Can your dog eat clams? The short and simple answer is yes, they can. However, there are several factors to take into consideration before giving your dog any type of shellfish. While clams and other shellfish have great benefits, their intake should be kept to a minimum. Like humans, your dog may be allergic to shellfish, so you take extra caution at first.
Shellfish, including clams, are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. Of course, this can be of great benefit to your dog. Let’s take a deeper look into the risks and benefits of clams, to help you decide if they are worth being added to your pooch’s regular diet.
What Exactly Are Clams?
Most people are familiar with common shellfish favorites like mussels and oysters, but clams are a slightly rarer dish. The main difference to be aware of is that clams are freshwater shellfish. They are commonly mistakenly represented as seafood, but they are only found only in freshwater. This makes them safer than some of their saltwater cousins, which may have heightened levels of harmful pollutants like mercury.
Clams are circular mollusks that live under the sand of the freshwater they live in. There are thousands of different species of clam that vary widely in size. What makes clams unique among shellfish is that they have internal organs. Clams have a heart, basic digestive system, and circulatory system. Clams can be eaten raw, as well as cooked, and have a rubbery texture and somewhat fishy flavor that your dog may or may not enjoy.
Most clams have a life cycle of around a year, but the oldest documented clam in the world was believed to be around 507 years old. The clam was still alive when found but suffered an ironic death when researchers tried to deduce its age.
Health Benefits of Clams
As most dog owners are aware of, your pooch wants to eat whatever it is you are eating, and they will often give you a convincing look that can easily coerce you into sharing. When it comes to clams, sharing a few bites shouldn’t pose any problems but should be kept to a minimum — think one or two small clams at the most. Clams do have great health benefits, though, and as the occasional treat, they can be safely and beneficially given to your pooch. These benefits include:
Health Concerns of Clams
While clams are generally safe and beneficial to give your dog, there are a few concerns to be aware of.
It goes without saying that while it is safe for your dog to eat clams, the shells are out of bounds. They can get stuck in your dog’s throat and digestive tract and potentially cause serious harm. We recommend giving your dog’s strictly small amounts only and not every day.
So, we’ve seen that clams are both safe and nutritious for your dog, but the question remains: Will they even eat them? Of course, this is largely dependent on preparation. Clams have a rubbery texture that some dogs may love to chew on but that other dogs may hate.
Firstly, the clams should be cleaned thoroughly and free from any fragments of shell. The clams should ideally be cooked well, to avoid any contamination. Once they are cooked, they can be simply mixed into your dog’s regular food. We recommend no more than two or three small-sized clams for a small dog. If your pooch won’t eat them, try mashing them into the food to conceal the texture.
Clams are not only perfectly safe for dogs to eat, but they can provide a host of nutritional benefits too. Essential fatty acid omega-3, iron, protein, and vitamin C are all contained in clams and are highly nutritious for your pooch. The best aspect of feeding clams to your dog is vitamin B12. Clams are one of the richest sources of vitamin B12 out there, a vitamin that needs to be obtained by dietary sources.
There are a few health risks associated with giving clams to your dog, but these can be largely avoided by getting them from a good source and not feeding your dog too much.
In conclusion, yes, your dog can definitely eat clams. Not only that, but they are a great source of nutrient-dense food to add to your dog’s regular diet.
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