Can Dogs Eat Seafood

Can Dogs Eat Seafood

Yes, dogs can eat seafood as long as it’s properly cooked, deboned, and deshelled. Seafood like salmon, mussels, shrimps, scallops, shellfish, and small oily fish including sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, and smelts are safe and make great additions to a dog’s diet when given in moderation.

Seafood provides a good source of proteins that dogs need to build and maintain lean, strong, and healthy muscles. Proteins provide the essential amino acids that help in building and protecting cells, ligaments, tissues, and muscles. Proteins are also good sources of energy that keep dogs going.

Seafood is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. These fats aid the body of dogs in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Fats also help in building an insulation layer that keeps a dog’s body warm or cold and protects its internal organs.  Omega-3 fats are also necessary for reducing inflammations, maintaining healthy skin and coat, proper cognitive and neural development, and cancer and arthritis prevention.

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Seafood boasts of several minerals like zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and iodine. These play important roles including boosting immunity, maintaining healthy thyroid functions, enhancing wound healing, facilitating carbohydrate, fat, and protein breakdown, supporting healthy blood formation, and preventing cell and tissue damage.

Several vitamins including vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K are also abundant in seafood. These are essential for good eye and bone health, aiding breakdown and release of energy from food, healthy nervous system functioning, and proper skin health.

However, despite the many benefits that seafood provides, there are also risks associated with it. First, seafood may be contaminated with toxins, heavy metals, and other pollutants that are harmful to the health of dogs. There is also the risk of bacterial or parasitic infections from feeding raw seafood.

Raw Seafood 

While sushi is a healthy and delicious treat for humans, it is totally different for canines. Generally, uncooked seafood harbors dangerous pathogens that can make dogs very sick if consumed in large amounts.

Can dogs eat raw seafood safely?

Absolutely not. Raw seafood is dangerous and harmful for dogs. This is because it is contaminated with pathogens and toxic metals that cause serious health complications in dogs.

Raw seafood harbors infection-causing parasites like tapeworms, roundworms, and flukes. While some of these may be digested without any negative effects, others can make your dog very sick if eaten. 

Raw seafood may also contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella or listeria. These can result in severe infections, including vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Additionally, some seafood may be loaded with heavy metals like lead and mercury, which can lead to toxicity and other health problems if ingested in large amounts.

Cooked Seafood 

Seafood is best served to dogs cooked. Cooking not only kills any pathogens and harmful substances that may be present in raw seafood but also makes it easy to digest.

Can dogs eat cooked seafood safely?

Yes, cooked seafood is healthy and safe for dogs to consume. Cooking makes it digestible and enhances nutrient absorption in dogs. Most importantly, cooking seafood kills all parasites and bacteria that raw seafood may carry, making it less likely to give your dog an infection or other health problems.

Cooking seafood can also help get rid of heavy metals and other toxins including mercury and lead, which cause toxicity in dogs.

Generally, it is advisable to feed dogs only cooked seafood and never raw to ensure their safety and health.

Fried Seafood 

Fried foods in general are a poor choice for dogs. Because of their cooking method, fried foods, seafood included, are excessively fatty and hence unhealthy for dogs.

Can dogs eat fried seafood safely? 

No, it’s best to keep fried seafood out of your dog’s way. This is because they contain high amounts of fats, which can harm dogs. Feeding highly fatty seafood to dogs in large amounts can lead to upset stomach, including vomiting and diarrhea at the very least. High-fat foods can also lead to other serious health complications such as obesity, pancreatitis, heart, and joint issues if consumed in large amounts.

Pancreatitis is a serious condition marked by inflammation of the pancreas and may be fatal if not promptly handled.

Fried seafood may also contain other added ingredients like onion, garlic, salt, and other seasonings, all of which are harmful to dogs. Feeding these to dogs may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms of digestive upset.

Seafood Meat 

Seafood meat such as fillet is a good source of easily digestible proteins, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, all of which play crucial roles in supporting the general health of dogs.

Can dogs eat seafood meat safely?

Yes, dogs can eat seafood meat safely as long as it’s deboned, shelled, and thoroughly cooked. Feeding deboned and shelled seafood meat eliminates the risk of your dog choking from small bones. This makes it not only nutritious but also very safe for dogs.

For maximum health benefits, seafood meat for dogs should be cooked plain without oils, salt, or other seasonings which can harm dogs.

What Else Can Dogs Eat Together with Seafood? 

The following foods make a great addition to seafood for dogs:

Rice: Dogs can eat rice safely in moderation. It’s a good source of easily digestible carbohydrates that supply energy that keeps dogs moving. As such, it’s included in many commercial dog foods as an ingredient.

Rice is additionally low in fiber and is recommended for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. Rice contains minerals like calcium, iron, and folate which can contribute to the health of dogs.

Rice for dogs should be prepared without any oils, salts, spices, or other seasonings that are harmful to dogs. However, rice is excessively starchy and has a high glycemic index. It can thus cause a rise in blood sugar levels, making it unsuitable for dogs with diabetes.

High-carbohydrate foods like rice can also lead to unhealthy weight gain and consequently canine obesity if fed in large amounts. It’s, therefore, crucial to observe moderation while feeding rice to dogs to avoid health issues.

Pumpkin: Dogs can eat plain pumpkin safely provided it’s given in moderation. This vegetable is listed among superfoods as it’s loaded with beneficial nutrients, micronutrients, and fiber. Pumpkin contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and lycopene. The meaty part of the pumpkin provides a great source of hydration, which is especially important for dogs that don’t drink a lot of water throughout the day.

Pumpkin also contains loads of potassium which boosts metabolism, improves muscle health, and controls blood pressure. The pumpkin seeds are packed with antioxidants and omega fats which are crucial for eye, skin, coat, and heart health.

Due to its high fiber content, pumpkin helps keep dogs full for longer, making it great for weight management. Plain, canned pumpkin is the best choice for dogs. However, pumpkin is high in starches and should be given in moderation to avoid health problems.

Zucchini: Dogs can consume zucchini with seafood safely and gain from its nutritional benefits. It contains several health-promoting components including antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

The following are some of the advantages of zucchini for dogs:

It’s low in calories but high in fiber, hence ideal for dogs with huge appetites or those trying to shed some pounds.

It’s high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes digestion and improves bowel and colon health. High fiber content can also help keep the blood sugar levels in check.

It’s packed with antioxidants that help curb the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, combat diseases, and infections, and slow down the aging process in dogs.

It’s high in vitamins A, C, B6, and K which are helpful in promoting a dog’s vision, skin, bone, and cartilage health as well as supporting proper blood coagulation and metabolism.

Brussel sprouts: These vegetables are packed with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, all of which support good health in dogs.  This can go very well with seafood, making it an excellent addition to a dog’s diet.

Some of the benefits of feeding Brussel sprouts to dogs include:

  • They contain vitamins A, C, B1, and B6 which are essential for reproductive, immune, eye, and cognitive health in dogs.
  • Has vital K which dogs need for healthy blood clotting and coagulation, as well as to build strong bones.
  • Loaded with kaempferol which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps in reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
  • Has plenty of antioxidants that fight against the free radicals that cause oxidative stress to the body cells and boost cognitive healthy
  • They are a good source of fiber, which keeps the digestive system flowing smoothly and ensures healthy bowel movements.

Brussel sprouts should however be fed in moderate amounts as they contain some levels of isothiocyanates which can lead to a gastric upset in dogs if ingested in large amounts. These vegetables also have a tendency of causing gassiness and flatulence, even in small amounts.

What are the health advantages of feeding Seafood to your dog? 

These are some of the benefits of feeding seafood to your dog:

  • Good source of protein: Seafood provides an excellent source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins. This is a great alternative for dogs that have allergies to other protein sources like beef and chicken. Proteins are important building blocks in dogs’ bodies. They supply the amino acids necessary for building strong and lean muscles, tissues, ligaments, and cells. This ensures proper body functioning in dogs. Proteins also help in boosting immunity, supplying energy, and maintaining healthy coat and skin in dogs.
  • Packed with omega fats: Seafood is loaded with good omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. These play important roles like insulating the body against coldness, protecting body cells and tissues, reducing inflammations, improving skin and coat health, promoting heart health, as well as helping dogs fight diseases like arthritis and cancer.
  • Contains selenium: This mineral is essential for the proper functioning and health of the immune system and helps prevent cellular and tissue damage.
  • B-complex vitamins: Seafood boasts of several B vitamins including B3, B6, and B12. These vitamins are essential in the breakdown of food to release energy, healthy nervous system and skin, and aid in the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Rich in vitamin A: This keeps the immune system of dogs in perfect working condition, and helps with proper bone growth. And enhances good vision in dogs.
  • Contains iodine: This mineral is crucial in the making of thyroid hormones, which keep cells and a dog’s metabolic rate healthy.

What are the disadvantages of feeding Seafood to your dog? 

Despite the health benefits, there are disadvantages to feeding seafood to your dog. These include:

  • Potential allergies: While most dogs can tolerate seafood very well, some others may get allergic reactions from feeding on seafood. If feeding seafood for the first time to your dog, give very small amounts while watching its reactions.
  • Toxicity: Seafood may be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and mercury or other toxic substances that may cause health problems in dogs. Eating seafood in large amounts can lead to the build-up of these substances, causing toxicity.
  • Parasitic or bacterial infections: Raw seafood carries harmful parasites like roundworm, tapeworm, or flukes and dangerous bacteria including salmonella and Listeria which can make your dog very sick if consumed. It’s therefore advisable to properly cook seafood to kill these pathogens before feeding it to dogs.

What are the best dog foods with Seafood? 

Seafood is packed with nutrients that are beneficial to the health of dogs. Besides being a good source of easily digestible proteins, seafood is also loaded with a healthy dose of omega fatty acids. Feeding seafood to dogs can help them build strong and lean muscles, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy skin and coat, and help in the management of diseases like arthritis.

Seafood also contains various vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B3, B6, and B12, selenium, zinc, iodine, and magnesium. These nutrients play crucial roles in supporting the overall health and wellbeing of dogs.

Given these health benefits, many dog food brands incorporate seafood in their recipes to promote the health of dogs. Some of the best foods containing seafood include:

How Much Seafood Should I Feed My Dog? 

Just like other foods, seafood is best fed to dogs in moderation. Feeding this in high amounts and too frequently can lead to digestive upset, including diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. Seafood is rich in omega fats which, while they are healthy and beneficial, can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs.

Depending on their size and weight, different dogs can take different amounts of seafood. Large dogs can tolerate larger amounts of seafood compared to smaller ones. However, the general rule is that seafood should never make up more than 10% of a dog’s diet.

If feeding seafood for the first to your dog, introduce it in very small amounts and watch out for any adverse reactions. You should also consult your vet on the ideal amounts of seafood for your dog.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.