Seaweed Mineral Food for Dogs

by Whitney Lowell
    Seaweed is packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

    Seaweed is packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

    Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

    You can offer your dog numerous types of seaweed and ocean vegetables. Kelp and spirulina are the two most common types of seaweed, but any seaweed variety will add minerals and nutritive support for your dog's health and overall well-being without adding too many calories to his diet.

    Kelp is probably the most common type of seaweed you can offer as a dietary supplement. It contains more than 60 minerals, 21 amino acids, simple and complex carbohydrates and several essential plant hormones. It is rich in iodine. A six-month study by Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M, showed that dogs who were given kelp supplements had healthier skin and coats, increased activity, better weight control and reduced flea and fly infestations. His results showed that kelp helped reduce food allergy symptoms, pancreatic deficiencies, chronic hepatitis and glandular-immune balances.

    Spirulina is an algae that is 60 percent digestible vegetable protein. It is high in beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron, various minerals and gamma-linolenic acid, a rare essential fatty acid. Various tests and studies on animals have shown that spirulina can help strengthen the immune system, improve gastrointestinal health, aid detoxification, reduce the rate of cancer and help reduce allergy symptoms.

    You can purchase seaweed in different forms -- whole, powder and capsule are the most common. If you buy dried seaweed, offer your dog a small bit in his dog food or as a treat; but if you prefer the powder, sprinkle a little over his food. You can offer seaweed to your dog daily, but small quantities can do a lot of good. On average, offer about a quarter-teaspoon for small dogs, a half-teaspoon for medium-size dogs and 1 teaspoon for large dogs.

    Seaweed is not a miracle cure for cancer in dogs, but studies show seaweed has properties to potentially prevent and fight cancer. In 2010, researchers from the Hashemite University in Jordan reported that brown seaweed contains the compound fucoidan, which kills cancer tumors; in a lab, lymphoma cells were exposed to the compound and the researches noted a significant increase in lymphoma cell death. There are many ongoing studies on the different components of seaweed. Different components are thought to battle cancer cells differently, which can include inhibiting cancer cell multiplication and attachment, preventing the production of blood vessels in tumors, preventing free radical damage and stimulating the immune system.

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    About the Author

    Whitney Lowell has been writing online since 2007. She writes for a variety of online publications and researches a wide range of topics and niches. Lowell has experience with animal rescues, dog training, pet health, raising and breeding reptiles, as well as home businesses, inventory, accounting, and finance.

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