Health Tips for West Coast Dogsters Concerned About Radiation

 |  Mar 16th 2011  |   1 Contribution


On Monday, one Dogster left a comment on my colleague Maria Goodavage's For the Love of Dog Blog that really hit home withme. Concerned about radiation reaching the Western U.S. coastal states from Japan's damaged nuclear reactors, Alexis wrote:

Nowhere in my research so far have I seen anything about how to protect our beloved dogs from radiation sickness due to contaminants showered down from atmospheric processes. Anyone???
Although other Dogsters left comments suggesting that Alexis was panicking, or overly susceptible to "alarmist" web sites, I think the question is a valid one. So I've done somedigging in an attempt to arrive at an answer.

Believe what you will about whether the threat of radiation blowing our way is imagined or real. The choice, obviously,is up to you. For myself, I prefer toerr on the side ofsafety by protecting my dogs any way I can, short of making them wear a protective X-ray vest made of lead.Alexis, are you with me?

There are some simple things you can do to protect your dog and yourself from radiation exposure. In fact, these simpleadditions to your routinewill enhance your and your dog's health, so they're beneficial whether or not you're concerned about radiation.

One isadding sea vegetablesto your diet and your dog's. Seaweed is rich in iodine; especially good are kelp, arame, wakame, kombu, and hijiki. These seaweeds are easy to find in dry form at Japanese markets, health food stores, or online. Simply follow the package directions to reconstitute by soaking themin water. Dulse is an iodine-richspecies of algae that's also widely available in markets or online.

Humans may boost their kelp intake by taking a concentrated supplement such as Nature's Way Kelp. For dogs, Cornucopia Express offersSuper-Food and Phyto-Food, pictured above, both of which contain kelp (among many other antioxidantingredients).Designed to be taken together, they're the proprietary formulations of noted veterinarian Dr.Geoffrey Broderick; Amanda and Martin St. John of MuttShacksupplement their beloved dogs' diet with them.

"Sea vegetation gives the immune system a fantastic boost," explains Dr. Broderick, who spent more than 40 years researchingand perfecting his formulations.

Another way to cope with possible radiation exposure is - believe it or not - by taking a bath. Add one pound of sea salt to the bath water, and soak for 20 minutes, several times a week.The salt will absorb ambient radiation and carry it away from your body.

Obviously, we Dogsters can't soak our dogs in tubs of sea-salted water; we can't possibly explain to themthe concept ofbeing cruel to be kind! But if wehave a relaxing soakin a warm bath of sea salt, we can hope to alleviate some of thetension that builds upwhile wewatch unsettling TV news reportsfrom Japan. And that will leave us less anxious and in bettershape to care for our beloveddogs.

Do you know of any other tips for our fellow Dogsters who are concerned about radiation? Please share them in the comments!

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