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  • Writer's pictureSacha Packer

Iodine - can I give too much?

Yes! But let's not freak out quite yet! Too much of anything isn't a good thing and can become toxic at specific levels. 70-80% of iodine is is stored in the thyroid gland and these reserves get your dog through periods where iodine is lacking which can happen in fresh food canine diets where dog parents don't quite understand all the elements they need to consider i.e. what foods contribute Iodine to the diet.

Foods rich in Iodine:

  • Seaweed

  • Cod (fish)

  • Dairy i.e. yoghurt & cottage cheese

  • Iodized Salt

  • Shrimp

  • Tuna

  • Eggs

  • Prunes

  • Lima Beans

Now, because iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, this can also mean we have the flipside of the problem i.e. too much Iodine. Similar to humans, it can be pretty challenging to overdo iodine in the way of food for the average healthy individual, for example, in Japan, locals are eating around 300 times the RDA of iodine and doing fine (broad generalization). Why is this? Why are they ok? We could theorise it is because excessive iodine is most likely problematic to those with previous thyroid autoimmunity or other underlying thyroid issues. The average healthy individual don't seem to negatively be affected as discussed in a 1998 study 'Japan: the differences in iodine intake do not affect thyroid antibody positivity."

There are also some other theories as to why the Japanese do not seem to be affected and one of these theories is because they could be eating their seaweed with foods that have phytochemicals which can competitively inhibit iodine uptake by the thyroid gland (i.e., isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables). Examples of cruciferous vegetables:

  • Broccoli

  • Boy Choy

  • Brussel Sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Collard Greens

  • Horse Radish

  • Kale

  • Radish

  • Turnips

  • Watercress

The principal of fresh food feeding in dogs is to feed a variety of ingredients on rotation to avoid underdoing or overdoing any one element. Ideally, your dogs diet will include a variety of cruciferous vegetables as it is.

At this time, there are no studies that tell us what the maximum safe levels of iodine are from whole foods sources i.e. Seaweed. I recently spoke to Irish fresh food feeding Vet, Dr Connor about this topic and he stated that "Most studies investigate potassium iodide in dry fed dogs, not iodine, which is a different animal. As always (natural phosphorus versus phosphate, natural calcium to calcium carbonate) the real bears little comparison to the supplement, not absorbed or utilised the same way".

Dr Connor went on to say "There is very little information on the natural iodine requirements of dogs, hence puppies and adults are recommended the same at 220mcg per 1000kcal but again that's not a natural iodine study / concern. I blanket recommend 1-2g of seaweed per 10kg of body weight, depending, but I inherently know dogs can safely ingest a lot more iodine than that (bar hyperthyroid affected dogs). I don't have any science to back that up though".

If fresh food feeding parents are not feeding a doggie labelled seaweed product such as the "My Doggie" range then they'll want to avoid feeding seaweed every day and stick to an every now and then approach. Feeding a variety of seaweeds is a great idea and Asian supermarkets can have a whole array but just keep in mind that an accumulation over time could be problematic if your dog has a previous thyroid autoimmunity or other underlying thyroid issue.

Let us have a look at the My Doggie Seaweed range: For our Australian followers, my "My Doggie" kelp range of products are high quality, organic, safe in terms of heavy metals and provide some lovely benefits!

My Doggie Weed changes the composition of salvia to break down dental build up. It's great to use after they've had a dental to maintain them going forward, use to prevent build up in dogs not yet experiencing dental build up as well as dogs with active cases.

There's all kinds of reasons why dogs get dental build up from the physical structure of their mouths and how the teeth sit to genetics, to gut health to medication to overall diet for example.

Dental health is the precursor to many diseases including heart disease so it is important your dog has good health.

Some dogs may need a multi-modality approach to their dental health such as My Doggie Weed + bones and/or brushing. Many dogs do wonderfully on My Doggie Weed alone.

My Doggie Weed is organic and hails from Norway, it does not grow in Australia and you should give daily for at least 3 months for best results.

My Doggie King Island Kelp hails from the pristine waters of Tasmania. Cows are seen consuming this bull kelp, they know what is good for them!

My Doggie King Island Kelp is like a Superhero for dog coats, it can make coats thicker, shinier, richer colour etc.

It contains 60 different minerals, vitamins, 21 amino acids, complex bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides that promote digestive activity and immune function.

The colbalt, copper and zinc has been seen anecdotally to boost resistance to parasites and diseases (however, do not stop giving life saving parasite treatment i.e. heartworm & tick preventative to your dog without first speaking to your Vet), reduce scouring and dehydration as well as boost general health in Australian livestock.

My Doggie Weed & King Island Kelp can be given together or you may like to rotate them one day on and one day off - just depending on how quickly you want to see results for dental health.

If your dog has a medically diagnosed thyroid condition then you will need to discuss the use of Kelp with your Vet first.

How much Iodine is too much? *** Don't read this if you get overwhelmed by numbers, just know that giving both products at the same time is fine.

Hard to say! Because studies generally don't use (I don't think ever) an actual kelp in their studies, they use a different type of Iodine.

However, for the sake of science, a study found that the administration of a half of max treatment dose (22.8 mg/kg) and lower doses did not result in any change in dogs (thyroid-stimulating hormone, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine).

My Doggie King Island Kelp is around 33mg/g of iodine and My Doggie Weed is around 0.62mg/g of iodine so let's look at a giant dog (>40 kilos) getting both products:

The maximum allowance (as per the study) of iodine is 912mg for a 40 kilo dog.

My Doggie King Island Kelp dosage for a 40 kilo dog is: 6.9g = 227.7mg of iodine.

My Doggie Weed dosage for a 40 kilo dog is: 6.5g = 4.03mg of iodine - max allowance is 912mg for a 40 kilo dog.

227.7mg + 4.03mg = 231.73mg of iodine.

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