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There are plenty of options for sea-based pet food, no matter what your budget. Whether you're having problems affording your ownfood (let alone worrying about salmon and green-lipped musselsfor your pets), or you have a trust fund that allows you to purchase thebest quality and most exotic diet, there is a food that fits your pocketbook. 

For example, catering to the more finicky of felines is a new luxury food from British Banquet from Green Pantry in the UK. Dubbed “World's Most Expensive Cat Food", it features Arenkha caviar, line-caught Scottish Salmon, hand-caught Norfolk lobster and locally-sourced Devon crab. At a whopping $300 per 4.5 pound bag, this is a luxury not every cat owner can afford, but it does make for an interesting topic of conversation.'

There are also plenty of ways to pick up fish heads and tails at your local butcher for pennies. This can make an excellent broth filled with nutrients and fats that your pets will love. 

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Ocean-based Supplements

Fortunately, there are plenty of high-quality sea-based products without an exorbitant price tag. Edible seaweed, algae and kelp (fondly referred to as “sea vegetables”) are popular supplements in the pet industry.

Sea Vegetables: Rich in antioxidants, sea vegetables are also easily digestible and provide a range of vitamins and minerals. Pet Kelp’s line of Wellness Formulas combines Nova Scotia blueberries with a seaweed blend that’s high in a variety of essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids. These pet supplements are ideal for strengthening or maintaining the immune systems of both dogs and cats. Their kelp has been hand-harvested and sun-dried to retain the the highest nutrient-rich quality.

Seaweed Calcium, derived from a plant source, ensures purity and bio-availability. This naturally calcified red seaweed product is harvested from the seabed's off the southwest coast of Ireland, among the cleanest and purest waters in the world. The line of sea-based pet supplements from Animal Essentials are ideal for pets. 

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Seafood & Shellfish

Shellfish is the newest trend in treats. 

According to Canadian Cove’s The Healthful Benefits of Mussels, a 6-ounce portion of mussels has more Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Iron than the same size portion of a T-bone steak or chicken.

Recent studies provide strong evidence that Green Lipped Mussels incorporated into a complete dry diet can help alleviate arthritis symptoms in dogs, and new studies are being done on other species. “Nice mussels are a perfect treat solution for pets who have sensitivities to more common ingredients like chicken,” said Lucy Postins, Founder of The Honest Kitchen. “The fact that they’re made from a single source, novel protein and have added nutritional benefits with their high omega 3 content is an added bonus. They can be broken into smaller pieces for small pets, or served whole.”

Green Lipped Mussels have been cultivated for almost 800 years and have been used as a food source for more than 20,000 years.

New Fishy Proteins

Pet foods are moving way past the traditional salmon and tuna-based diets to introduce unique fishes that are responsibly sourced and packed. Mackerel, sardines, cod, herring, sea bass, shrimp, calamari and even lobster are finding their way into the industry. These unique blends are not only excellent for pets fighting allergies to traditional proteins, they are packed with protein and trace minerals to help protect pets from a long list of diseases.

“Sustainability and stewardship of our resources are paramount,” said Anthony Giudice, vice president of Weruva. All suppliers of their fish products must provide certification and supporting documents to show the fishing area (FAO zone) in which the fish were caught, the fishing vessel name, the fishing duration and the fishing method.

Weruva canned cat foods also feature exotic blends of fish, such as “Meow Me A River” from their Truluxe line of foods which features Basa, a freshwater fish in the pangasius family. In their BFF line of foods, tilapia and tuna are largely featured, while their Best Friends product lineup features recipes like “Mack, Jack and Sam” (a salmon, mackerel and skipjack tuna combination). Sourced and hand-packed in Thailand, Weruva takes pride in their processes and certifications for being responsible and eco-conscious manufacturers.

Last year, Petcurean introduced GATHER™ to the pet industry, a new line of pet food that charts a new course with including a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified recipe for dogs featuring certified line-caught cod.

“Cod is blended with MSC certified krill, peas, lentils, chickpeas, organic flaxseed and other essential ingredients to provide a hearty, healthy meal for adult dogs” said Rick van Schagen, President at Petcurean. Sea Salt Ocean based products are not limited to foods and treats, minerals from the Dead Sea have been making a comeback.

Ocean-based Supplements

If you're looking for ocean based products for pet skincare, you're in luck. There are dozens of great products out there. 

Soos Pets has launched its brand of Dead Sea mineral-enriched pet products. Their grooming products contain health-boosting minerals, essential oils, plant extracts and vitamins. “We launched Soos Pets after being inspired by a rescue sheltie named Shane, who was adopted later in life, and was not in a good place,” said Joe Benayon, co-founder. “We began researching natural ingredients that could help revive his dry skin and soothe his irritated paws, and discovered the power of Dead Sea minerals. While there were many products available for humans, there were not any for pets. So, we decided to create a collection ourselves.”

Dermagic’s Dead Sea Salt Scrub also features these healing salts. “Our invigorating blend of Dead Sea salts and natural minerals eliminates dandruff, draws toxins from the skin, relieves itching and leaves your pet’s skin and coat fresh and deeply exfoliated.” Designed to help stop dandruff in pets, this salt scrub can be used to loosen dead skin and remove flakes, while relaxing and easing the pain of stiff joints.

Learn more about 4 Bath Salts That May Benefit Your Pets (and you may even pick up a few tips for making your own baths a bit more luxurious!)

When shopping for sea-based supplements, foods or treats - consider the sources of the fish. The fukushima disaster resulted in nuclear waste and radiation entering the sea (and as a result, into our fish) and continues to spread. Choose fish that has been caught in remote areas (like Iceland) and has not been exposed to these toxins. This of course holds true in everything we eat as well.

“We are making a stand in our industry to only use sustainably harvested and ethically processed ocean-sourced ingredients,” said Greg Tilford, president of Animal Essentials. “This is the right thing to do for the planet, and it ensures the highest quality for our pets’ health too. Our suppliers are as passionate about the environment and quality as we are.”

It's up to us the consumer to pay attention to sustainability and call manufacturers out when they don't make sustainability goals.  The protection of our planet is up to us! 

The complexity of the natural category can be overwhelming as manufacturers and consumers alike dive into sourcing guidelines and sustainability, as well as challenges like short expiration periods. When it comes to the sea, sustainability is the key. 

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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