Benefits of Kelp for Dogs
The bounty of the sea has long provided humans with much-needed nutrients and supplementation. Fisheries and aquaculture produce over 140 million tons of plants and animals for consumption annually. We consume everything from fish, to mollusks, to shellfish, to sea plants. While it has long been known the many benefits of an aquatic diet for humans. We are now recognizing their benefits for our pets.
One of the aquatic foods that have the most benefit for our pets is dried sea kelp. It is rich in iodine, natural salts, amino acids, and a variety of helpful vitamins and minerals. Sea kelp is easy to digest, low in fat, and rich in protein.
While other plants from the sea are nutritious for dogs, kelp contains 60 different minerals and vitamins and 21 amino acids, making it a great ingredient to have in dog food.
The minerals and vitamins in kelp are beneficial for your furry friend in a number of ways:
- Regulates gland activity in the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands
- Helps reduce inflammation and itching so it’s helpful for dogs with skin allergies
- Contains 21 amino acids and is 25% protein. Protein is necessary to maintain muscle growth and tissue development
- The iodine content helps with thyroid function. This speeds up weight loss and metabolism.
- Easy to digest with a high fiber content
- Alginic acid reduces tartar buildup and dental plaque
- Naturally high in iodine, a key nutrient needed for glandular function, it provides support to the thyroid, pituitary, and especially the adrenal gland.
- Kelp is a rich source of Vitamins A, B12, C, and E. It also contains iron and other trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, and boron.
- Sea kelp supports healthy digestive function by acting as a prebiotic and modulating the gut microbial population and providing dietary fiber that supports the growth, diversity, and activity of beneficial bacteria while reducing pathogens.
- Approximately 70% of a dog's immune system resides in the GI tract, and sea kelp is a direct contributor to a strong immune response and also a contributor to negative bacteria control.
- Bioactive molecules in the kelp help to reduce the harmful effects of stress and protect the proteins responsible for balancing metabolism. This also helps the pet to better regulate temperature and reduces the chances of developing heat-related illness.
The combination of soluble fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, boron, and vitamins A, B12, C, and E all work together to provide these benefits.
Kelp Sourcing for Our Raw Pet Food
When selecting a dog food that contains kelp, you want to ensure the kelp is high quality. While there are many dried kelp sources available, not all are of equal quality. At Steve’s Real Food our kelp comes from Trouw Nutrition Tasco, a leading supplier of the highest quality kelp on the market. Tasco uses a distinguished strain of brown kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) known for the density of its nutrients. Other available kelp sources are made up of a mixture of whatever varieties of kelp are available at the time of harvest and can be grown in inferior waters and may be mechanically harvested and dried.
Unlike other kelp, which can be a blend of multiple species from around the world, our kelp is a single species that is hand-harvested from the North Atlantic. Hand harvesting not only helps with the sustainability of kelp communities, but also protects the quality and purity of the product.
- Growing Kelp: Tasco kelp has adapted and thrived in one of the harshest environments on earth. It endures major obstacles including solar stress and temperature variations. The protective mechanism of the kelp is also passed to the pet through the food.
- Harvesting Kelp: The harvesting process is an important part of what makes this kelp so unique. Tasco kelp is hand-harvested during peak bioactivity period and then sun-dried to better protect the natural compounds. To ensure the long-term supply and sustainable growth of Ascophyllum nodosum, careful planning and precautions are taken to ensure it is never over-harvested. The harvest is GPS-guided to ensure sustainable harvesting and the availability of the product for the future. At low tide, kelp is on the rocks and can’t be harvested sustainably using a specialized rake that cuts kelp above the roots. Each year, harvest levels remain far below the annual growth rate, to ensure Ascophyllum nodosum can freely replenish itself.
- Drying Kelp: Our kelp is solar dried in order to ensure that the protective molecules aren’t damaged. The whole drying process is focused on increasing product quality and retaining nutrients. There are two phases of drying; first, it is solar-dried to 18% moisture and then drum dried to 13% moisture. The product goes from the kelp beds to drying pads in 12 hours.
At Steve’s Real Food we believe in seeking out the highest quality ingredients and then including them in our products so that your pet can reach the highest level of nutrition and support.
Kelp, along with all the other ingredients in Steve’s Real Food, is carefully sourced in order to ensure nutritional quality and safety. This helps keeps your pet’s health optimal. The manufacturing and harvesting processes ensure that the product retains the nutrients to keep its SuperFood status. Certifications include ISO 22000, USADA certified organic, and Safe Feed/Safe Food.