Now that I’ve talked about both Fatty Acids and amino acids, I can talk about another supplement that I give my dog – Spirulina.  Spirulina has become popular because it’s a great source of protein as well as a source for essential fatty acids.

Spirulina gets its name from its shape.  Spirulina is an algae that forms into small spirals.

Spirulina under the microscope (link)

Although the name is recent Spirulina has been around for a very long time.  When Spanish conquistadors came to the new world, they found the Aztec people farming spirulina on lake Texcoco, which is now right next to Mexico city.  Spirulina was harvested by letting it grow on the lake, and then scraping it off of the top and drying it.  Modern Spirulina is grown in similar ways, except that it is grown in a way to protect it from contaminants.

As I mentioned before, Spirulina is a great source of protein – over 60 – 70 % of dry Spirulina is protein.  Spirulina is a complete protein too, although some of the amino acids contents are fairly low.

Spirulina is a great source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and a lot of vitamins and minerals (although it seems that some people are stressing the amount of vitamin B12 – Spirulina actually has very little B12).   The Omega-3 Fatty Acids available in Spirulina are Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  This is great because these two compounds are very easily processed by your dog.

I give Spirulina to Tsuki along with bee pollen, even though they are both great sources of protein.  When it comes to supplements, many different sources are better than one!


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