All pet owners worry about what they can and can’t feed their pets.
So, let’s see if dogs can be given seafood, especially crab meat.
We dog owners love to share our bounties with our dogs- from our couch and bed to the food we consume.
Apparently, this makes our dogs happier too.
There’s no substitute for the joy you feel when your dog runs ecstatically around in circles or coils up with you on your couch while you watch your favorite shows on TV.
However, while some of us have curbed our primal urges and switched to regular, certified dog food ultimately, many of us still share our leftovers with our best friend.
How could you resist those innocent eyes that look up at you while you’re feasting on a snack?
Yet, it’s not always a good idea to give the foods you eat to your pets.
The latest research suggests that many of the foods we consume regularly are actually bad for dogs.
Dogs may become sick, develop an allergic reaction, or choke on some foods considered fit for human consumption.
And it’s not always about the size of the snack.
Dogs can never be trained to chew their foods into bite-size pieces before swallowing them.
The only reason we don’t choke on our food is that we’re socialized that way right from childhood.
Like all animals, dogs rely on their natural instincts to survive irrespective of the environment they live in.
So how do we differentiate between what is safe and what is not?
Since dogs are carnivorous, we tend to believe that they should be okay eating all varieties of meats.
You might think that we have been feeding them our leftover meats for centuries.
So how could that go wrong? But the big question today is whether seafood is a good meaty option for dogs?
In short, yes, it is safe. However, feeding your dog crab meat has its own challenges.
Tread carefully before you decide on another round of treats.
Is crab meat nutritionally valuable for dogs?
Not only is crab meat incredibly tasty, but it also contains essential vitamins, minerals & a whole load of protein.
Therefore, in many ways, crab meat is more nutritionally rich than most other meats.
Dogs can’t survive long without a healthy amount of protein in their diets.
This is why a vet will recommend your pet dog gets their proteins from meat sources only.
Protein is a vital component of our diets. This is especially true for carnivorous diets.
Proteins give the animal’s body the energy it needs to perform essential functions.
Protein is also vital for muscle and cell rebuilding.
The amino acids in crab meat are also great for your dog’s hair, skin, and overall fitness.
There’s significant scientific evidence to prove that proteins are essential for your dog’s wellbeing.
Are there other health benefits?
Yes. Crabmeat is also rich in vitamin B12, which boosts brain and intestinal health.
Signs of internal problems are nearly impossible to detect for most dog owners.
We can easily detect ticks, fleas, and other external infestations on the dog’s skin/fur.
However, we cannot see its internal organs. Hence, there’s no substitute for a good diet all year round.
It will protect your pet from several invisible dangers that it may be susceptible to.
What are some of the invisible dangers?
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a common disease many dogs develop in their lifetime.
This restricts the absorption of vitamin B12 and can lead to serious health complications.
Crabmeat is therefore highly recommended as part of the dog’s diet as it helps to counter the pancreas’ inability to extract sufficient vitamins from the usual food sources.
Furthermore, if your dog is showing signs of anorexia (loss of appetite), feeding it crabmeat as a treat may actually work.
Dogs love the smell of crab meat. The smell alone may encourage your dog to take a bite.
Plus, the soft, easy-to-swallow meat may offset any issues that aren’t easily visible to you.
These could include oral discomfort (a splinter in the oral cavity, broken teeth or swollen gums), an infection of the ear, or other possible ailments.
There’s something about how crab meat smells to the dog that can motivate even the most finicky dog to eat.
Some dog owners use all kinds of tasty treats to coax their pets into eating.
So, if you have never introduced crab meat to your dog’s diet yet, this might be a good time to try.
The new taste and flavor may also inspire even the fussiest dog to eat enough for sustenance.
Are there problems with crabmeat?
Your dog may be allergic to iodine, which crab meat is loaded with.
If you’re feeding crab meat to your dog for the first time, keep a keen eye on allergic reactions.
These reactions could include a runny nose, an upset stomach, diarrhea, and/or lethargy.
As soon as you notice any questionable signs, immediately take away the crab meat.
You should monitor the dog for up to 5 hours after feeding it crab meat or any other shellfish.
Nonetheless, if you have any doubts about what you can see, rush to the vet for an emergency check-up.
Also, watch out for any other signs your dog may display.
These could be any kind of discomfort, issues with digestion or the stomach, and any obvious behavioral changes.
Continued symptoms and signs should never be ignored, and a hospital visit should never be delayed.
Are there any other side effects?
Another possibility is that the high sodium and cholesterol concentration in crab meat may result in your dog developing health issues.
Such danger could include high blood pressure, heart disease, vomiting, loss of bodily fluids, seizure, and/or circulatory issues- also known as hypernatremia.
This is why your vet may recommend crab meat as a treat once in a blue moon but not as a regular part of your pet’s diet.
When it comes to overeating, our pets are not too dissimilar to humans.
They are more sensitive to most foods than we are. But too much of anything isn’t good for us humans either.
This is why constant personal monitoring and regular vet visits are important for your pet’s health and longevity.
We can argue all we want about the safety of feeding raw meats to our pets.
But the fact is that sea foods cultivate microorganisms quicker than other meats.
Any seasoned dog owner will know that uncooked crab meat is unfit for your dog.
All you need to do is steam or boil the crab meat before you feed it to your dog.
Alternately, you can bake or grill it, too, if you wish to add a little more flavor.
Compromising on the quality of food you feed your pet is a no-no! So please act responsibly.
It’s worth the effort. In the long run, it will save you lots of time & possible heartbreak.
If you think your dog may have eaten a significant volume of uncooked crab meat, you should visit the vet without delay.
Have your dog examined and monitored for some time as recommended by the vet.
You should be aware of the dangers of munching at awkward times when you have a pet. Recklessness isn’t an option for pet owners.
Remember that seafood comes from the sea- a habitat that is vastly different from our own environment.
Our bodies may not be able to digest seafood as quickly as we can adapt to the meats of animals that live on land.
So, some meats may actually have a lower risk factor involved when consumed raw.
Furthermore, feeding your dog crab meat that is going stale or forgetting to store away in the refrigerator can be really dangerous.
This is because bacteria infest seafood swiftly. It could cause food poisoning and kill your dog within a few hours.
Are there any other threats?
Yes, there are.
Crabs are infested with worms that may be transmitted via parasites.
When consumed raw or without cooking properly, these infestations are transferred to our bodies.
It’s the same with dogs. Dogs are naturally prone to parasites and other infections, especially in their furs.
Therefore, we must remain ever vigilant and educated about these threats.
Anyone with a little common sense knows that you should not feed crab or other kinds of shells to our pets.
Nonetheless, your dog may try to eat these instinctively without you noticing. Remember to dispose of any such threats promptly.
This is also possible when you’re outdoors. Dogs will sniff around and swallow anything that smells like food.
Dogs can develop problems with their teeth and gums or choke on one of these hard shells very easily.
Moderation is the key to being a good dog owner. Make sure your dog is given a healthy mix of foods and meats.
Spice it up, throw in a few treats every now and again—research what your particular dog breed prefers most.
Apart from natural foods, individual dogs may also develop exotic tastes.
And monitoring your dog is a 24/7 job with little or no room for neglect. Be vigilant.
When feeding your dog crabmeat, always choose well-cooked fresh meat over canned options.
Canned foods are loaded with preservatives and pass through numerous processes, which lowers their nutritional value.
So, opt for fresh foods, and dump the leftovers or processed foods.
Online research alone can give you a host of ideas about what could be a good new addition to your dog’s diet.
Join groups of dog owners for advice from people like yourself. And while you focus on its diet, don’t forget to take your dog out for exercise.
In the end, remember to exercise moderation as most animals have a sensitive digestive system and can easily fall prey to our neglect and/or over-enthusiasm.
Give your dog good, healthy foods that will enhance its life and the quality of its life.
Do treat your dog to the occasional snack.
After all, who doesn’t crave a little diversity when it comes to food?