For decades many humans all over the world have enjoyed the health benefits of kelp. This easy to get hold of product, tends to get lost in the battle of supplements and drugs available on the market because of its simplicity but what it lacks in glamour it makes up for in its feisty ingredients.
What is Kelp? (Kelp is the name given to the Latin Fucus Vesiculosus.)
Down by the ocean shores you will have seen a brown coloured, smooth in appearance seaweed. This is kelp and it is very high in iodine, calcium, iron and potassium. Kelp can be eaten raw but mostly it is dried and ground into a fine powder or produced in tablet form and liquid.
Image (google images)
Other benefits of using Kelp
Kelp is rich in 37 minerals and trace elements and also vitamins especially those from the B family. Powder forms are often cheaper in price than the tablet form of kelp but with a potency that is slightly lower. The powder is easy to sprinkle into your dog’s normal meal. This especially helps if your dog is a fussy eater.
Kelp is especially good for dogs that suffer from skin problems, itchy skin, (Check for fleas first) excessive moulting, cracked claws and dandruff.
It helps maintain the nervous system and immune system. Its inflammatory properties are not only beneficial for the skin but for the skeleton too. Digestion and hormonal problems are said to be greatly improved also. It helps keep a healthy balance within the immune system and the overall condition of the dog.
Image by Leverton- Photography
Is it best to feed Kelp all year round?
A maintenance dose over the winter months is a great benefit but also added to feed during periods of skin conditions, illness, seasons or as a general pick up is fine through the rest of the year.
Kelp is a great enhancer for coat change and skin health. As the nights draw in at the end of summer and the coat begins to change the dogs develop thicker winter coats and the kelp will aid in keeping the skin and coat growth healthy. This would be the best time to add Kelp to your dogs diet as maintenance. Keep using the kelp until after the coat change in the springtime when the nights draw out again.
Lots of dogs suffer from pigment change during the winter months. This pigment change is noticeable on the dog’s nose, which may change from black to brown or even pink. However there are certain breeds that are more prone to this pigment change, known as a “snow nose” as it only seems to affect the dogs during the winter months. Labradors, Siberian Huskies and collies to name a few of the breeds that loose pigment in their nose. (If your dog has any other health concerns to go with the loss of colour in the nose please get it checked out with your veterinary surgeon, as there are many other causes of colour change in the pigmentation of the nose.) Using kelp could keep the pigment levels higher. I will let you know as I have just started using it for my own dogs pigment loss.
Pigment loss “Snow nose” the very pink bit at the top of the nose is due to him sticking his nose somewhere he shouldn’t and damaging the skin.
lillyrose 8/2/11 ©