No, dogs should not eat imitation crab meat. Because it’s not real crab meat, it’s a mix of white fish with other additives that aren’t safe for your dog.
If your dog eats enough of it, the additives can cause illness, even death. In fact, dogs have died after eating imitation crab meat in many cases (including those that were not given much).
Because Crab is a shellfish – just like shrimp and lobster – it’s best to avoid feeding any kind of seafood to your dog if you can help it.
According to VCA Hospitals®, if your dog eats raw or undercooked seafood such as crab meat, the bacteria that cause severe food poisoning (often called “salmonellosis”) can cause kidney damage and other symptoms throughout your dog’s body.
So even if you’re starting out with a small amount, he could eat too much and suffer the consequences. So as tempting as it is, you should never give your dog imitation crab meat or any other seafood.
If you suspect that your dog has eaten some of this processed “crab meat,” contact your veterinarian immediately for treatment advice and to determine if there’s a need to induce vomiting in order to save his life.
Regardless of whether your dog ingests a little or a lot, it’s best to be cautious about the kinds of foods you share with him and always keep track of what he is given throughout the day.
What happens if a dog eat imitation crab meat?
If your dog eats imitation crab meat, he’ll likely develop symptoms of food poisoning. These might include:
- Diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
- Dehydration and lethargy (lethargy is a sign that his system has slowed down significantly)
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in thirst
- Unusual behavior
- Inability to walk
- Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
In rare cases, dogs have died from consuming seafood such as crab and shrimp.
If your dog has eaten a large amount of crab meat or any other kind of seafood, he may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids. If left untreated, he can die from severe food poisoning caused by seafood.
Preventing your dog eating imitation crab meat:
There’s no telling whether the people who made this kind of food even knew that dogs could eat imitation crab meat, but they certainly shouldn’t have made it look like the real thing.
So when it comes to your dog’s diet, you can try to avoid buying things that might attract him and tempt him such as Tinned tuna – because he’d rather eat this than caviar or crab meat. Then again, he couldn’t eat enough of it to cause problems with the mercury found in tinned tuna – unless you give him a whole lot. So this is uncommon, but still, something to bear in mind when you’re choosing his diet.
Is it OK to eat imitation crab if your dog is allergic to shellfish?
Yes, imitation crab is safe to give to dogs that are allergic to shellfish.
There’s a misconception among people (and even some vets) that if your dog has an allergy to one kind of seafood (such as shrimp), then he must be allergic to them all. Even though this isn’t completely true for humans, it absolutely applies to dogs. And because of this, some people assume that if their dog has an allergy to shellfish (such as shrimp or crab), then they should steer clear of all seafood and opt for a diet that contains alternative protein sources such as:
The American Animal Hospital Association also recommends trying these alternative protein sources whenever you can in order to avoid giving your dog foods that include carbohydrates or grains.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your dog is allergic to shellfish, skip the imitation crab meat and consult with a vet before feeding him any seafood at all.