What Are the Benefits of Kelp for Dogs?
Kelp is a recognized food supplement for humans. Now vets and advocates of an holistic approach to pet health recommend it for dogs and other animals
Most dog owners consider the best kind of dietary supplements for dogs are those containing the nutritional properties of beef and chicken, specifically protein, iron and zinc. However, many owners remain unaware of the astonishing benefits that Kelp provide for puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs simply because seaweed is not a food usually associated with a dog's diet and health. Kelp and suppliments containing Kelp are entirely safe to give to dogs regularly as a way to maintain sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health as they grow, mature and age.
This seaweed is rich in natural salts and minerals, and it has a number of benefits for your dog's health.
Kelp also supports many of your dog's other body functions. It cleanses the digestive system and keeps its juices balanced. Because it is high in iron it fortifies the blood, which then helps the heart to pump more efficiently. In older dogs especially it is recommended for strengthening the immune system, which can protect them from a range of diseases. Also, dogs on kelp supplements are thought to heal faster from surgery, because the amino acids in the seaweed support tissue repair. And it could help you and your dog to live longer. The Japanese have long maintained that eating seaweed is a source of their longevity.
Thyroid, Adrenal and Pituitary Glands
Kelp is known for being iodine-rich. Thyroid problems are often associated with an iodine deficiency, and kelp as a natural source of iodine is a long-standing medical treatment for people with thyroid problems. The rich mix of iodine and other minerals in kelp makes it an ideal supplement to keep your pup's entire glandular system, particularly the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, in healthy working order. This in turn ensures your dog's metabolism works efficiently, which is an important element in maintaining a healthy weight. If your pet has hypothyroidism, where the thyroid function slows down, kelp is recommended as a supplement to the standard thyroxine treatment usually prescribed by vets.
Seaweed has been used traditionally for pigmentation of the coat and indeed for keeping a dog’s nose the correct colour, although to our knowledge no scientific proof can also help strengthen the dogs’ claws. A good source of Iodine seaweed stimulates thyroid activity so as in many cases that exist currently can help with an underactive thyroid.
Allergies and Fleas
Anything which helps flea control is good news for dog owners. Diane Stein, in her book "The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats," says after three weeks of kelp supplementation there is a noticeable reduction in fleas on animals who have an infestation. This suggests that kelp repulses fleas and that using the supplement regularly is a useful addition to chemical flea treatments. Kelp also reduces itchiness in those dogs with skin allergies and improves the overall condition of your dog's skin and coat.
9 out of 10 dogs have gum disease by three years of age and 9 out of 10 dogs are dry fed. And we’re supposed to believe it’s nothing to do with diet?! Of course it is, as it is with us. Eat right and brush, that’s what they tell us. Here we take at the different options to help keep your dogs teeth clean with a bit of abrasive action.
Dog’s lack active amylase in their saliva which means, unlike us, they cannot digest and clear carbohydrates (sugar) from their mouth’s properly. This enables it to remain in the mouth fuelling bacterial growth. Dry fed dogs today are eating 50% carbs which is essentially 50% sugar. Couple this with the fact that their new pebble-like diet offers no abrasion or chewing action to the dog. Their teeth never get a brushing. We know chewing cleans their teeth. In one study, increasing the diameter of kibble by 50% led to a 42% reduction in tartar.Kelp s have an amazing ability to keep teeth clean, this is due to the anti-microbial properties in them softening existing plaque and helping stop plaque forming. They can also help reduce gingival inflammation due to the anti-inflammatory properties
In her book "The Pet Lover's Guide to Natural Healing for Cats and Dogs," Barbara Fougere warns that levels of iodine in kelp are not always consistent. Too much iodine can give your dog iodine toxicity with symptoms such as watery eyes and nose, stomach upsets and lethargy. She says that kelp must be given in measured doses and not freely added to your dog's food. The dosage should be according to your dog's size. Maximum daily doses by size are 1/4 teaspoon for small dogs, 1/2 teaspoon for medium-sized dogs and 1 teaspoon for large dogs. Avoid kelp harvested along the U.S. coastline as it probably contaminated with industrial pollutants
What are the benefits of Kelp for Dogs?
Dogs receive numerous minerals from Kelp that are important for healthy growth such as:
Additional vitamins and nutrients found in Kelp include:
Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B12