Dogs Food

Can Dogs Eat Crab Shells?

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In this article, you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Crab Shells?“.

Do you ever wonder if your dog can eat crab shells? The answer is no, don’t let your dog eat crab shells. Crab meat is safe for your dog to eat, but consuming the crab shell can be very dangerous for them. A dog’s stomach and intestines can be seriously damaged by crab shells because they are not easily digestible. If your dog tries to steal table scraps from the crab you’re eating, make sure to ignore them and keep any shells you discard out of reach of your pet. 

Even though they don’t know any better, dogs and humans aren’t designed to eat crab shells. Make sure you stick to normal dog food since it’s up to you, as the owner, to eat crab responsibly around your dog and make sure you don’t accidentally ingest any crab shells. 

Will Crab Shells Hurt a Dog?

As with certain bones, crab shells are not fit for consumption by dogs, the reasoning is the same for both. Crab shells can be brittle and break into sharp chunks that can become lodged in your dog’s throat resulting in suffocation or internal bleeding. 

The crab shell can still cause internal bleeding in your dog even if it is too small to get lodged in his throat. Shell splinters can be very sharp, so while passing through your dog’s intestines it could cause some serious damage.

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Safely Eating Crab Shells Around Your Dog

Everyone has been there at one point in their lives. You’re about to begin eating that delicious meal you just prepared when you notice your furball next to you with those big eyes that seem to be begging for a bite. It’s okay to give dogs some human food, such as dairy snacks, as treats in moderation, but you should be careful when it comes to crab and other seafood. 

Since dogs lack the enzymes required for proper digestion, most seafood, including crab, contains ammonia, which is difficult for them to digest. It is probably ok to have a little bit, but you shouldn’t make it your normal snack. Be sure any crab you do give your dog is fully cooked, as uncooked crab may contain nasty parasites that could cause serious problems to your dog and you!

Now that you’ve finished eating that juicy crab, you have this messy crab shell husk to dispose of. The first thing you need to do is not just leave it out on the table and go watch TV; if your dog jumps on the table and eats the shells, he could get hurt. 

When your kids are eating crab, be sure to not give them the shell and explain to them how dangerous the shell can be for your dog. There’s always an X factor with kids, especially if they give in and take something from the table they shouldn’t have. Children and dogs should probably be kept away from crab shells altogether.

If any crab shells remain, place them in a bag and close it well, then either throw them in a trash can that your dog will not be able to access. If you are worried that your dog might eat the crab shells in the trash, you can smash them up and flush them down the toilet. Since chitin is biodegradable, biocompatible, and non-toxic, this shouldn’t cause a problem. Be sure to pulverize the shells well so they don’t clog up your plumbing if you decide to do this.

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What About the Beach?

There is probably some debris washed up on the beach by ocean waves if you’ve been to the beach often enough. Look closely, and you may find some crab shells or even dead crabs washed up. Crab shells washed up on the beach can be just as dangerous to your dog as the ones you discard after eating them.

Since most dogs won’t eat washed-up crabs on the beach due to the strong ammonia odor rotting crabs give off, you should still watch your dog make sure they don’t chew or gnaw on anything they shouldn’t.

Can Dogs Eat Any Other Seafood Shells?

Giving dogs other kinds of seafood shells isn’t a good idea. Typically, seafood shells are composed of chitin, which is strong but prone to splintering, resulting in sharp, unusually shaped pieces. 

If they pass through your dog’s throat or cause internal damage and bleeding, sharp splinters are a big no-no when it comes to dogs or food in general. You should always dispose of any shells in a safe manner and never give them to your dog or any of your other pets. 

Even though some shells, such as crawfish, can be smaller than others, they all pose the same choking risk for your canine companion. Shellfish, such as lobster, shrimp, and prawns, as well as other seafood, are all dangerous to dogs and should be avoided.

Are Crab Shells Digestible For Dogs?

Let’s say you wanted to pulverize some dried-up crab shells into a powder, would your dog be able to eat it? They could theoretically digest it, as chitin, the material crab shells are made from, is common in many foods.

Don’t give your dogs crab shells under any circumstances; they’ll be glad you didn’t. As a rule of thumb, just dispose of your crab shells in a safe manner and don’t feed them to them.

Can Dogs Eat Chitin?

Dogs weren’t designed to consume large amounts of chitin, and it may cause various gastrointestinal issues if consumed in excessive amounts. Despite the fact that chitin is a common additive found in human food (used to emulsify and add flavor), it should not be a staple in your dog’s diet.

What Are Crab Shells Made Of?

Shells of crabs, like many other exoskeletons found in nature, are made of chitin. The material is super common in nature and can be found on bugs, seafood, fungi, and algae. 

The fact that dogs eat bugs all the time doesn’t mean they should eat large amounts of chitin. Most bugs are small, so that crab shell is probably the chitin equivalent of several ant colonies, if not more!

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Conclusion

In moderation, the crab can be a tasty treat for your dog, but always be careful with how you dispose of the crab’s shell. Never give your dog the shell. When disposing of crab waste materials like the shell, you need to take proper precautions, especially if your dog dives into trash cans on a regular basis. Ensure your dog doesn’t have a chance to chew or eat crab shells. Your vigilance may save your dog’s life!

If you want to read more about dog food tips, read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Can Dogs Eat Crab Shells? (Watch Video)

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