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Can Dogs Eat Cooked Shrimp?

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Shrimp makes a fantastic treat for us humans, and they are notoriously delicious. But if your dog is eyeing up the leftover shrimp on your plate, you might be tempted to give them some, too.

Dogs’ dietary requirements are slightly different to humans’. They can’t always eat the same food as us, and a lot of the time our food can pose serious health risks to them. So it’s only natural that you’re worrying and asking the question, can dogs eat shrimp?

The great news is that your dog can eat cooked shrimp, but this is a treat that should be approached with caution. There are a few caveats you will need to bear in mind before you give your dog any shrimp from your plate. 

You will need to remove the shell, as this can pose a choking hazard for your dog. You should never feed your dog shrimp that still has the shell on.

You should also never feed your dog raw shrimp, as this can be harmful for their digestive system. If you do wish to give your dog cooked shrimp, remember to never do so if the food has been cooked with onions or garlic. These are highly toxic to your dog.

Another factor to consider is that your dog may have an allergy to shrimp. If you’ve never given shrimp to your dog before, it’s best to give them a small bit.

You should then watch them carefully over the next 12 hours to make sure they don’t suffer from an allergic reaction. If you notice any irritated, itchy skin, chances are your dog may be allergic to shrimp. A bad reaction on a single occasion is likely to just be contaminated shrimp.

Shrimp should be thoroughly cooked before you give it to your hound, and you should ensure that you only give it to them in moderation. Too much shrimp could cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, gas, or vomiting.

What if a dog eats shrimp?

As long as you only give your dog shrimp in moderation and ensure that you’ve prepared it correctly, you shouldn’t notice too much of a reaction. However, if your dog has eaten undercooked or raw shrimp, this could cause them stomach issues.

This is because there are often harmful microorganisms such as bacteria lurking on uncooked shrimp. These are usually killed off by cooking the seafood properly.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that some toxins which may have contaminated the shrimp might not get killed off in the cooking process. This is a very rare occurrence, but it’s something worth bearing in mind.

Shellfish that’s been contaminated could cause some pretty serious reactions, such as gastrointestinal problems, neurological symptoms, or even paralysis. If you suspect your dog is suffering from this poisoning, you should take them to your vet straight away.

Raw shrimp can be infected with nasty bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. It’s also worth noting that even if the shrimp itself isn’t affected, it can still pick up harmful bacteria through being handled or from contaminated surfaces. Cooking your shrimp thoroughly should be enough to get rid of this harmful bacteria.

Another thing to remember is that you will need to remove all of the shells before giving shrimp to your dog. This shell poses a choking hazard, and will also be super hard for your dog to digest.

The tough skins of unpeeled shrimp or shrimp with tails can even get stuck in your dog’s intestines and could cause potential blockages.

Is shrimp poisonous to dogs?

Properly cooked shrimp won’t be poisonous to your dog. The only types of shrimp that could potentially harm your dog are seafood that hasn’t been cooked properly or shrimp that is raw. Raw shrimp could cause shellfish toxicity in your dog.

You should ensure that when you cook shrimp, it is brought up to the proper temperature so that any harmful bacteria can be killed off in the cooking process.

It will also be important to only give your dog plain shrimp. Seafood that has been cooked in garlic, onions, butter, cooking oil, or with other seasonings can be harmful for your dog.

You should only give shrimp to your dog in moderation. Too much shrimp and you could cause your dog’s cholesterol to spike.

How do you cook shrimp for dogs?

Your dog will get the best benefit out of shrimp that has been cooked and is plain. Buy your fresh shrimp from the grocery store, and ensure that it doesn’t have an overly fishy smell. If you’ve picked up some frozen shrimp to cook, you should ensure that the packaging hasn’t got any tears or rips. 

Cook your shrimp on the stovetop. You should ensure that the shrimp gets to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You should be able to see when the shrimp is properly cooked, because it will change color from that pale grey to a beautiful pink and white. 

Make sure that you also properly de-vein the shrimp and remove that intestinal tract. Remove the shrimp from their shells, as well as cutting off their tails.

Don’t be tempted to cook the shrimp in any seasonings or spices. These will upset your dog’s stomach. You should also never give shrimp to your dog that has been covered in sauces such as garlic or cocktail sauces. It will be important to only give your dog plain shrimp.

In summary

And there you have it! Dogs can indeed eat cooked shrimp, but you will need to remember to only give them seafood that has been properly cooked through. It will be important to devein the shrimp before you give it to your dog. You should also remove the shells and the tails, as these can pose a choking hazard for your dog, and will be hard to digest.

It will be important to only give your dog shrimp that has been cooked plain. Never give your dog shrimp that has been cooked in garlic, onions, or with seasonings or spicy coatings. These can harm your dog’s stomach and be an irritant.