Dog Food

Can dogs eat prawns? How Much? Things to Avoid


No Comments

Spread the love

A plate of plain-cooked prawns, a good option for dogs.

Are you unknowingly giving prawns to your dog, but now you think, can dogs eat prawns, or how is it a safe treat for him? Yes! Dogs can eat prawns but know everything before feeding them. Prawns create problems like choking hazards, allergies, or digestive issues in your dog. But tens not; my passion for dogs gives you much knowledge to decide which food you can add to your pooch diet. You can get information about whether you can feed prawns to dogs, safety tips, multiple challenges, practical solutions, and, of course, my expert insight on this demanded query.

Can dogs eat prawns?

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog is eating cooked shrimp from a white plate with two minions on it.

Yes! Dogs eat and love prawns, and they can be given to dogs as an occasional treat, but you must be aware that they should be properly washed, peeled, and cooked. Moreover, you should unfasten the extra parts like veins, head, tail, claws, legs, and shells. If your dog is totally new to eating prawns, I suggest giving them in small quantities just for taste, and if your dog is not active or a very picky one, consult with your vet before introducing prawns to him.

What should be considered before giving prawns to dogs?

Prawns are a 100% safe option for humans and dogs because if your family loves to eat them daily, their smell definitely drags your dog to take a bite. It would help if you thought about these factors before giving prawns to dogs.

  • Always start practicing with a small amount of prawns as a treat and diversion.
  • Not to try feeding prawns to the allergic dogs if he has any with seafood.
  • Make sure you are giving prawns to dogs that are plain and free from seasoning, salt, and flavour.
  • Always check the portion; if your dog already consumes seafood or other protein and caloric-based food, do not feed prawns on that day.
  • Choose high-quality prawns from supermarkets in the UK, like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, and Lidl, online retailers, local markets, or seafood shops.
  • Consider size and dog’s breed. Small dogs are more susceptible to choking hazards, so ensure the prawns are cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Certain dog breeds are predisposed to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. These breeds, like Yorkshire Terriers and Schnauzers, may need to avoid prawns altogether or only have them in minimal, occasional amounts.
  • Always give cooked, plain, shell-free prawns to dogs by considering their overall health.
  • Never consider prawns as a single protein source while feeding them as a part of the diet.

Are prawns good for dogs?

dogs always enjoy cooked prawns as they smells good

Yes! Prawns are safe for dogs because they give the nutrition that their body requires. Prawns are considered safe for dogs because of their high nutritious values:

  • Protein: Prawns are a rich source of protein, which is essential for dogs to build and repair tissues, support muscle growth, and maintain overall health. Protein is vital for active dogs and those with high energy needs.
  • Omega3 & 6 fatty acids: Prawns contain omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are beneficial for dogs’ skin, coat, and joint health and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Vitamins and minerals: prawns have many good properties that are effective for the overall development of a dog.
    • Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells.
    • Selenium acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune system.
    • Magnesium is good for muscle and bone health.
    • Zinc helps in the skin’s health and is a wound healer.
    • Phosphorus works best for a dog’s energy metabolism.
    • Iron helps in transporting oxygen to the whole body functions in favour of brain development.
    • Niacin, or vitamin B3, works for DNA repair and regulating cholesterol in dogs.
    • Iodine in prawns plays a critical role in dogs’ bodies, primarily in the function of the thyroid gland and the production of thyroid hormones.
  • Low in Carbohydrates: Prawns are low in carbohydrates, which can be beneficial for dogs that require a low-carb or grain-free diet.
  • Low in Fat: While prawns are relatively low in fat compared to other protein sources like beef or pork, they still contain some fat. It also has good cholesterol in it.

We can feed fresh, frozen, and dried prawns to dogs, but each has a distinct nutritional value. Let’s have a look.

Note: These values are collected as an estimate, but they can vary due to different species & types of prawns, preparation methods, water content, additive usage, serving size, and nutritional analysis of various companies.

Dried Prawns (per 100g)
Fresh Prawns (per 100g)
290 kcal
106 kcal
67.2 g
20.3 g
Total Fat
2.6 g
1.7 g
Saturated Fat
0.7 g
0.3 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
0.9 g
0.3 g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
1.2 g
0.3 g
602 mg
152 mg
2736 mg
112 mg
1241 mg
198 mg
243 mg
51 mg
11.1 mg
1.4 mg
206 mg
55 mg
1550 mg
255 mg
6.6 mg
2.4 mg
Vitamin B12
1.4 mg
1.2 mg
Vitamin E
1.1 mg
1.0 mg
Vitamin K
0.4 mg
0.3 mg

Can dogs eat raw prawns?

No, raw prawns should be avoided for dogs. While cooked prawns are a healthy raw treat for dogs, prawns pose multiple risks to dogs. Raw seafood, including prawns, carry severe bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Vibrio. These bacteria can cause food poisoning in dogs, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. It also contains pathogens and parasites like roundworms, lungworms, and tapeworms. These parasites can cause various health problems, including weight loss, intestinal issues, and even organ damage. But you can diminish the chance of these bacteria by freezing prawns for a week and feeding them raw if he has no allergy to foods.

My friend had three female German Shepherds; out of one, she ate ten raw prawns at once. I remember she was in a state of bother, calling me, and I used to relax her. It would be OK that your dog ate raw prawns because they are carnivores, but consult with your vet if your Shepherd shows symptoms like high-temperature puking, frequent stool pass, and bloating, but thank god the dog was fine.

Are prawns toxic to dogs?

No, prawns are not toxic for dogs if they are taken as cooked. Multiple risks are lurking in raw prawns or if you never wash them before feeding or add seasoning and tasting sauces into them; otherwise, plain, additive-free, or fresh prawns are healthy treats for dogs and never toxic at any cost. Dogs are toxic to mercury, but prawns contain mercury levels (low: 0.009 ppm & high: 0.05 ppm)* and too much consumption of prawns increases mercury levels in dogs so that they can be toxic with the symptoms of memory loss, tremors, and sleeplessness.

How many prawns can a dog eat?

Although there are too many conversations about the number of prawns to dogs, it depends on multiple factors, and your vet will prescribe the quantity, but the general rule is not to feed prawns more than 10% of the whole caloric intake of that day or as a start-up introduce one prawn as a treat. The general guideline includes:

Dog size
Weight (Lb)
Weight (kg)
Amount of prawns
1/2 medium-size
1 medium-size
2 medium-size
3 medium-size
4 medium-size

Factors on which you can decide the number of prawns for dogs include:

  • Size and weight: Large dogs eat more prawns than small dogs.
  • Activity level: Energetic dogs may consume more prawns than lazy ones.
  • Overall health: Healthy dogs consume large amounts of prawns as compared to allergic dogs.
  • Prawns vary in size: A jumbo prawn is much more giant than a small cocktail prawn, making a single number meaningless.
  • Age of a dog: Puppies require a smaller portion as compared to large dogs.
  • Preparation and Serving Method: The way prawns are prepared and served can also impact the number of prawns a dog can safely eat. For example, prawns that are fried or seasoned with spices may not be as suitable for dogs as plain, boiled prawns.

Are prawns bad for dogs?

Actually, the prawns are good for dogs if taken in moderate quantities. Prawns are a type of seafood that is mostly 1-3cm long but sometimes grows to 25 cm long. It has multiple sound effects if it is given to dogs as it is low in calories, zero in carbs, less in fat, and high in protein. But after  my 4 hours of research on the harmful effects of prawns on dogs, I came to know that prawns are not good in a few conditions like:

  • If your dog has an allergy to seafood.
  • If your dog has sodium poisoning, taking a high quantity of prawns might create adverse GI issues.
  • If your dog has any pancreatitis, inflammation, or kidney disease.
  • If your female dog is pregnant and lactating. (the chances are less if given in moderation)
  • If your dog has recovered from illness or any surgery,
  • If your dog consumes too many raw and shell-covered prawns,

Can dogs eat cooked prawns?

Yes! Dogs can eat cooked prawns, but they must be plain with no added flavour, seasoning, salt, or additives. Cooking prawns reduces all the harmful bacteria that sit in raw seafood. By boiling, steaming, or baking prawns, you ensure that they are safe for your dog to consume, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses. The cooking of prawns improves digestibility, reduces the danger of suffocation, and enhances the bioavailability of nutrients in prawns, making them more nutritional. Therefore, cooked prawns offer more benefits to dogs than raw prawns.

Can dogs eat garlic prawns?

No, I highly refuse the use of garlic prawns for dogs. Garlic prawns are typically seasoned with garlic powder, minced garlic, or garlic oil, making them entirely unsuitable for dogs. Even the residual garlic aroma on the prawns can be risky for some sensitive dogs. Garlic contains thiosulfate, a compound that can damage red blood cells in dogs, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia.

Can dogs eat prawn toast?

No, dogs should not ingest prawn toast as it poses severe risks to their canine companion. I boycott the usage of prawn toast for dogs for two reasons:

  • Prawn toast is seasoned with herbs, spices, garlic, oil, and onion, which causes digestive problems and restlessness in dogs.
  • As prawn toast is deep-fried or pan-fried, it becomes high in fat, creating inflammation in the pancreatitis.
  • It creates digestive problems like bloating, gas, and constipation.
  • Prawn toasts are high in carbs, and their usage can contribute to obesity and diabetes in dogs.

Can dogs eat shrimps?

Yes, dogs can eat shrimp, and it can be a healthy addition to their diet when served in moderation and appropriately prepared. Shrimp are a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and selenium, which can support your dog’s overall health. The amount of feeding should be at most 10 % of the whole diet like prawns. While both shrimp and prawns are crustaceans and are often used interchangeably, the difference is shrimps have compressed bodies with three pairs of legs on their thorax (the body segment behind the head). In comparison, prawns typically have two pairs with rounder bodies. In the UK, we call it prawns, but in the USA, people call it shrimp.

How do you cook prawns for dogs?

Cooked prawns are 110% safe for your dogs as they diminish the bacteria that seafood has. But if you want to know how you can cook prawns for dogs, follow up the method:

  • Briefly rinse the prawns under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • De-vein or remove the shell of prawns because prawns with shells can pose numerous digestive hurdles. Check out this video on how to remove shells from prawns.

  • Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they turn opaque and pink.
  • Place the prawns in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Drain the water and allow the prawns to cool completely before offering them to your dog.

Tips for you:

  • Cut the prawns into small pieces, especially if feeding to small dogs or even to younger dogs for the first time.
  • Refrigerate any leftover cooked prawns in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Do not give your dog leftover prawns that have been sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.

Can dogs have prawn cocktail crisps?

No! Avoid giving prawn cocktail crisps to dogs, as it is not a healthy treat for dogs. Once, Pepper, my playful dog, ate leftover prawn crisps during her walk. Soon, he felt unwell, stopped eating his kibble, and felt dehydrated. Then I took her to the vet, who gave her medicine. After weeks, Pepper recovered. Prawn cocktails are bad for dogs because they contain garlic powder, seasoning, artificial color, flavor, and preservatives with a high salt content that increases thirst, urination, dehydration, and sodium poisoning.

what are the alternatives to prawns?

Multiple alternatives of prawns for dogs.

Prawns are a great source of good cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein, but there are good alternatives available if you want to avoid adding prawns to your dog’s diet.

  • Cooked, shredded chicken or turkey
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Fatty fish like salmon or sardines
  • Tofu or cooked lentils
  • Chicken feet
  • Commercially available dog treats
  • Dog-safe fruits (like apples, bananas, and blueberries.)
  • Dog-safe veggies (like carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes.) 
  • Brown rice
  • Pumpkin and yogurt
  • Fish skin (After cooked)
  • Oils in food (like salmon, flaxseed, sunflower.)
  • Dried fish like sprats
  • Prawn crackers (Good if given as a treat.)

FAQ part

1- Can dogs eat ready-made prawns?

Yes! Dogs can eat ready-to-eat prawns, but there are multiple things you think about before feeding ready-made prawns to dogs:

  • Whether it is seasoning, additive, or sauces.
  • It never contains toxic ingredients like garlic, onion, and spices.
  • Understanding sodium intake for dogs before buying a ready-made prawns pack.

2- Can puppies eat prawns?

No! It is not recommended to feed prawns to puppies because it creates digestive issues, choking hazards, and nutritional imbalance in them. If you want to introduce it into your puppy’s diet, try for fresh not dried or raw prawns. Puppies need 22-32% protein, 10-15% fat, 0.7-1.7% calcium, and 20% carbohydrates*, and all these requirements cannot be fulfilled with single prawn feeding.

3- Can dogs eat fried or breaded prawns?

No, it is risky to give breaded or fried prawns to dogs because of the high level of fat in them due to them being deep-fried in oil. Prawn bread is made with wheat flour, sugar, salt, and spices and fried in oil, which, if a dog consumes it, can create swelling, bloating, and diarrhea in the pancreatitis.

4- Can dogs eat prawns, shells, and heads?

No, we don’t recommend prawn shell and head to dogs at any cost because it creates digestive issues and intestinal blockage and never gives any nutritional value to dogs. Moreover, the sharp edges of prawn shells and heads can cause cuts or abrasions to the dog’s mouth, throat, or digestive tract.

5- Can dogs eat frozen prawns?

Yes! Dogs can have frozen prawns as they provide the same benefits to dogs as something like fresh, but consider these things too.

  • Prawns are defrosted fully.
  • Cook the prawns until they are opaque and pearly white throughout.
  • Permanently remove the shells and heads from prawns before offering them to your dog.
  • Before feeding frozen prawns to your dog, ensure they are still fresh and have stayed within their expiration date.

6- Can dogs eat prawn cocktails?

Plain prawns are good, but a prawns cocktail is not recommended for dogs because it contains mayonnaise-based sauce, herbs, onion & garlic, unhealthy oils, and lemon juice that all are toxic to dogs, but you can offer multiple treats to dogs in the form of homemade cocktails like watermelon and berries.


Now, you have become a master of can-eat prawns. Yes, they can eat prawns as they are generally good for their overall health. Include prawns as a part of the diet, and feed them to dogs after cooking them or as plain.

*Study on mercury level in prawns

* Study on the nutritional requirements of a puppy.

Spread the love
About Adam

Adam has been a fervent dog enthusiast since his early days with his beloved pet, Tiger. Recognizing a gap in unbiased dog product reviews in the UK, Adam embarked on a mission to bridge this divide. With the invaluable expertise of Dr. Emily Smith, a seasoned veterinarian, they collaboratively endeavor to provide dog owners with trustworthy information and reviews. Together, they strive to ensure every canine receives the care and love they truly deserve.

Leave a Comment