Can dogs eat oysters and other seafood as treats? And how many oysters can they eat? We’ll answer these questions and more below!
Are Oysters Toxic to Dogs?
Don’t worry, oysters are not toxic for dogs. In fact, they are quite healthy for our canine friends to eat as an occasional snack. Of course, you’ll want to watch out for potential seafood allergies, make sure to not overfeed your dog with oysters, and make sure they’re cooked. But we’ll get into all of those details below.
As far as being toxic… the only thing you’d have to worry about is the fact that oysters are “filter feeders,” meaning that they naturally eat toxins in the ocean. The important thing is to buy from a reputable seafood distributor. Make sure the oysters come from clean, colder waters—not during the summer months. And ask if they test for toxicity before you purchase them.
These rules all apply to canines eating oysters, and humans eating oysters.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Oysters?
Again, oysters in and of themselves are not harmful for dogs to eat. But something you will want to watch out for is a fish allergy in your dog. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to seafood. So it’s important to start out with a small portion first. Then watch and wait for any adverse reactions. A few typical food allergen signs to watch for are:
- Chronic itchiness
- Frequent ear infections
- Skin lesions
If you notice any of these, stop feeding your dog any seafood immediately. And contact your veterinarian to find out what the root cause really is. These symptoms could also be from environmental triggers, or even seasonal allergies.
How Many Oysters Can a Dog Eat?
When it comes to snacking, remember… everything in moderation! Oysters have lots of great health benefits for dogs. But even healthy snacks should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet. And the other 90% should be from their regular, nutritionally-balanced dog food.
If you’re not sure how much that would be, remember—less is more. And it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian when it comes to your dog’s diet and health. Depending on your dog’s size, a good rule of thumb would be to just give them one or two oysters.
Why are Oysters Good for Dogs?
Like other shellfish, oysters contain large amounts of Omega-3s and other fatty acids. These are a big help with reducing inflammation—which not only helps your dog’s joints, but their health overall. And the fatty acids are great for their skin and coat health too!
Oysters also contain vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, vitamin B12, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. And oysters are even a great source of protein. Which is helpful for keeping your dog’s muscles strong and healthy.
How to Feed Oysters to Your Dog
Your dog will love eating oysters as a fun treat… especially because of the great fatty taste! And there’s actually a few different ways that you can safely feed oysters to your dog. Just remember to keep the snack portions small, and always remove the shells. Here are some examples of how to feed oysters to your dog:
1. Cooked or steamed
You can cook up the oysters on the stove, or steam them. Always remove the shells, and remember to not add any sauces, seasonings, butter, or oils.
You can use an oyster powder and sprinkle it over your dog’s regular food, or even mix it in with other treats.
3. Freeze-dried treats
Some dog treats actually use freeze-dried shellfish. Your dog will love the taste, and you’ll love the health benefits.
Can Dogs Eat Mussels?
Yes! Just like oysters, scallops offer all of the same great health benefits as a tasty new treat for your sweet pup. They have omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, copper, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
Although some dogs do suffer from shellfish allergies—just like humans do—most dogs are totally fine with eating shellfish. And seafood like scallops are extremely healthy snacks for dogs with plenty of health benefits. Remember to avoid adding any sauces, seasonings, butter, or oil. We want your pup to only eat healthy, whole foods—no added ingredients that are unhealthy or toxic.
Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Shrimp is another great, healthy snack choice to feed your dog. Shrimp contains nutrients like vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus, and antioxidants. But make sure to only feed your dog cooked shrimp. “Raw, uncooked shellfish contain harmful pathogens,” so make sure your dog’s shrimp is always cooked through. And remember, no extra seasonings or sauces on this shellfish either.
Shellfish Treats for Dogs
If you’re ready for something fun and new to give your sweet canine for a treat, try out some shellfish! They’ll love the taste. Just be sure to start out with a small sample size the first time around. Then watch and see how your dog reacts. If all seems fine, this could be a new favorite treat for them. As long as you serve it in moderation, so your precious pup can stay as healthy as can be.
For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
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