Why Dry Fed Dogs Need Seaweed
Your dog and food
You are what you eat! If you eat well, you feel well and the same goes for your dog. A health conscious diet shouldn’t just stop with you, include your dog. Dogs may not be getting all the goodness they need from their food or sufficient iodine intake.
Is your dog dry fed? If you answered yes to this, are you supplementing your dog’s diet with an iodine supplement to maintain your dog’s health? The reason being is, dogs need iodine, in fact we all need it. Our bodies do not produce iodine and therefore, the only way to get iodine into our bodies is in our food. We all strive to live on a well-balanced diet to include vitamins and minerals and our dogs are no different. They too need the balance of vitamins and minerals too, including iodine.
What is iodine and why is it important?
Iodine is a trace mineral which is crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the production of the thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is responsible for metabolism, detoxification, growth and development.
Iodine deficiency can lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland causing hypothyroidism (low thyroid) in people and dogs. Canine hypothyroidism can cause dogs to suffer from serious health problems. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs are lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism causing weight gain. Other symptoms include affecting the mental state such as anxiety, depression and unprovoked aggression.
Hypothyroidism affects medium to large dogs from the age of 4 years and over. Smaller dogs will usually get enough iodine from commercial food but larger dogs will need that bit more.
If you notice any problems with your do, perhaps it’s time to consider iodine deficiency.
Can hypothyroidism be treated?
Yes hypothyroidism can be treated but it means putting your dog on medication for the rest of their life and regular checks at the vet to be monitored. This can be expensive and not a great quality of life for you or your dog.
Prevention is better than cure
Including iodine supplements in your dog’s diet is a better alternative than your dog getting sick and having to get them treated.
Food sources with iodine
Some common food sources that contain iodine are fresh meat, organic fruits, vegetables and beans, dairy products such as milk and yogurt. In addition to this ‘land food’, seafood is a great source of iodine. Ocean fish is good but seaweed is better. In fact, seaweed is the best source of iodine than all the food sources. These food sources contain varying amounts of iodine but if you choose seaweed over the rest you can be sure your dog will be getting a sufficient amount.
Does dog food contain iodine?
Dog food may contain iodine compound additives rather than naturally occurring iodine, which is not a sufficient amount of iodine. If you are feeding your dog dry food (kibble) or in fact wet food, a natural iodine supplement will be most beneficial. As seaweed is so rich in natural iodine, providing a seaweed supplement in your dog’s food will be just what they need.
The amount of iodine also varies in the different species of seaweed but red and brown seaweed contain more iodine than the green forms. Kelp (brown seaweed) would be a good choice for a dietary supplement.
Seaweed has a vast amount of natural nutrients for your dog to benefit from, its natural iodine content is just one of them. Read our article “Kelp Can Help” to learn more about the benefits of seaweed.
Furthermore, seaweed is a rich natural source of iodine as opposed to commercial dog food that contains added synthetic nutrients. Synthetic nutrients are produced in a lab, not in nature, and include chemicals that are not good for your dog. Pick up a pack of your dog food and you will see that the nutritional ingredients are noted as ‘Nutritional Additives’ – which means they are synthetically produced in a lab and added into the food. You most likely won’t find iodine listed on your dog food pack, rather Calcium Iodate – which is an iodine compound additive.
Sometimes we too eat food that is not good for us but we eat this in moderation. Most dogs eat the same food every day, not just now and again. That is why it is so important that we are feeding them natural goodness.
If you supplement your dog’s diet with seaweed you can be sure your dog will be getting enough iodine but with commercial dog food, you can’t.
A risk of feeding commercial food to your dog is, do you know what they are actually putting in it. If you look at the ingredients of a dog food pack do you know what exactly all the ingredients are? It is not always clear what is in the food and back in 2007 there really was something in the pet food that shouldn’t have been. There was a big recall of pet food after thousands of dogs and cats died. Scary stuff!
With the abundance of goodness in seaweed, it sure is the way to go. Seaweed supplements can come in the form of powder to sprinkle on your dog’s food or in meat treats for your dog. Just like parents sneak vegetables into their children’s diet, sneak sea vegetables into your dog’s diet and your dog will be happy and healthy.
Give your dog the health boost they deserve, go on …they’re worth it