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Pet Kelp FAQs

Are your ingredients in Pet Kelp human grade?

The Flax and other ingredients used in Pet Kelp are all food grade (human grade), with the exception of Kelp. That is organic certified feed grade.

What about other ingredients in Pet Kelp?

We source all of our ingredients from either Canadian or USA sources. Our fruits and vegetables are sourced from local farmers in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.

So, what about the iodine content in Pet Kelp?

We use a blend of different species of Nova Scotia-sourced kelps and seaweeds. Each species we use has a moderate to low level of iodine. In general, as a result of this blending of seaweeds and kelps in our Pet Kelp blend, our products have relatively low levels of iodine. The iodine content for each of our products can be viewed on the back panel the package.

Do you foresee your kelp sources becoming contaminated due to the fukushima disaster or BP spill?

No, for four reasons:

  1. Nova Scotia is located almost as far away from Japan as is geographically possible, thereby reducing the possibility of radiation effects; and Nova Scotia is 2000 miles north of the furthest extent of the BP spill area.
  2. From a radiation perspective, current seawater radiation levels outside the immediate area (ie greater than 50km) of the damaged Japanese nuclear power plant is not considered significant.
  3. Radioactive particles dispersed in seawater have a very limited dispersion range because the density of water retards the radiation effects.
  4. Even if contaminated water were to reach the Bay of Fundy, this body of ocean has extremely high flush rates which would further reduce potential radioactive/ oil impact on kelps grown there.

Does the size of dried ground sea vegetables make a difference?

Yes! Because sea vegetables are fibrous and dense, the larger the particle size, the harder it is to digest/ breakdown. Dogs and cats have very short digestive systems so the smaller the particle size of the dried sea vegetable, the higher the mineral and vitamin absorption by your pet.

How are your sea vegetables harvested and processed?

Our kelps and seaweeds are hand harvested from government-regulated, sustainable kelp/ seaweed leases in the Bay of Fundy. The sea vegetables are sun dried at low temperature to preserve their mineral and vitamin content. Once the kelp/ seaweeds have been dried, we grind the seaweeds and kelps separately, first to a rough pepper consistency, and then the plants go through a second grinding process when the kelp/seaweed is further reduced.

What is special about Pet Kelp's sea vegetable blend?

Our kelps and seaweeds are hand harvested from government-regulated, sustainable kelp/ seaweed leases in the Bay of Fundy. The sea vegetables are sun dried at low temperature to preserve their mineral and vitamin content. Once the kelp/ seaweeds have been dried, we grind the seaweeds and kelps separately, first to a rough pepper consistency, and then the plants go through a second grinding process when the kelp/seaweed is further reduced.

What is unique about the Bay of Fundy for growing sea vegetables? 

The Bay of Fundy has the world's highest tides, with a 45ft change in water level every 12 hours. Being both a very pristine body of cold ocean water and having an extremely high flush rate, the Bay of Fundy is the perfect environment for growing seaweed and kelp. More than 20 species of seaweeds and kelps are native to this body of water.

How long does a bag of Pet Kelp® last? 

The number of servings in each bag depends on the size of your dog. Based on an average-sized (40 – 50 pounds) dog, the 8-ounce bag should last approximately 30 days. Each sealed bag is imprinted with an expiration date. Once opened, be sure to close and seal the bag after each use, and store the product in a cool, dry location to maintain freshness and nutritional value.

The new Pet Kelp formulas look different than the old powder.  Did you change the formula or ingredients?

We did make some changes to improve the supplements and for greater consistency, including using all organic ingredients. We also developed a new Probiotic formula that combines the benefits of two of the previous formulas, Probiotic and Digestive, with the addition of pumpkin as an ingredient as a great source of soluble fiber.

The new Pet Kelp packaging no longer lists the vitamins and minerals, and it looks like there is less glucosamine and no chondroitin.  What happened?

When Pet Kelp® became part of The Missing Link® family, a few things regarding the labeling needed to be changed to meet regulatory guidelines; one of which was how the Guaranteed Analysis is listed. Rather than listing the information based on three teaspoons, it was altered to one teaspoon. So the old Pet Kelp package showed: 3 tsp serving 1440mg glucosamine = 480 mg/tsp. The new Pet Kelp package shows: 1 tsp serving 880mg glucosamine = 880 mg/tsp. As you can see, we have nearly doubled the amount of glucosamine in the new product. The Missing Link® has always used high quality food grade organic whole flaxseed that is cold processed minutes before going into the bag. This delivers Omegas that are bio-available at high levels that actually contribute to the reduction of joint swelling. For this reason we have never used chondroitin in joint products, but rely instead on Omegas and glucosamine to get the job done.

The old Pet Kelp packaging indicated the formulas were good for both dogs and cats. Can I still give them to my cat?

With the launch of the new The Missing Link® Pet Kelp® formula, we have introduced a Feline Well-Being Formula, which combines kelp, flax, cranberries and a blend of probiotics to support your cat’s health, hardiness and overall well-being. We recommend using that formula supplement for your cat, and the other formulas for dogs.

What do I need to consider when adding sea vegetables to my dog or cat's food?

  1. Where is the kelp harvested? Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Maine, Iceland, and New Zealand are all good sources because of the unpolluted cold ocean water in these areas.
  2. What species of kelp is it and what is the mineral and vitamin content in that species of kelp?
  3. How finely ground is the dried kelp? Kelp is a fibrous plant, so the finer it is ground, the more absorbable/ bio-available the mineral and vitamins that it contains, especially in a dog or cat’s short digestive system. A rough ‘cracked pepper’ grind may have as little as a 5-10% mineral and vitamin absorption rate.
  4. Is the kelp ambient temperature dried or dried at high temperature? The kelp is naturally sun dried to maintain its nutritional value.

Didn't I read somewhere that kelp has arsenic in it?

All sea vegetables contain trace levels of the organic form of arsenic, including our Pet Kelp blend. The organic form of arsenic found in many fruits and vegetables, including sea vegetables, is 'generally regarded as safe' (GRAS) by the FDA and the National Institute of Health (NIH). This is in sharp contrast to inorganic arsenic, which is generally produced by heavy industry and is considered toxic to humans and animals.

Seaweed vs. kelp what is the difference?

Basically, kelps and seaweeds are all 'sea vegetables'. The terms 'seaweed' and 'kelp' are sometimes used interchangeability. While having no formal scientific distinction between the two terms (they are all members of the algae family), it is generally accepted that 'kelp' refers to marine plants that are consistently submerged in seawater and which, generally, will have higher trace mineral contents because of the plant’s constant submersion in mineral-rich ocean water. On the other hand, 'seaweed' is generally regarded as the group of marine plants that are partially or fully exposed to air during low tides.

Does the quality of seawater where the sea vegetables is growing affect its content? 

Absolutely! Since seaweeds and kelps absorb all of their mineral content from the ocean, the more pristine the source of ocean water, the higher the quality of the trace minerals in kelp or seaweed.

Aren't all kelps and seaweeds the same?

Each species of kelp and seaweed has a different mineral and vitamin profile. Using the word ‘kelp’ or ‘seaweed’ is like using the word ‘fruit’ to describe apples and oranges. Trace mineral and vitamin levels vary significantly, depending on the species, growing conditions, water temperature and exposure to air.

Why do they contain so many minerals and vitamins?

The reason they contain this wide range of nutrients is because of their ability to naturally absorb trace minerals directly from ocean water and synthesize a corresponding variety of vitamins.

What is so special about kelp?

Over 300 species of kelps and seaweeds are found in the world's ocean. Seaweeds and kelps have the broadest spectrum of trace minerals and vitamins of any plant group in the world. As such, they lend themselves to being a very good, whole food, all-natural vitamin and mineral source.

What type of kelp do you use in your Missing Link original & Pet Kelp?

We use a proprietary blend of organic kelp that is sustainably harvested from the cold, ocean waters of Nova Scotia where the most prevalent species is ascophyllum nodosum.