Who doesn’t just love cooking shrimp on the grill? Or maybe eating fresh shrimp cocktail? Shrimp is a seafood many people love! But what about dogs? Is shrimp safe for dogs? Or what happens if your fur baby accidentally eats the shrimp in the shell, or just the shell alone? Are shrimp shells dangerous for dogs?
There’s No Short Answer
Some pet parents love to share their food with their canine companions. We understand. It’s so hard to say no when those adorable brown eyes are pleading for just one bite…just one! Of course, those same brown eyes will keep begging for just one more bite! We’ve all been there!
When it comes to shrimp, the answer as to whether or not it’s safe is a bit contradictory. If shrimp has been cooked and doesn’t have the tail or shell, then you can share one, small bite (and we do mean small) with your fur baby. However, letting him eat more could cause problems with his health.
The Problem with Shrimp and Shrimp Shells and Dogs
Shrimp seems like it would be a healthy choice to offer your fur baby. But that’s not the case. Shrimp can be a problem for your dog’s health for these reasons:
- Shrimp can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs
- It’s high in cholesterol
- Shells can cause a bowel obstruction, intestinal perforations, or even a choking hazard.
- Raw or partially cooked shrimp (not completed cooked through) carries Salmonella & Listeria
Each of these, in some dogs, could present a life-threatening medical emergency. When it comes to allergies, for instance, if your fur baby hasn’t had shrimp before, then you don’t know if he’s allergic to shrimp or not. One small bite of shrimp could cause an anaphylactic reaction, which is a medical emergency.
A bowel blockage is also a medical emergency, as is choking. If the shrimp shell becomes lodged in a dog’s throat, it could lead to choking to death. Or the shell can become stuck in the dog’s intestines, where it blocks fluids and fecal matter, causing an obstruction.
For these reasons, it’s best to avoid sharing even one small bite of shrimp with your fur baby.
Call the Vet in These Situations
If you believe your fur baby is having an allergic reaction, is choking or has an intestinal blockage, then be sure to call your vet right away. Your canine companion needs medical treatment as soon as possible.
However, if you know your pup isn’t allergic to shrimp, it’s OK to give him just one bite on rare occasions. Just make sure the shrimp is cooked all the way through, has been de-veined and doesn’t have the shell or tail. You’ll have a happy fur baby, without the health worries!