Can Dogs Eat imitation crab meat sticks?

After spending hours in the kitchen, I finally set the table for dinner. The guest was about to come and this was the time when my pup was looking at the table and drooling. I couldn’t see him like this so I offered him an imitation crab meat stick that was also on the table. Believe me or not, my dog ate that golden crispy stick in a moment. He wanted more of it but I preferred to feed him his own doggy food that I prepared. Before I offer more of imitation crab sticks, I just wanted to know are they safe and healthy for my dog? Can dogs eat imitation crab meat sticks as their meal?

So, I dug in and here’s what I found out:

No, dogs shouldn’t eat imitation crab meat sticks. Although they can eat it’s not at all a healthy meal option. Imitation crab meat contains fish, flour, artificial flavors, and additives that are certainly not good for your dog. 

Now why fish and other ingredients in the imitation crab meat sticks can be hazardous to your dog? And what are other healthy seafood options for your dog?

Let’s find out now.

What are imitation crab meat sticks?

As it’s obvious from the name, imitation crab sticks don’t contain any real crab. It contains fish, flour, food colors, artificial flavors, and additives.

The fish used typically is a Pollock. The fish meat is cleaned and all the bones and outer skin are removed. It’s washed thoroughly and turned into a paste called Surimi. Different spices, flour, food color, artificial crab flavor, and other additives are mixed into the Surimi. This mixture is now shaped into a crab, although it doesn’t contain a hint of crab flesh.

Now why imitation crab sticks are made? Crabs are very expensive and not everybody can afford them for dinner. But the taste of crab is so tempting that one wants it really bad. So, these imitations are made to fake the taste of a crab.

What are imitation crab meat sticks? (Video)

Now that we know what are imitation crab sticks, can dogs eat them? Let’s find out.

Can dogs eat imitation crab meat sticks?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat imitation crab meat sticks as they are really unhealthy for them.

Seafood such as fish, crabs, lobsters, and shrimps are healthy for your dog. Just check if he’s not allergic to seafood. Otherwise, seafood is a great option for dinner, once in a week. It’s a healthy package containing lots of proteins and other nutrients that are good for your dog’s health.

But imitation crab meat sticks don’t contain pure seafood. The fish is turned into a paste and lots of ingredients are added that are not at all suitable for your dog. Your dog can have swollen eyes and red bodies along with other health problems due to these ingredients.

Let’s find out about the ingredients that make imitation crab sticks a big no-no for your dog.

Ingredients in imitation crab sticks that are unhealthy for a dog:

Dog’s digestive system is sensitive and not as tolerable as humans. The ingredients that are unhealthy and not supposed to be fed to a dog are:

Fish if your dog is allergic:

The imitation crab sticks are made of Pollock (a fish). Now if your dog is allergic to seafood then hide these imitation crab meat sticks from him.

Your dog can suffer from red patches on the skin and swollen face and eyes in case he finds your imitation crab meat sticks and eat them all.

Too much salt:

Salt is basically healthy for your dog but only the right amount. Salt helps maintain body fluid and strengthens your dog’s nervous system.

Imitation crab sticks contain too much salt. More salt means more sodium and excess sodium causes high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart problems.

Food colors:

Food colors are never a healthy option for your dog. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has allowed only about ten food colors that are safe to use by humans and animals.

If you look back in history, food colors were introduced in the 1880’s and the purpose was to give a bright color to stale food. Afterward, the use of food colors became famous and now food colors are being added in anything and everything.

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Food colors often contain lead, arsenic, and mercury. Excessive use of food colors can even cause cancer. And this is true for your dog as well.

Artificial food flavor:

Artificial food flavor is added to imitation crab sticks in order to give it a crab-like taste. It’s the most detrimental ingredient for your dog.

Artificial food flavor causes serious harm to your dog’s health. Also, it spoils your dog’s eating habits. The dog who eats artificial food flavorings might not like the taste of natural and organic ones anymore.

Breakdown of unhealthy chemicals in imitation crab meat sticks:

Now that we know the ingredients let’s dive deeper to know the exact chemicals that make imitation crab sticks really unhealthy for your dog. This is being done in case you still want to feed him these sticks.

Sodium Pyrophosphate:

It’s a salt that is way stronger than the table salt. Too much consumption of sodium Pyrophosphate can cause high blood pressure and heart diseases in your dog.


Carmine is a chemical that induces the red color in various foods, juices, and flavored milk.

Don’t freak out but carmine is being extracted from the dead bugs. Yes, the bug’s red color is being extracted and added to various foods, juices, and flavored milk to give that cherry red color.

Carmine can affect your dog’s respiratory system and can cause breathing problems.

Monosodium Glutamate:

Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer used in Surimi. Although it’s not hazardous it can cause chest pain, Nausea, and vomiting in dogs.


Excessive salt means large quantities of sodium in the imitation crab meat sticks.

Although sodium is good for overall health and necessary for coordination purposes excess of everything is bad. Excess sodium can cause a burden on your dog’s heart, can cause hypertension, heart diseases, and even death.

Potassium Chloride:

Potassium Chloride gives this savory flavor to your imitation crab meat sticks.

It is a salt that lowers blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels.

Again, potassium is great for overall health but the excess of it in dogs can cause Nausea, vomiting, bloating, and formation of darker stool.

Disodium Inosinate:

This is an unnatural food additive that is added to canned and frozen foods.

It’s really unhealthy for your dog. It can cause a burning sensation, swelling in different areas of your dog’s body, tightening of the chest area, and damaged fur and skin.

How imitation crab meat sticks can affect your dog’s health:

As we’re all clear now that imitation crab meat sticks are not suitable for dog’s health. So, what your dog might go through after eating lots of imitation crab sticks is:

  • The dog might feel Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stomach ache or tightening.
  • Bad and darker stools.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Skin and fur problems.
  • Swelling and redness all over the body.
  • In rare cases, cancer can be caused by regular consumption of imitation crab meat sticks.

Signs your dog likes imitation crab meat sticks:

Although imitation crab sticks are hazardous for your dog, the taste and smell can be so tempting that your dog would love to eat it.

So, if you find your dog posing gestures mentioned below then he’s fond of your imitation crab sticks.

  • Jumping and howling as he gets a hint of imitation crab sticks in your kitchen.
  • He’ll try to eat the sticks quickly.
  • The dog’s ears would go straight as if it’s very alert.
  • He’ll lick his lips and drool all over.
  • He’ll literally beg for some imitation crab meat sticks.

So, in case you can’t see your dog begging you and you seriously want to feed them imitation crab sticks, while knowing how unhealthy it is for him, then offer him a stick after a few weeks or even an after a few months.

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You can also make some healthy snacks for him resembling the taste of imitation crab meat sticks (the recipe is coming below!).

Signs your dog didn’t like imitation crab meat sticks:

It’s not that every dog lives imitation crab sticks. It depends on their taste buds and moods.

If your dog isn’t a fan of imitation crab sticks then that’s good news. The signs would be:

  • Your dog scatters it away without eating.
  • It wouldn’t taste it no matter how much you try.
  • Your dog would feel Nausea and stomach ache after eating it.

So, if your dog doesn’t like imitation crab sticks then that’s great but also check for seafood allergies. If he doesn’t like imitation crab sticks then might be he is allergic to all the seafood.

What to do if your dog has eaten lots of imitation crab meat sticks?

In case you’ve set the dinner table like me and your pup eats all the imitation crab sticks then the first step to take is not to panic.

You’ve to look out for the symptoms. Make your dog comfortable and allow him to walk for a while. Then make him lie down to check whether his stomach is hurting.

You can also monitor his poop and behavior. If it seems restless then don’t hesitate to consult a vet.

The most important thing is to prevent your dog from eating such unhealthy foods. So, if your dog is tempted for something that’s not good for him, then make a healthy version of it.

But if your dog has eaten one to two imitation crab meat sticks then there’s nothing to worry about. The imitation crab sticks are surely unhealthy for the dogs but they aren’t poisonous. That is why a little quantity won’t hurt unless your dog is also allergic to seafood.

Alternate healthy seafood options:

As said, you can always make a healthy version of imitation crab sticks. You can simply add real crab meat in it and that’s it. You’ll not have to add any flavorings or food colors.

Not all of us can afford to feed expensive crab to our dogs. So, if your dog isn’t allergic to fish and other seafood then you can buy tuna for him. Tuna strips are easily available and you can make many different snacks for your puppy using tuna strips.

Here’s the recipe for tuna dog treats.


  • One cup whole wheat flour.
  • One large egg.
  • One can tuna fish.
  • A quarter cup of cheese (not blue cheese)


Mix whole wheat flour and tuna strips along with the syrup in the can in a large bowl. Add the egg and cheese and kneed it into a dough.

Bake this dough for about thirty minutes. Now remove and let it cool down. Divide this cooked dough into a few pieces and then bake those for another fifty minutes.

Cool them and offer them to your dog. He’ll surely love this healthy treat.


Pet dogs can like human food as much as we do. One of the food that they are find irresistible is the imitation crab meat sticks.

Many of the dog owners feed them imitation crab meat sticks without knowing whether they’re good for them or not.

So, if you’re also wondering then the answer is NO. The imitation crab sticks are very unhealthy for dogs. They can’t tolerate too much salt, artificial flavors, additives, and food colors. All these are present in imitation crab sticks. Besides, as the name indicates, it’s totally devoid of real crab.

Above are all the illnesses and health problems you can expect if you want to feed imitation crab meat sticks to your dog.

We’ve also given you a great alternate recipe for dog treat that resembles imitation crab meat sticks. So, go and make them for your dog. You enjoy your imitation crab meat sticks and the dog enjoys his delicious tuna treat.

Photo of author

Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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