Have you heard about the benefits of spirulina for dogs? Surely you have because it has become fashionable in recent years. That is why in our Las Almenas blog we want to tell you all about this algae considered a superfood due to its rich composition and the benefits attributed to it not only for humans, but also for animals.
However, spirulina for dogs is still a food supplement that requires some caution and dosage control. So, before you start offering this product to your dog, you should know everything about it.
What is spirulina or spirulina?
Spirulina is a spiral-shaped microalgae with a blue-green color. Its large amount of chlorophyll is what gives it its green color and phycocyanin is responsible for its blue color. Precisely, phycocyanin is a component with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties.
In addition, spirulina stands out because it is rich in quality proteins and other nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids.
In addition, spirulina has the advantage of being highly digestible and utilized by the body. For all these reasons, this algae, typical of tropical climates, is also considered to have multiple benefits for dogs and cats.
Read more: Healthy fruits and vegetables for your dog.
Is spirulina suitable for dogs?
Spirulina and its benefits have been known since ancient times, but it was not cultivated until the 1970s. Since then it has been used in the feed of certain livestock animals and more recently it has begun to be used in dried form as a food supplement for dogs.
Spirulina for dogs comes in different formats: tablets, capsules or powder to be added to the dog’s food or drink. Since this mircroalgae is a very nutrient-dense food, you will only have to add a small amount to the food.
From the age of six months and used in adequate doses, spirulina for dogs should not cause any side effects. However, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian about the most appropriate dosage for your dog and start with low doses and increase as you notice the benefits in your dog.
If the dosage is exceeded or the supplement is not well tolerated, it could manifest diarrhea and stomach discomfort. That is why it is very important to buy quality spirulina for dogs and make sure with your veterinarian about the quality and quantity of spirulina before giving it to your dog.
Benefits of spirulina for dogs
As we have already mentioned, spirulina offers great health benefits for dogs, regardless of the type of food you feed your friend, whether it is dog food or homemade food.
The brands currently marketed claim that spirulina for dogs improves the appearance of the coat making it shinier and stronger, and also strengthens the immune system of dogs, thanks to the richness of its components.
That is why spirulina is recommended for those dogs that have low defenses, are in a recovery process of some pathology, have malnutrition or are inappetent, as well as those dogs with problems in their coat.
It is also indicated for dogs that need to lose weight, since spirulina is attributed a satiating effect, although this property is not scientifically defined.
- Source of protein
70% of spirulina is protein with very good availability, so it is ready to be absorbed by the body of your furry friend. This means that his digestive system will not have to work to break down the food, since the nutrients are easily absorbed.
- Rich in minerals and vitamins
Spirulina is rich in essential minerals such as copper, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
In addition, spirulina is also rich in vitamins A, B, E, K and C. With such a list of minerals and vitamins, spirulina is a complete vitamin complex.
- Powerful antioxidant
Spirulina is also very rich in nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are elements that are found naturally in different foods and contain properties that benefit our health and also that of our dogs.
This is the case of chlorophyll and phycocyanin which are two powerful antioxidants that help protect the liver, making it easier for it to fulfill its functions and filter toxins from the body.
Both antioxidants also protect the kidneys, making it easier for your dog to get rid of toxins and helping his body to fight the action of free radicals, responsible for premature cellular aging.
- Powerful anti-inflammatory
Phycocyanin, in addition to being an antioxidant, also helps reduce pain and inflammation. That is why spirulina for dogs is an excellent supplement in cases of arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.
In fact, some studies suggest that phycocyanin may be even more potent than some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the negative effects that come with using those drugs.
- Facilitates digestion
Does your dog have digestive problems? Then spirulina for dogs could help him to improve his intestinal transit, as it controls certain bacteria or fungi present in the intestines, stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria and thus strengthens his immune system.
- Helps prevent and relieve certain allergies.
Since spirulina stimulates the immune system and the production of new blood cells, this algae also has the property of helping to fight allergies.
Keep in mind that allergies are an overreaction of the immune system and these reactions can be reduced or improved when the immune system is in perfect balance. If functioning properly, the immune system will be better able to fight allergens, fungi and other pathogens.
- Prevents cancer
Phycocyanin, which we have already mentioned is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, is also a nutraceutical that prevents the formation of cancer cells and stimulates the production of T-cells, which are responsible for attacking and destroying cancer cells.
As you can see, spirulina not only prevents the formation of cancer, but can also be very effective in optimizing treatment, as it has the ability to regenerate tissue damaged by radiation treatments and stimulates the growth of anti-cancer cells.
What is the right dose of spirulina for dogs?
To achieve all these benefits that we have discussed in our pet, a large dose of spirulina is not necessary. On the contrary, because, as we have already advanced, it is a very concentrated food and small doses are enough.
This dose of spirulina is different for each dog, since it depends on the size of the dog and the format in which it comes (tablets, capsules or powder). And although spirulina is not a medicine, but a complement to your dog’s diet, you cannot give him the amount you want, but the most appropriate one. This dosage must be indicated by the veterinarian and must be respected. However, we must also take into account the instructions that each manufacturer indicates on the spirulina package.
Generically, we indicate these aspects to take into account:
- Spirulina in tablets. Normally each tablet is supplied for every 10 kilos of weight of the dog, but this depends on the manufacturer and the concentration of spirulina of each brand. So, once again, we suggest that you go to your veterinarian to make sure what is the right dosage.
- Spirulina powder. Powdered dehydrated spirulina is usually administered as follows: half of a teaspoon to those dogs weighing less than 10 kilos; for those weighing more than 25 kilos, one teaspoon is given; and for larger dogs weighing more than 40 kilos, one and a half teaspoons are usually given. However, these are generic guidelines. Your veterinarian will tell you exactly what amount you should offer your dog more precisely.
What is the best spirulina for dogs?
Being a food supplement for dogs, it is important that you make sure of the brand you are going to buy and the product it contains.
The company that sells spirulina should be transparent in sharing its contact details so that, if you have any doubts, you can ask them to clarify everything.
They should also indicate the origin of the product and, if possible, it should be organic spirulina.
Keep in mind that it is possible to acquire spirulina grown in contaminated water or that it is another algae of the same color, but that in reality it is not spirulina and does not have the benefits we have mentioned.
In short, it is advisable to buy spirulina for dogs in appropriate and trustworthy places that assure its correct origin.
And you, did you know all the properties of spirulina for dogs? Do you usually give it to your dog? Tell us your experience with spirulina so we can all learn from your experience. We continue to publish tips and news from our breeder through our profiles on Facebook, Instagram and the Las Almenas YouTube channel. At Las Almenas we want to continue helping you with the care and health of your dog, so we invite you to become part of our Almenas Family.