Can Dogs Eat Prawn Crackers? We Answer The Question ! (2023 Update)
Updated: Oct 24
Yes, dogs can eat prawn crackers in moderation but there are a few things to check first. Read on to find out whether prawn crackers are actually good for your dog and whether they are the best treat for them
There is nothing more enjoyable that a bag of freshly fried southeast asian prawn crackers with their crunchy texture and seafood aroma and despite them being a human food, many dog owners have pondered the question as to what prawn crackers are made from, whether dogs can actually eat prawn crackers as a snack for dogs or should owners avoid feeding them full stop and find a different treat instead of prawn crackers.
The answer to the question is while prawn crackers are safe for most dogs the question remains as to whether they are healthy and a suitable treat for your four legged friend? If you are in any doubt as to whether your dog can eat them or whether you dog is allergic we advise consulting with your vet first or alternatively introducing them slowly to your dog's diet and being mindful of the amount that you are feeding them.
Table Of Contents
Can Dogs Eat Prawn Crackers
✅ Generally safe for dogs
✅ A source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids
✅ Dogs love them
❌ Deep fried high fat and calories
❌ Prawn could cause allergies in some dogs
❌ Much healthier treats available for your dog
What Are Prawn Crackers Made From, Are The Ingredients Safe For Dogs And Do The Contain Any Prawn?
Prawn crackers are popular throughout southeast asian communities and are typically made from classic ingredients which in standard prawn crackers are tapioca flour which is derived from the cassava root, prawns or shrimp, sodium or salt and water. Prawn crackers also may contain additional seasoning and some may contain toxic ingredients like garlic so as with any pet food it is always advisable to read through the ingredient list as some brands can be high in sodium so it is always important to check for harmful ingredients first. In general though you will find that most crackers do not contain toxic additives and most crackers are often made of shrimp, tapioca, sale and water. The ingredients are mixed into a fine paste, rolled out, sliced, allowed to dry and then are deep fried so that the tapioca starch expands giving the crackers the light and airy crispness that make them taste so good. Prawn crackers typically do not contain any toxic ingredients like garlic and onion which can be harmful to dogs if consumed and so as a treat now and again they they should be totally safe for most dogs.
Generally tapioca starch is fine for dogs in small quantities and is often found in grain free dog foods where it is used as a filler. Prawns are a great source of vitamins and minerals for your dog and can contain high levels of protein, omega-3 oils and omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, iodine, antioxidants, B-vitamins and can greatly benefit your dogs brain and joint health when fed in moderation.
Are Prawns Safe For Dogs In General ?
While dogs can eat cooked prawns as they are nutritious source of protein, oils and minerals and can be a nutritious part of their diet, it is generally recommended that you avoid feeding raw prawns including raw shellfish as uncooked prawns can contain harmful bacteria and microbes such as salmonella, listeria and other germs that can cause gastrointestinal and digestive issues in dogs and some may be allergic to seafood as with green lipped mussels and this could lead to stomach upset and could cause illness. More importantly if you are feeding unshelled prawns to your dog the shells can be a serious potential choking hazard and can potentially cause intestinal blockages and irritation. It is also always advisable to devein the raw prawns first as an extra safety measure.
If you want your dogs to eat prawns it is important that they are completely cooked before being offered to your dog as this will help kill anything that could be harmful to dogs. Prawns can be boiled, steamed, grilled or in the case of prawn crackers deep fried all of which ensures that any harmful bacteria are killed and makes them easier for your dog to digest. As discussed above, when serving cooked food, always ensure that all shells are removed before feeding them to your dog to your dog to avoid the potential of stomach irritation, blockages and vomiting and diarrhea and as with all new foods or foods that your dog has not eaten regularly it is always advisable to consult with your vet and avoid excessive consumption at first as moderation is key.
Could Prawns Or Prawn Crackers Cause Allergies In Some Dogs?
As outlined above, generally most prawn crackers do not contain any worrisome ingredients like onions or garlic that could cause any problems. Tapioca starch is a common additive in dog foods and should not cause major problems for most dogs however prawns can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs and so caution is advised if you decide to treat your dog to a prawn cracker treat for the first time.
As in humans symptoms of an allergic reaction to fish and prawn in dogs are similar to gluten intolerance and can include upset stomach and diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and drooling. If you are giving your dog prawn crackers for the first time then it is advisable to start with very small amounts and monitor your dogs reaction to the prawn crackers.
Apart From Allergic Reactions Are There Any Other Downsides To Feeding Your Dog Prawn Crackers?
Whilst generally safe to treat your dog with one prawn cracker every now and again feeding a lot of prawn crackers is not advisable in the long term as they a high calorie snack and eating too much is generally not advised. Allergies aside, the biggest problem with feeding your dog crackers is the fact that they are a processed food, are deep fried in oil, prawn crackers are high in calories and although both tapioca and prawns have nutritional value for your dog prawn crackers like any type of crisps are most definitely a treat kind of food that should be fed in moderation.
Just like humans, when a dog consume a processed and high calorie deep fried diet it can lead to weight gain and a variety of health problems for dogs if consumed in large quantities so prawn crackers for your dog most definitely should not be a daily treat!
How Many Prawn Crackers Should I Feed My Dog?
If you are giving your dog prawn crackers then use common sense and make sure that your dog doesn't eat too many and enjoys prawn crackers as a now and again treat.
As discussed above, because prawn crackers are carb heavy and deep fried they are not the healthiest of snacks but generally shouldn't cause to many problems if your dog indulges in moderation every now and again.
Can Dogs Eat Prawn Toast?
Just like prawn crackers, what dog wouldn't relish a slice of bread topped with minced prawns then deep fried until brown and crispy? The only problem is that, just like prawn crackers prawn sesame toast isn't the healthiest of snacks for treating your dog.
Prawn toastie is a Cantonese dim sum dish originating from Hong Kong and is traditionally made from small triangles of white bread, coated with a paste of minced prawn and seasoning and is then cooked by deep frying the slices in oil. It is a common starter in Western Chinese cuisine and is usually referred to as sesame prawn toastie in the UK where the prawn paste receives a sprinkling of sesame seeds before deep frying.
Because this dish is a deep fried dish, it is traditionally very high in fat and calories making it potentially unhealthy when eaten in quantity as just like in the human diet, feeding too much fried foods to dogs can lead to weight gain, ongoing digestive problems, and an increased risk of pancreatitis and circulatory issues.
On top of the prawns and seasoning found in this snack that can have the same effects as the ingredients found in prawn crackers, there is also a large slice of bread to contend with which, as it is not part of a dogs natural diet can cause it's own issues.
Just like humans, some dogs can be sensitive to the wheat and gluten contained within the bread and suffer intolerance symptoms like bloating and digestive sensitivity.
Help, My Dog Has Eaten A Whole Bag Of Prawn Crackers So What Should I Do!
So you order a Chinese takeaway and whilst you are preparing the table your dog seizes the opportunity and manages to devour the whole bag of prawn crackers whilst you are distracted! What now?
Thankfully your greedy dog shouldn't suffer too many issues from eating a whole bag of prawn crackers as the tapioca flour and prawns are generally safe but, just like humans that over indulge, they may feel a little bloated and sleepy for a couple of hours due to the carbohydrates and oil that they have ingested.
As mentioned earlier, the prawns in prawn crackers shouldn't cause most dogs any issues but it would be advisable to provide your dog with plenty of water and to keep an eye on them in the hours after them eating the prawn crackers.
If you are looking for inspiration to provide your dog with a diet that will give them a good immune system then there are a variety of options for you to introduce new foods that does not contain harmful ingredients and that provides health benefits with a high protein content as well as minerals.
As discussed, prawns can provide protein, minerals and omega 3 but it important to ensure that the prawns are cooked prior to feeding as they may carry parasites, that the claws and legs are removed, that there is no added salt which could cause diarrhoea and dehydration and that if you are in any doubt you should get you vet to check your animal before starting any new foodstuffs.
Can Dogs Eat Prawn Crackers? The Conclusion!
So, hopefully we have answered your question about "Can dogs eat prawn crackers" with a definite Yes although remember to feed prawn crackers to your dog as a treat and in moderation not as a daily addition to their standard diet.
Although they are generally not toxic to dogs and are generally safe to eat, crackers are typically deep fried and so consuming too much is to be avoided. Just like humans, if dogs eat a highly processed and deep fried diet that is high in sodium and fat regularly they are heading for weight gain, health problems and the myriad of other issues that can arise from an unbalanced diet so only give your dogs prawn crackers as a treat every now and again! If you are looking for good quality dog food read our best dog food uk roundup here and if you would like to incorporate the goodness of seafood into your dogs diet take a look at our page all about salmon oil for dogs.