Are you one of those loving dog owners who like to share their meal with their beloved dog but now have crab on your plate, wondering if a crab is okay for the dogs or not?
Well! This might happen, as what humans usually consume may not be healthy for dogs. Or worse, it may be deadly for them. Before sharing your crab meal—or anything else you may have doubt about—with your dog, you should know if this specific food is fine for dogs or under which conditions they can consume it.
Let’s get you the answer.
Can Dogs Eat Crab?
Yes, dogs can eat crab. But if you are thinking of making it a daily snack for your dog, we would suggest you otherwise, as eating crab frequently may cause allergic reactions in your dog.
Instead of giving crab as a daily snack, let him eat it every third or fourth day. It would be a healthy treat, as it contains vitamin B12, lean protein, and zinc, but only if consumed in moderation. These vitamins and minerals will help your dog to maintain metabolism and function energetically, as they happen to be very healthy for a dog’s brain.
Moreover, crabs contain mega-3 fatty acids, which help dogs with heart diseases, functioning of kidneys, and make a dog’s skin shiny by providing moisture.
Lastly, crabs are high in iodine, sodium as well as cholesterol. The high amount of sodium means that your dog cannot afford it on a regular basis.
Stick to the 10% rule, which says that treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s caloric intake. The rest of 90% should come from proper dog food.
Is Imitation Crab Meat Harmful to Dogs?
Imitation crab resembles crab but is not crab. It is made of pulverized fish, especially Alaskan Pollok. It is a mixture of fish and other things, such as binders, sugar, sodium, etc., which may be unhealthy for the dogs.
Again, it should be noticed that the word unhealthy is used instead of harmful, so if someone has offered a little portion of imitation food to his or her dog, there is no need to panic as long as the dog is behaving normally.
It is, however, better that your dog stays away from imitation crab. The reason? You might not know what is in the substance. There may well be some ingredients in the food which your dog may be allergic to.
Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Crab?
Though there are many benefits of a raw crab for dogs, it does not mean that you start giving him the uncooked one. A dog may enjoy chasing a alive crab but eating one is not a good idea. Wondering why? You would probably have experienced the sharpness of a crab’s shell. If not, the Tom and Jerry show will give you a hint, where Tom’s poor tail always gets hurt by the crab’s sharp hands. The crab’s sharp shell can be very dangerous for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, which may result in severe vomiting, and you would have to rush to the vet.
Moreover, a raw carb may contain parasites. If your dog has laid his paws on a raw crab, keep a close check on him and run to the vet in case of any abnormalities.
The Suitable Amount of Crab Meat for a Dog
The amount of crab meat depends on how your dog reacts to it. As already mentioned, raw crab meat contains a rich amount of iodine and sodium, and the excessive amount of both can be fatal for dogs. You should check your dog for allergies with a small portion of crab meat before giving him a complete crab meal.
If the dog reacts okay towards the meat, making it his snake for every third or fourth day will be a good idea. But if you are thinking of trying a new recipe with your dog’s crab meat, it can be delicious and healthy for you, but seasonings and butter may affect him badly.
Additionally, if someone cannot find real crabs in their neighborhood to feed the dog, they can give the imitation crab meat a try, but in a very tiny portion. If the dog does not show any abnormalities, one can add a small amount of it to the dog’s weekly diet chart.
The Best Way to Cook Crab Meat for the Dog
A dog’s preference is different than ours. We may like different seasonings, butter, and dips with a crab meal, dogs like the plain one. You can either boil it, steam it, and can even grill your dog’s crab meat, but you cannot add any seasoning to it.
Don’t forget to remove the shell because even boiled crab shells can present a choking hazard to dogs. The cooking time would depend on the kind of crab meat you used, fresh or frozen.
Imitation Crab Meat Sticks and Canned Crab Meat
Everyone loves variations in food, and its taste and crab meat is no exception. You may find the different variations of crab meat in the market to feed your dog, but again, precautions are necessary. Check the dog with a small piece of crab meat stick; if he behaves fine, go ahead with it. But it should be done occasionally and in a small portion, as added preservatives may affect the dog badly.
The same goes for canned crab meat. Canned food contains preservatives, which may increase the dog’s bisphenol A (BPA) level. The possible effects of increased BPA are not yet known, but they may “include obesity, reproductive disorders, neurologic problems, and even in some cases cancer [seen in rodent models],” as per Dogster. So, before buying canned crab meat, check for the ingredients, and go for the one which lacks harmful preservatives.
Signs of Allergic Reactions in a Dog After Eating Crab
A small portion of crab meat is preferred to see for allergic reactions. As mentioned earlier, if your dog acts fine after consuming a portion of crab, you can add it to his weekly diet. But you would have to rush to the vet if there are any abnormalities, such as:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Face swelling
As a small amount of crab meat is preferred to see the reactions, abnormalities would be mild and easily tackled at home. But if he does not get normal even after several hours have elapsed, consult your vet immediately.
Explore: All About What Can Dogs Eat