What Are the Benefits of Kelp for Dogs?

Written by janet scheffler
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What Are the Benefits of Kelp for Dogs?
Kelp is rich in nutrients and will contribute to the good health of your dog. (kelp at aquarium image by Daniel Gillies from Fotolia.com)

Kelp is a sea vegetable, also known as dulse and seaweed. The North Atlantic is an area rich in kelp and the further from the coast it is harvested, the less likely it is contaminated with pollutants, decreasing its nutritional value. Maritime cultures have long known of the health benefits of kelp, as well as its versatility in cooking. Iodine deficiency for thyroid was the first medical use of kelp. Today, kelp is believed to be one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet; rich in minerals and natural salts. Dogs experience the same benefits from kelp as humans.

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Thyroid

The thyroid gland regulates the metabolic rate. The symptoms of thyroid issues include lethargy, dry coat and skin, behaviour changes, weight gain, depression and loss of hair on the tail. The dog will look for warm spots in its environment, showing an intolerance to cold temperatures. Kelp can help to balance the thyroid. The natural iodine found in the sea vegetable works on the thyroid to help regulate it. Thyroid issues are more prone to the large dog species; Dobermans, setters and labs among them.

Heart

Large dogs are susceptible to various heart issues. A veterinarian can diagnose the problem, but healthy diet and exercise is essential to canine heart health. Watch for signs of possible heart problems such as fatigue, lethargy, trouble breathing and a cough. Weight loss can be another warning sign. Kelp can help strengthen the heart. It is high in iron and enriches the blood which enables the heart to pump with more efficiency and strength. The seaweed helps to prevent toxic metal absorption.

Digestion

Dogs can suffer from digestive issues and parasites are one possibility. Dogs will eat just about anything and often they suffer from eating something that is indigestible for them. Spices or chocolate, non-food items or tainted meats can adversely affect the animal. Kelp can aid in keeping digestive juices balanced, as well as provide efficient acidic levels. Its iodine and minerals are believed to strengthen the entire digestive system.

Appearance

Dogs that get a kelp powder or supplement tend to have shinier coats, stronger nails and healthy teeth. Sea vegetables are believed to promote stronger supplies of milk in lactating dogs and the nutrients in kelp promote quicker healing. Kelp can aid in weight gain and healthier appetites.

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