Having some battered fried squid rings, better known as calamari, and getting puppy eyes from your furry friend? You may be wondering whether you can share a ring or two with them. Can dogs eat calamari? Let’s find out and go into everything you need to know about preparing squid for your dog!
Can dogs eat calamari?
Technically? Yes, sharing a fried calamari ring with your dog will have no ill effect. If you’re having some seafood and a piece falls on the ground, don’t worry if Fido swoops in before you can pick it up. However, if you’re trying to add variety to your dog’s diet or looking for suitable treats to feed on a regular basis, it’s best to find something healthier.
Basically, “calamari” is just Italian for “squid”. However, the word has popularly come to refer to one squid dish in particular, where the squid is cut into rings that are coated with batter and deep fried. In Italian, this would be called “calamari fritti”. The dish is appreciated for its crunchy texture and the soft, slightly sweet squid meat.
Unsurprisingly, a fried snack like this just isn’t an ideal dog food. Squid, in and of itself, has plenty of nutritional benefits: it has healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, isn’t nearly as high in mercury as many other seafoods, contains loads of (micro)nutrients and makes for a fantastic source of protein. It’s also naturally quite low in fat, but when you batter and deep fry it, the fat content soars.
Regularly feeding your dog fried foods can put it at risk of canine obesity, which itself comes with a whole range of potential health consequences. Added salt in the batter doesn’t help either.
Some Asian or Hawaiian stores will carry dried squid or squid jerky. It’s an acquired taste for humans, and for dogs, it’s a snack you’re best off skipping. Like other types of jerky, after all, dried squid tends to be very high in salt.
How to prepare calamari for your dog
Although as with any food, you shouldn’t overdo it, including a bit of non-fried squid in your dog’s diet here and there is a great way to add variety. This being said, keep in mind that most of the fish and seafood for sale at your local (super)market isn’t meant for raw consumption, neither by humans nor by dogs.
Don’t feed your dog raw squid to avoid the risk of food poisoning or even the possibility of it picking up internal parasites. As mentioned, you shouldn’t feed the typical fried calamari rings either, as giving fried foods regularly is a one-way ticket to a chunky pooch.
So how should you cook squid if you want to share some with your dog? Well, if you’re chopping some up for homemade calamari rings or a Spanish seafood paella, just put something like half a squid aside. Prepare it by boiling or grilling it with no oil or salt and let it cool. Then, simply chop it up to mix with your dog’s normal food. It’s that easy!
Keep in mind: seafood isn’t something that our dogs’ bodies are naturally used to. Don’t start feeding huge amounts of squid all of a sudden, as this might upset your dog’s stomach. In rare cases, they can develop seafood allergies, which manifest in symptoms like fur loss, diarrhea and itchy skin. If you spot these symptoms, contact with your vet.
Squid oil for dogs
You may be aware of the advantages of fish oil for both humans and dogs. The Omega-3 fatty acids it contains are healthy and will help keep your dog’s skin and fur in tip-top condition. No wonder fish oil supplements are becoming more and more popular for our furry friends!
As mentioned earlier, like fish, squid also contains healthy Omega-3. As such, some companies are now offering calamari oil capsules for dogs, and yes, those are completely safe. Are they the best sources of essential fatty acids, though? No, that honor appears to go to hempseed, ahiflower and green-lipped mussel oil.
Can dogs eat cuttlefish?
As we’ve seen, the answer to the question of “can dogs eat calamari” is yes, as long as it’s neither fried nor raw. But what if you found some cuttlefish, squid’s close cousin, at the market and want to prepare that instead? Can dogs eat cuttlefish?
Yep, all of the rules that apply to squid are identical for cuttlefish. Your dog can have some cleaned and cooked cuttlefish just fine, as long as it’s prepared without salt, excessive oil or unsafe spices. It has the same health benefits and is similarly low in fats.
So, can dogs eat calamari? Well, if you mean it in the literal sense of the word, ie. “squid”, then yes. Dogs can eat squid. Battered and fried calamari rings are a different story: although they won’t harm your pooch, they don’t make for a very healthy snack at all. If you’re looking for a healthy treat your dog will love, why not make some oatmeal peanut butter cookies or sweet potato dog snacks instead?