Can Dogs Eat Seaweed? How To Safely Feed Your Dog Seaweed


Last Updated: April 25, 2024 | 6 min read | Leave a Comment

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Boxer dog smiling on the beach surrounded with seaweed.

Humans love seaweed, from salads and sushi to soup and supplement powder. It comes in many forms and contains a variety of nutritional benefits. If seaweed is commonplace in your diet, you might wonder if your dog can eat it. Yes, dogs can eat some types of seaweed in small amounts. But there are also some types of seaweed they cannot eat, so I’ll give you the facts and risks before you put it in their bowl.

What Is Seaweed?

Two dogs on the beach with seaweed.
My dogs Bonkers & Chips at the beach.

Kelp is often used interchangeably with seaweed, but they aren’t the same. Seaweed is a general term that encompasses around 12,000 species of marine plants, and kelp is a specific species. Incorporating seaweed into your diet can bring many health benefits, which is why more people are starting to eat it. 

Seaweed is edible fresh, and I think it is delicious in salads, as it adds a crunchy, nutty taste. However, it is also processed into powders to make it easier to add to recipes and because many people don’t like it in its original form. Nori is another popular form of edible seaweed that comes in dried sheets. These sheets are used to make sushi and are tasty as a snack on their own. You can buy nori in most grocery stores. 

Is Seaweed Good For Dogs?

Seaweed is nutritious for humans, just like other vegetables and plants, and your dog can enjoy some of these benefits, too. Seaweed contains protein, iodine, iron, magnesium, healthy fats, and more nutritional components. It also contains antioxidants, and research shows that some types of seaweed, such as kelp, contain cancer-fighting agents. Research is also looking into its positive effect on the cardiac system. Seaweed is very low in calories and a great source of fiber. It can soothe the digestive system and help boost immunity.

Now that you know that dogs can eat seaweed and nori, do they usually like them? Of course, all dogs are different, but the consensus is that most do. Watch this short video of two dogs trying seaweed for the first time.

How To Feed Your Dog Seaweed

Can dogs eat seaweed snacks? As more people incorporate seaweed into their diets, many dog owners wonder if their dogs can eat seaweed snacks. Seaweed products like nori are suitable for dogs but should only be given to them in moderation. The American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, states that “dogs can eat processed sheets of seaweed or nori, as long as it does not contain added salt or garlic.” 

If your seaweed snacks are plain, your dog can share a small amount with you. Avoid giving it to your dog if the snack contains any type of seasoning, such as salt, garlic, chili, soy sauce, or sesame oil. Nori is okay to give your pup, but do not offer your dog sushi wrapped in nori. Not only does sushi contain seasoning, but it often contains raw fish, which is dangerous to canines. You can also purchase seaweed supplements to add to your dog’s diet. Thanks to their nutritional benefits, more dog owners are turning to seaweed supplements to boost their dog’s health.

Supplements – Consult Your Vet First

Like any nutritional supplement, if you want to introduce seaweed supplements to your dog’s diet, you should consult your vet first. Although seaweed supplements have many benefits, they aren’t suitable for every dog.

When Is Seaweed Bad For Dogs?

As with most things, seaweed should only be given to your pooch in small amounts. Seaweed contains high levels of iodine, which is great in small quantities. But if they consume too much, research shows there could be a link to thyroid problems and certain types of cancer. Thankfully, a few nibbles of nori shouldn’t lead to health problems.

In its natural form, seaweed is not safe for dogs to eat. So, if you’re a regular beach walker like me, you must watch what your pup eats on the coast. Wild seaweed contains lots of salt, putting your dog at risk of salt toxicity. It can also contain parasites and hidden animals, such as jellyfish. And it can pose a choking hazard and become lodged in their intestines or bowel. If your dog consumes seaweed when it is dry, it can expand in your dog’s stomach, which can cause an obstruction. 

If your dog consumes wild seaweed, you must monitor them for signs of sickness and consult your vet. Even though store-bought seaweed snacks are safe for dogs when given in moderation, eating wild seaweed could cause serious problems. Pet insurance can reduce the financial burden so you can focus on your dog’s health in an emergency. We’ve written about the best pet insurance companies and share our personal experience with many of them.

Best Seaweed Supplements For Dogs

Many seaweed products are available for your pet, but not all are equal. Plus, the best supplement depends on your dog’s needs. After researching the market, here are a few of the best seaweed supplements that other dog owners rate highly. 

Solid Gold SeaMeal Powder Review

Solid Gold SeaMeal Powder

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Solid Gold is a trusted American brand, and this product is a powder supplement to add to your dog’s meals. SeaMeal contains dried seaweed meal, flaxseed, and other fermented ingredients rich in nutrients. This supplement aims to support skin and coat health, and users comment that their dog’s fur has visibly improved. It aims to help their digestive health and immunity. It is made in the USA with USA-sourced seaweed. This product is gluten and grain-free and suitable for all life stages.

Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium Supplement Review

Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium Supplement

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This product contains 100% human-grade dehydrated seaweed meal, and the powder is easy to mix into dogs’ meals. The naturally calcified seaweed is harvested from waters in Iceland, which have some of the clearest seabeds in the world. This product is suitable for dogs of all ages, including puppies, and is made in the USA. Each batch is laboratory-tested for safety and purity. Reviewers mention that their fussy dogs seem to love it in their meals.

Dog Greens Seaweed Calcium For Pets Review

Dog Greens Seaweed Calcium For Pets

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This powder supplement contains 100% wild-harvested seaweed from Iceland. It is human-grade and provides calcium, magnesium, and 72 trace marine minerals to support dogs’ health. It has also been laboratory-tested for metals, impurities, and allergens. Mix this concentrated supplement with your dog’s meals, and it is suitable for dogs of all ages. Owners who give this to their pups state that it is easy to blend into their meals and doesn’t have a fishy odor like some marine supplements have.

Considerations When Choosing A Seaweed Supplement

You need to think about a few things when looking for a seaweed supplement for your pup.

  1. Always choose a supplement designed for dogs. Never give them a supplement intended for humans.
  2. Choose a product that uses seaweed from Canada, Iceland, Norway, or similar countries with clean ocean water.
  3. Look at the ingredient list, and consider your pet’s other dietary needs, such as allergies.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know some of our readers still have questions about seaweed and whether it is suitable for dogs. If you don’t see your question below, let us know in the comments, and we’ll find out. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Seaweed For Dogs?

Seaweed, in small amounts, provides numerous health benefits for Fido. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, supporting a dog’s immune system, gastrointestinal tract, coat and skin health, and more. Research shows it also has antioxidative benefits that can fight against cancer. 

Can Dogs Have Seaweed With Sesame Oil?

Although sesame oil is not toxic to dogs, you should avoid giving them seaweed with sesame oil. Not only are oils harder for dogs to process and can cause stomach upset, but they also contain higher fat levels. Dogs who eat too much fat are at risk of becoming obese, which can lead to secondary health problems.

Can Dogs Eat Roasted Seaweed?

Dogs can eat roasted seaweed as long as it does not contain seasonings, such as salt or garlic. Dogs can also eat dried seaweed and any other plain seaweed snack. Always read the ingredients list before giving it to Fido to make sure it doesn’t contain a toxic ingredient. Sometimes, snacks look like they don’t have seasoning, but when you inspect the ingredient list more closely, you realize they do.

What Are The Signs Of Seaweed Poisoning?

Signs of seaweed poisoning include lethargy, behavioral changes, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of the neck. If you suspect your dog has eaten seaweed on the beach or observe any of these symptoms after visiting the beach, you must seek immediate medical attention. 

Other Foods To Keep Your Dog Healthy

If you’re researching ways to improve your dog’s health, head to our kelp advice, where you can learn how to add kelp to your dog’s diet and a selection of recommended kelp products. We also have a comprehensive guide to the best vitamins and mineral supplements to boost your pup’s health.

Does your dog like to eat seaweed? Or have they had the unfortunate experience of seaweed poisoning? Let us know your experiences with seaweed in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Emma is a mom to two rescue dogs, Bonkers and Chips. They live on the coast of England and walk on the beach most days. She has also worked as a professional dog walker and sitter for many years and has a wealth of knowledge on dog health. Emma works with a skilled and experienced team of dog lovers to bring her readers the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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