Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

As dog owners, we constantly worry about what is good for our dogs. The main product we sit in the pet store aisle and ponder over is the food products. We know that veterinarians insist table food is out of the question for our dogs’ digestive systems. Therefore, we want to find just the right food that will go in and come out of our dogs with no concerns in-between or during that time.

Be that as it may, it is also a reality that a lot of dog food has ingredients mixed in that humans also eat as well. One of these foods is seafood.

Now, it is true that most seafood you find in dog food is fish – mainly salmon. However, it is another type of seafood that brings us to the question we want to answer in this article; can dogs eat shrimp?

What Seafood Besides Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?

I have found that, indeed, dogs can eat seafood. However, they can only ingest certain kinds. This is why you only find fish such as salmon in the ingredients of canned dog food.

Establishing that dogs can eat certain types of seafood is good, but the question remains; can dogs eat shrimp? So, before we answer that question, we must find out the answer to the types of seafood a dog can eat.

  • Cooked Fish – properly deboned and cooked thoroughly
  • Raw Fish – If it is cleaned well and put in the freezer for a few weeks before serving to your dog.
  • Krill Oil – Added to dog food for nutrient purposes
  • Seaweed – sprinkled on dog food for health benefits.

All items of food or food product listed above are safe for dogs if implemented in the correct way. However, at this point, there are still more questions than answers. And our initial question has still not been clearly resolved.

Going over what we already know from this point is that cooked fish is an acceptable meal if filleted and cooked thoroughly. So, let’s list the types of cooked fish that are good for dogs.

  • Herring
  • Salmon

These are the basic two fish that are okay for dogs to eat if they are prepared correctly.

How about raw fish?

  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

These small fish are fine for a dog to eat raw if not over-salted, smoked, or pickled. If they are straight raw with no extra, then your dog should be fine eating these scrumptious little fish snacks in moderation.

Furthermore, krill oil and seaweed are also a good addition to your dog’s bowl if sprinkled in small amounts on their food.

All seafood mentioned thus far is rich in Omega 3, which is a good supplement for cardiovascular health, which is important for your dog.

What Seafood Should a Dog Definitely Not Eat?

Delving deeper into the subject of seafood in order to answer the main question, we should discuss other types of food from the sea.

It is in this section that we should list seafood that dog owners should not feed their dogs:

  • Tuna – Canned or fresh because of Mercury
  • Fish Oil – Although we like Omega 3 in our dog’s diet, fish oil has now been determined to carry many pollutants that could make our dogs sick. Because of this krill oil is better for your pet.
  • Sushi – Since sushi is prepared with all kinds of ingredients, it is advised that you not feed your pup this type of seafood.
  • Clams – because the ocean water they absorb could cause parasites
  • Scallops – also would store water and parasites
  • Oysters – These slimy critters may be a delicacy for us, but they too, will cause sickness from parasites
  • Imitation seafood – such as fish sticks and imitation crab because they lack the nutritional abundance that our dogs need.

So Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

We have now assembled lists of Dos and Don’ts when it comes to feeding your dog seafood. Even so, our main question has yet to be answered. The reason why is because shrimp falls into both categories – A Do and A Don’t.

For this reason, the answer will be explained with the safe way to prepare it for your dog and the wrong way.

Also, since lobster and crab are in the same category as shellfish, they should be considered in the same way as shrimp when answering this question.

The Wrong Way and the Right Way for Dogs to Eat Shrimp

As stated early on in this article, most seafood that is acceptable for dogs to eat will need to be completely cooked. This fact is very true for shrimp.


Although some could debate whether it is safe to feed your dog shrimp even thoroughly cooked, after researching the topic, most have agreed that if it is cleaned well, which includes completely peeling and deveining it, it is safe.

However, when you cook it, boil it without adding seafood seasoning and when it is done, let it cool to room temperature and cut it into pieces for your dog.

The above is the correct way to feed your dog shrimp. The wrong way would be, of course, raw with the shells left on and veins still inside. This could cause all types of problems for your dog. Shells could cut the intestines in your dog’s stomach during the digestion process and the veins could carry bad bacteria that would make your dog sick.

A few more things to think about when considering feeding your dog shrimp is allergic reactions. Like people, dogs also could acquire allergies from seafood, particularly shellfish. So, in saying that, along with all the prep and unseen consequences that could come up like allergies, it will solely be up to you to take a chance on feeding your dog shrimp.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion to the main question; can dogs eat shrimp, I hope this article has completely answered the question and also helped you, the dog owner, to be aware of more seafood-related foods that are acceptable for them to eat or not to eat. Shrimp is actually a type of seafood that could be considered too much of a risk for some owners and others may feel that as long as they follow the preparation rules, then it will be fine. Whatever you decide, I know you will make the best decision to protect your best friend.

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