Are Seaweed & Kelp Nutritionally Good For Dogs?

Are Seaweed & Kelp Nutritionally Good For Dogs?
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Seaweed accounts for 10% of most Japanese diets, but are seaweeds and kelp any good for dogs? The short answer is yes. They embed over 70 minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and trace elements.

They have a proven positive effect on humans and pets, so it is time to get your dog started on this sea vegetable. There are some warnings we should let you know about though…

What Are The Differences Between Kelp, Seaweed & Algae?

Algae is the term used to define the entire large and diverse family of eukaryotic organisms, yet, there is no generally recognized definition of what Algae are. This group is so vast that the characteristics defining one member, such as Stoneworts, will be widely different from those defining another member, such as Seaweeds.

Seaweeds are the most complex and largest marine algae of all. It also has a broad meaning and is commonly used to describe any marine plant living underwater, near the bottom of the ocean. Consumed by hundreds of thousands of coastal people, especially in Asia, Central America, and Africa, seaweed is appearing on our plates a lot more than it used to, thanks to its vitamins and nutrients. Seaweeds vary in shape, form, and size, going from microscopic spots to immense underwater forests.

Kelp is the largest form of seaweed, usually found and cultivated as dense forests of kelp usually found 8m to 30m underwater. Kelp’s scientific name is Laminaria, it is a subgroup of Seaweeds, and it is mainly found and cultivated in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Kelp is currently the object of studies to get to know more of its nutritional and health properties, and the first results are showing that it is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and cancer-fighting properties.

Kelp Forest
Underwater photography of a kelp forest. (Credits: noaa.gov)

Should I Give Kelp Seaweed To My Dog?

As we’ve quickly mentioned above, kelp is an extremely nutritious and rich source of vitamins and minerals. In short, you should add kelp to your dog’s daily diet, and even to yours!

Benefits of Kelp Seaweeds to Dogs

Kelp Seaweed
Kelp that has been chopped!

Since kelp seaweed has high levels of fiber, it gives good benefits to your dogs when it comes to their overall digestive health. Besides this, it can help reduce tartar and plaque to sustain a healthy dental condition.

Kelp seaweed perks for dogs doesn’t end here because it has four major benefits.

Antioxidant-rich

One of the important factors in your dog’s overall immune system strength and heart health is antioxidants. Since kelp seaweed is rich in antioxidants, it can increase your dog’s well-being and decrease the risks of infections.

Allergy assistance

If your dogs have allergies to a specific food, kelp for dogs can serve as a great alternative nutrient. Any food with additional kelp seaweed can reduce any redness and dryness of your dog’s skin, it can also lessen inflammation.

Healthy digestion

Seaweed plays a huge role in supporting the digestive sensitivity of your dogs. Since it’s packed with fiber (which contains anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, and anti-tumor properties) and prebiotics, it serves as an aid to sustain good bacteria in your dog’s stomach.

Can You Use Kelp Seaweed as a Dog Supplement?

Since kelp is used to treat any swelling or itching, it’s often used as a dog supplement to reduce the discomfort feeling of skin allergies. In some studies, kelp seaweeds can also act as an effective repellent for dogs’ fleas and can be used as a replacement for harmful chemical flea treatments.

So yes, you can use kelp seaweeds as a dog supplement since it also contains iron, protein, magnesium, omega-3s, and iodine. But keep in mind your pets should not eat wild seaweeds on the beach because it may be polluted and can cause digestion problems.

Composition of Kelp Seaweed

Kelp Seaweed Powder
Kelp Powder: the color may vary!

Since kelp contains very high levels of iodine, a trace element, it facilitates the synthesis of the thyroid hormones, which will themselves help to keep your dog’s cells and the metabolic rate healthy. The iodine found in kelp and other seawater plants also helps at building a solid and healthy glandular system overall, including the pituitary and adrenal glands.

Kelp doesn’t limit its greatness to iodine. It is also a major source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and over 50 minerals and trace elements, 21 amino acids, simple and complex carbohydrates. Yes, all of that packed in what is perhaps the most underrated vegetable ever.

Kelp supplementation for dogs definitely makes a difference, but it is not magical, you must feed your dog a nutritious and balanced diet, whether you are feeding raw, home-cooked, or dry dog food. In very simple words: kelp will not fix a shit diet.

Why are Wild Seaweeds Dangerous to Dogs?

Since wild seaweeds from the beach can be contaminated, they can cause salt poisoning to your dogs. Besides this, there are instances where wild seaweeds may have jellyfish mixed with them, dead or alive, jellyfish may cause an allergic reaction to your dog if they accidentally eat one.

Another thing to avoid is dried seaweeds. If your dog ingested a dried seaweed that’s found on the beach, it can expand in your dog’s intestine and can cause a blockage that can result in a serious complication, or worse, death.

Once your dog eats wild seaweeds, make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately since wild seaweed poisoning can take effect within hours and can get worse if not treated. So if you’re planning to bring your dog to the beach, make sure that you’ll keep an eye on them to avoid unwanted incidents.

Symptoms of seaweed poisoning to dogs

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fatal dehydration

Different Forms of Kelp Seaweed

Kelps, since its popularization and democratization in our plates and dog’s bowls, has become more and more accessible. It is currently available pretty much everywhere, but the best value for money is to be found on Amazon and the likes.

Kelp is available as a supplement in various forms, including powder, tablet, gel, liquid, or capsule.

Powder

The most cost-effective and still very potent solution is to buy your kelp supplement as kelp powder. You can use this by simply sprinkling it over your dog’s food, and after a few days and weeks, you will notice improvements in many areas: less tartar, shiny coat, better stools, etc.

That’s only what you can see, a lot more is getting better inside your dog’s body: the digestive system will run smoothly, much fewer skin problems, and a better syncretization of the nutrients you feed your dog with every day.

Tablet or Capsule

Some owners choose kelp tablets to make sure that the measurements given are exact. But it has the same effect as other kelp supplements for dogs. It helps reduce stress, shedding, and helps with dry skin and allergies.

Gel

Kelp seaweed gels are the same as tablets but they are more soft and easy to swallow. If your dog is having a hard time taking tablets, you can use gel supplements. No worries, because it also has the same benefits as other forms of kelp supplements.

Liquid

Kelp’s most potent form according to nutritionists seems to be the liquid form, as it seems to be absorbed by our body very easily.
The dosage depends on your dog breed and current diet, check with your veterinarian to avoid too high doses and excessive iodine intake.

What Are The Best Kelp Supplements For Dogs?

Thanks to the dynamic of a Western World discovering and enjoying Asian healthy lifestyles, kelp seaweed comes with no shortage nowadays. But like with all products, there are ones better than others, pricier than others, and some with super value for money.

Here are our recommendations: the first one is the go-to if you have the budget, while the second one offers good value for money.

1. Life Line Organic Ocean Kelp Dog Supplement

The World’s finest quality kelp, ecologically and sustainably harvested from the pure, unpolluted, remote reaches of northern Iceland. Processed at low temperatures using geothermal heat. Certified 100% Organic by the USDA. it is available as 8-Ounce, 1.5-Pound, 5-Pound, 10-Pound, and 20-Pound pouches.

I bought this off the recommendation of an Akita website and so glad I did. Our dog loves the flavor and it adds so much to her diet that even the best food can’t provide. We are moving towards a more raw diet native to her so this is a great way to get started.

I even started my yorkie on it and her hair has never grown so quickly and she seems much happier as well! You only use a sprinkle so this bag will last ages! Excellent product, keeps my dogs’ coat incredibly shiny and soft and also keeps his teeth clear from tartar buildup.

A 5-star review on Amazon, and there are many many many more.

2. Dogzymes Certified Organic Norwegian Kelp Pet Supplement

This more affordable quality kelp supplement from Dogzymes is 100% natural and with no preservatives added. The kelp originates from Norwegian and Icelandic waters and should be used daily to supplement your dog’s diet.

My dogs have been on this supplement for about a month now, and their energy levels are all higher, and their coats are much, much shinier. I will definitely buy this again.

Bought this for my horses and dogs. They will eat it but not love it like crazy. HOWEVER it has not been a month yet and the horses’ teeth that were disgusting-looking are 50% cleaner already, and the dogs now receive compliments about how white their teeth are.

A couple of super Amazon reviews!

3. Raw Paws Organic Sea Kelp for Dogs 

This Icelandic sea kelp organic powder is a pet immune booster that can be used as a daily supplement for your dogs. This kelp for dogs naturally contains over 60 immune-boosting nutrients and is rich in iodine that supports thyroid health and metabolism – ideal for pets with hypothyroidism and autoimmune disease.

Raw Paws organic sea kelps are also vet recommended and contain zero artificial ingredients and preservatives. They also make sure that their kelps are harvested from the cleanest and richest waters, off the coast of Iceland.

4. Solid Gold SeaMeal Kelp-Based Supplement

The complete skin and coat kelp supplement have 60 trace minerals, 12 vitamins, 22 amino acids, and digestive enzymes that provide your dog with a solid and ultimate ratio for a healthy and soft coat.

Another benefit of this kelp for dogs is that it’s packed with natural digestive enzymes, zinc, selenium, iron, and magnesium that help pets with digestive issues. It simply increases the digestibility of their food and gives minerals that are essential for immune health.

This Solid Gold kelp supplement has a natural holistic formula that’s rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, omega-3, and seaweed that is totally safe for all pets, even puppies and kittens.

This pet kelp formula has the most powerful organic ingredients that are chosen for their safety, purity, and efficacy to make sure that your dog gets the whole food nutrition possible.

The Missing Link organic kelp provides iodine, iron, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that your dogs need. Each spoonful has a combined organic superfood, flaxseed, and organic kelp that supports the immune system and digestion.

It’s sustainably harvested from the icy waters of Nova Scotia and is safely manufactured in the United States.

6. Canine Caviar Supplement Sun Dried Kelp

Compared to other kelp supplements, the Canine Caviar sun-dried kelps are a better source of omega-3 and fatty acids. It also helps reduce tartar and helps you maintain your dogs’ teeth and gums.

Owners are very satisfied with this supplement since their dogs loved it and it’s very easy to use. You just sprinkle these supplements on your dog’s food and they’re ready to go. Also, it’s budget-friendly and an effective way to boost your dog’s immune system.

7. Wholistic Pet Organics Sea Kelp

This premium Iceland powder kelp for dogs is harvested and processed in Northwest Iceland and is certified organic by the QAI and TUN. It promotes healthy glandular activity for your dogs and prevents any thyroid problems.

The Wholistic Pet kelp supplement has great benefits for your dogs some of it includes improving skin and coat condition, flea and tick repelling properties, breaking down tartar, and preventing plaque buildup to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

It also has high amounts of amino acids for faster cell and tissue repair to help your dogs recover quicker from any injuries and help them heal scars completely.

8. NatureVet Kelp Help Powder

The NatureVet kelp supplement contains omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 which are considered health facts and important for your dog’s balanced diet. It also has essential minerals and vitamins to support your dog’s immune system.

This can also prevent dry or scaly skin and maintain a shiny coat. You can feed your dogs a double daily amount for the first two weeks.

Dog WeightDosage
Up to 19 lbs.½ teaspoon
20 to 39 lbs.1 teaspoon
40 to 79 lbs.2 teaspoon
80 to 99 lbs3 teaspoon
Over 100 lbs.4 teaspoon
NatureVet Kelp Help Powder Recommended Dose

9. Thomas Pet Sea Kelp

The Thomas Pet sea kelp supplement supports healthy skin and coat, cardiovascular function, immune system, tissue repair, healthy heart, normal thyroid function, and digestion health.

It’s certified Norwegian kelp, clean and pure that are harvested in the clean cast of Nova Scotia and Canada. Their kelps are processed under rigorous quality control standards to make sure that it’s safe for your dogs.

It also acts as prebiotics and delivers numerous vitamins and minerals including iodine and antioxidant properties.

10. Norwegian Ocean Kelp Supplement for Dogs

Norwegian Ocean kelp supplements are known for their high-quality manufactured Norwegian kelp that helps reduce stress and shedding. It’s ideal for dogs who experience skin problems since it can easily improve dry skins and other allergies.

It can also lessen the pain from arthritis and help restore pigmentation. You can mix this kelp supplement with water and mix it with your dog’s daily food.

  • 1 to 6 pounds – 1/2 scoop
  • 7 to 25 pounds – 1 level scoop
  • 30 to 70 pounds – 2 level scoops
  • 75 lbs. and over – 3 level scoops

For birds, mix 1/8 scoop dry Norwegian Kelp blend into food for your bird once every two days.

Kelp Supplements for Dogs: FAQ

We gathered the top frequently asked questions about the top kelp supplement for dogs, below are the best answers to your inquiries.

How to include kelp seaweed in your pet’s diet?


You can include kelp seaweed supplements to your dog’s meal to help them boost their immune system and overall health.

Kelp seaweed supplements can be sprinkled or mixed into your dog food, just make sure that you’ll put the proper amount of dose that’s suitable for your dog’s weight.

Can dogs eat kelp seaweed every day?


Yes, dogs can have kelp supplements or snacks every day. Since it’s a great source of protein, iron, magnesium, omega-3, and iodine it gives a lot of benefits to your dog’s health. Just make sure that there’s no garlic or onion mixed in it.

Does sea kelp help dogs’ teeth and remove plaque?


Because of the bacteria known as Bacillus licheniformis that’s found on the surface of kelp, it’s proven that sea kelps help maintain healthy teeth. Once your dog ingested sea kelps it releases an enzyme that prevents tartar buildup and removed plaque.

How much kelp seaweed can I give my dog?


Usually, for pets that weigh less than 30 pounds, it’s recommended to give ½ teaspoon while dogs over 90 pounds can have as much as 2 teaspoons of kelp.

Can kelp cause diarrhea in dogs?


Oversized doses of kelp can cause diarrhea in your dogs. That’s why it’s important to give them the appropriate amount of serving to prevent an upset stomach, watery eyes, and runny nose.

What is the dosage of dog kelp powder supplement?

As mentioned above, the dosage depends on your dog’s breed and current diet. But as a guideline, the maximum daily doses by size are 1/4 teaspoon for small dog breeds, 1/2 teaspoon for medium-sized breeds, and a teaspoon for large dogs.

As you can see from our article, Algae, Seaweed & Kelp are amazing supplements in your dog’s diet. Simply pick the right one, do not go for a cheap product as it will most likely have lost its properties during its processing. Your dog will thank you!

Featured image credited to BBC Earth.