Are Clams Bad for Dogs?

by Naomi Millburn
    A small bit of clams may be just fine for doggie.

    A small bit of clams may be just fine for doggie.

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    Whatever you're eating, your doggie will probably beg you for a little -- or perhaps not so little -- taste. Clams are no exception. Before you ever allow your dog to eat any people food, however, make sure it's 100 percent doggie-friendly. Under the right circumstances, clams are OK.

    The ASPCA notes that a little shellfish will likely be totally fine for your doggie. Like shrimp, crab and several others, clams are considered to be part of the shellfish category. Just make sure that you keep the portion tiny -- think one or two clams, maximum. Also, always make sure the clams are fully cooked. Remember to take the "meat" out of the clamshells before you offer them to your pet. The small shells may be choking hazards to your cutie, so play it safe and take the time to remove the edible meat first.

    Any diet modifications, even if very subtle, can cause stomach issues in sensitive doggies. If your dog is used to eating shredded chicken and gravy moist canned food and kibble, and all of a sudden enjoys a small bite of clams, don't be surprised if he experiences a temperamental stomach for a little bit -- think stomachache, vomiting and watery stools. In the event of such unpleasant reactions, make it the last time your pet eats clams, or any other shellfish for that matter.

    If you plan on giving your fluff ball a tiny portion of clams, serve it plain. Many common clam recipes, such as clams oregano, require a lot of seasoning. Although herbs are not poisonous to doggies, excessive amounts of some of them, such as oregano, may lead to canine digestive system irritation. Save yourself -- and your pet -- the nuisance and keep the extra flavoring away.

    Although clams may not necessarily be harmful to your dog, other people foods certainly are. Because of this scary notion, it's always important to speak to your veterinarian about the safety of people foods and your canine. Never offer your pet anything unless you're absolutely certain it won't harm her. The Humane Society of the United States lists a wide array of foods that are possibly toxic to pets, including yeast dough, mustard seeds, macadamia nuts, chocolate, grapes and raisins, and members of the onion family including leeks and garlic. All of these food items are an absolute "no-no" for your pet.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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