Why I love adding spirulina to my dogs’ food
So, this content is a little out of the norm for me, but I kind of had to tell you about this bizarre discovery! Through a complete accident, I recently learned that all four of my dogs love spirulina- and apparently, spirulina loves them too. I’ll start at the beginning…
My husband recently joined the marketing team for an independent supplement brand IDIAS, specializing in organic spirulina. If you aren’t familiar with spirulina, it’s a blue-green algae (fancy way of saying it’s, well, pond scum) known for its high nutrition content. According to the FDA, Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It also contains essential amino acids (i.e.: the building blocks of proteins)- in fact, more than 50% of spirulina’s dry weight is protein!
Among IDIAS’ many goals is to make high quality nutrition affordable and accessible for everyone! As such, they’ve been hard at work figuring out optimal shipping and packaging methods. During one of these trials, a full bag of spirulina fell over and spilled across my brick patio (unbeknownst to me). My husband cleaned up most of it, but didn’t think to scrub the whole patio down. About 20 minutes later, two of my dogs came in with green faces! After a moment of extreme confusion, I realized they had been licking every last trace of spirulina off of the bricks.
Shown above: Two dogs from my squad licking up some spirulina mixed with water. I typically mix it in with their food, but wanted to demonstrate how much they love the flavor!
“The dogs licked up the spirulina? But it’s…pond scum…” said my confused husband. “Yes baby, but they also eat worms and their own poop,” responded me. It’s not that spirulina is especially bad tasting (though I prefer it mixed into smoothies or taken in capsules), you just don’t usually see dogs going crazy for green, powdery supplements. Apparently, spirulina is the exception!
Okay so dogs like spirulina, but is it good for them?
Spirulina is usually known primarily for the superfood health benefits it offers to humans, but it can also be extremely healing and energizing for dogs! I’m not a veterinarian, but I spend a LOT of time researching nutrition for my pups, and I like to share what I’ve learned. These are just some of the studied and/or observed benefits of eating spirulina for dogs:
- Strengthens the immune system (and actually enhances the body’s ability to generate new blood cells)
- Improve gastrointestinal health (it suppresses bad bacteria and stimulates beneficial bacteria)
- Helps detoxification (on a personal note, I’ve noticed that spirulina greatly helps humans recover from hangovers, so I fully believe it has a similar effect on dogs)
Many experts believe that spirulina can also reduce the risk of cancer and reduce allergies! Even if it only accomplishes one of these goals, it’s worth it for the vitamins alone.
How should I feel spirulina to my dogs?
Here’s the easiest part- at least in my experience- they love it no matter what! I don’t know if it’s the smell or the flavor, but all four of my dogs get super excited when I open the bag. In fact, I’ve started mixing it with a little water and putting it at the bottom of their food bowls, because they’ll eat through everything else just to get to it!
Dosage wise, it’s recommended that you start with 1/8 teaspoon (per day) for every ten pounds of canine body weight. Over-feeding spirulina can result in digestive issues (trust me, as someone who initially thought, “whatever, it’s healthy, I’ll just throw some in,” about 12 hours before cleaning up doggy diarrhea), so keep in mind that less is more! Spirulina’s power is so concentrated, you really don’t need to overdo it.
Where should I get spirulina for my dogs?
Well, in my blatantly biased opinion, you should buy it from my husband’s partners at IDIAS (click here to order), because they’re committed to providing spirulina that is USDA certified organic, non-GMO, made in the USA, and priced with the average consumer in mind. If you buy it on eBay, you can get free shipping on many orders! (PS: it may very well be me who ships your order, because I love helping out)
That said, I’m most concerned about your pups’ health, so if you look elsewhere, make sure you confirm that it’s organic, non-GMO, free of added ingredients/colors, and not manufactured in countries without sufficient oversight (translation: avoid spirulina from China). If you can’t find this information on the packaging, reach out to the manufacturer to confirm.
Have you used spirulina for your own dogs, your other companion animals, or yourself? I’d love to hear about your experience! Let me know in the comments!
5 thoughts on “Spirulina: Superfood for Dogs?”
It’s just terrific stuff,I’m sure our ancient ancestors would have thought “if it’s good for us it must be good for them (animals) bearing in mind this is purely a natural substance ☺️
My boy has anemia and has become hyper picky. I scramble him an egg, mix in the spirulina and he laps it up! Makes my heart sing.
About 20 minutes ago I was getting my supplements out of their bottles and one of them is spirulina tablets. My dogs happened to be sitting next to me watching, I told Leroy, lol, (my long-haired German Shepherd mix), “You won’t eat this, Leroy” but held it out for him to sniff anyway and he tried to take it! We all know how much spirulina stinks 😁 I did a quick Google to see if dogs could eat spirulina and then broke the tablet in half and gave it to him. He literally wolfed it down. And looked for more! My other dog, Charlotte, a Boston terrier mix, took her half but spit it out several times before actually eating it. I have some good powder in the fridge that’s been sitting there for a while because I can’t stand the taste of it, now I can feed it to my dogs! Yay
I live in the UK and I have been searching how many tablets to give dogs weighing 12 kg and 17 kg ?.
The reason tablets is due to the fact that the powder here is so expensive and is labelled for dogs.
They do love the powder and are still on the powder until I find the right quantity in tablets.
Most of the supplements for human consumption is in tablet form.
Obviously for humans you need sometimes 3/6 tablets per day.
Not quite sure how to split them for dogs and would be inclined to give one or two per day.
What would you suggest?.
try crushing it. you can use the back of a fork and press down on the tablet while it’s in a bowl but be sure to cover the bowl while crushing it because some pieces may fly out of the bowl when you apply the pressure. purchase a pill / tablet crusher or a mortar and pistol. crush several and store in a jar and measure your needed amount.