Prawns are among the most popular seafood that graces our dining tables. These shellfish are affordable, very nutritious, and you can prepare them in many ways.
If you have a dog at home, you will realise it also fancies prawns. It will patiently wait for you to toss a piece while you snack on the seafood. This leads us to our subject; can dogs eat prawns? It is a common query among dog owners who want the best for their furry friends.
Keep up with us as we answer this question and many more on dogs eating prawns.
What Are Prawns?
Prawns are aquatic crustaceans and may go by shrimp in other regions. They have an exoskeleton and ten legs; you must peel the thin exoskeleton before eating it. Prawns live in cold and warm waters and can be farmed in ponds.
Several varieties of this shellfish exist. You will most likely encounter the North Atlantic, tiger and king prawns in the UK.
Are Prawns Safe For Dogs?
Yes, your dog can eat prawns. Many veterinarians will recommend an occasional seafood treat for your pup for its nutrient needs. While prawns are safe, moderation is key should you decide to introduce them to your canine’s diet.
Nutritional Benefits Of Prawns
Prawns are very nutritious, a reason why your dog should have them occasionally. The following are some of the nutrients prawns pack and their roles.
These crustaceans are excellent sources of proteins. Your doggo requires proteins to provide amino acids that aid muscle growth, tissue repair, and healthy skin and hair. Proteins are also necessary to manufacture hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Prawns are rich in B vitamins like B6, B12, and niacin. These vitamins act as coenzymes, facilitating several biochemical processes in the body, such as converting carbs into glucose. Prawns also contain vitamins A, D, and E, which are great immune boosters, ensuring all-round protection against illnesses.
Shellfish and seafood, in general, pack plenty of minerals. Prawns will provide your canine with iodine, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Iodine is essential for thyroid health and function. A healthy thyroid improves metabolism and promotes brain health. A sufficient serving of this mineral prevents hypothyroidism, which causes weight loss, dry skin, rashes and hair loss.
Your canine needs phosphorus for tissue growth and maintenance and for balancing other minerals and vitamins in the body. The other minerals are vital for several physiological processes.
Prawns are good sources of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, primarily omega-3. This fatty acid is ideal for puppies, sick, and ageing dogs, as it is an immune booster. It is handy for brain and cognitive development.
Omega 3 is a potent anti-inflammatory and will offer relief to allergies and arthritis. Moreover, it promotes a healthy coat and wound healing.
Like humans, dogs are prone to cellular oxidative stress brought about by free-roaming radicals. Oxidative stress contributes to cancer, a hard-to-manage condition. Your canine needs antioxidants that neutralise the radicals.
Prawns provide your doggo with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant. It comes from alga that the crustaceans eat and is responsible for their pinkish-red colour. Astaxanthin works with selenium, a mineral with antioxidative properties to prevent cancer, heart diseases, and a weakened immune system.
In summary, the following are the benefits of your pup eating prawns.
- A robust immune system
- A well-developed brain and cognitive development
- Less susceptibility to cancer, heart diseases, and arthritis
- Relief from allergic reactions
- Tissue healing
- A healthy coat
How To Prepare Prawns For Dogs?
You need to get fresh prawns for your furry friend. Clean them thoroughly, then deshell. You also have to get rid of the head, tail and legs.
Boil the prawns thoroughly, without any additives. You may add dog-friendly spices, like coriander and turmeric, into the cooking pot. Nevertheless, it is best to keep the dish plain, as your dog may not warm up to some of the spices, despite their safety.
Start with a small serving if you are feeding your dog prawns for the first time, as it may take some time before it gets used to the new food. You can throw a few pieces of this seafood onto its regular dog food.
Never force dogs to eat prawns or any other food, as they can get aggressive.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Prawns?
Many people are buying into the fad of feeding dogs raw food. While it is okay for dogs to eat some food raw, like duck and beef, they should not eat raw prawns. Most shellfish contain microbes and parasites that can bring about many complications.
If you insist on raw prawns, you may consider getting them from legitimate stores with fresh seafood. Alternatively, you may freeze the prawns for maybe two weeks to kill the microbes and parasites. Thaw the seafood and serve your dog. Nonetheless, it is better to cook prawns for your pup, a sure way of dealing with pathogens.
Can Prawns Be Harmful To Dogs?
You have to be careful when adding prawns to your dog’s diet. Highlighted are potential risks from dogs eating prawns.
Shellfish are responsible for various allergic reactions, both in humans and dogs. Before introducing your dog to prawns, you should consult your veterinarian to rule out any allergies. Signs of shellfish allergies in dogs are tummy upsets, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching, bald spots, ear infections and lethargy.
Keep prawns and other seafood away from your pup if you notice such reactions. You should then contact your pet doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Prawns can ingest metals from the seabed, which pass along the food chain. These crustaceans can harbour metals like mercury, lead and copper, which are toxic in large quantities. Your dog may suffer metal poisoning if it consumes tainted seafood.
Signs of metal poisoning include abdominal cramping, anaemia, behavioural changes and general body weakness. Severe exposure presents the risks of cancer, organ failure, seizures and death.
Your vet can help control metal poisoning in dogs. Prevent such a scenario by getting your shellfish from credible stores.
Parasite And Pathogen Infestation
Raw and improperly handled prawns expose dogs to pathogens like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Also, it may get parasites like tapeworms.
Get fresh prawns, clean and thoroughly cook them to kill these harmful organisms.
You must remove and get rid of prawns’ shells, feet, heads and tails, as they are hard to chew and can cause choking. Moreover, the shell has sharp edges that can damage the gums and intestinal tract.
Prawns can be problematic to pups with a sensitive tummy, especially if they are having the shellfish for the first time. You may notice abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea. Keep prawns away from dogs with this condition or gradually introduce it into their diet until they get accustomed.
1. Can Dogs Eat Canned Prawns?
Canned prawn is not suitable for dogs as they may contain ingredients that can harm them. Most canned seafood contains brine for taste and preservation. As you know, brine contains plenty of salt, which can cause sodium ion toxicity when consumed.
Other canned shellfish may contain garlic or citric acid; all are toxic to dogs. Fresh prawn from a legit store is the best option.
2. Can Dogs Eat Garlic Prawns?
No, your dog should not eat food with garlic or any member of the onion family due to their toxicity. Garlic and onions contain sulphur compounds, which will denature their red blood cells, leading to haemolytic anaemia.
3. Why is My Dog Refusing Prawns?
Prawns are suitable for dogs, courtesy of their exceptional nutritional value. However, your dog may avoid this seafood for many reasons. The food may be rotten, and the smell repels it. Please do not give your dog spoiled food as it may lead to food poisoning.
Your dog may pass a bowl of prawns if they have a lot of seasoning. Some spices, like black pepper, can irritate canines.
Also, you may expect such a reaction on initial exposure. Your dog may see it as something foreign and choose to keep away.
4. How Many Prawns Should Dogs Eat?
A piece or two of prawns offered up to thrice weekly is acceptable. Moderation is vital when feeding your dogs; prawns should not replace dog food.
What Are The Best Alternatives To Prawns For Dogs?
You may be unable to give your dog prawns for many reasons, such as allergies or unavailability. In such a situation, you may consider alternatives like salmon and sardines. They are tasty and have an almost-similar nutritional value as prawns.
Sardines and salmon are readily available in most areas and are affordable. Remove the bones from the fish before serving your canine.
Dogs can eat and actually enjoy prawns. You do not have to panic if your dog grabs a piece of this seafood from your kitchen, as it will get a decent boost of various nutrients. Proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins are some of the nutrients in prawns.
Nevertheless, you must consult your vet before offering prawns to your furball to check for allergies and other conditions that this shellfish can trigger. Always cook prawns for your dogs to kill pathogens and parasites.