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As a dog owner, it is only natural that you worry about what food is and isn’t right for your dog. Trying out a new food for your dog without prior verification of its safety could endanger your dog. It would be in your best interest to find out what food is safe for your pet before introducing it to him.
Be sure to conduct research, consult a veterinarian most preferably. After research has been done, incorporate the new food in small amounts first and monitor your dog for side effects or intolerance, as humans react differently to food, so do dogs. After monitoring to rule out side effects, it is then safe to fully offer it to your dog in the required amount.
Seafood is a luxury food and is generally considered healthy for humans. Would we say the same for dogs?
Dog owners sometimes feel the need to introduce their dogs to a new food, especially human food and while this is not particularly wrong, care should be taken in picking the right food for our furry friends.
In picking food for your dog, consider its breed, activity, and Size, and take into account potential hazards associated with a particular food. Can the shell be eaten? What quantity should be given? Should it be cooked first? these are helpful questions in deciding what is safe for your dog.
Now, some humans feed their dogs lobsters as a meat source. There is a dispute about how safe lobsters are for dogs, while some say lobsters are okay for your dogs, others strongly disagree.
So, can dogs eat lobsters?
Yes, dogs can eat lobsters, but it might cause more harm than good.
What are the health benefits of lobsters? Why shouldn’t I give my dog lobster? What could go wrong if my dog has more lobster than required?
Why dogs shouldn’t eat lobsters
As earlier stated, lobsters could cause more harm than good to your dog, it’s negative effects outweigh its positive. Some reasons why you shouldn’t feed your dog lobsters are:
Just like humans, dogs have allergies. Food such as wheat, soy, and grains are common allergens for dogs; some dogs with more sensitive stomachs are allergic to lobsters.
When you decide to feed lobster to your pet, bear in mind that your dog could be allergic, one wouldn’t know if lobster is tolerable by a dog if it hasn’t tried it before. If your dog has had lobsters a few times without exhibiting symptoms that point towards food intolerance, then it’s safe to add lobsters to his food in the future.
Symptoms such as hair loss, skin and ear infection, runny eyes and nose, itches, belly upset, fever, and obsessive feet licking are symptoms to look out for to ascertain if your dog is allergic to lobster. In the event of this happening, stop lobsters and pay a visit to the vet as in severe cases, coma and even death could result from allergies.
Remember, start with small amounts to ascertain tolerance.
Do not feed too many lobsters to your dog though, small amounts may be tolerable but large amounts could cause problems such as stomach upset.
Lobsters have extremely hard and sharp shells that could not only cause cuts and tears in the oral cavity but also perforate the esophagus and stomach. Although the teeth of dogs can break the shells, the shell bits cause injuries.
While preparing lobsters, keep the shells away! Do not make the mistake of feeding your dog a lobster shell.
If by accident, your dog ends up eating the shell, do well to contact the vet.
HIGH SODIUM CONTENT
Sodium plays an important role in maintaining a balance of blood pressure, volume, and transmission of nerve impulses. Humans are continually reminded to cut down sodium intake as it could cause health problems, the same applies to dogs. Lobsters contain about 5% of sodium which is a lot. Any food with too much sodium is not safe for you and your dog. High sodium increases blood pressure and reduces bone mass leading to health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Sodium-ion poisoning could occur as well.
HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND FAT
Constantly feeding your dog lobsters predisposes it to obesity due to high saturated fat and cholesterol content. Over a period of time left undetected, heart and kidney diseases could surface, cutting down your dog’s lifespan.
Lobsters contain loads of parasites and bacteria. Unsanitary preparation only introduces more microbes, don’t leave it out in the open, it can be stored in the refrigerator till it’s time to cook it. Cooking the lobster before feeding it to your pet is a great way to reduce the dangers associated.
The digestive gland of the lobster, the Tomalley, contains a lot of parasites, avoid giving this part to your dog to be on the safe side.
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF LOBSTERS
Properly cooked lobster is a low-calorie food. It is rich in protein and contains a host of vitamins and minerals such as; zinc, selenium, omega 3 fatty acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, vitamins E and 12.
Lobster contains more protein than other crustaceans such as shrimp, crab, and crayfish. Protein in sufficient amounts builds and maintains healthy muscles, builds body cells and tissues. 1 cup of cooked lobster contains 27.55g of protein.
Omega-3 fatty acids
It has antioxidant effects, reduces inflammation, and provides your dog with fine and smooth skin and coat. It helps improve kidney and cardiovascular health
Vitamin E & B12
Helps in muscle development, formation of blood cells and boosts brain function.
Has an antioxidant effect and boosts immunity.
Helps maintain healthy joints.
Promotes the formation of bones and helps the body absorb iron.
Phosphorus and magnesium
A major component of bones. Helps absorption of vitamins and minerals.
wAYS TO SERVE LOBSTER TO YOUR DOG
Lobsters are best served plain as a snack or treat, or mixed with other food.
All seafood including lobsters should be cooked with clean plain water before it is fed to your dog. This would help eliminate varying parasites and bacteria that could make your dog sick, thereby canceling the risk of foodborne illnesses.
Lobster shells are a no-no for dogs, the shells and bones should be removed and properly disposed of to prevent injury, choking, and obstruction.
Spices that may be good for people could make your dog sick, so cook lobsters plain without condiments of any kind.
When starting your dog on lobster, give small amounts, this would enable you to monitor your dog for signs of allergies. Visit the vet once any signs are noticed.
In large quantities, lobsters could be extremely harmful as they contain high quantities of mercury and sodium which could result in mercury and sodium ion poisoning respectively.
Other Seafood Your Dog Can Eat
Seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits. It is a high protein food, low in calories, and high in vitamins and minerals. It reduces the risk of heart diseases and is essential for growth and development.
Seafood that could be added to your dog’s diet is not limited to lobsters, other alternatives your dog could enjoy include;
Salmon Crab Tuna Shrimps Oysters Clams
Salmons have good nutritional value for your furry friend. just as lobsters, salmon should be properly cooked and deboned, to eliminate parasites that could cause salmonella disease and prevent the hazard of choking, injuries and obstruction.
There is a split opinion on whether crabs are a suitable diet for your dog.
Crabs contain large amounts of iodine which may be bad for your dog especially those that may be allergic to it, to this effect, it should be given only in small quantities without the shells.
Tuna is another nutritious alternative, but in serving tuna, there are two things to bear in mind. It contains high levels of mercury and high levels of salt. Serving in large quantities would definitely cause more harm to your best friend.
Shrimps and oysters are safe in small amounts.
Ensure the peels and shells are removed and properly disposed of as your dog may try to chew them, which is completely unsafe.
Your furry friend deserves a special treat once in a while. People who eat seafood would understand that lobster is a luxury food and might be too expensive to be fed to your dog regularly. Its cost being an advantage as it is not advisable to be fed to your dog regularly. Giving it to your dog as a treat occasionally is fine, rather than a complete food. It can also be mixed with other food.
Lobster remains a somewhat controversial option as there is a split opinion about its safety for dogs. This could be due to the possibility of allergies, high cholesterol and sodium levels, high levels of mercury, and shells that could cause harm if eaten.
In sum, moderation is key.