Crab dipped in butter is utterly divine, and those dense but fluffy crab cakes you get fresh from the coast are so delicious that you probably have a hard time eating just one. No matter how you’re eating your crab, you might be tempted to share some of it with your dog. Before you break out the utensils for two, follow some of these precautions to ensure your dog’s well-being.
Is Crab Safe for Dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked crab meat as long as you feed it in moderation and wihtout butter. Crab is a great source of protein, which is perfect for providing active dogs with energy and the means to build muscle after strenuous activity. Protein is also responsible for helping amino acids build healthy hair, skin, nails, and connective tissue. Crab is high in vitamin B12, which is essential for optimal intestinal health and brain function in dogs.
Additional vitamin B12 is necessary for dogs with a pancreatic insufficiency, a condition that prevents their pancreas from processing vitamin B12 in food sources. Crab is a great addition to the diet of these dogs because a lack of vitamin B12 can lead to a variety of serious health problems.
Crab is naturally high in sodium and cholesterol, both of which are difficult for dogs to digest if they’re consumed in excess. This stresses the importance of giving dogs crab meat in moderation to avoid any negative problems associated with sodium or cholesterol. Too much sodium leads to hypernatremia which can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and problems with circulation in dogs.
Crab and Dogs With Iodine Allergies
Crab meat is high in iodine no matter how it’s prepared. While it’s not extremely common, some dogs are allergic to iodine. Unfortunately, you won’t know if your dog has an iodine allergy until they eat something containing iodine. If you’re feeding crab for the first time, you should start with a small amount and keep a close eye on your dog afterwards.
Symptoms of an iodine allergy appear quite quickly and begin with diarrhea and lethargy. Some dogs get a watery nose and eyes, resulting in some people thinking their dog has the canine flu. If your dog eats crab and starts showing these unusual behaviors within five hours of consumption, it’s likely they’re having an allergic reaction.
You should call and talk to your veterinarian for specific advice, but there’s not much you can do besides supportive care at home unless there’s facial swelling or other severe symptoms.
Preparing Crab Meat for Dogs, Hold the Butter and Crab Shell
Crab should always be cooked when it’s fed to your dog. Raw crab meat has the potential for foodborne illnesses that can make your dog ill for an extended period of time. Cook the crab in the simplest way possible. If you boil it, don’t use heavily salted water or water seasoned with garlic. When you serve the crab, ensure all of the shell is replace. Don’t ever let your dog have crab shell because it can lodge between their teeth or get stuck in their throats.
When you serve a dog crab, ensure all of the shell is removed. Don’t ever let your dog have the shell because it can lodge between their teeth or get stuck in their throats. Recipes that use crab as a main ingredient aren’t safe to feed your dog, either, usually because they contain things like garlic and onions, which are toxic to dogs even in small amounts.
While you might like your plump crab legs dipped in steaming butter, skip this step for your pup. The amount of fat in butter doesn’t sit well with a dog’s digestive system.
Fed in moderation (think treat versus meal), crab can be quite good for dogs. The best nutritional plan always involves a quality dog food, but simple additions to their diet are quite beneficial. Use discretion and always talk to your veterinarian before you introduce any new foods to your dog’s meal plan.