Can Golden Retrievers Eat Shrimp?

You might be wondering if it’s safe to treat your golden retriever to some delicious shrimp. The short answer is yes, but there are a few important things you need to know before feeding shrimp to your furry friend.

Nutritional Benefits of Shrimp

Shrimp can provide several nutritional benefits for your golden retriever:

  • Protein: Shrimp is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for maintaining healthy muscles and tissues.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are important for brain and nervous system function, as well as promoting a healthy skin and coat.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Shrimp contains various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium.

Potential Risks of Feeding Shrimp to Your Golden Retriever

Despite the nutritional benefits, there are some potential risks associated with feeding shrimp to your golden retriever:


Some dogs may be allergic to shrimp. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction after feeding your dog shrimp (such as itching, hives, or difficulty breathing), consult your veterinarian immediately.

Choking Hazard

Shrimp shells can pose a choking hazard for dogs. Make sure you remove the shell before giving shrimp to your golden retriever. Additionally, chop the shrimp into smaller pieces to minimize the risk of choking.

Thiamine Deficiency

Raw or undercooked shrimp can contain an enzyme called thiaminase that breaks down thiamine (vitamin B1) in your dog’s body. A deficiency in thiamine can lead to serious health issues such as loss of appetite, weakness, and even seizures. It’s crucial to cook shrimp thoroughly before feeding it to your dog.

Mercury Content

Some seafood contains high levels of mercury which can be toxic for dogs if consumed in large amounts over time. While shrimp is generally low in mercury compared to other seafood, it’s still essential to feed shrimp in moderation.

How to Prepare Shrimp for Your Golden Retriever

Follow these steps when preparing shrimp for your golden retriever:

  1. Buy high-quality shrimp: Opt for fresh or frozen shrimp from a reputable source.
  2. Remove the shell: Peel off the entire shell, including the tail, legs, and head.
  3. Devein the shrimp: Remove the dark vein running along the back of the shrimp using a small knife or deveining tool.
  4. Cook thoroughly: Cook the shrimp by boiling, steaming, or grilling until it turns pink and opaque. Avoid adding any seasoning, as spices and added salt can be harmful to dogs.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions for feeding shrimp to your golden retriever:

  • Mix cooked and chopped shrimp with their regular dog food as an occasional treat.
  • Add small pieces of cooked shrimp to a puzzle toy or treat-dispensing ball for mental stimulation during mealtime.
  • Create homemade dog treats by combining cooked shrimp with dog-friendly ingredients like pumpkin puree, rice flour, and eggs.

Read more: Can Golden Retrievers Eat Popcorn?

Alternatives to Shrimp

If you’re looking for other seafood options that are safe for your golden retriever, consider the following:

  • Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can promote healthy skin and coat. Make sure it’s cooked thoroughly and remove any bones before serving.
  • Whitefish: Low in fat and calories, whitefish such as cod or haddock can be a good alternative source of protein for your dog.
  • Tuna: Tuna is another high-protein option but should be fed in moderation due to its higher mercury content.

Read more: Can Golden Retrievers Eat Yogurt?


In conclusion, golden retrievers can safely enjoy shrimp as an occasional treat if properly prepared and served in moderation. When feeding shrimp to your golden retriever, always ensure that it is cooked, deveined, and shell-free to minimize potential risks. Remember to monitor your dog for any signs of an allergic reaction or other adverse effects after introducing shrimp into their diet.

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roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

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