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Is Seaweed Good for Dogs?

Bowl of seaweed on a slate surface with other bowls in the background

Seaweed is very good for dogs because it contains several useful nutrients that are beneficial for your pup’s fur. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids and minerals (like iron) keep the skin healthy and help in tissue restoration. However, you should always give seaweed in moderation and make sure that it doesn’t contain any seasoning or supplement. Keep reading to know about the benefits and dangers of feeding seaweed to dogs.     

Benefits of Seaweed for Dogs

Dog running down beach with seaweed in its mouth

Edible seaweeds are an excellent source of several essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. On top of that, this ‘green’ food contains very little amount of fat (about 2%). This means that you can safely give this ingredient to your pup without worrying about obesity and other related problems.

Although seaweed tastes very salty, it only contains a trace amount of sodium. The taste comes from a large quantity of other useful minerals, like iron, zinc, and magnesium. This superfood is also rich in calcium, potassium, and a range of vitamins (A, B-12, C, E, and K). In addition to physical benefits, some of these nutrients, like vitamin B-12, also boost the cognitive abilities of dogs.

Salt in a wooden bowl and spoon against a blue background.

Seaweed boosts the immune system and supports the endocrine glands of dogs. This will ensure the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. It also contains Omega-3 fatty acids that are vital to keep the skin and tissues of your canine healthy. This sea vegetable also provides a good dose of energy to keep your pooch active throughout the day.

Thanks to its unique cellular structure, seaweed is a lot more digestible than other plants. This is because it doesn’t contain a cellulose layer to enclose the cell walls. Hence, your pup won’t develop any gastrointestinal issues after consuming seaweed. All in all, seaweed is a perfect supplement to your dog’s diet because it is digestible and has plenty of nutritional benefits.  

Dangers of Seaweed for Dogs

Seaweed chopped in a wooden bowl with a bowl of whole seaweed leaved next to it, with chopsticks, sitting on brown paper.

Just like anything else, too much seaweed can be harmful to your dog. Kelp and nori are among the most common types of seaweed that are considered edible. However, both of them contain trace amounts of toxic substances. Kelp has arsenic while nori contains mercury. Therefore, it’s important to ensure moderation with this ingredient to keep your pup safe.

Once your dog starts enjoying this sea vegetable, wild seaweed on the beach becomes a huge threat. This is because it can contain many toxic pollutants (like metals and jellyfish). This seaweed can also have a lot of salts that may lead to salt poisoning in dogs.

In addition to that, wild seaweed dries out and shrinks, especially in the summer. When consumed, it will absorb the water from your dog’s digestive system and expand. This can result in a blockage that may prove fatal in extreme cases. Hence, you should never let your dog eat wild seaweed on the beach.

Last but not least, commercial seaweed products often contain seasonings that are dangerous for dogs. For example, garlic, other spices, or additional salt are all off-limits for dogs.    

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