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Can Dogs Eat Prawns?

Updated: 4 days ago

can dogs eat prawns

Can dogs eat prawns?


Does your small dog adore seafood? Do they love fish treats or meals?

Prawns could be just what you need!

Where do prawns come from, though? Are they okay for dogs? What should be done to prepare them?

We will talk about all of these things to make sure you can determine if prawns are the right treat to feed your pooch.

prawns on a plate, can dogs eat prawns

Important facts about prawns


Dogs benefit greatly from prawns' high natural protein, phosphorus, iodine, antioxidant, B-vitamin, and omega oil content.

Prawns benefit your dog's brain, heart, skin, and joints as long as you don't give them too many.

Finding responsibly farmed prawns from MSC-certified fisheries can be challenging since numerous prawns produced in East Asia violate fundamental human rights and harm the natural world.

You can buy prawns fresh or dry, without or with the shell.

However, the best way to serve your pooch prawns is to remove the entire shell (including the head, legs, and tail) and cook them all through.

Prawn shells can block intestines and have dangerous germs.

To avoid getting sick from germs, thoroughly disinfect the area around you and your hands after touching the seafood.

can dogs eat prawns

What Are Prawns for Dogs?


People in many different countries catch prawns. They can be raised on farms, captured with netting, or taken with trawls in the sea or near land.

It's usual for farmed prawns to be given too many chemicals and medicines, even though they are better for the environment as they don't hurt wild prawn populations.

Consuming prawns from Vietnam, Thailand, and China is not a morally sound option because of the inhumane farming practices that go into their production. 

However, the labels on prawn goods aren't always perfect, and it can be hard to be sure that a product can be tracked.

When you buy prawns, always check if the company that made them is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved.

This approval means that all these prawns came from sources and anglers that are MSC-green.

prawns on a plate, can dogs eat prawns

Dog food from prawns can differ based on who makes them and how they're processed. Both entire dried prawns and dried prawns without shells are available for purchase. 

Usually, prawns are dried in a professional drying room. This process means all the prawn's nutrients are left intact. 

Dried prawns are preferred over fresh ones since they keep considerably longer and don't need to be cooked at home before being opened and given to your dog. 

We shall talk about the pros and cons of feeding prawn shells later. Crustacean shells also include glucosamine, a building block for joint cartilage.

Another option is to purchase raw prawns and cook them yourself.

If you want to make your own homemade prawn treats, you should always take the prawns' heads, tails, and legs off the shell and cook or boil them through before offering them as treats to your dog. 

You don't have to take out the veins. Then, you can feed them as a meal, as a snack, or cut them into small pieces to use as high-reward training treats.

raw prawns, can dogs eat prawns

Raw Prawns and Small Dogs


There are dog owners who support giving their pets raw whole prawns.

But even though they are full of nutrients in their original state, they may also be very toxic.

In this case, the shells could puncture the gut, or bacteria could make your dog sick. Because of this, people should not feed their dogs raw shrimp with the shell still on.

prawns on a plate, can dogs eat prawns

Why Prawns Are Good For Dogs


Dogs can benefit from prawns' many health advantages. In addition to being healthy food, they help keep the brain, heart, and joints fit.

The Main Benefits:

Health of the Joints

Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6, found in prawns, have been shown to help joints.

Prawns are full of nutrients that help keep the skeleton (including teeth) and kidneys fit. 

They have a lot of natural substances in them. They naturally have a lot of iodine, a mineral necessary for brain and thyroid function. 

Iodine supplements shouldn't be needed because your dog's healthy food should have enough for them.

On the contrary, if your dog's thyroid isn't working properly, adding prawns to their daily food may help.

Omega-3 and Omega-6

There are a lot of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (sometimes called omega oils) in them. Natural substances called fatty acids have been shown by science to reduce inflammation. 

Additionally, they improve the health of the skin and joints by bolstering the skin barrier's resistance to environmental irritants and increasing the viscosity of the joint fluid, which enhances the joint's capacity to absorb concussive forces and glide effortlessly.

prawns in a tray, can dogs eat prawns

Info About Nutrition (Dried Prawns)


78 to 80% protein

9 per cent ash, 2 to 4 per cent fat

Fibre 0.2% to 2%

Vitamins and minerals Moisture 6–7%

Vitamin A and B


Vitamin B6

The antioxidant astaxanthin.



Prawns have a lot of calcium, protein, and B vitamins.

For a dog's muscles to grow and its DNA to be made, its food should contain a lot of protein. B vitamins also affect how cells work, how the brain works, and how much energy you have.

Phosphorus helps keep bones, including teeth, healthy and kidneys working well. 

can dogs eat prawns

Antioxidants Selenium and Astaxanthin


Moreover, astaxanthin and selenium, two powerful antioxidants, are abundant in prawns.

Free radicals can hurt dogs' bodies, but antioxidants keep them safe. Antioxidants make your dog's immune system stronger.

In some cases, they can even lower the risk of getting particular kinds of cancer.

Although the exact number of calories in prawns is unknown, they are known to have a relatively low carbohydrate content.

Also, they don't have much fat, so they're suitable for dogs watching their weight.

Even though they are low in calories and fat, they still have a lot of cholesterol, so they should only be eaten in small amounts.

dog looking at food bowl, can dogs eat prawns

Guide to Feeding Dogs Prawns


Since a king-size prawn is ten times larger than a regular prawn, there is no practical way to determine how many prawns a dog should eat daily.

Also, the recommended number of prawns for large and small-breed dogs varies greatly.

On top of that, dried prawns are far more nutrient-rich than their raw or cooked counterparts, which should be eaten with caution due to the high moisture content.

Put another way, bigger prawns are more dried out, and smaller prawns should be fed to smaller dogs.

On the other hand, most dogs should eat at least 90% of their food, which comes from commercially made dog food equal in nutrients.

That leaves 10% or less, which can be filled with more dog food or nutritious treats.

If your budget allows you to, you can feed your dog prawns daily due to their relatively high health value. Still, they should not be given too often. 

chihuahua licking lips, can dogs eat prawns

Pros and Cons of Giving Prawns to Dogs


Watch out for Shells!

Some people who feed their dogs raw may disagree, but we don't think that shells are safe for dogs and don't suggest giving prawns "the outer shell on."

Some risks come with prawns, so you should be careful when giving these to your dog. 

You can buy them fresh or dried with the shells on, but that doesn't mean they are safe.

The shells are an excellent source of the mineral. Nevertheless, you can also give your dog glucosamine by giving them joint vitamins and grinding up the shrimp shells. 

Crustacean shells are famously hard, sharp, and impossible to swallow. This toughness means that if your dog swallows pieces of them, they could hurt their guts.

You can also get a blockage from them, but it's not likely that your dog will take a fragment large enough to do that.

On top of that, any type of shellfish can cause sickness. Pathogens that can make your dog sick can be found in raw prawns.

These can make your dog throw up and have diarrhoea. To kill these viruses, you have to cook the prawns. 

So, being careful with fresh and dried prawns would be best.

Prawns raised on farms are often given chemicals and medicines, making them more unlikely to carry germs than prawns that live in the wild.

Last but not least, dogs don't generally have shellfish allergies because the proteins they contain are new to them.

However, people can have such allergies. The germs that make our dogs sick can also make us ill, so prawns can be dangerous for us, too. 

If you think you are allergic to shellfish, you should never touch them and always cook prawns in a clean area.

You must clean around where your pet ate the prawns and wash your hands. 

puppies eating, can dogs eat prawns

Prawns for Puppies


Puppies are still building up their immune systems, and their stomachs are very sensitive, so they shouldn't eat raw or dried prawns.

Puppies can eat fresh prawns cooked all the way through and have had their shells taken off.

In this way, they stay soft and won't hurt their mouths. In addition, the cooking process will kill any germs that could cause sickness.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel and thinly slice the prawns into tiny pieces for training snacks.

can dogs eat prawns

Alternatives to Prawns


While prawns seem reasonable, there might be better choices. Think about trying some other foods listed below:

Sprats: Sprats are small fish dried out in the air. They are all-natural, and most come from fishing in the Baltic Sea. They have a lot of omega oils, like shrimp, and are great for your skin, brain, and joints.

Fish skins: There are different kinds of fish skins. They are often dried and made into jerky, strips, or blocks.

Along with the health benefits of high omega oil and other seafood-based foods, these can be hard to chew through. This toughness makes them great for your teeth as well.

Chicken feet: As a natural treat, chicken feet have a lot of tissue. The cartilage in chicken feet has glucosamine and chondroitin in it, just like the shells of crabs do.

So, chicken feet might be a good choice if you're looking for a different treat that is good for your dog's joints. You can feed them raw, dried, or puffed food.

faqs can dogs eat prawns

Can dogs eat prawns? 

Yes, dogs can eat prawns as long as they are cookedde-shelled, and de-veined. Dogs can get a lot of energy, omega-3 fatty acids, and other good things from prawns.

However, some dogs may be allergic to prawns or have digestive issues from eating too many. Therefore, it is vital to introduce prawns gradually and monitor your dog's reaction.

Also, please don't give your dog rawfrozen, or spoiled prawns because they might have germs or parasites that are bad for them and can make them sick.

Can dogs eat prawns uk? 

Yes, dogs can eat prawns in the UK, as long as they are sourced from reputable suppliers and prepared correctly.

The UK has strict regulations on seafood quality and safety, so you can be assured that the prawns you buy are fresh and contaminant-free.

However, you should still check the labels and expiry dates of the prawns you purchase and follow the same guidelines for cooking and serving your dog.

You should also avoid feeding your dog any prawns that have been seasoned, salted, or preserved with chemicals, as they may harm your dog's health.

Can dogs eat prawns tails? 

No, dogs should not eat prawns tails, as they are hard, sharp, and indigestible. Prawns tails can pose a choking hazard or damage your dog's mouth, throat, stomach, or intestines.

They can also cause intestinal blockage or perforation, which can be life-threatening.

Therefore, you should always remove the tails from the prawns before feeding them to your dog and dispose of them safely.

You should also check the prawns for any other shells or bones that may be left behind and remove them as well.

Can dogs eat prawn shells? 

No, dogs should not eat prawn shells for the same reasons as above. Prawn shells are hard, sharp, and indigestible and can cause serious harm to your dog's digestive system.

They can also contain traces of dirt, sand, or pollutants that may harm your dog's health.

Therefore, you should always de-shell the prawns before feeding them to your dog and dispose of the shells safely.

It would be best if you also rinsed the prawns under cold water to remove any debris or residue that may be attached to them.

Can dogs eat prawns and mussels? 

Yes, dogs can eat prawns and mussels as long as they are both cooked and de-shelled.

Prawns and mussels are nutritious and delicious seafood options for dogs, providing protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other minerals and vitamins.

However, it would be best to feed them to your dog in moderation, as too much seafood can cause digestive upset, allergies, or mercury poisoning.

You should also avoid feeding your dog any prawns or mussels that are raw, frozen, or spoiled, as they may contain harmful bacteria or parasites.

You should also avoid feeding your dog any prawns or mussels that have been seasoned, salted, or preserved with chemicals, as they may harm your dog's health.

Can dogs eat prawn heads? 

Dogs should not eat prawn heads; they are hard, sharp, and indigestible. Prawn heads can pose a choking hazard or damage your dog's mouth, throat, stomach, or intestines.

They can also cause intestinal blockage or perforation, which can be life-threatening.

Therefore, you should always remove the heads from the prawns before feeding them to your dog and dispose of them safely. You should also check the prawns for any other shells or bones that may be left behind and remove them as well.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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mary puppins can dogs eat prawns

mary puppins can dogs eat prawns

mary puppins can dogs eat prawns

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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