Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

can dogs eat shrimp

Shrimp can be a tasty addition to your own meals. But have you ever wondered whether it’s safe to share shrimp with your dog?

While it’s okay for your dog to eat shrimp … you must be careful about which shrimp you buy.  

Many are full of dangerous chemicals.  

I’ll talk about this more but first, let’s look at why shrimp (and shrimp tails) are so good for your pup.

1. Shrimp Is A Good Source Of Glucosamine

Glucosamine is an amino sugar made from glutamine and glucose. It helps form and repair cartilage for better joint health.

Cartilage is a connective tissue that acts as a cushion between bones to absorb shock.

Dogs produce glucosamine naturally. But as they get older, their bodies produce less and less. This reduces shock absorption and can cause joints to stiffen up.

Adding glucosamine to your dog’s diet can help improve mobility.

Shrimp shells (including the tails) are a great source of glucosamine.

2. Shrimp Is Full Of Antioxidants

Have you ever wondered why shrimp turn pink when cooked?

When heated, astaxanthin stored inside the shrimp is released.  

Astaxanthin is a red pigment that turns animals that eat it pink … flamingos, salmon, lobsters, and shrimp.

But it doesn’t just add a bit of color to our world. Astaxanthin is also a powerful antioxidant.

That means it can fight against free radicals which damage your dog’s cells, proteins and DNA and lead to:

  • Cancer
  • Premature aging
  • Chronic diseases

Astaxanthin in shrimp also:

  • Reduces inflammation and pain for improved joint health.
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Crosses the blood-brain barrier and provides essential nutrients.
  • Eases conditions like dry eye.
  • Reduces C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the body, a marker for inflammation and heart disease.

RELATED: Why Your Dog’s Food Needs More Antioxidants 

3. Shrimp Contains Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that supports the:

  • Heart
  • Eyes
  • Brain
  • Immune system  

Like glucosamine, dogs can create their own taurine. But adding taurine to their diets can help decrease your dog’s risk of dilated cardiomyopathy and blindness. Especially as they age.

It also acts as a controller for nervous impulses which may protect against seizures.

Shrimp are a great source of taurine. On average, shrimp contain 48 mg of taurine per oz.

4. Shrimp Has Lots of Vitamins & Minerals

Shrimp live in mineral-rich water. This means they are full of nutrients to help your dog live a healthier life.

  • D3 for immune function and cancer prevention
  • B12 for gastrointestinal health
  • B3 (Niacin) for energy production, blood circulation and enzyme function
  • Phosphorous for heal

What Kinds Of Shrimp Are Safe For Dogs?

While shrimp offers tons of benefits, many shrimps are farm raised. This means they are full of:

  • Antibiotics
  • Disinfectants
  • Pesticides

That is why you should always make sure to buy wild shrimp from a trustworthy source.

The problem is packaging for seafood products can be very unreliable.

And while changes have been proposed to improve the labeling, there are still concerns about whether this information will be as reliable as it should be.

So, if you aren’t 100% positive about where your shrimp came from or whether they’re wild and not farmed, then …

… choose a different treat to share with your furry friend.

How To Feed Shrimp To Your Dog?

Confident that your shrimp is wild and free of harmful chemicals? Then shrimp can be a great occasional treat for your dog.

The best way to serve shrimp is raw. Like many foods, heating shrimp can reduce the amount of nutrients your dog gets.

To benefit from the added glucosamine, serve shrimp with the shells on. Or share the shrimp tails from your own meals. But remember … additives like salt and certain spices aren’t good for your dog.

You can also make a glucosamine-rich broth by simmering shrimp shells in water for a few hours.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

You may have heard that raw shrimp and other seafood can be bad for your dog.

It’s true that when eating fish there is a risk of parasites like:

  • Roundworms
  • Flukes
  • Tapeworms

RELATED: Our Top Home Remedies For Worms In Dogs

But seafood can be made safe by freezing it for a week before feeding it.  

Just follow these simple rules and your dog can benefit from all of the goodness that shrimp has to offer.

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