Packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, kelp boasts a bounty of goodness for dogs.
You “yelp” when it floats up beside you in the water, but you shouldn’t be scared of kelp. This sea veggie is good for humans and for dogs. In fact, it’s being used as an ingredient in commercial dog food because of all the benefits it offers. Let’s take a closer look at kelp and learn what role it plays in your dog’s diet.
Sure, you think of it as slimy seaweed, but would you feel differently if you knew it was packed with healthy nutrients your dog can benefit from? One of the richest natural sources of amino acids, kelp is 25% protein and 2% fat. Full of vitamins and minerals, these sea vegetables contain iodine, which is essential for healthy thyroid function, and iron to support circulation.
There are a variety of edible sea vegetables, but kelp is the most nutritious for dogs. That 60 different vitamins, minerals, and trace elements as well as 21 amino acids. Kelp is also a complex carbohydrate and a natural source for numerous growth hormones. What kelp is most known for is its iodine content which helps to support your dog’s glandular system as well as his metabolism. Some of the other benefits associated with kelp include the following:
Regulates glandular activity in the adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands.
Great for skin allergies, as it helps reduce itching and inflammation.
Contains protein and amino acids that help tissue repair.
Iodine content helps to stimulate thyroid activity, speeding metabolism and weight loss.
Improves glandular activity and healthy metabolism.
High-fiber content helps digestion.
Can help reduce dental plaque and tarter buildup.
And don’t worry—you don’t have to head to the beach to pick up a batch of kelp. It can be included in dog foods, treats or dietary supplements. However, you should investigate where the kelp has been harvested, as if it was gathered close to the shoreline, it may have absorbed dangerous contaminants from pollution. When possible, buy kelp that’s been collected from deep in the ocean.
As part of a healthy diet, kelp can help your dog achieve balanced nutrition and improved overall health and wellbeing. It is always important, however, to choose a product that is high in quality—don’t just choose a dog food because it contains kelp unless it’s an overall quality product.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.