Can Dogs Eat Lobster?
If you enjoy the finer things in life, such as a fancy lobster dinner on occasion, you may have found yourself wondering, “Can dogs eat lobster?”
Given the cost of these delish shellfish, this may be more of a hypothetical question than an actual meal proposal. Still, it’s fun to imagine spoiling our dogs…and even more fun picturing them in a lobster bib!
There’s also the fact that some dogs do raid the trash from time to time, so accidental consumption could be a concern. And in areas where lobster is more widely available and affordable, it might even be something pet parents consider adding to their dog’s meal rotation.
So in this article, we will let you know if it is OK to feed your dog lobster, how lobster should be prepared for dogs (if at all), as well as the potential risks and benefits of feeding lobster to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Lobster?
In a nutshell: Yes, dogs can eat lobster. Lobster is not toxic to dogs and can be enjoyed by most dogs in small quantities as an indulgent treat.
Want more info? Here’s a deeper dive into the different parts and preparations of lobster and whether they’re safe for crustacean-craving pups.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Lobster?
No, you should not feed your dog raw lobster. Feeding dogs raw lobster increases their risk of ingesting harmful bacteria that can cause illness. Plus, raw lobster doesn’t offer any additional nutritional benefit to dogs over cooked lobster meat.
Can Dogs Eat Lobster Shells?
No, dogs should never eat lobster shells. Chewing on the thick, brittle lobster shells will cause them to shatter and break, creating sharp edges. These can injure a dog’s tongue, throat, and esophagus, as well as create a choking hazard. Lobster shells that make it into a dog’s stomach cannot be digested and may cause intestinal blockages or, worse yet, perforation of the stomach or intestines, requiring emergency surgery.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Lobster?
Feeding dogs cooked lobster as an occasional treat should be fine in most cases. When preparing lobster for your dog, make sure you only include the meat of the lobster and none of the shell. It’s best to cook the lobster in a simple manner, such as baking, boiling, or steaming the meat. Do not add any seasonings or butter to the lobster as this could make your dog ill.
Is Lobster Good for Dogs?
Lobster may be nutritious for dogs in small quantities. Lobster is high in protein, low in calories, and low in fat. Lobster is also a good source of copper, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B12 (1). In addition, lobster is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can benefit your dog’s skin, heart, joints, and brain.
Despite having some potential health benefits for dogs, it’s rare to see lobster listed as an ingredient in commercial pet foods or treats, likely due to its high cost. However, a few dog foods as well as dog treats and supplements containing lobster are available.
Is Lobster Bad for Dogs?
Feeding too much lobster to dogs may be harmful to their health due to a few different reasons. The first is that lobster is quite high in sodium. Eating foods high in sodium occasionally isn’t going to harm a healthy dog. However, some dogs with chronic health conditions such as kidney disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), or heart disease, should not eat salty foods as it can worsen their health.
Additionally, lobster is high in cholesterol. Dogs with a history of pancreatitis or those with hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, or Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) should avoid eating foods high in cholesterol.
Another concern with feeding dogs lobster is that lobster, like many other types of seafood, may be contaminated with harmful heavy metals such as mercury and lead (2). Eating foods high in heavy metals can lead to toxicities over time. So lobster should not make up a substantial part of a dog’s diet.
In addition to general concerns about the risk of feeding dogs lobster, there are specific situations that may present additional risks. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about dogs and lobster.
Are Dogs Allergic to Lobster?
Just as humans can be allergic to lobster and other shellfish, dogs can also have an allergy to lobster, although it is thought to be much less common.
Signs that your dog may have a serious allergic reaction to lobster include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, facial swelling, extreme tiredness, difficulty breathing, or collapse.
If your dog has an allergy to lobster, any serious symptoms would typically appear within a few hours of eating lobster. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog eats lobster, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
What if my Dog Ate Lobster Shell?
If your dog got into the trash and ate a whole lobster tail or two, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. Your veterinarian will likely want to monitor your dog and perform X-rays. Since lobster shells can have very sharp edges when they are chewed up, inducing vomiting isn’t typically recommended because it can cause damage to the esophagus as it is coming back up.
If your large dog only ate a tiny bit of lobster shell, it is reasonable to monitor them for any abnormal signs at home. However, if your dog starts displaying any of these symptoms — making gagging noises, vomiting, stops eating, or not pooping normally — you should visit the veterinarian immediately.
Can I Feed My Dog Lobster? The Verdict
If you do decide to feed your dog lobster, it is always best to first discuss this with your veterinarian, especially if your dog has any ongoing medical conditions. If your dog has a history of pancreatitis or a sensitive stomach, it is probably best not to feed them any lobster at all.
When feeding your dog lobster for the first time, start with a tiny amount and observe your dog closely afterward for any signs of an allergic reaction. Lobster should not be fed to dogs in high quantities and it is best to only offer lobster as an occasional luxurious treat.