This past autumn, I was put on a diet after a visit to the vet indicated that I was a bit too…ample. The blood work showed my thyroid levels and all else to be normal, which pointed the finger at my human, alerting her that perhaps she was overfeeding me. So began my starvation period of eating smaller portions, with those portions being relegated not to my beautiful big stainless steel bowl, but to a puppy food bowl. Ugh.
I did lose weight over the next few months, but when I went to get a platelet-rich plasma treatment for my elbows, the specialist was insistent that I needed to lose ten more pounds. Because of the PRP treatment I was going to be on very restrictive exercise, as in a month of only walking on a leash, which of course meant I couldn’t burn off the calories.
It felt indeed as if my world might be coming to an end. Already, I was not getting treats on the starvation diet. What would be next? Water and a tablespoon of food?
Curiously, my human began adding a green powder to my food. At least I was still getting the same-sized portion in the puppy bowl, and not an even smaller, prison camp serving. As for the powder, it wasn’t Optimum K9 because it was a different color green. And the taste, well…it was a bit like getting a mouth full of seawater. I didn’t mind it; I was grateful for any additional amount of anything in my food bowl.
Last week, Crockett and I had to go to one of the small animal vets in Wellington because we’d picked up some GI tract bug. We had to get on the scale. I stepped on willingly, but braced for some kind of remark about my poundage.
“Wow!” my human said. The scale read 58 pounds. I had lost ten pounds in eight weeks. The vet went over me with his hands, looked at my teeth, took my temperature and said, “He’s in good shape and he looks younger than nine years.”
Of course, if you think the puppy bowl then mysteriously disappeared to be replaced by a normal, grown-up dog bowl, you are mistaken. Oh no… the Commandant Human persists in puppy-bowl-sized feedings with the green stuff.
The green stuff
The magical, amazing green stuff is called organic sea kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum). It is the seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean. It contains macro- and micro-minerals, and is high in dietary fiber. It is a source of iodine, which is an important trace element for the proper function of the thyroid gland. It provides chromium to assist in the regulation of blood sugar. It also provides the electrolyte minerals: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride in a matrix of the trace minerals and nitrogen.
Good for the teeth
Ascophyllum nodosum has demonstrated the ability to reduce dental plaque and tartar in dogs. A study on the oral benefits of seaweed conducted at Newcastle University in England identified Bacillus lichenformis, a beneficial bacteria that works as a powerful anti-plaque agent in the mouth. This bacteria releases an enzyme that breaks down the bacterial biofilm that causes dental plaque and calculus (tartar).
Kemosabe is back
Now that I’ve returned to buffness, I’m looking forward to maybe getting some nice treats once in a while, and perhaps graduating to an adult-sized food bowl. One thing is for sure: my human is not going to let me go without my daily serving of the green stuff.