Just fixed yourself a crab salad, and now you’re thinking can dogs eat crab before you offer him a few pieces from your plate?
Well, it’s always a good idea to be on the cautious side before you feed your dog food from your plate, especially if, to your knowledge, he’s never eaten it before. But concerning crab, you’re probably okay to give him a small amount. We say start with a small amount because, like some humans, some dogs may also be allergic to shellfish.
Of course, we’re talking about crab out of the shell. We wouldn’t expect you to give him crab with the shell on; that would be dangerous.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the benefits for your dog of eating crab meat, the possible problems, and can dogs be allergic to crab meat?
Are there any drawbacks to feeding your dog crab? Let’s find out.
Is Crab Safe For Dogs To Eat?
What’s Good About Crabmeat For Dogs?
Well, surprisingly, crab meat may hold more health benefits for dogs than fish.
1. Crab Is A Source Of Protein
- Crab is renowned for being an excellent protein source, containing almost as much protein as meat, weight for weight, without the same issue of saturated fat.
- Crab protein is high-quality and easily-digestible.
2. Crabmeat Contains Long-Chain Fatty Acids
- High in minerals and vitamins but low in fat. Crabmeat also contains Omega-3.
- Omega-3 is said to give protection to counter heart disease and help in brain development.
- The Omega-3 in crab meat are long-chain fatty acids. The body can immediately use long-chain fatty acids, unlike short-chain, which must be converted to long-chain first.
3. Crab Contains Selenium
- Shellfish contain selenium, but crab meat contains much more.
- Selenium is vital for the immune system and can prevent damage to cell tissue.
- Selenium is involved in the immune system functions.
- One hundred grams of crab has more than 100% of the daily recommended amounts of selenium.
- Crab contains far more selenium than fish or beef.
What’s Not Good About Crab For Dogs
Sadly even when we find something packed with the right vitamins and minerals and full of health benefits, there’s always a downside. And so it is with crab.
Crab is both high in cholesterol and sodium, and there might be a situation where your dog is allergic to crab. Which, of course, you won’t know until he’s tried some.
Excess sodium is particularly bad for dogs. It can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. If elevated levels of sodium continue, then it might result in seizures.
If your dog likes the taste of crab, and not every dog does, then let him have small amounts as a special treat, but not on too regular a basis. You must always ensure the crab you buy is ultra-fresh. Feeding dogs or humans contaminated crab meat is a recipe for disaster. Also, do not feed crab meat to your dog raw. Always cook it first.
Can Dogs Eat Crab Sticks?
Crab sticks are a kind of fish meat with additives and flavorings to taste like a crab.
They are not suitable for humans or dogs, and we advise against feeding them to your dog.
There is precious little, if any, nutritional value for a dog from crab sticks. So really, what’s the point, especially if it might give your dog some kind of allergic reaction.
Signs Of Crab Meat Allergy In Dogs
If you’ve given your dog crab meat for the first time and he’s not looking very well, you might think he’s having an allergic reaction to the crab. Here are some signs.
- Runny and or red eyes
- Dry or runny nose
- Sneezing constantly
- His lips and or face may swell
- Overly tired
Your dog may not present all these symptoms, but if you think it’s because of the crab, you should get in touch with your vet. Sometimes an allergic reaction can affect the dog’s throat and may restrict breathing.
How To Cook Crab Meat For Your Dog
If you’re going to cook a whole crab and give it to your dog over a few days, you must thoroughly cook the crab first.
Drop it into a pot of boiling water. Don’t be tempted to add any kind of seasonings like salt or garlic. When you take it out of the pot, shell the crab making sure there’s no shell anywhere on the meat.
Once again, don’t be tempted to serve the crab with anything added, like butter or oil. Also, don’t give your dog the whole crab at once. Refer back to the earlier part of the article where we discussed what’s bad about crab meat.
My Dog Ate A Crab At The Beach
Unless you take your dog to the beach, this more than likely isn’t going to apply to you. But dogs and crabs regularly bump into each other when they are running around and playing on a beach.
A crab might be too tempting a snack to pass up, so the dog might want to sample the delights of a live crab lunch. It might not be a live crab the dog comes across; in fact, more than likely, it will be a dead one.
As we established earlier, for a crab to be safe to eat, it needs cooking properly; even eating a live crab isn’t safe. But eating a dead or rotten crab well, we’re sure we don’t need to talk about the dangers in that.
So if you see your dog playing with one, dead or alive, we advise you to take it from him immediately.
In 2018 a dog playing on the beach in the UK ate something that was on the beach. The owner took his dog home. Once home, the dog, a healthy 7-year-old Husky, jumped out of the car and immediately began vomiting. The owner saw crab claws in the vomit. Within an hour of this, the dog tragically died.
It is a severe risk to your dog’s health, so we urge you to be vigilant about any crabs your dog finds on the beach.
Can dogs eat crab? In the main, yes but, there are certain provisos as we have talked about in the article.
Ensure you cook the crab properly, remove every bit of shell before you feed it to your dog. Only give small amounts and maybe not even daily. If it’s the first time your dog has eaten crab, provide him with only a tiny amount until you can establish he’s not allergic.
As a kid, I grew up with lots of dogs in my family. My earliest recollection was a Labrador mix called Bruce, and I must have only been about three years old.
When I was around seven, we began to move around frequently, so having a dog was very difficult until we adopted a baby long-haired Dachshund. I was thirteen by then. We called him Pepe; I have no idea why; all I can say was it wasn’t my idea. But he did seem to grow into the name.
I’ve personally been the parent of a Great Dane called Lady, a French Bulldog we called Spike. I have also had the privilege of being the parent of one of the gorgeous cats on the planet; a British Blue Shorthair called Ellie. Right now, we have an amazing little Havanese in our family; we call Biscuit; he’s four years old.
I pride myself on being the very best dog-parent I can be. I refuse to bring a dog into my life without investing as much time as possible to understand that dog’s particular needs. Every dog I have parented has been an experience, and they are all different with incredible personalities.
To understand dogs as much as possible, I have taken several courses regarding dog care and training. The most recent course is The Truth About Cats And Dogs, offered by The University Of Edinburgh.
My dogs and cat have been the funniest and most unique animals I have ever been privileged to spend my life with. They can teach human beings so much if we take the time to watch and listen to them. My ambition is to share what I have learned with other passionate dog lovers.
I am obsessed with writing and researching everything I can about dog health, care, psychology, and finding the best dog products available to help ensure a dog’s life is as happy and contented as possible.