Can Dogs Eat Fish Sticks?

Written by Wen Duan

Can My Dog Have Fish Stick?

Yes. Fish sticks are OK to give your dog in but is not a healthy food choice. 

Fish sticks like imitation crab meat are made from white fish and are full of starch. Even though they are not toxic or harmful to your dog, they offer no nutritional benefits to your dogs. 

Healthy Feeding tips

If you are going to feed your dog fish sticks, make sure you do it in moderation. Cook them as instructed by the packaging. 

  1. Avoid giving your dog too many fish sticks.  As processed foods can cause long term health issues, fish sticks should not be a staple in your dog's diet. The breading on fish sticks could be a problem. Breading often contains excess salts and oils from frying that is not good for your dog's health.
  2. Avoid giving your dog fish sticks with seasoned breading. Watch out for onion or garlic powder in the ingredients. Onion and garlic powder are toxic to your dog. The small amounts that are in the fish sticks can lead to upset tummies or diarrhea.  

 A healthier option - Fresh Fish

While it is OK to feed your dog fish sticks, it is not a very healthy choice for your golden. A healthier option to feed your fish loving golden is fresh fish.  

Fresh fish such as tuna, salmon, whitefish and cod are all great choices for your golden. Fish is rich in amino acids. Depending on which fish you choose it can also be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is good for your dogs coat and skin. 

Ways to prepare fresh fish 

There are a lot of ways to cook fish for your golden. There are 3 good ways that don't require adding seasonings or oil during cooking. 

Dehydrating - this is the simplest way to create a great treat for your golden. Place fish on trays and dehydrate for 6-10 hours at 180 degrees F (or bake at 150-200 degrees). The time will vary depending on your oven or dehydrator – check on your fish about every 2 hours to see how it's coming along. You want the fish to take on a jerky texture.

Grilling - Before placing it on the grill, dab fish dry. Turn the grill to medium heat, add fish and flip halfway through cooking. Fish should be cooked for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. It is done when the fish appears opaque and separates into flakes. Internal temperature should be 145⁰F. 

Steaming - You can use a steam oven or any stove-top setup. Smaller fillets will take 4 to 8 minutes to cook through, but a larger fillet might take 10 to 12 minutes. Your fish is ready when it is opaque and flakes easily. 

Try this great fishy recipe for your golden!

Canned Salmon Dog Food Recipe


  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped                    
  • 4 ounces of frozen peas                                           
  • 1 large can of Salmon (about 14-15 ounces)
  • 2 cans of albacore tuna
  • 2 large eggs, hard boiled and chopped
  • large handful of parsley, chopped and divided

    • Instructions:
      1.) Boil the potatoes in unsalted water until tender. Let cool and then thoroughly mash them. Mix in ~1/4 of your parsley. The potatoes might be a bit dry but don’t add anything to them.
      2.) Cook the peas according to the packaging.
      3.) In a large bowl, mix together the salmon, tuna, remaining parsley, chopped boiled eggs, and peas.
      4.) You can either mix in the potatoes or, as I did, serve the potatoes stacked on top of the fish mixture.
      5.) Form into patties appropriate to the size of your dog and serve!
      6.) Store the rest in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Other Great Treat Ideas for Your Golden Retriever

    If you're looking for other great treat ideas for your golden retriever, check out our new book! It's filled with easy homemade treats that are good for you dog and your dog will love them.

    What's your dog favorite fish treat? Comment down below!  

    About the author

    Wen Duan

    Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our blog.