Many people have the misconception that seafood is toxic for dogs, which can be true for some but can dogs eat mussels? This delicious mollusk has amazing health benefits and a great amount of protein. Can we share mussels with our dogs? In this article, we will explore this topic to see if mussels are safe for dogs to eat.
What are Mussels?
A mussel is a type of bivalve mollusk. These mussels can be found in a variety of bodies of water. These mussels are caught and served to people in different ways. Mussels will need to be cooked, and the shell will be removed before you eat it.
Can Dogs Eat Mussels?
Yes, dogs can actually eat mussels. Mussels are a great snack for your dog. It is full of protein as well as important fatty acids that are crucial for dog health.
There are multiple dog treat brands that dehydrate mussels as snacks for dogs. If your dog just needs a little more protein in its diet, you should definitely give your dog mussels to try.
Remember, whenever you introduce your dog to a new food that you do it with ease. Give your dog a small amount to make sure your dog doesn’t get an allergic reaction. Some signs of a reaction are:
- Your dog is excessively itchy
If you notice your dog is having an allergic reaction, you need to stop feeding the mussels to your dog immediately. You will also want to call your veterinarian to let them know what is going on with your dog. Hopefully, the veterinarian will give you the proper guidance.
What to Avoid When Feeding Dogs Mussels
Before you give your dog some mussels, you must follow a couple of rules to keep your dog safe.
1. Dogs Can’t Eat Shells
Mussels are in protective shells, and it is imperative that you do not give your dog a mussel with a shell. You need to remove the fleshy part from the shell before your dog can eat it.
If your dog were to eat the shell, it could get very hurt. Shells are hard and pointy, and it could hurt your dog’s teeth or tongue trying to bite on it.
It is also important to note that if your dog digested a shell, it could cause an intestinal blockage which could kill your dog.
2. Don’t Give Your Dog a Mussel Found on the Beach
If you find a random mussel on the beach, you need to leave it where you found it. Mussels that have been beached can be potential contaminated with bad bacteria.
If you catch your dog trying to eat it, have it spit it out immediately. Make sure your dog hasn’t eaten any of the shell or the contaminated mussel.
Benefits of Mussels for Dogs
There are a variety of different benefits that your dog will get from eating mussels. This will include a great amount of protein, omega’s, vitamins, minerals, and it is a very low-calorie snack.
Mussels are packed full of protein, with it being made up of mostly protein; this will be a very good snack for your dog. Protein will help your dog build muscle tissue to grow stronger. Especially for bigger dogs, protein is an absolute must for a healthy diet.
Omegas and Fats
Fats and omegas are both very important things your dog needs. Healthy fats are inside the mussel, and this can help you absorb valuable vitamins that the body needs.
Fats from omega 3s will contain DHA or EPA, which are very important for puppies and growing adult dogs. Dogs usually like the taste of fat and will eat it on anything. So, you shouldn’t have a problem giving your dog a mussel.
Vitamins / Minerals
Some of the main nutrients inside a mussel are phosphorous, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals and vitamins do different things to keep your dog healthy and its body functioning properly.
The fat found in the mussels will help to absorb these nutrients into your dog’s body easier. When feeding your dog, a mussel you can rest easy knowing there aren’t any added preservatives or flavors. Give your dog fresh mussels or even dehydrated mussels that don’t contain other ingredients or seasonings.
Low Calorie Snack
Many dog breeds nowadays have issues with becoming obese or even overweight. It is important to feed your dog a low calorie but a healthy snack that will benefit your dog instead of just acting like a filler.
Mussels can be given to a dog along with your dog’s food, or it can just be given to your dog as a tasty, healthy treat.
How to Serve Mussels for Dogs?
Since your dog can safely enjoy mussels, you will need to know how to serve your dog them and the appropriate amount.
Frozen or Fresh
You can feed your dog frozen thawed out mussels or even just some fresh ones you got from the grocery store. The easiest way to do this if they are frozen is by letting the mussels thaw out; then you can either cook them or give them to your dog frozen if already pre-cooked
You can steam the mussels to cook them thoroughly. Remove the mussel meat from the shell and give your dog one or two. If your dog is a small breed dog, you can chop the mussels up into smaller pieces; that way, your dog doesn’t choke.
*If you have a small breed dog only give your dog one mussel per day. You can give it to your dog whole, or you can finely chop it that way, your dog can eat it without potentially choking on it.
*Large breed dogs can have two mussels per day. You likely won’t have to chop up the mussel before giving it to your dog.
There are many brands that are realizing just how wonderful and nutritious mussels are for dogs. Certain companies have been using this information to their advantage by creating awesome dehydrated mussel snacks. Below are some recommendations of dehydrated mussel treats for your dog.
The Honest Kitchen Nice Mussels
The Honest Kitchen has created this dehydrated mussel treats from 100% New Zealand mussels. This treat used both blue and green mussels that have been farmed in a sustainable way.
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The mussels are freeze dried to hold in all the amazing nutrients inside of the mussels. No preservatives or artificial ingredients are added. This is a non-GMO product made up of entirely 100% mussels.
Each mussel is only eight calories making it a great snack for older and overweight dogs. This gives your dog protein, omegas, and vitamins and minerals.
It is an affordable snack for your dog that comes in a two-ounce bag which can be between 15 to 20 mussels per bag.
Zesty Paws New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Treats
Zesty Paws treats have been cold pressed to create these little grain-free bites containing green-lipped mussels. These mussels have so many health benefits for aging dogs.
These treats keep your dog healthy by providing your dog with digestive health, hip, and joint relief, and supporting your dogs’ mobility.
These treats have other ingredients, but the main active ingredient is the green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. There are no artificial flavors or fillers inside this dog chew.
The size of your dog will depend on how much you give your dog. This company is made right here in the United States, and you get 90 chews for the price.
Unfortunately, not all dogs like the taste of mussels, but the dogs that do can take advantage of this superpower snack. Now we know the answer to the question can dogs eat mussels. I am glad to say that this protein packed snack is not only delicious but safe for dogs to eat.
Has your dog ever tried a mussel before? What did your dog think of it? Let us know in our comment sections below. We would like to chat with you.