Can Dogs Eat Prawns?

Prawns are one of the most nutritious types of seafood that are readily available on the market.

However, if you’re eating prawns and you’re wondering if you can give your dog a treat, you might be thinking: Can dogs eat prawns?

In this article, I will cover some key information about dogs eating prawns, including whether it’s safe for dogs to eat prawns and whether prawns are nutritious for them.

So, let’s get into it.

Can Dogs Eat Prawns

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Prawns?

Yes, dogs can eat prawns occasionally. However, this comes with the caveat that you can feed them freshly cooked prawns that you’ve prepared yourself, provided that you have deveined them and removed the shell, head, and tail.

Failure to remove these parts will increase your dog’s chances of choking.

Is it safe for your dog to eat store-bought prawns?

This depends if they are plain or not. Store-bought prawns can be coated in oils and flavorings. Prawns already contain a high level of sodium, and you don’t want to be feeding your pooch sodium in excess.

The prawns that you feed your dog shouldn’t be flavored or seasoned.

Are Prawns Nutritious For Dogs?

Yes, prawns are a highly nutritious food for dogs! Like many other types of seafood, prawns are packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Fatty acids help support your dog’s heart, eye health, skin, and joints.

However, their nutrition can decrease if you’re not wary of additives in store-bought packages.

Nutritional profile of prawns

Prawns have an excellent nutritional profile and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins which are good to support the nervous system and provide energy.
Prawns also contain protein, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iodine.

Supplementing your dog’s diet with these vitamins and minerals helps to strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth, promotes muscle growth and maintenance, can boost their metabolism and can help support their immune and nervous system.

That being said, you should be aware that prawns contain a high level of sodium and cholesterol. If your dog consumes too much sodium, it can result in excessive thirst and urination.

Even though the cholesterol found in prawns is good, they shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis. Bearing this in mind, you should treat prawns as a treat and only feed them to your dog in moderation.

Can dogs eat raw prawns?

No, a dog should never eat raw prawns. Raw seafood and shellfish can contain harmful parasites, which could make your pooch very unwell if they become exposed to them.

The safest way to feed your dog prawns is to prepare and cook them yourself, ensuring all inedible parts are removed.

A Few Notes On Feeding Your Dog Prawns 

While prawns are safe to feed to your dog, there are a few things to consider before blindly incorporating prawns into their diet. 

Introduce Prawns Slowly To Your Dog’s Diet

As with any new food that your dog isn’t used to, you will always need to make sure that you introduce prawns slowly. Patience is key when introducing any new foreign foods to your dog’s stomach.

In the same way that humans can, dogs can have allergic reactions to prawns. Every dog is different, and you can never precisely predict the type of foods your dog is going to be allergic or sensitive to until you discover a flare up or reaction. After all, your dog’s stomach is subjective to them!

You will need to allow your dog the opportunity to show signs that something is wrong after giving them a prawn to eat, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or irritated skin before you try giving them more prawns. If your dog does show any of these signs after eating a prawn, they could be suffering from an allergy or sensitivity and you should contact your vet immediately.

It’s also important to mention that dogs can have incredibly sensitive stomachs. If you overload them with a new food that their tummy isn’t used to, then they are much more likely to have an upset stomach as a result of this. Not only could this result in loose stools, but also could lead to them vomiting and having a decreased appetite.

Make sure that you monitor your dog carefully after they have tried a prawn for the first time. If they seem fine, then you can slowly introduce more. However, they should still be treated as a treat, even if your dog loves them and they have no adverse reactions to it.

It’s always better to be patient and introduce prawns slowly to avoid any upsets.

Remove The Shell And Inedible Parts Of The Prawns First

When feeding your dog prawns, you will also need to make sure that you remove the shell and any other inedible bits of the prawn such as the head and tail.

Although your dog has sharp teeth, it won’t be very comfortable for them to chew through and swallow sharp pieces of prawn shell and could really hurt on the way down.

If you fail to do this before giving your dog a prawn, they have a higher risk of choking and struggling to digest the prawns. Pieces of the broken prawn shell could even block your dog’s digestive tract, which could result in a much more serious problem if you’re not mindful to remove all of the inedible bits beforehand.

If your dog accidentally consumes a prawn shell, make sure that you are checking them regularly to make sure that you notice if something seems wrong. If your dog is displaying signs of discomfort or seems as if they are constipated as a result, you will need to contact your vet immediately. Failure to get your dog the appropriate care could be fatal if their bowel is blocked by broken pieces of a prawn shell.

Prepare The Prawns Correctly Before Giving Them To Your Dog

Your dog’s health and nutrition is really important to consider when you’re feeding them any kind of treat. That being said, when you’re cooking prawns that you also want to feed your dog, you should avoid adding salt or flavorings to them.

Feeding your dog plain prawns will ensure that they don’t consume too much sodium. You will also need to consider the method in which you want to prepare the prawns. However, if you know that you’re going to be feeding them to your dog then boiling is the best method to opt for. Boiling the prawns will mean that you can avoid adding too much fat and, in turn, reduces the risk of cross-contamination with other foods that could be dangerous or toxic for your dog to consume.

It’s also absolutely crucial to make sure that you thoroughly cook the prawns before you feed them to your dog. As I mentioned above, raw or undercooked prawns could contain pathogens or parasites that could harm your dog if they get into their body.

If you haven’t cooked the prawns properly, your dog will likely vomit or experience diarrhea if one of these pathogens or parasites enters their system. If this happens, you will need to contact your vet immediately and schedule an appointment.

Avoid Feeding Your Dog Other Foods That Contain Prawns

Just because prawns are safe for your dog to eat, doesn’t mean that other foods that contain prawns get the green light. While plain prawns make a nutritious snack, prawns that are covered or other foods that contain prawns should never be given to your dog.

For instance, you should avoid giving your dog garlic prawns, prawn toast, or prawn crackers. This comes down to the fact that these foods are often fried in oil and are seasoned heavily with salt.

Garlic prawns and prawn toast are dangerous for your dog to consume. In addition to their high salt and fat content, these prawns can contain toxic ingredients to dogs, such as garlic and onion.

Only Give Your Dog Prawns As A Treat 

While fresh prawns can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, they should only be given as an occasional treat.

Your dog’s development and health heavily relies on the diet that you provide them with. The majority of your dog’s diet should be made up of nutritionally balanced kibbles and wet dog food, with treats only contributing to 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Bearing this in mind, prawns shouldn’t be treated as a staple food of your dog’s diet, but as a delicious treat that they can enjoy every now and then.

In Summary

Yes, dogs can eat prawns as an occasional treat. That being said, you should avoid giving your dogs other foods that contain prawns, such as prawn toast or prawn crackers. These foods are fried in oil and contain too much salt for them to be considered healthy for your dog.

Make sure that you follow the tips in this article to ensure that your dog isn’t at risk. When introducing them to prawns for the first time, it’s important to do this slowly. This way, your dog has the time to show any signs that their stomach agrees or doesn’t agree with prawns as a treat.