Mussel is the common name for bivalve molluscs that come from saltwater and freshwater habitats. It typically has a hinged shell that houses the edible meat. Mussels can be naturally harvested in various settings, but they can also be grown in hatcheries. It takes about 12 to 15 months before mussels are harvested and sold for culinary purposes.
Similar to oysters that are also bivalve molluscs, mussels can be eaten by dogs. Essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes can be found in this seafood. Omega-3 can reduce muscle pain, decrease inflammation, and improve skin and fur condition. Meanwhile, minerals such as manganese, zinc, and iron can also help with metabolism, joint health, and growth.
How to feed mussels to your dog: Prepare live mussels by thoroughly rinsing them in water and removing the hairy “beard” from each shell. Discard open or unresponsive mussels as they are considered dead. Boil or steam the fresh mussels in plain water. Do not cook mussels in salt, garlic, onion, butter, herbs, or spices. These may cause digestive upset and other complications to your dog.
Also, refrain from giving raw or undercooked seafood. These may have listeria, salmonella, and other bacteria and parasites that can cause food poisoning.
Discard the shells properly so your dog doesn’t accidentally eat them. The shell may shatter into pieces and cause injuries to his teeth, mouth, and throat. Moreover, they may block his airway or cause intestinal obstructions.
Here are three ideas for mussel treats your dog will love:
- Mix in powdered green-lipped mussels with your pet’s food.
- Make dehydrated mussels for your pooch.
- Chop one to two cooked mussels and place the pieces over your pooch’s meal.
In summary: Mussels can be a great source of nutrients for your dog as long as he isn’t allergic to shellfish. To be on the safe side, speak with your veterinarian and discuss the benefits or risks of adding mussels to your dog’s diet. With his guidance, you can occasionally treat your dog to mussels. Aside from mussels, you can also offer seafood such as fish, crab, shrimp, and lobster to your dog. Explore our “can dogs eat” category to discover other human foods your pet can safely consume.