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Scallops can make a tasty treat for humans, but can dogs eat scallops too? This complete guide will explore the benefits and risks of feeding scallops to dogs and provide tips for safe feeding.
Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
Yes, dogs can eat scallops in moderation as an occasional treat. Scallops are not toxic to dogs. Regardless, there are some dangers to be conscious of.
Nutritional Value of Scallops
Scallops are high in protein, providing lean meat for dogs. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, which are beneficial for dogs’ skin and coat health. Scallops provide vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, zinc, and iron. However, scallops are very high in sodium, so they should only be fed occasionally.
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
Are Scallops Good for Dogs?
Scallops can provide nutritional benefits for dogs. The lean protein helps maintain muscle mass, while the omega-3s support skin/coat health. The B vitamins and minerals also provide benefits.
However, the high sodium content means scallops should only be an occasional treat. Dogs with certain conditions like kidney disease may need to avoid scallops entirely due to the salt content.
Scallop Health Benefits for Dogs
Some of the health benefits of scallops for dogs can include:
- Healthy skin and coat from omega-3 fatty acids
- Muscle building from protein
- Energy from B vitamins
- Immune support from zinc
- Anemia prevention from iron
Again, the benefits are dose-dependent and scallops are very high in sodium, so only small amounts should be fed occasionally.
|Skin and coat health||Scallops contain omega-3 fatty acids that support skin and coat health.|
|Muscle building||The protein in scallops helps maintain and build muscle mass.|
|Energy||Scallops provide B vitamins that help produce energy from food.|
|Immune support||The zinc in scallops aids immune system function.|
|Anemia prevention||Scallops contain iron which helps prevent anemia from iron deficiency.|
Can Scallops Be Bad for Dogs?
Yes, scallops do come with some risks and should only be fed in strict moderation.
The main risks of scallops for dogs include:
- High sodium content – Too much sodium can cause excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and even sodium ion poisoning in dogs.
- Allergies – Some dogs may be allergic to scallops. Symptoms like itching, hives, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur.
- Choking hazard – The small size of scallops makes them a potential choking risk, especially for small dog breeds.
- Contaminants – Raw scallops may contain bacteria, parasites, or toxins if not properly handled.
So while scallops provide some nutritional benefits, they also carry risks with overfeeding. Moderation is key.
Risks of Feeding Scallops to Dogs
Some of the main risks of feeding scallops to dogs include:
- Gastrointestinal upset – Too many scallops can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation from the high sodium content.
- Pancreatitis – The high-fat content increases pancreatitis risk, especially for overweight or obese dogs.
- Sodium ion poisoning – Excessive sodium from scallops can cause sodium ion poisoning, which can be fatal.
- Allergies – Scallop allergies or intolerances can develop in some dogs.
- Choking – Whole scallops or large pieces can become lodged in the throat.
- Foodborne illness – Raw scallops may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins if improperly handled.
To reduce these risks, give scallops in strict moderation and properly handle/cook scallops before feeding.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Scallops?
Yes, dogs can develop allergies or intolerances to scallops. Symptoms of an allergic response can have:
- Itching, licking, or chewing at the skin, feet, or fur
- Hives, rashes, or skin irritations
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive upset
- Boasting of the chops, vocabulary, lips, or throat
- Breathing difficulties
If these signs occur after feeding scallops, discontinue feeding and see a veterinarian. A food elimination trial diet may be needed to diagnose a scallop allergy.
How Much Scallops Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs should only eat 1-2 small scallops 2-3 times per week at most. Overfeeding scallops can quickly lead to sodium overdose.
Very small dogs should only have 1-2 bites of scallops a couple of times a week due to size. Large dogs can have a whole small scallop but no more than 2 times per week. Moderation is crucial.
|Dog Size||Example Breeds||Max Scallops|
|Small||Under 10 lbs||Chihuahua, Toy Poodle||1-2 small bites, 2x/week|
|Medium||10-50 lbs||Cocker Spaniel, Beagle||1 whole small scallop, 2x/week|
|Large||Over 50 lbs||Labrador, Golden Retriever||1-2 small scallops, 2-3x/week|
How Many Scallops Are Safe For My Dog To Eat?
A general feeding guide for scallops is:
- Small dogs under 10 lbs: 1-2 small bites, 2x/week
- Medium dogs 10-50 lbs: 1 whole small scallop, 2x/week
- Large dogs over 50 lbs: 1-2 small scallops, 2-3x/week
The exact number can vary based on your dog’s size and sodium sensitivity. Start with small amounts and watch for symptoms of sodium overdose like excessive thirst/urination. Adjust portions accordingly.
|Dog Size||Example Breeds||Max Scallops|
|Extra-small (2-20 lbs.)||Chihuahua, Yorkie||1-2 small bites, 2x/week|
|Small (21-30 lbs.)||Beagle, Pug||1 whole small scallop, 2x/week|
|Medium (31-50 lbs.)||Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog||1 whole small scallop, 2x/week|
|Large (51-90 lbs.)||Labrador, Boxer||1-2 small scallops, 2-3x/week|
|Extra-large (91+ lbs.)||Great Dane, Mastiff||2-3 small scallops, 2-3x/week|
Consulting a Veterinarian
Can Dogs Eat Scallops? It’s best to consult your veterinarian before feeding scallops, especially if your dog has any health conditions or is on medication. Dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, or sodium-restricted diets should likely avoid scallops altogether due to the high sodium content.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Scallops?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked scallops and cooked is safer than raw. Cooking scallops destroys any parasites, bacteria, or toxins that could be present. Cook scallops thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. Avoid seasoning with onion, garlic or other spices dogs should not consume.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Scallops?
It’s best to avoid canned scallops for dogs, even though cooking kills pathogens. Canned scallops are extremely high in sodium, containing around 200-400mg per ounce. Just a few bites could overload a dog’s system with salt. Stick to freshly cooked scallops in strict moderation if feeding scallops.
Can Dogs Eat Dried Scallops?
No, dogs should not eat dried scallops. The dehydration process concentrates the protein and sodium, making dried scallops incredibly high in sodium. Just a couple of pieces could overload a dog’s system. Avoid feeding any dried, smoked, salted, or seasoned scallop products.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Scallops?
Dogs should not eat raw scallops due to the risk of parasites and foodborne bacteria like Salmonella. Scallops are one type of shellfish prone to infestations if not properly handled. Be sure to cook scallops thoroughly to kill any potential pathogens before feeding them to dogs.
Related Post to read about Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets
FAQs about Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
Q: Are scallops a good source of protein for dogs?
A: Yes, scallops provide lean protein for dogs. However, due to their salt content, they should only be fed in moderation. Other good low-sodium proteins include chicken, turkey, eggs, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt.
Q: Can Dogs Eat Scallops?
A: No, scallops should not be fed to puppies under 1 year old. Puppies have developing immune systems and are at higher risk of parasite infections from raw shellfish. They also cannot tolerate excess sodium well. Wait until 1+ years old.
Q: How can I cook scallops safely for dogs?
A: Cook scallops thoroughly to an internal temp of 145°F+ to kill bacteria and parasites. Avoid seasoning with onion or garlic. Let them cool before feeding to prevent mouth burns. Dice into bite-sized pieces for safety.
Q: What are signs my dog ate too many scallops?
A: Diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst/urination, lethargy, and sodium ion poisoning symptoms like tremors, seizures, or coma can occur if a dog eats too many scallops. Seek vet help immediately if these signs show.
Q: Can I feed my dog cooked scallop shells?
A: No, cooked scallop shells can still pose a risk of splintering and intestinal damage in dogs. Only feed the cooked scallop meat itself in moderation. Avoid shells.
Can Dogs Eat Scallops? Scallops can provide some nutritional benefits to dogs in strict moderation. However, their high sodium content means overfeeding poses serious health risks. Follow portion guidelines, avoid seasonings, and cook thoroughly before feeding occasional small amounts. Check with your vet on scallop feeding guidelines specific to your dog’s health.