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No, dogs should not eat shrimp tails since they are a choking hazard and can cause intestinal obstructions. Shrimp tails are made of a protein called chitin, which dogs cannot digest. They can also splinter and cause damage to the dog’s intestines which can need surgical intervention. Apart from intestinal issues, these tails can also have bacteria and parasites, leading to severe health issues for a dog.

Shrimp Tails
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Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Tails are not toxic. However, they can cause damage to the intestines, and dogs can coke on them.
Nutritional Issues Shrimp tails are high in cholesterol. Therefore, they can also cause hypertension in dogs. If your dog eats raw shrimp tails, then there is the threat of digesting bacteria and parasites.
Potential Risks Shrimp tails can get lodged in your dog’s throat, and they can choke on it. If your dog can swallow the tail, it can also cause issues in the intestines by either puncturing them or getting stuck. The high cholesterol content of the shrimp tails can also aggravate a dog’s hypertension.
Symptoms Vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and issues with bowel movements.
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Many Shrimp Tails Are Bad for Dogs?

No set amount of shrimp tails can be considered safe for dogs. Since the tails are not toxic, there can be instances where your dog can eat one or two shrimps, and its digestive system can withstand it. However, sometimes only one shrimp tail can splinter and cause considerable damage to the digestive system.

What to do if Your Dog is Sick from Eating Shrimp Tails

If your dog has eaten a shrimp tail, we suggest not waiting for symptoms and immediately going to the nearest vet’s emergency room. Even one shrimp tail can cause issues in the dog that need to be treated immediately before your dog’s condition worsens.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Prawn tails, when cooked, can have a decreased risk of contracting bacteria. However, they are still indigestible and you should seek medical assistance if your dog eats a cooked shrimp tail.

  • Shrimp tails are not toxic to dogs, but they are indigestible. You can even feed your dog a broth made from shrimp tails for nutritional benefits.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.