Any responsible dog owner knows that the health of man’s best friend depends on our ability to provide sufficient nutrition and adequate supplements. This little known secret is a potent addition to a dogs’ diet that will help to keep your pooch healthy.
We champion naturally sourced products for dogs, that's why we are so excited about this one. Omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene are two of the main nutrients derived from phytoplankton, but that's just the start, we will look at all the benefits in detail so read on.
What is Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton is a microalga that thrives in watery environments. The name is somewhat descriptive of what they are. In its Greek origin, Phyto means plant, and plankton means to wander. [Nasa]. They come in various forms, ranging from bacteria to unicellular plants. These can be split into two main categories, dinoflagellates, and diatoms. [Ocean Service] We will not go into much detail about the differences between them.
Although they naturally occur in water, phytoplankton heavily relies on sunlight for growth. This is why you will find most of its growth in areas where the water gets a good amount of sunlight through it.
One of the first indications of its importance as a food can be found in the fact that a wide range of sea life will feast on it. We are talking the large ones such as whales and small ones such as snails.
It is not all roses. When conditions are too good, you will often have issues with over blooming. In which case, it can become a biotoxic hazard for fish as well as humans.
Benefits of Phytoplankton for dogs
We have already mentioned that Omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene are some of the nutrients that phytoplankton provides to dogs. What most dog owners want to know is how these and other minerals and nutrients contained within it actually help the dog. Here are the main benefits:
Increases Dog’s Cellular Energy:
We all want to see our dogs beaming with energy. Cellular energy plays a key role in delivering what we would see as an active dog. When there isn’t enough of it, your dog will become sluggish. Their physical wellbeing is tied to it. Good cellular energy means better performance levels on all fronts.
Cellular energy is produced when our mitochondria convert what we consume into ATP. This includes nutrients from the food that we eat and the air that we breathe. We know that phytoplankton is nucleotide rich, which feeds directly into DNA and RNA.
What makes it a perfect pick for increasing cellular energy is the size of its particles. They are slightly smaller than a red blood cell. As such they are easily absorbed. This means that you will not only get the results but that they will come much quicker than you would get from other sources.
Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects
If your dog has some aches and pains from causes that you are yet to establish or from know diseases, inflammation becomes a major issue. It is inflammation that results in most of the pain that they will experience.
Inflammation is the body’s natural protective response to being exposed to harmful things. It is a tell-tale sign when it comes to the presence of bacteria or other pathogens. While there a lot that is good about this response, in some cases there needs to be aid provided in the form of anti-inflammation mediators. If for no other reason at all, it just reduces the pain experienced within the inflamed region making your dog more comfortable.
Phytoplankton is known to be one of the richest vegetation sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 has been found to reduce the inflammatory response system that you would find in macrophages through the elevation of autophagy. Other studies have also shown it to be a great source of anti-inflammatory chlorophyll. This, of course, has tremendous benefits in treating arthritis and similar conditions.
Boosts Dog’s Immune System
The role of the immune system to the general wellbeing of your dog can never be overstated. What do we find in phytoplankton that plays a good part in this?
- Amino acids
The antioxidants are important for the preservation of cells and tissue. This is achieved through the regulations and destruction of free radicals. Healthy cells and tissue will mean a healthy dog.
Recent studies have shown the efficiency of Carotenoids in anti-cancer regimens. They are known to encourage immunomodulatory activities in animals. This results in an increase in lymphocyte activities due to their blastogenesis.
Did you know that your dog requires 10 Amino acids? Fortunately, most of these are readily available in most of the food that they eat. If you have not guessed it already, phytoplankton is a good source of amino acids.
Studies have found that there are about 65 nutrients in phytoplankton. They include vitamin B12 and folic acid, in addition to the amino acids that we have already mentioned.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in vitamin C rich food and supplements. You will often find them given as part of managing cancer treatment in canines. However, they are also for the dog’s coat and skin at all times. They ensure that the skin is kept pure, by regulating acidity.
Makes Dog’s Skin Radiant
We have already covered some of the factors that make phytoplankton great for giving your dog radiant skin. Besides the presence of bioflavonoids, the anti-inflammatory properties go a long way. You will often find that skin as a key indicator of illness due to the resultant inflammation.
The anti-inflammatory properties will ensure that your dog’s skin is not as adversely affected by inflammation as it would have otherwise been. This is a phenomenon that can further be aided by the reduction of stress.
Promotes Joint Health
Omega 3 is readily given as a way to manage joint pain which is often associated with arthritis and other related conditions. As we mentioned earlier phytoplankton is the richest vegan source of omega 3.
One of the obvious ways that this benefit is derived is through the reduction of inflammation. Once the inflammation has subsided, you will find that there is an improvement in mobility. This is due to a reduction of pain which will inspire confidence in your dog.
You also have the amino acids present as well. These will increase the production of collagen. How does that help? Well, most arthritic pain is caused by a reduction in the amount of collagen and other connective tissue surrounding a joint. This causes the bones to rub against one another directly, resulting in tremendous pain.
Now that we have piqued your interest we must address the issue of the price before we go forward. Although the benefits of phytoplankton are indisputable. One area that products derived from it for dogs have been criticized is that of pricing.
Most consumers felt that it came at a much higher price point than other closely related products that provide similar health benefits for canines. This is something that has changed and somewhat flown under the radar. A comparison of the average phytoplankton product for a dog with other sources of Omega 3, found that it is now competitively priced, and cheaper in some instances.
The only concern that most people would have would be related to the toxicity that is known to occur when phytoplankton is allowed to grow out of control due to the abundance of nutrients and sunlight. When this happens, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are formed. These are known to pose a high risk to sea life and mammals alike.
Fortunately, you will not have to worry about these. The phytoplankton that you can purchase is put through rigorous testing before it is made available to you. This is a legal requirement.
We have shown some of the benefits of phytoplankton for dogs. These are not all of them. Others include its perceived benefit on cardiovascular health which is linked to the Omega 3 present in this amazing plant.
An even more exciting benefit is its uptake. While most of the food that your dog eats will be put through grueling digestive gymnastics, phytoplankton slips right through this net. Why is that? You ask. As a whole food that presents in micro-particles, it is easily absorbed by the digestive tract and through the mucus membrane.
This means all of the benefits that we mentioned above will be realized in their entirety. That is one of the reasons why any cost concerns are somewhat unjustified. Nothing says ‘value for money’ as loud as complete absorption.
Another incredible benefit that often goes unsung is the fact that you can use this food as a replacement for fish oil and other sources of nutrition and mineral that can often be toxic to your dog. If for no other reason at all, this is certainly a key one.