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*Can Dogs Eat Scallops?*
The saying “dogs are man’s best friend” is not a joke. They’re always curious about whatever we’re doing, and that includes the food we eat.
When eating, your dog will probably be straddling around you, hoping to have a taste. And as a pet owner, it’s only humane for you to want your dog to partake in your meal.
A scallop is a seafood delicacy we all enjoy. However, can your dog eat it? Is it safe for them?
Several dog owners might be scared to give their dogs scallop because they’re not sure if it’s safe.
Well, let’s talk about scallops and how it affects your dog, health concerns and all.
What Are Scallops?
As you might already know scallop is a common seafood delicacy. It is a bivalve mollusk with two shells and muscles in between. And the muscle is what you get to eat after removing the shells.
Scallops are usually found in estuaries, bays, and shallow waters. However, due to the dwindling population, the United States import most of its scallops from Mexico and China.
Scallops can be caught all year round. Although their peak season is usually during late fall and summer. To find the freshest scallops, it’s best to do so in the last few months of the year.
Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
Being from a canine family, dogs require more protein in their diet than many other animals. It is always advised to provide this protein through a healthy source.
To answer the question, yes, dogs can eat scallops. It is a healthy source of protein and other nutrients.
However, there are caveats to feeding your dog scallops. The first is portion control. Your dog can eat scallops, although it shouldn’t be excess as it might lead to problems.
Secondly, how you prepare the scallops are important. This means you can’t just feed your dog any scallop, it has to be well prepared. If not, it’ll also cause problems for your pup. We’ll talk more about how to prepare scallops for your dog later.
Is Scallop Safe For Your Dog?
Simply put, scallops are safe for your dog’s consumption. It is nutritious and healthy and can serve as a treat for your pooch.
However, you should never give your furry friend raw scallops. This can endanger his health because of the presence of nasty microorganisms on these raw scallops.
Additionally, make sure the scallops are well prepared before giving them to your pup. There are several ways to cook scallops although you should never fry the scallops you want to feed your dog.
Fried scallops can cause several health problems for your dog. One of the reasons is because of increased fats and oils as a result of the frying.
Have in mind that we’ll still talk about the best way to cook scallops for your dog. It will eliminate all the hazards associated with scallops.
Nutritional Value Of Scallops
Scallops are a major seafood delicacy in the United States. It is a tender shellfish with mouth wetting flavor and creamy texture.
It is high in protein and low in fat, hence a very healthy source of protein for your dog. It also contains a host of other vitamins and minerals.
Now, let’s look at the nutrition facts for a 100-gram scallop serving;
- Calories: 111 kcal
- Fat: 0.84g
- Sodium: 667mg
- Carbohydrates: 5.4g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 20.5g
The above nutrition facts are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding a 100-gram serving of steamed or booked scallop.
As you can see, scallops are a low-calorie diet. It does not contain so many calories and carbohydrates. This makes it a healthy source of food for your pooch because it doesn’t increase the risk of obesity. Plus it has zero sugars, hence doesn’t affect blood sugar.
As you can see, each 100g serving of scallops contains only 0.84g of fat. That’s very low. In addition, this fat comes from healthy fat like polyunsaturated fatty acids. Your dog might not even eat up to a 100g serving, therefore further reducing the fat consumption.
Scallops contain a whopping 20g of protein per serving. This will be very helpful for the growth and health maintenance of your canine friend.
To top it all off, scallops are a great source of minerals and vitamins. This seafood is an excellent source of selenium which is important for DNA and thyroid function. It also contains magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B12, copper, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is indeed a nutrient-rich food.
Health Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Scallops
From the nutritional fact above, you already know how nutritious this seafood is. It contains several healthy nutrients that will help your pooch stay fit and happy.
The most impressive component of scallops is their protein content. As you might already know, protein is very important in the health and growth of your dog. It is necessary for growth, muscle and bone development, wound healing, production of enzymes and antibodies, etc.
Without enough protein, your pup won’t be able to produce enough antibodies and that will lead to a host of illnesses.
2. Minerals and Vitamins
Scallop contains a cocktail of minerals. It is very rich in minerals and vitamins that are crucial to the well-being of your pooch.
This seafood happens to be very rich in selenium. Selenium is a mineral that is necessary for thyroid function. The thyroid produces hormones that help your pet’s body function properly.
Selenium is also important for the immune system. With a good immune system, your pup can easily ward off diseases. Additionally, selenium tackles oxidative stress thereby preventing cellular damage that can cause cancer and chronic diseases.
It also contains Phosphorus and zinc which are important for protein synthesis, cell growth, immune function, carbohydrate metabolism, enzyme function, wound healing, etc.
Scallops contain iron. Now, iron is very important for red blood cells. They help to form a pigment that transports oxygen throughout your pet’s body. You can see how crucial it is.
Magnesium and potassium help maintain biological activities through nerve and muscle transmission. Magnesium also helps in metabolism thereby providing energy for your dog.
There’s copper that helps in cardiac activity, calcium that strengthens bone and teeth.
For the vitamins, scallops contain vitamin B12 otherwise called cobalamin. It is necessary for red blood cell formation, and the metabolism of food to provide energy. Additionally, it is also important for nervous system function.
Fortunately, scallops contain a very low amount of fat. Therefore it won’t predispose your dog to gain weight. On the other hand, it makes the seafood ideal for dogs with chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, or heart diseases.
It also contains omega-3 fatty acid that improves heart function, the immune system while reducing inflammation. It can also make your dog’s coat and skin look healthier.
Risks Associated With Dogs Eating Scallop
Scallops are a healthy meal for dogs, without toxicity or harm. However, different dogs react differently to scallops. Some might get sick after consuming nutritious seafood.
Why is that?
Let’s look at some of the risks associated with your dog eating scallop.
1. Allergic Reaction
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to seafood as well. Food allergy contributes about 10% of all dog allergies.
The following symptoms suggest allergy in your dog after consuming scallop;
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itching or skin irritation
- Weight loss
- Abdominal discomfort
If you notice that your dog has these symptoms after eating scallop, then it’s best to visit the vet immediately.
2. Digestive Problems
The digestive tract of dogs is known to be sensitive and easily reacts to new food and certain ingredients.
Scallop can cause stomach upset or abdominal discomfort. However, this is usually caused by improperly prepared scallops.
Stomach upset occurs commonly when you feed fried scallop to your pup. Frying adds several unwanted ingredients into scallops that can irritate your dog’s stomach.
The oil used in frying becomes a laxative when it enters your dog’s stomach. This will lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
On the other hand, feeding your dog too much scallop at once can lead to abdominal discomfort. Therefore portion control is important.
3. Food Poisoning
Raw or improperly cooked seafood can be a host to several bad bacteria and even parasites. If your dog consumes one, it can lead to food poisoning and severe illness.
It is advised never to feed raw or improperly cooked scallop to your dog for safety purposes. We’ll still talk about the best way to prepare scallops for your dog.
How To Prepare Scallops For Dogs
Now let’s get to the juicy part. Scallops are best served to your dog when prepared in a dog-friendly manner. This can be boiling or steaming, but never frying.
1. Cooking The Scallops
Raw scallops are something you should never feed your dog. It can cause food poisoning and other adverse effects. This necessitates the idea of properly cooking them.
You can cook scallops by boiling, steaming, baking, or roasting. Steaming seems to be the best as it retains all the meat’s nutrients while boiling removes some of them.
P.S: Do not fry scallops your dog.
Moreover, while cooking, you should not add any extra ingredients such as salt, seasoning, onion, garlic, herbs, etc. These can be toxic and poisonous to your pooch.
In essence, make it as plain as possible.
2. Use Fresh Scallops
It is recommended to look for fresh scallops when you want to feed them to your dog. Be conscious of its expiration date.
This is because the further it is from freshness, the more dangerous and lethal it becomes. Rotten scallops may contain nasty organisms and can cause life-threatening illnesses for your dog.
3. Portion Control
Too much of everything is bad, and that applies here too. Without control, your pup will likely eat too much scallop and this might be a problem.
Scallops shouldn’t replace dog food and become an everyday meal. Ideally, about 2 scallops per serving once a week is fine.
You can also mash it up and mix it with dog food to enhance the taste. More importantly, scallops can be used as treats for when your dog does something right.
What Part Of Scallop Should Dogs Eat?
While this might sound silly, some people don’t know which part to feed their dog. Just like us, dogs can only eat the inner part of scallops.
The shells are hard and can be a choking hazard to your furry friend. This is even more likely because many dogs like swallowing their food whole.
You shouldn’t grind them either. One might think that’s a good idea, but even finely ground scallop shells still have sharp edges and can cause injuries to the gastrointestinal tract of your dog.
How Many Scallops Can Dogs Eat?
While scallops are healthy, they shouldn’t become a regular meal. In other words, it shouldn’t replace normal dog food.
You can feed your dog scallops about 4 times a month. This can vary depending on your type of dog and your vet’s advice
Can Puppies Eat Scallop?
A dog’s gastrointestinal tract is very sensitive, a puppy’s own is even more so. Adding new food to their diet can lead to a host of problems.
They also have a different nutritional need from the adult dog. Therefore it is best to just stick to dog food made for puppies.
So to answer the question;
No, don’t feed scallop to a puppy, it may cause more harm than good.
Alternatives To Scallops For Dogs
If your dog is allergic to scallop and you’re looking for alternative seafood, consider these few.
Recap: Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
At this point, you’re well aware of the answer to that question. Yes, dogs can eat scallops.
However, it should be well prepared and given to them in moderate portions. Scallops contain a lot of nutrients can that do your pooch so much good.
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