Can Dogs Eat Oysters? Benefits & Risks Explained
Whether you love oysters or aren’t a fan, they may have benefits for your pup. Read on to get the 411 on giving your dog oysters.
Learning which foods your dog can and cannot eat can be overwhelming. There are many snacks you may love that pose risks of severe gastrointestinal discomfort or even toxicity for your pup. Plus, keeping track of these foods and keeping your furry BFF safe can be worrisome in itself.
Luckily, we’re here to help. If you’re wondering whether or not you can share your love of oysters with your dog, we have the answers.
Oysters can provide many different health benefits for your pup, especially for those that are allergic to other types of protein like chicken or beef.
Let’s review the benefits and risks of this tasty treat and how you can incorporate it into your pup’s diet safely.
Read on to learn more.
Can Dogs Eat Oysters?
Can dogs eat oysters? The answer is yes! Your dog can absolutely enjoy this seafood treat on occasion, as well as a few other types of cooked seafood. However, there are a few things to know about safely feeding your pup oysters.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of oysters, the risks involved, and how to properly give oysters to your pup to keep them safe.
Benefits of Oysters for Dogs
There are many reasons to feed your pup oysters.
Here are some of the benefits of this tasty snack:
First, oysters are an excellent protein alternative for dogs with allergies. Dog food allergies are increasingly common. Among the top five dog food allergies are chicken and beef. If your dog is allergic to one or both of these protein sources, oysters can be an excellent alternative.
Protein is the most important nutrient to include in your pup’s diet. Protein provides amino acids for your dog, promotes proper muscle development, supports healthy skin and nails, and increases healing time for tissues. Protein is also vital for the production of energy.
Oysters are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are critical for heart health, supporting reduced inflammation, proper immune function and health, and promoting overall health and wellness for your pup.
Many different types of minerals are found in oysters as well. For instance, oysters are a rich source of zinc and selenium. Zinc is essential for immune system health, metabolic function, and healing. Selenium is essential for healthy reproduction, thyroid health, and combatting free radicals, and preventing oxidative stress.
In addition to zinc and selenium, oysters are packed with iron. Dogs need iron for oxygen transport throughout the body, which attaches to the hemoglobin and transports to tissues. Iron is also important for making sure dogs have the strength, energy, and hormones to function properly.
Overall, oysters are an excellent snack that’s low in caloric content, high in minerals and nutrients, and rich in a variety of other vitamins not yet mentioned. For instance, oysters contain vitamin D, copper, and vitamin B12.
Feeding oysters to your pup in moderation is a great way to share a delicious snack with your furry BFF.
Risks of Oysters for Dogs
While there are plenty of reasons to share oysters with your pup, there are a few risks to know about beforehand.
Let’s break them down.
As with any new food, there is the possibility that your pup could be allergic to oysters. Introduce oysters to your dog slowly, monitoring behavior and symptoms closely to make sure they don’t show irritation or a reaction.
If your dog is allergic to other types of seafood that are generally considered safe for dogs, you may want to exercise greater caution.
It’s also important to understand that oysters are only beneficial when fed in moderation. If you overfeed oysters to your pup leading to an excess in calories, this can result in obesity and further health complications.
It’s vital to ensure your dog maintains a healthy caloric intake, even with additional oysters. Do this by altering their regular amount of food depending on how many oysters you give them and incorporating oysters into their mealtimes.
Lastly, it’s important to know that some oysters can absorb toxins. Look for oysters that have undergone toxicity tests to make sure they’re safe for your pup to eat!
Avoid giving your dog any type of raw fish, including oysters.
How To Safely Feed Your Dog Oysters
When it comes to safely giving your dog oysters to eat, preparation is everything.
Here’s what you need to know about safely preparing oysters for your pup for them to enjoy.
Avoid Raw Oysters
First, it’s vital to avoid raw oysters. Raw fish, including oysters, can contain harmful bacteria, salmonella, and increase the risk for illness.
Steaming oysters is the best practice for killing bacteria while retaining nutrient content. When feeding oysters to your dog, never add any butter, seasoning, or oils, as this can be unhealthy for your dog.
Simply steam them and serve them as they are, or incorporate them into your dog’s meal along with the rest of their regular meal.
Whenever you introduce a new food, whether you’re giving your dog a special treat or trying to switch their dog food, it’s important to start slowly and gradually. Offer your pup a small amount of oyster at first.
After feeding your dog oyster for the first time, monitor their behavior and symptoms closely. If they demonstrate any signs of irritation or reaction such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, gas, bloating, or itching, be sure to talk to a trusted veterinarian.
Balanced Diet and Complete Nutrition
It’s up to you to find a dog food your pup will love that also offers balanced nutrition. Finding snacks like oysters that are beneficial for your pup’s health is one of the best ways you can show your dog you care.
What's even better than that? Finding Sundays. With meals catered to your dog’s nutritional needs, we include fruits, vegetables, proteins, and more that are packed with nutrients your dog needs to thrive.