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Can Dogs Eat Imitation Crab Meat?

February 10, 2021

I work as a senior marketing manager at one of the largest FMCG companies. People who fall for my status fail to figure out how difficult it is to be in a managerial position. After a tiring and exhausting day at work, I can’t wait to get home and sink into my bed.

However, all of my tiredness vanishes when I see Pat’s welcoming gestures.

Now, you might be wondering who pat is. Pat is the 3-year-old golden retriever I adopted from a friend a year ago. Pat is a loving, friendly, and playful pooch who loves to cheer me up whenever I feel a little down.

Almost three months after adoption, I realized that I and Pat have so much in common. One of the many commonalities we share is an undying fondness for snacking.

Only a few weeks ago, I caught Pat devouring the golden freshly fried imitation crab sticks; I left on the kitchen slab. He seemed so cute eating them, so I didn’t stop him.

However, this got me thinking, can dogs eat imitation crab meat?

Let’s find out.

Is Imitation Crab Meat Safe for Dogs?

To begin with, can dogs eat imitation crab meat? No, they really shouldn’t eat imitation crab meat. It is not really safe for them. But why shouldn’t they eat imitation crab meat? Let’s discuss this in detail.

Real seafood mostly includes fish, crabs, lobsters, and shrimps. These seafood items are safe and completely safe and healthy for your dog. They contain the protein that your canine needs to grow and be healthy.

On the flipside, feeding your dog imitation crab meat isn’t such a good idea. As the name suggests, imitation crab meat doesn’t have any crab meat in it. So, what is it that makes it resemble real crab meat?

Imitation crab meat contains Surimi, which is a white fish paste made from fish meat, mainly Pollock. Surimi doesn’t just consist of fish meat paste either. It has salts, artificial food colors, and artificial flavors.

A dog’s digestive system isn’t quite like a human’s. Synthetic additives aren’t the best food choices for your dogs. Anything unnatural can have an allergic reaction upon your fuzzy friend, which can make its health suffer.

In most cases, artificial additives can give your dog swollen eyes and red skin, which isn’t the best of signs.Although artificial food colors add vibrancy to most food items, it doesn’t mean that they are safe for dogs.

If you go back in history, you will find out that artificial food colors were first used in the 1880s. The sole purpose behind these colors was to mask the discoloration of stale food.

Later on, it was found that some of the food colors contained toxins like lead, mercury, and arsenic, which are detrimental to a dog’s health.

Nowadays, the FDA regulates all the food colors used in both human and animal foods. Each food color needs to be listed with the FDA.

Food colors fall into two main categories; the ones that are allowed by the FDA and the ones that are not. The list of certified food colors includes less than ten food colors, which can be used in human and animal foods.

Besides regulating the type of food colors, the FDA also restricts the number of such colors, which must be used in edible items. Studies have shown that food colors if used in a large amount, can result in cancer.

Another ingredient found in imitation crab meat or Surimi is salt. Salt is an essential ingredient in a dog’s diet and plays a vital role in its well-being. Salt is necessary for the maintenance of a dog’s body fluid, and also improves the functioning of the organs and the nervous system.

However, too much salt has its downsides as well. Too much salt increases a dog’s blood pressure, which leads to heart disease. Also, dogs that suffer from kidney diseases are prone to hypertension. Mostly in older dogs, these health conditions are present, but the owners are unaware.

Lastly, the most crucial component in imitation crab meat is the artificial food flavor. It is what makes the taste of imitation crab meat resemble that of real crab. However, these food flavors aren’t suitable for your dogs.

Besides being unnatural and detrimental to a dog’s health, artificial food flavors contribute to spoiling a dog’s eating habits. A dog that overeats artificial flavor has a hard time eating natural and organic foods.

Why Is Imitation Crab Meat Bad for Dogs? 

Let’s take a look at some reasons why imitation crab meat is not a healthy food option for dogs.

  • It results in high blood pressure, which can lead to heart diseases in dogs.
  • The sodium content in imitation crab meat results in fluid retention, which increases the blood volume, and puts pressure onto the heart.
  • It causes stomach issues, mainly indigestion, irregular bowel movement, stomach pain, and also results in vomiting.
  • Too much imitation crab meat can get your dog nauseous and sick.
  • The fat content in imitation crab meat leads to obesity and lethargy, thus making your dog slow and less playful.
  • The Carmine in imitation crab meat can cause respiratory issues such as asthma and chronic cough.
  • Some other ingredients in imitation crab meat affect your dog’s skin and fur coat and also cause severe inflammation.

Now you know the answer to can dogs eat imitation crab meat along with a host of reasons as to why imitation crab meat is bad for you dog. 

What Ingredients in Imitation Crab Meat Are Bad for Dogs?

As discussed earlier, imitation crab meat is made from Surimi, instead of real crab meat. The Surimi is combined with artificial colors and flavors, which form the appearance and taste of the imitation crab meat that resembles that of a real crab.

Let’s take a look at some of the nutrients found in imitation crab meat and how they are detrimental to a dog’s health.

Let’s break it down.

One of the many nutrients found in Imitation crab meat is Sodium Pyrophosphate. This substance is also found in canned tuna and chicken nuggets. It contains such salts, the toxicity of which rivals that of the table salt we eat every day.

Too much of this additive can give your dog high blood pressure, and can also cause your dog’s heart to suffer.

As discussed in the previous paragraphs, Carmine is another component found in imitation crab meat and similar food items. Carmine is an artificial food color that is used in food items and soft drinks. It gives your food a reddish hue.

Don’t freak out, but Carmine is made from dead bugs. Therefore, the beautiful cherry-like red color in your flavored milk, yogurt, and imitation crab sticks comes from bugs. Carmine can give your dog respiratory issues such as asthma.

Have you ever wondered where the savory taste in your crab sticks comes from? It is potassium chloride that adds flavor to your imitation crab meat.

Potassium chloride does precisely the opposite of what sodium does to the body. It removes the sodium from blood and relaxes the blood vessels. As a result, blood pressure also goes down.

However, if taken in more massive bulks, this compound can result in throat irritation, stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. In dogs, an excess of this compound can result in diarrhea, bloating, and darker and smellier stools.

By now, you must have realized that imitation crab meat contains a significant amount of sodium. Although sodium is suitable for a dog’s growth and well-being, too much of it has its downsides.

Excessive salt intake can give your dog high blood pressure and heart diseases. It retains body fluids and increases the volume of blood. An increase in blood volume puts a burden on the heart, and if left untreated can kill your fuzzy canine.

This is an unnatural food enhancer and an additive found in most prepared and canned foods. Being unnatural, it is unsuitable for your dog. It causes tightness around the mouth and chest area.

This unnatural ingredient causes burning sensation around the same areas, which puts your dog under a lot of pain. It also makes your dog sweat, pant, and swollen in different spots. Lastly, it affects the skin and fur coat in dogs.

Lastly, Surimi contains MSG, which is a flavor enhancer found in several packed food items. Although it is not responsible for any health hazard, some of the health conditions it can result in are nausea, inflammation, weakness, and chest pain.

How Much Imitation Crab Meat Can My Dog Eat Regularly?

By now, you must have realized how detrimental imitation dog meat is to your dog’s health. It makes their blood pressure spike and even leads to severe heart issues. Furthermore, if these issues are left untreated, they tend to worsen and can be life-threatening to your fuzzy pet. 

However, if you want your dog to enjoy some crab meat, make sure it’s real and not artificial. If your dog begs for it, you can use five only a small amount of imitation crab meat, once in a few weeks or even months. You can even mix it with its routine diet.

Please be aware that feeding imitation crab meat to your dog regularly can put its health at risk, and might also take its life.

Can I Feed My Dog Tuna Treats as an Alternative to Imitation Crab Meat?

By now, you must have realized the answer to can dogs eat imitation carb meat?

Just because imitation crab is harmful and real crab is expensive, it doesn’t mean your dog should be deprived of its fair share of seafood.

All you have to do is use your creative imagination, and the possibilities are endless. Tuna is a safe and affordable ingredient of the food that we eat. How about using some of that to make dog treats?

Let’s take a look at the recipe to making tuna dog treats.

The ingredients you will need are as follows.

  • One cup flour
  • One egg
  • One can of tuna
  • 1 / 4 cup of cheese

Here is what you need to do.

  • In a mixing bowl, put one cup of flour.
  • Remove the tuna from its can and add it to the flour in the mixing bowl.
  • Make sure the water from the can also go into the mix.
  • Break open an egg into the mix.
  • Finely grate the quarter of the cheese, and add it to the mix as well.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly, until it turns into dough.
  • To make the dog treats, you will need an eight by eight pan.
  • Place the dough into the pan, and flatten it out.
  • Bake the flattened dough for twenty minutes at 350F.
  • After twenty minutes, remove the bakes flattened dough from the oven and cut it into smaller pieces.
  • Now place the dog treats back into the oven and bake them for 50 minutes at 275F.

Congratulations! Your DIY tuna dog treats are ready.

Signs Your Dog Likes Imitation Crab Meat

 While some dogs might go crazy for the excellent imitation crab sticks, some of them might not be as interested. Here are a few signs your dog likes eating imitation crab meat.

The mere sight or aroma of the imitation crab meat gets your dog howling and jumping around.

A slight glance at the imitation crab meat raises your dog’s ears.

You often find them snooping around the dining table or the kitchen area if you are cooking or eating imitation crab meat.

Your dogs eat quickly and impatiently.

Every time it eats imitation crab sticks, it moves them around with its nose, hoping to find the best part.

Every time it sees imitation crab sticks, it drools and licks its lips.

Signs Your Dog Dislikes Imitation Crab Meat

You might not have noticed, but your dog could be one of those mongrels that don’t like the taste or the smell of imitation crab meat. Here are a few signs your dog does not like imitation crab meat.

No matter how hard you try to feed imitation crab sticks, it won’t eat.

Eating imitation crab meat makes your dog sick and nauseous.

Your dog eats it very slowly and wastes more than it consumes.

Consider yourself lucky if your dog doesn’t have a natural liking for imitation crab meat. Because overeating imitation crab meat can put your dog’s health at significant risk.

My Dog Just Ate Some Imitation Crab Meat What Do I Do Now? 

So, you have caught yourself munching on some of those imitation crab sticks. Well, first of all, calm down, for a small amount of imitation crab meat isn’t certainly going to kill your dog. If it has eaten a small amount of it, there is nothing to worry about.

However, you need to make sure it doesn’t happen again. However, if you are confident that your dog has eaten a significant amount of imitation crab meat; it might experience an upset stomach.

Before something happens, it is better to book an appointment with the vet and seek medication. After administering the dosage, try to make your dog relax as much as possible.  Make it lie down until it starts to feel better again. And make sure to hide away imitation crab meat, and harmful food items from your dog.

Refrain from feeding processed foods to your dog, and stick only to fresh and organic food items. Unlike us humans, a dog’s digestive system is delicate and cannot withstand the effects of processed foods, with artificial colors and flavors.


By now, you must have gotten the answer to the question, can dogs eat imitation crab meat? No, dogs cannot eat imitation crab meat.

Imitation crab meat contains Surimi, salts, artificial food colors, and flavors. The high salt content in Surimi can give your dog high blood pressure, which leads to heart diseases. Furthermore, artificial food flavors and colors are toxic to your dog and cause severe stomach issues.

To keep your dog healthy, you need to be mindful of what enters your dog’s tummy. The foods that your dog eats should be the ones the vet has allowed.

Also, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Daily, take your dog out for walks and sprints. Not only does exercise keep your dog fit, but it also fights against lethargy and obesity. Regular exercise also helps your dog attain a healthy digestive system.

Lastly, as a responsible dog owner, never skimp on the routine medical checkups.