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Can dogs eat Seaweed?

can dogs eat dried seaweed, let’s investigate. Us humans relish eating seaweed, who can blame us? Seaweed has many nutritional benefits such as being rich in iron, magnesium, iodine, and of course, omega-3 fatty acids. Did you know that your dog can join in when you enjoy this ocean vegetable? The same nutrients that make seaweed healthy for humans has also been proven to benefit dogs, promoting healthier skin and fur. So naturally, seaweed can be just as beneficial for your dog, with a few exceptions.

Can my dog eat kelp or nori?

Kelp and nori are both considered seaweed, though they look quite different. Both are safe for dogs, as long as they aren’t seasoned with additional salt or other spices like as garlic. In fact, some sea veggie-loving dog owners say that small pieces of nori, the unseasoned seaweed sheets you wrap sushi in, are great natural training treats. Kelp, especially the varieties that live in the deep ocean, is also used in many seaweed supplements in pet food. The only exception for kelp is to avoid the kind that grows along the coast, especially those found near US beaches. This is because pollutants can be absorbed by those varieties, making them a less than healthy treat for your dog, or you for that matter.

All seaweed strains are considered edible for dogs, but you should be careful how you feed it to your dog. Processed seaweed such as nori is fine in small amounts, however, most sources recommend ground seaweed as the preferred way to add it to your dog’s diet (sprinkled on their food). Feeding your dog unprocessed strips of seaweed can cause a blockage in their intestines, so care should be taken when adding this vitamin powerhouse to your dog’s food. Quantity is also something to take into consideration. With most things, too much of a good thing can become dangerous for your dog.

The hidden danger of wild seaweed

It’s no surprise that dogs love to eat whatever they find, and there’s nothing quite like the joy of watching a dog run free down the beach. When they start eating things they find on the beach, however, that’s when things can start to get pretty dangerous. In addition to the possible pollutants found inshore seaweed mentioned above, eating seaweed off the beach can also lead to salt poisoning in dogs. That’s not to mention the possible critter stowaways that may also be lurking on beach seaweed. Jellyfish may also be mixed in with seaweed, and even dead ones can cause an allergic reaction if your dog unintentionally eats them.

Dried seaweed on the beach offers another danger. Once eaten, it can expand in your dog’s intestines, creating a blockage with possibly deadly results. It’s recommended to contact your vet promptly if you think your dog has ingested dried wild seaweed. The effects can escalate from mild to deadly in a matter of hours. Keep a close watch on your dog for signs of wild seaweed poisoning. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog on a leash or close to you when exploring areas that may have dry seaweed or other dangerous edibles, such as the high tide line.

Symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite

Adding seaweed into your dog’s diet 

A sprinkle of seaweed supplement on top of your dog’s food is the easiest way to add seaweed to your dog’s diet. Even though it may taste salty, seaweed is surprisingly low in sodium, making it a tasty treat that’s also good for your dog. When adding new foods and supplements to your pet’s diet, it is good to monitor their reactions, in terms of stool appearance, behaviour, energy levels, and overall disposition, and consult your vet if you’re trying to treat a specific condition, such as dry skin or fur loss. They could have even more suggestions on how to add this vitamin powerhouse to your dog’s life.

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