Can Dogs Eat Clams?

Can Dogs Eat Clams?

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The word “Clam” is a name that refers to edible shelled mollusks (soft-bodied aquatic invertebrates). Examples are quahog, steamers, cherrystone, malina, littleneck, cockle, geoduck and many more. Enjoyed either raw or cooked, these delicacies are embodiments of protein, rich in iron and other essential minerals and are also rich in vitamins. These are the reasons why they are famous and loved around the world. As we humans consume them, we are about to if our furry friends can do same.


Yes, dogs can eat clams but they must be served as safely as possible. They have to be completely cooked, must be few in number, cut in small sizes, and served occasionally. Clams are a rich sources of protein, contain nutrients like vitamins, essential fatty acids as well as essential minerals. So yes, dogs can eat clams as they are nutritious and will be beneficial to their health but they have to be prepared and given in moderation. It always advisable that you consult your vet before adding an item to your pet’s menu especially if there is an underlying health condition.


Clams are packed with protein, contain essential minerals (examples are iron, zinc, phosphorus and selenium). They contain vitamins B3 (Niacin), B12 (Cobalamin) and C (Ascorbic acid) as well as essential fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acids (which are eicosapentaenoic and decosahexaenoic acids). Here are some of the health benefits of some of the nutrient present in clams:

  • Clams contains protein needed for your dog’s body to repair worn out tissues and build muscles.

  • Clams contain essential fatty acids called omega-3 fatty acid. They eicosapentaenoic and decosahexaenoic acids. These help to improve your dog’s skin coat. They also help in the development of your pet’s brain and eyes.


    Present in clams are essential minerals such as iron, zinc, phosphorus and selenium. These help in the healing of wounds, strengthening of the immune system, supporting bones, building strong teeth and manages how the body uses and stores energy.

    • VITAMINS: Clams contain vitamins B3, B12 and C. Vitamin B3 also called Niacin helps in the conversion of food to energy and helps the body to use up protein and fats. Vitamin B3 also help to keep a healthy skin coat for your pet and protect the nervous system. Vitamin B12 also called Cobalamin helps in the development and upkeep of your dog’s brain and nervous system. Vitamin C, known as Ascorbic acid, helps in the proper functioning of the immune system, healing of wounds, maintenance of the bones, strengthening of the teeth, as well as the growth, development and repair of body tissues.


    As humans, we safely consume clams. If our canine friends are to be served these shellfish, it must be made safe for them to eat. Some things must be put into consideration. They are as follows:

    • Consult your vet first before introducing a new item into your pet’s menu.
    • Do not serve your dog raw clams. They could contain bacteria, worms and toxins which can lead to shell fish poisoning and could result in paralysis and nervous problems.
    • Completely get rid of the shells before serving your pets. The shell pose choking hazard threats.
    • There should be moderation when feeding your dog clams. This is because the high fat content of clams can lead to digestive issues such as upset stomach, consequently vomiting and diarrhea.
    • The sodium and potassium levels in clams are high. If clams are consumed in excess, it could lead to sodium poisoning and then kidney problems. 
    • Clams contain heavy metals (an example is mercury) which are gotten as they filter water during their life state. Accumulation of this can cause organ damage.
    • Some dogs have allergic reaction after consuming clams. These reactions manifest as rashes, sneezing, upset stomach and diarrhea. Consult your vet and be sure that the health condition of your pet allows for the consumption of clams.


    Care must be taken that dogs are served with clams in a way that they will not fall sick after consuming them.

    • The  clams must be thoroughly and properly cleaned
    • Ensure they are properly cooked to avoid contamination 
    • Get rid of the shells before serving your dog
    • The clams should not be more than two or three and they must be small-sized


    • As delicious as they are, be moderate when serving clams to your dogs
    • Cook them properly as consumption of raw clams can result in digestive disorders
    • Do not fry their clams with garlic and onions
    • Be sure to remove the shells
    • Serve your dog few and smell-sized clams
    • Start off slowly and watch out for allergic reactions or anything out of the pet after consumption.


    It is advised that canines should be served two to three clams once a month. This is to avoid the health concerns that comes with overfeeding such as sodium poisoning which can lead to kidney problems. Part of the health concerns that may arise from overfeeding you dog with clams are stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.


    Clams are nutritious and can be served to our furry friends but, they must first be prepared. Feeding them with clams must be moderated. Our canine will gain a lot of health benefits from these delicacies but a lot of damage can be done to their health if the precautions are not adhered to.

    Dr Joshua Samuel, DVM

    Samuel Joshua Oluwapelumi is a veterinary medical student in his third year of training at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is passionate about animals and animal care. He has developed a lot of interest in creating contents that help people understand their pets and how to care for them.

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