Question: Can dogs eat kelp? And is kelp good for dogs?
Answer: Kelp, a very healthy seaweed (or sea vegetable), has recently become a very popular food in the health and fitness community, thanks to the numerous scientific studies which have proven its many positive effects on human health time and time again.
Many people have chosen to start supplementing with kelp as part of their diet ever since the recent trend of it surged worldwide, and some have even started to give some to their canines as part of their diet.
Just have a look at the kelp consumption of the Japanese people for yourself, you’ll see why this seaweed has emerged as a super-food as of late!
So, what’s the deal here? Is kelp good for dogs the same way it is for us humans? Or should you refrain from giving your dog any kelp as part of their diet?
Can Dogs Eat Kelp?
YES, dogs can eat kelp!
Go ahead and get some powdered kelp and add some in the mix with one of your dog’s meals, you’re good to go! 🙂
As we’re going to be discovering in this article, kelp actually has many positive effects on your dog’s body, and adding moderate amounts of kelp to your dog’s diet will greatly benefit them on so many levels in life (as we’ll be seeing in just a little bit).
However, and before we get into all of those details, one thing you want to make sure you do whenever you go ahead and buy kelp, whether for you or your dog, is to ask about the source of the kelp you’re getting.
Generally speaking, deep ocean kelp is the best type of kelp you could ever get, because any other kelp from another source is likely to be heavily exposed to pollution.
How Much Kelp Can Dogs Eat?
When it comes to how much kelp you can give your dog to eat, you don’t want to overdo it because of the possibility of iodine toxicity.
Some symptoms of iodine toxicity in dogs are:
- Eyes become watery
- Nose becomes watery
- Weakness and lethargy
- Stomach upset and diarrhea
To determine exactly how much kelp you should be feeding your dog, you have to take your dog’s size and weight as a reference point.
For smaller dogs, 1/4 a teaspoon of kelp a day is usually enough. Whereas for larger dogs, a dosage of 1 teaspoon of kelp a day does the trick.
For dogs which have a size in between the aforementioned two, you’re best off feeding them 1/2 a teaspoon of kelp a day to stay on the safe side.
Why Is Kelp For Dogs Good?
- Kelp is an excellent source of minerals such as iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron, sulfur and calcium
- Kelp helps keep your dog’s thyroid properly functioning, preventing cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- One of the benefits that kelp has in store for your dog (thanks to it being rich in iodine levels) is improving your dog’s metabolism. Since enough iodine levels in the body is a major factor in determining whether a metabolism is functioning as it should be or is functioning slower than it should be (iodine deficiency is directly associated with hypothyroidism), the iodine levels in kelp help make sure your dog is getting all they need to be getting from this mineral for proper metabolism levels. So, if your dog has thyroid problems (such as hypothyroidism), it would be a good idea to have a quick chat with your veterinarian and inquire about the benefits of incorporating kelp in your dog’s diet to help with this situation. Obviously, kelp on its own won’t be able to solve your dog’s hypothyroidism situation, but it can be a good complement within a larger framework.
- Kelp has anti-inflammatory properties, which greatly helps in reducing the likes of arthritis in dogs, as well as easing the pain for dogs which already suffer from such a condition
- Kelp helps keep your dog’s digestive system flowing smoothly and properly functioning, and even helps cleanse it by getting rid of toxins forming inside your dog’s body
- Kelp is proven to aid in keeping your dog’s skin and coat condition in tip-top shape, keeping annoying occurrences like allergies, skin irritations, skin dryness and excessive shedding away (by preserving coat thickness)
- A very interesting fact is that research shows that dogs which consume kelp as a supplement to their diet are much less likely to be affected by annoying fleas than dogs which do not consume kelp as part of their diet.
- Kelp helps give a nice boost to your dog’s immune system, especially with age as it becomes weaker or during times of sickness
- Kelp helps regulate your dog’s blood pressure, preventing dangerously high levels or sudden crashes
- Kelp has been found to improve insulin secretion and help better regulate blood sugar levels in the bodies of humans and dogs alike, which is excellent news if your dog is pre-diabetic or already suffers from diabetes.
- Kelp helps keeps your dog’s cholesterol levels on the healthy low side
- Kelp helps prevent kidney disease in dogs
- Kelp helps combat cardiovascular diseases by aiding in heart health
- Kelp helps prevent cancerous cells from forming in your dog’s body, thanks to the antioxidant profile it contains
- Kelp helps your dog to recover from injuries and wounds much faster than they usually would
- Some studies even show that kelp is directly associated with prolonged life years
- Kelp is one of the richest sources of amino acids between vegetables, which are essential to the well-being of your dog
- Kelp is one of the richest source of vitamin D between vegetables
- Kelp is a vegetable that contains decent amounts of protein, which can be very useful for dogs as a complement to the high-protein dog food you should be feeding them. This is very useful for larger sized dogs that are usually much more physically active dogs and require significantly higher levels of protein from their diet, not always being able to meet these levels with the dog food they’re being fed.