Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? A Pet Parent Guide

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp? A Pet Parent Guide

Alpha Paw Sale

Jan 22, 2024

The Health Benefits Of Eating Shrimp

One billion pounds of shrimp are eaten by Americans every year – that’s a lot of shrimp! But should we be sharing some of these tasty shellfish with our dog?

As a general rule, it is okay for dogs to eat shrimp; in fact, they may even offer some health benefits, but it is important to be mindful of where your shrimp comes from and how you go about feeding them to your dog.

Can dogs eat shrimp? A pet parent guide

When Is Shrimp Bad For Dogs?

While shrimp are not toxic to dogs, there are a few rules to follow, the most important of which is to thoroughly cook shrimp first before feeding them to your dog. Raw shrimp can be a source of many harmful bacteria such as salmonella and listeria, which can cause food poisoning if they infect your dog.

Only Feed Your Dog Cooked Shrimp

Salmonellosis leads to a variety of symptoms that, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms to look out for include fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and shock. If you think your dog may have food poisoning, take them to your nearest vet immediately as they will likely require fluid therapy and other supportive treatment.

In addition to these bacterial diseases, raw shrimp carries the risk of parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. However, you should always stay on top of your dog’s anti-parasite treatment regardless.

Can dogs eat shrimp? A pet parent guide

Always Remove the Shell

The shell and tail of a shrimp also pose a risk to our canine friends. These parts of the shrimp are very hard and difficult to digest, and so can become blocked in your dog’s gastrointestinal system which, in severe cases, may require surgery to remove.

They can also be a choking hazard if your dog is not able to swallow them whole. Shrimp tails and shells tend to have very sharp and pointed edges which have the potential to perforate your dog’s intestinal wall, leading to a very nasty infection of the abdominal space called septic peritonitis.

This is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, so be vigilant when preparing shrimp for your dog to eat.

Serve Shrimp In Moderation

The flesh of shrimp is also high in dietary fat, which should be fed in moderation to your dog. A high-fat diet can contribute to unwanted weight gain and obesity.

Furthermore, if your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis in the past, the excessive fat might prove too difficult to digest, leading to a flare-up of this condition. If this sounds like your dog, avoid shrimp altogether.

Always source your shrimp from a high-quality and trusted supplier as intensively farmed shrimp could be full of antibiotics, disinfectants, and pesticides, all of which can be harmful in large quantities.

Dogs Can Suffer From Shrimp Allergies

It’s also important to note that, much like us, some dogs may have a genuine allergy to shrimp meat. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from diarrhea to itchy skin and even anaphylaxis. If your dog reacts in this way, contact your vet immediately.

However, all of this does not necessarily mean you should avoid feeding shrimp to your dog altogether as this seafood can have many health benefits which I will cover shortly. Just be sure to remove the hard shells and tails, and to properly cook the shrimp through.

A Solution For Dogs Who Have Shrimp Allergies

If your dog is generally an allergic or sensitive dog, this allergy medicine for dogs contains a powerhouse of natural ingredients and may help provide relief from other seasonal and environmental allergens.

Top Products for Boosting Dog Hunger

Revitalize your dog’s appetite with our top products for boosting hunger and encouraging a hearty appetite. We’ve compiled a selection of delectable and nutritious food toppers, enticing treats, and appetite-stimulating supplements that will have your canine companion eagerly anticipating mealtime.

Royal canin canine health nutrition adult beauty loaf in sauce canned dog food, 5. 2 oz can (case of
  • Puppy dog food tailor-made for small-breed puppies up to 10 months old with an expected adult weight of 4.4-22 lb.
  • Optimal energy levels support a puppy's growth and development.
  • Formulated with a complex of antioxidants to support a developing immune system. Beet pulp, fish oil, and highly digestible proteins support a developing digestive system.
  • Stimulates a puppy's appetite with a highly palatable formula that is moderately high in fat and energy density.
  • This wet puppy food can be fed alone as a complete and balanced diet or mixed with Royal Canin Small Puppy Dry Dog Food.
Tomlyn nutri-cal malt-flavored high-calorie nutritional gel for dogs, 4. 25oz
  • Supports and boosts a healthy appetite: irresistible taste that is ideal for picky eaters and sickly pets that are off food
  • Great for active, hunting, or working dogs. Also beneficial to sick or stressed dogs, dogs with a suppressed appetite, or pups that need extra vitamins added to their diet
  • Concentrated formula — packed with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6, and 9)
  • Veterinarian formulated for adult dogs
  • Palatable gel is easy and enjoyable to administer
Wellness bowl boosters tender toppers for dogs - protein superfoods - lamb salmon recipe (8 ounces)
  • Ideal as a food topper for your sidekick’s next mealtime.
  • Crafted with superfoods to support whole-body health and formulated using only premium, all-natural ingredients.
  • Features high-quality chicken and turkey, which are rich in nutrients and flavor to deliver the whisker-licking taste even the pickiest pups will love.
  • Crafted without any added grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten, artificial colors or flavors.
  • Proudly made in the USA with the finest globally-sourced ingredients.
Instinct raw boost mixers freeze dried raw dog food topper, grain free, 14 ounce (pack of 1)
  • All-natural, minimally-processed, real raw nutrition makes an excellent topper to kibble.
  • Made with protein-packed, all-natural beef and beef organs plus non-GMO fruits and vegetables.
  • Raw, whole-food ingredients are freeze dried to gently remove the moisture and lock in nutrients and flavor.
  • Supports proper digestion, a healthy coat and skin, and energy and vitality with the finest ingredients from around the world.
  • Made in the USA with no grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal or artificial colors or preservatives.
Holi beef liver dog food topper - single ingredient, human-grade - freeze dried protein and flavor e
  • Proudly sourced and made in the USA with human-grade, small-batch protein from local farms.
  • 100 percent, single-ingredient, lamb liver meal topper is easy to digest and offers plenty of healthy protein without gluten, soy, grains, additives or preservatives.
  • Adds excitement and good nutrition to your picky pup’s meal—simply mix with kibble, or add some warm water to make a drool-worthy gravy.
  • Freeze-dried meal topper retains all the nutrition, flavor and texture of raw meat without the mess and safety concerns.
  • Comes in a resealable, portable pouch that’s paw-fect for meals on the go and maintaining everyday freshness.

The Health benefits of shrimp for dogs

Shrimp are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are vital for keeping your dog healthy. These include vitamin B12, phosphorus, iron, niacin, and others.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an important role in supporting nerve and brain function, as well as the production of blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also important for your dog’s digestive system, ensuring that nutrients are absorbed properly in the intestine.

Phosphorus is vital for proper kidney function and is a major component of bone and cartilage and Iron is vital in allowing your dog’s red blood cells to properly transport oxygen around the body. A lack of iron leads to anemia and is life-threatening.

Shrimp is also a good source of glucosamine, a compound that aids joint health by repairing cartilage. This is particularly important as your dog ages. These hip and joint chews are a premium supplement that helps keep your dog’s joints healthy!

Finally Niacin, also referred to as vitamin B3, is vital for the proper digestion of fats. It allows your dog to use fats as an energy source and to maintain healthy skin.

Can dogs eat shrimp? A pet parent guide

Balance Is Key

So as you can see, shrimp can have a whole host of benefits but I wouldn’t make shrimp the main component of your dog’s diet, instead just use it as an occasional treat. Too much shrimp can result in too much fat and cholesterol in the diet. I’d recommend sticking to no more than 50-100g cooked shrimp per week.

It’s extremely important to make sure your dog is getting the micronutrients they need to be healthy. These supplements for dogs contain ALL the nutritional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential omega-3 fatty acids that will help your puppy or senior dog stay healthy, happy, and in great tail-wagging condition!

Alpha Paw Sale
author image

Dr. Alexander Crow, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Alexander Crow is an RCVS-licensed Veterinary Surgeon currently practicing at Buttercross Veterinary Center, a small animal accredited veterinary practice in Nottingham, United Kingdom. He earned his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Royal Veterinary College London. His special interests include neurology and soft tissue surgery, and he hopes to start his surgical certificate in the next year. When not working, he enjoys traveling to Europe, painting, and staying fit.


The medical, nutritional, or behavioral advice we provide is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our editorial content is not a substitute for formal or personalized medical advice from a veterinary professional. Only board-certified veterinary specialists who have examined your pet should diagnose medical conditions, provide personalized treatment, or prescribe appropriate medication. For questions regarding your pet’s health, or if your pet is exhibiting signs of illness, injury, or distress, contact your veterinarian immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.