Dulse or sea lettuce (also known as sea parsley) is an edible seaweed or sea vegetable native to the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Technically an algae, dulse is known to have been an important source of dietary fibre for well over a thousand years. And going back to pre-recorded history, has almost certainly been used as a food source for a great deal longer than that.
Sadly though, not much is known about dulse for dogs until relatively recently, championed by canine nutritionists like myself.
Nutrients in dulse
Fat and cholesterol free, dulse is high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. A good source of iron, it is also an excellent source of iodine, vitamin B6 and potassium. It also contains trace elements of magnesium, copper, zinc and manganese.
Benefits of dulse for dogs
Dulse can help maintain healthy thyroid function.
Feeding your dog dulse is easy. No preparation is required. Simply stir dulse flakes or powder into your dog’s home cooked food immediately prior to serving or apportioning or sprinkle on top of your dog’s meal before serving.
As a canine nutritionist, I can safely say that dulse makes a welcome occasional addition to any dog’s diet. Most particularly if you have chosen to feed your best friend meat-free, plant based, homemade dog food.
One of the longest ever-lived dogs, Bramble, a Border Collie from Dorset, lived to the age of 27 on a wholly plant-based diet so it’s perfectly possible!
The importance of variety
If you want to feed your dog a meat-free, plant-based diet, the wider the variety of protein sources the better. That’s why I’ve included dulse in my homemade dog food recipes for those who wish to feed their dog plant-based dog food.
Plant-based dog food guide
Especially for those who want to feed their dog a plant-based diet, I have written a complete Plant-Based Dog Food feeding guide. It’s a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to feed their dog a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet.
To that end, there is both a vegan and a vegetarian version to download.
As a canine nutritionist I personally favour a more traditional, meat-based diet for dogs. That said, I believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that a dog can live a long and happy life on a properly balanced plant-based homemade diet. Bramble’s story attests to that fact.
There is even further evidence that for some dogs, a vegan or vegetarian homemade diet may even offer some health benefits. These can include increased overall health, weight control, allergy reduction and the management of arthritis.
So while it may not be to everyone’s taste, for some dogs, plant-based diets appear to be here to stay. And all the while they are, dulse for dogs has to be on the menu!