Humans are often reminded of the importance of having protein in their diet. It can be obtained through the consumption of meat, legumes, dairy, soy, and eggs, to name a few, and is a valuable contributor to having strong muscles plus it helps our bodies repair cells and make new ones.
If protein is an important building block for all parts of our body, the same can be said for that of our furry friends. To discover how to increase the amount of protein your dog receives, and to better understand the many benefits of Spirulina, let’s explore this topic a little deeper.
Protein – The Building Blocks of Life
Why Is Protein Important for Your Dog?
Imagine your dog running to greet you when you get home from work, the walks you take with each other, or playing catch with a ball in the park, all of these activities she does regularly are because she has protein in her body. As we can see on PetMD the power of protein in a dog is important for her to be healthy.
It plays several roles in her body, the first being, it helps to build and repair muscles and other tissues. It is used to grow new skin cells, hair, and it helps to create body chemicals that allow her to function normally (so she’s always ready to with you).
In a similar fashion to carbohydrates, it also provides her with energy and it helps to keep her immune system running smoothly and strongly. Protein is derived from amino acids, dogs need 22 of these amino acids in order to make a single protein.
A dog can naturally make half of these amino acids herself, but after that she needs help, this is where food in protein comes into the play. If she doesn’t receive enough of these essential amino acids she may develop deficiencies and other health problems.
Protein Requirements for Your Dog
Yes, all dogs need protein, but in some cases, your dog may require more than other dogs; PetMD explains in further detail. Essentially, the activity level of your dog, age, her size, and her age will all play a key role in determining the level required.
Let’s say you have a hunting dog, like a Britney Spaniel, her activity is higher than a traditional lapdog, like a Bichon Frisé, and therefore requires higher levels of protein. If your dog is pregnant and lactating, she will also need more protein to maintain the extra energy she is spending.
A dog who is sick or injured should receive more protein to help her fight off the illness, and lastly, an older dog needs less as her activity levels have decreased over time. If your dog receives extra protein it is typically eliminated through her urine, however, too much over a long period of time and it will be stored as fat.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is blue-green algae, these algae are the shape of flawless spiral coils. According to Dog’s Naturally Magazine overall, every single unit of alga contains over 60% of digestible vegetable protein. To add to that, they have the highest concentration of many other important minerals and vitamins that are beneficial to both animals and humans.
As understood on Health.com, it could possibly be one of the oldest life forms on the planet. It is even possible that the Aztecs and African natives consumed this superfood long before we introduced it to modern life.
What Are the Benefits of Spirulina?
Spirulina is special because it is recognized as one of the few known plant-based sources of a complete protein. Recall that we discussed your dog needed more amino acids in order to build protein within, spirulina will provide your dog with all the missing amino acids.
At Dog’s Naturally Magazine, they delve deeper into the unique attributes that spirulina has, such as nutrients and polysaccharides that help to enhance the immune system. When your dog’s immune system is strong, she will be more capable of fighting off infections, cancer, and even autoimmune disease.
Further to these nutrients, it also is rich in natural carotenoid antioxidants and a cleansing chlorophyll; the first helps to promote cellular health, while the later helps to detoxify bodies of polluting entities. Not only will the gastrointestinal health of your pup be optimal, but it can aid in reducing allergies.
How Does It Work?
To know more about how spirulina works, such as how it cleans our blood, Nutrex Hawaii provides some insightful information. Essentially, as it is rich in chlorophyll, it is most efficient at working as a blood cleansing agent.
This chlorophyll helps to build red blood cells in the body, and it also provides the body with much-needed magnesium. Both combined do well to help eliminate toxins from the bloodstream and help to oxygenate the blood.
As we previously discussed, it is blue-green in color, this blue coloring found within is a result of the phycocyanin and allophycocyanin. These phytonutrients help increase the white blood cells within in the body, the cells of the immune system that help protect the body against diseases and foreign invaders.
Where Can I Find Spirulina?
Spirulina mainly comes in powdered form or as a capsule. If you choose to buy it as a powder, some people have been known to be creative with the powder and make treats for their pup. Watch the video below for an inventive way to make a treat for your dog that is super healthy and includes the superfood.
There are a variety of immune-boosting products (specifically for dogs) that contain spirulina in them. Your best bet is to try and see what your dog likes best, keeping in mind as a concentrated powder you will likely have to hide it in food because of its strong taste.
Is it Safe for Your Dog?
Before we give our dogs a new substance, even if we have heard about its great benefits in full, we want to be sure that it is a safe product. According to Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM at PeterDobias.com he has seen dogs who have low energy, or who are even chronically ill, respond well to the introduction of spirulina into their diets.
Remember that including this in the diet of your dog does not mean giving her excess amounts. If you are overfeeding her the spirulina she may have reactions such as diarrhea or digestive upset, so verify the correct amount with your veterinarian.
Watch the video below to learn more about the algae and how much to give to your dog.
Giving Spirulina to Your Dog
Getting your dog to eat it can be tricky for a picky eater. If you have the time and recall the video above, you may try to make a doggy treat for your favorite pup to enjoy. If your dog is new to receiving supplements, it is best to try one at a time to be sure of how she will react.
At Dog’s Naturally Magazine, the site discusses the cautions that should be taken, like verifying the source of the algae, ensuring the ingredients are pure, inspect the smell, (it should smell like fresh seaweed) and the color and texture, (it should be dark green in color and feel like milled flour).
Taking Care of Your Dog
Providing the best for our dogs is what we all, as pet owners, try to do. This guide was created to give you a better understanding of the benefits of spirulina and what these algae can do for your dog. Don’t forget the following:
- Spirulina is greenish-blue algae that are naturally high in protein
- Protein is important for your dog and her immune system
- Each dog requires her own unique amount, depending on her specific needs
- Spirulina has many benefits, some of which are: boosting her immune system, cleaning her blood, and helping with allergies
- You can purchase Spirulina in a variety of forms, such as here
Have you introduced a supplement to your dog with great success? Do you have more questions or would like to comment with a story of your own? We invite you to share your thoughts with us.