Can German Shepherds Eat Shrimp?

Shrimp is a staple seafood on home menus, whether mixing it in butter or eating it with your favorite fried rice.

Every time you take a bite of this delicious meal, your German shepherd will anticipate a bite.

It isn’t easy to hold onto that piece of shrimp as your furry friend gives you sympathetic eyes.

So, can German shepherds eat shrimp?


Feeding your German shepherd small pieces of shrimp from time to time won’t cause any harm.

Shrimp is full of essential minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids that benefit dogs.

Ensure your German shepherd doesn’t have any medical issues when they eat shrimp, and if you are unsure, consult your vet first.

We’ve compiled important information on the benefits and risks of shrimps for your German shepherd.

You will also know what you need to consider before adding this seafood to your canine friend’s diet.

Can German Shepherds Eat Shrimp

Health benefits of shrimp for German shepherds

Promotes healthy muscles

Shrimps are an excellent protein source with essential amino acids that build strong and healthy muscles in German shepherds.

Protein also promotes healthy ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, and hair in dogs.

It is also involved in making antibodies and hormones and will strengthen your German shepherd’s immune system.

Maintains a healthy heart

The omega-3 fatty acid in shrimp will aid in maintaining a healthy heart in your German shepherd.

Omega-3 also helps in reducing inflammation, fights cancer cells, and improves your dog’s immune system.

If you have a senior German shepherd, omega-3 will improve its cognitive function and help puppies’ proper eye and brain development.

It helps in weight loss.

Shrimps are low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates.

They will be a good addition if your German shepherd is overweight and needs to shed.

You can also add shrimps to your dog’s daily diet to maintain its weight.

Promotes a healthy nervous system

Shrimp is loaded with vitamin B12 which aids in creating and improving the protective tissues that coat the brain nerves, ensuring your German shepherd has good control over its physiological functions.

A healthy nervous system will also benefit the dog’s spinal health.

Vitamin B12 also aids in the formation of red blood cells and maintains healthy digestion in dogs.

Maintains healthy skin and coat

The vitamin B3 found in shrimps aids in breaking down fatty acids in German shepherds, promoting healthy skin and coats in dogs.

Vitamin B3 also converts fats and carbohydrates into energy sources, boosts the dog’s cognitive function, and maintains a healthy digestive tract.

Healthy kidney function

Shrimps contain phosphorus, promoting healthy kidney function, ensuring toxins are flushed out of your German shepherd’s system.

Phosphorus is also essential for healthy metabolism, aids in building strong teeth and bones, and processing and storing energy in German shepherds.


Health concerns of serving shrimp to your German shepherd

Sodium-ion poisoning

With all the essential minerals and vitamins that shrimp contains, farm-raised shrimp are high in sodium.

Excess salt in your German shepherd’s diet will lead to adverse effects like sodium ion poisoning.

The poisoning can cause kidney damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and loss of bone mass.

Signs that your dog may have ingested too much salt include diarrhea and vomiting, high temperature, tremors, and seizures.


Shrimp can cause obesity due to the high cholesterol it has.

Obesity will bring about more severe health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and joint complications in your German shepherd.

Cholesterol can also cause health problems such as pancreatitis, which causes inflammation of your dog’s pancreas, leading to pain and even death if not treated.

Pancreatitis occurs over a short period, so watching how much fat your dog takes in his food is essential. 

Choking hazard

Shrimps have shells that can cause suffocation if not removed before your German shepherd eats them.

They turn into tiny, sharp pieces that can injure your dog’s gums, mouth, and teeth when chewed.

The small shell pieces can also obstruct your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, tear its esophagus and stomach, and puncture the intestine walls when swallowed.

Allergic reaction

As you introduce shrimp to your German shepherd, you won’t know if he is allergic.

Your dog can be sensitive to seafood, so it’s best to closely watch your dog for a few hours after feeding it lobster to rule out any allergic reaction.

Dogs’ allergic reactions include vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps, excessive licking, and scratching.

Can German shepherds eat raw shrimp?


Raw shrimp has pathogens like salmonella and listeria, and tapeworms that will harm your German shepherd.

Shrimps also harbor a bacteria called vibrio, which will cause diarrhea and skin and blood infections.

When you feed your German shepherd raw shrimp, gastrointestinal issues will occur, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.

Ensure you cook the lobster thoroughly by boiling or steaming to kill the pathogens and bacteria.

How much shrimp is enough for my German shepherd?

Too much of anything will never be good.

When introducing shrimp to your German shepherd’s diet, start once a week and feed it one or two pieces.

If your dog loves this seafood, you can increase the frequency twice a week.

Remember to use the 10 percent.

The shrimp should not take more than 10 percent of your German shepherd’s daily calorie intake.

It should be part of a wholesome diet for your dog and not fed as a complete meal on its own.

You can serve the lobster as a snack or mix it with your dog’s favorite dry food.

What you should know when preparing lobster for your dog

  • Ensure the shrimp is fresh, cleaned, deboned, and thoroughly cooked. Altogether, remove the shrimps’ legs, claws, and shells before serving them to your German shepherd. 
  • Cook the shrimp before feeding your German shepherd, and avoid seasoning. Using seasonings like garlic and onion powder can risk your dog’s health. Don’t add salt to the lobster. 
  • Whether grilling, broiling or steaming, ensure you thoroughly cook the shrimp. Avoid feeding your German shepherd fried shrimp – oils can easily upset their intestines and stomachs.
  • Feed your German shepherd the shrimp in moderation. High shrimp consumption can lead to obesity, and high amounts of protein will be dangerous to senior dogs and dogs with existing kidney disease.
  • Keep a close eye on your German shepherd after feeding him shrimp to see any signs of an allergic reaction. If it occurs or if your dog has a choking incident, call your vet immediately.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can dogs eat shrimp tails?

No, dogs cannot eat shrimp tails as they have shells that can cause a choking hazard.

When chewed, the shells become small sharp pieces that can injure your dog’s gums, mouth, and teeth.

What seafood is good for dogs?

Many types of seafood are good for your dogs, such as tuna, lobster, cod, and whitefish.
As you feed your dog this seafood, do it in moderation.

To wrap up

Shrimps are safe and will be of nutritional value to your German shepherd’s body.

Do it in moderation as you introduce the shrimp to your dog’s diet.

Watch out for any allergic reactions and ensure the shrimp is fresh and thoroughly cooked.

With that in mind, you’ll be good to go.

Megan Turner

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