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Having a dog is a huge responsibility.
They are more like kids, running around, wagging their tails, sniffing and exploring everything. It’s not all fun as they are totally dependent on you for food and shelter. It becomes your duty to take proper care of your furry friend and provide them with the best possible meals that will fulfill their dietary needs and keep them healthy.
But apart from their regular diets, sometimes owners provide their dogs with unusual stuff to eat and that’s very common. We all have gone through this, those puppy eyes pleading for a bite of your meal and you can’t help yourself but give them a piece or two.
There are many things we eat that will do more harm than good to our dogs.
Seafood is one of them.
It has become a huge part of our human diet and a major part of the world population depends on it. And lately, we have seen that the rising level of mercury and toxins due to water pollution have even made seafood dangerous for us in many ways. So, it’s normal to wonder how it may affect your dog.
Dogs are natural carnivores and come from a long line of meat-eaters. They love meat in all shapes and sizes. And so they love seafood too. But whether it’s good or bad for your dog depends on the seafood and the method of cooking used. One seafood that we absolutely love today and it’s considered a delicacy in our culture is lobsters.
Is Lobster bad for your dog?
If you wonder whether your dog can eat lobster.
In simple words, Yes.
However, it’s not advisable that they do. You have to be very careful. Finally, it’s a judgment call, you have to decide whether you want to feed your dog the lobster or not.
It can only be given to the dogs when it’s properly cooked and its shell is removed. Lobster is a healthy treat for dogs when given in moderate quantity. It is a great source of proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and many minerals.
They are beneficial for dogs but their shell is one of the main reasons why it is advised not to feed lobsters to your dog.
How Much Lobster Can You Give Your Dog?
As mentioned before, lobster in moderate quantity has health benefits for your dog. So, depending on the size of your dog, it should be given in moderate quantity. It should be properly cooked or boiled and unseasoned. Give it to your dog as a snack or mix it with their regular food.
Your dog’s size also matters in this. A 3-ounce steamed lobster contains 16 grams of protein. The minimum amount of protein that an adult dog needs is 20 grams per day. So, depending on your dog’s size you can make necessary adjustments.
Always remember that lobster is not a complete food for your dog. Don’t replace it with regular dog food. It should be occasionally given as snacks or mixed with the main diet.
What are the benefits
It’s a high-protein food that comes with a range of vitamins that are beneficial for your dog. They contain Vitamin E and Vitamin B12. They have no carbs and sugar.
Cooked lobster is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and minerals like;
- and magnesium.
It will help your dog to maintain healthy muscles.
Omega 3 fatty acids in lobster is an all-around health booster, it decreases inflammation, improves cognitive functions, cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of illness.
Zinc is vital for maintaining healthy joints.
Phosphorous is essential for strong and disease-free bones.
Magnesium and copper help in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.
Copper also helps in the formation of bones and connective tissues. Selenium boosts immunity and improves antioxidant protection.
What are the possible side effects?
When it comes to lobsters, they have more side effects than benefits for your dog. If not cooked, raw lobsters may carry harmful parasites and bacteria that will be harmful to your dog.
Even with all the vitamins and benefits, it’s not advisable to feed lobster to your dog is because lobsters are pretty fattening. They contain a considerably high amount of Sodium. High enough even from human standards.
Almost 5% of the lobster is pure sodium.
A high level of sodium can seriously affect your dog’s health. It leads to kidney failure, high blood pressure, and in some cases coma or even death. Regularly feeding lobster to your dog will lead accumulation of a high amount of sodium in their body.
If you ever paid attention to the ingredients of premium dog food, you’ll find that brands take pride in the fact that their product has low sodium content.
So if we make a list of side effects that will include:
- Possible Parasites and Bacteria
- High Sodium Content
- Too much saturated Fat : Although the fat content in the lobster is very low. What’s problematic is not the source but the fat. Saturated fat can cause myriads of health problems in your poodle.
- High Calories
- High Cholestrol
- Presence of heavy metals like Mercury and other toxins which harm humans also.
What if my pup eats a lobster shell?
Dogs are by nature curious. Giving a lobster to a dog with its shell intact is very harmful. You may think it will keep your dog occupied and give him something to engage with and play with. You may think, it’s like a bone that your dog can chew on for hours. In reality, it can have far-reaching consequences.
Lobster shell is a very hard material. It acts as a natural protection for them in the wild. It’s not only hard but also very sharp and pointy when you or your dog breaks it into pieces. These pieces may tear your dog’s teeth and oral cavity. If ingested, it can cause severe internal damage such as tearing its esophagus or perforate its intestinal tract. These pieces could also cause a blockage of the Gastrointestinal system.
Some dogs feel lethargic and vomit after eating lobster shells. In all these cases please take your dog to the nearest vet immediately.
Should I be worried about allergies.
Yes, it’s valid a concern. Dogs have evolved with humans for over 11,000 years. Their diets and physiology have evolved with us. Like some humans are allergic to lobsters and other seafood, many dogs exhibit similar conditions.
Food allergies are common in dogs. The most common allergens are animal proteins. It’s impossible to know if a dog is allergic to lobsters unless he eats it. Your dog is more likely to have a problem with beef or chicken than lobsters because of the lack of exposure.
It’s also very important to mention here that there is no diagnostic test available for canines. If in the past you have observed your dog having an allergic reaction to crustaceans and shellfish. You best avoid lobsters as they may trigger an allergic reaction as well.
If you are concerned about allergies after feeding lobster to your dog, be on the lookout for some possible symptoms.
One-tenth of all the allergy cases in dogs is related to food. If you see your dog with various symptoms including runny nose, itch skin, skin & ear infection, runny eyes, and hair loss, consult your vet. Food allergies can also cause serious gas problems in dogs.
It may also cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. The most common symptoms of seafood allergies are diarrhea and skin rash. If such symptoms occur you should immediately take your dog to the nearest vet.
It finally comes down to the owners making the right decision. Treating your dogs with luxurious food items and delicacies is fine when done occasionally. You must make sure it’s safe for your pooch. When it comes to lobsters, yes you can feed them to your dog.
But, should you?
It’s advisable not to because the possible damage outweighs all the benefits combined. Why take a risk when you know it may end up bad for your dog. However, if you are still adamant then take proper precautions. Make sure there is no shell. Feed-in moderate quantity and occasionally.
There is no prize in risking your dog’s health and raising your vet’s bill. And if you still ask any vet, they will give you a mixed answer with yes, you can feed it and no you should not. If you wish to treat your dog with special food items that will satisfy his taste buds then there are tons of treats available in the market.
It’s your responsibility to make sure that your dog lives a healthy and long life. Food items like lobster will do more harm than good in the long term and also when given in excess.