You probably already know that there are certain fish that should never be fed to a dog. Still, you probably want to know if your dog can eat clams because you enjoy treating him to tasty new treats.
Small amounts of cooked, unseasoned clams served without the shell are fine for dogs to eat.
Instability, excessive drooling, weakness, and vomiting are some of the symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), which can be brought on by eating raw clams.
The pros and cons, and more, of feeding clams to dogs are discussed here.
Can Dogs Eat Clams?
Yes, in a nutshell, they can. There are, however, a number of considerations to make before feeding your dog any kind of shellfish.
There are many advantages to eating clams and other shellfish, but doing so excessively is not recommended. Your dog, like some humans, may be allergic to shellfish, so you exercise caution at first.
What Exactly Are Clams?
Clams are less common than other shellfish such as mussels and oysters, but they are delicious nonetheless.
The most important distinction is that clams are not marine shellfish but rather freshwater shellfish. The common misconception that they can be found in saltwater has led to their mislabeling as seafood.
Because of this, they are less likely to be contaminated with harmful substances like mercury than their saltwater relatives.
Clams are a type of mollusk that burrow into the sand at the bottom of their freshwater habitat. Clams come in all shapes and sizes, with thousands of species to choose from.
Clams are unusual among shellfish in that they possess internal organs. In addition to a heart and a simple digestive and circulatory system, clams also have a brain.
Some dogs may not appreciate the rubbery texture and slightly fishy flavor of raw or cooked clams.
While most clams only live for a year or so, the oldest known clam was estimated to be about 507 years old. Despite being in good health when discovered, the clam tragically perished as scientists attempted to determine its age.
Health Benefits of Clams
Most dog owners know that their canine companion will try to steal your food if given the chance, and that a pleading look is usually enough to get their way.
While it’s not a big deal to split one or two small clams amongst friends, it’s best to keep the portion sizes to a minimum when eating clams.
However, if given occasionally as a treat, clams are safe and beneficial for your dog’s health. Among these advantages are:
- B12 vitamin. Vitamin B12 is abundant in clams, and it’s important for your dog’s healthy nervous system, brain, and digestive system. Shellfish, specifically clams, are one of the world’s most plentiful dietary sources of vitamin B12.
- Clams have a high concentration of many nutrients, including iron and vitamin B12. Your dog needs iron because it plays a role in making blood and carries oxygen and nutrients around its body.
- In addition to being high in protein, clams also provide a number of other amino acids that the body needs.among them onesamino acids like glutamic acid, alanine, and glycine that the human body doesn’t produce on its own and therefore needs to get from food.
- Supplemental vitamin C. Vitamin C is a necessity, and clams are one of the few animal sources of this nutrient. It’s great for your dog’s immune system, helps them maintain healthy bones and cartilage, and promotes healthy skin and hair.
- Fatty acids that the body needs. Clams are beneficial for your dog’s heart and coat because they contain omega-3 fatty acids and saturated fat.
Health Concerns of Clams
However, there are a few things to watch out for if you decide to feed clams to your dog.
- Dogs may occasionally experience shellfish allergies, but they do occur. It’s been found that shrimp and crab are the most common culprits in the prevalence of shellfish-related allergic reactions in humans.
- Intoxication due to ingested food. Clams are a type of bivalve mollusk that cleans the water they inhabit. Your dog may unwittingly consume some of the toxins that are filtered out by the clams because they are stored in the clam’s tissue. Toxins produced by dinoflagellates, the organisms responsible for this poisoning, are unfortunately not eliminated during cooking. However, if the clams come from a reputable source, this is extremely unlikely to happen.
- Metals that weigh a lot. It’s also possible, though unlikely, that the clams you feed your dog contain toxic levels of metals. It has been discovered that clams caught in Asian waters contain levels of heavy metals like mercury that are toxic to dogs.
While clams themselves are fine for your dog to eat, the shells should be avoided at all costs.
They pose a serious health risk if they become lodged in your dog’s esophagus or stomach. We advise only giving your dog very small amounts, and not doing so on a daily basis.
Now that we know clams are healthy for your dog and won’t harm him, the question is whether or not your dog will actually eat them.
This, of course, is highly dependent on how well you get ready. Certain canines may enjoy the rubbery texture of a clam while others may be repulsed by it.
The first step is to make sure the clams are completely free of any shell debris. If you want to make sure there’s no bacteria in your clams, make sure you cook them thoroughly.
After they have been cooked, they can be easily incorporated into your dog’s regular diet. As a general rule of thumb, a small dog shouldn’t have more than two or three clams. If you can’t get your dog to eat them whole, try mashing them into the food to disguise the texture.
How Can I Safely Give Clams To My Dog?
Your dog should only eat cooked clams. While consuming raw clams may not be immediately toxic to your dog, it does increase the risk of an upset stomach.
If you want to feed your dog clams, make sure to steam them plain without any additional seasonings or spices.
Canned clams, which often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives, should also be avoided when feeding your dog.
Make sure the meat is removed from the shells before serving it to your dog if you’re feeding him clams. The shells pose a choking hazard and can even damage your dog’s teeth, so avoid giving them to Fido.
It’s best to limit your dog’s exposure to clams to occasional small servings as a treat, but your vet can provide specific recommendations if you want to incorporate this food into your dog’s diet on a regular basis.
Dogs can safely consume clams, which also happen to be a rich source of beneficial nutrients. Clams are a great source of nutrition for your dog because they include the essential fatty acid omega-3, in addition to iron, protein, and vitamin C.
The vitamin B12 in clams is the best part for your dog. Clams are a great food choice for getting your daily dose of vitamin B12, which must be consumed in the diet.
However, if you buy them from a reputable vendor and limit your dog’s intake, you should be able to keep him healthy while still enjoying the occasional clam.
In sum, clams are safe for your dog to eat. In addition, they are an excellent addition to your dog’s regular diet as a source of nutrient-dense food.