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Can Dogs Eat Lobster? | Is Lobster Good for Dogs?

is lobster good for dogs

When settlers first came to America, lobster washed up on shore and piled up two feet high!  During these times, they were referred to as “poor man’s protein.”  Lobster have come a long way since then and are now considered a delicacy!  Lobster can cost anywhere between $10 and $20 per pound!  At this price, you might be hesitant to spare some for your pup.  In case you’re looking to share the life of luxury with your pet, let’s find out…can dogs eat lobster?

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Can Dogs Eat Lobster Safely? (The Short Answer)

Yes, lobster can be eaten safely by dogs!  Lobster contains few calories yet packs in a bunch of benefits.  It is a high-protein food that also contains many vitamins and minerals.  That being said, it also contains large amounts of sodium and cholesterol.  Over time, this can be very detrimental to a dog’s health.  It’s important to remember to only feed your dog unseasoned, fully cooked meat.  Seasonings and the shell of the lobster can be harmful to your dog and should be avoided.  If your dog has an allergy to other crustaceans it’s best to avoid lobster as it may trigger allergic reactions as well.  If your pup has no known allergies to shellfish, still proceed with caution as shellfish is a common allergen amongst dogs.

It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t.  Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses.  That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.

Is Lobster Good For Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat lobster safely?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Is lobster good for dogs?

Yes!  Lobster offers some fantastic health benefits to dogs.  Lobster is a great source of minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids.  It packs this all into a high-protein, low-calorie food which makes it an excellent choice!

In one cup of cooked lobster there is 129 calories, 1.25 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 27.55 grams of protein.  As you can see, there are few calories but a significant amount of protein.  Instead of containing empty calories with no nutritional value, lobster contains lots of health benefits that make giving it as a treat worth it.

Lobster also contains, like most seafood, omega-3 fatty acids.  Omega-3 has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects for dogs.  This includes improved cardiovascular health, kidney health, arthritis condition, and cognitive function!

Lobster contains Vitamin E and Vitamin B12.  In terms of minerals, it contains selenium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus. These are some of the essential nutrients for dogs, meaning that their body cannot produce it on its own.  So in order to have enough of it, dogs must be supplied these nutrients by their diet.  Here’s how these nutrients are an integral part of your pup’s health!

Vitamin E: Helps develop strong and healthy muscles, promotes cardiovascular and immune health.

Vitamin B12: Crucial for nervous system and brain function and formation and growth of blood cells.

Selenium: Helps with antioxidant protection, thyroid hormone metabolism, and immune function.

Copper:  Formation of bones, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin.  Helps the body absorb iron.

Zinc: Plays a role in enzymes, proteins, and hormones.  Also important in immune and thyroid function.

Phosphorus: Major component of bones.

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Is Lobster Bad for Dogs?

We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat lobster safely?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Is lobster bad for dogs?

While lobster does contain some benefits, there are also some negative aspects you should consider.  This doesn’t mean it’s horrible for your pet, as most foods are not 100% healthy, but it means that lobster should be given in moderation.  For starters, lobster has a high sodium content.  In fact, nearly 5% of lobster is pure sodium!  While sodium is an essential mineral, too much of it can cause problems that negatively impact your dog’s kidneys.  In addition to sodium, there is a lot of cholesterol in lobster.  Prolonged, excessive ingestion of cholesterol can cause pancreatitis.  While a small bite of lobster will not harm your dog, it’s important to be reminded that too much of even healthy snacks can lead to problems down the road if you’re not cautious.

Lobster shells are a huge issue for dogs.  Humans cannot chew or swallow lobster shells and it’s not any easier for dogs to do so.  If a dog tries to swallow a lobster shell it could cause the dog to choke.  Even if a dog is somehow able to swallow the shell, it may cause an intestinal blockage or tear part of their intestines.  For these reasons, it is not safe for your dog to eat lobster shell.

Another issue with lobster, like most seafood, is that it has the potential to carry intestinal parasites.  Luckily, these parasites can easily be killed if the food is cooked to the correct internal temperature.  For lobster, that is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another issue with serving your pup food for humans is that we often add spices to our foods.  Spices and seasonings can contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets or can, at the least, cause an upset stomach.  As a rule of thumb, you should avoid serving your dog any food with spices or seasonings on it unless you know for certain that these seasonings are safe for dogs.  That being said, ensure that the lobster you serve your dog is plain and does not have any seasonings on it.

Finally, around 2.5% of humans are allergic to shellfish, including lobster, and dogs have food allergies too.  Your pet very well may be allergic to lobster, but they also may not be.  Signs of an allergic reaction include an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, and itching.  If any of these symptoms occur, you should refrain from feeding your dog this food again and contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Other Varieties & Related Foods:

Can Dogs Eat Lobster Meat?

Yes, dogs can eat lobster meat!  Lobster meat is a lean meat that provides protein without a lot of calories.  It also contains essential vitamins and minerals.  As long your pup doesn’t have an allergy to lobster and if you make sure that the meat is fully-cooked and unseasoned, your dog can enjoy this new treat!

Can Dogs Eat Lobster Tail?

Yes, the meat inside of the lobster tail can be eaten!  Just like the lobster in general, all of the shell must be removed.  Additionally, there should not be any added seasonings or spices.

Can Dogs Eat Lobster Shells?

No, dogs should not under any circumstances eat lobster shells.  They can pose a choking risk.  While dog’s teeth are strong enough to initially break the shell, it would most likely be swallowed in large pieces.  If your pup manages this, it could cause so many gastrointestinal problems, beginning at the esophagus.  The hard, rough shell of a lobster has the potential to perforate the esophagus.  This is a very dangerous situation.  Once the shell passes through the esophagus, it has the potential to tear through other organs.  It could perforate the intestines or cause an intestinal blockage.  Perforation could be fatal by causing an infection that could make its way to the bloodstream.  An intestinal blockage can be painful and expensive to fix, as surgery is often required.  These scary situations are reason enough to take all precautions possible to deter your dog from getting any piece of a lobster shell.

Related: Veterinarians Weigh In: Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Are Lobster Scraps Safe for Your Pup?

No, lobster scraps can be dangerous for dogs.  The scraps of a lobster would generally contain different parts of the lobster which could include the shell.  The only edible part for dogs is the meat, but if it is mixed in with the rest of the scraps, your dog would likely ingest part of the shell which can be dangerous.  In addition, the scraps may have seasonings that tasted great for humans, but could cause gastric problems in dogs.  If you’re going to give your dog lobster, give him the good stuff and stick with only the meat.

In Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Lobster?

Yes, dogs can have lobster, as long as you’re safe about it!  Remember to cook lobster thoroughly, do not add any spices or seasonings, remove all of the shell, and be wary of a potential allergy.  As long as you’re aware of and adhere by those policies, you can safely allow your dog to enjoy some lobster!  Your dog’s tastebuds will thank you  and so will the multiple organ systems that will benefit from all of the nutrients packed into lobster! 

Want to Learn More?

Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice.  If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.