What is Kelp and How Can it Help My Dog?
Breaking news for those of you that believe your dog should live on meat and meat alone:
There is a new ingredient that might make you question this theory. A relatively new ingredient in dog food and treats is kelp. Kelp is a type of seaweed used by Asian cultures for many years, only recently moving its way into the western world’s kitchens and now, dog bowls. Although kelp is considered to be a type of vegetable, it does not require cellulose to complete the growing process. This is the main difference between kelp and other greens. The cellulose in green vegetables is what makes these foods hard for your dog to digest. Kelp, on the other hand, is not only easy to digest, but is also considered a superfood for both humans and dogs because it is rich in healthy nutrients. There are many benefits to including kelp in the nutrition plan for your dog.
Kelp has high amounts of the following:
Do you see why nutritionists call kelp a superfood? Here are just a couple of the benefits of feeding kelp to your dog.
Skin and Coat
Feeding kelp is a natural way to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat for your dog. It also can relieve your dog’s dry, itchy skin and can even help with hair loss. If your dog has skin allergies, kelp is a great way to naturally soothe irritated skin. Most dogs have some type of deficiency in their diet and because they are unable to talk to you and tell you what is wrong, you have to pay attention to the signs your dog is giving you. Because of a dog’s thick coat, it can be hard to treat a dog’s itchy skin topically. Also, if your dog’s condition is caused by internal deficiencies, treating this condition topically will only mask the symptoms and give temporary relief. Kelp can give your dog’s nutrition a blanket of nutrients that they might otherwise be lacking.
As mentioned before, kelp is extremely rich in iodine, which just happens to help stimulate the thyroid gland. If your dog suffers from thyroid issues, symptoms can include hair loss, aggressive behavior, weight gain, and more. If you are concerned that your dog might be suffering from hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland is not keeping up with your dog’s system), please see your veterinarian immediately, as this condition can progressively become worse.
Cancer researchers today have found that kelp can be used as both a preventative and treatment for cancer in animals and humans. In some cases, the ingredients in kelp have helped to boost the immune system and (in layman’s terms) help the body to distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells and kill cancerous cells in a short amount of time. Studies done in Japan have concluded that the compound, fucoidan, found in kelp was successful in at least 75% of cases at eliminating cancers or reducing tumor size by at least 50%.
While kelp alone does necessarily not work in all cases, the side effects to treating cancer with kelp are minimal, so it might just be worth a try.
Kelp is a natural ingredient that can be added to your dog’s diet, providing many vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your dog might be lacking in their normal food.
Something to remember while changing your dog’s diet is that sometimes these benefits take time to show results. Like any supplement or addition to your dog’s diet, it can sometimes take months of feeding before you see real change. As always, remember to consult your veterinarian when changing your dog’s nutritional plan.