One of the most common types of seaweed used for dental care in pets is Ascophyllum nodosum, which is a species of kelp that grows in cool, clear, shallow waters near rocky shorelines.
Ascophyllum nodosum contains nutrients such as large sugars, fats, and iodine. These nutrients have some beneficial effects on dental health, such as:
- Reducing plaque and tartar on the teeth by removing bacteria that cause tooth decay. The large sugars in Ascophyllum nodosum act as prebiotics, which are substances that feed the beneficial bacteria in the mouth and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. The fats in Ascophyllum nodosum have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help prevent gum disease and infections. The iodine in Ascophyllum nodosum has antiseptic and antimicrobial effects, which can kill the bacteria that produce acids and toxins that damage the teeth .
- Preventing bad breath by improving oral hygiene. Bad breath, or halitosis, is often caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce foul-smelling compounds. Ascophyllum nodosum can help reduce these bacteria and their odors by enhancing the saliva production and cleansing the mouth .
- Supporting skin health by providing iodine, which is essential for thyroid function. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism and affects the skin, hair, and nails. Low thyroid function can cause coat or nose pigment issues in pets, which can be improved by iodine supplementation.