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Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

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Seaweed is a superfood, at least when it comes to human nutrition. If you enjoy the occasional seaweed snack or salad but have never shared your stash with your pup, you might be wondering, “Can dogs eat seaweed?”  

Well, you’re about to find out. We spoke with canine nutritionists to see if it’s safe to feed your dog seaweed. (Spoiler alert: it might even be a healthy choice for them!)

Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Yes, dogs can eat seaweed — in moderation, and with a few considerations. “Seaweed is wonderful for dogs as [it is] nutrient dense and highly digestible,” says Emily Lancaster, a holistic dog nutritionist. 

But while seaweed can be a beneficial treat for your dog, not just any seaweed is safe. “Typically, the same types of seaweed that are edible for humans are also edible for dogs,” explains Micaela Caltran, a canine nutritionist.

Lancaster adds, “Kelp, dulse, kombu, nori, wakame, and Irish moss are all safe seaweed varieties, however, if you are purchasing it from the supermarket, make sure to choose the unseasoned/unsalted options only.”

Can Dogs Have Seaweed Raw?

Raw seaweed, like that found on the beach, is never safe for your dog to eat. “Don’t allow your dog to eat wild seaweed at the beach, as this may contain critters, toxins and parasites. Moreover, long parts could cause bowel obstruction,” Caltran warns. If your dog consumes raw seaweed that has dried, there’s a risk it can expand in the stomach or intestinal tract and cause pain and blockages.

Can Dogs Eat Seaweed Sheets?

A seaweed sheet is seaweed (often nori) that has been pressed into a thin, paper-like substance. They are safe for dogs, as long as they don’t contain added salt, garlic, or other flavorings.

Can Puppies Eat Seaweed?

The same rules that apply to older dogs apply to younger pups: as long as a puppy is eating solid food, they can eat seaweed in moderation. It’s especially important to start slowly when giving your puppy seaweed for the first time, watching for any adverse reactions, like upset stomach.

Is Seaweed Good for Dogs?

As long as your dog is eating human-grade or pet-safe seaweed without added flavoring, seaweed can actually be good for your pet. “Safe-to-eat seaweed is so nutritionally rich that it is often referred to as a superfood. It’s packed with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and omega-3, as well as antioxidants, fiber, and prebiotics – which makes it a great addition to your dog’s diet,” says Caltran. Plus, some dogs will love the naturally salty flavor.

The benefits don’t stop there. Many of the perceived benefits of seaweed in human health may apply to dogs as well. “Seaweed is a nutrient powerhouse, which leads to more efficient metabolism, resulting in increased energy and immune system support,” adds Lancaster. She explains that seaweed can help remove toxic heavy metals, has anti-tumor properties, reduces blood pressure and benefits the cardiovascular system, and contains fiber to help prevent constipation and boost gut health. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Is Seaweed Bad for Dogs?

Though dogs and seawood can mix, and despite its health benefits, not all seaweed is good for dogs, and not all dogs should be fed seaweed. 

For starters, remember that wild seaweed (seaweed found on the beach or in the ocean) can actually be dangerous to dogs due to its unknown contents and potential to cause life-threatening intestinal blockages. You should never let your dog eat seaweed in the wild.

When purchasing store-bought seaweed, choose wisely. “​​Seaweed can contain toxic metals. It will mostly depend on the type of seaweed and where it’s harvested from. Ensure your sea veggies come from reliable sources that grow them in minimally polluted waters,” says Caltran.

And don’t forget, there should be no added flavors or oils; garlic and onion are common additions that are not safe for dogs. On the flip side, some seaweed does contain added sesame oil, which is safe for dogs in moderation. 

“I recommend avoiding seaweed if your dog has hypothyroidism or is on any thyroid medication or supplements,” says Lancaster. This is due to seaweed’s high iodine content, which can affect thyroid function, especially in dogs who already have thyroid disorders.

It’s also important to remember that while seaweed high in fiber content can be beneficial for some dogs, it can cause problems in others. “Seaweed is high in fiber, an indigestible kind of carbohydrate, that in dogs prone to digestive problems or with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, can lead to stomach upset,” says Caltran. If you notice stomach issues when you introduce your dog to seaweed, it may be a sign that seaweed isn’t a fit for them.

“Consult your veterinarian before adding any new food or supplement to your dog’s diet. It’s also important to monitor your dog’s reactions [and] the appearance of their stool, and look for any symptoms that may suggest discomfort,” says Caltran.

Tips for Feeding Seaweed to Dogs

If you decide to incorporate seaweed into your pet’s diet, start small so you can monitor how they react to it, and then only feed in moderation.

“Seaweed is very nutrient-dense, so feed only small amounts to your dog but regularly,” explains Caltran. “You can choose among many alternatives: fresh seaweed, rehydrated sheets, dried powder, dry flakes and sheets (preferably break them into small pieces or use a mixer to powder them). Whichever you choose, be sure it doesn’t have any added seasoning.

Lancaster explains that there are a few ways to feed seaweed to your dog: “Feed seaweed in dried form and sprinkle it over food regularly but in small amounts,” she recommends. “Crumble or cut into tiny pieces before feeding. You can also rehydrate it in a bit of water before feeding, add it to your bone broth recipe, or use it as training treats. I recommend 1/4 to 1 tsp per 20 lbs body weight.” 


  1. Foday Jr, E.H., Bo, B, Xu, X. (2021) “Removal of Toxic Heavy Metals from Contaminated Aqueous Solutions Using Seaweeds: A Review” Sustainability 13, no. 21: 12311.
  1. Magalhaes, KD, Costa, LS, Fidelis, GP, Oliveira, RM, Nobre, LTDB, Dantas-Santos, N, Camara, RBG, Albuquerque, IRL, Cordeiro, SL, Sabry, DA, et al. (2011) “Anticoagulant, Antioxidant and Antitumor Activities of Heterofucans from the Seaweed Dictyopteris delicatula.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 12(5):3352-3365.
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