Ascophyllum nodosum, a brown seaweed that can help with your dog’s bad breath!

Nov 5, 2022

Did you know that Ascophyllum nodosum is the seaweed that is the most studied in the world?

This brown, cold-water seaweed is what we use in our Healthy Chompers Grinkles Dental Care and you’ll soon understand why. We source ours in the cold waters of Norway, where they are hand-harvested.

What is the difference between kelp and Ascophyllum nodosum?

Yes, they’re both algae. But we’ll let our expert supplier, Grahame West, explain the difference:

“There are 10,000 species of seaweed broken into 3 groups – brown, red and green.

The largest group by far is Red seaweed, with about 6,500 species. It includes medicinal species such as Dulse and Irish Moss.

Green seaweeds can grow in both salt and fresh water and include edible seaweeds such as nori and wakame. They are believed to be the ancient ancestors of land plants.

The Brown seaweeds include around 1,800 species - Ascophyllum nodosum and kelp are different species that both belong to this group.

But this is where the similarities between Ascophyllum nodosum and Kelp come to an end.”

While kelp has many health benefits too, Ascophyllum Nodosum is known to be the queen of seaweed!

But more on that later.

Why not harvest seaweed in Australia?

You’re probably wondering, why go as far as Norway to harvest Ascophyllum Nodosum?

Why not use seaweed from Australia or New Zealand?

Well, the Australian Government doesn’t allow harvesting of seaweed unless it washes up onto the shore. Australian companies have to wait for a storm that will break the seaweed off and wash it up onto beaches. By then, the seaweed has been exposed to the harsh sun, sand… and needs to be harvested fast, rinsed, washed, and processed which removes a lot of the goodness from the plant.

Ascophyllum Nodosum specifically, thrives in harsh, cold waters. New Zealand waters are actually too warm, whereas it is believed that the extreme conditions of the rocky shores of Norway or Canada, help this seaweed  to produce a much higher quantity of the natural growth hormones they are rich in.

The seaweed industry in Norway is closely regulated and monitored. The Ascophyllum we use in our Grinkles is sustainably hand-harvested under strict environmental standards. Not using machines to harvest is paramount to maintaining the health of the seaweed beds.

Benefits of Ascophyllum nodosum

Seaweed is fantastic for our dogs. It provides a number of antioxidants which can increase your pet's longevity and may lower the risk of infections. It helps reduce skin irritations, dryness and lower inflammation. It also provides amino-acids and prebiotics for optimal gut health, improving digestion.

Remember when we said Ascophyllum Nodosum was the queen of algae? Not only it is rich in the mineral iodine, which supports your dog’s metabolism, it also contains an enzyme that can help to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar in their mouth and reduce bad dog breath.


How does Ascophyllum nodosum work in preventing your dog’s bad breath and periodontal diseases?

Ok, let’s get sciencey!

When you dog or cat ingests Ascophyllum Nodosum, the bioactive compound present in the cell walls of the brown seaweed, called fucoidan, is absorbed in the bloodstream.

A few things happen: it will reach the salivary glands and as your dog salivates, their mouth will be washed with a fucoidan-rich substance which actively prevents bacteria, plaque, and tartar from forming on the teeth.

The other thing that happens is that fucoidan will also inhibit the sulphur-producing bacteria, found on the back of the tongue, that causes bad dog breath.

Ascophyllum Nodosum is entirely safe to use for our pets and an natural way to support they metabolic system.

Fresh dog breath recipe

By now, you know we love Ascophyllum Nodosum and seaweed in general!

We want your pet to start seeing the benefits of this amazing sea plant.

Here is a little after-dinner treat you can give your pet. Consider it a way for them to brush their teeth:

On a Lickimat with soft bristle such as Lickimat Soother, spread a knob of coconut oil, no yet liquified. Sprinkle 1 tsp (or the recommended amount) of Grinkles Healthy Chompers onto the mat.

The combination of Ascophyllum Nodosum and parsley will help improve digestion and keep your pet’s chompers healthy and clean!

The licking action on the soft bristles of the Lickimat will scrape their tongue clean of any odorous bacteria.


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The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub

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