You can safely feed seaweed to your dog, and seaweed may even give them essential vitamins and minerals that can contribute to healthy skin, a shiny coat, and gut health.
We’ve done some of the research for you, to let you know what foods are safe for your dog. In this article, we’ll be focusing on seaweed. Is this a safe option for your pet? Should you be feeding seaweed to your furry friend?
Although the simple answer is yes, there’s a difference in the kind of seaweed you feed your dog. There are many different kinds of seaweed and even several that fall into the category of edible seaweed.
Most seaweed that is safe for humans to eat is also safe for dogs, so we won’t get into the specific types for this article.
However, for this article we will look at seaweed that’s used as an edible snack for humans, seaweed supplements, and the kind of seaweed you might find at the beach.
These are not all the same, and not all safe for dogs to eat. We’ll break it all down for you in the following sections.
Seaweed for Humans
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Medical News Today says that seaweed is an incredibly nutritious treat for humans. It’s rich in vitamins C, B, A, and E and offers fiber and protein. Seaweed is good for gut health and diabetes, and it may reduce your risk of heart problems.
In my opinion, it also tastes delicious!
So, whether you’re getting your seaweed fix from sushi, seaweed salad, soup, or dried seaweed snacks, you’re definitely doing your body a favor.
However, should you be sharing these snacks with your dog?
We don’t know if seaweed gives dogs these same health benefits, though many studies have shown that they most likely provide lots of health benefits. We do know that commercial seaweed won’t hurt dogs and can be good for them.
That being said, you need to be careful about what else is on the seaweed. For example, you shouldn’t feed your pup an entire sushi roll since it may contain ingredients like wasabi or avocado which are bad for dogs.
You also need to be very careful that you aren’t giving your dog seasoned seaweed snacks. Dried seaweed can be a perfect treat for dogs, but only if it’s unseasoned. Things like garlic and salt can both be harmful to dogs.
In general, if you want to feed seaweed to your dog, it’s best to buy some dried seaweed specifically for that purpose, rather than providing your pup bits of your snack or lunch.
This brings me to my next point, which is seaweed supplements. Some people opt to give their dogs pills or powdered seaweed so that their four-legged family can get those essential vitamins and minerals that seaweed has to offer.
As long as you are moderating the amounts of seaweed given, this can be a great idea!
Before giving your dog seaweed supplements, or any supplements for that matter, consult with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to make sure your pup is getting a well-balanced meal with all the nutrients they need.
You should also be aware that many commercial dog food brands already use seaweed to balance their meals. Check the ingredient list of your puppy’s food and see if seaweed, such as kelp or nori, is already included.
Because seaweed is an easy way to boost the amount of protein and fiber your dog gets, it’s a common ingredient.
If seaweed is already in your dog food, you don’t want to double up and give too many supplements, which will throw off the balance of your pup’s diet.
One problem with feeding your pup seaweed snacks or supplements is that they might develop a taste for seaweed. If you live in a city or countryside, this isn’t going to be a problem.
However, if you live near the beach or other body of water or travel to the beach often, this can be dangerous.
Dogs should never eat wild seaweed found off the ground.
Seaweed found in nature is often somewhat dehydrated from laying on the sand under the hot sun. However, when a dog eats this seaweed, it will expand from the moisture in the animal’s stomach.
This can be incredibly serious, as it can cause blockages and bloating that will need to be attended to by a vet as soon as possible.
As if that isn’t bad enough, wild seaweed can also contain bugs, parasites, and other critters that are bad news for your dog.
Your dog will need to learn that even if it smells and tastes similar, wild seaweed is not the same as the seaweed you feed them at home and your dog should not eat it.
Other ways to mix up your dog’s diet
As tempting as it can be to feed your dog all your favorite snacks, this isn’t the healthiest option for them. Instead, you should create a balanced diet for them that includes the nutrients they need and leaves out harmful ingredients.
Besides seaweed, some healthy ways to get your dog more vitamins are kale, sweet potato, and even blueberries. Fed to your dog in moderation and without any seasonings, these foods can give your dog a safe but tasty treat.
Even though it may feel cruel to eat that sushi in front of your dog without sharing, we promise you’ll both be happier down the road if you instead give your dog carefully portioned seaweed snacks.
Your dog is part of the family, but they aren’t a human and shouldn’t eat the same things.
Make sure to continue to check back here to find out information about other foods your dog should and shouldn’t eat.