Can Dogs Eat Crawfish? 11 Facts Revealed

Crawfish are great for frying, but can canines actually digest them? In fact, what are crawfish? Let’s take a closer look at them and see if dogs can safely eat them.

What do you call those tiny critters that resemble lobsters? Crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, and crawdaddies are just some of the names that have been used to refer to these creatures. Crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, or whatever you want to call them, they’re great to boil up with friends and family. I’m curious if dogs can safely consume them.

What Are Crawfish?

First, we’ll define what they are so we can determine if they’re even relevant to the question of whether or not they’re safe for canines to eat.

A crawfish, or crayfish, is a crustacean found in fresh water. You can tell that they are related to lobsters by looking at them. Its natural habitat is any body of fresh water, including brooks, streams, and even swamps.

A crawfish is a shellfish. If you or your dog have an allergy to shellfish, you should both avoid eating crawfish.

The crayfish name is commonly used in other countries to refer to saltwater crayfish.


Where do Crawfish come from?

A crawfish is a crustacean found in fresh water. They inhabit freshwater habitats like rivers, streams, and swamps. Even though Louisiana produces the majority of the crawfish consumed in the United States, China is the largest exporter of the crustacean.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish?

The majority of crawfish are safe for canines to eat. However, you should still exercise caution and keep an eye on your dog. Too much of them can make some dogs sick, and others shouldn’t eat them because of digestive sensitivities.

Are shellfish allergens a problem for your dog? Crawfish can be toxic to dogs, so exercise caution if you’re not sure.

If your dog starts scratching and itching after consuming shellfish, it likely has an allergy or sensitivity to the food.

Some canines are also allergic to the pathogens found in crawfish. Talk to your vet if your dog has been throwing up or has diarrhea a lot.

Eaters of raw crawfish have caught a potentially fatal lungworm. Even though it’s unlikely, you shouldn’t feed them to your dog raw.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish Meat?

Dogs that aren’t allergic to shellfish can have a small bite or two of the meat every now and then. They might get a stomachache if they eat too much of it. Also, be on the lookout for an unexpected allergy.

You should also be wary of the meat’s seasoning. Don’t feed your dog anything with a particularly spicy flavor if it has a low tolerance for heat.

Additionally, onions and garlic should not be given to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish Heads?

Inquire with your vet before feeding your dog crawfish heads, as there is limited data on the subject.

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Sucking on the crawfish head is a popular human pastime after consuming the tail.

However, dogs lack the ability to sucking, and so they simply chomp down and swallow the entire head.

Unfortunately, crawfish skeletons are indigestible for canines. It’s safer to restrict their diet to meat alone so they don’t get sick.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish Shells?

If given the opportunity, dogs will eat crawfish shells. However, the shells are indigestible, so they must be passed uncomfortably through the animal’s digestive system.

Do not give the shells to your dog to eat. Stories of dogs eating them and making it through are comforting, but it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish Tails?

The meat found inside the tails is safe for dogs to eat, but the tails themselves should be avoided. Don’t let them gnaw on the bone; instead, pull out the meat.

boiled crawrish

Can dogs eat raw Crawfish?

Raw shellfish can be difficult for most dogs to digest because of their digestive systems. A dog that has been fed raw crawfish may experience stomach upset, diarrhea, and even food poisoning. Unfortunately, dangerous bacteria and noxious parasites may also be present in raw crawfish meat.

Can dogs eat cooked Crawfish?

Only Crawfish that has been cooked is safe for your dog to eat. Crawfish tastes best when boiled. In this way, your dog’s stomach won’t have any problems.

If you’re going to feed your pet Crawfish, make sure it’s unsalted. Traditional Crawfish seasonings are often salty, oniony, garlicky, buttery, and alcoholic, all of which are poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Can dogs eat Crayfish?

Crayfish are merely a different name for the more common Crawfish. Crawfish are more commonly known as crayfish in countries outside the United States.

The Crawfish found in saltwater are known as crayfish in some countries. Crawfish and dogs both benefit from having their crayfish thoroughly cooked after the shells and veins have been removed.

Is Crawfish safe for dogs?

can dogs have crawfish

Dogs should be fine eating crawfish. Dogs can enjoy one or two well-cooked Crawfish with no ill effects, barring any shellfish allergies (which can also affect humans). However, the shell, head, and tail of the Crawfish should not be fed to your dog.

Crawfish is a good option for dogs that don’t usually eat seafood, but only in small amounts. It’s not good for dogs to eat nothing but crawfish. It’s fine to use it as a snack or flavoring in cooking.

Give your dog only a taste of the shellfish if it has never had any before. You can safely keep feeding them Crawfish meat as long as they don’t throw up or get sick after eating it.

If you’re having Crawfish with Coleslaw, make sure your dog doesn’t get into the cole slaw, too.

Is Crawfish bad for dogs?

dangers of eating crawfish

Even though they aren’t ideal, crawfish aren’t completely toxic to canines. Your dog might have trouble with the shell, head, vein, or tail.

  • Unfortunately, a dog’s digestive system isn’t designed to break down crawfish shells, so they can cause problems if ingested. Because of their delicate anatomy, smaller dogs are particularly vulnerable.
  • Dogs are allergic to and can be poisoned by the allergens and bacteria found in crawfish heads. It is indigestible and can cause blockages in your dog’s digestive system, just like shells.
  • The crawfish’s thin intestinal vein is the most prominent internal anatomical feature. Although the vein is usually removed before cooking, raw crawfish still has it. In dogs, the vein can lead to abdominal pain.
  • The meaty parts of a crawfish can be found in its tail. Dogs can safely eat the tail if only the meat is given to them and the shell is removed.
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It is clear that the Crawfish shell is the most perilous part of the animal. When a dog eats too many Crawfish shells, it may show signs like these:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • A bowel movement containing blood.
  • Lethargy.
  • Choking.
  • Intestinal obstruction.
  • Constipation.
  • hurting stomach.

To reduce the risk of shellfish toxicity in dogs, cook the Crawfish thoroughly, remove the shell, and serve only the meat.

When shouldn’t you feed Crawfish to your dog?

eating raw crawfish

Dogs with gastrointestinal issues or those in recovery shouldn’t be fed novel foods. For them, a diet of commercial dog food or food designed for dogs is ideal.

There’s a chance your dog’s stomach will react negatively to Crawfish or other shellfish if it’s never had them before.

The best way to ensure your dog’s safety when feeding them Crawfish is to introduce them to them gradually. If they seem to be doing fine, you can keep feeding them Crawfish to help them adjust to the flavor.

If your dog has ever shown signs of an allergy to shellfish, you know better than to feed them Crawfish. One telltale sign of a shellfish allergy in your dog is excessive licking or scratching after consuming Crawfish.

Dogs shouldn’t eat fried or heavily spiced shellfish, as it can upset their stomachs. Since oil and butter can cause pancreatitis in dogs, it’s best to serve plain boiled Crawfish meat.

Nutrient benefit of Crawfish for dogs

Crawfish is a great source of protein and has few calories. The “good” HDL cholesterol is also abundant.

The minerals found in crawfish are numerous and varied, including iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Vitamin E is particularly abundant in crawfish.

However, most of these nutrients can be found in dog foods that are more digestible for canines.

There are amino acids in crawfish that can be allergenic to canines. Crawfish, especially if they are raw, can also spread salmonella and listeria to canines.

Therefore, Crawfish is best given to your dog only occasionally as a treat or as a food topping. You shouldn’t give it to your dog on a regular basis.

Hint: To properly nourish your dog, remember the 90/10 rule. Dogs shouldn’t rely on treats and snacks as more than 10% of their daily calories. Treats for your dog should always be given in moderation, whether they consist of human food (like chestnuts) or dog food (like dairy products).

What if my dog accidentally ate a lot of Crawfish?

Keep an eye out for any signs of an allergic reaction after feeding your dog any part of a Crawfish. Keep a close eye on them and make sure their condition is constantly tracked. Visiting the vet quickly is essential if your furry friends begin excessively scratching.

Check to see if your dog ate the meat or the shells to make sure he isn’t allergic. Sometimes when dogs are digging through your trash they will stumble upon some Crawfish shells that you may have forgotten about. Keep your dog under close observation and call the vet right away if you suspect that this is what he or she ate.

Discuss with your veterinarian the best means of easing the passage of the Crawfish shell. Make sure the shells have been eliminated by checking their feces or vomit.

There may be Crawfish shells lodged in the dog’s intestines if it is in pain but there is no stool. This calls for emergency medical care.

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Instinctively, Crawfish and other seafood may taste better to some dogs who have spent their entire lives near the coast. If your dog has never had any problems after eating Crawfish, there’s no reason to panic.

Symptoms to watch for

Dogs that have eaten a small amount of Crawfish should be fine in almost all circumstances. In any case, keep an eye out for anything peculiar.

Neither an allergic reaction nor the Crawfish shell becoming lodged in your dog’s system is desirable. Those who are allergic to Crawfish meat may experience the following symptoms:

  • Scratching too much.
  • Disorientation.
  • Vomiting.

Alternatively, your dog may show signs of distress if a Crawfish shell becomes lodged in his or her digestive tract, including:

  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation.
  • Gagging.
  • Attempting to stretch out of their comfort zone.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Choking.
  • Discolored feces or blood in the toilet.

Treatments if your dog has Crawfish poisoning

The following are two instances in which you should seek the advice of a veterinarian for your pet.

  1. The first is if your dog has swallowed a Crawfish shell and it has become stuck in his or her throat or intestines.
  2. The other possibility is that your dog is allergic to crawfish.

A Crawfish shell can become stuck in the esophagus or stomach of a small dog. In cases where a dog is choking, the vet may use hydrogen peroxide to make them throw up.

The veterinarian may also recommend Metamucil to aid in the passage of the shells. Extreme cases may call for surgical intervention for the dog.

It is recommended that a veterinarian administer any treatment necessary for a dog that develops an allergy after eating Crawfish.

The dog may spend the night in the clinic while the vet administers intravenous (IV) medication. It sounds like your dog is doing better and can go home soon. Diarrhea and vomiting can last up to two days.

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Dog-friendly and healthy alternatives to Crawfish

Most dogs can safely eat well-cooked crawfish meat. If you’re concerned about giving your dog raw fish, there are other, safer options. Omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats, vitamins, and protein abound in these foods.

  • Whitefish. Whitefish, such as cod, haddock, and halibut, are high in protein and other nutrients. Before feeding them to your pets, make sure the bones have been removed.
  • Salmon. Salmon, like other oily fish, is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Remove the bones just as you would with any other type of fish. In particular, you should avoid smoked salmon at all costs because it contains too much salt.
  • Sardines. Tiny as they are, these fish pack a powerful nutritional and mineral punch. Choose the boneless variety for optimal eating pleasure.
  • Anchovies. Raw or briefly cooked anchovies yield the most delicious results. If you feed your dog anchovies, make sure they aren’t overly processed or seasoned.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Crayfish?

In the absence of the shell and after thorough cooking, crawfish meat is safe for canine consumption. The problem is that your dog wasn’t built to eat crawfish and crawfish aren’t essential to a dog’s diet.

Your dog probably doesn’t need crawfish because his regular food is well-balanced and contains all the nutrients he needs. Remember to remove the shells from the crawfish before feeding them to your dog.

Your dog can safely eat fully cooked crayfish or crawfish meat because they are the same species of crustacean.

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