Bowl of seaweed salad

Can Dogs Eat Seaweed? Yes, But…

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Seaweed is a nutritionally dense and tasty snack for people, but you might be surprised if your dog is interested in trying it (and other foods) too. Before you hand it  over, you’ve likely asked yourself, “Is seaweed bad for dogs?”

Seaweed comes in many forms, including supplements or dried into snack-sized pieces. Often, seaweed is safe for dogs to try, but it’s essential to do some research to find out if your dog can eat seaweed.

Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Yes, but try to choose a brand with no seasoning as seasoning for human foods can often cause an upset stomach for dogs.

Seaweed is a vegetable that grows in the sea. It’s an important food source for humans and the many creatures that inhabit the deep, and it’s no wonder. Seaweed has many nutritional benefits that are great for you and your dog.

Fortunately, it’s not toxic to your canine, and its many vitamins and minerals can help add balance to your dog’s diet. Packed with nutrients like iron and iodine, this snack is excellent for helping support healthy cells. It’s also high in fiber, vital for your dog’s digestive system.

Rich in plant-based proteins, seaweed can be an excellent alternative to animal-based proteins if you want to give your dog a low-calorie treat.

Are There Safety Concerns Feeding My Dog Seaweed?

Although seaweed is safe for dogs to eat, there are a few things to consider before giving them some. As always, talk to your vet before offering your dog any new foods to ensure that it won’t interact with any conditions or medications they may be on.

Commercially packaged seaweed will not typically contain anything toxic to your dog, but it is best to choose a brand with no seasoning. Common seasonings like salt and garlic are not suitable for your dog, and you risk upsetting their stomach.

You should also be aware that dogs that develop a taste for seaweed may become interested in it at the beach. Wild seaweed is not safe for dogs to eat. If it is dry and your dog eats it, it could expand in the stomach and create a blockage.

Not to mention, wild seaweed has a high chance of carrying pollutants that could threaten your dog’s health.

How Much Seaweed Can I Feed My Dog?

Seaweed is best served in moderation. Your dog may not be interested in seaweed, but because it is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, it might be worth seeing if your dog will take it with food.

Fortunately, seaweed is a nutritionally dense superfood, and you don’t need much to reap the benefits.

How to Prepare Seaweed for Your Dog

If you want to offer your dog some of your dry seaweed snacks, make sure it is unseasoned, and then you are welcome to see if they will take a piece. This low-maintenance snack is easy to share with your canine.

If they are not interested in dry seaweed, seaweed supplements are easy to sprinkle onto their food. They likely won’t notice or taste it in this form, and they will still get the nutritional benefits of this vegetable.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Seaweed is an excellent snack for humans and dogs alike. Always talk to your vet before introducing new foods to your dog, but if you want to share your seaweed with your four-legged friend, it should be safe to do so.

If you’re not sure what other foods are and aren’t safe for your pet, we have a list of foods dogs cannot eat If you’re looking for more information about which human foods are (and aren’t) safe for your dog to eat, check out our series of guides below:

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Can Dogs Eat Beans? Can Dogs Eat Celery? Can Dogs Eat Mangoes? Can Dogs Eat Plums? Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Can Dogs Eat Beets? Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Can Dogs Eat Pork? Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Fish? Can Dogs Eat Olives? Can Dogs Eat Radishes? Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Can Dogs Eat Peaches? Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Can Dogs Eat Ham? Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Can Dogs Eat Honey? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Obviously, you’re likely also interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s health, in addition to having questions about what your dog can and can’t eat. We happen to have a ton of resources on these very topics!

One is our guide which will teach you about adding fiber to a dog’s diet, along with or our guide to choosing the best high fiber dog foods. If you’re looking into treating your dog with upset stomach we have a guide for that as well, and we can even help answer how long does it take for dogs to digest food?. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best automatic dog feeder.

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our puppy size calculator and our dog weight chart can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight and size, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts such as our goldendoodle growth chart, great dane growth chart, golden retriever growth chart, chihuahua growth chart, or our labrador growth chart.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.