shrimp daily.

Can dogs have allergic reactions to shrimp?

While it’s unlikely for dogs to be allergic to or intolerant of shrimp, it isn’t impossible. Monitor your pup after giving them any new food, including shrimp, to look for signs of an allergic reaction (like hives, swelling, itching, or difficulty breathing) or intolerance (like vomiting or diarrhea).

Fried Shrimp

Is fried shrimp toxic to dogs?

While fried shrimp isn’t toxic for dogs, the added fat and carbs aren’t good for them. Rather than risk triggering pancreatitis or digestive upset, peel the breading off before giving your dog fried shrimp.

Can dogs choke on shrimp tails or shells?

It isn’t common, but dogs who don’t like to chew their food could potentially choke on a shrimp tail or shell. If you worry about your dog choking, be sure to only feed them bite-sized pieces.

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Can dogs eat shrimp skins?

Yes. Whether you call it the skin or the shell, dogs can safely eat it. The only shrimp-related things dogs shouldn’t eat are breading and spice mixes that include onion or other dangerous ingredients.

Are there any health benefits for dogs eating shrimp?

Yes, shrimp has many health benefits for dogs, including:

  • •Antioxidants

  • •Glucosamine

  • •Taurine

  • •Omega-3 fatty acids

  • •Many vitamins and minerals

Shrimp for dogs

How should shrimp be prepared for dogs?

Shrimp should be baked, grilled, steamed, boiled, or even served raw (as long as the shrimp has been frozen for at least a week first and is wild-caught) without any seasonings, oils, butter, or breading.

Can dogs eat shrimp cooked?

Yes, dogs can eat shrimp cooked as long as it doesn’t have breading or harmful spices, such as onion.

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