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No dogs should not eat fish sticks because of the unhealthy additions in which they are produced. Commercial brands of fish sticks should especially be avoided since they have preservatives and spices that might be harmful. It is best to provide plain, cooked fish to your dog so they can get the nutritional benefits of the seafood.

Fish Sticks
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Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Most fish sticks will not make dogs sick in a small amount but they should not be a part of a dogs regular diet. The spices used in them might also be toxic to dogs.
Nutritional Issues Often deep-fried, high in both fats and carbohydrates
Potential Risks Eating too many fish sticks in a sitting can lead to digestive issues such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. Overtime, the fishy diet can lead to weight gain and obesity which in turn can lead to conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and pancreatitis.
Symptoms  Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, weakness, lethargy
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Many Fish Sticks are Bad for Dogs?

One or two fish sticks occasionally are safe for dogs, provided they do not have any toxic seasonings. However, more fish sticks than that or feeding them regularly to your dog can lead to several health issues.

Why are Fish Sticks Unsafe for Dogs?

Fish sticks are typically breaded and deep-fried, which makes them high in fat and carbohydrates. Apart from that, they can also be seasoned with onion or garlic powder, both of which are toxic to dogs. This means that owners have to be very cautious if their dog eats several at a time.

Preparing Fish Sticks For Dogs

Fish sticks are generally made from cod. Dogs can eat cod and get a little nutritional value from it. If you’re going to feed your pup fish sticks, scrape the breading off and rinse the fish stick under warm water to wipe away extra butter, oil or seasoning. Even this is only advised in moderation and not to make it a regular treat for your dog, but it’s better than serving the fish stick as we eat them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A fish stick with non-toxic seasoning can be ok as an occasional treat for your dog. However, we suggest switching to healthier fish options so your pet can have a balanced diet.

  • Fish by itself is excellent for dogs, provided that it is cooked. Fried versions like fish sticks should be avoided.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Writer
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.