Do you love crabs? Or does your dog love crabs? Yes? We love them too! They are a perfect blend of taste and health. But can dogs eat crabs? 

Technically, yes. Dogs can eat crabs. But should they? Nope. Crabs should be cooked thoroughly before being served to dogs. Just because they are tasty does not mean it is healthy.

We all know that crabs can be tricky as they are dressed with a hard shell on top. Your dog might try to dig and get your hands on this salty seafood, but it has many risks.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Your Dog Crabs

You should know that your dog will love several human foods besides crabs. Please note that more than the pros below are needed to benefit your dog. It is best to serve crabs only as occasional treats. The list of cons is way more severe than the pros. So choose wisely.

Here is the list of pros for serving your dog crabs or crab meat:

1. Protein power

A dog needs protein to help them play around all day. Protein has amino acids that help the body to function correctly. Besides other nutritional elements, protein is known for building muscles (article). Crabs are a source of protein. It can positively impact a dog’s body if given over a considerable amount of time.

2. Vitamins and Minerals

Crab meat is rich in vitamin B12. This particular vitamin helps to retaliate against harmful diseases. If you want to improve your dog’s immunity, B12 can be a great addition. Also, crab meat contains many minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. So, if your pooch is an energy fluff ball, they’ll need more power. With minerals, they can get natural energy boosts. 

3. Low fat

We have good news! If your dog is on a weight management plan, crabs might be THE ONE for them. It is low in calories and fats. This means eating minimal crab meat will not add much to their weight. 

But every dog has different body requirements, so it is essential to consult a veterinarian. They will give you better information on how much crabs should be fed to your dog.

4. Shiny coat

If you have a furry dog famous for its fur, it can be challenging to keep that fur lustrous. Crabs have the healthy oils and elements that will be your savior. It has omega-3 fatty acids that help to decrease inflammation in the body. Moreover, they take care of your dog’s skin health. 

Cons for Feeding Dogs Crab Meat

1. Choking hazards

Choking hazards is one of the most dangerous things that can occur after feeding your dog crab. Especially if you own a small-sized dog or a puppy, they cannot swallow the whole crab. It will get stuck in their throat and cause discomfort. It can be a nightmare for you and your dog. Hence, always serve in small chunks and avoid the shells altogether. 

2. Damages the food tract

Another medical condition that crabs can cause is shells tearing up the food tract. The reason why humans don’t eat shells even after cooking is that it is not digestible and it is very sharp. Even after boiling or cooking it, the shells stand firm (like an indestructible villain). There can be severe internal bleeding. If such circumstances ever come, seek veterinary attention immediately. 

3. Bacterial attack

Salmonella and listeria are two common bacteria found in the carbs. They are present in raw food items and work as a food poisoning agent for dogs (article). Always wash and cook seafood thoroughly to ensure your dog is not affected by the harmful bacteria that can harm their bodies for life.

4. Allergies

Every dog is different and has different allergic triggers. Feed your dog small amounts to check if it is allergic to crabs. You can observe and monitor allergic reactions like itching, diarrhea, or discomfort. If there is none, you can gradually increase the dosage. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Serving Your Dogs Crabs

After reading the pros and cons, if you still want crabs as a part of your and your dog’s diet, here is a guide! Before you toss them crab meat, as a responsible pet owner, you should remember these pointers.

1. Preparation

Crabs need to be cooked before being fed. If you have a pack of crabs, keep an eye on your pooch. They can steal the crabs and gobble on them. Hence, washing and cooking it thoroughly is essential. Harmful bacteria in carbs can stay in your dog’s body forever. To get rid of them and make carbs edible, you can use any cooking method- boiling, grilling, baking, etc. 

2. Remove the shell

See, crabs are not a red flag; their shell is. Crab meat is excellent as a treat, but when it comes to its shell, that needs to be clarified. Remove the shell when you serve or boil the crabs. Digesting such substances is impossible; your dog might suffer from severe gastrointestinal problems.

3. Unseasoned

Dogs are allergic to spices, butter, salts, or other seasoning. When it comes to our furry buddies, they are not so picky about condiments. They love their unseasoned or plain food. Similarly, please do not serve seasoned crabs or crab meat to your dog. Most herbs include garlic and onions, which are toxic to dogs.

4. As a treat!

Lastly, crabs do not have enough benefits to compensate for the cons. Even though you might be impressed with the goodness of proteins and fatty acids, carbs should not be a part of regular meals. If your dog drools over them, you can occasionally use it as a treat during training. 

a dog sitting at the kitchen counter with a spread of crab meat in front of him

Safe Ways to Serve Your Dog Crabs

Shells are the villain of this story, NOT THE CRAB MEAT! So here are some fun and safe ways your dog can enjoy their favorite crab meat! 

Note: Please ensure that crabs are not overfed and should be given after consulting with your veterinarian.

1. Cook them!

The most obvious way to serve crabs to dogs is to cook them. You can prepare it by removing the shell fragments. As raw crabs have harmful bacteria, you must wash them thoroughly. Once you have prepared the crabs, you can use any cooking method. This includes boiling the crab meat, grilling it, tossing it on the pan, etc. It is your call!

Just make sure not to season them with any salt or spices. Your dog will love small chunks of plain crab meat.

2. Serve it with kibbles

Is your dog bored of everyday kibbles? Then you can you can upgrade with the goodness of juicy crab meats. Dogs can find it challenging to bite into big chunks of crab meat, which is why we have a great way out for them! Instead of giving big meat chunks, toss small bites over their kibbles. But remember that crabs should not be substituted for their primary meals. Adding crab meat on the sides can make a balanced diet for your dog. 

3. Frozen crab meat

Dogs love candies and popsicles! Especially if your dog does not have teeth, they will love the cold sensations on their gums. All you have to do is

Step 1: Boil the crab meat (after removing the shells) and blend it. 

Step 2: You should have a thick paste of crab meat. You can also blend and add their other favorite fruits like blueberry puree, banana bites, etc. This will enhance the flavor. 

Step 3: You can freeze it in an ice cube tray once it has a thick consistency.

And tada!

You can also add other ingredients like bacon, avocados, or a drizzle of honey to make it more interesting. These occasional treats will be a fresh element to their day.

4. Fried crab delight (FCD)

If your dog is picky, we understand the struggle of finding the perfect evening treats. To solve it for you, we recommend you make a fried crab delight for them! Or as well call it- FCD. Here are the steps for the same-

Step 1: You can get some crabs, remove the shell, and wash them well.

Step 2: You can use peanut butter or almond butter and fry the small chunks of crab meat. 


Step 3: Fry them until they are golden and crisp.

The butter will enhance the flavor of crab meat and be a perfect addition to your dog’s boring food menu.


Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat crabs?” are that dogs should only have crabs occasionally. It is essential to prepare the carbs before serving them. Preparing includes removing the shells, washing them, and cooking them.

However, there are several risks attached to it. Crabs indeed have health benefits that can help your pooch, but other food items provide similar benefits with less or no harm. 

But if your dog’s eyes are still stuck to crabs in your dining, don’t shy away from tossing them a small chunk or two of cooked crab meat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs have boiled crabs?

Yes, your dog can have boiled crabs. Crabs are not toxic to dogs, and dogs can eat them if they are appropriately prepared. Cooking them makes them soft and can give your dog health benefits. Crabs have the goodness of lean proteins, Vitamin B12, minerals, and fatty acids. But, before introducing any new food item to your dog, check in with your veterinarian.

Can dogs eat crabs on the beach?

No. The crabs on the beach are spikey and uncooked. Dogs will not be able to chew or swallow it properly. It is tough and spiky so it can tear apart the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This can be a severe injury. It is best to keep an eye on your dog at the peach. Raw crabs are very dangerous for dogs. There can be serious choking hazards, especially if you have a small dog.

Can dogs eat crab shells?

Giving crab shells to dogs is a HUGE NO. The same rules apply to humans and their pups. Crab shells are tough to crack in and digest. They are so sharp that even if dogs swallow them, it will damage the food and intestine track. If your dog has accidentally swallowed crab shells, please seek veterinary attention immediately. This can be a severe and painful injury for dogs.

How much crab can a dog eat?

It depends on the size and age of the dog. You can give them 1-2 small chunks of crab meat if it is a small dog. If it is a medium or large-sized dog, you can give up to 5-6 pieces of crab meat. Please ensure that the crabs should not be a substitute for their primary meals. You should only give crab meat to your dogs as a treat occasionally.

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