Being a seafood buff is common. I mean crab meat is exquisitely delicious. Then there are scallops, shrimp, and all kinds of other seafood. How about mussels though? Have you ever had a liking for this species that have a lot in common with clams? How about feeding them to your precious pet? Can dogs eat mussels?
The quick answer to that question is YES. When mussels are properly prepared, they’re safe for dogs to consume. Not just safe but also beneficial. But let’s find out more…
Can Dogs Eat Mussels? (Benefits of Mussels for Dogs)
There’s no denying that mussels are packed with protein. As much as 65-percent of a mussel is protein. Another thing you might want to know is that the meat protein of mussel is highly bioavailable. What does this mean? That the human and animal body has a natural capacity to absorb the meat. And then utilize it for building body tissues.
So now you understand how and why protein from whole food is more bioavailable. In comparison to protein from processed food. The former includes meat protein coming from chicken, lamb, etc. And dog food kibbles, treats, and canned products are mainly developed from whole food protein.
#2 Omega Fatty Acids and Fat
Healthy fats are also abundantly found in mussels. This includes omega fatty acids.
What fats in the body do is promote cellular function. They form the walls of cells and the nervous system tissue outer lining. Fats also boost the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
DHA and EPA are the two omega-3 fatty acids present in mussels. And both have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. That benefits the nerves, skin, and joints.
The taste of fat is quite appealing to dogs. So fats included in their diet can encourage them to eat. But, quite unfortunately, a lot of dog food and treats are infused with fat preserved using chemical preservatives. Such as BHA and BHT, which have a carcinogenic nature. So keep away from this type of dog food.
#3 Minerals and Vitamins
One of the best sources of minerals and vitamins for dogs is mussels. 6-ounce of mussels offers a higher level of potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium. In comparison to 6-ounce of chicken or T-bone steak.
Even selenium is present in a high quantity in mussels. Selenium is nothing but a mineral that promotes healthy thyroid hormone metabolism, reproduction, protection against infection and oxidative damage, and DNA synthesis.
Apart from that, there’s Vitamin A for the immune system, skin, eyes, and red blood cells.
The thing about whole-food minerals and vitamins is that they get absorbed better. Unlike those obtained from artificial or synthetic minerals and vitamins. That is added to dog treats and meals.
#4 Low Calories
It goes without saying that you should feed low-caloric treats to your furry companion. It’s now more important than ever. Because almost 53-percent of dogs are either obese or overweight. That means welcoming a whole list of health problems.
Keeping that in mind, you should know that dog treats with mussels offer only eight kilocalories each treat. So you can feed 1-2 treats per day. Along with your dog’s daily nutritional intake.
#5 No Unhealthy Additives
There’s a lot of negativity attached to chemical preservatives and artificial flavors and colors in dog food and treats. As there should be! Even moistening agents are not healthy. So, as a responsible and caring pet parent, you should keep these types of unnatural ingredients away.
Some common elements to steer clear from are as follows:
- Caramel color that contains 4-MIE (4-methylimidazole).
- Propylene glycol.
- BHT and BHA.
Can Dogs Eat Mussels? (How to Feed Mussels to Dogs)
1. Frozen Mussels or Fresh Mussels
You can feed thawed mussels to your canine friend. Just make sure to get rid of the meaty portion from its shell before serving. If you don’t want your dog to consume raw mussels, then how about steaming them? However, this requires effort, a little bit of money, and freezer space.
Finicky eaters don’t willingly eat cooked or raw mussels. So if your dog is one, then you can consider feeding him/her mussels in the other two forms discussed below.
2. Powder Mussels
How about giving your adorable pet mussel powder? You can add this to his/her meals. The powdered form is made from the raw mussel, obviously. This means the health benefits are unchanged. Just make sure it’s a pet-safe dog-specific treat.
This is a very easy way for introducing mussels into the diet of your dog. Or if you know your dog is going to value it more as a treat, then freeze-dried mussels are the best.
Dr. Richter Discusses “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide”
The final say here is that not all dogs enjoy mussels. Some pets might love them. While the others just won’t appreciate the taste. In the case of the latter, there’s no need to force mussels into their diet. Maybe your dog doesn’t like them because of the odd texture or pungent smell.
But if your furry friend is just being picky, then go for freeze-dried muscles. Even the powdered form is a good and easy way to hide the treat in your dog’s daily meals. This particular ingredient is packed with natural protein and omega fatty acids. That supports the healthy coat and skin of your dog.
With the many health benefits I’ve discussed in the article, you know that feeding mussels to dogs are more than just safe. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Also, don’t replace your dog’s daily dog food meals with this or any other such treats. Treats are only an extra part of their daily diet. They don’t have the ability to provide complete nutrition. Only dog-specific food does.
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