Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Apr 21, 2024 | Dogs & Puppies | 0 comments

Written by: Alex Ramsey. ✓ Medically verified by a licensed veterinarian: Mykhailo Ozmenchuk, DVM. Explore our editorial process.

With its succulent texture and savory flavor, shrimp is a popular delicacy in the culinary world. If you’re a dog owner, you might wonder if your furry friend can also enjoy this seafood treat. Is it safe for dogs, or are there hidden risks?

Is Shrimp Safe for Dogs?

The answer to whether dogs can eat shrimp is more complex than a simple yes or no. While shrimp is not inherently toxic to dogs, there are several considerations before offering this shellfish to your four-legged friend.

Raw Shrimp

Absolutely not for dogs. Raw shrimp can carry harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Moreover, uncooked shrimp shells can be tough for dogs to digest, potentially leading to choking or digestive blockages. Always cook shrimp thoroughly to ensure it’s safe for your pet.

Boiled shrimp

Cooked Shrimp

When properly prepared—boiled, steamed, or grilled without harmful additives—cooked shrimp can be safe for dogs. Cooking kills bacteria and softens the shrimp, making it easier for dogs to digest. However, avoiding any seasonings, spices, butter, or oils that can harm dogs is crucial.

Shrimp Tails

Shrimp tails can pose a choking hazard and are best removed before feeding shrimp to your dog. While not toxic, shrimp can be difficult for dogs to chew and digest properly, which could lead to intestinal blockage.

can dogs eat fried shrimp

How Much Shrimp Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is key. Shrimp should be treated as an occasional snack, not a regular part of your dog’s diet. The amount depends on the dog’s size and dietary needs—small breeds may handle one or two shrimp, while larger breeds can eat more. Start with a small amount and watch for any adverse reactions, especially if it’s your dog’s first time having shrimp.

Nutritional Benefits

Shrimp is high in protein and contains essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, which can support a dog’s health. However, these benefits are only advantageous if shrimp is offered occasionally and not as a primary food source.

Safe Shrimp Preparations for Dogs

Here are a few simple and safe ways to prepare shrimp for your dog:

  • Boiled Shrimp: Boil peeled and deveined shrimp for 2-3 minutes until pink. Allow to cool and chop into bite-sized pieces suitable for your dog.
  • Steamed Shrimp: Steam for 5-7 minutes until fully cooked. Cool and serve in appropriate sizes.
  • Grilled Shrimp: Grill on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked. Cool before serving.

Avoid frying shrimp, as fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and can contain harmful seasonings or salt.


Dogs can safely enjoy shrimp when cooked simply and in moderation. Remember, shrimp should supplement a well-balanced diet tailored to your dog’s health needs and not replace regular meals.


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Can dogs eat shrimp tails?

While not toxic, shrimp tails should be removed to prevent choking hazards.

Are there health benefits to feeding my dog shrimp?

Shrimp is high in protein and contains beneficial nutrients but should be given as an occasional treat.

Can dogs eat shrimp shells?

Shells should be removed as they are tough to digest and can pose a choking risk.

Can puppies eat shrimp?

Puppies can have shrimp, provided they are cooked and cut into small pieces and have no allergies.

What are the signs of a shrimp allergy in dogs?

Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, itching, or hives. Consult your vet if these occur.

How should I introduce shrimp into my dog’s diet?

Start with small amounts to ensure no adverse reactions. Increase gradually if well-tolerated.

Can dogs eat shrimp with other foods?

Yes, but avoid mixing with seasonings or non-dog-friendly foods. Keep it simple and plain.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) –  FDA – Selecting and Serving Fresh and Frozen Seafood Safely

“Foods List” by UMass Medical School includes guidelines on safe pet foods.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – CDC – Food Safety



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