We’ve all been there. You’re eating your dinner at home and suddenly you hear a patter of tiny paws running towards you. He has smelled the savory scent of your shrimp. He’s sitting there gazing at you, waiting for a piece. So you find yourself wondering. Can Chihuahuas eat shrimp?
The answer is yes, it is generally safe for your chihuahua to shrimp. However, it must be emphasized that you only feed them the meat. You must peel the shell off before giving them to your chihuahua as the shells would likely cause them to have some chewing and digestive problems.
In this article, we will explain why it is generally safe for your chihuahuas to eat shrimp, how to find them, the various health benefits of shrimp, how to prepare them, how large of an amount you can give them, and finally the negative effects if they eat too much.
Set your worries aside, shrimp is safe!
Shrimp come are relatives of lobsters. They belong to the Caridea order of marine crustaceans and possess a long abdomen, usually much longer than their carapace and pleon. This means shrimps are also packed with meat under their hard exteriors.
Most shrimp primarily feed on plankton, and in their natural habitat, they eat algae. They don’t eat dirty garbage from the ocean contrary to common belief. In other words, shrimp are relatively clean animals.
How to find the best shrimp
You will want to ensure however, that the shrimp you buy at the store were not previously used as bait, fed chemicals, or exposed to antibiotics.
Their smell will tell you if that’s the case. Be sure that they smell very fresh and slightly briny. They should not smell “fishy” or pungent in any way. Also, make sure the head is still on the shrimp, its eyes should be clear and not clouded over.
Moreover, check that there aren’t any tears or imperfections in the shell. Make sure that the shell is firm and not soft. Soft skin usually indicates that the shrimp has been in stock already for long periods.
If these conditions are met, feel free to buy them so that you could give them to your Chihuahua. Now, let’s continue on with the health benefits of this savory snack for your Chihuahua.
Health benefits of shrimp
Shrimp are very low in fat (1 gram of fat per 3.5 ounces of shrimp), particularly saturated fat, and high in protein (18 grams) which means this snack could help your Chihuahua some strong muscles. They also contain the following vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin A – promotes healthy vision, and reproduction and cells.
- Vitamin B – supports nervous system health, cell production and metabolism.
- Vitamin B12 – promotes energy and helps with nerve functions.
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant that boosts immunity, aids in the absorption of iron and collagen formation for cartilage and bones.
- Niacin – supports your Chihuahua’s digestive system.
- Copper – helps produce melanin, which gives color to their coat and skin.
- Pantothenic Acid – helps Chihuahuas with absorbing nutrients, which helps boost other bodily functions.
So now that you know what’s actually in shrimp, how about some ideas on how to prepare it or servings.
How you should prepare shrimp to your chihuahua
- Cook it, do not give it raw
Shrimp have been known to contain salmonella when raw or undercooked so it would be best to cook them first and never to give it to them raw.
Cook the shrimp with its shell. Leave it for 10 minutes on boiling water. Optionally, season and bake them in the oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes until they are bright orange and brown in color.
- Discard the shell
Again, shrimp shells can bring trauma to the mouth of your Chihuahua or cause digestive issues when ingested. You should peel them after cooking and only give them the meat.
- Devein your shrimp
Remove the shrimp of their dark intestinal vein. All you have to do is make a incision in the back of the shrimp and pull out this dark line that contains their waste material. Some people like to leave them as it is, but this process makes the shrimp even cleaner for your Chihuahua.
- Cut up into small pieces
To make sure that your chihuahuas do not choke when eating, cut the shrimp into very small slices, cubes or strips. This will help them swallow easier and prevent them from choking.
Having all of that, it would also be best to put into consideration the frequency and serving sizes when feeding shrimp to your chihuahua, which leads us to the next topic!
How much and how often you should feed your chihuahua
Like most dogs your Chihuahua will need to receive the proper amount of nutrients through their food which shrimp on its own cannot provide. Therefore, you must only give it to them as treats or mix it with their regular dog food.
Many people prefer to give their chihuahuas shrimp once or twice a week, depending on the size of your Chihuahua. A good rule of thumb for how much to feed them is one small to medium sized shrimp per serving as a treat or as a mix with dog food.
Giving them too much shrimp might lead to digestive problems. Which leads us to the next topic.
What can happen if my chihuahua eats too much?
There isn’t much risk to giving your chihuahuas shrimp as a treat as long as you do not feed them too much. If you feed them excessive amounts however, they might have some issues digesting it and might possibly experience some diarrhea or vomiting. If you notice these signs, head immediately to the veterinarian as it may lead to dehydration if left untreated.
So there you have it! To reiterate, shrimp is safe for your chihuahua. You can now enjoy your shrimp with your Chihuahuas with the proper knowledge to do so.
However, certain measures need to be followed before giving them this savory treat. Always make sure you clean them and cook them properly. Keep in mind how much and how often you are giving them as eating too much shrimp can lead to some digestive issues.
If you follow the guidelines laid out above, there is nothing to worry about when giving your chihuahuas shrimp as a treat! Till next time!