A dog with an unsure expression looking at crawfish, indicating caution for dog consumption.

Can Dogs Eat Crawfish?

In moderation, cooked crawfish meat is safe for dogs to eat. However, owners must exercise caution. The shell, legs, and tail of crawfish can pose choking hazards or cause gastrointestinal blockages. Furthermore, raw crawfish should be avoided as they can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites.

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

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

Updated on Jun 21, 2024

Did You Know?

Crawfish should always be served to dogs without shells and seasonings to prevent digestive issues and toxic reactions.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Benefits and Risks of Crawfish

Cooked crawfish meat provides a good source of protein and essential fatty acids, which can benefit your dog's muscle development and coat health. However, feeding too much can lead to digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Portion control is key. Never allow your dog to consume raw crawfish due to the risk of bacterial infections. Always ensure crawfish is free of seasoning, as many spices can be harmful to dogs.

What Parts of Crawfish Are Safe/Unsafe?

  • Safe: Cooked, unseasoned crawfish meat
  • Unsafe: Shell, legs, tail, and raw crawfish

Other Products Containing Crawfish

Crawfish can be found in various prepared dishes and snacks, such as:

  • Crawfish pies
  • Crawfish pasta
  • Boiled or seasoned crawfish snacks

Caution is advised with these products, as they often contain high levels of salt, spices, and other ingredients harmful to dogs, like garlic and onions.

How to Feed Crawfish to Your Dog?

If you decide to give crawfish to your dog, ensure it's fully cooked and completely unseasoned. Remove the shell, legs, and tail, offering only the pure meat. Start with a small amount to see how your dog reacts. Incorporate it occasionally, not as a regular part of their diet.

What If Your Dog Reacts Badly to Crawfish?

If your dog shows any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, after eating crawfish, contact your vet immediately. Quick action can prevent serious health issues, especially if your dog has ingested shell pieces or raw crawfish.

Safer Alternatives to Crawfish

If you're looking for safe seafood options for your dog, consider:

  • Cooked salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
  • Cooked whitefish: Easy to digest and low in fat.
  • Cooked shrimp: High in protein, but remember to remove the shell and veins.


In summary, while cooked crawfish meat can be a safe treat for dogs, caution is essential. Avoid raw crawfish, and always remove shells and seasoning. When introducing any new food, consult with your veterinarian to ensure it's suitable for your pet. Remember, a happy dog is a healthy dog!