Seaweed – A New Superfood For Dogs
Introducing seaweed into your dog’s diet might sound unconventional, but this marine vegetable, lauded as a superfood for humans, is gaining recognition for the multitude of health benefits it can offer our four-legged friends. From supporting thyroid function to improving oral health and even contributing to environmental sustainability, seaweed is proving to be more than just an underwater plant. Here’s everything you need to know about the health and environmental impacts of incorporating seaweed into your dog’s nutrition plan.
What is Seaweed?
Seaweed, a term used to describe countless species of marine algae, has its roots deeply entwined in ancient history. It’s been a staple in Asian diets for thousands of years, renowned for its dense nutritional content and health-promoting properties. Seaweeds are primarily sourced from marine environments worldwide, thriving on sunlight and nutrients available in ocean waters.
History, Origins, and Sources
Historically, seaweed’s culinary and medicinal uses can be traced back to ancient China and Japan, where it was a critical component of the traditional diet. Coastal regions around the world, including Europe, have also utilized seaweed for everything from food to fertiliser for centuries. Today, it’s cultivated globally, with China, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and South Korea leading in production .
Different Species of Seaweed for Dogs
Seaweed varieties like red, green, and brown are notable for their unique benefits to canine health. Red seaweed is rare and valued for its Taurine content, vital for heart health. Green seaweed is abundant in protein, fibre, and omega-3 fats, while brown seaweed, particularly Ascophyllum nodosum, is revered for oral health benefits, proven to combat plaque, tartar, and halitosis in dogs (2).
Nutrients and Polyphenols in Seaweed
Omega-3 DHA present in seaweed aids in skin and coat health, digestion, heart health, and cognitive function. Notably, it contains Fucoxanthin, an antioxidant more potent than Vitamin E, crucial for protecting your dog’s cells from oxidative stress which can have a significant impact on your dog’s ageing and decline in health as they approach their senior years.
Impact on Health
Supports Thyroid Function
Promotes Gut Health
Assists in Weight Management
Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Improves Blood Sugar Control
Areas of Impact on Dog Health
Seaweed for Dog’s Teeth
Specifically, brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) with bio-actives like Fucoidans and Polyphenols has been clinically shown to enhance oral health, reducing plaque, tartar, and bad breath and promoting healthier gums and teeth in dogs (54, 55).
Risks of Seaweed for Dogs
Despite its benefits, seaweed should be administered in moderation. Overconsumption may result in an iodine overdose, potentially triggering thyroid complications .
Environmental Benefits of Seaweed
Environmentally, seaweed cultivation is sustainable, requiring no deforestation, fertilisers, pesticides, or freshwater. It positively impacts water quality by balancing nitrogen levels and functions as a carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide efficiently, thus playing a role in combating climate change (53).
Seaweed is more than a highly nutritious addition to your dog’s diet; it’s a step towards sustainable living. By understanding its origins, nutritional content, and health impacts, you can make an informed decision about incorporating seaweed into your canine’s nutritional regimen. Remember, moderation is key to avoiding potential risks and reaping the multitude of benefits seaweed has to offer.
Other than the inclusion of seaweed, increasingly seen as one of nature’s true superfoods, Bonza includes other highly nutritious superfoods and ancient grains and is the ONLY plant-based dog food with Probiotics, Omega-3 DHA, EPA and DPA, Herbs, Botanicals and Adaptogens to support your dog’s best health and deliver an irresistible, tail thumpingly tasty flavour.
All gently cooked at low temperatures using a cold extrusion cooking method to preserve the integrity of our quality nutrients, probiotics and Omega-3’s.
Bonza is formulated by vets and nutritionists to keep your dog’s coat softer, skin clearer, joints more mobile, heart healthier, teeth cleaner and bones and muscles stronger.