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Benefits Of Spirulina For Dogs

spirulina dogsSpirulina is a microscopic algae in the shape of a perfect spiral coil. It contains the most remarkable concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb. Its the highest protein food- over 60% all digestible vegetable protein. It has the highest concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B-12, iron and trace minerals and the rare essential fatty acid GLA. (gamma-linolenic acid)

Spirulina Nutrition

Spirulina contains a number of unique phytonutrients like phycocyanin, polysaccharides and sulfolipids that enhance the immune system, possibly reducing the risk of infection, cancer and autoimmune disease. It is rich in natural carotenoid antioxidants that promote cellular health and reduce the risk of cancer. It has cleansing chlorophyll which helps detoxify our bodies of ever present pollution.

Spirulina Benefits

Both test-tube studies and animal-based research suggest that spirulina may help to:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve gastrointestinal health
  • Aid in detoxification
  • Reduce the rate of cancer
  • Help allergies

Spirulina Can Strengthen The Immune System

When the immune system is stressed or suffering, it draws on the body’s metabolic energy. Dogs with immune system imbalance often feel chronic fatigue and low energy. Small amounts of spirulina can help balance and stabilize the immune system, freeing up more metabolic energy for vitality, healing and assimilation of nutrients. It enhances the body’s cellular communication process and its ability to read and repair DNA, like a kind of cellular tune up. Scientists around the world – in Japan, China, India, Europe, Russia and the USA – are discovering how and why spirulina is so effective for human and animal health. Hundreds of published scientific studies reveal how spirulina and its unique phytonutrients boost the immune system and improve health.

Studies confirm spirulina improves immune system function. Medical scientists discovered it not only stimulates the immune system, it actually enhances the body’s ability to generate new blood cells. Important parts of the immune system – bone marrow stem cells, macrophages, T-cells and natural killer cells, spleen and thymus glands – all show enhanced activity. Scientists observe it causes macrophages to increase in number, become activated and more effective at killing germs. Because spirulina increases disease resistance in animals, even in very small doses, the animal feed industry is studying its use as a new probiotic to help replace overused antibiotic drugs in animal feeds.

Spirulina Can Improve Gastrointestinal And Digestive Health


Research confirms spirulina promotes digestion and bowel function. It suppresses bad bacteria like e-coli and Candida yeast and stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Healthy flora is the foundation of good health and it increases absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, and helps protect against infection.

Spirulina Can Enhance Detoxification and Natural Cleansing

Researchers in Japan found spirulina significantly reduced kidney toxicity caused by the heavy metal mercury and three pharmaceutical drugs. Other researchers found rats consuming spirulina or chlorella algae eliminated seven times the dangerous chemical dioxin compared to a control diet.

In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days (donated by Earthrise Farms), lowered radionucleides by 50%, and normalized allergic sensitivities. Today our dogs are subjected to an onslaught of toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and drugs. Their bodies need to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina has a completely unique combination of phytonutrients – including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides, that can help cleanse the body.

Spirulina Can Prevent and Treat Cancer

Spirulina’s blue-green color is more than a pretty facade; it is also the source of much of its cancer-prevention abilities. In Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford writes, “Important to note in the area of prevention, spirulina is richly supplied with the blue pigment phycocyanin, a biliprotein which has been shown to inhibit cancer-colony formation.”

Spirulina and its extracts have been shown to have anticancer activity in animal studies. Spirulina stimulates natural killer cells and similar anti-immune components of the immune system that can help fight cancer cells. Laboratory studies also show that spirulina polysaccharides can work to repair genetic material that has been damaged from toxins or from radiation.

An Oregon State University study in which laboratory animals were exposed to a potent cancer-causing substance found that animals given a chlorophyll supplement prior to exposure developed far fewer tumors than animals who were not given the supplement. The researchers believe that chlorophyll may reduce the risk of developing skin, stomach, colon, and liver cancers. Take a chlorophyll or sea-greens supplement, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, as directed on the product label.

Spirulina Can Reduce Allergies

Clinical research points to broad basis for the anti-allergic activity of this functional food. A trial published in August 2008 demonstrated an immune-modulating effect in people who were administered spirulina for 16 weeks. Significant reductions in IL-6 (interleukin-6) were noted, which suggests a balancing effect on “immune variables”. Other experiments performed in “test tubes”, animals and humans support these prior findings and suggest that the effect of spirulina may even afford protection to those with food allergies. These test results are important because allergic reactions are partially brought about by inappropriate responses by the immune system. That explains why one dog can be severely reactive to a certain flower pollen or a common food and another in the same circumstance feels completely fine.

Spirulina Powder

Spirulina is often sold in powder form, but it’s also available in capsules and other natural products (including juices).  Try giving your dog spirulina and you will notice a shinier, more lustrous coat, fresher breath and better overall physical condition.


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53 Responses to Benefits Of Spirulina For Dogs

  1. Janis

    What is AWGE? You replied to a command from someone whos collie has liver cancer, said to try this. Thanks

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      AWGE, also known as Avemar, is a fermented wheat germ extract supplement used to support immunity and is often used for cancer patients. If you google AWGE you’ll find quite a bit of information on line.

  2. Robin Cawley

    My 15 yr old westies kidneys are failing. Would spirulina help or be to mych protein for him. I know veg protein is better for them & livershunt dogs. Can u help?

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      Robin your best best is to work with a homeopathic vet (and he/she will explain why vegetable protein is not better for these – or any – dogs). You can find one at theavh.org or contact Dr Jodie Gruenstern, who has worked with a lot of these dogs. Good luck!

  3. Maylon Jo Welch

    My Pomeranian has an enlarged heart. And like of oxygen. Will this spirulina help him??

  4. Jennifer Fisk

    I’ve been feeding Spirulina to my German Shepherds since 1992. My first GSD had a very depressed immune system so the least little insult became a major deal. After I started using Spirulina, she was a lot more resilient. I use the powdered version readily available in the healh food stores.

  5. ana

    Hello, I understand the dosage of spirulina is 1/4 tsp. per pound of Food. Question is, is that for a daily dosage? If not, would the daily dosage be the double? (For example, 1/4 tsp per pound of food Twice daily with each meal). Thank you very much for the great articles!

  6. Dawn LOUBERT

    Hi. It says that the dosage of spirulina is 1/4 tsp. per lb. of dog, But how much of a 500 mg. tablet do I give a 10 kg. dog? Thank you so much for your time and consideration, Dawn

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      Dawn, I think the easiest way to figure this out would be to crush the tablets and then measure with a teaspoon. Your dog is 22 lbs so would need 5.5 tsps. I would also check the ingredients to make sure there are no other ingredients in the tablets and that they are 100% spirulina.

      • ana

        I’m confused. I read below the dosage is 1/4 tsp. per pound of food, not per pound of dog. That’s consistent with the equivalent for humans, ie, the daily recomended dosage for humans is 3-5 grams (that’s about 1-1 2/3 teaspoons); if we assume that’s for a 150 lb human (as refered by you in another comment), it makes no sense for a 22 lb dog to take 5.5 tsp of spirulina! It doesn’t sound any logic. Instead, accordingly with the dosage for humans, a 22 lb dog would need 1/6 – 1/3 teaspoon of spirulina daily. Or am I getting it all wrong? Thanks

  7. Liz Falconer

    I want to give this to my dog but not sure of the dosage as feed a really good wet food a few times per day. So how much would it be for bodyweight please?

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      Liz, if you’re using a product specifically for dogs, I would use the dose recommended on the packaging. If you’re using a human product, assume the dosage is for a 150 lb human and adjust accordingly for your dog’s weight.

  8. Stanford LYNX

    Several years ago I put a basic web-site together for a couple that wanted to sell a “Blue-Green Algae” people were saying many good things about it, with testimonials of their positive experiences.

    My question is: does this “Blue-green” algae sound like it is the same or similar to this “spirulina”? I live on the north-coast of Oregon, USA and I think that the “Blue-Green Algae” was from Klamath Lake, Oregon. I would love to hear from you and the readers of this; for any pertinent discussions/answers comparing the two product descriptive names.

    I have a 6¾ year old 70 pound “Pit-bull” named Rio; that is my very much loved ADA Assistance Animal (Service-Dog). She has many very helpful skills eg; Hearing-Ear Dog, she pulls my wheelchair or mountain bike for miles — perfectly responding to vocal commands/directions. They let her stay with me in the Er or when I check into a hospital room for an operation that keeps me there for 7-8 days.

    I find myself being afraid of most manufactured pet foods; so now that I have lost my wife, I prepare our meals together much of the time. I use chicken tenderloins, Salmon brown Basmati rice, oats, barley, whole wheat, olive oil, fish oil, lots of vegetables, et cetera.

    It seems like this spirulina would be the sort of supplement that I have been watching for; but do you think it is like the B.G. algae, or is it a different product entirely?

    Stanford & Rio

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      The aquatic vegetation is similar yet different. There is algae, there is spirulina, there is kelp, bladderwrack, and they all carry different qualities and nutritional profiles.

  9. Erika

    I have been following this thread, and was wondering, for 500 mg. spirulina tablets, the dosage says to give (to humans) 6 tablets daily with food. Assuming they mean a 120-160 lb. human, would I just cut that dosage in half (ground into powder) for a 75 lb. lab, or 1/3 for a 45 lb. lab? I didn’t want to give her too much.

  10. Kim

    Hi there, after reading your article on Spirulina, I’ve decided to try it for myself as well as my dog!
    I’ve been researching abit as I seem to be limited in my area to what I can get.
    Would you say the powder or capsules are better to give to my dog? and do you have any insight as to which brand is better or where it comes from, Hawaii or China?

    Many thanks!

  11. Dominika

    Hi, I was just reading your article and I’m thinking to start giving my dogs this wonderful antioxidant.What would be advice dose to take for the weight 50kg Akita Inu? Thank you

  12. Lupe

    I also have trader how’s 500 mg spirulina tablets, I’m wondering if I would be able to feed these to my pups? I have a 12 lbs Yorkie and a 43 lbs frenchie. Neither are overweight, they are just large for their breed.FYI.

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      You might have to grind the pills up to make sure they’re not getting too much.

    • I gave this to my two dogs this morning (Beavis and Butthead) and they loved it. I have been taking it for about a week and a severe skin allergy (nodules maybe a inch big) have disappeared. Will keep you posted. We are taking Pharmaceutical grade pure spirulina.

  13. Deb Hoff

    I was recently told that you should not use products containing Spirulina if you have your dog on a high protein food (Orijen, for example), as it is detrimental to their kidneys. Thoughts?

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      The studies showing that high protein consumption placed stress on the kidneys was performed on rabbits who are herbivores! The information was then wrongly extrapolated for dogs. High protein content is much more suitable and desirable for carnivores and, as long as the protein quality is high (for example, meat), then dogs have no issues with a high protein diet and adding spirulina shouldn’t be an issue.

  14. regina tibbs

    Hi, my collie is 12 and has just been diagonosed with a huge liver tumor, she is gastly thin and lost a lot of weight. I am basicly told that I am loosing her and that all I can do is feed her high protein and extend her life . Can this spirulina reverse her tumor or aid in extension of life………since collies are so so sensitive to most everything and much meds are contraindicated.. Please rsvp asap. Thanks ever so much. Also I have just been diagonsed with extreme scholisos and am in my early 60′s. I am under chiropractic care but ani infamitory is needed for the nerves and pain. Would this help? Thanks…………..Gina

    • Dogs Naturally Magazine

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Liver cancer is very aggressive unfortunately. You could try AWGE or look into Neoplasene.

    • Isabel

      Hi there, very sorry to hear about you and your dog. Just wanted to shine the light on several healing options. I’ve been giving my 9 yr old German Shepard spirulina daily as part of her natural foods cooked food diet, I prepare for her daily. Se thrives on it!! And really looks forward to eating. Her coat is gorgeous, thick and very shiny!! Her energy is super high! I have never seen a bad side effect from it. I suggest 1 tablespoon a day. I am a holistic health coach, I take spirulina daily:) it’s natures most perfect food for you and your dog. Also incorporate as much raw extra Virgin cold pressed coconut oil into you and your dogs lifestyle..it’s anti viral and anti bacterial..natures anti biotic:)) along with many other health benefits..it is a medium chain fatty acid. So you’ll actually loose weight from taking it. I suggest you start making super food meals for you and your dog..start a daily juicing regimen..the body has an internal healing mechanism and wants to heal!! You just have to put the right fuels in to help it along the way:)

      • Aubrey

        I use the tablets. How many would I give my Australian shepherd who weighs 75lbs?

      • Patty Mattingly

        Hi Isabel. My name is Patty. I have several babies and try to do everything right as far as their health care. If you don’t mind my asking where do you get your spirulina powder from? I have looked several places but want to make sure it is good for my dogs. I take and give my dogs organic coconut oil everyday. Thanks for any help. Patty

  15. Debbie

    My maltese got pancriatitis, she has lost a lot of weight even though she has been treated by vet. They say she has to be on a light diet for the rest of her life, but would spirulina be safe for her to take? and help her

  16. Audra

    I put spirulina powder in my dog’s water and she loves it! It is good for her because she has allergies and sneezes a lot .

  17. Renee

    I’ve been giving all my animals, including my 3 dogs spirulina for about a year now. My 9 year old chihuahua/mix has really perked up since using it and seems to have more energy. I also give probiotics with it (once a day everyday) which is good for overall health, but helps the spirulina to be digested better.

  18. victor kinnick

    My dog is fighting distemper and we are using spirulina to combat it. If u have more info we could use it

  19. sue

    I have a beagle….she is 15.5 kilos in weight. How much spirulina would you recommend? She is on Thyroid medication, and has started eating DIRT, I have to muzzle her when she goes outdoors. I have been to the vet, not much help with the problem. I am wondering if she is lacking something in her diet. Thanks Sue

    • Debbie

      I had 2 dogs who ate dirt and consulted a few different vets and dr internet…we’d heard the usual things like deficiencies and pica, but I had a suspicion it was more. unfortunately, we found too late that one of my dogs had internal bleeding, likely caused by cancer — she had mast cell tumor w/dirty margins removed a few years prior and when she died the one vet suspected that it had spread and burst or possibly she had another type of cancer, can’t remember the name, that burst her spleen. But the fact is that mast cell cancer releases histamines which can cause anaphlyaxis reactions as well as bleeding ulcers. My other dog that was eating dirt stopped eating dirt the day the other one died. I feel like she was trying to tell me something by eating dirt with her sister. I was trying to tell vets things too but felt like they would always get stopped by the fact my dogs ate raw diet as if they were deficient in something because they ate raw food. If that were the case, Daisy would have continued eating dirt after Onyx died. She was always doing what her sister did. Hindsight – it’s always 20/20. So not to say your dog has cancer or anything serious, but it’s worth getting your dog tested for anemia, stomach ulcer, other digestive issues, and I don’t know if there’s any screening these days for mast cell cancer but that’s another I’d add if so. Good luck!

  20. Angela

    We have several Beagles. They are on a raw diet of human grade ground chicken backs & turkey necks and alternate to raw beef or pork on occasion. They enjoy fruits such as watermelon, banana and blueberries and love them frozen in an ice cube. Celery too! We are adding Spirulina to their good, but I wonder if it would be okay to put 1/4 tsp. per dog in their nightly portion. It is not a pound of food, but I know that a pound of raw is not the same as a pound of dry kibble. Please advise if this is an over-dose or if this dosing would be appropriate. My dogs are an average of 20 lbs each, with my large male at approximately 30 lbs. Thank you.

  21. Deb

    Could any one tell me the dosing of spirulina for a dog if it’s a human grade tablet. I have Trader Joe’s Organic Spirulina daily supplement that I take myself….500mg. Human use recommendation is 3 tablets daily. What would I give my dog (s) ?…..all different weights, the largest weighing about 70 lbs. Also, I’ve read that Bromelain and Quercetin are excellent natural supplements for dogs with allergies, but I can’t seem to find any information on appropriate dosing for dogs……any help or info would be appreciated!

    • Jerrry

      Read Mike Adams book on Spirulina and Chlorella free e–book onine. Spirulina minimum dose should be 10 grams, disease fighting dose is 20 grams, and athletic dose 60 grams or more, this is all based on a 150 lb person. So give your dog according to a 150 lb person.

  22. Krystle Stewart

    I like to make my own food patties for my dog, fresh veggies, raw meat, fruits, etc the patties don’t get cooked, but I’m wondering if it would be appropriate to add some spirulina powder to the patties or would freezing the patties damage the benefits of the powder?

  23. Great article about spirulina and it is good to see that also pet owners are aware of the many health benefits of spirulina. We have even seen the testimonials to the benefits of spirulina on horses and it goes to show that natural nutrition is always best. Spirulina also have an effect on the immune system and together with beta glucan, which is the best proven natural immune enhancer for use in humans and animals, pet owners can give their pets a complete protection against infections and age related symptoms.

  24. vicki

    hi…thanks for the advice but would just like to know 1/4 teaspoon for what weight/breed dog…i have a 15 yr old west highland terrier…she isnt ill, just want her to enjoy a few more years!!!! thanks :)

  25. lynn

    my little chihuahua has IMHA and is taking predisone,azathoiprine, anacid blocker, doxy, pet tinic. is it safe to use spirulina with all the meds?she had to have a whole blood transfusion. very bad disease caused from yearly shots.

  26. Kimberly

    I would like to start giving my dog Spirulina for atopic allergies. I saw in an earlier post the appropriate dosage is noted as 1/4 teaspoon per lb of food daily. She is currently on a short term predinzone treatment and the vet discussed Atopia (Cyclosponine) for future use. Are there any concerns about starting the Spirulina while she is finishing the prednisone and should I even consider the use of Atopia?

    • Dogs Naturally
      Dogs Naturally

      PERSONALLY, I would never consider the use of Atopica (nor Prednisone). A good, classical homeopath can sort this out without the immune assault of these drugs. I’m not convinced spirulina will have that much of an affect on a dog needing this type of intervention. The best advice I can likely give you is go see a homeopath! (Or a good TCM practitioner). Otherwise, these drugs just suppress the symptoms and drive the illness in deeper and will always come back in some form or another. Best of luck.

  27. lacy

    I have been taking spirulina for a year now and love it. I just picked up a stray pup that is in severe malnutrition. She is hide over bone. I read that spirulina has been given to starving children in third world countries to help them gain weight. Is it true that it will help? I also believe in taking diatomaciouse earth. Should I take spirulina at a different time than the d.e. since d.e. bonds to things and takes it out of your system. Will the d.e. counteract the spirulina?

  28. kerri

    my dog is taking doxycycline for heartworm, can i give her spirulina during this period or will it combat the effects of the antibiotic? i dont use any drugs and dont want to give them to my dog either, however she does have a serious case of hearworm so i am willing to give her hearworm treatment then go totally natural.

  29. Lynne Parker

    Thanks so much!

  30. Dogs Naturally
    Dogs Naturally

    The daily dose is 1/4 teaspoon per pound of food.

  31. Lynne Parker

    I’m set to order some spirulina powder from Mountain Rose Herbs. I trust them. My only question is how much per dog’s body weight does one give?

    • Michelle

      I have read all the inquiries and have read where it says 1/4 teas. per lb of food but still looking for an answer to how much Spirulina do I give my Pup for a 50 lb dog? Thank You in advance for the answer so I do not give her too much…


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