Immune Boosting Frozen Dog Treats!

When we consider different foods as additions to or dog’s bowl it’s important to ask ourselves “what is the purpose of this food item”, and “why am I adding this into my dog’s diet”. The reason may be something as simple as for enjoyment, but other times we may add or choose particular foods because of their nutritional properties or to enhance our dog’s lives in a certain way!

And that is exactly what this recipe is for!

A recent study has come out speaking to the benefits of Spirulina as an immunomodulatory superfood – meaning that Spirulina helps support your dog’s immune system so that it can be healthier, and respond to immunostimulatory events better.

The same research study also found that Spirulina helps support our dog’s gastrointestinal tract and microbiome – allowing it to maintain stability during stressful events. These effects make Spirulina an amazing addition to your dog’s diet.

However choosing the right Spirulina product is important. According to research studies – Spirulina along with other blue-green algaes are extremely likely to be contaminated by something called a microcystin. Microcystins or MCs can cause liver toxicity in dogs!

Thus if you do want to give your dog Spirulina, make sure to ask your supplier for third party testing (with either the NASC or USP), along with additional testing to make sure the product is free of MCs. The last thing we want to do is feed our pups a superfood and accidently cause damage.

This recipe was created to not just provide your pup with the powerful qualities of Spirulina, but couple that with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and beneficial vitamins and minerals for your pup.

Ingredients

Spirulina: rich in phycocyanin, which is an antioxidant that has been shown in mice to minimize allergic response – aka help with food allergies. It has also been shown to have immune boosting effects in dogs in a recent 2021 research paper. Spirulina is also an excellent source of Copper for Dogs.

Oysters: a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and minerals for dogs! An excellent source of zinc, selenium, manganese and copper. They are low in fat, and high in protein making them excellent for dogs with fat sensitivity.

Hemp Seeds: a rich in essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and are a good source of vitamin E, along with several other minerals like magnesium, iron and zinc.

Bell Pepper: rich in antioxidants, red bell peppers are an excellent source of lycopene and carotenoids.

Blueberries: an excellent source of antioxidants for dogs. Blueberries contain Anthocyanins, Quercetin and Myricetin – these antioxidants that have been linked to brain and heart related health improvements.

Recipe:

  • ½ cup Blueberries
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup oysters
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 ¾ tsp Spirulina

Makes 30 small frozen treats, each treat is 6 calories.

Dosing of treats is one per 10 lbs of body weight. If you have a larger dog feel free to make “pupsicles” rather than small treats!

Instructions:

The recipe itself is extremely simple and easy to put together. Take all the ingredients: the spirulina, hemp hearts, oysters, blueberries, belly pepper, and water and blend them together using either a food processor or blender until smooth.

Poor blended liquid into small silicone molds or ice cubes, then allow to freeze for about 4-6 hours. Then serve!

Each treat will contain about ⅛ tsp spirulina, and will be about 6 calories. According to research studies on Spirulina in dogs and the immune boosting benefits, you should give about 1 treat per 10 lbs of body weight each day.

For larger or giant breed dogs, making “pupsicles” rather than frozen treats might be a good option as the quantity will be much larger per day.

I hope these fun frozen treats will become a fun addition to your pup’s treat rotation, and if you are looking for other whole-food frozen treat options – make sure to check out my frozen joint treats – which are packed with minerals, and essential fatty acids to support your dog’s joints!

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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