Woke up on a marvelous Sunday morning and did what almost everyone is doing nowadays… unlocked my phone and scrolled through endless social media feeds. My dog Box is looking at me with almost accusing eyes, resting his sweet face against the side of the bed. I don’t know what’s going on inside his head but the big saliva stain just beside his adorable nose gave it away. This sweet and gentle baby giant is hungry.
Anyway, I ignored his morning pleas and scrolled through Facebook, my social media of choice. I was hungry too and wanting to see some saliva-inducing images to work up my appetite. Seafood platters have always been my weakness and I felt that a good, beautiful day like this deserves an equally marvelous lunch. So I went and ordered a spicy and garlicky shrimp and crab combo and a mouth-watering serving of baked scallops.
By the time the food arrived, Box has gotten a little more fidgety and restless. I know, I know, I am the worst. His sorry plate of dog food is nearly empty and he is nibbling on them disinterestedly. I know my baby wants more food but I am too distracted and told myself that he would get to eat more heartily when I finish lunch.
Lunch was a hazy, seafood bliss and I was too consumed with my eating that a single stray scallop missed my mouth and fell straight into Box’s waiting paws. With my stomach full and my perception quite nourished, my reflexes kicked in and with a speed The Flash might be proud off, I flicked the scallop away before Box’s mouth even opened. I didn’t know then if scallops where bad for his health or not but I am not taking any chances. I have buried too many dogs in my life and I do not want to add another. My ears where literally ringing and I have scared Box so much he whimpered. I know I overreacted but every fur parent would understand what I did.
After I have calmed down, I took a moment to actually check if my actions where justified.
Can dogs eat scallops?
Strictly speaking, scallops are non-toxic to dogs. Scallops can be a safe option for dogs as long as it is done in moderation. They are an excellent source of protein that helps our pets maintain healthy muscles, magnesium for vitamin absorption, and potassium for aiding nerve function.
Health benefits of scallops for dogs
With the high amount of protein present in scallops, it is right to assume that it is safe for dog consumption as protein is the most essential macronutrient in a dog’s diet. Protein is an essential energy source for dogs. Cooked (but not fried) scallops are the best for dogs as these are low in calories which makes it a great choice for dogs with weight problems.
This is on top of the vitamins and minerals in scallops such as magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc. According to ASPCA, puppies can also safely snack on them.
Can scallops be bad for dogs?
Even though scallops are not toxic to dogs, care must be taken in the preparation. They must be fully cooked and should never be served raw or fried. Raw scallops can carry harmful bacteria or parasites leading to shellfish poisoning. When fried, scallops are very high in fat content which can lead to upset stomach or even pancreatitis when eaten in the long term.
Another thing to keep in mind is that spices and salt added to cooked scallops can be harmful for dogs as most dogs have trouble digesting spices leading to diarrhea or skin irritation.
How to feed scallops to dogs?
Like every other food you feed to your dog, extra care should be observed in preparing the scallops. It should be completely plain, without the added ingredients, seasonings, butter or oils as these can cause digestive problems and fat build-up.
Remove the shells carefully and if possible, cut it up in smaller bites to avoid choking hazard.
How many scallops should I serve?
Everything should be done in moderation. The same should be observed in serving scallops to your dogs. Dogs, as with humans, can have trouble adjusting to new, strange foods no matter how delicious it is for them. You may give out one or two small pieces and wait to see how they react to the food. Observe for signs of stomach discomfort, constipation, diarrhea or skin irritations.
It is not advisable to feed scallops to dogs regularly. Scallops could be given as a small treat or to spruce up an otherwise plain meal.
What are other alternatives to scallops?
Dogs can be fed with fishes such as salmon, sardines and herring both raw and cooked as long as it is deboned and properly cleaned.
Are dogs allergic to scallops?
Yes, some dogs can be allergic to scallops. Shellfish remains one of the very common allergen in dogs. You must watch for negative effects after you feed scallops to your dog. Any symptoms like diarrhea or throwing up should be reported and consulted with a vet.
Bellow are some of the breeds that are prone to allergies:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- West Highland White Terriers
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers
- Irish Setter
- English Setter
- Shih Tzu
- Shar Pei
- Lhasa Apso