Can Dogs Eat Lobster?

While lobster tastes good and contains a lot of valuable nutrients, it’s sadly also very high in cholesterol and sodium. Because of that it’s not the healthiest thing for us to eat, but in moderate amounts it’s still okay for us humans to eat lobster. What about dogs, though? Can dogs eat lobster too?

The quick answer is that lobster is not poisonous to dogs, so giving your dog a small amount would be safe. However, it’s not good for dogs to eat lobster, so it’s better if you don’t feed your dog lobster.

If you absolutely must feed your dog some lobster, then remove the shell. Lobster shells are very hard and could easily damage your dog’s intestines.

Can Dogs Eat Lobster? Why It’s Not Recommended to Give Your Dog Lobster

High Sodium Content

The main problem is the high amount of sodium lobsters contain. Although, a small amount of sodium is necessary for your dog to be healthy, in large quantities sodium can be quite dangerous for dogs. In fact, eating a lot of lobsters, other high-sodium seafood or anything else that contains high amount of sodium could damage your dog’s kidneys, cause coma and even death.

Because lobster is high in sodium and fat, it's best not to include it in your dog's diet.

Because lobster is high in sodium and fat, it’s best not to include it in your dog’s diet.

As little as one cup (about 145 grams) of cooked lobsters usually contains over 700 milligrams of sodium. That’s a lot even for us human, but for dogs, that’s a dangerous amount. To put it in perspective, it’s recommended for medium-sized dogs who consume 1000 Calories a day to have about 100 milligrams of sodium each day[1]. If you have large dog, then she could have a bit more sodium in her daily diet, but a single cup of lobsters would still contain a lot more sodium than is okay for your dog to have in a day.

The amount of sodium in a cup of lobsters is not life-threating for dogs, but it’s still likely to cause ill-effects in dogs. If your dog would eat a cup of lobsters, then it’s very likely that she will drink more water than normal and urinate frequently to rid the body of excess sodium. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is. The excess thirst and frequent urination are symptoms of sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

Cholesterol & Fat

Another reason why you should not feed your dog lobster is that lobster contains a lot of fat and cholesterol, which too can be very bad for your dog.

The main concern with fatty foods for dogs is that they can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), which is a painful and potentially fatal condition for dogs[2]. Some dog owners falsely believe that pancreatitis happens when a dog has been on a fat-rich diet for a long period of time, but in reality a single fatty meal is enough to cause pancreatitis in dogs.

If only fed in small amounts, then lobster or other fat-rich food is not likely to cause this problem for your dog, but it can cause other problems. If you regularly feed your dog fat-rich seafood or other fatty table scraps, then in time it can lead to obesity, which in turn can cause joint complications, heart disease, increased blood pressure and many other health problems for your dog[3].

Other Things to Consider

Shellfish allergy is not only common in people, dogs too can be allergic to shellfish. I’d recommend you to not feed your dog any lobster at all, but if you absolutely must, then only give your dog a very small amount, then wait and see if you dog shows any signs of a food allergy or not. The most common signs to look for are diarrhea and skin rash.

Conclusion on Feeding Your Dog Lobster

As lobster is not poisonous to dogs, you might think that it would be okay to give your dog a little bit of lobster, but as it wouldn’t benefit your dog in any way, but could cause harm, it’s best not to. To sum it up, it’s definitely not a good idea to let your dog eat lobster, and it’s best to not give your dog other foods high in sodium and fat as well.

References

  1. Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs: A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners.” Washington: National Academies, 2006. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  2. Pancreatitis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments.” WebMD. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
  3. Health Risks in Overweight or Obese Dogs.” Pet Education.”  Drs. Foster & Smith. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

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