Can Dogs Eat Mussels? Are Mussels Safe For Dogs? Full Guide

 Can dogs eat mussels?

Can Dogs Eat Mussels?

Yes, dogs can eat mussels. You can feed them to your dog in moderation as they have some really good health benefits. Some of them are below:

  • Mussels have pain-reducing properties
  • Help reduce inflammation
  • Promote a shiny coat and healthy skin
  • Fight diseases caused by oxidative stress
  • Secure the immune system and protect your dog from diseases
  • Build healthy muscles

So Why Are Mussels Good for Dogs?

It is more than safe to say that mussels are a great choice to add to your dog’s diet. You can decide to pair these shellfish (mussels) with glucosamine supplements and fish oil. They pair nicely with either of them.

If you are a pet owner who loves eating mussels, you have probably thought of feeding them to your pet. One question that must have crossed your mind is, can dogs eat mussels? Are mussels bad for dogs?

Statistics reveal that seafood consumption all over the world is currently on the rise. Between 2014 and 2019, the average annual per capita consumption of seafood worldwide increased from 19.9kilograms to 20.5 kilograms. Needless to say, people love their scallops, shrimp, crab meat, and of course, mussels; those orange fleshy animals protected inside two dark shells (kind of similar to clams).

Some seafood can be beneficial to your dog’s health, and some can be quite harmful due to the dangerous toxins and heavy metals they contain. Mussels happen to belong to the group of seafood that is beneficial to dogs. However, there are certain things you need to know about it before feeding it to your dog.

 This article will provide you with all the information you need on mussels and how you can feed them to your dog. 

Mussels Nutrition Facts

 When adequately prepared, mussels are not only safe for dogs’ consumption but are also very beneficial to their health due to the nutrients they contain. They provide some of the most crucial vitamins available. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, and Calcium are some of the nutrients that mussels contain.

Nutritional Value Of Mussels

Below is the nutritional value of three ounces (85 grams) of steamed mussels:

Calories  146 
Protein 20 grams
Carbohydrates 6 grams
Fat 4 grams
Fiber 0
Sugar 0

Mussels are a good source of protein that comes without excessive calories from fat. A 3-ounce meal of cooked blue mussels weighs 85 grams and contains about 146 calories with 20 grams of protein. When fed to your dog, the protein is broken down into amino acids, and your dog uses it to develop and maintain the cells in its nerves, muscles, bones, cartilage, and skin.

Manganese: Providing a lot of manganese, mussels help your dog metabolize macronutrients, keeping its bones healthy and healing its wounds quickly.

Iron: Mussels have an actual iron content required for energy production, healthy immunity, red blood cell formation, development, and growth.

The sources of most of the health benefits mussels have to offer are Omega 3s and other fatty acids. High concentrations of Omega fatty acids are found in mussels, giving mussels pain-suppressing properties. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also present in mussels, and they help in the reduction of inflammation. Various antioxidants and enzymes can also be found in mussels.

The disadvantage to eating a lot of mussels comes from the cholesterol they contain. About 47.6 milligrams of cholesterol can be found in a 3-ounce meal of mussels. While cholesterol is not fundamentally bad (it can help your dog build cells), too much cholesterol in your pet’s blood can increase its risk of stroke or cardiac arrest (yes, dogs can have a stroke!)

Why Are Mussels Good for Dogs?

Why Are Mussels Bad for Dogs?

Results of samples tested by researchers have proven that there are no toxins in mussels that can harm your pet. Although, if your dog has an allergy to shellfish, then you should most definitely keep mussels as well as every other shellfish away from it.

As long as your dog exhibits no allergies to shellfish, you can go ahead and add them to its diet.

The Health Benefits of Mussels for Dogs

 After we have answered to the questions, cand dogs eat mussels and why are mussels good or bad for dogs we need to dig a little deeper to the dogs’ health benefits of mussels. Based on the nutritional facts outlined above, mussels can be very beneficial to dogs suffering from joint problems like arthritis.

Even if your dog is not suffering from any joint issues right now, feeding your dog mussels is a way to prevent it from experiencing these problems in the future. In other words, providing your dog with mussels will ensure that you never have to worry about the incidence of arthritis.

The fatty acids present in mussels also help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin for your dog. This makes your dog feel very soft to the touch and tempting to play with. Fatty acids also reduce any irritation or itching that your dog may experience. Moreover, the antioxidants present in mussels will help your dog combat diseases caused by oxidative stress. (Oxidative stress is a medical condition that results from the lack of antioxidants in an animal’s body.

It leads to cell and tissue damage in the animal). The vitamins present in mussels help boost your dog’s immune system, and the presence of protein ensures nice and healthy muscles.

If you have been feeding your dogs with mussels, don’t be so quick to heave a sigh of relief just yet! How have you been providing them? Did you know that there are wrong ways to feed your dog with mussels? Let’s get into that.

How To Feed Mussels To Dogs

 Can dogs eat mussels?

There are several ways you can feed mussels to your dog. Some of these include:

Fresh/Frozen Mussels

This requires removing the mussel’s meaty part from the dark-colored shell and serving it to the dog. It can be added directly to your dog’s meal. Although you give raw meat to your dog seems to be a bit of a problem for you, you may consider steaming the mussels before giving them to your dog. This system needs a little bit of freezer space and can be quite expensive depending on your location.

If you have a picky dog, this may not be the best option for it. You might want to consider some of the other options below.

Mussel Powder

This option requires adding a small quantity of green-lipped mussel (GLM) powder to your dog’s meal. Green-lipped mussel is a nutritional supplement prepared from a particular kind of mussels found in New Zealand. They are a welcome alternative to mussels for picky dogs. Although in powdered form, green-lipped mussel still has all the health benefits of a common mussel. This includes its rich omega-3 content. You can find lots of green-lipped mussel powder in the market today but make sure the one you purchase is pet-safe.

 Freeze-Dried Mussels

 This is an excellent option if you’re looking to introduce mussels to your dog’s meals or serve to it as a treat because they just gobble it up like a child would eat its favorite cookie.

Seafood Dogs Should Not Eat

what seafood should dogs not eat

Although dogs can eat mussels, as they offer a lot of health benefits to their health, some seafood does not. One seafood that belongs to this category is tilapia. Tilapia is the second most farmed fish in the world, is low in Omega 3. This is because farmed fish do not eat phytoplankton and other aquatic plants. Tilapia is relatively high in Omega 6 content, and seafood with high omega six content is not healthy for your dog.

Large fish like tuna, swordfish, shark, sturgeon, marlin, walleye, and bluefish should not be fed to dogs because mercury bioaccumulates in larger fish and can lead to several health conditions. Mercury toxicity is severe and if you want your dog to remain your companion and stay around for a long time you should keep it away from its diet.

Salmon is a safe option for dogs, but only when it has been cooked. It would be best if you don’t feed raw salmon to dogs. They are known for containing parasites such as Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which are relatively safe for humans but can cause severe salmon poisoning in dogs. These poisoning symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, fever, weakness, a total lack of appetite, and lots more. It may even lead to the death of the dog.

Therefore, before serving your dog salmon, make sure it is perfectly cooked. The safer option is a total exclusion of salmon from your dog’s diet.


Are mussels toxic to dogs?

 The simple answer is NO! Scientists and researchers have found no traces of toxins in mussels. In fact, mussels are beneficial to dogs because of their nutritional contents, which are quite valuable to dogs’ health. Its Omega-3 content is primarily a very effective health boost for dogs. There may be some dogs that do not appreciate mussels, and you do not have to force it on them.  

Can dogs eat mussels raw?

Yes. If you are one of those who have wondered about the possibility of not having to cook mussels every time you want to feed them to your dogs, there is good news for you. Feeding your dogs mussels that have only just been detached from their shells and have not been anywhere near a pot is not a bad idea. Fresh mussels will not in any way cause upset to their body system. As stated earlier, the only exception is dogs that have an allergy to mussels or seafood in general. Apart from mussels, it wolu be better if you do not give other seafood raw to your dog to have.

What seafood can dogs eat?

Many kinds of seafood are healthy for dogs, mainly because of their omega-3 content. Barring any allergies, it is safe for dogs to have salmon, mussels, sardines, shrimp, scallops, clams, lobster, herring, and shellfish. Remember, there is no need to season any fish for dogs. Garlic and onions should be avoided entirely as they are toxic to dogs. Crabs should be introduced sparingly to your dog’s diet just if there could be an adverse reaction.

What fish can dogs not eat?

Dogs generally love fish, and there are good fishes that are beneficial and safe for dogs. So, what fish can dogs not eat? One of the most dangerous toxins that cause terrible effects when fed to dogs is mercury. Mercury is found in big fishes. When the mercury content in a dog’s system is high, it can weaken its bones and several other parts of its body.

The most problematic aspect is that mercury takes a lot of time (up to a year) to be eliminated from the body. Large fishes with high mercury content include sharks, swordfish, tuna, and king mackerel. It is not advisable to feed your dogs any of these. Some fishes absorb chemical wastes that may have been dumped in the ocean. These fishes include the trout, eel, cod, and flounder. Farmed fish like tilapia are not safe for your dog’s diet. These farmed fishes are not grown under wholesome conditions. Besides, tilapia contains meager amounts of nutrients.

Conclusion: Can dogs eat mussels?

To the question, can dogs eat mussels? The answer is a loud and resounding yes. You have nothing to fear if you have previously made mussels a part of your dog’s diet. If you have been thinking about whether it is safe and beneficial to introduce mussels to your dogs, you can go ahead. You have no reason to deny your dog of this delightful sea treat.

Seafood is excellent, but it would be best not to give all of the various seafood to dogs. Fortunately, mussels are not in the category of seafood that is toxic to dogs. Mussels are very beneficial to dogs. The health benefits range from its ability to promote healthy skin, healthy muscles, a perfectly functioning immune system, and a shiny and smooth coat. Mussels can be served fresh after detaching the meaty part from the shell. It can be in powdered form, as green-lipped mussels, or freeze-dried form.

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