What is spirulina?
Spirulina is one of the blue-green algae. It’s probably the oldest known life form on earth, according to scientists. This post in WebMD speaks of its use by the Aztecs to increase endurance, so it’s been consumed for hundreds of years. Often referred to as a “superfood,” it has come into favor recently for its protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Is it ok to give to dogs?
Spirulina is ok to feed to dogs if done as recommended. It is a cyanobacterium, so it can be harmful if used in extremely large amounts. It is also one of the algae that can be harmful in water sources like lakes and streams if the wrong conditions are present; warm and brackish water (contain fresh and seawater), which is high in phosphorus and nitrogen. These conditions aren’t the ones present when the algae used for supplements is obtained, so it’s not likely a problem.
These algae can also be contaminated with toxins and heavy metals if obtained from poorly controlled sources. You should do your research and make sure the company you purchase from is reputable and provides a high-quality organic product. If you purchase thoughtfully, it’s pretty safe.
How can spirulina help your dog?
This food supplement has come into favor in the dog community because it’s so rich in nutrients, vitamins, and other antioxidants. Because of all the good stuff in it, it helps strengthen the immune system, increase gut health, decrease allergic reactions, and may help decrease or prevent cancers, among other healthful benefits. This post from DogsNaturally has more information if you’re interested.
Are there any side effects?
Fortunately, there aren’t many side effects. The most common one is stomach upset or diarrhea, which is most common if dogs get more than they should. It does have kind of a bitter taste, so some dogs may not eat it as easily, but ours don’t a problem with it at all.
What do our dogs think of it?
Our dogs have been eating spirulina for the last couple of weeks. We mix it in with their meals once a day. It takes a little stirring to get it all mixed in because it is a fine powder, at least the kind we get. The color might take some getting used to because the blue-green algae is actually a dark blue-green. But our dogs eat it up. None of them refuses to eat it, and none of them has any side effects.
Two weeks is not enough time to see many health benefits, but since we’re not having any problems, we’ll keep feeding it for a while and see how it goes. Fortunately, the cost is pretty minimal, about ten cents a day. If this helps our dogs be healthier, it’s definitely worth using.
Have you fed spirulina to your dogs? Tell me about your experience in the comments below. We believe in feeding our dogs as well as possible. For more about feeding dogs well, read this post.