Dog owners, especially those living close to ocean areas, often quite rightly exclaim: “I just caught my dog eating seaweed. Is it safe for he her to be eating it? Can dogs eat Seaweed?”
In this article will we examine the phenomenon of dogs eating seaweed, the reasons they eat it, if it is safe for them, and the top methods in keeping them from eating it.
The Top 2 Reasons Your Dog Might Eat Seaweed
1. Seaweed Is Generally Very High In Various Nutrients And Vitamins Such As:
- Omega 3-Fatty Acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Your dog might instinctively know their body lacks some nutrients, thus will eating some vegetation supply them what their body is craving or needing. The only problem here is, most dogs digestive systems can’t handle dried seaweed, thus might you notice your dog throwing up after a couple hours.
2. Your Dog’s Stomach Is Upset, And They Might Eat Seaweed To Help With Constipation
Most often dogs eat grass to help bowel movement, which indicates your dog might be constipated. If you notice your dog eats seaweed and/or grass, also start taking note of how often he poos and the consistency. If you notice your dog is not pooing regularly, might this just be the reason your dog is eating seaweed.
Can Dogs Eat Seaweed? Is it Considered Safe?
Ok, so we determined some dogs do indeed eat seaweed, and the reasons for it can vary. But is seaweed considered safe for consumption by dogs?
In Search of An Answer
There are various opinions out there, especially since green foods for dogs have been making such headway in the modern world. But as always, do we need to consider the natural digestive tract a dog was fitted with, and whether or not dogs are really adapted to eating ‘seafood,’ in this case seaweed.
Logically, it comes as no surprise that dogs have evolved with time, with omnivorous adaptations occurring. But after various studies, has been concluded dried seaweed can be downright hazardous for dogs.
It thus seems ‘green foods for dogs’ are just the newest fad. Dogs are adapted carnivores, with sharp teeth instead of flat ones (opposite from cows, goats and sheep), their digestive tract is also much shorter, lacking certain acids to process greens. Therefore, although dogs can eat small amounts of vegetation, they still need a primary protein based diet.
In short, no, dogs should not be eating dried seaweed. (If seaweed is still in its soft, wet form, well, that is another story, and studies have not yet been conclusive). But we recommend rather keeping your dog from eating seaweed.
Dry Seaweed Is Harmful To Dogs Because
- Dry Seaweed Expands – Dogs normally don’t have teeth adapted to chewing their food thoroughly, therefore they mostly swallow dry seaweed in chunks or pieces. Dry seaweed is shrunk from its original size when dry, which means once the seaweed gets in contact with fluids in the stomach, it expands and causes blockages that is often the death of 1 in 3 dogs that eat seaweed.
- Causes Mayor Blockages – Seaweed can get stuck in the stomach, small and large intestines of your dog. Mr Watson, featured in the below The Telegraph Article warns that this causes the blood supply to be cut off to the intestines. Many dogs later on experience their intestines rupturing. Medical treatment and operations are most often needed, which can be quite expensive.
Signs Your Dog Is Experiencing Side-Effects From Eating Seaweed
Most dogs show signs within a couple hours after eating seaweed. Look out for:
- General unwellness
- Stopping eating
2 Methods to Keep your Dog From Eating Seaweed
- Keep Your Dog Close to You and on a Leash
If the beach is littered with seaweed, rather keep your dog on a leash than having him or her round about by themselves. Dogs often think of seaweed as a stick, pick it up to play, taste it, and think it is a good snack to eat.
- Teach Your Dog Not to Eat Seaweed
Very much the same way you taught your dog not to sit on your couch, jump on you or steal the puppies food, you can teach your dog with short commands that seaweed is not good for him. Whenever your dog picks up seaweed, use strong commands such as: “No!” “Leave it!”
The question whether dogs can eat seaweed or not has been not conclusive. However, you should allow your dog try this "green grass" in small amounts because their digestive tract is not appropriate to process greens as sheeps. Moreover, remember to keep them away from dry seaweed.
Have you ever been in a situation where your dog ate seaweed? Did your dog experience any side effects or serious issues afterwards? We would love to hear about your experiences. Share your story with us on NolongerWild.com.