Can dogs eat scallops? Yes, dogs can eat scallops in moderation. Scallops can provide dogs with plenty of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog’s overall health.
Scallops should be offered as part of a wider and varied diet and should not be offered as a dog’s main source of food.
Let’s have a look at scallops and the nutritional benefits they can offer our dogs, as well as some potential risks and how we can feed them to our canine companions safely.
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What are scallops?
Scallops are a type of shellfish mollusk that is found in the ocean. They are part of the pectinidae family and are similar to oysters, clams, and muscles.
Scallops are encased in a hard, exterior shell and the scallop meat is found inside. The meat is white and soft and delicate in flavor.
Scallops are eaten all over the world and are part of many different cuisines. They are considered to be a healthy food source with up to 80% protein and very little fat content, making them a great addition to our dog’s diets.
Are scallops good for dogs?
Yes, scallops are good for dogs if they are consumed in moderation. Scallops offer a high level of protein and are leaner than many different types of red meats!
Scallops can offer a variety of health benefits to our dogs. They contain:
Protein has many different roles within a dog’s body, to ensure that it functions correctly and efficiently.
Protein not only ensures that muscles are repaired and kept healthy but also provides energy to the body, supports a healthy immune system, and helps to create new hair and skin cells.
A dog’s body cannot create its own source of magnesium, therefore it must come from their diet.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps to support nerve and muscle function, as well as produce energy for the body to use.
Known as an electrolyte, potassium aids electrical functions within a dog’s body. Potassium helps with the electrical functions of the heart, muscles, and nerves.
Working in conjunction with the mineral calcium, phosphorus helps to maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as contributing towards a well functioning metabolism.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin that has a variety of functions within the body. B12 helps to promote a healthy gut, prevent disease and aids in the function of the nervous system.
Zinc helps to support a dog’s immune system, as well as acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the cells of our dog’s bodies from damage, which could result in diseases such as cancer.
Helping to support red blood cell production, copper is an important mineral that a dog’s body requires. It also contributes to the color of our dog’s skin and fur!
Are scallops bad for dogs?
No, scallops are not bad for dogs, but there are some risks associated with feeding dogs scallops.
You may be familiar with raw diets for dogs, and this is where dogs are offered a variety of raw meats as their main source of food.
There are arguments that both support and disagree with raw feeding; and some of the opposing arguments are that the risks can outweigh the benefits that a raw diet may offer.
So, can dogs eat raw scallops? No, dogs should not be offered raw scallops. Raw seafood, including scallops, can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacta.
Raw scallops can also contain parasites such as roundworm and tapeworm. If ingested, raw scallops could cause symptoms such as:
- Hypersalivation (Increased saliva)
- Loose stools containing blood
- Abdominal pain
If you have offered your dog raw scallops and are worried about their health, speak with your veterinary practice as soon as possible.
Keep in mind:
- Scallops could also pose the risk of becoming a choking hazard, so ensure that you chop cooked scallops up into smaller pieces that are safer for your dog to consume.
- Make sure that there is no shell present when offering scallops to your dog and do not let them lick or chew the shell to avoid the risk of accidental ingestion.
- Some dogs can be allergic to seafood, including scallops. Monitor your dog for signs of coughing, choking, excessive licking, increased salivation, and swelling around the lips and eyes.
If any of these symptoms occur post-scallop ingestion, seek the help of a veterinary surgeon.
How to offer scallops to dogs
Scallops should always be thoroughly cooked and never fed raw to your dog.
If you have purchased fresh scallops that are still within the shell, you will need to remove the white and orange meat from the shell and also remove the stomach sac, shell, and frilled membrane.
If you are unsure of how to do this, speak with the supplier of the scallops and see if they will prepare them for your dog.
Scallops can be fried in a small amount of dog-friendly oil such as sunflower, coconut, or olive oil, but healthier alternative cooking methods include steaming or even boiling for a few minutes in water.
Be sure to not to use any additional seasonings such as salt and pepper, as these offer no benefit to your dog’s health.
If you would like to add additional flavor then why not read our guide to herbs and spices that dogs can eat!
Do not purchase pre-prepared scallops in sauces or marinades for your dog. These may have excess oils, preservatives, and flavorings that could be toxic to dogs. Onions, garlic and chili are often used in seafood marinades, all of which are unsuitable for dogs to ingest.
Do not routinely offer scallops to dogs. They should only be offered as an occasional treat and should not make up a large portion of their diet.
If you are interested in creating your own food for your dog from fresh ingredients, rather than using a generic dog food, speak with your veterinary surgeon or canine nutritionist.
Can dogs eat scallops? Final Thoughts
Scallops offer a variety of health benefits for our dogs and could be described as a dog superfood!
Offering plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, scallops help to provide our dogs with a highly concentrated supply of goodness in one little piece of meat.
Ensure that you prepare scallops properly for your dogs, making sure that they are fully cooked and contain no dog-unsafe additional flavorings.
Never offer your dog raw scallops, as they can contain harmful parasites and bacteria. If you are worried about your dog’s behavior after they have consumed scallops, always seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.