Can Dogs Eat Seaweed? The Dos and Don’ts of Feeding It To Your Pooch
Seaweed is a yummy and versatile ingredient that makes its way into lots of our food. Soups, sushi, salads – they’re all delicious. But what happens if your dog gets his paws on some? Can dogs eat seaweed? Is it safe for them to eat wild seaweed on the beach? What about seaweed snacks?
We’re going to take you through everything so you know exactly whether or not your pup can share some of your favorite snack.
The Short Answer – Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?
Yes, dogs can eat seaweed but there are a few things you need to know before feeding it to your pup. Seaweed is full of iodine, magnesium, iron, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids which can be really beneficial as part of a balanced diet. It’s best, however, to not let your dog eat seaweed snacks as these can be full of salt and harmful additives such as garlic. Dogs should also avoid eating seaweed on the beach.
Is Seaweed Good for Dogs?
Seaweed has lots of nutritional extras that can benefit your pup. Iron, for example, can help support your dog’s red blood cells and Omega-3 helps with brain development, immune system support, and reduces inflammation in joints.
Your pup should be getting all its nutrition from a well-balanced diet, but the odd seaweed treat can give them an extra added boost of the good stuff!
Can Dogs Eat Kelp or Nori?
Kelp and nori are both forms of seaweed and both are safe to feed dogs (just as long as they’re not salted or contain additives). Kelp is a large seaweed found in cool waters and is often used in seaweed supplements for pets. Nori are the yummy, crunchy sheets used to roll up sushi. Again, these can be a great seaweed snack for your pooch as long as they don’t contain other ingredients.
What Are The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Seaweed?
Seaweed is a safe food to give your dog if it’s fresh and plain. The problems come when there are sneaky added ingredients or your pup isn’t eating fresh seaweed.
Can Dogs Eat Seaweed Snacks?
Seaweed snacks, including seaweed chips, baked seaweed bites, or dried seaweed, often contain salt, preservatives, garlic, and onion powder. These don’t need to be part of your dog’s diet. In fact, they can very very detrimental to your dog’s health and even be fatal.
Can Dogs Eat Beach Seaweed?
You might think that beach seaweed is the freshest and most healthy seaweed pups can eat, but you’d be wrong. You should not let your dogs eat any seaweed they find on the beach. This is because it can be full of pollutants and toxins. It’s also possible that beach animals such as jellyfish may be hiding in seaweed. Even dead jellyfish can cause a severe reaction if your pup digests one.
Furthermore, seaweed you find on the shore will be covered in salt water which isn’t good for canines and could lead to salt poisoning. Signs of salt poisoning can include diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, extreme thirst, and incoordination. If your dog is suffering from any of these symptoms after eating seaweed, contact your vet immediately.
Even the brown, dried seaweed found on the beach isn’t good for dogs to eat. In fact, it can be very dangerous. Seaweed that’s been dried by the sun might be tasty and crunchy to eat, but it will quickly absorb liquid in your dog’s stomach and expand. This could cause a very serious intestinal blockage. If your pup has eaten dried seaweed on the beach, contact your vet right away.
Can Dogs Eat Seagrass Salad?
We don’t advise feeding your dog seagrass salad – even if it is your favorite thing from your local sushi takeaway. Seagrass salad often contains garlic and soy sauce which is high in salt and could cause your pup to have an upset stomach.
How Can You Feed Seaweed to Your Dog?
One of the best ways to feed your pup seaweed is to give a small piece of fresh seaweed as a treat. It can be a great training tool. You might also want to put some in a snuffle mat or a puzzle toy for some mental stimulation.
You could also look for a seaweed supplement that you can add to your dog’s food. This is especially useful if your pup doesn’t like the texture of fresh seaweed. As with all supplements, check with your vet first before changing your dog’s diet too much. Ground seaweed sprinkled on their regular dog food is another way to get extra nutrients into their diet.
How Much Seaweed Can Dogs Eat?
How much seaweed to feed your dog really depends on how big they are. Generally speaking, a dog’s diet should be made up of 90% canine-specific food (such as fresh dog food), and 10% healthy human snacks. So, don’t give your pup more than 10% seaweed. If you’re interested in feeding your pup other healthy human snacks, check out the BarkingTalk food page. There’s loads of helpful information on what you can and cannot feed pups.
To begin with, give your dog a small amount and monitor them for any adverse reactions. If they seem to enjoy it and are healthy, you can give them a little more. If your dog eats seaweed and becomes ill, contact your vet right away as they may be allergic.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?
Yes, seaweed is safe for dogs to eat. But it needs to be fresh and free from any additives. Kelp, nori, and other types of seaweed are all healthy, whether in the form of seaweed supplements or fresh. Avoid seaweed snacks that contain extra salt or garlic powder as they can be really bad for dogs. It’s also essential that you don’t let your dog eat seaweed on the beach. We know, pups love to bury their noses in everything on the beach, but shore seaweed contains a lot of pollutants, and salt and is a possible hiding place for dangerous animals.
Fresh seaweed can be a great alternative to overly-processed treats which contain lots of added calories. If your pup loves it, it’s safe to feed it to them!