Kelp for dogs as a health supplement? Sure. Full of minerals including iodine, it is most frequently used to aid thyroid function. Know when to use it and when to avoid it.
When is it good? Help for pets on thyroid medication (hypothyroidism), with bone problems, anemia, obesity, dry skin and digestive problems.
On the other hand, if your canine suffers from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) kelp should be avoided and I suggest the use of spirulina instead.
Kelp is one of many types of seaweed. Norwegian kelp is considered the best. (I might even try to sell you some at the end of this page.) Seaweed is subject to absorbing environmental toxins so the source is important.
Minerals are important in every aspect of canine health. Kelp is rich in trace minerals and iodine. Dr. Pitcairn (Dr. Pitcairn’s Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats) uses kelp in his homemade supplement recipe. Here is a list of kelp benefits:
*Iodine was added to table salt because of its curative properties, including the healing and prevention of goiters.
Other highly nutritious choices for canine supplements are dulse seaweed and spirulina (my favorite). They have just as many health benefits, but spirulina has no iodine.
In research by Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M. he noticed the following improvements over a six month period:
He also says it helped control flea dermatitis, food allergies, pancreatic deficiencies, glandular-immune imbalances and chronic hepatitis in dogs.
Okay, now that we're all hyped up and want to run out and buy the stuff, let me add my two cents worth first.
I really like kelp for dogs. I like it for humans too, although I had a heck of time trying to eat the stuff. (You should have seen the look on my face when I munched down on dried kelp. I didn't buy it that way again but I don't mind it encapsulated.)
I also believe that variety is the spice of life and the answer to dog health. There are still many elements humans don't understand so I like alternating between the following:
Kelp powder capsules
Dulse Seaweed Liquid
The choice is yours. All are healthy additions to your dog's diet (and yours) as long as you buy high quality supplements from a reputable source.
There is no law governing the quality or potency of supplements and kelp should be carefully chosen. Why? If it is farmed from an area that is contaminated you could do more harm than good. Before I chose what products to recommend to my readers, I did some homework. You can read about it at Why NSP?
I am grateful for their constant testing.
**As for alfalfa, I don't buy that at Nature's Sunshine. Instead I grow my own organic sprouts. My dogs love them! To read how I grow them and see a silly picture of my Lulu eating her sprouts, hop over to my page titled Benefits of Alfalfa.
The best medicine is nutrition. If you've ever thought of going raw, here are some free raw dog food recipes.
Remember, no one ingredient, supplement, vitamin or pill will totally cure health problems overnight. Health is a process just like disease and your patience will be your reward.