- Some seaweed snacks are high in garlic or onion — Garlic and onion, two ingredients common in seaweed snacks for people, are toxic to dogs based on the amount ingested.
- Keep your dog away from wild seaweed — Consuming wild seaweed strewn around the beach may lead to gastrointestinal blockages and other issues.
- Seaweed products for pets can be great for your dog’s health — Seaweed and ocean algae contain omega-3 fatty acids, which positively affect a dog’s immune system and skin.
What exactly is seaweed, anyway?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seaweed broadly refers to the diverse species of marine plants and algae that grow in oceans, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Many edible seaweeds — also known as sea vegetables or macro-algae — are jam-packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents. They’ve been used for medicinal purposes or consumed for their savory tastes by ancient Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, and many more civilizations. For at least 1,500 years, the Japanese, too, have perfected the art of nori, the seaweed mixture behind sushi. Some common edible sea veggies in dog-safe seaweed products include kelp, dulse, nori, kombu, wakame, and Irish moss. These come in the form of dried powders you may sprinkle onto your dog’s food.
An alternative to these powders is a fresh food like ZipZyme™ Omega that is grown from single-cell ocean alga called micro algae. ZipZyme™ is a direct source of DHA, the most important omega-3 fatty acid, an essential building block for pet (and human) nutrition. Other DHA products must be converted by the body to be useful, but ZipZyme™ is ready to go to work immediately after consumption.
Is seaweed good for dogs?
Seaweed products intended for pets can benefit your dog’s immune system, skin, and coat. They often contain nutrients like:
- Iron. Helps your dog’s body perform essential functions
- Iodine. A crucial nutrient for thyroid health
- Magnesium. Maintains normal nerve and muscle function
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Protects your pup’s skin and coat, aids in brain development in puppies, and reduces inflammation and joint pain
👉 Consult your veterinarian before making major changes to your pet’s diet.
What about wild seaweed?
Dogs may be curious about seaweed found at the shore’s edge at the beach or lake, but it likely contains harmful bacteria and should be avoided. It can expand inside your dog’s stomach when ingested, causing severe stomach upset. Wild seaweed near the ocean is also usually full of sodium due to saltwater, which can further upset your puppy’s stomach.
How to safely feed your dog seaweed
So you want to give your dog a taste of seaweed? Here’s where to begin.
- Purchase snacks and supplements made specifically for Fido — As mentioned above, seaweed snacks and products intended for humans often contain seasonings that can be toxic to dogs, including salt, garlic, and onion.
- Remember, moderation is key — Adhere to product serving guidelines to avoid an upset stomach. If your dog hasn’t eaten seaweed before, begin with a small amount and gradually increase the quantity until you reach the listed feeding recommendations. Most seaweed snacks and supplements for dogs come in powder form meant to sprinkle atop their food. Don’t overdo it!
- Grind or break dog-safe seaweed sheets into small pieces — Because sea vegetables expand when wet, consuming large sizes or sheets may cause a blockage or upset your puppy’s stomach.
- Use as a garnish on dog food — To add a little pep to your pet’s meals, sprinkle some dog-safe seaweed snacks or supplements onto their food. You can even add a little seaweed powder to their pet bone broth for savory hydration.
- Always consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure — It’s best to consult with your veterinarian before any dietary change, especially if you’re unclear just how much product you should be giving your dog. Your vet will also rule out any illnesses that conflict with seaweed use. For example, seaweed supplements should not be given to dogs that have a thyroid condition.
Popular seaweed snacks or supplements for dogs
ZipZyme™ Omega comes from algae that grows in all oceans around the world that produces DHA. DHA lowers the risk of certain diseases, improves brain and eye health, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthier nervous and immune systems. This natural food for dogs and cats is packaged and cold-shipped in individual serving pouches to be mixed into your pet’s regular daily meal.
Raw Paws Organic Sea Kelp
Harvested from the coast of Iceland, Raw Paws Organic Sea Kelp is ideal for both cats and dogs and can help keep your pet’s metabolism and digestion in check.
This supplement is made of brown seaweeds like kelp and wakame from the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Canident is primarily used to keep your dog’s teeth clean by preventing the formation of plaque, loosening tartar, and combating the sources of bad dog breath.
Earth Animal Perfectly Plain Kelp Jerky
Made from Maine-grown kelp, Earth Animal Perfectly Plain Kelp Jerky offers that “al dente” texture pups love — plus all the health benefits of organic kelp!
Frequently asked questions
Can dogs eat wild seaweed?
No. Ingesting wild seaweed found on the beach or along other bodies of water should be avoided.
Can I give my dog dried seaweed?
Dried seaweed products intended for dogs and when given in moderation are OK. However, you should not give your dog dried seaweed products meant for humans. Consult with your local veterinarian on which seaweed product would be best to give your dog.
What are the benefits of seaweed for dogs?
Seaweed products intended specifically for your pet can greatly benefit your dog’s immune system and keep its skin and coat healthy.