Can Dogs Eat Calamari?

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can dogs eat calamari

Maybe you heard that calamari is a highly nutritious food, and you’re wondering if dogs can eat it, too. Or your pooch accidentally gobbled up some of the calamari off the floor, and now you’re worried about your dog’s health.

Dogs can eat squid in moderation, and it probably won’t harm them. Does this mean dogs should consume calamari regularly? Not really.

Read on to find out all the good stuff about calamari, and the downsides of feeding it to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Calamari?

Yes, dogs can eat calamari, and an occasional piece won’t harm them. However, there are risks involved.

Calamari is a type of mollusk with an exceptional nutritional profile. It is high in proteins, low in calories, and very rich in minerals.

Calamari can be bad for a dog’s health, depending on preparation, allergic reactions, and the amount served. Before you decide on introducing calamari to your dog’s diet, let’s look at the health benefits and health risks involved.

Is Calamari Good for Dogs?

Calamari can be a tasty treat with many health benefits to both humans and dogs.

High Protein

Calamari is a great source of protein — roughly 30% of it is pure protein with an excellent amino acid profile. It is great for building and maintaining muscle mass, both in humans and dogs. Large dogs and highly active dogs can significantly benefit from calamari since they need lots of protein.

Low In Calories 

Calamari is also considered beneficial because it is very low in fats and calories. The fat content in calamari is around 9%. Combined with high protein, it is an excellent food for dogs that need weight management to avoid obesity.

Omega-3s

While it is low in overall fats, calamari is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids. A mere 3.53 oz serving provides 0.02 oz of omega-3s. Omega-3s are vital for heart health, shiny skin, healthy joints, and overall good health.

Calamari has almost no Omega-6 fatty acids, which makes it a great food to restore the balance of Omega-3s and Omega-6s.

Rich In Minerals

Need an excellent source of iron, copper, and zinc? Calamari may be the answer. It is extremely rich in these three minerals. 

Iron and copper are responsible for healthy red blood cells formation. Copper is also crucial for healthy nerves, bones, blood vessels, and the overall healthy immune system. It also helps in fighting anemia.

Proper zinc levels are essential for cell division, DNA and gene expression, and fast healing of wounds.

Cancer Prevention

Antioxidants in calamari fight the free radicals that damage body cells. They also help in the prevention of cancer.

Furthermore, antioxidants increase the number of white blood cells, vital for the body’s immune system.

Your dog could potentially enjoy all of these health benefits, but will they? Calamari is still seafood and it is often highly processed. It’s important to consider allergies, salt intake, and mercury toxicity before giving calamari to your dog.

grilled calamari

Is Calamari Bad for Dogs?

Calamari is undoubtedly highly nutritious. But there are several reasons why it might not be the best or safest dog food.

Allergies

Calamari is prepared in many ways: boiling, steaming, grilling, frying. But, most of these will strip calamari of its nutritional profile. 

This means that a raw option is the best for getting the health benefits. There are however risks of allergies and parasitic infections. If dogs eat seafood, some might experience constipation, vomiting, and diarrhea as a result.

High Salt Intake

Calamari is very high in salt. Sodium can cause many adverse health effects to your dog.

High salt intake contributes to high blood pressure. A diet high in salt leads to salt toxicity. It is a severe medical condition that can result in organ failure, coma, and even death of the pet.

Severe Medical Problems

Feeding your dog fried, breaded, or sauteed calamari can cause serious health issues.

These foods will introduce loads of saturated fats while stripping calamari of its high nutritional profile. High-fat foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs and lead to obesity. Over time, your dog can develop symptoms like fever, nausea, depression, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

Toxicity

Finally, remember that calamari is seafood — and it could contain high levels of mercury. 

Mercury and other toxic metals cause a host of neurological and behavioral problems. Symptoms of mercury buildup include emotional instability, convulsions, headaches, insomnia.

It is crucial to get treatment for your dog immediately if you suspect they might have elevated levels of mercury.

raw calamari

If You Choose to Introduce Calamari

Let’s say that you believe calamari’s benefits still outweigh the risks. If you choose to feed calamari to your dog, use it only as a protein source and flavor boost.

Calamari should not be a regular treat or everyday food. Furthermore, there are several other points to consider.

Preparation

Can dogs eat calamari that has been fried? Fried calamari is not the best choice for your dog. Aside from removing all of its nutrient benefits, fried calamari will introduce loads of unsaturated fats. The same goes for grilled, sauteed, or breaded calamari.

Boiling or steaming calamari is better than frying, but proteins will still be lost during this process.

You can serve your dog a raw version of calamari if they are on a raw food diet. If you plan on feeding raw calamari to your pet, make sure it comes from a reputable vendor. Eating squid that is raw can be hazardous for your furry friend.

If you can, avoid frozen calamari and buy a fresh one.

How To Introduce Calamari to Your Dog

Your dog may not like calamari. You can try feeding your dog small amounts of calamari a few times, but don’t force them.

The first time you introduce calamari, use only a small amount. Don’t know if your dog is allergic to mollusks? Don’t risk it. Symptoms of calamari allergy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fever, and lethargy.

After the first calamari meal, pay attention to your dog. Look out for any of the symptoms above. If the dog’s stomach is upset, or if there’s a severe reaction, call the vet.

How Much Calamari Should You Give Your Dog

Calamari should not be served as a single meal in a bowl. Instead, mix it with other dog food.

Don’t give your dog more than one spoon of calamari and use it only to flavor the main meal. Don’t feed calamari to your dog regularly and in copious amounts because of mercury.

It is also possible your dog will adore calamari. Step away from the bowl and be a responsible dog owner! They don’t need more calamari!

Signs Of Calamari Allergy

If your dog is allergic to calamari, the first signs will typically occur quickly after ingestion. These symptoms include:

  • Scratching
  • Red skin
  • Wwollen face, ears, eyelids, mouth
  • Itching eyes
  • Incessant licking
  • Hives
  • Sneezing

If you see these symptoms, it’s best to take the dog to a vet clinic immediately and call the vet on the way there.

Food sensitivity is different from food allergies and usually includes digestive issues: diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and loose stools. If you notice these symptoms, call the vet.

It’s a Squid Game 

Of course you want the best food for your furry friend! Calamari is an extraordinary food with an impressive nutritional profile.  If your dog tolerates it, it can be a great addition to their diet.

But you should re-consider before adding calamari to your dog’s diet. Calamari contains mercury and can cause allergic reactions. And preparation methods typically destroy the valuable health benefits of calamari.

You could opt for raw calamari, but any raw meat can be extremely dangerous.

If you choose to give calamari to your dog, make sure it comes from a safe vendor and give it to your four-legged friend only occasionally and in small amounts. Or check out this raw diet guide for highly nutritional, yummy, and safe foods for your four-legged buddy.

FAQ

Can dogs eat calamari rings?

Calamari rings are usually deep-fried. Frying removes all the health benefits of calamari and introduces lots of unhealthy saturated fats. It’s best to stay away from fried foods.

Can dogs eat calamari steak?

Calamari steak is also a fried form of calamari. Dogs shouldn’t eat fried calamari because it is high in fat and sodium. Feeding calamari steak to your dog can cause many health issues.

Can puppies eat calamari?

Feeding calamari to puppies can be beneficial because of the high amount of proteins they need. They should eat unfried calamari because the fried squid can be harmful to them.

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AUTHOR
As a dog breeder's daughter, I've always been surrounded by many dogs of many breeds. I've made it my job to learn about our furry best friends and share my findings with other conscious dog owners. My Bichon is called Piper by the way :)

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