Can Dogs Eat Seaweed? Yes! Here’s Why You Need It in Your Feed

by Tasco® on February 27, 2020 in Pets



When it comes to their canines, dog lovers will do anything to keep their fur babies healthy and wagging their tails for years to come. Regular exercise and vet visits contribute to the wellness and longevity of our four-legged friends, but a high-quality diet is foundational for any dog’s health. The challenge for pet food manufacturers is that adding heaping helpings of nutrients to premium dog food increases production expenses and raises the end cost to consumers.

The good news is that using nutrient-dense ingredients can curb costs without hurting the quality (or taste) of your pet food. Seaweed like Ascophyllum nodosum is a prime example. But can dogs eat seaweed? They sure can! Here are some of the key health benefits that make all-natural Ascophyllum nodosum a perfect fit for any dog food recipe.

Gastrointestinal Health

Study after study has demonstrated the importance of probiotics in human, dog and animal health. In fact, when probiotics thrive in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, organs ranging from the brain to the heart prosper as well. The probiotics in a healthy GI system require a steady supply of prebiotics, a bioactive compound that Ascophyllum nodosum has in abundance.

Powerful prebiotics such as alginate oligosaccharides (AOS), laminarin and fucoidan in products like our Tasco® supplements cultivate a healthy balance of helpful bacteria and microbes in a dog’s GI tract. Consuming a relatively small amount of seaweed in their food helps dogs improve their digestion, utilize nutrients more efficiently and resist infections.

Immune System

Dogs live their lives in a state of blissful ignorance, unaware (and definitely unconcerned) about how often they expose themselves to harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites. Though trying to prevent dogs from being dogs is a losing battle, pet owners can help fortify dogs’ immune systems depending on the ingredients they use in their dog food.

Ascophyllum nodosum in particular contains bioactive compounds that contribute to a fully functioning immune system. When dogs and other animals have access to complex polysaccharides such as fucoidan, they enhance their immune function and the efficiency of T-cells as they fight infection. Moreover, the antioxidants found in seaweed help to reduce inflammation, giving cells a fighting chance to ward off infection. All of this is achievable with a relatively small amount of Ascophyllum nodosum in their feed.

Oral Health

Just like humans, plaque and tartar build up can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease that leave dogs in pain, prompt tooth loss and negatively impact heart and lung health. The challenge is that most dogs aren’t all that cooperative when it comes to brushing their teeth. If the ingredients in your dog food recipe (or oral chews) aren’t contributing to dental health, then dogs won’t get the care they need outside of vet visits.

Some studies have shown that edible treats made with Ascophyllum nodosum help pet owners improve the overall dental health of their dogs. Over a 90 day treatment, plaque in treated dogs had lower plaque accumulation and better oral health index (OHI) and gingival bleeding index (GBI) rankings than dogs in the control group. All without the challenge of training dogs to sit still for daily cleanings.


You don’t need to break the bank making food that boosts the GI, immune, and oral health of dogs. Reach out to the Tasco® team and learn how to maintain your quality with higher margins.

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