Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? All the fish and seafood your dog can (and can’t) eat

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Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? For the most part, it’s okay to change up your dog’s diet by adding fish and seafood to their daily meals.

However, depending on how it is prepared as well as the type of fish or seafood it is, both foods can be toxic – or in rare cases, fatal – to your pooch.

Talk to News week, Veterinarian Tina Wismer, Senior Director of Toxicology at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, said, “Both fish and seafood can be part of a balanced diet.

“During the poisoning [in fish and seafood] is rare, there may be problems with the bones or shells causing irritation or potentially blockages, ”Wismer said.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Shrimp can be great for your dog’s diet because they are low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates, but high in nutrients that are beneficial for dogs.

Nutrients in shrimp include vitamin B12, niacin (also known as vitamin B3, phosphorus, and antioxidants, according to an article posted on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website.

However, dogs should not be fed raw, uncooked shrimp as they contain harmful pathogens. The shell should be fully removed before feeding shrimp to your dog, as the shells pose a choking hazard and can cause clogging, especially for small breeds of dogs, says the AKC.

Steamed shrimp are the best option for dogs, as fried or breaded shrimp contain unnecessary fats and oils which can also be harmful to your pooch.

Grilled shrimp on skewers served on a plate.
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Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Tuna is not toxic to dogs but should be avoided due to the risk of mercury poisoning, which occurs when fish ingest food sources that contain “bioaccumulated” foods. [concentrated inside the bodies of living things] heavy metals, ”said Dr. Renee Schmid, certified veterinary toxicologist with the Pet Poison Helpline. News week.

The bigger the fish, the longer it lives and therefore it will have a higher concentration of mercury in its tissues. Mercury levels are quite high in tuna because they are large fish that live for a long time.

However, it’s not the end of the world if your dog manages to steal a tiny piece of tuna off your plate when you’re not looking, as a small amount won’t cause mercury poisoning, according to the AKC.

The risk of mercury poisoning also applies to sharks, swordfish, marlin and king mackerel, Schmid added.

The United States Food and Drug Administration advises avoiding orange roughy and tilefish because of their high levels of mercury.

Below are some symptoms of mercury poisoning, as described by the AKC.

  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Blindness
  • Kidney damage (inability to urinate, abdominal swelling)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of sensation in the paws
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting blood
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea

Fish and Seafood Dogs Should Avoid

Here are some types of fish and seafood that can cause problems for your dog if eaten.

Raw salmon, trout and rainbow trout

Consuming raw forms of salmon, trout, and rainbow trout are among the fish that may pose a risk to dogs.

“Salmon poisoning is a bacterial infection that dogs can get if they eat raw salmon, trout or rainbow trout infected with a fluke parasite,” said Wismer of the ASPCA. This is most commonly seen in the Northwestern region (Washington State, Oregon, and northern California).

However, ingesting cooked fish does not present this risk, Wismer added.

Schmid, of the Pet Poison Helpline, explained that salmon poisoning, although rare, can be a problem in dogs that ingest raw salmon “due to the presence of a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola which is infected with a rickettsia called Neorickettsia heminthoeca “.

This organism causes severe gastrointestinal upset and multi-organ damage, which often results in death, Schmid warned.

While salmon poisoning is most commonly found in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, a few cases have also been reported in British Columbia, Canada, she added.

A dog near the fish steaks.
A dog standing near a table with seasoned fish steaks.
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Fish and seafood presenting other risks of poisoning

Several toxins can be found in certain types of fish that are ingested during a normal diet of algae and plankton (such as dinoflagellates). “Fish accumulate these toxins when they feed on affected substances such as algae,” said the toxicologist at the Pet Poison Helpline.

Some of the more common toxins are as follows, as Schmid pointed out:

  • Ciguatera poisoning in emperor fish, grouper, parrotfish, red snapper, surgeonfish.
  • Tetrodotoxin (puffer or fugu poisoning) in pufferfish, crappie, porcupine fish, triggerfish, blue-ringed octopus and rough-skinned newts.
  • Shellfish poisoning in oysters, sea scallops, mussels, clams and Alaskan clams.
  • Scombridae (poisoning from eating spoiled food) in tuna, mackerel, bluefish, herring and bonito. This can be caused by improper storage and preservation.
A dog looking at salmon appetizers.
A dog looking at a plate of smoked salmon appetizers.
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The Pet Poison Helpline toxicologist noted that it’s also important to know that some seafood prepared for humans may contain other added foods that are toxic to dogs. For example, onions and garlic can be toxic to dogs, and large amounts of fats (like butter and cooking oil) can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially fatal disease that affects the intestinal tract.

There are also commercially available diets that contain different types of seafood (especially salmon) that are often used for dogs and other animals with skin sensitivities or allergies, she added.

“Unless medically necessary, you should avoid giving your dog a strictly seafood diet to ensure that your pet is getting the balanced nutrition it needs for optimal health,” Schmid said. .

Tuna sashimi on a plate.
Raw tuna sashimi on a plate.
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Fish and Seafood Dogs Can Eat

All fish can be a healthy part of a well-balanced diet. Fish should be prepared with minimal oil and no seasonings, said Wismer of the ASPCA.

Shorter-lived species (such as salmon, herring and whitefish) tend to have lower levels of heavy metals (mercury) than longer-lived fish (tuna, swordfish) and are free from danger to dogs, Wismer said.

Below are some fish that are safe for dogs to eat, as discussed in an article by Florida-based veterinarian Dr. Leslie Gillette for the PetMD website:

  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Wade
  • herring
  • Light tuna (canned)
  • Salmon
  • White fish
  • Whiting

If seafood is properly prepared for human consumption, it is generally safe to feed your dog. But dogs can have varying gastric sensitivities to certain foods. So if an upset stomach develops, you should immediately stop giving them this particular seafood, Schmid said.

“Fish and other seafood that are prepared for human consumption generally pose no additional risk of poisoning to animals than those to humans,” she added.

A dog looking at a plate of shrimp.
A dog ogles a plate of fried shrimp.
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