Can Dogs Eat Clams: Clams’ Nutritional Value as a Dog Food

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If dogs can eat clams, the short answer is yes, provided they are served correctly and only given to your pet in moderation.

Clams can be a great source of protein for dogs while also containing various other vitamins and minerals that can benefit your pet. 

Tasty steamed clams

That said, there are some health risks that you need to consider when giving your pet clams to eat. That is because clams are high in sodium and fat and can pose a health risk for your dog if served raw or if the shell is not removed. 

Keep reading to discover more about how to feed your dog clams safely, some of the benefits of including crab in your pet’s diet, and what you shouldn’t do when offering this type of seafood to your pet.

What are the Benefits of Clams for Dogs?

Clams can be a great extension to your pet’s mealtimes, and this nutritious protein can offer an entire host of benefits for your pooch. Here are a few of the advantages of giving your furry friend clams. 

  1. Clams will help your dog stay mobile: The zinc in clams will help with preserving your dog’s joints, keeping him supple, and helping him stay mobile as he ages. In addition to zinc, clams contain phosphorus which dogs need for bone strength. 
  1. Clams have protein your dog requires: One hundred grams of raw clam meat offers 12.8g of protein. To lead a healthy life and build strong muscles, all dogs need protein in their diet.
  1. Clams’ fatty acids will improve your dog’s skin and coat: Clams are an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids. These fatty acids will improve your dog’s immune system and keep his skin and coat looking and feeling great. 

Clams also include the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for brain and eye development. 

What nutrients in clams are beneficial for dogs?

American Bully dog running on the road
An American Bully dog running with his owner on the road – Image source

Along with being packed full of protein and fatty acids, as mentioned above, clams are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

Clams contain iron, vitamin C, and more to support your pet’s whole body health.

  • Riboflavin: Clams are one of the best courses of riboflavin, containing 0.4mg of this vitamin per 100grams of meat. Also known as Vitamin B2, riboflavin is necessary for producing red blood cells, while it’s also vital for the absorption of fats and starches.
  • Vitamin C: Surprisingly, there is 6.3mg of Vitamin C in 100grams of clams. Vitamin C can help boost your dog’s immune system and ward off illnesses and joint disease.
  • Niacin: There is 2.9mg of niacin or Vitamin B3 in 100grams of clams. Niacin works to aid the digestive and nervous systems of your pet.
  • Folate: 1 ounce of clam meat contains 8.2ug of folate. Folate is essential for puppies, pregnant dogs, and lactating females as it’s necessary for tissue growth and cell division.
  • Potassium: 1 ounce of clam meat includes 178mg of potassium. Potassium helps to keep your dog’s heart, nerves, and muscles functioning at optimum levels.
  • Iron: Clams are one of the best sources of iron out of all food sources. 100grams or 3.5 ounces of clams contains 29.45 mg of iron. Iron helps sustain your dog’s energy levels and is necessary for red blood cell production.
  • Calcium: There is about 174.8mg of calcium in 100grams of clam meat. Calcium will help keep your dog’s bones and teeth strong.
  • Phosphorous: Three ounces of clam meat includes about 200 mg of phosphorus. Phosphorus is fundamental for keeping your dog’s bones and joints strong and mobile.
  • Zinc: 100grams of clams contains 7mg of zinc. Zinc will assist with keeping your pup’s skin and coat looking and feeling great while additionally helping the immune system function.
  • Magnesium: There is 34.2mg of magnesium in 100g of clams. Magnesium helps support your dog’s muscles and assists with the absorption of nutrients and minerals.

How to Choose Clams for Your Dog?

Try and choose wild-harvested freshwater clams as these are unlikely to be contaminated by mercury or other metals. Also, avoid clams from Asian waters as these often have higher traces of these dangerous metals.

Farmed clams should also be avoided as they can often contain antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides, which are not suitable for your pet.

What are the Health Risks of Clams for Dogs?

Sick dog just laying on the bed
A sad sick dog just laying on his bed – Image source

Despite the benefits of clams, some health risks can accompany feeding your canine this protein. For example, clams contain a lot of sodium and fat, while raw clams can carry microorganisms that can cause illness for your dog.

  • Poisoning: You should be careful not to feed your pet raw clams as they could have bacteria or worms that could infect your dog. Additionally, these mollusks filter out toxins from their prey, which means that these toxins can poison your pet. In rare instances, this could even lead to paralysis.
  • Choking and blockages: It is pretty dangerous to give your canine clams in its shell. The hard shell of the clam can get stuck in your dog’s esophagus, causing him to choke, or they could block your pet’s internal digestive system.
  • Allergies: Shellfish, like clams, can cause allergies in dogs, just like humans. Also, the high protein content of clams can make them hard to digest, especially if your pet suffers from liver or kidney diseases. 
  • Digestive upset: Clams are pretty high in fat and should be given to your pet in moderation. This high-fat content also means that some dogs suffer from an upset stomach, leading to vomiting and diarrhea when eating clams.
  • Thiamine deficiency: Dogs that get most of their protein content from fish, shellfish, or clams could end up experiencing a thiamine deficiency which can be pretty bad for your pet.

What’s in clams that are harmful to dogs?

Fresh clams for sale at the market
A pile of fresh clams for sale at the market

Before giving clams to your pet to eat, you should realize that some things in this shellfish may cause an issue for your pet. Due to these substances, you also need to make sure never to feed your dog clams in excess.

1. Clam Shell

You should always keep your pet away from clamshells. The shell can cause your dog to choke or form a blockage in your pet’s esophagus, stomach, or intestines.

If your dog chews on the shell, sharp pieces of shell could even end up hurting your dog’s mouth or piercing the internal digestive system.

2. High in cholesterol 

One pound of clams contains 440mg of cholesterol. While dogs need some cholesterol to build healthy cells, too much cholesterol in your dog’s diet can cause various illnesses such as heart disease.

3. High Sodium and Potassium Content

Clams also have an exceptionally high salt level. There is 5mg of sodium in every small clam.

Salt can be dangerous to dogs when consumed in high amounts and can lead to salt poisoning, which can cause kidney problems and seizures.

Similarly, the high potassium content of clams could also lead to kidney or liver problems.

4. Unsafe Levels of Heavy Metals

Some fish species accumulate high metal levels over their lifetime. These increased mercury levels could be dangerous for your dog, although freshwater clams contain less mercury than fish species like tuna or sea bass.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Clams?

Itching Chocolate Labrador puppy
An itching Chocolate Labrador puppy scratching on his neck – Image source

No specific canine breed is vulnerable to clam allergies, but dogs could have an allergic reaction to shellfish just as humans do. The protein content in clams also can make it an allergen to dogs. 

Canines with a negative response to clams can experience skin rashes, sneeze, hack, or wheeze, and get an upset stomach.

In rare cases, puppies can experience anaphylactic shock, which may be deadly. If your fuzzy sidekick has a poor reaction to clams, try and stop feeding him clams and contact your vet.

What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Many Clams?

If your puppy eats too many clams, he’ll be predisposed to put on weight, which can cause coronary heart and lung difficulties. Eating too many clams at one time may prompt diarrhea, vomiting, or gastrointestinal distress.

A lot of clams to your dog’s diet may likewise spark off sodium ion poisoning.

How Should Dogs Eat Clams?

Delicious steamed fresh clams
Delicious steamed fresh clams on a plate

When feeding your canine clams, please keep them to limited amounts.

Likewise, please make sure to cook any clams before serving them to your puppy to kill any harmful microorganisms or worms that can be found in uncooked clams.

Clams also should be removed from the shell before feeding them to your puppy. 

While cooking clams for your canine, do not add any garnishes or salt to the meat. You’ll also want to keep away from preprocessed clams that can be heavy on salt and sugar.

Never add scallions, chives, leeks, onions, and garlic for your dog’s clams. These alliums contain thiosulfate, a compound this is dangerous to puppies.

Are Clams a Good Treat for Dogs?

Two hungry dogs begging for treat
Two serious hungry dogs waiting for some treats – Image source

Without a doubt, clams may be used as a treat for your dog. Most puppies love the smell of clams, which could make it a high-quality motivational tool while training your puppy.

Ensure to keep clams for the rare occasion and not a daily treat due to the excessive fat and salt content.

What percent of a dog’s diet should clams make up?

Most vets advocate that your pup’s treats, clams included, should not make up more than 10% of their regular calorie content.

While your dog would possibly love the heavenly flavor of clams, be cautious not to allow him to overindulge, especially if he suffers from a preexisting condition like obesity, pancreatitis, or kidney or liver disease.

When should dogs eat clams?

No specific time of day might be better for giving your pet clams. Any claims that have been expressly prepared for your dog are okay to feed your puppy.

You can furthermore blend clams into a delectable dog treat or search for a kibble that consists of clams so that you can provide this protein to your dog reliably.

When should dogs not eat clams?

If your canine suffers from weight problems, it’s not a good idea to feed him clams. Additionally, while puppies need protein, some dogs with kidney and liver illnesses can not eat a lot of it.

Too much protein in those pets’ diets may incite the development of bladder stones. 

Furthermore, as referenced, pets can develop an allergic reaction to clams. If that is the case with your canine, you should not be giving him clams to consume.

What are the Parts of Clams and Ways to Serve them to Your Dog?

Close-up of cooked clams
Close-up of nutritious cooked clams

Still doubtful about giving your dog clams? Let’s inspect the numerous components of clams to see which of them is suitable for your puppy and what parts of the clam you have to keep away from your pooch.

1. Clam Shells

The clams’ shell is impossible for your dog to digest. Hard bits of the clamshell can also bother your dog’s skin, mouth, soft palate, and digestive system.

They can also cause your dog to choke or form a blockage. Hence, it would be best if you never fed your dog clams shells.

2. Clam Meat

The clam meat is the only part of the clams you should offer your pet. Before serving, be sure that you cook the clam meat to kill any harmful parasites or microorganisms present in raw shellfish.

Is Cooked or Raw Clams Good for Dogs?

While a couple of seafood varieties are fine to offer your pet in their raw form, for example, sardines, raw clams can be hazardous for your pet due to the toxins found in the meat and the possibility of bacterial contamination.

It is thus necessary to cook any clams before serving them to your dog.

What Kind of Clams is Safe For Your Dog to Eat?

Fresh clams
Close-up looks of freshly opened clams

While picking clams for your canine, attempt to choose wild-caught clams where possible. Let’s examine the different types of clams commonly found at the supermarket to see which ones might be suitable for your pet.

1. Hard Clams

A small portion of hard clams is okay for your dog to eat, provided they have been de-shelled and cooked before serving.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in these types of clams are great for your dog’s immunity and skin and coat condition.

2. Soft-Shell Clams

Dogs can eat cooked soft-shell clams, although, as mentioned, they have a very high salt content, especially if they are of the canned variety. Thus, go easy on the portion size when feeding this treat to your pet.

What are the Food Recipes that Can Be Made from Clams for Dogs?

Maltipoo dog asking for food
Adorable newly trimmed Maltipoo dog asking for food – Image source

You can have a go at making a clams topper for your canine’s kibble. To do so, blend clams in with a collection of other pet-safe fruits or vegetables.

You can likewise add yogurt, oats, and rice to the blend or incorporate a few different sound proteins like turkey and egg.

1. Clam Cake

Dogs cannot eat store-bought clam cakes. A clam cake is usually deep-fried, adding a lot of fat to the meat. Clam cake batter typically includes flour, milk, and baking powder that your dog shouldn’t consume.

Dogs that accidentally get hold of clam cakes will likely suffer from an upset stomach.

2. Bottled Clam Juice

Bottled clam juice is made from the liquid used to steam clams. This is not good for your dog as it usually contains excessive salt levels and can contain toxic ingredients like garlic or onion.

Instead, it would be better to cook clams for your dog at home without adding anything to the water and then use this water to soften your pet’s kibble.

3. Clam Chowder

Chowder is a clam stew that is usually made with milk or cream. Milk and cream could cause severe stomach upset for your dog due to their inability to digest the lactose found in dairy properly.

Clam chowder also typically includes other dangerous ingredients for your pet, such as bacon, onion, garlic, and salt.

What Food or Ingredient Can or Cannot Be Mixed with Clams for Dogs?

Alaskan Malamute sneaking the carrots on the table
Curious Alaskan Malamute dog sniffing the carrots on the table – Image source

While cooking clams for your pet, you should keep them as plain as possible. You can have a go at adding veggies or other fruits to the clams but stay away from additional seasoning or fats.

Here are some things you can and can’t blend in with your pet’s clams.

1. Beef Liver

Beef liver is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. Along with being a good source of protein, beef liver is packed full of nutrients that are beneficial for your dog.

It’s also low in calories, so you don’t need to worry about beef liver making your dog fat.

2. Chopped Carrots

A clam and carrot mixture is a delicious treat for your dog. Carrots offer a whole host of benefits for your pet, and most pets love the delightful flavor this vegetable has.

Carrots are well known for containing beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A and is great for your pup’s vision.

3. Parsley

Curly parsley can be mixed with clams for your dog. It supplies your dog with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.

It also boosts blood cell production, flushes out toxins, and keeps your pet’s breath smelling great. 

4. Onion and Garlic

Omit scallions, chives, leeks, onions, and garlic when cooking clams for your dog. These foods all belong to the allium family, which contains thiosulfate, and this chemical is toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.

5. Salt

You should not add salt to the clams you plan to feed your dog. Salt can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large amounts and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst, and abnormal accumulation of fluids.

Too much salt can cause kidney failure and seizures in dogs in more severe cases.

6. Bacon

Bacon is a form of pork that is considered dangerous meat as it can be infected with the trichinella parasites especially if it’s raw or undercooked. It’s also unclear how the pork you buy in a store has been handled before selling. 

While some dog food brands do include pork in their formulas, there are better protein options out there for your dog. Bacon is also loaded with fat and salt, which are unhealthy for canines.

Are foods made with clams safe for dogs?

Watch out for clam-flavored foods made for people to eat, like clam pies and clam rolls. These foods overflow with salt, sugar, and chemicals and might incorporate masses of extra fat that your puppy doesn’t want in his diet.

Are dog foods made with clams healthier for dogs?

Clams give many advantages to your puppy; however, if your dog is already consuming a diet with the correct percentage of fat and protein for his lifestyle, age, and life stage, there’s no apparent reason why you need to present him with extra clam treats.

How Many Clams Can Your Dog Eat?

Dog bringing his empty food bowl
Hungry dog bringing his empty food bowl to ask food – Image source

Ensure any clam treats to your doggy with restraint and maintain the 10% rule. This expresses that any treats, much like clams, ought to account for a small percent of your puppy’s diet. 

The precise quantity of clams you could give your pet will depend upon his size, energy, and body condition; however, most experts advise that no more than three small-sized clams should be given to your dog each day.

What are the Dog Food Recipes that Contain Clams?

Want to provide your puppy with a tasty homemade deal that consists of clams? You can take a stab at making these recipes at home.

  1. Clam Cakes For Dogs
  2. Clam Stuffing Recipe For Dogs 
  3. Quick and easy clam bake

What are the dog food products that contain clams?

Are you looking to add clams to your dog’s diet but don’t have the time or energy to whip up something at home for your pooch?

You can look for a dog treat or supplement that contains clams in its ingredient list, although these can be hard to find. One good dog treat is Polkadog Clam Chowda Crunchy Sticks.

Can Dogs Eat Derivatives of Clams?

Poodle enjoying the beach day
A brown Poodle dog enjoying the beach day – Image source

Our pets have a propensity to eat what they shouldn’t. Assuming your canine grabs some raw clams, watch your pup for any indications of salmonella poisoning and call your vet if necessary.

While dogs have inconceivably strong stomachs, these clams derivatives could give your canine an upset stomach.

On the off chance that your canine eats some clams shell unintentionally, try not to panic. Pets can sense your energy levels and may likewise begin to feel panicked.

You should also call your vet, who might suggest you get your dog in for a visit.

The most important thing when your dog eats clams shells is not to try to induce vomiting, which may make the shell cause further harm to your canine’s internal organs.

What diseases in dogs can clams help?

You can have a go at offering your canine clams on the off chance that he encounters aversions to other protein sources like chicken.

Also, the omega-three and omega-six fatty acids in clams will help bolster your dog’s immune system and protect against chronic diseases like cancer and joint problems.

These fatty acids also work to support your canine’s skin and coat condition, so shellfish like clams can be a good supplement for dogs with skin issues like mange.

What Other Kinds of Seafood Can Dogs Eat?

Dog sniffing what is his meal
A curious dog checking what is his meal – Image source

Aside from clams, there are different sorts of seafood canines can eat if they have been deboned, deshelled, and cooked correctly. These incorporate the following.

  1. Salmon is a protein that is also a great source of omega fatty acids and doesn’t offer the same dangers associated with clams.
  2. Sardines have relatively little mercury contamination and can be given both raw and cooked. Just go easy on the quantities as sardines are high in fat and sodium content.
  3. Flounder is likewise an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids for your fuzzy companion.
  4. Herring and Anchovies are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids to support your pet’s immune system and keep his skin and coat in top condition.
  5. Krill Oil gives your pet the benefits of seafood without dangers.
  6. Kelp is considered a superfood, provided it has been prepared for canine consumption and not just eaten off the beach.

So, Can My Dog Eat Clams?

As you can see, your pet can safely eat clams, given that they have been removed from their shells and appropriately cooked with no flavoring, fats, oils, or other dangerous elements for canines.

It would be best if you additionally were certain you don’t get carried away while feeding your canine clams, as a lot of it could pose a health hazard for your dog due to the significant degree of fat and salt.

Additionally, as with people, dogs can foster sensitivities to any shellfish, clams included.

Does your pup adore clams? We’d very much want to hear about your fuzzy relative and how he enjoys his clams in the comments underneath.

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