Seaweed is an increasingly popular ingredient in recipes. A source of iodine, it contains antioxidants and is vitamin rich. Seaweed sheets also have a satisfying crunch and delicious natural flavor.
But is seaweed good for dogs? Can dogs eat seaweed sheets while you snack?
Can Dogs Have Seaweed?
In moderation, it is safe to share some types of seaweed with your dog. Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC, explains “dogs can eat processed sheets of seaweed or nori, as long as it does not contain added salt or garlic.”
If you want to share seaweed with your dog, make sure to read the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t have added seasonings. You can share these prepackaged seaweed sheets and other edible nori with your pet.
Is Seaweed Good for Dogs?
“Seaweed is nutritious and contains protein, iron, iodine, magnesium, and Omega-3s,” advises Dr. Klein. Iron is good for your dog’s red blood cell health, The Omega-3s in seaweed can support canine brain development, aid immune system health, and even alleviate arthritis symptoms by reducing inflammation in your dog’s body. Magnesium supports various immune and nerve systems.
Kelp is a term often used interchangeably with seaweed; however, these sea plants are indeed different species. Like seaweed, kelp is also safe for dogs to eat plain and in limited quantities. Because of seaweed and kelp’s positive health effects, they will appear in many supplements. Dr. Klein advises that these supplements are safe, so long as they don’t contain added garlic, onions, or similar seasonings. If you want to start introducing supplements into your dog’s diet, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first.
How to Feed Your Dog Seaweed
Only feed your dog seaweed if it’s plain, unseasoned, and in small amounts. Specifically, soy sauce has high salt content, which can be dangerous for your dog if eaten in concentrated amounts. You also shouldn’t feed your dog sushi made with raw fish, which can make your dog sick. Like any snack, too much seaweed can upset your dog’s stomach. Too much iodine, which is present in seaweed, can have an impact on your dog’s thyroid.
Avoid Wild Seaweed
Keep an eye out for your dog while at the beach so they don’t eat wild seaweed. This can contain excessive amounts of salt, which could put your dog at risk for salt toxicosis. In addition, Dr. Klein advises that the “long strands can become lodged in the intestines or even carry hidden animals or parasites.”
Wild seaweed that is dry can also expand in your dog’s stomach. Sometimes referred to as seaweed poisoning, this condition can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, and other symptoms of a bowel obstruction. If your dog does consume seaweed on the beach, consult a veterinarian right away.