The following information is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Clever Fur is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Scallops are a category of mollusks of the marine bivalve variety. They are from the family Pectinidae. Scallops can be found in all the world’s oceans, mostly on the sandy bottom. They are sometimes found attached to seaweed or even rocks. In this article we would be answering the question “can dogs eat scallops”.
Several species of scallops are regarded as valuable food sources. The most edible part of them is their abductor muscle which is very meaty and is very popular in culinary circles.
Due to fact that they are available worldwide, scallop shells are usually found on beaches. These shells have very bright colors and attractive shapes which make them a good collectible choice. The shells also have historical and theological significance. They are also popular in pop culture.
Celts in the pre-Christian era also used scallops as a symbol of reference to the sunset. There are Christian saints who have been associated with the shells including but not limited to St. Augustine and the Great St. James. The Churchills, the Princess of Wales and other powerful families have been known to use the shells for their crests and heraldry.
Looking back into antiquity, femininity and fertility have been represented by scallop shells in several cultures of the world. Most common examples of this can be seen in depictions and paintings of the Roman goddess, Venus such as Boticelli’s painting, “The Birth of Venus”, which depicts her riding on a scallop shell.
Health Benefits of Scallops for Dogs
Scallops are a food source that is rich in many essential vitamins and minerals that dogs require for growth. For example:
- High protein content: Scallops are a very good protein source. Proteins are an important macronutrient that dogs need for good health. Proteins are an essential building block of your pet’s body and are important for their organs, their muscles and their skin. They are also needed to fuel their body. Coupled with this fact, they are also very low in calories and are full of vitamins.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is a vitamin that is especially useful because it helps the dog’s body absorb other essential vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is also useful as in relaxing and soothing their joints. This is mostly helpful for dogs that suffer from arthritis.
- Potassium: Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps to facilitate nerve function and overall well being.
- Selenium: Scallops have a relatively high amount of selenium. Selenium serves to improve the I’m mine system and thyroid function.
- Zinc: Zinc is good for ensuring that your dog has a healthy coat and effective brain function.
How can scallops be bad for dogs?
Scallops on their own are not a risk to dogs. Several pet health agencies such as the ASPCA agree that they are quite safe for them to eat. The only clause however is that they must always be fully cooked and they must never be served raw. When we say cooked, however, we don’t mean fried. Fried foods, in general, are all wrong for dogs and scallops are no exception as frying increases their fat content. Consuming fried scallops continuously over a long period of time eventually results in pancreatitis in dogs.
You should make certain that while cooking the scallops, you do not use any extra ingredients. They should be prepared completely plain. Ingredients like oil and butter are unnecessary and may only increase the risk of danger to your dog.
As with other foods, you should also ensure that when feeding your dog scallops, you do it in moderation because when adjusting to new meals, dogs often have a tougher time than humans. So for the first time you feed scallops to your dog, you should only begin with a couple of small pieces. Afterward, watch closely for their reaction to see if they come down with signs of an upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation.
Risks associated with scallops
The first most obvious risk factor with scallops is their shells. You should be sure to take out the scallop shells before giving the meat to your pet.
There have also been cases where dogs showed signs of being allergic to seafood. You should carefully monitor your dog before feeding them scallops for the first time especially because seafood is a common dog allergen. The most common symptoms of seafood allergies are vomiting and excessive itching. The important thing is to reach out to your vet the moment you notice these signs.
- Salmonella, Parasites, Shellfish Poisoning
As with other common raw seafood, scallops have been known to be habitats for harmful bacteria and parasites. Some of the few parasites that could also be found on scallops are salmonella, roundworms, or listeria.
Bivalves have a greater risk of causing food poisoning. When in the ocean, they are known to filter the water and whatever it contains through their body. What this means is that if your scallops come from a polluted or filthy area, they may be carrying a lot of toxins that might cause shellfish poisoning.
When preparing raw seafood for you or your dog, you should be very careful and you should never give them a bite unless the meat has been thoroughly cooked.
- Digestive upset
An upset digestive tract is one of the most common side effects of feeding human foods to dogs because their stomachs are not naturally built for all the seasonings and additives humans are prone to adding when preparing their own meals. In fried scallops for example, you have ingredients like oils and salt which may irritate a dog’s stomach and act as a laxative.
You can save yourself and your dog from the extra stress by being more careful when sharing your food with your dog. If your dog accidentally eats your dinner, you should try to ensure that they are comfortable. Provide them with a lot of water and watch them carefully through the night just in case they have diarrhea at night.
How to feed scallops to your dog
As with all other meals you would feed your pet, you should take all extra precautions to ensure that the scallops are prepared properly. It should be cooked entirely plain without any additives. These additives can easily cause health complications.
Be sure to get rid of the shells by removing them carefully and cutting the meat up in smaller bites so as to minimize the risk of a choking hazard.
- How many scallops should you serve?
As with all things, scallops should definitely be served to your dog in moderation. Dogs have a much harder time adjusting to new foods even if they seem delicious at first. The best thing to do is to give them a small piece or two and watch for their reaction. Check especially for signs of stomach upset, skin irritations, or constipation.
It definitely isn’t advisable for you to feed your dog scallops often. It is more prudent to give it to them as a small treat once in a while or as an additive to a plain meal.
- Can puppies eat scallops?
Puppies have a much more fragile digestive tract than adult dogs, therefore z it is not advisable to feed them scallops or foods that are not officially designated as dog food. The best thing to do is to just feed them a normal healthy, balanced dog meal.
- Alternative options to scallops
You can feed your dog regular fishes including salmon and herring, in their raw or cooked states as long as you become them properly and clean them.
- Are dogs allergic to scallops?
Certain species of dogs exhibit signs of scallop allergies. Shellfish is one of the top allergens in dogs. After feeding scallops to your dog, you should observe them for any negative signs so you can report to your vet on time.
Scallops are definitely not harmful to dogs so are free to share some of them with your pet. You should also remember that the most advisable way to give it to them is by cooking plainly and serving in small quantities.
You should not also forget to spend time with your dog so as to get a feel of the things they like and how they react to them.