Health benefits of seaweed
Seaweed is often called a super food, and for good reason. Health benefits of seaweed are countless: high in omega-3 fatty acids, seaweed also contains such nutrients and minerals as iodine, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A C E which are all vital to your dog’s health. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with arthritis in dogs, as well as the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Seaweeds also have antifungal properties and can be beneficial for dogs with skin allergies or yeast infections.
The most common edible seaweeds include:
- Irish moss
All of these sound yummy and can be a fantastic addition to a human diet. However, not all of them can be enjoyed by dogs. Keep reading if you wish to find out more about which ones are safe for your pup!
Dogs love seaweed, but not all seaweeds love dogs
Different types of seaweed have different effects on canines. Let’s briefly discuss the nutritional values and possible toxic components of each of them.
For example, brown seaweed can have anti-inflammatory effects that can help with arthritis in dogs. It can also help to reduce inflammation in a dog’s digestive tract and has been shown to improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Nori is a kind of seaweed that is commonly used in human cuisine, particularly sushi. It can be a good option for dogs because it is low in iodine and does not contain any toxins. Nori can be found at most health food stores, and can be fed to your dog as either a dried or fresh sheet.
It’s rich in iodine, so it can help prevent thyroid problems like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. However, some types of kelp, for example hijiki, can contain arsenic and other toxins that can cause vomiting or diarrhea if ingested by your dog.
Wakame seaweed is another type of seaweed that you can give your dog. It has a high concentration of fucoxanthin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in humans and may be helpful for dogs with certain types of arthritis or other inflammatory conditions. This seaweed also contains calcium and iron that are beneficial for bone health and preventing anemia.
Irish moss seaweed is rich in vitamins A, B-12 and C. It can be helpful for dogs with digestive issues like nausea or vomiting because it has antiemetic properties that help relieve these symptoms. Your dog may also benefit from seaweed’s antibacterial qualities when they have an infection (particularly during pregnancy).
Dulse seaweed is particularly high in potassium. This can be helpful for dogs with heart problems or those who are on a low-sodium diet. It also contains magnesium, which is beneficial for muscle and nerve function.
Keep in mind to never let your dog chew on wild seaweed that just floats about in the water or at the beach! The sun dries out the seaweeds, causing them to shrink. They then act like a sponge in your dog’s stomach after ingesting, causing blockages that could prove fatal. Besides, beach seaweed could have absorbed critters and pollutants that your dog should better stay away from.
Keep these in mind before giving your dog seaweed
Can dogs eat seaweed? Yes, but you need to make sure that your dog is not allergic to seaweed before feeding them any type of algae. Also, dogs that have thyroid issues or other health problems should not eat seaweed without consulting a specialist first.
How to add seaweed to your dog’s diet
By this point, you’re probably no longer asking yourself “can dogs eat seaweeds?” but rather how you can incorporate seaweed into your dog’s diet. There are several ways in which you can safely let your best friend enjoy this sea vegetable.
- One way to do it is by adding a small amount of dry seaweed to their regular food.
- Many pharmaceutical companies offer a wide range of seaweed supplements in the form of powder. Ask your vet for the best supplement for your dog.
- You can also mix it into their water bowl. If your dog is not used to eating seaweed, start by giving them a small amount and gradually increase the quantity over time.
Time to decide: can dogs eat seaweeds?
Yes, dogs can eat seaweeds! They can even benefit from them, but it is crucial to stick to dog-friendly seaweed like nori or wakame, while staying away from wild seaweed and kelp. It is important to talk with your veterinarian about which types of seaweeds may work best for your dog’s specific needs, and only feed your dog seaweeds that have been approved by him or her.
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