Can Dogs Eat Octopus? Here’s what you should know

Can Dogs Eat Octopus? Photo of a dog and an octopus side by side.

If you want to feed your dog something different, you might be considering octopus. So, can dogs eat octopus, and is it going to be a good snack for your dog, or not? Here’s what you should know.

Dogs can safely eat well-cooked octopus in small amounts. It contains high amounts of iron, omega-3 fatty acid, selenium, copper, and many vitamins. It’s considered a great healthy food to enjoy on occasion for your dog’s health benefit. However, octopus does have some risks as far as cooking instructions, seasoning use, and frequency to be aware of.

Below we’ll cover all of that to help you learn how to make the best out of it for your dog’s sake.

Benefits of octopus for dogs

When you take the proper approach to feed octopus to your dog, they’ll enjoy all sorts of benefits for their nutritional profile! Some of the top ones include:

Better body and brain health

Since octopus is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, both body and brain health will be front and center as far as the benefit of octopus. If your dog is aging or predisposed to joint issues and brain health issues, there is no such thing as too much omega-3 in their diet!

Muscle mass 

Octopus is all lean protein. This means your dog will have the energy boost of protein without fat content. This promotes better muscle mass and a stronger, well-fuelled body. Experts agree that lean protein is the best protein for dogs. 

Healthy nervous system and digestion 

Due to containing a high amount of Vitamin B12, octopus as a treat in your dog’s diet will support a healthy nervous system and digestion. Ogs often have sensitive digestive systems, making digestion difficult with anything rich. With Vitamin B12 supplemented in octopus, their digestion can increase dramatically.

Muscle and bone strength 

Octopus will increase muscle and bone strength, providing you with ample opportunity to enjoy defined muscles and strong, reliable bones. This is due to the phosphorus naturally occurring in these leggy creatures. For those dogs that are active and agile, this is great for keeping their bodies strong.


Octopus contains high iron content, which is responsible for helping restore energy and promote better cell health. As your dog ages and starts to notice their energy reserve fading a bit, supplementing iron is going to be great for helping them to keep up to speed with whatever you need.

Is octopus poisonous to eat?

There’s a rumor going around somewhere online that octopus is dangerous to eat. This isn’t entirely true or false, but rather a combination of details that puts it somewhere in the middle.

Octopus is not poisonous to eat for dogs or humans. However, how you eat it is essential. Raw octopus can be dangerous and even poisonous due to its mercury and sodium content.

Mercury is present in a lot of seafood, and experts agree that you should limit how much seafood you eat for this reason. Since your dog is smaller than you, mercury poisoning is much easier with less octopus content than humans!

Dogs also struggle with sodium toxicity or poisoning. Octopus is a sodium-rich food that will easily take your dog over what they should safely have, which can lead to sodium toxicity. This means they’ll become so dehydrated that they will need emergency care to keep their organs from shutting down.

When looking to keep your dog safe from the potential of poison from either mercury or salt, you’ll want to limit their portions to be as safe as possible.

How much octopus can a dog eat?

So, with that in mind, how much octopus should a dog eat at a time? Most will recommend no more than 3.5 oz (100 g) at a time. This maximizes the health perks and minimizes the health risks simultaneously. If your dog is tiny, you’ll want to halve it further at 1.7 oz (50 g). 

How often can I feed octopus to my dog?

There is no set timing for feeding your dog octopus, but most will agree that you should make it, at the most, once a week. Preferably, go longer in between.

Can dogs eat raw octopus?

Dogs can, but shouldn’t, eat raw octopus. It can contain Aeromonas hydrophila and/or Proteus Vulgari, both of which can make your dog very sick with an infection. In any case, these infections can be fatal!

Octopus can be eaten raw by humans, but it really shouldn’t be since these bacteria can cause severe food poisoning in humans, too.

Other octopus for dogs related questions

Do you have more octopus-related questions that just need answers? Below are some of the most common questions and responses to help you be more in the know.

Can dogs eat pickled octopus?

It’s not recommended that you feed your dog pickled octopus, no. If you are curious about it, you’ll need to know exactly how it’s pickled and what ingredients were used. You can talk to your vet and ask them for a more personalized and elaborate explanation. Whatever your vet recommends, follow it!

Can dogs eat octopus cooked?

Yes, dogs can eat octopus cooked. This is the only way that dogs should ever eat octopus. You will need to ensure that you know how to cook it properly, though, as there is a set way to keep it safe for your dog’s digestive tract — we’ve gone over that more below.

Can dogs eat grilled octopus

Yes, dogs can eat grilled octopus. The octopus should still follow the same techniques for cooking, and it should be well-done. When choosing between grilling instead of boiling or steaming, grilled octopus shouldn’t be the first choice.

Can dogs eat octopus sashimi

There are technically no ingredients in octopus sashimi that are harmful to dogs, but most experts won’t recommend that dogs should have it. It’s so rich that it’s bound to upset your dog’s stomach.

Can dogs eat dried octopus?

Dogs shouldn’t eat dried octopus, as it has an even higher sodium content than unprocessed, regular octopus. It is also often laced with taste improvements that can be harmful to dogs, further dehydrate them, and poison them.

Can dogs eat canned octopus?

For the same reason as above, dogs shouldn’t eat canned octopus. Another downfall to this octopus method is that it has lost most of its nutritional value and is not recommended for any reason since it’s all risk and has no reward (as far as your dog’s health is concerned).

How to safely feed octopus to dogs

So, now that you know all about what not to do for cooking and feeding octopus, it’s about time that you learn how to feed your dog this nutrient-rich treat safely! Here are the steps to follow:

  • Portion out the amount that you want to give your dog, as noted above
  • Boil or steam it well (check with a thermometer)
  • Cut it up and mix it with your dog’s food or offer it as treats
  • Don’t season or otherwise add anything to the octopus

It isn’t hard, but the simplicity of the instructions leaves a lot of wiggle room, too. Many will try adding some seasonings or won’t cook it all the way through. There’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. As mentioned above, cooking the octopus incorrectly can put your dog’s health at risk, so make sure you prepare it properly!

Important note

When you feed your dog octopus, even when you do it as carefully as mentioned above, you could still be dealing with a rection. Perhaps it turns out that your dog is allergic to octopus! Or they’ve had too much and are dealing with a reaction to sodium or mercury. 

You’ll want to observe for a reaction in your dog so that you can get him the help he needs, should it come to that. Symptoms of a problem can often include:

  • Vomiting
  • Belching constantly
  • Licking 
  • Itching or scratching
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the face
  • General unease

The more of these you notice, the more likely your dog is to have a negative reaction. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, get them to the vet as soon as possible so that they can intervene and save your dog’s life!

Make sure you note how much octopus your dog ate and whether or not you added any seasonings, etc. It’s essential to be truthful if asked at the vet since working with the wrong information can make proper and timely treatment hard for your vet!

All in all

Octopus is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, as well as it is well-cooked and reserved plain without seasonings. It has a lot of health benefits for them, including significant amounts of iron, omega-3 fatty acid, selenium, copper, and vitamin B12, amongst others.

Dogs can eat octopus as a tasty and healthy treat when you take the right approach to prepare it and serve it. The key is to ensure that you know how to do it the right way. To keep your dog safe, make sure that you know how much to feed then, how often, and what potential problem signs are to watch for.

Know someone who wants to share this leggy creature with their dog? Share this with them and help!

Photo of author
Dog Advisory Council

A team whose main goal is to serve knowledge about the canine world. Together since 2012, we thrive to transform and inform, so each dog can live a happy and fulfilling life. Read more about us.