Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

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Dogs love shrimp. Whether shrimp are part of a dog’s natural diet or not, dogs will usually beg for shrimp if you cook some. There are all kinds of articles online with warnings about giving dogs shrimp, largely because people assume dogs have the same problems with food that some people do. What’s the truth?

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Is Shrimp Good for Dogs?

Shrimp will not hurt your dog. Yes, you should probably shell and de-vein any shrimp that you give your dog, but it’s extremely unlikely that a typical dog is going to choke on a shrimp peel or those tiny little legs. Shrimp has been cited for raising cholesterol in humans, but most dogs don’t have to worry much about cholesterol. Weight is an issue for dogs, but that’s not the same thing. We have never seen any veterinary article that stated that dogs have shellfish allergies. Food allergies, in general, only make up 10 percent of the allergies found in dogs. It seems very unlikely that dogs would be allergic to shrimp.

Are there health benefits?

Shrimp is a great source of protein and it’s low in calories. It’s a good source of vitamin D and B12, as well as some important trace minerals such as selenium. It’s tasty, too.

Shrimp Dog Treats:

There aren’t a lot of shrimp dog treat recipes but there are some dog food companies (and cat food!) using shrimp. Holistic Select, for instance, makes a good canned food using shrimp, tuna, and salmon. If you would like to give your dog some shrimp, probably the best way is to boil it the same way you would for yourself. Keep it relatively plain. Avoid using spices and a lot of salt. Here’s a basic recipe for preparing shrimp . We are giving the recipe in a dog version without a lot of the spices.


Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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