Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? The Pros And Cons

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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? It’s a common question many dog owners ask themselves.

Especially when our furry friends have their noses pressed against a plate of this delicious seafood.

There are both benefits and risks associated with feeding dogs shrimp. In this blog post, we will discuss what is known about the benefits and potential risks to dogs and answer the question, can dogs eat shrimp?

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

You can feed it to them, but don’t forget about the potential risks.

can dogs eat shrimp - dog wants shrimp

Shrimp is high in protein and vitamin B12 and low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates. There are also dangers to giving dogs shrimp, and we’ll explore those throughout this article.

Is Shrimp Good for Dogs?

This seafood does have several health benefits for dogs.

Shrimp is one of the most nutrient-rich types of seafood and can be a great dietary supplement. It’s high in protein and incredibly low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.

Shrimp is it good

However, this isn’t to say that you should feed your dog shrimp every day or in large amounts. Like any other food for dogs, moderation and proper preparation are key (more on these later).

Shrimp also contains the following healthy elements:

  • Vitamin B12: This can help support a healthy metabolism and nervous system.
  • Selenium: Can provide antioxidant protection against free radical damage and supports thyroid functions.
  • Taurine: Can promote cardiovascular health, maintain vision health, and support muscle function among other things.
  • Omega-fatty acids which can be beneficial for skin and coat as well as a healthy metabolism.
  • Astaxanthin, a type of carotenoid that is known to be good for the nervous system. It’s also great for the musculoskeletal system.
  • Selenium, another nutrient that is beneficial to your dog’s overall health.
  • Copper, which can help promote healthy bone, cartilage, and connective tissue formation.
  • Shrimp also contains amino acids that are known to reduce muscle fatigue during exercise. They do this by by acting as an energy source for muscles.

All of these benefits are excellent for your dog’s health. That said, you do need to pay attention to the potential risks before making any decisions about adding shrimp to your dog’s diet.

Is Shrimp Bad for Dogs?

Now you may be wondering what the downsides of feeding shrimp to your dog might be?

is shrimp bad for dogs

Unfortunately, there is a long list of potential risks associated with feeding your dog a humble shrimp:

Shrimp can be contaminated with heavy metals

This is because they are bottom feeders. This means they eat a lot of dead organisms and other debris on the ocean floor.

shrimp are bottom feeders

In fact, one study from 2004, states that researchers measured high levels of toxic metals in shrimp.

These heavy metals can build up over time and cause serious health problems for your dog. Especially when they are consumed by dogs on a regular basis, this can include kidney damage.

Shrimp Can Spoil Quickly

Shrimp have high protein content so bacteria will grow quickly once it is exposed to oxygen. This means that you need to store shrimp properly after buying it.

If you buy fresh raw shrimp, make sure to keep it in the refrigerator. Make sure to cook it within 24 hours of purchasing. If you plan to freeze your shrimp for later use, take great care. Ensure you thaw your frozen shrimp thoroughly before cooking and feeding them to your dog.

Shrimp Can Cause Food Poisoning

When preparing fresh raw or unfrozen cooked shrimp, take steps to prevent food poisoning in both you and your dog. Make sure that the Shrimp does not touch other foods while being prepared, stored, or cooked.

Shrimp Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Shrimp can cause allergic reactions in dogs and is one of the biggest dangers associated with feeding them to your dog.

can dogs eat shrimp allergic reactions

Most dogs won’t have an allergic reaction to shrimp, but it’s a risk that you need to be aware of. While most allergens in dogs are triggered by the proteins in the food they eat, there are other factors. These are associated with allergies such as contact and inhalation of the allergen.

Shrimp Can Cause Diarrhea

Shrimp contains a lot of fiber that can cause digestive upset in some dogs when consumed regularly. This is especially true if your dog isn’t used to eating high-fiber foods.

It is not necessary to avoid shrimp altogether, but feeding your dog high-quality food is essential. Make sure that the food doesn’t contain any added ingredients or preservatives. This can help reduce the likelihood of your dog having issues digesting shrimp regularly.

Shrimp Can Cause Vomiting

Similar to digestive upset, sometimes dogs will vomit after eating shrimp. This is not a dangerous side effect in most cases. It can be unpleasant for both you and your dog if they have to vomit soon after eating shrimp.

Shrimp Can Contain Pesticides

Shrimp is high on the list of foods that often contain pesticides. Freshwater shrimp live in environments where toxins can runoff from fields into the water. They can then sink to the floor and build up in the shrimp’s bodies.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Shrimp?

You should only ever give your dog cooked shrimp. Raw shrimp can contain parasites that are easily killed by cooking.

Cooked shrimp is a great occasional treat. Like any other food, it should be given in moderation to ensure that no negative consequences can arise.

For example, too much protein can lead to weight gain for dogs prone to obesity issues

When given cooked shrimp, dogs will benefit from the protein boost. It builds lean muscle mass, helps with brain development and function as well as promoting digestive health. Shrimp is an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids. These have been shown to play a vital role in brain development for your furry best friend.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Feeding them even a small amount of raw shrimp can have dire consequences.

Raw shrimp are frequently infested with parasites that can be eliminated by cooking but present a serious risk to your dog when consumed raw.

raw shrimp

These harmful bacteria include Vibrio vulnificus, which causes gastroenteritis in humans and animals; however, your dog is more likely to develop septicemia (blood poisoning). This is an infection of the bloodstream caused by the same bacterium if they eat raw or undercooked shrimp.

This bacterium can cause skin lesions, fever, and chills, fatigue, low blood pressure (shock), organ damage including liver failure. It can even cause death in extreme cases.

Can dogs eat raw shrimp? No way! Avoid giving them any type of uncooked shrimp to be safe.

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

Yes and no, it depends on the amount of shrimp you are feeding your dog, and how it’s prepared.

can dogs eat shrimp - hungry dog

Shrimp for dogs should always be cooked and not raw. This is because the risk of bacterial contamination outweighs any potential benefits that they might gain from eating shrimp.

However, foods like boiled or steamed shrimp can provide some nutritional benefits to your dog if given in small portions.

Are Dogs Allergic to Shrimp?

That’s a question that has no easy answer. Some dogs may have an allergy to shrimp while others do not.

Shrimp are crustaceans, for some dogs they can be allergic to due to common proteins found in this food group.

Dogs can experience allergies on all levels of severity, from mild rashes or itching to life-threatening conditions. This can include anaphylactic shock which is caused by the immune system overreacting to a particular allergen.

The most common symptoms of shrimp allergies in dogs include skin irritation, itching, and scratching. This can lead to redness, hair loss, or even lesions on your dog’s skin. These symptoms can become infected if not properly cared for. Your pet may also experience diarrhea when they are exposed to shrimp.

If your dog has symptoms of a shrimp allergy, stop feeding them shrimp right away and take them to the vet.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Tails?

While shrimp tails are edible for human consumption, they are not the best choice of food to feed your dog.

Shrimp tails contain very few nutrients that would be beneficial if added to a balanced diet for dogs. They won’t provide your dog with any significant benefits beyond potential choking hazards. This can turn this seemingly harmless treat into an emergency situation in seconds flat.

What happens when a dog eats a shrimp?

Most dogs will pass cooked shrimp through their system naturally with no complications. However, some dogs may experience an upset stomach after ingesting too many shrimp. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive issues.

In very rare cases if your dog has a shellfish allergy and eats shrimp, they may experience more serious side effects. These include:

  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Facial swelling (angioedema)
  • Fatal respiratory distress

If your dog has consumed raw shrimp, it’s likely that they will experience some of the symptoms mentioned above. They may also experience more serious conditions like septicemia, leading to organ damage or even death if left untreated.

Don’t let your dog eat any type of uncooked shrimp under any circumstances! Cooked shrimp is fine in small doses, but raw seafood of any kind can be deadly to dogs.


We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about dogs and shrimp. We hope to clarify any doubts you may have about this popular food.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Chips?

Shrimp chips are made from dehydrated shrimp that have been fried to create a crunchy texture and savory flavor. This yummy treat will appeal to any dog’s sensitive palate.

shrimp chips

While these treats may be low-calorie and contain protein, fat, and fiber, they are not the healthiest food for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Cocktail?

A shrimp cocktail is a popular appetizer. It consists of shrimp and sauce which you will likely find in the seafood section at your local grocery store.

can dogs eat shrimp - shrimp cocktail

These foods are typically made with cooked, sweetened shrimp dipped into a spicy horseradish-flavored sauce. They can cause some serious digestive issues if ingested by dogs for several reasons.

The horseradish sauce is made with spices that are too spicy for dogs. Raw or undercooked shrimp can contain bacteria like Salmonella which causes stomach upset in both humans and pets alike. There’s also the danger of choking on pieces of the shell.

A shrimp cocktail is one of the worst things you can feed your dog. It should always be avoided at all times.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Tempura?

This type of deep-fried shrimp has little nutritional value and may contain dangerous bacteria if it’s not prepared correctly.

tempura shrimp

If your dog eats some fried tempura, they will likely just pass the food through their system unharmed.

However, dogs eating shrimp of this kind on a regular basis are at risk of developing high cholesterol and even heart disease.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Skin?

Shrimp skin is not recommended for dogs. This is because it can cause stomach upset and may contain bacteria that can make your dog sick.

If you feed shrimp to your dog, only give them the meat of this shellfish. it contains more nutrients than just the outer layer.

Be sure to remove all leftover shells after eating so they don’t accidentally choke on them.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Paste?

Shrimp paste is typically made with shrimp meat, water, and salt. These are all-natural ingredients that won’t harm your dog in small doses.

can dogs eat shrimp paste

However, this product may contain artificial colors or preservatives. It’s always important to read the label carefully before feeding any type of processed food like this one to your pet.

Make sure there aren’t any ingredients your dog is allergic to. This paste may contain soy sauce which can make them sick.

Shrimp pastes are not recommended as a food source for dogs and should only be used sparingly. It’s unlikely that your dog will have any negative side effects from eating small amounts of shrimp paste. However, it’s best to limit their intake because of the small risk.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Fried Rice?

Shrimp fried rice is a popular dish in many Asian countries. It’s made with ingredients that are cheap and easy to find.

shrimp fried rice

However, this food contains large amounts of carbohydrates. This can cause high blood sugar levels if your dog eats too much.

Additionally, there may be preservatives or other additives mixed into the shrimp fried rice. These food additives can be harmful to your dog.

If you decide to feed your furry friend shrimp-fried rice, give them a small amount and monitor their behavior. Do this for the next few hours in case they experience any digestive upset.

Shrimp fried rice is not recommended as a regular treat or meal replacement, because of all the carbs and additives. Nevertheless, feeding some to your dog every once in a while shouldn’t cause any problems. Do make sure to limit the amount they eat.

Is Shrimp Toxic to Dogs?

Raw shrimp may contain bacteria that cause stomach upset. Only feed your dog cooked, sweetened or tempura-style shrimp in moderation.

If you decide to give your pet a little bit of shrimp, monitor their behavior for the next few hours. Make sure they don’t develop any digestive problems.

Shrimp is not toxic to dogs but it’s important that you watch your pet carefully after feeding them. It’s important to ensure they don’t experience anything more serious than an upset stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Breaded Shrimp?

Breaded shrimp is coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried which makes it high in fat, cholesterol, and additives.

can dogs eat shrimp - breaded shrimp

Breaded shrimp is not recommended as a food source for dogs because of the fat content and additives. Nonetheless, if your dog eats some every once in a while they should be okay.

Can Dogs Eat Coconut Shrimp?

Coconut shrimp is another type of breaded shrimp that’s coated in coconut flakes.

coconut shrimp

This food contains large amounts of carbohydrates. Feeding it to your dog on a regular basis can increase their risk for developing high cholesterol and heart disease.

If you decide to feed this snack to your pet, only give them small portions. It can cause nasty digestive problems for your dog.

Coconut shrimp is not a good choice for a food source for dogs. Its high carb content is unlikely to have negative side effects if eaten occasionally and in small amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Heads?

Shrimp heads are usually discarded after the body of shrimp is removed because they are not very tasty.

can dogs eat shrimp - shrimp heads

However, this is the best part of the food because it contains large amounts of calcium.

Shrimp heads are not recommended as a regular treat for dogs. They can be given to them every once in a while after removing the eyes and mouthparts.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp Broth?

Shrimp broth can be an excellent source of nutrients for your dog.

shrimp broth

However, it’s important that you monitor the amount of shrimp broth they eat because this type of food contains large amounts of carbohydrates.

Shrimp broth is not recommended as a regular treat or meal replacement. Although, feeding them a little bit of it every once in a while shouldn’t cause your dog any harm.

Can Dogs Eat Boiled Shrimp?

Boiled shrimp are boiled in saltwater, spices, and other ingredients which means it’s high in sodium.

can dogs eat shrimp - boiled shrimp

However, the salt content shouldn’t be enough to cause your dog harm as long as they have small portions occasionally.

Can Dogs Eat Butterfly Shrimp?

Butterfly shrimp are yet another kind of deep-fried, breaded shrimp which means it’s high in carbohydrates and fat.

butterfly shrimp

Again, this type of food is not recommended for dogs as a meal. They can develop heart disease and cholesterol problems if they eat it on a regular basis.

However, giving your dog small amounts of butterfly shrimp occasionally will not cause much harm.

Can Dogs Eat Brine Shrimp?

Brine shrimp are highly nutritious and contain large amounts of protein, calcium, vitamin A and many other nutrients.

This type of processed food is not advisable as a regular meal for dogs. It lacks the essential fatty acids they need to stay healthy. If you choose to feed them this snack occasionally, it should be fine.

Can Dogs Eat Battered Shrimp?

Battered shrimp is high in carbohydrates.

battered shrimp

This snack is not a good idea as a regular meal for dogs. They can get heart disease and cholesterol if they eat it every day.

Don’t worry if you give your dog small amounts of battered shrimp every once in a while. If given infrequently, it won’t have any negative side effects.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Shrimp?

Canned shrimp is another processed food which means it’s high in fat and carbs.

can dogs eat shrimp - canned shrimp

This snack should not be fed to your dog regularly because of the lack of nutrients contained. If you decide to give them small amounts of it occasionally, they should be fine.

Can Dogs Eat Curry Shrimp?

Curry shrimp is made from boiled and fried shrimp which means it’s high in fat.

Curried shrimp

This type of food should not be fed to your dog as a meal replacement. They can develop heart disease or obesity problems. If you choose to feed your dog this snack once every now and then there shouldn’t be any side effects.


In conclusion, it’s not a good idea to feed your dog shrimp if you can possibly help it. The dangers to your dog from shrimp outway the nutritional value they’ll get in the long run.

can dogs eat shrimp - dog waiting

That said, if you have fed small amounts of shrimp to your dog on the odd occasion, it’s perfectly fine. They shouldn’t have any negative side effects.

While there are many benefits of adding some cooked shrimp into your dog’s diet, it is important that you check with your vet before giving your furry friend any.

Shrimp can cause many health problems for your furry friend. Dogs that have shrimp can suffer from shellfish allergies or sensitivities, as well as potentially having parasitic infections.

We advise not giving shrimp to your dog, and avoiding the potential hazards altogether.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.
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