Dogs love eating any kind of meat they can get their paws on, but can they eat crab? Crab is seafood, so it’s often not thought of as a type of animal meat. However, many dog food brands contain seafood ingredients, especially fish like salmon and herring. Crab might not be the most common food for dogs to snatch from a human’s plate, but it’s always important to be prepared. Is it safe for dogs to eat crab meat and can you serve them crab now and then?
Can Dogs Eat Crab?
Yes, dogs can eat crab, but it might not be the best protein source for them. While it’s not toxic to dogs, it’s common for dogs to be allergic to shellfish, similarly to humans. Therefore, crab should always be served in moderation, especially if it’s your dog’s first time eating it.
If you serve crab to your dog, it should always be cooked and separated from the shell. The shell could be hazardous for your dog and the raw meat could contain parasites. It’s also a good idea to avoid imitation crab, which isn’t really crab at all. Imitation crab is processed and contains a lot of additives, such as sugar and sodium, which are not good for dogs. While imitation crab won’t put your dog’s life on the line, it’s more likely to cause an upset stomach than real crab is.
Benefits of Crab for Dogs
Serving small crab treats or using it as an ingredient in your dog’s food is okay. In fact, it can provide several benefits for your furry friend. Cooked crab is an excellent source of protein, and it also has essential vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and magnesium. Therefore, it can help keep your dog’s muscles, bones, and joints healthy.
Like most seafood, crab is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. A proper amount of fatty acids can keep your dog’s skin healthy and coat shiny while also fighting heart disease and improving kidney function. As long as you only serve the cooked meat of the crab in small amounts, your dog will likely benefit from it.
Risks of Crab for Dogs
When there are benefits, there are often risks involved too. As mentioned earlier, it’s risky to serve your dog the shell of the crab or raw meat. Raw crab usually carries intestinal parasites, which can be painful for your dog. The shell could also be sharp, which could cause a choking hazard or scratch your dog’s organs on the way down. You might notice your dog vomiting blood if this happens. If your dog somehow gets a hold of a raw crab or shell, it’s a good idea to contact your vet right away.
Even if you only serve your dog the healthy parts of a crab, it can be dangerous in large quantities. It should only be used as an occasional treat or flavor enhancer, never as a daily protein. Crab is high in iodine, sodium, and cholesterol, which can make it difficult for dogs to digest. It’s also likely to cause health concerns for sensitive dogs, so if your dog has a lot of allergies or sensitivities, it might be best to skip this food altogether. After all, if your dog is not familiar with seafood, they might be allergic to it without you knowing.
If you’re looking to serve crab as a unique protein source for dogs, it might not be the best option for them to choose. Most dogs will need some kind of transition when switching to an unfamiliar protein. So, if your dog is not used to eating seafood, you might want to choose something more common, such as chicken, beef, lamb, or pork for dogs. It’s important to note that if you serve your dog the cooked meat of any animal, it should not have added salt or seasoning on it since that could make your dog sick.
However, if your dog enjoys the taste of seafood, there are still plenty of options that are healthier than crab. Most dog parents choose seafood proteins because they’re high in omega fatty acids. Plain, deboned fish can be good alternatives to crab, especially salmon and herring. These proteins are more common for dogs and generally have the same benefits as crab.
Another excellent option is adding krill oil or fish oil to your dog’s meals. These products can also be purchased as supplements. They’re a great way to add more omega fatty acids into your dog’s diet without the added risks that pure seafood brings.
Yes, dogs can eat crab, but it might not be the healthiest protein source for them. If your dog snatches some crab meat off your plate, there’s no need to panic, but that doesn’t mean they should eat it on a daily basis. You might want to share food with your dog as much as possible, but sometimes it’s better to stick to the food that you already know they’re comfortable with. After all, the health benefits of human food for dogs is much more important than the taste.