I recently met up with my long friend Jared, a Japanese culture enthusiast. As we chatted, Jared suggested a vegetarian baked potato and seaweed mayonnaise recipe to me. Since I am a staunch vegetarian, I took his advice, prepared the dish, and as I sat down to enjoy the meal, I felt a nudge on my ankle.
As I look down, I see my three-year-old German shepherd; Lucy, looking at me with wide wet eyes, and I immediately know what she wants. Although I don’t particularly appreciate feeding her my food, I also don’t do well with intense staring sessions. Since I already know all the other ingredients are safe for her, I wonder, should I give my dog some seaweed?
And can dogs eat seaweed?
Seaweed is safe for canines in moderation as it contains iodine, proteins, high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and magnesium. However, you should ensure that the seaweed doesn’t have any seasoning or spices harmful to dogs, such as garlic, onions, or additional salt. Additionally, all seaweed varieties are safe for dogs.
Occasionally feeding your dog seaweed can offer several health benefits such as better cognitive function, improved hemoglobin formation, and better energy production.
Nonetheless, these health benefits associated with seaweed can come with some risks for your dog.
So, Why can seaweed be harmful to dogs?
When you frequently give seaweed snacks to your dog, they may develop a taste for this seafood cuisine. This process increases your dog’s risk of consuming wild seaweed when you’re visiting the beach. Wild seaweed tends to absorb water via osmosis when your canine consumes it, resulting in indigestion issues such as blockages. Additionally, wild seaweed can contain numerous pollutants and tiny dangerous critters such as jellyfishes which can cause an adverse allergic reaction when your canine consumes them.
Some of the symptoms associated with wild seaweed consumption include; sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. When your canine excessively consumes commercially sold seaweed, you may also notice similar manifestations.
So, how can you safely feed seaweed to dogs?
According to vets, sprinkling a tiny amount of seaweed supplement is the safest way of introducing seaweed to your canine’s diet. Although seaweed may have a salty taste, it surprisingly has low sodium levels, meaning it’s relatively safe for your furry companion.
When introducing seaweed to your dog’s diet, it would be best to monitor the reaction to this dietary change. Start by observing energy levels, their overall behavior, and stool appearance. Ensure you avoid adding any spices or seasoning that can be detrimental to your dog’s health. Additionally, consult your dog’s vet and try to identify better ways to supplement your canine’s diet.
Can your dog consume Kelp or nori? These two different-looking varieties are seaweeds and are safe for dogs. Nori and Kelp make good dog supplements, but you should avoid Kelp that grows naturally near the coastline.
You might also wonder, how much seaweed should I feed my dog?
Ideally, it would help if you keep your canine’s seaweed consumption at a minimum level. You can provide your furry friend with about ¼ teaspoon per day, and small dogs should consume only half of this amount.
What foods can serve as seaweed alternatives for dogs? Instead of feeding your dog seaweed from your table, kindly consider procuring seaweed supplements such as a Kelp supplement for dogs. This kelp supplement is typically in a powder form which you can sprinkle onto your canine’s food. This way, your dog can safely consume seaweed and enjoy its nutritional benefits.
Also, you might wonder, can dogs be allergic to seaweed?
And what can you do if your susceptible canine consumes seaweed? Some dogs can develop seaweed allergies, and it’s always advisable to discontinue the seaweed diet and supplements once you notice the allergic reaction.
Seaweed allergies in dogs result in respiratory issues, skin and ear infections, itchy skin, and inflamed red bumps. If you suspect your canine is suffering a seaweed-related allergic reaction, kindly rush to a Vet who will diagnose and treat the allergy.
Can diabetic dogs eat Seaweed?
Recent scientific studies indicate that seaweed may benefit dogs suffering from heart ailments and diabetes. Seaweed’s high mineral content and immune enhancers are helpful to dogs suffering from diabetes. So can dogs eat seaweed? In short, they can, but it is always best to consult your veterinarian and only provide the seaweed in tiny quantities or supplement form.