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Food & Diet

Can My Dog Eat Shrimp?

At A Glance

Feeding your dog nutritious meals is an essential part of proper pet care. Shrimp is one such meal. But if it's undercooked or raw, it can cause problems due to harmful bacteria.

This article offers information on how to feed your dog shrimp safely.

Last Updated on: May 19, 2022

Can my dog eat shrimp, you ask. Dogs enjoy eating shrimps and their small size makes them a great treat.But before feeding your dog shrimp, consult your vet on the proportions to give.

Here’s what you should know about shrimp and dogs.

Dog looking at shrimp

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

Yes, Shrimps are safe for dogs. However, they must be fed in moderation and in a responsible manner.

Shrimps contain vitamin B12, phosphorus, antioxidants, and niacin and hence provide many health benefits to your dog. Although shrimps are a healthy source of protein for dogs, it is crucial that you know how to feed them safely.


Benefits of Shrimp for Your Dogs

Shrimp aren’t just tasty. They comprise essential nutrients for dogs such as niacin and antioxidants. While vitamin B12  plays an important role in your pet’s metabolic processes and gastrointestinal health, niacin or vitamin B3 is necessary for energy production, appropriate enzyme function, blood circulation, and energy production.

Phosphorus, on the other hand, is essential for healthy bones. Antioxidants decrease brain aging. The source of protein is also low in calories, making it a good option for your dog’s diet.

Nonetheless, it has high cholesterol, so excess shrimp can lead to unhealthy cholesterol levels in your pet’s diet.

Other benefits include:


The amino sugar comes from glucose and glutamine. It helps develop and repair cartilage for improved joint health. Cartilage is a connective tissue that functions as a cushion between bones for shock absorption.

Dogs generate glucosamine naturally but as they age, their bodies generate less, reducing shock absorption and causing stiff joints. Glucosamine-rich foods help enhance mobility.


Can my dog eat shrimp that is fully cooked? You should serve fully cooked shrimp without the shell. When cooked, shrimp releases astaxanthin-a red pigment that turns it pink.

Besides adding some color, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant. It can fight free radicals, which damage a dog’s cells, DNA, and protein, leading to premature aging, cancer, and chronic diseases. 

Astaxanthin further decreases pain and inflammation for enhanced joint health. It alleviates conditions such as red-eye and improves the immune system.


This amino acid supports the heart, eyes, and brain. Like glucosamine, dogs can produce taurine. However, including it into their diet can help reduce the likelihood of blindness and dilated cardiomyopathy, particularly as they age.

Additionally, it controls nervous impulses, which might offer protection against seizures.

dog eating

Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?

Is shrimp poisonous to dogs? If it is raw or undercooked it is. Uncooked shrimp are known to have harmful pathogens and must not be fed to dogs.

It’s also advisable to remove the shell because shrimp shells pose a choking hazard and could cause obstructions, particularly in small breeds.

Steamed shrimp is the best because fried shrimp comprises unnecessary oils and fats that could be harmful.

Shrimp must be cooked properly before feeding it to dogs. Certain toxins can contaminate shrimp, causing severe toxic reactions such as neurological symptoms, paralysis, and gastrointestinal distress. Beware that raw shrimp can have disease-causing bacteria such as listeria and salmonella.

Even if the shrimp isn’t affected, raw shrimp could pick up bacteria from contaminated surfaces and improper handling.

dog licking

Dangers of Feeding Raw Shrimp to Your Dog

If you’re thinking to yourself my dog ate raw shrimp and are wondering about the outcome, an allergic reaction or stomach upset is likely to arise.

Intestinal parasites in raw shrimp can infect your dog’s digestive tract. That’s why it’s recommended you cook the shrimp until it becomes opaque.

Note that some dogs should avoid shrimp. Especially those with kidney disease. Also, the phosphorus levels contained in shrimp are too high for a dog with kidney problems.

When feeding shrimp, you might ask Can my dog eat shrimp shells? The answer is no. Dogs can’t consume shrimp shells and tails because they pose a choking hazard and could affect your dog’s intestines. 

Remember, shrimp shells comprise chitosan, which is hard to digest and their sharp, brittle texture makes them easy to get stuck in the digestive tract or even cause intestinal wall perforation.

shrimp on a serving plate

How to Prepare Shrimp for Your Dog?

When preparing fresh shrimp, make sure you peel it and devein it. The best way to cook shrimp for dogs is by boiling or steaming without added ingredients.

If you’re keen on offering your dog part of the shrimp you’ve prepared for yourself, you might want to reconsider. Any added seasoning, oils, or sauces could upset its stomach.

Keep in mind that fried foods aren’t suitable for your dog’s gastrointestinal health. A good way of feeding shrimp is by blending it with another vegetable such as pumpkin or green beans.

dog in the park

How Much Shrimp Is Too Much?

Moderation is crucial when including any new food or treats in a pet’s diet. After all, dogs are different and some might respond differently to shrimp than others.

A shrimp or two is typically sufficient for most dogs, and it’s advisable to offer a partial shrimp to small breeds as a precaution.

Treats should only constitute 10% of your pup’s diet. Although shrimp has low-calorie content, too much could pose an obesity problem, cause diarrhea, or a stomach ache.

Don’t feed shrimp if you notice signs of illness or intestinal discomfort. In case you’re wondering does shrimp make dogs sick? It can be a possibility where there’s excess shrimp consumption.

You should consult your vet if you’re thinking of adding shrimp to your pet’s diet to understand appropriate quantities and potential health issues.

dog outdoors

If you’re like most pet owners and are wondering what happens if my dog ate shrimp? This piece offers comprehensive information on what to expect when your dog consumes shrimp.

Follow your vet’s advice and the points we have highlighted for your dog to safely enjoy this delicious treat.

Check out this article on Can My Dog Eat Almonds.


Paul Andrews

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.