Table of Contents
- 1 Can My Dog Eat Seaweed?
- 2 Nutritional Value of Seaweed
- 3 Is Seaweed Bad for Dogs?
- 4 Types of Seaweed and Their Effects on Dogs
- 5 FAQs About Seaweed and Dogs
- 6 Conclusion
Seaweed is very popular in Asian cuisines. While western palates are not yet accustomed to its unique taste, it is becoming more prevalent in US and European restaurants and households.
Consumption of seaweed has so many health benefits that it is easy to see why. And not just for humans, but for our dogs too. However, not all forms of seaweed are created equal when it comes to a dog’s diet.
Can My Dog Eat Seaweed?
All seaweed strains are edible by dogs. Seaweed can be great for our four-legged friends,
as long it is consumed safely.
Seaweed pet snacks are perfectly safe for dog consumption as well as any other commercially sold type of seaweed. Dried raw seaweed found in nature, on the other hand, poses a serious health risk for dogs and should not be consumed by any means.
In large amounts, seaweed can also irritate a dog’s digestive tract.
It is therefore advised to add seaweed to your dog’s diet slowly in a controlled manner. A great way to achieve that is by sprinkling seaweed supplements on your pet’s food.
Nutritional Value of Seaweed
Seaweed is a general term that includes various algae and marine plants. The easiest way to categorize it is by color.
There is red seaweed (Rhodophyta), green (Chlorophyta), and so on. Not all of them are edible, however. Some of the most popular edible varieties are wakame, kombu, kelp, and nori. These are edible both for humans and for dogs.
Seaweed is incredibly healthy and nutritious
- healthy carbohydrates
- polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Vitamins A, B, C, and E are all found in seaweed
- Minerals such as magnesium, selenium, iodine, iron, and calcium
An ounce of seaweed contains approximately 10 calories, 1.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 1,6 grams of protein.
Seaweed can support the heart, help with weight loss, fight off cancer, and strengthen the immune system
Seaweed is rich in antioxidants, which protect the body from stress and cellular inflammation. Antioxidants have been linked with preventing heart disease and various types of cancers, among others.
The iodine in seaweed also aids in regulating healthy glandular activity, speeding metabolism, and weight loss.
Also, seaweed is a great source of fiber. It provides a lot for a handful of calories. Fiber has been found to reduce type 2 diabetes markers, such a high blood sugar. Furthermore, the high fiber content results in slower absorption of food and a longer feeling of satiation.
So it is also a great addition for people on a diet. In addition, fiber helps balance out energy levers. If your dog gets hyperactive at spikes during the day, maybe this one’s for you.
Other benefits of seaweed for your dog
Seaweed can help with skin allergies, as it reduces itching and inflammation. It can also give your dog a healthy, glossy coat. Furthermore, it can help reduce dental plaque and tartar buildup.
Is Seaweed Bad for Dogs?
Eating seaweed has many benefits for a dog. It makes sense to wonder if there are any drawbacks. As with most things, consuming it in moderation is important. Not all forms of seaweed are created equally.
While commercially available seaweed is considered safe for consumption for your dog, this is not the whole story.
Dried beach seaweed is dangerous and must be avoided
Be careful not to get your dog so accustomed to seaweed taste that he will actively go looking for it. This can make your trips to the beach quite troublesome. Dried seaweed, the kind that can be found in the wild, like next to the shoreline, is dangerous and can even be fatal for a dog.
It is not that the seaweed found at the beach is in itself toxic. Rather, it is because the seaweed has dried naturally in the sun that it is so dangerous. Once ingested by your dog, it can absorb liquid from inside his stomach and digestive system and expand significantly.
It will create a blockage inside the animal. This is a serious condition that will need emergency surgery and can even prove to be fatal.
Furthermore, seaweed found in nature contains excessive amounts of salt from seawater that has dried out. This can result in your dog suffering from salt poisoning upon digesting it. Besides, a pile of seaweed by the sea could contain various sea critters that are not suitable for consumption by your dog.
In any case, never allow your dog to consume seaweed at the beach. Always keep an eye on your dog when you are walking around coastal areas. Some dogs are natural-born scavengers.
They are prone to exploring and digging up things with their nose and mouth. You should be extremely cautious if your dog is one of them. Consider walking them on a long leash around those areas if your dog tends to be a wanderer and is difficult to keep track of its whereabouts.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of Appetite
Do not suddenly introduce a large amount of it into your dog’s diet
Seaweed is very nutritious; however, more is not always better. For a dog that is not used to it, seaweed can cause an upset stomach, which can lead to some messy carpet stains.
To avoid overdoing it, add seaweed slowly into your dog’s diet and monitor his behavior and stool. You will know if he has had more than enough. You should think of seaweed as a supplement and not as a primary source of nutrition.
Types of Seaweed and Their Effects on Dogs
Kelp is the most nutritious variety of seaweed for dogs
This particular sea vegetable is the king of seaweed for your pup. One of the richest natural sources of amino acids, kelp, is 25% protein and 2% fat. Also high in iodine, kelp helps to support your dog’s glandular system more than any other type of seaweed.
It is particularly associated with skin and teeth benefits for your dog, while the high protein content helps with tissue repair.
Kelp can be found in dog foods, treats, or dietary supplements. Before purchasing a product, however, you should look for where it has been harvested. If it has been collected near the shoreline, it can contain dangerous contaminants from pollution.
If possible, it is best to buy kelp that has been collected from deep in the ocean. Always read the label, and not give your pet more than the recommended dose since some kelp supplements have arsenic in them.
Nori is not only good for sushi
Nori, the type of seaweed used to make sushi, is the second one on the list. The same nutrients that make nori so great for humans can also benefit dogs. Nori is rich in Vit B and is a reliable source of fatty acids. It helps boost your dog’s immune system and protect from inflammation.
Commercially sold nori can be shared with your dog. However, be careful to check for added seasonings. Garlic and onion, in particular, are off-limits. In any case, experiment with a small portion first and see how your dog reacts to it.
FAQs About Seaweed and Dogs
Why is seaweed good for dogs?
Seaweed has many benefits for your dog. It can help boost the immune system, help with glands function, and protect the heart. It is also good for a dog’s teeth and skin.
Does my dog like the taste of seaweed?
Most dogs welcome the taste of seaweed. If consumed in powder form, dogs seem to be indifferent to it, showing no signs of liking or disliking it. However, every dog is different. You will notice it if your dog does not enjoy eating it.
Is it OK to eat seaweed every day?
Seaweed can be consumed by your dog every day in small amounts. However, daily use is not needed. The same effects can be accomplished by consuming seaweed once or twice per week. Try not to overdo it.
Are all types of seaweed the same?
No, all types of seaweed are not the same. However, the difference between them is not significant. You can choose any variety available to you. The quality and the method harvested plays a larger role than the type of seaweed it is.
Are seaweed supplements better than other forms of seaweed for my dog?
Seaweed dog supplements can be a better choice. Usually, you can rest assured they do not contain additives such as seasoning that can be harmful to your pet. Many also come in very convenient powder form. However, that is not an absolute statement. The same benefits are sometimes found in products aimed at human consumption.
What if my dog eats seaweed at the beach?
Please contact your vet immediately to explain the situation and seek further advice. Do not delay contacting him. If your dog needs help, time is of the essence.
Seaweed can be a great way to balance your dog’s diet. Offering so many health benefits, you might think it is too good to ignore, and rightly so.
When deciding how to add it to our pets’ diet, it is important to keep in mind that not all forms of this superior sea vegetable are created equally. Keep your hairy friend safe and choose wisely!