can dogs eat mussels?

Can Dogs Eat Mussels?

Can Dogs Eat Mussels?

Many dog owners have questions about seafood and how their dog will react to it. On one hand, seafood is generally a healthy, low-fat, and protein rich food. On the other hand, many people are allergic to seafood - and dogs can also have allergies. You may be finishing a dinner and have some leftover mussels that you want to share with your dog.

So, can dogs eat mussels? Are mussels a safe food to feed your four-legged friend? In short, yes, you can safely feed your dog mussels. Mussels are a nutritious food that is safe to feed your dog, as long as it is served plain without any extra salt or spices and without the shell. The shell can pose a choking hazard to your dog and does not contain any nutritional value.

plate of cooked mussels ready to eat

What Are The Health Benefits Of Mussels?

Mussels are high in omega-3 fatty acids and other fatty acids, yet they are low in calories. Omega-3 fatty acids improve overall health by lowering inflammation and lowering the risk of illness. It's critical to keep your dog's weight under control. Mussels contain high levels of protein that can aid in the maintenance of your dog's muscle mass.

Important vitamins and minerals are also found in mussels:
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

All of these vitamins and minerals go a long way in promoting health in your dog. They can lower inflammation and join pain, help to maintain energy levels, and provide proper support for many of your dogs body processes.

Shellfish Allergies

Mussels can cause allergic responses in some dog breeds, so check with your veterinarian before providing this seafood to your pet. Small amounts of mussels should be fed to your pet to assess reactions and possible negative effects. This food may not agree with your dog's digestive system and may cause diarrhea or an upset stomach.

beagle eating from steel bowl

If you give your dog mussels and he exhibits any signs or symptoms of a shellfish allergy, bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately. Shellfish allergies are a serious medical condition. Signs & symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Scratching
  • Wheezing
  • Lethargy
  • Sneezing
  • Whining

If you already are aware that your dog has an allergy to shellfish or any type of seafood, do not give your dog mussels.

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Mussels

Dogs can benefit from mussels in a variety of ways. However, even healthy snacks should make up only 10% of your dog's diet, with the remaining 90% made up of their normal, nutritionally balanced dog food.

If you're unsure of how much that would be, keep in mind that less is more. Give your dog one or two mussels, depending on their size. It's also a good idea to get consult your veterinarian to determine what's best for your dog.

You can give your dog mussels by steaming the mussels before offering them to your dog. Always cook mussels before giving them to your dog, as this will kill any harmful bacteria. Remove the shell, as this can be a choking hazard and hurt your dog.

Skip the butter and seasonings like salt, garlic, and onion when cooking mussels for your dog. Onion and garlic are two ingredients that are toxic to dogs in any amount, no matter how small. Extra seasonings like salt and butter only serve to add extra calories and are not good for your furry friend.

cooked mussels

Review: Can Dogs Eat Mussels?

Certain human foods might trigger bad responses in dogs, so always check with your veterinarian to see if adding these items to your pet's diet is safe. Mussels, in general, are safe for most dogs. They are a nutrient rich food that is packed with protein and vitamins that can aid in promoting your dogs health.

Always remember, it is important to only give your dog mussels in moderation. If your dog likes mussels, once or twice per week as a treat is enough. When preparing mussels, keep it simple and avoid any salt or spices, and always remove the shell. If you have any questions regarding your dogs diet, contact your veterinarian.

Find the perfect gift for your dog