The number one question I'm asked as a veterinarian is "What's a good multivitamin supplement for my pet?"
That's a tough one to answer.
Ideally, I prefer that your pet receive all the nutrition he or she needs through their diet, the foods they eat.
Your pet's body is designed to absorb nutrients from fresh, living foods very efficiently.
However, much as the situation for us humans, your pet's food doesn't always contain the nutrients they need. AAFCO provides the basic vitamins and minerals to sustain life, but certainly not optimal levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients proven to improve wellbeing, reduce disease and bolster immune defenses and quality of life. Surviving (meeting minimal nutrient requirements) is very different than thriving (providing abundant whole food antioxidants, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients in optimal quantities).
The best of diets – even a raw, species-specific diet – can come from soils that are depleted or from lower quality food sources. Sometimes the food simply loses many of its nutrients through processing and storage.
And most commercially available pet foods, even if they’re “fortified” to meet AAFCO standards, contain synthetic, lab-concocted vitamins and minerals which don’t provide optimum nutrition.
From Their Early Years to Their Senior Yours – Your Pet's Many Needs for High Quality Nutrition
Right from the start, your puppy or kitten needs lots of high quality protein to support the explosive growth that takes place during their first year of life.
And, young or old, your pet needs protection from free radicals, which can hasten aging.
What exactly are "free radicals?"
Free radicals form in your pet's body when oxygen combines with complex metabolic molecules.
These highly unstable molecules travel around your pet's body looking to steal an electron from a stable molecule to stabilize them.
When they successfully snatch an electron, they, in turn, create new unstable molecules, or more “free radicals” with uneven numbers of electrons.
This process is called "oxidation," and once it begins, it can produce a chain reaction that generates more and more free radicals.
The Dangers of Oxidation
Oxidation in the human, feline or canine body is not much different than what happens to a piece of metal when it rusts. As it reacts with oxygen, the metal rusts – or “oxidizes” – and it slowly disintegrates.
In just a few short years, that piece of metal is gone.
Just like that piece of metal, attacking free radicals can cause damage, potentially leading to less-than-optimal conditions in your pet as well as premature aging.
And the oxidative stress resulting from free radical damage can affect your pet's immune system, too. In addition, free radicals can weaken and damage cellular DNA.
As you know, DNA is the “blueprint” of your pet’s cells – that amazing material that directs all cellular activities, including the precise timetable of when cells should divide.
If DNA becomes damaged, cells no longer function optimally. Scientists believe that DNA damage is a major component of the aging process and possibly affects normal cell division and growth.
The Added "Extra" to Support Your Pet's Good Health
Let's consider that piece of metal again.
What if, instead, you painted it? Now you've done a good job of preventing the metal from reacting to the oxygen in the air and oxidizing.
It doesn't rust and it doesn't disintegrate.
Antioxidants are like the “paint” when it comes to helping to protect your pet's body from free radicals.
These powerful nutrients neutralize oxidizing free radicals, rendering them harmless. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in your pet's body and protect his cells' delicate DNA. At the same time, cell, tissue, and organ health is supported.
Antioxidants are also important for the health of your pet's eyes. Especially in certain breeds of dogs with more protruding eyes, it is important to help them maintain good eye health.
Antioxidants can help support your dog's eye health as he or she ages.
A healthy diet complete with foods rich in natural antioxidants are important for helping to maintain your pet's eye health and vision.
For valuable support of good eye health, you want to look for antioxidants that can cross your pet's blood brain and blood retina barriers to reach and nourish delicate eye tissues.
The Best Antioxidant Sources for Your Pet
Now You Can Prepare
...a homemade, species-specific diet right in your own kitchen.
Dr. Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats
...provides easy-to-follow recipes and everything you need to know to prepare fresh, wholesome food for your pet.
- Based on your pet's Ancestral diet, every recipe meets NRC and AAFCO nutritional guidelines.
- Offers a rotational feeding plan complete with vegetables and fruits
Give your pet the gift of healthy homemade food and the diet nature designed for them.
Read more here
What foods contain antioxidants for your pet?
If you feed your pet a homemade diet, you can add antioxidant-rich foods such as these:
- Carotenoids: Kale, spinach, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spirulina
- Vitamin C: Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
- Vitamin A: Liver, eggs, cheddar cheese, greens, carrots, pumpkin
- Lutein: Green leafy vegetables including spinach, broccoli
- Vitamin E: Spinach, sweet potatoes
If you'd like to learn how to prepare a balanced homemade diet at home, Beth Taylor's and my book Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats provides the recipes and everything you need to know to get started.
Feeding your pet a species-specific diet, loaded with natural antioxidants is a great way of supporting your pet's health.
If you're feeding your pet a commercial diet, you can boost its nutritional value by mixing in some finely chopped, antioxidant-rich foods.
Regardless of the diet you feed, your pet likely has a tremendous need for antioxidants.
And of all the antioxidants I recommend for my furry patients, there's one that truly stands above the crowd.
A member of the carotenoid family, along with beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, astaxanthin is by far the “super” antioxidant.
"King" of the Carotenoid Antioxidants… Astaxanthin Rules
Astaxanthin is considered by many to be King of the carotenoids – a powerful class of fat-soluble antioxidants. So powerful, in fact, astaxanthin's antioxidant capacity is up to…
- 550 times more powerful than vitamin E
- 65 times more powerful than vitamin C
- 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene
- 5 times more powerful than lutein
Astaxanthin shows very strong free radical scavenging ability and helps protect cells, organs and tissues from oxidative damage. It’s also far more effective than other carotenoids at “singlet oxygen quenching” – a certain type of oxidation.
And it can’t act as a potentially dangerous “pro-oxidant” like some of the other carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.
What also makes astaxanthin especially impressive – and important for your pet in particular – is its ability to cross the blood-brain and blood-retina barriers to support brain and eye health.
How Astaxanthin Supports the Health of Many Species of Animals
In nature, the astaxanthin is produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis as a protective measure when its water supply dries up.
Animals don't produce their own astaxanthin, so they must obtain astaxanthin from their diet, which, in fact, is not very easy to do.
The only way to get astaxanthin naturally is to eat something that's in the food chain of the microalgae itself. That's how wild salmon, krill, shrimp, and lobster get their characteristic red tint – from feeding on the microalgae, the original source of red pigment astaxanthin.
Krill especially is a great source as it's super concentrated – and near the bottom of the food chain.
Studies suggest these benefits when animals are directly supplemented with astaxanthin:
- Supports the health, longevity, and immune system in cats, dogs, and horses
- Supports joint and muscle recovery after exercise in racehorses and sled dogs
- Promotes normal neurological and eye health in dogs and cats
- Supports normal healthy cardiovascular health
That's not all it helps…
Don't Forget Nature's Exotic Birds – They, Too, Can
Benefit from Astaxanthin
Ever wonder why flamingos and other birds in zoos seem especially colorful?
The answer may be in what they eat.
Zoo birds are often fed astaxanthin-containing algae. Astaxanthin not only promotes good health but vibrant, natural color, too.
Astaxanthin brightens colorful plumage by deepening feather color and shine.
If you own a colorful, pigmented bird such as a parrot or canary, you can feed your bird a little astaxanthin, too.
Astaxanthin won't change the color of pigmented birds – it only deepens their natural colors, making them more beautiful than ever.
With all of astaxanthin’s great benefits, adding a source to your pet’s diet might help support their health, too. But before I tell you more about that, there’s one other “superfood” you need to know about…
A Super Green Food – A Whole Food Supplement
At Its Finest
When I recommend a supplement, I feel it's important to give one that's derived from whole foods. This ensures that all the cofactors and enzymes naturally found in the food are included along with the vitamins and minerals.
With whole food supplements, you're not getting isolated, lab-manufactured vitamins and minerals like those usually found in commercial diets and supplements. Rather, you're receiving them as nature intended – as part of the entire food substance.
The supplement I immediately reach for, for my furry (and even not-so-furry) patients is a "green food." Arthrospira platensis Spirulina, to be exact.
Here is what I like about Spirulina:
- Contains one of the highest concentrations of nutrients in any food, plant, grain or herb
- Composed of over 60 percent of complete and easily digestible vegetable protein
- Contains beta-carotene, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, and trace minerals
- An abundant source of the hard-to-find essential fatty acid GLA
- Contains up to 16 percent of its weight of phycocyanin, a biliruben precursor that powerfully supports normal immune function
Deep within spirulina’s dark green color lies a rainbow of natural pigments.
Green from chlorophyll, blue from phycocyanin, and orange from carotenoids, all collect the sun's energy and support healthy, normal growth.
Spirulina is one of the richest beta-carotene foods, with ten mixed carotenoids, including orange carotenes, alpha, beta, gamma, and yellow xanthophylls. These powerful antioxidants work synergistically in different sites in your pet's body.
When you consider all that spirulina offers, it's easy to see that it contains one of the most powerful combinations of nutrients ever discovered in any grain, herb or food.
How Spirulina Supports Your Pet's Good Health
Studies on both cats and dogs show that spirulina supports good health in several ways:
- Helps support a strong, healthy normal immune system
- Helps promote a healthy coat and skin
- May help promote comfortable movement and flexibility
Some owners of fussy kitties report that appetites perk up with a little sprinkling of spirulina on their pet's food.
Other owners report fresher-smelling breath in their pets when feeding them spirulina.
If you're a bird parent, you, too, can provide your pet with the goodness of spirulina. Since it's so concentrated, you only need to add a small amount to their feed (just 1 or 2 percent of your pet's total diet).
Spirulina helps promote a healthy beak and skin in birds. Studies suggest it supports avian health and normal immune function without synthetic vitamins or chemicals.
If you're part of the growing number of households raising chickens, spirulina can help them, too. Spirulina enhances desirable yellow skin coloration and increases the deep yellow color of egg yolks. Studies with chickens suggest that adding a small percentage to their diet supports normal immune function and good health without negative side effects.
And if your household includes reptiles, spirulina may improve their skin gloss, improve vibrancy of pigments and help promote wellness.
Spirulina for the Home or Office Aquarium
Back in the 1970s, hobbyists discovered that spirulina enhanced the beautiful colors in fancy koi carp.
Then, fish and prawn farmers discovered spirulina increased color.
Algae are an important part of the diet for many species of tropical fish. And spirulina, as blue-green algae, contribute these benefits:
- Abundant natural vitamins and minerals to support good health
- Essential fatty acids to promote normal organ development
- Plentiful protein for supporting healthy skin
- Rich in carotenoids for vibrant color
- Phycocyanin for promoting normal weight
Unlike other more common forms of algae, spirulina does not grow naturally in the aquarium. Adding just a bit can help make a difference in the overall health and vibrancy of your tropical fish.
When the Superfood Meets the Super Antioxidant…
Introducing Healthy Pets SpiruGreen
What if I were to tell you that there was a way to get both of these amazing superfoods, all in one tablet? That you didn't have to choose between the two?
There is, now with my Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen, a unique spirulina and astaxanthin complex.
You now can offer your pet two of nature's most nutrient-dense dietary supplements. With our Organic SpiruGreen, your pet receives rich nutrients for support of normal…
- Brain and cognitive function
- Eye and retinal health
- Heart and vascular health
- Immune system function
- Inflammation management
- Cell division and growth
- Skin and coat health
- Movement and flexibility
- Central nervous system function
Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen truly packs a one-two punch with all the nutrient value of Spirulina, including carotenoids, phycocyanins and enzymes, plus all the goodness of Astaxanthin, one of the world's most powerful fat-soluble antioxidant carotenoids.
After Much Searching, We Found the Very Best…
There's no shortage of individual astaxanthin and spirulina products out in the marketplace. Some good, some not so.
Not until now did we find a product that contains both in one exceptionally high quality tablet. And from a manufacturer that we can fully trust.
The manufacturer we selected for this amazing product is a leading manufacturer of high-quality plant-based nutritional products and ingredients.
To make our SpiruGreen, they combine their Zanthin® brand Astaxanthin technology with certified organic Spirulina from Chennai, India to ensure a high-quality product.
Along with using an allergy-free, organic facility for manufacturing this product, there's science and superior world-class manufacturing practices behind it, too.
The Astaxanthin in SpiruGreen is NOT Your Everyday Astaxanthin…
Not Even Close
I've already shared with you how powerful astaxanthin is – and how much more of an antioxidant punch it packs than others.
Astaxanthin is truly one of the most powerful antioxidants ever discovered, as you can see from the ORAC table below. As an antioxidant, it has been shown to be up to 550 times more powerful than vitamin E, 10 times more potent than beta-carotene and 5 times more potent than lutein.
What this high level of antioxidant activity means for your pet is an optimal ability to address oxidative stress.
Unlike synthetic astaxanthin, commonly found in feed formulas and many supplements, the Zanthin® brand of astaxanthin complex found in our Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen delivers a high quality extract with scientifically-supported activity.
What's different about this form of astaxanthin?
The Zanthin® brand of natural astaxanthin, like most natural astaxanthin, is manufactured from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. With this microalgae, once the tough cell wall is cracked open it is highly unstable and must be extracted immediately. The difference is that our manufacturer uses a proprietary extraction process that yields a stabilized and standardized 7% oleoresin containing:
- 85-90% natural astaxanthin
- 2% lutein
- 2% carotene
- 6% other carotenoids
Our manufacturer uses a proprietary DeepExtract™ supercritical CO2 process to extract the astaxanthin rather than toxic chemicals (like many others do). It's far more natural and much safer, too, for your pet and the environment.
And they use a special O2B™ Peroxidation Blocker stabilization technology to help ensure long-term stability and antioxidant activity of the pigments.
When I recommend an astaxanthin product for my patients, I want to know that it's not only a natural product, but it actually delivers the benefits promised. I have 100 percent confidence in this exceptional product.
Why We've Selected Organic Spirulina from India,
and Not the Tropical Beaches of Hawaii
What's important when choosing a spirulina supplement for your pet?
To get the valuable health benefits I've talked about, you want to look for a spirulina supplement that is high in total carotenoids, phycocyanin, zeaxanthin, chlorophyll and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
And, for truly phenomenal spirulina, we've found that U.S. sources do not always contain the highest concentrations of nutrients.
Here's what I mean… Our manufacturer recently commissioned two independent studies by outside laboratories on the organic spirulina used in our Healthy Pets SpiruGreen. They examined a series of batches over a period of several months.
Let me assure you… these studies were complete analytical workups that looked at more than 30 different dietary and nutritional parameters, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and carotenoids. These studies especially paid attention to total carotenoid levels, zeaxanthin, phycocyanin, and chlorophyll and gamma linolenic acid.
When compared with published information on Hawaiian spirulina, they found these important differences with the Indian source of organic spirulina in Healthy Pets SpiruGreen:
- Organic spirulina had 8% higher total carotenoids
- Organic spirulina had 23% more zeaxanthin (a critical carotenoid that supports eye and retina health)
- Organic Spirulina had equal levels of C-phycocyanin and crude phycocyanin; however, our organic spirulina has the potential to reach higher phycocyanin levels on a consistent basis
- Organic spirulina had 30% more chlorophyll
- Organic spirulina had 20% more GLA
As you can see, these are significant differences! And considering we want to offer nothing but the best, we decided to go where the best can be found.
How to Choose a Pure and Safe Spirulina Product
In my opinion, you also want to look for purity when it comes to spirulina, especially because algae absorbs nearly everything it contacts, including toxins.
Here are a few questions to ask the manufacturer when selecting a quality, organic spirulina product:
- Is it free from pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers?
- Does it contain any added synthetic minerals (not a good thing)?
- Is it produced AWAY from industry, farms, and polluted bodies of water?
- Does it really deliver the nutrients it says it does? What's the potency?
- Is it certified organic?
- What quality controls measures are in place to help guarantee a quality, toxin-free product?
I admit, these are demanding requirements. But, the health of your furry (or not) companion is important.
Far, Far Away, In the Southern Tropical Region of India…
Outside the bustling cities, in a remote area of India, you'll find the manufacturing home of the organic spirulina that goes into our SpiruGreen. Manufactured away from polluting industry and farms, this spirulina is cultivated…
- With no animal products or wastes
- With only natural herbal fertilizers
- With pure, artesian groundwater
- Without nitrates or manure
- Without synthetic minerals
- Without pesticides and herbicides
As a further plus, the manufacturing practices and usage of pure vegetarian organic nutrients help ensure that the heavy metals in this spirulina are the lowest possible.
In fact, this organic spirulina is verified under the US Pharmacopeia ingredient verification program and is also GRAS (“Generally Regarded As Safe”).
It is certified by four major organic standards organizations – USDA NOP, Naturland (Germany), Ecocert (France) and OCIA-IFOAM (USA).
To meet these exacting standards, no trace minerals – such as iron – are added in the spirulina cultivation process. The practice of boosting the mineral content by adding mineral salts is common with non-organic spirulina.
Quality control includes HACCP (Food Safety Standards), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) certified by Bureau VERITAS.
How to Supplement Your Pet's Diet with SpiruGreen to
Help Support Optimal Nutrition
Here's what I recommend when supplementing your pet's diet with Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen:
Feed ½ to 1 tablet per day.* To avoid a choking hazard, always break the tablet in half before feeding or crush and sprinkle over food.
Some cats crave the taste of SpiruGreen. I know of cats who can sniff out tablets sealed in a plastic bag inside a briefcase! Other cats may be indifferent. You'll just have to experiment with your favorite feline.
*There's no danger of overfeeding SpiruGreen to cats.
Your dog's size will determine the appropriate daily dosage:*
- Small dogs: 1 pill per day
- Medium dogs: 2 pills per day
- Large dogs: 3 pills per day
- Giant dogs: 4 pills per day
Your dog will probably devour the tablets as a treat. My dogs do, and so do toads, tortoises, and even my pet opossum. They all love SpiruGreen!
*There's no danger in overfeeding SpiruGreen to dogs and other animals.
For Birds (Recommended for Pigmented Birds Only):
Crush ½ tablet over ½ cup of seed and mix well. Feed seed as usual.
What Better Support for Your Pet's Health Than
a Simple Daily Dose of SpiruGreen
All of your family members deserve the best when it comes to nutrition.
Give your pet the goodness of one of the most wholesome "superfoods" available together with one of the world's most powerful antioxidants.
For as low as $.09 a day, it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind you'll have knowing you're providing nutrition that your pet may not otherwise get.
Even when your pet doesn't eat as well as you'd like, Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen can help provide the extra nutrients he or she needs.
You truly have the power to help support your pet's health by increasing his or her nutrient intake.
And with Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen, you can have peace of mind.
Not a bad idea, don't you think?
Order your Healthy Pets Organic SpiruGreen today.