Oysters are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that support the immune system, bones, muscles, and more! Like other meat and fish, oysters can also be packed or canned in oil and spices.
If you’re trying to enjoy your smoked oysters, you might notice your dog’s pleading eyes looking to spoil your meal. But can dogs eat smoked oysters?
We share with you the benefits and risks of feeding oysters to your dog, and if dogs can eat smoked oysters. We also provide a dog food recipe with oysters that your fur baby will surely love!
What are Smoked Oysters?
Smoked oysters are most often canned, and processed through flavoring, browning, cooking, or preserving. This is usually done by exposing them to smoke from burning or smoldering material, usually wood.
Smoke is both an antimicrobial and antioxidant. However, it is insufficient alone for preserving food as smoke does not penetrate far into meat or fish. Typically, this process is combined with salt-curing or drying.
This process is also useful since smoke inhibits surface fat rancidification and delays interior fat exposure to degrading oxygen. Some heavily salted, long-smoked fish can even keep without refrigeration for weeks or months.
Can Dogs Eat Smoked Oysters?
Smoked oysters are not toxic but are also not the best food for dogs. Oysters are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium.
Dogs can eat smoked oysters in very small portions, but they should not eat them as part of their normal diet. Think treat rather than main meal.
If you want more of the benefits of oysters for your dog try serving them in other ways, which we will talk about later.
Meanwhile, here are some nutrients in oysters that are good for your dog!
How Omega-3s Benefit Dogs
Omega-3s boost all aspects of health, decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of illness. Fat also plays an important role in our dog’s diet.
Omega-3 fats support the brain development of puppies, help dogs with arthritis, improve their ability to fight cancer, improve their immune system, enhance their skin and coat health, and can reduce anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity.
How Zinc Benefits Dogs
Zinc is a great nutrient for dogs since it helps with their skin and health, immune system, and their overall mood and behavior.
This mineral plays an important role in many substances in the canine body including enzymes, proteins, and hormones.
Zinc is also important for immune system function and thyroid function.
Zinc deficiency can result in problems for dogs like a lack of protection from infection, abnormal iodine metabolism, interference with normal cell development including wound healing, and replacement of intestinal lining cells, skin cells, hair, and nails, and more.
Puppies who lack this nutrient often experience stunted growth, diarrhea, crusted and cracked footpads, and multiple infections.
Some dog breeds, like Huskies and Malamutes, have trouble absorbing zinc so more needs to be added to their diet to compensate for this and to avoid zinc deficiencies.
Which Oysters are Safe for Dogs?
If you’re planning to add oysters to your dog’s diet because of their wonderful health benefits, always consider which is the safest to feed to your dog.
For instance, you have to limit or completely avoid canned oysters like smoked oysters if they are high in sodium. Also, avoid smoked oysters with spices or flavors as well!
Never feed raw oysters to your dog because of the toxins it may have. Because of their small size, oysters can absorb toxins such as dinoflagellates.
The toxins concentrate in the oysters’ tissues and can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in both humans and dogs.
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
Paralytic shellfish poisoning is usually associated with bivalve mollusks such as mussels, clams, oysters, and scallops.
These are filter feeders and can accumulate toxins in certain conditins and seasons. These toxins, if ingested, can cause paralysis or death.
Signs of poisoning in dogs can vary tremendously depending on the type of poison they’ve encountered.
These signs can range from vomiting to breathing difficulties to drooling. Poisonous oysters can cause vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, and heart issues.
How to Feed Oysters to Your Dog
Be sure to feed your dog only cooked oysters, or canned oysters without any added ingredients, and only in small amounts. Dogs can enjoy oysters as an ingredient in canned or dry dog food, or as a rare treat.
The best smoked oysters you can give your dog are ones packed in water only. Make sure to feed smoked oysters to your dog in moderation.
This recipe from Keep the Tails Wagging shows how you can cook oysters for your dog! All you need is:
- fresh raw oysters
- fresh parsley
- fresh oregano
Remember that this recipe is not made to be eaten in one sitting. It should be spread out over a week or so.
Are Smoked Oysters Good for Dogs?
Smoked oysters are often packed in oil, with added salt and flavors. These are not a good food for dogs.
While smoked oysters are safe to feed to your dog, they should be cooked, plain, and only consumed in small amounts.
You can also try feeding plain oysters to your dog as long as they are cooked well to avoid paralytic shellfish poisoning!
You can also try giving your dog some salmon for similar benefits.