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 proprieties, and the first results are showing that it is packed with nutrients, vitamins and cancer-fighting proprieties.
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 absolutely add kelp to your dog’s daily diet, and even to yours!
Since kelp contains very high levels of iodine, a trace element, it facilitates the synthesis of the thyroid hormones, who will themselves help to keep your dog’s cells and the metabolic rate healthy. The iodine found in kelp and other seawater plants also help 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 with 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.
What Forms Is Kelp Available As?
Kelps, since its popularisation 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 under various forms, including powder, tablet, gel, liquid or capsule. And obviously as natural raw kelp. 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. However, the most cost-effective and still very potent solution is to buy your kelp supplement as kelp powder.
You must give a little bit to your dog every day, by 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.
The dosage depends on your dog breed and current diet, check with your veterinarian to avoid too high doses and excessive iodine intake. 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. Seaweed from the US coastlines are not recommended because of the risk of industrial pollution: prefer deep ocean kelp or Norwegian kelp.
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.
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.
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!
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 proprieties during its processing. Your dog will thank you!
Featured image credited to BBC Earth.