As dog owners, we want our buddies to eat the best of foods. But not all foods are suitable for our canine friends. They can eat some such as mangoes, pineapples, or tortillas—and these too, with some caveats. Others, which do not meet their nutritional requirements, should be kept away from their reach. What about scallops? Can puppies eat raw scallops? If no, why not?
Can Puppies Eat Raw Scallops?
No, puppies can’t eat raw scallops.
Raw scallops contain countless bacteria and viruses that badly impact a puppy’s health. Puppies are known to have a sensitive stomach and low metabolic rates. Per the research, a puppy’s stomach takes four hours to digest food, indicating that upon eating bacteria- and virus-infested scallops, these parasites have ample time to grow inside the stomach and cause infections.
Raw scallops have bacteria, namely Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Shigella, etc. Viruses present in raw scallops are Astrovirus, Norovirus, and Parvoviridae, etc. Other parasites include Roundworms, Tapeworms, Trematodes, etc. All of these microorganisms are known to cause chronic diseases in puppies.
These microbes may come in scallops from the environment, drinking polluted water from the sea, during transportation or storage, or at retail shops. They are already present in the seafood, but are not activated unless given a proper temperature.
Owners should make sure that they are buying seafood from a trusted provider, otherwise, there are chances that they may bring home dead scallops which are the proverbial alcazar of mold, viruses, and bacteria.
What Are the Diseases a Puppy Can Get By Eating Raw Scallops?
As mentioned earlier, raw scallops are home to various microorganisms that are hazardous for puppy’s health.
According to Tammy Hunter, a certified vet professional, Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the digestive tract, especially the stomach and both intestines. This inflammation is excruciating for dogs and can lead to vomiting, acute abdominal pains, and diarrhea.
The main causes of gastroenteritis in canines are bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus, which are found abundantly in a raw scallop.
The outer membrane of a dog’s brain and spinal cord is termed meninges, and inflammation of meninges is known as meningitis.
Meningitis is a rare canine disease, but it is most commonly diagnosed in Bernese Mountain Dogs, Beagles, and German Shorthaired Pointers.
As per Catherine Barnette, a professional veterinarian, the causes of these diseases include bacteria, viruses, and fungus. If the scallops that your puppy is eating have been drinking sewage wastes, it’s likely that the causal microbes of meningitis are present in it.
c. Viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is caused by Hepatitis A virus that gets into scallops through sewage water.
As we are not sure that from where the scallops are being supplied to us, there are chances that your puppy can get viral hepatitis from eating a raw scallop.
Vibrio cholera is the organism responsible for cholera caused by eating scallops. If the scallop has been consumed in large amounts, diarrhea can worsen, causing severe dehydration in dogs that can lead to death.
Also known as blood poisoning, the disease is caused by consuming viruses, such as Vibrio vulnificus or Vibrio cholerae orally or by any other means. Upon entering into a dog’s bloodstream, they cause extremely low blood pressure and high fever. If not treated soon, these organisms can kill your puppy.
f. Vomiting and Acute Abdominal Pain
Consuming a bacteria- and virus-filled raw scallop can give your puppy acute abdominal pains and cause vomiting.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies are more sensitive to pain and due to their weakness, they are more prone to getting some serious health concerns quickly after eating raw scallops.
Abdominal pains can be caused by tapeworms or trematodes present in this particular seafood.
These were the few of many ailments a dog can contract after eating raw scallops. As mentioned earlier, we don’t know where we are getting scallops from and in which conditions they have grown up. Thus, taking the risk and feeding a puppy with a raw scallop is forbidden altogether.
There is only one condition you can feed a puppy with raw scallops and that is to freeze them. Apart from cleaning it, freeze raw scallops for a few weeks before feeding them to your pooch. Any microbes present in them will die of cold, eliminating the risks of potential viral or bacterial diseases.
Can Puppies Eat Cooked Scallops?
Yes, puppies can eat cooked scallops.
Per the research conducted by BC Centre for Disease Control, “bacteria and viruses associated with fish products are usually destroyed when seafood is cooked to an internal temperature of 90°C for 90 sec.”
It is advised to wash them properly before cooking them. Cooked scallops are a good source of healthy nutrients for puppies, but they shouldn’t be overfed as “too much of anything is bad.” Scallops have high sodium content, which can cause polydipsia, vomiting, diarrhea, coma, seizures, etc., in dogs.
How you cook scallops is another factor to look into.
If you are feeding pups with a scallop, is it boiled, oven-cooked or fried?
If it’s fried, you can’t feed it to the pup’s sensitive stomach. Fried scallops are not suitable because it can lead to unhealthy fat build-up and worse, pancreatitis in dogs in the long term. Short term effect of frying it with unhealthy oils can cause loose stools.
Usually, at restaurants, the scallops are cooked using onions, garlic, cheese, and alcohol, making it highly toxic to a puppy. Feeding a puppy with such fat and toxin-filled food will have serious repercussions—it’s better safe than sorry!
Which Part of Scallops Can Dogs Eat?
Scallops consist of four parts: Shell, also known as bivalve, abductor muscle, coral, and frilly membrane.
After opening the shell, remove the black stomach sac and the frilly membrane as they are toxic parts, and cook the orange and white part only.
Make sure that the shell and other removed parts are discarded safely. Else if your pooch gobbles up any of these parts, it can lead to fatal diseases.
What Are the Benefits of Puppy Eating Scallops?
Once cooked properly and all of the microbes are killed, scallops can be super healthy for dogs. Per the research, 3 ounces of a scallop contains:
The table shows that scallops comprise 80% proteins which make them a highly nutritious diet for puppies.
In their growing stage, puppies require a good amount of proteins to keep them lean and healthy. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, organs, and the skin of a puppy.
As most of the calories are coming from proteins, scallops make a healthy diet for puppies that are prone to obesity.
100 grams of scallops contain 37 mg of Magnesium.
Magnesium is a key nutrient that is involved in energy production at the cellular level. The deficiency of this nutrient can cause malnutrition, kidney damage, cardiac issues, etc.
Eating scallops can give puppies a good amount of magnesium, which aids in the smooth functioning of the heart, proper muscle growth, and nervous system signaling.
Potassium is an important mineral that aids in the transfer of nerve impulses and electric signals between organs, nerves, and muscles. The deficiency of potassium can cause lethargy and lack of appetite in pups.
Selenium is required for the correct functioning of metabolism, DNA synthesis, and thyroid functioning.
The flesh of scallops is rich in selenium, making it a healthy diet for puppies.
In addition to these nutrients, scallops also contain zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, low levels of fat, antioxidants, and vitamin B12. All of the above not only strengthen a puppy’s immune system but are also essential for their healthy growth.
So, can puppies eat raw scallops? It is evident from the preceding analysis that puppies cannot eat raw scallops. They can, however, eat cooked scallops provided that they are not fried.