The Big Deal About Kelp
Here’s the quick nitty on kelp. Yes, it really is that good for us and our dogs. But greens, in general, are great for all of us. So what is it about seaweed that makes it a super veggie?
Other green foods require cellulose to encircle the cell wall, and that cellulose is difficult for dogs to consume. Seaweed does not require (or have) cellulose and are thus easier to digest.
There are lots of different kinds of seaweed. We are going to focus on kelp. It is a brown marine plant (as opposed to dark green like other seaweed).
Kelp is high in nutrients including:
- amino acids,
- vitamins A, B, E, D, and K,
- sodium alginate, or algin (which helps remove heavy metals from the dog’s system),
- ~ 25% protein,
- only ~ 2% fat,
All these nutrients come with a bevy of benefits, which include the following:
- Energy production
- Immune system enhancement
- Infection fighting
- Thyroid support
- Potential cancer protection
- Skin and coat health
- Diabetes and heart condition aid
- Tissue repair
- Weight management
If your pooch has skin issues, such as allergies or alopecia (hair loss), he may benefit from eating kelp. After incorporating the plant into his diet, you may be able to see skin and coat improvements in as little as six months. Eating kelp for about three weeks or more can also help control flea manifestations in dogs. The protein content may also help manage tissue repair.
Taste and Preparation
Despite being low in sodium, kelp tastes salty, so it may even be used as a salt substitute. It is normally sold dried and you can rehydrate it quickly by soaking, steaming, sauteing, or boiling it. Cooking time is about 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, this is a question best left to the ultimate experts — your veterinarian. A dog’s size, age, and health are all factors to consider when incorporating any new food into his diet. If your dog has a thyroid condition, all the more reason to consult your vet because seaweed is high in iodine.
Check out kelp in our series “20 Super Veggies for Dogs”:
More info ~
Note: This article is for information purposes only and is not intended for medical advice. Please consult your veterinarian on your dog’s health needs.