Can my dog eat mussels?

Yes, but they should be steamed or cooked, but not fried.

Dogs should never be given any fried foods as the frying process can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Also, mussels are filter feeders and as such they can be poisonous to mammals – dogs and humans – if they consume contaminated dinoflagellates. The toxin in contaminated dinoflagellates does not die when cooked, making the diseased mussels dangerous to eat. Sickness from dinoflagellate poison is uncommon, however.

Uncontaminated mussels are fine for dogs to consume, however, they have little to no nutritional value so the risk to your pet has to be weighed against possible sickness. Additionally, it’s suggested to limit the number of mussels to just one or two as the soft-bodied meat of mussels tends to give dogs diarrhea.

Mussel shells
Made mostly of calcium, mussel shells are often ground into a coarse powder that is used to improve the acid levels in farming soil. Consequently, mussel shells will not harm your dog due to their composition, but the sharp edges of the shells can cut the internal organs and cause internal bleeding that will kill your dog quickly. Alternately, the mussel shells can block the digestive tract, which will cause serious long-term problems if not addressed. In short, mussel shells are dangerous to your dog due to blockage problems, not for any poisons they may contain. If your dog has eaten any mussel shells you should call your veterinarian immediately and talk about the options. Like the smaller, rounder shells of snails, mussel shells can pass through the digestive tract without causing any internal bleeding, but your dog needs to be monitored to be sure that all shells have left their digestive system. To be safe, be sure to contact your vet if you dog has consumed a large number of mussel shells. If the number is enough to count, be sure to count the shells in your dog’s poop to be sure all are removed from their system, otherwise the vet may need to act to remove them.


American Kennel Club



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