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Spirulina is an algae that has become fashionable in recent times as it is considered as a superfood for humans thanks to its composition and the benefits attributed to it. In this AnimalWised article, in particular, we review the information available on spirulina for dogs. It is not a medicine, but it is a perfect nutritional supplement or supplement for many cases. Therefore, it is advisable, before offering it to our dog, that we consult with the veterinarian.You may also be interested in: Fish oil for dogs - Dosage and benefits Index
- What is spirulina?
- Benefits and uses of spirulina in dogs
- Spirulina dosage for dogs
- Side effects of spirulina in dogs
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is the name given to a microalgae and it is due to its spiral shape. It is, in particular, a cyanobacteria, therefore greenish-blue in color. It comes from the genus Arthrospira and there are two types, Arthrospira maxima, from Mexico, and Arthrospira platensis, from Chad. As we can see, it is typical of tropical and subtropical climates..
Spirulina stands out for its composition, rich in quality proteins and other nutrients such as essential amino acids, vitamins, especially those of group B, or minerals, among which calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc stand out. selenium, copper and iodine. It also contains omega fatty acids. In addition, it has the added advantage that its nutrients are highly digestible, which means that the body can take advantage of them easily..
Its use has been known since ancient times in certain locations. To supply its growing market, it began to be cultivated in the 1970s. In animal feed it has been used in livestock or aquaculture, as well as for poultry. Spirulina for dogs has spread more recently and is used dehydrated as a food supplement. However, it should be noted that comes in different formats.
Benefits and uses of spirulina in dogs
Although numerous benefits are attributed to it, the truth is that spirulina supplements for dogs that are marketed are limited to ensuring a improvement in the appearance of the coat, that becomes brighter and more resistant, in pigmentation and in strengthening the immune system, thanks to nutrients like those we have mentioned in its composition.
Therefore, spirulina would be recommended for dogs with low defenses, in recovery, weakened or for those with problems or bad appearance of both skin and hair. Since spirulina contains a good amount of iodine, some caregivers have started giving spirulina to hypothyroid dogs. But the truth is that this disease cannot be treated with nutritional supplements. On the contrary, adding spirulina to the diet of hypothyroid dogs without any control can be counterproductive. For more details, see the article on Hypothyroidism in Dogs.
Finally, it is attributed true satiating effect, so that it can be used in dogs that need to lose weight. The other benefits attributed to spirulina for dogs have not been proven by veterinary experts, so we cannot guarantee that they actually occur..
Spirulina dosage for dogs
The dose will depend on the size of the dog and the selected format, since we can find spirulina tablets, capsules, or powder to add to food or drink. Although it is a food supplement and not a drug, it is equally important to respect the dosage indicated by the professional. It is not a question, far from it, of offering more quantity with the aim of obtaining better or faster benefits. As an example, the tablets are usually administered one for every 10 kg of the dog's weight, which usually corresponds to one gram or gram and a half of spirulina per 10 kg, but it will depend on the manufacturer and the spirulina concentration of each compressed. For this reason it is practically mandatory to consult with the veterinarian.
¿How to give spirulina to a dog?
As we have discussed, the appropriate dose of spirulina for the dog should be administered directly in food or drink, depending on the format. Thus, the animal will take it more easily and will be able to take advantage of its benefits.
And if you want to discover more food supplements that are good for dogs, which you can even combine with spirulina, don't miss these articles:
- ¿Dogs can eat turmeric?
- ¿Dogs can eat honey?
Side effects of spirulina in dogs
Once the vet gives us the go-ahead for the administration of spirulina for dogs, if we use the appropriate dose, we shouldn't notice any adverse side effects. If these occur, it is necessary to notify the veterinarian immediately, but it is not usual. It is more advisable to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it if we notice benefits for our dog, always following the veterinarian's instructions.. It is not advisable to offer to puppies under six months.