Article at a glance:
- It is safe for dogs to consume spirulina if they don’t have pre-existing autoimmune disorders or liver disease.
- Dogs can enjoy the many health benefits of spirulina, just like humans do.
- Nonetheless, a proper spirulina dosage for dogs needs to be followed.
As pet parents, we will do anything to ensure that our furry pals are healthy and safe. So if you want to boost your dog’s health, you may want to consider spirulina for dogs.
Spirulina is a blue-green alga packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can promote your furry friend’s overall health and well-being. Whether you have a small pup or a senior dog, spirulina supplementation is certainly worth considering. Here’s why.
Can You Give Your Dog Spirulina?
Is spirulina safe for dogs? Yes, spirulina is generally recognized as safe for animals to consume. As a nutrient-dense alga, spirulina is already being incorporated into animal feed.
You can also refer to animal studies where spirulina is administered to dogs. This gives us a peek into spirulina’s many potential health benefits for our beloved furry friends. In fact, with the increased popularity of spirulina, more manufacturers are adding this amazing superfood to dog food and vegan dog treats.
However, there are some cases where spirulina is not recommended for dogs. This applies to those who already have pre-existing autoimmune disorders and liver disease.
When introducing a new supplement to dogs, it’s always best for pet owners to first consult with their veterinarian. Your trusted vet will consider the specific needs of your furry friend and recommend the appropriate dosage.
Is Spirulina Good for Dogs?
In general, spirulina is considered good for a dog’s diet, but why is spirulina good for dogs? This is due to the nutritional profile of spirulina. One spirulina tablet or serving contains over 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 3% dietary fiber. Spirulina is also a rich source of vitamins A, B12, C, and E and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
What makes spirulina even more remarkable is that this microalga is packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. All of these work together to help support your dog’s overall health.
9 Spirulina Benefits for Dogs
If you’re still on the fence about this blue-green algae powerhouse, here are nine health benefits of spirulina for dogs that you should know.
1. Promote a Healthy Immune System
Does spirulina help a dog’s immune system? One of the main benefits of spirulina for dogs is that it can promote a healthy immune system. Spirulina is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, both exhibiting immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to studies, spirulina helps increase white blood cells, antibodies, cytokines, and natural killer (NK) cells. A healthy immune system can improve resistance against viruses, diseases, and infections. Polysaccharides and phycocyanin in spirulina can provide immune support as dogs are exposed to infectious agents and environmental toxins. If your furry pal gets sick, the polysaccharides in spirulina can also help boost recovery and reduce damage caused by viral infections.
In one study, dogs were given 2 grams of spirulina for 30 days. Results showed higher white blood cells and hemoglobin levels than the control group. They also had higher protein and phagocytes at the end of the study. Researchers noted that the results were comparable to levamisole — a drug used to treat viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections in animals.
2. May Flush Away Heavy Toxins
Dogs are curious creatures. As such, they’re always sniffing and licking everything around them. This can expose them to environmental toxins that can lead to serious diseases.
How does spirulina help dog kidneys? Spirulina has strong detoxifying properties. It can bind to heavy metals and other toxins, then help flush them out of a dog’s body. Spirulina can also counteract heavy metal poisoning through detoxification.
3. May Help Manage Allergies
Does spirulina help dog allergies? Spirulina can help remedy your dog’s seasonal allergies. This is due to spirulina’s phycocyanin content, which can inhibit histamine release in the body. Spirulina also benefits dogs with an IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency, predisposing them to allergies.
Studies have found that spirulina can boost mucosal IgA levels. This, in turn, wards off allergens from entering your dog’s system. Higher IgA levels can also reduce your dog’s hyperinflammatory response to environmental allergens.
According to researchers, spirulina’s anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties can be beneficial in managing canine atopic dermatitis. It can help reduce oxidative stress that can worsen the severity of allergic skin conditions in dogs.
As a natural antihistamine, spirulina may be a better option compared to steroid treatment. The latter may cause side effects such as gastrointestinal distress, and long-term use may also lead to long-term damage.
4. Improves Skin and Coat
Your dog’s dry and flaky skin could be due to deficiencies in essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. For example, a zinc deficiency can lead to increased shedding and hair loss. It can also make your dog’s coat look dry and dull. These deficiencies can increase your dog’s susceptibility to parasites, fleas, lice, mites, and infections, further damaging the skin and coat.
With that said, you may want to consider spirulina for dogs. This impressive superfood is packed with essential fatty acids that can help improve skin and coat health. In particular, linoleic acid helps promote skin barrier function and reduces water loss — thereby keeping your furry pal’s skin healthy and hydrated. This also helps make their coat soft and shiny.
GLA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) also help decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine response that can trigger canine allergic skin conditions. Spirulina is also rich in zinc, magnesium, and B12, which are essential for normal skin development.
5. May Help Improve Digestion
Administering spirulina powder for dogs may improve digestion. Spirulina does not have tough cell walls, so dogs will easily digest it. At the same time, it provides our furry friends with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for a healthy metabolism. This, in turn, promotes healthy digestion and bowel movement. Spirulina is also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids that help promote gut health.
In one study, dogs were given 0.2% spirulina powder twice daily for 42 weeks. By week 9, researchers noted increased antibody levels that persisted until the end of the study. At 42 weeks, the dogs ran 10 miles pulling a sled. This type of exercise can cause physiological stress in dogs, leading to gut microbiome alterations. Results showed that spirulina supplementation led to microbiome stability. The dogs maintained similar levels before and after the exercise compared to the control group.
This could be due to increased mucosal IgA, which helps avoid pathogenic microorganisms and toxins from binding to cell receptors and overpopulating the gut.
Spirulina is also known to promote the growth of lactic acid bacteria, a “good bacteria” that is naturally present in a dog’s microbiome.
6. May Fight Off Mouth Odor
For pet owners, there’s nothing better than cuddling with your furry pal at the end of the day. However, one sniff of their bad breath makes this an unpleasant experience.
Does spirulina help with dog breath? One of the spirulina benefits for dogs is that it can help improve the smell of a dog’s breath. That’s thanks to the chlorophyll in spirulina. Chlorophyll is a natural deodorizer that neutralizes bad breath.
Bad breath may also be due to kidney or liver issues. Spirulina can address the cause of your dog’s bad breath from the inside by promoting digestion and detoxification.
7. May Promote Weight Loss
GLA in spirulina has been found to promote weight loss. This is by boosting metabolism, leading the body to burn more fat. Studies also found that GLA can help keep the weight off following significant weight loss.
Spirulina also contains phenylalanine, an amino acid that promotes the release of cholecystokinin, which helps suppress appetite.
Moreover, spirulina is packed with protein which can further increase satiety. Given these findings, spirulina can be a natural appetite suppressant and help your dog lose weight.
8. Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Can spirulina help with dog cancer? Spirulina is known for having anti-cancer properties. It is packed with beta-carotene, phycocyanin, and antioxidants that can increase your dog’s resistance to cancer and other serious diseases.
These antioxidants scavenge cancer-causing free radicals and stop them from invading healthy cells. According to studies, spirulina supplementation may help reduce tumor growth, induce tumor cell death, and may halt tumor metastasis.
Spirulina may also have the potential as an adjunct treatment for dogs undergoing chemotherapy. In one study, dogs who were given 12 mg of spirulina per kg of body weight showed increased levels of white and red cells in their bone marrow. By protecting against bone marrow damage, spirulina can help strengthen dogs’ immune systems and help them recover faster from chemotherapy.
9. Promotes Heart Health
Does spirulina help with dog heart health? Yes, spirulina can help lower cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL levels. This, in turn, can lower blood pressure. As such, spirulina supplements for dogs may help promote heart health. It can also reduce the risks and complications associated with heart disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Spirulina Should I Give My Dog?
The recommended daily spirulina for dogs dosage is 1/8 teaspoon (or 0.5 to 0.6 grams) per 10 kilograms of body weight. Depending on their weight, a dog may have up to 4 grams of spirulina daily. This is considered an effective dose that will allow you to take advantage of the many spirulina for dog benefits.
However, it is important to note that spirulina is not meant to replace your dog’s food. It is not meant to be consumed in large quantities. Rather, the appropriate dose should be incorporated into your pup’s diet to enhance their overall health. You can feed spirulina to your dogs as a tablet, along with their chewy treats, or spirulina powder mixed with wet food.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Spirulina?
Introducing spirulina to your dog’s diet may yield many health benefits. However, it is important to buy only the best spirulina supplements. Not all manufacturers have good quality control. Since spirulina is sourced from natural waterways, there’s a risk of buying spirulina contaminated with harmful toxins or bacteria.
It’s important to ensure that you’re using uncontaminated spirulina. The safest option would be to choose organic spirulina or pure spirulina. This will give pet owners peace of mind, knowing their furry friend is in good hands.
How Can My Dog Take Spirulina?
While dogs can easily swallow a spirulina tablet, it is imperative to check the right dosage for your dog. Plus, it may be hard to calculate the right dose by simply cutting tablets. Hence, it is best to use spirulina powder for your dog instead. This way, you can measure your dog’s recommended daily dosage.
Are There Any Spirulina Side Effects for Dogs?
Just like with other supplements, make sure to introduce spirulina gradually and in the appropriate dosage. This will reduce the risk of potential side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or rapid heartbeat. If there are any adverse effects, please consult your veterinarian immediately.
Enjoying the Many Health Benefits of Spirulina for Dogs
Spirulina is certainly safe and healthy for dogs. With this fantastic superfood, pet owners can take a big step in ensuring their furry pals have the best chance at a long and healthy life. Just make sure to use the appropriate dosage and choose the best quality supplement to experience the many health benefits of spirulina for dogs!