If your dog sees raw shrimp left on the kitchen counter, they may not be able to help themselves when you step away and leave them unattended. Shrimp is a type of seafood that is often eaten by humans, but can dogs eat raw shrimp?
Read on to learn more about the safety of feeding raw shrimp to your dog and what to do if your dog has eaten raw shrimp.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Shrimp?
Raw shrimp can be a risky food for dogs to eat due to the potential for bacteria and parasites. Because of this, it’s best to avoid feeding raw shrimp to your dog. If your dog has only had a small amount of shrimp, not much may happen. But if there was a larger portion consumed, it could potentially lead to some painful side effects.
If the shrimp still has a shell on it, there’s also the chance that your dog could choke on it.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you remove the shell from the shrimp and cook it before giving it to your pup. Make sure to avoid adding any toxic seasonings such as garlic or onion powder.
If you’re looking to give your pup a seafood-based treat, cooked shrimp is generally a safer option. You can also look for dog treats that contain shrimp as an ingredient. These will go through a manufacturing process that removes any harmful bacteria or parasites.
As with any food, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian before feeding shrimp (or any seafood) to your dog. They can offer guidance based on your individual pup’s health and dietary needs.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Raw Shrimp?
Here are some potential side effects that could occur if your dog eats raw shrimp:
Since there are many pathogens in raw shrimp, it is possible for your dog to experience diarrhea after eating it. This is especially likely if a large amount was consumed. This is the body’s way of trying to quickly expel anything that could potentially make them sick.
Similar to diarrhea, vomiting is another way the body tries to get rid of something it perceives as dangerous. If your dog has only eaten a small amount of raw shrimp, it may be able to vomit it back up before any serious side effects occur.
An upset stomach is common after eating raw shrimp. This can manifest as gas, bloating, or pain in the abdomen.
There is a risk of parasites when eating raw shrimp. These can cause a variety of health problems including gastrointestinal issues, anemia, and weight loss.
There are also many harmful bacteria in raw shrimp that can make your dog sick with food poisoning. This includes E. coli and salmonella. Bacterial poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. If not treated quickly, it could even be fatal.
If your dog has eaten raw shrimp, they may start to feel tired or lethargic. This is because their body is working hard to try and get rid of the offending food item and they need to conserve their energy.
If your dog ate raw shrimp that still had the shell on, they may start to choke. You can identify choking if you hear your dog coughing or see them pawing at their mouth. If this happens, check their gums to see if they are darkening in color, which indicates that oxygen isn’t reaching their tissues.
It’s also possible for your dog to have an allergic reaction to raw shrimp. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.
Sometimes, especially if your dog doesn’t chew a piece of shrimp that still has a shell on, it can cause an intestinal blockage. This is when part of the intestine gets blocked off and prevents food from passing through.
Symptoms of an intestinal blockage include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. If not treated quickly, an intestinal blockage can be fatal.
Will Raw Shrimp Hurt a Dog?
While it’s not always problematic, its entirely possible that consuming raw shrimp can be harmful for your dog. As mentioned above, the most common issues your pup will experience include gastrointestinal distress, food poisoning, and choking.
In some cases, however, the consequences can be much more severe. If your dog has a shellfish allergy, for example, they could have a life-threatening reaction to raw shrimp. Intestinal blockage is another potential complication that could be deadly if not treated quickly.
Overall, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding raw shrimp to your dog. If you want to give them seafood as a treat, there are many cooked options that are safe and nutritious. You can also talk to your veterinarian about what might be best for your individual pup.
What Should I Do if My Dog Ate Raw Shrimp?
If your dog ate raw shrimp, here are some things you should do:
Call your Veterinarian
If your dog is experiencing any symptoms, it’s best to call your veterinarian and describe what happened. They will be able to give you specific advice on what to do next and whether or not you need to bring your pup in for an examination.
Watch for Symptoms
As mentioned above, there are many potential symptoms that could occur after eating raw shrimp. These range from mild, like an upset stomach, to severe, like anaphylactic shock. Keep them in close range and monitor your dog’s behaviors for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Perform the Heimlich maneuver
If your dog is choking, you’ll need to perform the Heimlich maneuver. This involves standing behind your dog and using your hands to create an upward thrusting motion on their abdomen. Have someone else in the home call emergency services while you perform the Heimlich.
Make Them Vomit (If Recommended)
If your dog has food poisoning, your veterinarian may recommend making them vomit to get rid of the contaminated food. To do this, you’ll need to give them a small amount of hydrogen peroxide orally. Do not attempt to make your dog vomit unless instructed to.
Give Them Benadryl
If your dog is having an allergic reaction, you can give them Benadryl to help with the symptoms. Make sure your vet instructs you on the correct dosage and only give it to your dog if they are experiencing a reaction.
Monitor Their Stool
If you’re concerned about an intestinal blockage, keep an eye on your dog’s stool. If it’s hard, dry, and/or bloody, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice these changes.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, it’s important to keep them hydrated. Offer them small sips of water or ice chips frequently throughout the day.
Give Your Dog Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your dog’s gut. This can be helpful if they’ve been vomiting, have diarrhea, or have food poisoning. You can give them probiotics by adding them to their food or water.