Kelp is an underwater seaweed which is considered a superfood as it is loaded with essential nutrients like salt, iodine, proteins, etc.

Kelp’s scientific name is Laminaria and is a subgroup of seaweeds.

Kelp is used as a delicacy around the globe and is also used in cosmetics because of its high protein content. Seaweeds are 25% protein and 2% fat.

They are one of the richest plant sources of amino acids and minerals. This brown marine plant is rich in Vitamin A, B, E, D, and K.

How is Kelp Beneficial for Dogs?

Dog parents usually stick to grain and meat products to be fed to the dog as they are cost-effective and healthy as well (except grain, it is not always healthy).

Meat does benefit your dog, but sometimes certain supplements have to be added to increase

Dogs are unique in many ways; firstly, their unconditional love for us and second, their immune system. Dogs have wolves as their ancestors and hence have acquired some traits from them like being able to survive in the wild.

In such cases, they are resistant to various kinds of infections and diseases.

1. Kelp Improves Immunity of Pets

Dogs, after being domesticated as pets, gradually became prone to certain diseases and infection, being less exposed to the harsh outer environment.

It is therefore important for pet parents to look for ways to keep the immune walls up high. One of the healthiest ways to do it is with the help of Kelp. [1]

Kelp has sodium alginate which has an immunomodulatory effect [2]. It enhances the immune system and helps in the defense against various pathogens and diseases.

Many holistic-minded veterinarians recommend kelp as an important part of your dog’s diet.

What does this Mean? Kelp can strengthen and regulate immune responses which helps protect your pets from any infections or disorders.

2. It is a Rich Source of Iodine

Kelp is the richest source of iodine. Iodine is a mineral which is important for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism.

Iodine deficiency causes a condition called hypothyroidism which leads to weight gain and dry, rough skin in dogs.

Iodine deprived body can show signs of a nervous breakdown and developmental disabilities.

Dogs are more prone to developing hypothyroidism as they have no or low salt intake depending on the food given to them.

Kelp is an important supplement in such cases as it leads to a healthy balance of salt in the body.

Iodine content in kelp also keeps pituitary and adrenal gland healthy.

What does this Mean? Kelp is a rich source of iodine. Balanced intake of iodine improves overall health of dogs.

3. Kelp intake Reduces Dryness of your Pet’s Coat and Protects from Infection

Many dog breeds like Husky and German shepherd are meant to have a thick coat. Their coat is very much sensitive to the weather and tends to become home for fleas and ticks.

Kelp has a skin conditioning effect and reduces the chances of getting infected by ticks or fleas.

In a study conducted on dogs [3], it was found out that the ones that were fed kelp, daily over a period of six months, had a thicker and brighter coat which was not dry comparatively.

In a similar study, it was found out that their skin becomes more resistant to exo-parasites.

What does this Mean? Dogs develops shiny and healthy coat when fed kelp regularly. It also protects from parasite infections.

4. It Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight

Since kelp helps in maintaining the iodine levels in the body, it has some effects on body weight as well.

One of the most prominent effects of thyroid hormones is that they increase the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

As the BMR increases, more heat is generated by the body and metabolism increases.

With increased metabolism, more fat is a broken body to generate energy instead of being stored in the adipose tissues, reducing the body weight.

Weight gain becomes a problem as the dog’s age increases and also because of their diet.

What does this Mean? Kelp intake assists in weight loss and helps pets maintain a healthy weight.

5. It Benefits Overall Health

Small dogs are prone to develop many additional problems like fragile joints because of increases in weight.

Kelp could be incorporated in their diet to keep the weight issues under control.

Kelp also supports several other body functions. It cleanses the stomach and helps relieve constipation, as it has fibers as well. It is high in Iron and hence fortifies the blood.

Bacillus lichenformis is a bacterium that leads to plaque formation in the gums. Kelp releases certain enzymes that remove the colonies of these bacteria from the gum.

What does this Mean? Due to its rich nutrient content, kelp aids in protecting various systems. It protects oral health and improves digestion

How to Feed Kelp to your Dog?

Kelp is present in the market in powder form; it is best if you could get the natural one without preservatives.

Kelp can be added directly into the main meal as a dressing or can be made into the juice and given to your pet.

After a few days or weeks, you would note certain changes like a better coat, better stool, etc.

Precautions

Kelp carries with it many kinds of allergy-causing contents like Arsenic.

Arsenic is a heavy metal that is present in the polluted water and is taken up by the plants that grow underwater.

Arsenic poisoning has symptoms like nausea, vomiting, etc.

Iodine present in kelp is good enough to regulate the levels of thyroid hormone, but increased consumption can highlight the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Iodine excess can lead to watery eyes and nose, high fever, upset stomach, and lethargy.

All of these happen when kelp is given in excess amount. Just like any other food or medicine, Kelp should be given to the dog according to his/her body weight.

It is best to consult a veterinary doctor before integrating it into the daily meal.

Kelp should never be given in the strip form as it can cause choking. Try to grind it before giving it.

Conclusion

Kelp is an underwater wonder that helps your dog lead a healthy life. It improves their endocrine system, immune system, digestive system, skin, and many other bodily systems.

Precaution should be taken regarding dosage and the form in which it is given to the dog.

1 COMMENT

  1. We sometimes recommend kelp, but there are a lot of precautions that go with it. Depending on dosage, what diet the pet is on, etc it can help or harm the thyroid, help or harm the bones… http://healingpawsvet.ca/blog/kelp-helps-harms/

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