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Can dogs eat crab? How safe is it really?

Can dogs eat crab? How safe is it really?

Fish and seafood in general are healthy for humans. It’s full of vitamins and minerals, but most importantly it’s rich in protein. This is especially true for crabs. But, given that it’s so healthy, does it mean it’s safe for dogs too? Can dogs eat crab?

Human food is always a bit tricky, until we do research we can’t know what is safe and what is not. Not even all fruits and vegetables are safe. So, before feeding your dog any new human food, check if it’s safe and if it even has any health benefits for your dog.

In this article, we’ll answer the question of can dogs eat crab and if eating crab is even beneficial for your dog’s health.

While you’re already here you can check our other articles on seafood:

Can dogs eat crab?

In short, dogs can eat crab. But, you have to know how to feed crab to your dog. The most important thing to remember is that you remove the shell. It’s not only almost impossible to digest, but it’s also a choking hazard.
Video answering the question of can dogs eat crab

The shell of a crab is hard, so it can easily get stuck in your dog’s throat. This is especially important when you’re at the beach with your dog. Never leave them out of sight, there is a risk that your dog finds a crab and eats it. So, before you give your dog crab, remove the shell!

Benefits of crab

We know that the answer to the question can dogs eat crab is yes. We also know that we have to remove the shell before feeding crab to dogs. Now, let’s see which benefits crab has on a dog’s health.

Out of all seafood, crab meat is probably the most flavorful. But, besides this, it’s also full of vitamins, minerals and it contains a lot of protein. Protein is important for your dog’s body because it provides them with energy and restores their muscles and cells.

Protein also contains amino acids which form hair, nails, skin, muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Basically, protein is the building block of your dog’s cells and plays an important part in your dog’s diet. Without protein, your dog couldn’t survive for long.

Crab also contains a lot of Vitamin B12 which improves brain function and intestinal health. Vets will even advise dog owners to give crab meat to dogs that have pancreas issues. When a dog’s pancreas isn’t working well it can’t absorb the Vitamin B12. That’s when the crab meat comes into play. It contains so much Vitamin B12 that it can counteract the pancreas’ inability and your dog will finally be able to absorb Vitamin B12.

The fact that crab meat is so flavorful can be used as an advantage with dogs that suffer from anorexia. When dogs have this condition they refuse to eat. So, giving your dog a new food that is full of flavor can trick them into eating something.

Crab is soft, so even dogs that have teeth problems, or can’t eat because of an ear infection can eat it.


If your dog never had crab give him only a small amount. After that monitor them for 24 hours. Keep an eye out for any behavior you’re not used to. Do they seem in pain or weak? Don’t miss anything.

The problem with crab is that it contains a lot of iodine. And many dogs are allergic to it. That’s why you have to observe your dog closely. If you notice anything weird, any symptoms, let your vet know!

Signs of crab allergy include:

  • watery nose
  • weakness
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • discomfort
  • stomach issues

Next, crab is high in sodium, basically salt. This means that large amounts of crab can lead to salt poisoning in dogs. And that isn’t something to take loosely. Your dog can’t eat a lot of salt, in fact, a dog that weighs 33 pounds, should only consume around 100 milligrams of sodium a day.

can dogs eat crab
Before giving your dog crab always remove the shell and never season the crab meat

Now, salt is important, you just have to know how much is enough. Some symptoms of too much salt can be minor, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Symptoms of salt poisoning include:

  • thirst
  • refuses to eat
  • vomiting
  • disorientation
  • high temperature
  • weakness

Because of this, crab should be only an occasional treat and not a full meal.

Lastly, seafood is a bit tricky, it can have more bacteria than meat. So, you have to cook your dog’s crab well. You can also bake it, steam it or grill it. It’s just important that you don’t season it. Also, don’t feed your dog canned crab meat. That meat has been processed a lot and is full of preservatives that aren’t good for you or your dog.


In conclusion, can dogs eat crab, yes they can. Your dog can safely eat crab if you prepare it right for them. You have to remove the shell of the crab and cook it well. Otherwise, your dog’s health and even its life might be at risk.

Only feed your dog fresh crab, never canned or processed crab products. In many cases, they contain additives, preservatives, and everything that isn’t good for your dog.

Also, if your dog never had crab before, only give them a small amount, you don’t know if they could be allergic to it.

And most importantly, crab should only be an occasional treat for your dog. So feed it in moderation.

While you’re already here, check out our other articles on human foods:

My name is Jackie and I am a veterinarian with a degree in veterinary medicine. With extensive experience in treating various animals, I am known for my compassionate and personalized approach to animal care.