5 Reasons Your Dog Needs Phytoplankton
Let’s be honest, when you read the title above, did you say, “Oh no… not another miracle thing I’m supposed to give my dog,” and decide to ignore and click right through? Well, pause for a second. While phytoplankton might sound like the newest fad in pet supplements, when you look at the facts it actually becomes clear that this might be a trend worth paying attention to.
Phytoplankton are microscopic plant organisms that are the basis for the aquatic food chain and are a key component of all ocean and fresh-water life. They live on the surface layer of water, where they obtain energy through photosynthesis. Phytoplankton might also be referred to as “grasses of the sea,” and unlike zooplankton, they are single-celled and completely plant-based.
Like many “superfoods” and supplements that are touted as game-changers for human diets, there is substantial evidence that phytoplankton can be useful for dogs as well. As with anything, it’s important to do your research and discuss with a veterinarian before giving anything new to your pet, but some of the nutrients found in phytoplankton that can be beneficial for dogs’ health include:
- Fatty acids
- Trace minerals
- Amino acids
Fighting diabetes, cancer, arthritis and other debilitating diseases is as important for dogs as it is for humans. Read on for some of the ways that phytoplankton might be instrumental in boosting your pet’s health.
#1 – Digestion
Because phytoplankton is absorbed through the mucous membranes and doesn’t have to be broken down in the stomach, its nutritional qualities are 100% available to the body on a cellular level. Elderly animals or those with digestive issues may have trouble getting essential nutrients through food sources alone, so phytoplankton’s nanoparticles can be helpful in providing health benefits that food and medicines alone cannot.
#2 – Omega-3 Fats
Like in people, omega-3 fats have long been touted as influential in a whole host of systemic processes and treatments, including skin conditions, allergies, kidney function, lymphoma, heart disease, cognitive function, and arthritis, to name a few. Because dogs cannot produce their own omega-3 fatty acids, supplements are a key way to deliver this nutritional supplement to our canine friends. But how to give omega-3s to animals in a safe and effective way?
Fish get their omega-3 fats from phytoplankton, so often we extract this oil from fish and use in supplements. But because of issues including oxidation, high levels of toxic metals and other pollutants and lack of sustainability, phytoplankton is a much more safe, effective and environmentally-friendly way to administer omega-3s, especially for dogs.
#3 – Essential Minerals
Dogs tend to be deficient in many of the trace minerals that are critical for basic biological functions. Many typical dog foods are poor quality and lacking in these vital minerals, and often common household and yard chemicals, as well as a typical dog’s enclosed environment, are not conducive to taking advantage of mineral sources in the ecosystem.
Phytoplankton can provide a source for trace minerals like selenium, magnesium and iodine, which can aid in digestion, hormone regulation and joint disease and thyroid health. Some other trace minerals that can be vital to your dog’s good health include:
- Iron: improved bodily functions and oxygen availability to muscles and organs
- Zinc: boosts the immune system
- Copper: prevents anemia
#4 – Cancer and Disease-Fighting Qualities
We hear a lot in the news and media about antioxidants. What are they and why are they important? Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation, or potentially damaging agents in a living thing. Phytoplankton is rich in antioxidants, and thus has the ability to prevent or reduce cell damage in your dog caused by diseases like cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders.
In fact, phytoplankton has what’s known as one of the most powerful antioxidants, Superoxide Dismutase, or SOD, said to be 3,000 more potent that vitamin C. Scientists who have studied sea creatures with the longest life spans, like sea turtles, have found high levels of SOD. One reason for this might be the super-antioxidant quality of ingesting phytoplankton.
#5 – Liver Health
The liver is the unsung hero of almost every living mammal’s system. The liver is responsible for both absorption of vital nutrients as well as detoxification. The liver is the main organ in charge of metabolic processes in the body, so clearly, liver health is essential for living a healthy life.
As your dog ages, his ability to take in nutrients through food sources alone diminishes. Again, because phytoplankton is absorbed on a cellular level, it can be quite helpful in giving the liver a break from working so hard to metabolize critical nutrients and detoxify. And because of its bioavailability, only a small dose of phytoplankton is required for maximum health benefits.
Phytoplankton is emerging in the pet world as a superfood that can, even in very small doses, improve your dog’s joint health and mobility, reduce the effects of skin disorders and provide relief from allergies, improve overall organ function including heart, liver, and digestive system, prevent the spread of traumatic diseases like cancer, and reduce overall inflammation and toxicity.
As always, be sure to check with a reputable veterinarian before giving your dog any supplement or medication, even if it is readily available through public channels. Early evidence is encouraging, however, that phytoplankton as part of a healthy diet can be a sustainable, pure and safe way to improve your pet’s health and increase her longevity; and that alone seems to be enough of a reason to consider.