Is Crab Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Can dogs eat crab without any harm?

Absolutely yes! Crabmeat can pack a powerful punch of proteins for your pooch. Crabmeat is full of Omega-3s, fatty acids, and the trio of the essential minerals zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.

As with all seafood crab meat is a thin lean protein. Vitamin B12 is a major component of crab meant Vitamin B12 encourages healthy brain function in dogs, while zinc helps to regulate metabolism

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 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.

Risks of Crab Meat for Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Crab Meat?

Dogs chasing crabs on the beach is a sight to see but we should forbid our dogs from eating crabs. Crabmeat for dogs can be extremely harmful as they contain intestinal parasites that will give your pooch a tummy ache that he will never forget. Crabmeat for dogs is always healthy given that it is cooked and harmful parasites boiled away.

The risks for crab meat for dogs don’t end there. Some pooches are allergic to crab meant as well. Initially, you need to feed crab meant to your dog in small quantities so that you can avoid an allergic reaction.

Crabmeat risks can be avoided by using it in small quantities at first but crab meat should not be the first choice of protein you give to your dog. High in iodine and high in cholesterol makes this meat moderately difficult for dogs to digest. There is also high sodium in crab meat which can lead to electrolyte imbalances in dogs.

Can dogs eat crab shells?

Crab shells should be avoided at all costs, raw or cooked crab shells will always pose a danger to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. The shell breaks into tiny shards and can be lodged into the throat of your dog.

If your dog has ingested crab shell and you find him having trouble breathing or vomiting blood, take him to the nearest vet hospital ASAP.

Crab and Dogs With Iodine Allergies

Crabmeat 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 afterward.

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 shells is replaced. Don’t ever let your dog have a 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 shells 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 the 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), the crab can be quite good for dogs. The best nutritional plan always involves 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.

Can dogs Eat Imitation Crab Meat?

Imitation crab meat is just a fancy name for fake crab meat, mostly consisting of fish and we don’t know which type of fish better constitutes the mean so to answer this question “Can dogs eat imitation crab meat?” Well, it’s a strict NO! Avoid this type of meat at all costs. Imitation crab meat is so popular with increasing demand due to the fact that it costs pennies on the dollar.

It is an age-old gimmick the Japanese play with Shushi made out of unknown quantities of fish, the concept is called “kamaboko” is Japan, rising Shushi prices made way for some very questionable mixture of fish meat, artificial flavoring, and additives. Dogs “Can” eat imitation crab meat per se but what would be the health repercussions of eating this meat are unknown. Better to be safe than sorry.

Canned Crab Meat for dogs

While it is a fact that we all use canned crab meat for its convenience canned crab meat for dogs might not be a very good idea. A lot of preservatives are added while canning a particular product and crab meat is one of them. Additives and preservatives can increase your dog’s BPA level and may affect your dog’s health adversely.

Canned products usually contain sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). BHA and BHT are preservatives with antioxidant properties but these preservatives have been shown to increase our risk of colon cancer in humans and animals.

While buying canned crab meat for your dogs, kindly review the ingredients attentively and only buy those brands that don’t have any added preservatives in them. Here are some of my favorite honorable mentions of canned crab meat you can trust.

Crown Prince, Fancy White Lump Crab Meat, 6 oz
  • Processed and packed without any bleaching agents or preservatives
  • Zero trans fat, a fat free food
  • Good source of protein, zero carbohydrates
  • Wild-caught; product of Thailand
Crown Prince Lump White Crab Meat, 6-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
  • Case of twelve, 6-ounce cans (total of 72 ounces)
  • Premium lump white crab meat packed in water; Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Contains 625 mg omega-3 per serving; Gluten free; Excellent source of protein and calcium; Low fat
  • Great for dips, salads, ceviche, soups, casseroles and crab cakes
  • Wild-caught; product of Indonesia
Cameron’s Seafood Maryland Crab Meat - Jumbo Lump
  • Sold in 1 lb. sealed plastic container
  • Large chunks of solid white real crab meat Fully-cooked and ready-to-eat Handpicked from Maryland blue crabs Ships fresh with gel pac

Last update on 2022-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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.

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