Calamari is simply the fancy name used for squid dishes. This tasty, spicy and high-nutritious seafood has been a common human delicacy for ages.
However, can the same be said of our canine friends? Can dogs eat calamari?
The short answer is ‘’no’’, dogs are not allowed to freely eat calamari.
But as you shall find out, there are a few exceptional cases where you could offer this delicacy to your dog. However, experts generally discourage calamari, and there are plenty of reasons for that.
The Bright Side of Calamari
Calamari is a great source of proteins, not only for humans but for our canine friends as well. Like any other seafood, the protein content that squid packs can go a long way in improving your dog’s overall muscle mass.
A dish of calamari is also lauded for its significantly lower levels of calories. And depending on how you prepare it, the levels of fat and calories can drop further lower than the maximum threshold recommended for dogs.
Other essential mineral elements in calamari include copper and zinc. Copper works along with iron to enhance the formation of red blood cells.
It also ensures healthy nerves, bones and blood vessels, while generally boosting the immune system. On the other hand, zinc plays an instrumental role in cell growth and division, as well as healing of wounds and prevention of excessive bleeding.
Your dog can enjoy all of these benefits. However, remember that when we first posed the question – can my dog eat Calamari?, our outright answer was a ‘’no’’. So, when is Calamari bad for your dog?[thrive_leads id=’7777′]
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Your Dog Calamari?
1. Possible Allergic Reactions:
There are various methods of preparing calamari. Depending on the region you are from, you could prefer it raw, steamed, grilled, baked or even fried.
As we have already seen, calamari is a highly nutritious food, boasting of a high protein content and remarkably low fat content.
However, its nutritional elements are greatly affected by the method of preparation. For instance, when fried, a great deal of that nutrition is lost. Therefore, feeding it to your dog may not really help him, from a nutritional point of view.
Even worse, frying or grilling calamari adds a significant amount of saturated fats, salt and even spices, a combination that can be prove deadly for your dog’s digestive system.
But as a responsible dog owner, you might already know that the average dog food is most nutritious when offered raw. Going by this logic, you could be tempted to offer raw calamari to your dog.
While you might have had the best intentions for the dog, the consequences may not be so pleasant. Being a seafood, and one that your dog is not used to, the dog could develop allergic reactions, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: Can Dogs Eat Tuna Fish? Or What About Cashews? [/thrive_text_block]
2. Other Serious Medical Conditions
Apart from the mere allergic reactions that a bite of calamari might cause to your pooch, this seafood could also cause more life-threatening conditions. As we have already mentioned, fried calamari contains a significant amount of saturated fats. The same goes for sautéed or breaded calamari.
As is the case with any high-fat foods, your dog might not only add more weight, but could also develop pancreatitis.
Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs depend on the severity of the condition. They generally range from as feeble as nausea and fever, to as severe as vomiting, depression and chronic abdominal pains.
On the other hand, an obese dog is a risk factor for other debilitating diseases like diabetes.
Last but not least, calamari contains an alarmingly high content of toxic metals such as copper and mercury. This is by virtue of being a seafood. The last thing you want is to introduce these toxic metals into your dog’s system.
When ingested, mercury causes a wide spectrum of behavioral and neurological symptoms including convulsions, chronic headaches, insomnia and emotional instability.
If not treated with the urgency it deserves, organ failure may follow. Some of the most vital organs targeted include the thyroid and kidneys.
What’s Our Verdict?
Tasty and nutritious as they are, you are better off not feeding calamari rings to your dog. If we were to weigh the benefits and the possible risks on a scale, the scale would certainly tip towards the risks.
[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]The main reasons why feeding calamari to your dog is discouraged is because of the many allergic reactions that could follow. [/thrive_text_block]
Dogs are not used to seafood, and they do just fine on a diet of beef, chicken and other dog-friendly foods. By introducing a totally unfamiliar food to his diet, you are seamlessly exposing his digestive system to lots of allergic reactions.
But perhaps the major reason you shouldn’t feed calamari to your dogs is because the nutritional elements may be very insignificant to the dog.
If you serve it cooked, fried or grilled, you could be exposing your dog to additional fats, spices and salts. And feeding it raw directly introduces toxic metals and even harmful bacteria into the dog’s system.
But What If the Drive to Feed Calamari to Your Dog Is So Strong?
At times, you may not fancy the idea of relishing a bite of calamari alone. So much that you could be tempted to throw in a few rings into your dog’s feeding bowl. But how do you go about incorporating squid into your dog’s diet?
First and foremost, you should remember it is not your dog’s staple food. Therefore, moderation is key.
Carefully watch the amounts of calamari you feed your dog and ensure the portions are very few and very far between. And that’s for the reasons we have highlighted here.
👉 If you realize your canine friend has developed an extraordinary taste for calamari, be sure to offer it occasionally to him, but only as a treat.
[thrive_text_block color=”dark” headline=””]Secondly, the best way to prepare calamari before serving it to your dog is by steaming or boiling it. Steaming isn’t very far from boiling, only that in the former, the calamari will not really have to cook inside water. [/thrive_text_block]
Now, you may be wondering to yourself – can my dog eat fried calamari? Unlike fried calamari, steaming ensures all nutritional elements of the food are kept intact. Plus, you are able to control the level of saturated fats added to the food before feeding it to your dog.
What of grilling, can dogs eat grilled calamari? In both steaming and grilling, the food retains its mineral elements. However, grilling requires the addition of extra spices, condiments and seasoning, hence is generally discouraged.
Lastly, when feeding calamari to your dog, ensure you mix it with other foods. Naturally, calamari is very yummy. This means your dog could develop a high taste for it, at the expense of its normal foods.
You can take advantage of this tastiness to introduce other more nutritious foods to your dog; foods that the dog would find tasteless or otherwise repulsive. Never feed pure calamari to your dog, as the dog could end up avoiding its usual foods.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]ALSO READ: The Best Organic Dog Treats For Your Furry Friend [/thrive_text_block]
Calamari, like any other seafood, is not dog food. If you can, avoid feeding it to your canine friend. But if you must, the keyword is moderation.
Introduce the food bit by bit and note your dog’s initial reactions to it. If there appears to be symptoms of intolerance, withdraw the food from your dog’s diet with immediate effect.