can dogs eat crawfish?

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish? Is Crawfish Healthy For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish? Is Crawfish Healthy For Dogs?

Crawfish are a type of crustacean that is popular in the south of the United States. You may have also heard them referred to as crawdads or crayfish. Crawfish are often thought of as a delicacy. Crawfish can be found all throughout the world, however they prefer freshwater environments. Ponds, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water are common places to find them.

You may be having a crawfish boil and wonder if crawfish is safe for dogs to eat. So, can dogs eat crawfish? Crawfish can be eaten by most dogs as long as it is well cooked and free of shells. Crawfish meat is safe for dogs to eat, however, crawfish in large quantities is not. This is especially true for dogs who have never eaten seafood before. Some dogs may be allergic to shellfish.

Always introduce any new food to your dog slowly and in moderation. If you give your dog crawfish meat to eat and it turns out he is allergic, a smaller amount will product less symptoms than a large amount. Monitor your dog after giving him crawfish to watch for signs and symptoms of a shellfish allergy.

cooked crawfish

What Are Crawfish?

Crawfish are lobster cousins that live in freshwater. Crawdads, freshwater lobsters, crayfish, and mudbugs are some of the other names for these creatures. Many people may prepare a traditional crawfish boil with onions, garlic, pepper, potatoes, and mushrooms. Onions and garlic are both poisonous to dogs.

If you are doing a crawfish boil and plan to feed your dog crawfish, cook their portion separately to ensure that it is free from extra salt, onions, garlic, and other toxic ingredients.

Nutritional Benefits Of Crawfish

Crawfish is high in protein and low in calories. It also contains a lot of good cholesterol. Iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and, most importantly, phosphorus are abundant in crawfish. Crawfish is very high in vitamins, including vitamin E.

However, dogs can acquire the majority of these vitamins and minerals from other foods, such as dog foods that are more suited to their stomachs. Amino acids found in crawfish may trigger allergic responses in dogs. Crawfish that has not been boiled can cause salmonella and listeria in dogs.

dog eating from a bowl

Can Crawfish Be Bad For Dogs?

Crawfish aren't completely safe for dogs. The shell, head, vein, and tail are the sections that could cause problems for your dog.


Crawfish shells are inedible to dogs and can become lodged un their intestines. Because smaller dogs have thinner throats and intestines, the risk is substantially higher for them.


The crawfish head is rough, and it contains allergens and microorganisms that are harmful to dogs. It's indigestible, just like shells, and can become caught in your dog's throat and pose a choking hazard.


The thin intestine that runs through the center of the crawfish's body is known as the crawfish vein. While the vein is eliminated from most cooked crawfish, it is still present in raw crawfish. In dogs, the vein can cause digestive issues.


All of the juicy meaty portions are contained in the crawfish tail. While dogs can eat the tail, just the meat and not the shell should be consumed.

Possible Shellfish Allergies & Your Dog

If your dog has never had crawfish before and you want to feed him some, start by slowly feeding him a small amount. Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to shellfish. The more shellfish ingested, the stronger the signs & symptoms of a shellfish allergy will be. If your dog is allergic to shellfish, symptoms will appear quickly after ingestion. Symptoms include:
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Scratching
  • Whining
  • Fatigue

If you notice any of these signs & symptoms in your dog after feeding him crawfish, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice on how to care for your furry friend. You will probably need to bring your dog to the vet to be treated as shellfish allergies are rather serious.

bowl of cooked crawfish from a boil

Review: Can Dogs Eat Crawfish?

Crawfish meat can be eaten by dogs as long as it is cooked properly and does not have a shell. Crawfish is not a common food for dogs, so exercise moderation if you feed your dog crawfish. Your dog's regular meal contains all of the nutrients he or she needs to live a long and balanced life, so crawfish isn't necessary.

Crawfish that has been cooked with onions, garlic, salt, or any other additives or ingredients that are toxic to dogs should never be given to your furry friend. If you plan on letting your dog try crawfish, always cook their portion plain and free of added spices.

Make sure you de-shell crawfish before feeding it to your dog. The shell can pose a choking hazard and should never be given to your dog. Also, be sure to watch for signs of shellfish allergy in your dog. Bring your dog to the veterinarian if they experience an allergic reaction to crawfish.


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