Can My Dog Eat Mussels?

Can dogs eat mussels? Some people can’t answer this question, so we’re going to take a look at the facts and give you an answer. Dogs can eat mussels, but some things can cause your dog to get sick from eating them.

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There are also risks for humans who consume mussels. If you have questions about whether or not your dog can eat mussels, then keep reading!

What are mussels?

Mussels can be found in the deep waters of rivers, lakes, and oceans. They are bivalve mollusk which means they can close their shells tightly to protect themselves from predators. The meat is flavorful with a chewy texture that can range from soft or firm depending on cooking.

Most mussels can grow up to 12 inches long, but you’re more likely to come across smaller ones for sale at your grocer because some fishermen discard larger specimens due to the abundance of small ones.

Mollusks can’t regulate their own body temperature; they can only survive in water at a certain level of acidity or alkalinity. That’s why mussels can be found living on the riverbed as well, and freshwater creatures like trout can live near them because it provides an environment where there are no other predators to eat either one. 

Food family of Mussels

The Food family of mussels is more commonly known as Mytilidae. They can be found in all the seas and oceans of the world, in shallow waters. A characteristic feature of these mollusks is that they grow tightly to a hard surface; this could be a rock or something from a man, such as an abandoned boat.

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Mertensiella within is a Food family of mussels native to Asia and Europe, especially eastern coasts with moderate temperatures. It has been introduced into Pacific Coast because some people thought it would be good for the aquaculture business. Still, it accelerated overgrowing on pilings and docks, which made them hazardous to navigation.

As a result, they live near the shores in low intertidal areas and shallow waters. The food family of mussels has a fairly large, strong foot they use to grasp objects such as rocks or wood.

Can dogs eat Mussels?

Yes, dogs can eat mussels. However, it is advisable to refrain from giving them to your dog because of the presence of high levels of iron in these shellfish. They are also rich in sodium, and they may cause digestion problems.

Mussels have a strong salty taste which makes them attractive to dogs, but you should not give them regularly as this could lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your pet dog. Instead, it would be best if you fed them only occasionally for treats.

Best way to feed your dog mussels

If you are a dog owner, you know that feeding your dogs can be expensive. Of course, the cheapest way to feed your dogs is to serve the fish, but why not set an extra treat for your pet.

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Are you looking for the best ways to feed your dogs? Your search is over! I have created a list of tried and true methods that will always be winners with your furry friends.

 Mussel liquid diet

The first thing you need is a container. You can make use of jars or plastic bottles with a lid. Wash the container thoroughly, then add water to it, enough to cover the mussels you will serve your pet.

Depending on how many dogs you own, you can use 1/4 cup (2 oz.) of mussel meat for every 2 liters (1 quart) of water in the container. Cover and boil until all meat is soft and tender, then remove from heat and allow cooling down before serving.

If any, take out mussels shells, mash them well with a fork or blender before serving the liquid diet to your dog(s).

Mussel soup for dogs

In a pot over low heat, add some olive oil followed by diced onions. Sauté for around 5 minutes, then add garlic cloves and a cup of tomato sauce. Mix well, then cook until boiling point is reached.

Add mussels to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring very often to prevent sticking on the bottom of the pan. Also, avoid using metal utensils when cooking with your dogs.

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Add black pepper if needed though it’s safe to say that you won’t need any since the smell of garlic will be more than enough to send them crazy! Serve piping hot and allow your pets to eat all they can in about ten minutes or less.

Mussel crunchies

If you do not have time to prepare other meals for your dogs, this treat is perfect during winter when the weather is cold, and you don’t want your dogs to spend too much time outdoors.

Ice cream with Mussels

Though not exactly what this dessert entails, it’s actually called “doggy ice cream” on a popular website online that sells baking ingredients. The recipe writer says that humans can eat it, but we do not recommend giving it to them since it contains some poisonous substances that are safe for dogs only.

Dog treats with dried Mussels

These treats are great if you need to leave your pets alone overnight or all day long at home. They will readily chew them and feel satisfied knowing they get to have snacks while no one is watching them.

Reasons why dogs can eat mussels

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It’s uncertain whether or not dogs enjoy the crunchiness of mussels, but we don’t try to deprive them entirely. So if you happen to have some mussels around and want your dog’s opinion, here are some excellent reasons why they should eat it. 

Dogs like seafood

Dogs have a certain preference when it comes to food. Just as humans, they also love their daily food to taste good to get the energy for the next day. One of their top choices is seafood, especially if it’s cooked well and seasoned with spices such as salt or pepper.

Mussels contain calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients

Dogs need calcium to maintain healthy bones, as well as phosphorus for strong teeth and nails. Most dogs that have been fed properly will not be at any risk of low calcium or phosphorus levels unless they do not receive adequate nutrition from their owners.

Like humans, dogs, too, need a balanced diet that includes nutrients from different food groups.

Mussel meat is high in protein

Mussel meat contains the highest amount of protein among all seafood, such as shrimps, crabs/lobsters, and fish (mussels come second after clams). Therefore, mussels can be used as a good and healthy substitute for meat in dogs’ diets.

They are a good source of fiber

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Mussel meat is great for dogs because it contains 5x more dietary fiber than any other food your dog may have eaten before. Dietary fiber helps to keep the digestive system working efficiently while at the same time promoting healthier blood sugar levels since it slows down the rate of glucose absorption into the bloodstream (which lowers insulin secretion).

Possible concerns when eating Mussels

When your dog eats mussels, there may be unusual symptoms that will show. Some of these reactions are listed below:


 Suppose your dog eats mussels and vomits like anything, then this is a major sign that your pet has eaten something which it shouldn’t have. When your pet swallows the shell or part of the flesh, it can irritate their stomach lining, and so they may vomit because of this.

In some cases, dogs will actually aspirate some portion into their lungs which can be very dangerous if not treated immediately. So do not take chances with vomiting after your pet has been given mussels to eat. Make sure you check with a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Like when people have food poisoning, mussels contain certain toxins that can also affect a dog’s digestive system. So if your pet is given mussels and they show signs of abdominal discomfort, like diarrhea or vomiting for no apparent reason, then make sure you take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible, as this could be the beginning of something severe.

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Allergic reaction

Although it is not common, dogs can actually suffer from an allergic reaction when they eat certain foods containing ingredients that their body cannot tolerate. There are two different types of allergies in dogs that can often cause skin problems, one caused by fleabites and another by food allergies.

For example, when a pet has an allergy to shellfish, it usually develops within a few hours of eating it, which causes itching and sometimes even small lumps to appear on their skin. If you feel that your dog has suffered this type of allergic reaction after eating mussels, then seek medical attention right away, as it could be life-threatening.

Diuretic effects

This is not an actual side effect but more so a principle that applies to the general behavior of mussels when ingested by dogs. As stated before, most shellfish have a high purine level which can cause gout in both humans and animals as they get older.

In addition, if your dog suffers from kidney problems, then there are chances that they may have trouble passing any excess fluid through their kidneys which could eventually lead to kidney failure if left untreated for too long.

Signs your dog is sick from eating Mussels

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If your dog is showing any of these signs after eating mussels, it’s important to get them checked out by a veterinarian:

Unstable walking

Unstable walking from eating mussels can signify your dog being sick from eating mussels, which can lead to other problems. In addition, some foods can cause stomach aches and diarrhea in dogs, and it’s always good to know what can happen when you feed your pup something new.

If they eat too many or the wrong type of shellfish, such as clams and mussels, this can bring on adverse effects like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy, and fever. So keep an eye out for these signs – any time you notice them at all after feeding your dog seafood is reason enough to take him straight back into the vet. 

Excessive drooling

Excessive drooling can be a sign of illness when it comes to dogs. They can eat mussels safely, but if they are eating too much or sick from the food, their body will try to eliminate all toxins in one way: excess saliva.

The dog may also look lethargic and tired after eating this type of seafood because their digestive system is working harder than normal to process these types of foods. 

Weakness and vomiting

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Weakness and vomiting from eating mussels can be signs of food poisoning. If your dog can eat mussels, it is best to feed them cooked and without the shells a couple of times per week for an overall health boost.

If your dog can eat mussels, it is best to cook them first and feed without the shell. Then, they can be given as a treat or mixed into their food. The only concern when feeding dogs mussels is that they could get sick of eating too many.

Signs of illness include vomiting, weakness, or diarrhea. If you see these signs after giving your pup some mussels, take him to the vet immediately.

What to do if your dog is sick from eating Mussels

The first thing to do is observe how much food the dog ate and when. Asking yourself these questions can help narrow down what might be happening with your pet: How many mussels did they eat? What size were the mussels – a small, medium, or large amount?

Did it only happen once, or have there been multiple times where my dog was offered this kind of food and got sick after eating them? If your dog doesn’t have any signs of being ill other than their stomach may feel upset, monitor them closely for 24 hours, so nothing else happens.

However, in cases like vomiting, diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration, lethargy, and more serious signs like liver failure, the dog can go into shock and need to be taken immediately to a veterinarian.

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Unfortunately, some people have decided that if their pet is sick from eating mussels, they will induce vomiting for them not to get any worse, but this can also cause more harm than good, especially when it comes a time which is why veterinary care should always take priority when needed. 

Avoid these similar foods from this family

There are a lot of confusing names for this family. While there is no one similar food to avoid, knowing the foods in this family can help you understand how they affect your body differently than other families do.


Oysters can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you suspect that your dog has eaten more than a few oysters, consult your vet immediately.

Canned clams

Canned clams can also affect your pet’s digestive system, resulting in an upset stomach with possible vomiting or diarrhea.

Raw salmon

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Raw salmon can lead to an infection called “salmon poisoning disease,” which can be fatal if not treated on time by a veterinarian. This is why it’s important for owners never to feed their pets raw fish or meat products without proper cooking first. 

Safe amount of mussels a dog can eat before getting sick?

There are several health issues that your dog may face if they’re overweight. First, you know how harmful it is for humans, and you should keep in mind the same when feeding your pup treats. Treats with mussels only offer 8 kilocalories each, so 1-2 can be given per day to maintain weight management or even just as an extra treat on top.

Final thoughts

Mussels are a food family that includes mussels, oysters, and clams. Dogs can eat this type of seafood, but it is important to know how many calories they have in them before feeding your dog any.

If you’re thinking about giving these tasty treats to your pup as an alternative protein source or if they’ve been known to steal some from the table, read on for when dogs should not be given mussels and what signs indicate whether or not the canine has had too much of this meal.  

First, we’ll explore why dogs can eat mussels at all – with their natural digestive system designed for meat-based diets. So there’s no need to worry about digesting shellfish as humans do.

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