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Whether you’re at a backyard barbecue or a black-tie event, shrimp is a delicious luxury. As with many types of seafood, shrimp are super nutritious and taste great with all sorts of savory sauces and dips. When your best dog friend is with you, can she indulge in the sweet juicy delight of a shrimp?
Yes! Cooked shrimp, with the shells removed, is an excellent source of protein, B-vitamins, and phosphorus. Vitamins B3 and B12 boost gastrointestinal health, and phosphorus is essential for healthy bones. Protein sources like shrimp provide energy for your dog’s active life.
Raw shellfish can carry intestinal parasites, so shrimp should be cooked first. The shells can be hazardous if they aren’t chewed up well, particularly for small dogs, so these should always be removed.
If your dog gobbles down some raw shrimp, seek medical care if she exhibits these symptoms of intestinal parasites:
- Distended abdomen
- Weight loss
These symptoms indicate intestinal irritation that can result from intestinal parasites, and your vet can help you figure out the type of parasite and appropriate treatment.
Although they are a low-fat food, shrimp are surprisingly high in cholesterol. Compared to skinless chicken breast, shrimp has about 25% as much fat, but 150% as much cholesterol. Although high cholesterol is uncommon in dogs, and is generally an indication of another health issue, such as diabetes, it’s good to know that shrimp could become a contributing factor if your dog ever develops high cholesterol.
Dogs can enjoy shrimp:
- As an ingredient in canned or dry food
- As a festive special occasion food or decoration on a special dish
- Use tiny shrimp to top your dog’s food
- As a snack or special treat
- Dried shrimp are great training treats
Freeze-dried shrimp make a great training treat for dogs. They are small, have an appealing scent, and melt in your dog’s mouth without any distracting chewing. It’s fine to use cat treats for dogs, as well, and there are dozens of shrimp-flavored cat treats on the market. These treats are made especially for dogs, including a glucosamine chew to support the joint health of adult dogs.
These crunchy high-protein treats contain just two ingredients: cod and shrimp. This is a simple and tasty way to give your dog the benefits of shrimp while giving her treats as she learns new tricks.Find on Amazon
These super crunchy freeze-dried shrimp are a perfect training treat or an aromatic topper for your dog’s regular food. Or use them to decorate a pupcake for your dog’s next birthday.Find on Amazon
Your pup will feel like he’s gone fishin’ with these crunchy shrimp treats. “Caught daily. Air dried as the vikings did in 900 A.D.” says the package. Grab a bag on your way to that historical reenactment weekend!Find on Amazon
As your dog gets older and needs more support for the health and flexibility of her joints, your vet might recommend glucosamine supplements. Glucosamine is a building block of proteins and fats that your dog needs to keep her joints healthy. Glucosamine is produced from the shells of shrimp, as well as other shellfish and the fungus Aspergillus niger. Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex II is produced with shrimp and crab shells.Find on Amazon
Treat your best pal to a seafood dinner with this tasty pate. A perfect food topper or filling for a Kong toy.Find on Amazon
Learn more about feeding your dog a wonderfully varied diet while learning the limitations of a dog’s sensitive digestive system. We offer a collection of articles on foods that are safe, dangerous or even toxic for dogs to eat, including vegetables, dairy, bread, and junk food.