Can Dogs Have Imitation Crab? 4 Reason to Avoid

Giving proper nutrition to your dog and taking proper care of your pet is part of being a pet parent. To provide proper pet nutrition, a pet parent chooses commercial brands mostly. While some prefer giving their pets raw food, others prefer to give dog food that humans usually consume.

When pet parents consider giving their dog human food, they should ensure that the food is high in nutritional value and fulfills the dog’s nutritional needs. Unfortunately, it’s tough to make a proper diet chart considering the food the dogs eat to ensure that it benefits their health.

When it comes to the food that dogs should have or not, one question pet owners must ask is:
Can dogs have high-protein crab meat? Is it safe for the dog to have this imitation crab meat or not? Although this is not toxic for your dog, there are still a few things you need to consider before deciding on this. First, read the article to know if the dog can have imitation crabs or not.

Can Dogs Eat Crab Sticks?

Can Dogs Eat Crab Sticks

No. Some dogs love to eat sea foods, so giving your dog crab sticks every once in a while will be okay. However, the truth behind giving imitation crab also called “krabs,” a processed crab is that it causes harm to the dog, so avoiding it for the dog is the best option.

Although some products do contain crab meat, Imitation Crab doesn’t have crab meat. Imitation crab is instead made up of white fish, preservatives, crab flavoring, and seasoning.

The manufacturers often made the imitation crabs look like crab legs. Thus they are also known as crab stix. These imitation crab products are usually cheap as they are made from Alaska Pollack.

There are many benefits to giving your dog fish to eat, but processed fish can cause your dog various problems. Thus, always avoid giving your dog processed fish like sushi, fish fingers, imitation crab, etc.

Rather than giving your dog an imitation crab, you can give it some cooked and freshly caught fish as they are quite healthy and rich in omega 3. The high omega-3 quality of the fish makes it more beneficial for humans and dogs.

Bonus Read: 7 Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Big Dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Imitation Crab Meat?

Can Dogs Eat Imitation Crab Meat

No, they can not have imitation crab meat.

As the name “imitation crab” suggests, it is just an imitation of a crab, not the actual crab, so giving it to your dog is a big no. In addition, imitation meat is a mixture of processed white fish and some preservatives that prove to be unhealthy for your dog.

Let us first look at the ingredients of imitation crab meat that make it unhealthy for your dog.

Fishermen often call imitation crabs the “hot dogs of the sea.” Although imitation crab may contain a small amount of crab meat, the ingredients added to it mostly make it extremely unhealthy for your dog.

The chief ingredient of imitation crab meat is usually Alaska Pollack, a white fish. This main ingredient, made of Alaska pollack, is called “surimi.” Surimi is a paste-like structure that is made out of Alaska Pollack by using preservatives and some other additives. In addition, food coloring is frequently added to this imitation crab to make it more appealing to human consumers due to the human tendency to love attractive things.

See also  Why Do Dogs Lick Other Dogs Eyes?

Health Impact of Imitation Crab on Dogs

Now that you know, imitation crabs are unhealthy for your dogs and should not be offered to them. Here are some major impacts of imitation crab on your dog’s health.

1. Heart diseases

Now we have to describe the preservatives in the imitation crab or the surimi. The first ingredient of this imitation crab, or surimi, is salt. Salt comes to be a part of this as it is a substance that we need in our diet and a canine diet also requires this.

But the amount of salt added to imitation crab is so high that it can be very dangerous for your dog’s health. After the dogs consume imitation crabs in medium to large servings, the dogs can develop high blood pressure and heart diseases, just like humans.

If the dog is allowed to eat imitation crab in good amounts daily, it can develop heart disease in your dog easily.

2. Digestive problems

Digestive problems

If some dogs get more than enough imitation crab daily, it can cause digestive problems. The additives and coloring added in surimi and imitation crab meat are responsible for dogs’ digestive problems. Imitation crabs are also responsible for forming allergies to different substances in dogs.

3. Allergies

 As dogs, like humans, are mammals, when they are exposed to unhealthy food materials, they are likely to develop allergies.

In dogs, allergies are a great source of misery as it may cause them trouble for long. Imitation crabs can usually cause vomiting and irregular bowel movements in your dog regularly. Feeding imitation crabs regularly can further worsen your dog’s health conditions and weaken the dog’s digestive system.

When talking about allergies, your dog can show outward symptoms of allergic reactions if allowed to have imitation crabs regularly. The allergic reaction results in dry, itchy skin as if your dog will nibble on its skin, creating hot spots all over the licked place.

Whenever a pet parent realizes an allergic reaction in their dog, there are a lot of trial and error methods involved to find the reason for the allergic reaction in your dog. Of course, your dog’s vet will also help you to decide the things that are causing your dog’s allergic reactions. But this trial and error method can take months, and until then, the dog remains in a miserable condition.

4. Bad fats

Besides, there can be lots of bad fat in imitation crab that leads to weight gain in your dog. We all know that fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy for humans and dogs. The fish oil is usually made from these fishes only, but in the case of imitation crab, it is the opposite. In imitation crab, it is stored in unhealthy oils that lead to fat and weight gain in dogs.

What Exactly is it About Imitation Crab That Makes it Unhealthy For Dogs?

What Exactly is it About Imitation Crab That Makes it Unhealthy For Dogs

Imitation crab is typically made by adding colors and preservatives so that it seems more appealing to humans. Unfortunately, some ingredients and preservatives make it harmful for dogs to consume these crabs regularly. Here are the main reasons for which you should avoid giving your dog unhealthy imitation crab.

1. Sodium Pyrophosphate

Sodium Pyrophosphate, a preservative found in chicken nuggets and tuna, is also found in large quantities in imitation meat.

This large quantity of sodium pyrophosphate is the same as salt in the kitchen. As we have already discussed, salt can cause several health issues for your dog, including high blood pressure and poor heart health. Poor heart health further gives rise to numerous health problems that prove fatal for your dog.

See also  Do Irish Setters Shed? All You Need to Know!

2. Potassium chloride

Potassium chloride is another ingredient for imitation crab meat that provides the savory flavor in the imitation crab meat that humans have now become accustomed to. However, in the case of dogs, potassium chloride consumption can lead to various digestive system issues.

A dog who has ingested a large amount of potassium chloride can have dark and more odorous poop than normal dog poop. In dogs, potassium chloride has a dehydrating effect that causes trouble.

Besides causing darker and smelly poop in your puppy, potassium chloride is also responsible for ingestion problems or bloating in your dog’s stomach. The bloated stomach can be fatal for large dog breeds like German shepherds and golden retrievers.

 If a large amount of potassium chloride is consumed by your dog, it will lead to digestive and intestinal problems.

Bonus Read: My Dog Threw Up Hard White Chunks – Should I Be Worried?


Carmine, the artificial color in the imitation crab, is also one of the main reasons no one recommends giving your dog the imitation crab. The cherry-red colored carmine is made from dead bugs and is present in flavored yogurts and flavored milk also.

Carmine is linked to asthma as well as other respiratory problems in dogs.

4. Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate

Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate are the food enhancers you will surely find in many canned foods, including imitation crab meat.

Unfortunately, Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate are super toxic for your dog and can have painful and detrimental effects on your dog. Due to these food enhancers, your dog may feel tightness and a burning sensation around its mouth and chest region mainly.

The tightness and a burning sensation around the mouth and chest are not the only harmful effects of Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate that you will notice in your dog. You may also notice swelling across different areas of the dog’s body, and sweating and panting will be common in dogs after its consumption.

Along with this, you will notice that the skin and fur of your dog are affected by Disodium Inosinate and Guanylate. The allergic reaction your dog will suffer due to the imitation crab we have already mentioned above.

Due to an allergic reaction, the dog will lick and scratch the hot spot area, which can lead to the shedding of fur from the licked area.

Because of allergic reactions and constant licking of the area where the dog feels irritation, your dog’s fur may become brittle and lack sheen. Unfortunately, it is not a day or two procedure to find out why an allergic reaction occurs, but it can take months. Until then, this process remains extremely miserable for both you and your dog.

How Much Imitation Crab Meat Can My Dog Consume Regularly?

How Much Imitation Crab Meat Can My Dog Consume Regularly

Now you know the answer: Can your dog have crab meat? Of course, but let’s say you still have some doubt about giving crab meat to your dog or not.

We can decide later on how much crab meat your dog can eat, but it is clear that too much crab can be fatal for your dog and can be the reason for your and sometimes death.

The imitation crab can be detrimental to your dog, and besides this, your dog can have major issues like spikes in blood pressure, heart problems, skin irregularities, etc.

Always try to give your dog some real dog food instead of imitation food. Even if your dog likes crab meat, you should give it once every few weeks and not regularly. Give your dog a tasty diet of seafood or nutrient-filled food that keeps your dog healthy.

Sometimes you may drop a spoonful of imitation crab from your diet while preparing the dish for your dog, or it can be that your dog gets some imitation crab from the garbage. If your dog consumes a small amount of imitation crab, you shouldn’t worry much as there won’t be many side effects. But the issue occurs even if the dog consumes a large amount of imitation crab.

See also  Can Dogs Eat Pop Tarts? Is It Safe For Dogs?

If your dog eats a small amount of imitation crab, then there are very few chances of your dog having skin irritation, high blood pressure, and other issues. The problem usually arises when pet owners feed their dogs a large number of bad additives or harmful ingredients in the form of imitation crabs.


Here is some additional information in the form of FAQs to help you enlighten more about imitation crab.

Q1. Can a Small Puppy have Imitation Crab Meat?

Ans. No, imitation crab for dogs of any age is bad. Imitation crab may seem like a packed diet full of proteins, but it is not. Feeding an imitation crab to your dog regularly can cause many health issues. As a result, you should avoid giving Imitation Crab to dogs of any age.

Q2. How Bad can imitation Crab be for Your Dog?

Ans. We have already seen how bad imitation crab can be for your dog if fed regularly. Imitation crab can cause detrimental effects on both humans and dogs. Eating low-quality imitation crabs can be dangerous for your dog as it contains preservatives and coloring agents that can prove to be fatal for your dog.
Also, the high salt content can be dangerous for your dog’s heart and human health. Regular consumption of foods with high sodium content can cause heart disease in both dogs and humans.

Q3. Can Dogs and Cats Eat imitation Crabs Commonly?

Ans. Yes, dogs and cats can definitely eat imitation crab meat once in a while, but is this safe or not? The main question is this. Dogs can almost eat anything that they find to chew on. The main thing to note is that the dogs should not be given imitation meat regularly.
Imitation meat contains harmful preservatives and additives that can enter your dog’s system, cause digestive issues, and cause heart health issues in dogs.

Q4. Will crab meat hurt my dog?

Ans. Crab meat contains a lot of proteins, but if the crab meat is authentic and real, this crab meat can be a great treat for your furry friend, but the same is not true in the case of imitation crab meat.
Imitation crab meat is not crab meat but the meat of a white fish, Alaskan Pollack, that makes up the main ingredient of surimi. In addition, a lot of food coloring and additives can further harm your dog.
So, dogs can definitely have real crab meat, but imitation crab meat can only hurt your dog and should not be given to your dog purposely.


Imitation crab meat appears to be crab meat, but it is white fish meat that can cause problems for your dog due to its preservatives and colorings.

Imitation crab can make your dog have high blood pressure problems, heart diseases, allergies, etc. Giving imitation crab to your dog regularly or in great amounts willò only harm your dog.

 If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog after eating an imitation crab, immediately contact the veterinarian, as it is the safest option. Try to make your dog’s diet full of nutrition and as real as it can be, devoid of imitation substances.