A dog with a curious expression looking at crabs, indicating moderate safety for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Crabs?

Yes, dogs can eat crabs, but you should proceed with caution. While crab meat itself is not toxic to dogs, raw crab can carry parasites and bacteria. Always ensure the crab is fully cooked, and remember to remove all shells to avoid choking hazards or damage to your dog's digestive tract.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

Crab meat should be thoroughly cooked and the shell removed to prevent choking or digestive blockages.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Benefits and Risks of Crabs?

Crabs are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals that can benefit your dog’s health. They provide omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy coat and skin. However, crab meat can also be high in sodium and cholesterol. Some dogs might also be allergic, so moderation is key to avoid potential health risks.

How Much Crab Can Dogs Eat?

The amount of crab a dog can eat depends on its size, breed, and overall health. For small dogs, a few pieces of crab meat as an occasional treat is enough. Larger dogs can handle a bit more, but it should not become a regular part of their diet. Crab should only be given occasionally and not as a primary food source.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that because crabs are seafood, they are inherently safe and beneficial for dogs. This is not always true. Not all seafood is safe, and some dogs can have allergic reactions to them. Also, the misconception that dogs can chew crab shells like bones is dangerous and should be avoided!

What If Your Dog Reacts Badly to Crabs?

If your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction, such as itching, swelling, or vomiting, contact your veterinarian immediately. Any severe symptoms, like difficulty breathing, require urgent veterinary care.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

If you're looking for safer, equally nutritious treats, consider these alternatives:

  • Cooked Chicken: High in protein, low in fat.
  • Salmon: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, but ensure it’s well-cooked and boneless.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Rich in fiber and vitamins, great for digestion.


To sum up, while dogs can enjoy crab meat, it's essential to offer it in moderation and fully cooked. Always monitor for any adverse reactions, and consult your vet, especially if your dog has any specific health issues. Better safe than sorry!