Can Dogs Eat Calamari? 6 Health Benefits You Can’t Ignore!

Calamari isn’t toxic to dogs but is not the safest snack for them. Calamari is only safe for dogs if it is properly cooked and served occasionally and in moderation; eating too frequently can cause severe stomach problems.

As much as they want to, dogs can’t eat everything. Smart Dog Owners’ biggest concern is what to feed their dogs because the innocent fluffers are allergic to several foods and can’t eat most of what we can.

Most doggo parents will toss a piece of whatever they eat to their dogs, thinking it’s safe. But not many people know that even a harmless little toss can be dangerous for their pets.

As far as Calamari is concerned, humans love it. But can your dog eat this squishy food safely?

Can dogs eat calamari Safely?

Calamari and Dogs

Although non-toxic, calamari isn’t the safest snack for your dog, so you can’t serve it as much as you would like.

Calamari is rich in fats and carbs, but its high sodium count makes it unsuitable for a dog’s diet. Sodium-rich foods upset a dog’s stomach and can trigger mild to severe reactions.

However, owners can serve calamari a certain way to doggos without risking their health. We’ll get to that in a minute, but let’s first discuss everything there is to know about calamari and dogs.

We can’t outright declare calamari safe or unsafe for a dog because it treads the middle line.

You see, calamari isn’t toxic, so dogs can eat it moderately, but it isn’t too safe, so dogs can’t eat it too frequently.

What is Calamari? Would your Dog want it?

Squid has hundreds of species, but not all of them are edible. Calamari is a collective name for edible species of squid.

While most people call edible squid calamari, the name is most commonly used with squid served in a specific way.

Calamari comes from the Italian word for squid, so you can call any squid dish a calamari. But we typically use calamari for squid fritters or battered squid.

Can Dogs Eat Seafood?

Not all seafood is safe for dogs. Tuna, mollusks (clams and oysters), and sushi are common variations of seafood unhealthy for dogs.

Dogs can safely eat most fish if prepared, cooked, and served properly. Fish can be a valuable source of protein and vitamins for your doggo. To better understand the science behind dogs and fish, kindly give this article a read: Can dogs eat fish?

What About Squid?

Squid doesn’t fall in either category; it isn’t toxic to dogs but isn’t as safe as fish. Most edible squids have high fat and sodium count, so they’re only suitable in moderation.

Calamari is safe for your dog if prepared correctly and served moderately. You can let your dog have a few bites of calamari, but you must not overfeed it.

Overfeeding calamari can make a dog extremely sick and trigger chronic health problems.

Is Calamari Safe for Dogs?

Calamari is not toxic to dogs. However, vets don’t recommend serving it frequently since it isn’t the safest.So which one is it: can dogs eat calamari, or is it unsafe for them?

Here’s the brief and simple answer: dogs can eat calamari only under certain conditions. Calamari isn’t poisonous, but just because something isn’t toxic does not mean it can’t be harmful.

Calamari can be dangerous if served incorrectly. Whether or not a dog can safely eat calamari also depends on how it’s cooked.

Can Dogs eat calamari

You see, calamari contains many nutrients that could benefit a dog, but some of them can be dangerous in excess. This is why many consider calamari safe only in moderation.

Additionally, while dogs can eat cooked calamari under specific conditions, they must not eat raw calamari or any seafood. Raw seafood contains bacteria and parasites that can harm a dog, so you must always serve cooked calamari.

Eating correctly prepared calamari in moderation won’t harm a dog, so you can occasionally include it in your dog’s diet. However, you must be very careful while serving calamari to your dog because a small mistake on your part could be very dangerous for your pupper.

When Not to Serve Calamari to Dogs?

Many dog parents know not all dogs can eat dog-safe food. Although calamari is somewhat a dog-safe food, it isn’t the best idea to serve calamari if your dog has:

●    Allergies

Some dogs have seafood allergies. Serving seafood to a dog with a seafood allergy can be deadly.

Dogs with seafood allergies will experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, and itchy skin if they eat even a little seafood. 

Although a dog might not be allergic to all seafood, it is generally safe to assume that most seafood is off the table for them. You must not serve calamari to your dog if it has a seafood allergy.

●    Intolerance To Seafood

Calamari and Dogs

A dog may have a slight intolerance to seafood even if it does not have a seafood allergy.

Food intolerance might be mild to severe; if a dog has a severe intolerance, it probably has an allergy. A mild intolerance simply means a dog’s stomach can’t digest the food easily.

A dog with a slight seafood intolerance will experience diarrhea and an upset stomach most of the time it eats seafood.

Serving calamari to a dog with seafood intolerance might not trigger a reaction every time, but the chances of getting sick are still higher than not.

●    Severe Health Problems

Dogs with chronic health problems or those healing from a recent illness might be unable to digest seafood.

Calamari has a tough, rubbery texture that is generally difficult to digest, but dogs suffering from chronic health problems find it nearly impossible to digest.

The stomach of dogs with chronic health problems like pancreatitis cannot handle tough foods like calamari and will get sick after eating.

Calamari Prepared Incorrectly can be Dangerous to Dogs!

There are also certain forms of calamari that are dangerous for dogs to eat:

●    Raw Calamari

Raw Calamari

Raw calamari may contain bacteria and harmful parasites that can make a dog sick. You must never serve raw calamari to dogs because they might experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, and loss of appetite.

Eating raw calamari with a hidden parasite may even be deadly for a dog.

It isn’t just raw calamari that’s unsafe for dogs; many raw dog foods contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella.

●    Breaded/Battered Calamari

Dog owners know their pets can’t eat food with seasoning or breading.

Calamari is typically batter-friend, so it isn’t the best snack for your dog.

However, simpler forms of calamari, like boiled or steamed, is better for dogs.

Is Calamari Good for Dogs?

Why would a dog owner go to great lengths to serve calamari when it’s only safe in moderation?

Although calamari isn’t a typical snack for dogs, it has a few benefits for a dog.

Calamari makes for an excellent nutritious snack if served occasionally and carefully. Dog owners who want their dogs to benefit from its nutritional value can serve calamari as a random treat or snack.

Nutritional Values of Calamari

Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of calamari before discussing its benefits for dogs.

Nutritional ComponentsNutritional Value (per 143 grams)Daily Value %
Fats, Saturated, Trans, Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated15 grams 1.3 grams 0.3 grams 9 grams 3.1 grams23% 7%
Carbohydrates Dietary fiber Sugar37 grams 1.3 grams 0.1 grams12% 5%
Protein18 grams 
Cholesterol192 milligrams64%
Minerals: Sodium Potassium Calcium Iron  252 milligrams 262 milligrams    11% 7% 2.8% 15%
Vitamins: Vitamin A Vitamin C   2.9% 9.5%

The table shows calamari is rich in beneficial nutrients like minerals and vitamins. Calamari also has a high protein count, making it a suitable occasional snack for dogs.

Benefits of Calamari For Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Calamari? 6 Health Benefits You Can't Ignore!

Calamari makes a great nutritional addition to your dog’s diet as an occasional snack. Let’s find out what makes it a good treat for your pupper

1) Promotes Bone and Cell Growth

Calamari is rich in Calcium, a mineral that contributes to a dog’s growth.

A calcium-rich diet strengthens bones and aids development; without sufficient Calcium, a dog may face growth and development abnormalities.

2) Balances Body Functions

Dogs need adequate potassium to regulate body functions; dogs might experience heart and muscle problems without sufficient potassium.

Calamari has a high potassium count, so it’s an excellent regulator for dogs. Potassium in calamari assists muscle and nerve development and improves heart functions.

Your dog could experience diarrhea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues without sufficient potassium.

3) Improves Muscle and Hair Growth

Dogs need protein to promote cell growth, build muscle tissue, strengthen immunity and improve mobility. A dog will get lethargic and might suffer from deformities without protein.

Luckily for dogs, calamari has a high protein count, so it’s a great occasional snack.

4) Reduces Inflammation

Calamari contains Omega 3-s, fats that the human body needs but can’t make on its own, so it extracts them from food.

While Omega 3-s is mainly meant for us, it can be a great supplement for dogs. Omega 3-s strengthens puppies’ immune systems and helps them grow; it might also accelerate cognitive functions and improve mental health.

There are more benefits to Omega 3-s than improving immunity; Omega 3-s is an anti-inflammatory group of fats, so it actively counters inflammation in dogs. It is highly beneficial for dogs with arthritis and joint pain.

5) Easily Adjusts to Diet

A cup of calamari has only 153 calories, so it’s an easy snack/treat to adjust to a dog’s diet.

Calamari is a great way to gather beneficial nutrients without increasing calories for overweight dogs.

6) Strengthens Immunity Against Diseases Like Cancer

Calamari has a high concentration of antioxidants that improve the body’s response to fighting harmful diseases like cancer.

Antioxidants also increase the number of white blood cells, effectively improving the body’s chance of fighting bacteria and viruses.

Possible Risks of Calamari to Dogs

What makes calamari unsafe for dogs? Why can’t dogs eat calamari regularly?

Calamari has great nutritional value, but the same nutrients can harm dogs, like most foods we eat.

There are certain risks to eating calamari:

Sodium Can be Dangerous

Many household pets can’t process sodium, so serving sodium-rich food is not best for dogs.

Eating sodium-rich foods can give dogs salt toxicosis, a condition in which excess sodium chloride (table salt) can trigger severe reactions in the body, including weakness, stomach problems, tremors, and even seizures.

Calamari has a high sodium concentration, so overeating can trigger an upset stomach and even opus a dog toward salt toxicosis.

Harmful Additives Can Trigger Problems 

Calamari is a processed food containing numerous preservatives that can harm a dog’s health.

Processed foods have higher calorie and salt counts than unprocessed foods; calamari already has plenty of sodium, but when it’s processed, it becomes toxic to dogs.

Worsens Chronic Health Problems

Dogs with chronic health problems might get sicker from eating calamari because they cannot properly digest it.

Additionally, calamari batters typically contain seasonings unsuitable for a dog. Eating fried/battered calamari can worsen health problems and trigger them.

Mercury is Highly Toxic

Most seafood (including squid) contains mercury, a chemical element toxic to dogs.

Ingesting mercury could cause various neurological problems in dogs; it could interfere with a dog’s behavior and induce headaches, nausea, and even convulsions.

How To Tell a Dog is Allergic to Calamari?

Moderate and well-cooked servings of calamari are safe for healthy dogs, but they can be deadly for dogs with seafood or squid-specific allergies.

Many dog owners who haven’t tested their dogs for allergies realize when it’s too late and after they have served seafood to their puppers.

You should visit the vet and request allergy screening to know whether your dog has food allergies.

However, some signs could already be pointing out that your dog has a seafood allergy. Immediately contact the vet if you spot these signs:

Irritated Skin

Irritated skin is the biggest indicator of allergies.

Your dog might have a seafood allergy if it breaks out in hives or develops small pustules across its skin after eating seafood.

The skin may also become red and blotchy after eating seafood.

Constant Scratching

Your dog might be allergic to calamari if it excessively scratches itself after a seafood bite.

Unusual Behavior

Dogs can’t outright tell us what’s wrong, so they resort to different and unusual behaviors when feeling sick.

A dog experiencing an allergic reaction might excessively scratch, paw, or gnaw at its face. It might also whine or howl due to discomfort.

Sudden Swellings

Your pupper might be having an allergic reaction if its face immediately swells up after eating something.

What to Do if a Dog Eats Seafood with High Toxicity

Signs of Toxicity

Seafood contains mercury which is toxic for dogs. Although accidentally consuming a small quantity of mercury might not trigger a severe reaction, you should still watch for concerning signs.

You can’t tell whether something has a toxic quantity of mercury, so it’s not easy to know if your dog ate something fishy. However, there are minor signs that typically let owners know there is something wrong with their pet’s food:

Fever

Most forms of food poisoning will give dogs a fever, so if your pupper’s feverish and feels warmer than usual, it might be sick.

Loss of Appetite

It can take up to a few minutes for a toxic substance to trigger a reaction, so your dog might abandon eating mid-meal.

Your dog won’t be able to digest food properly or continue eating after ingesting a toxic substance, so you should keep an eye out for sudden loss of appetite.

Upset Stomach

Dogs will experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, and various mild to severe gastrointestinal health problems after eating something with toxic levels of mercury in it.

●    Bloody Stool

Although rare, toxic substances like mercury can cause the discharge of blood in the dog’s stool.

●    Tremors and Convulsions

Your dog might have an adverse reaction to something toxic if it’s whimpering and experiencing tremors and convulsions.

How to Help Your Dog?

There are a few steps you can take if you sense your dog ate toxic seafood:

Contact the Vet

Do not hesitate to contact the vet even if your dog is improving.

Schedule an appointment with the vet if your dog suffers from any signs mentioned before.

Calm Your Dog

A dog’s biggest comfort in pain and discomfort is its owner.

Calmly approach your dog and give it hugs to comfort.

Your vet will guide you on what to do according to your dog’s condition; a timely reaction will prevent your dog from being harmed.

Introducing Calamari to Your Dog: All the Right Steps

Let’s discuss how you can safely serve calamari to your dog.

Adding Calamari to Your Dog’s Diet

Don’t outright serve calamari on a plate if it’s the first time you’re serving it to your dog. As much as dogs love food, they might be reluctant to try new things, so it’s best to introduce calamari gradually.

The safest and easiest way to introduce calamari to your dog is by serving it extremely slowly. Give your dog a small nibble of calamari; only serve up to one calamari ring if your dog asks for more.

Do not force your dog to eat the calamari if it doesn’t want more or spits out the squid.

Correctly Preparing Calamari

Fried calamari has a high fat concentration, while battered calamari contains unhealthy seasoning, so it’s best to avoid serving either to your dog.

You can serve and prepare calamari for your dog by following these steps instead:

➔ Wash

Never serve unwashed calamari to your dog.

Thoroughly wash the calamari before preparing it.

➔ Slice

Slice the calamari into small rings.

➔ Cook

Boil or steam the calamari for a few minutes until it softens. Do not fry the calamari.

Adjusting the Serving

Overfeeding calamari can be dangerous for dogs, so you must know the perfect frequency and serving.

➔ Frequency

Do not serve calamari frequently since it can be dangerous in excessive servings.

Treating calamari as an occasional snack or a rewarding treat is best. The safest frequency to serve calamari to a dog is once a month.

➔ Quantity

It is safe to serve up to 3-4 calamari rings at a time to your dog; do not exceed this serving since it can be harmful.

You can safely serve up to one or two rings if your dog is small.

Summary | Calamari and Dogs

Calamari isn’t toxic to dogs but is harmful in excessive quantities. A dog can safely eat calamari if it is cooked properly and served in moderation.

Frequently eating calamari can trigger an upset stomach in dogs. Dogs must never eat raw calamari since it could contain harmful bacteria and parasites. It is best to serve calamari rings once a month and no more.

Conclusion | Calamari and Dogs

Regularly serving calamari to dogs isn’t ideal since it has high fat, cholesterol, and sodium count. However, calamari is a great snake if served occasionally and in moderation.

Calamari contains many beneficial nutrients that improve a dog’s immunity and aid muscle and nerve development.

Yet, calamari can be dangerous for dogs with chronic health problems and seafood allergies if served raw and too frequently.

How Much Calamari Should You Give Your Dog?

It is best to serve up to 1-2 calamari rings to small dogs and 3-4 to bigger dogs.

Serving calamari once a month is the safest frequency.

Can Puppies Eat Calamari?

You may serve boiled/steamed calamari to your puppy after the vet gives you the green light.

Not all dogs can handle seafood; although calamari aids a puppy’s growth, you must never serve it unless the vet permits.

Can Dogs Eat Calamari Steak?

Calamari steak contains seasonings and spices harmful to dogs, so you must not feed them to them.

Can Dogs Eat Calamari Rings?

Yes, Dogs can eat boiled or steamed calamari rings in moderation.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Calamari?

Fried calamari collects the oil’s fats and has too high a fat count for dogs to eat safely.

Additionally, batter-fried calamari contains seasonings and spices that may be toxic to dogs.

You must never serve fried calamari to dogs.

Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.