Can Dogs Eat Calamari?

fried calamari rings on wooden tray with dipping sauce

Calamari is a tasty seafood dish often served as an appetizer or as part of an entree. It’s prepared in various ways, including steamed, raw, grilled, baked, or deep-fried, and enjoyed as a salad topping, a side dish, or the main feature.

If you notice your pup observing your plate as you indulge in a meal with fried squid, you may wonder if it’s a safe food for your dog or whether it’s best to skip sharing your meal, even a morsel of baked squid, with your pet.

Are There Risks to Feeding Squid to Your Dog?

There are wide varieties of healthy fish for your dogs, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and similar high-protein seafood options. Fish contains many vital nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins (including vitamins E and B12).

While some owners provide raw diets to their pups, including certain types of fish, it’s essential to use caution when feeding your pet squid and similar varieties of seafood.

The main concerns with offering a calamari ring to your pup are how it is prepared and how often you feed your dog this treat. One of the most popular ways to prepare squid is by breading and frying calamari, which adds salt, batter, saturated fats, seasoning, and other ingredients that wouldn’t be included with a raw or steamed slice of squid.

While fried calamari is a tasty dish, it adds significant calories to your pet’s diet and may impact their heart and cardiovascular health.

How Your Dog May React to Calamari

If calamari steak isn’t a regular dish at home, and your dog isn’t accustomed to seafood or squid, this new and unique food may cause indigestion or an allergic reaction. You may notice this symptom, particularly if your pup has a sensitive stomach or previous allergic reactions to seafood.

When you serve calamari steamed, boiled, or raw squid, your pup will find the texture chewy. Squid is high in fat, which can contribute to inflammation of the pancreas, excessive weight gain, and digestive issues that result in diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting.

If you notice discomfort in your pup, it’s best to avoid offering calamari, even in small amounts, as this may indicate an allergy to seafood or other ill effects on your pet’s health.

man feeding his dog

When to Feed Your Dog Calamari

If your dog has no known allergies to seafood and generally handles eating fish with ease, you may find that calamari, when it is prepared with minimal additional ingredients, is enjoyable for your pet.

When you give your pup calamari for the first time, it’s crucial to monitor their reaction to determine if it’s a safe food for your pet to enjoy on occasion. It is essential to consider the benefits and drawbacks of offering your puppy calamari and whether it’s a worthwhile treat.

  • Provide only high-quality sourced calamari without any additives, which may include high sodium, seasoning, and breading that’s not as healthy for your pet.
  • Raw, steamed, and baked calamari without added sauces, coatings, or salt
  • Avoid calamari entirely if your dog has an allergy to seafood or shellfish
  • If you notice a high fever, signs of illness, or other symptoms of concern, contact your veterinarian immediately for assistance.
  • While sources vary, many types of seafood, including squid, contain high levels of toxic metals, such as copper and mercury.

Alternatives to Calamari

There are many great alternatives to calamari, especially if you’re concerned that your pup may develop an allergy to shellfish or doesn’t enjoy the unique texture of squid. The healthiest seafood options for dogs include low-fat, high-protein fish such as cod, tuna, salmon, and whitefish.

While salmon has a higher fat content, it’s also rich in vitamins and nutrients, which are essential for your pup’s growth and development. You’ll find these types of fish in quality dog food formulas, which provide valuable sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, probiotics, and fatty acids.

sliced fish and lemon on a cutting board

Final Thoughts

In small doses, calamari is generally safe, and if prepared with little or no additional ingredients, it’s a great source of healthy fats, protein, and nutrients for your pup. It’s best to avoid any deep-fried foods, including squid, fries, and other treats that you may enjoy on occasion, as they are high in saturated fats and not a healthy option for dogs.

Before you consider treating your pet to this delicious seafood, it’s best to rule out any allergies, medical conditions, or digestive issues and offer squid in small amounts to your pup. As long as your dog enjoys the texture and flavor of calamari without any adverse reactions, it’s a great treat to share with your pet.

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