Simple spirulina gummy dog treats are a great way to include super-food spirulina in our doggy diet. They’re easy to make, mess-free to serve, and make it a snap to share nutrient-dense spirulina in small quantities. No muss, no fuss. Healthy, yummy, easy, homemade dog treats. Pawfect! Plus, they look pretty doggone cool as well thanks to the gorgeous natural blue-green of spirulina. Unlike my experiments with using spirulina as a tint in baked treats, the colour shines bright and beautiful in a gummy suspension. Here’s the recipe and how they’re made.
Spirulina for People and Pets
Super Food Spirulina
Spirulina is a super-food for humans and pets. It’s high in protein (including the essential amino acids for dogs), rich in E, A, and B vitamins, but perhaps most importantly it is full of trace minerals and phytonutrients. Spirulina has lots of potential benefits for dogs including increased energy/endurance, anti-inflammatory properties, improved kidney and liver function, supporting healthy digestion, detoxification, brain and nervous function, tissue and cell regeneration, healthy skin and coat, and boosting the immune system including stimulation of antibodies and countering free-radicals and even cancer cells.
Spirulina is a blue-green Cyanobacteria, but unlike the shudders that usually go through pet owners when they hear that word, this form is a carefully sourced food and nutraceutical product. Cyanobacteria is often associated with health-warnings and swimming area closures during hot dry summers, but the growth and handling of edible spirulina are quite different. When selecting a spirulina product (for people or pets), choose a quality product from a trusted supplier so you can be confident in the content. I use a certified organic human-grade product from a reputable supplier.
Sharing Spirulina with the Dogs
Spirulina is incredibly nutrient dense and is best kept to small quantities (serving size varies with weight, health, tolerance, and other factors). It also depends on the type of product you choose how potent it may be and whether its bulked out with any fillers. High quality products, like the human grade supplement I use, are incredibly dense. Using it as an add-in for treats like these gummies make it easy to serve in small portions and keeps the mess to a minimum.
Not surprisingly, as an algae product, I find that the powder does have a kind of earthy smell. A bit like seaweed, perhaps. Not high on my smooth flavouring wish list. Haha! But that smell just make it all the more appealing to our dogs. Cue Oli crazy eyes!
Simple Spirulina Gelatin Gummy Dog Treat Recipe
Gelatin Gummy Dog Treats with Spirulina Powder
These gummies were made in moulds as individual shaped treats, but they can also be made as set-and-slice treats in a pan. The process is the same for either method, other than slicing of course.
- 1 cup cool water or unseasoned chicken stock
- 3 tbsp quality powdered gelatin
- 1 tsp spirulina powder (adjust quantity to suit preferences)
- Measure the water into a small pan.
- Sprinkle the surface with gelatin powder.
- Wait and let sit for approximately five minutes or longer for the gelatin powder to bloom / gel.
- Gently stir the mixture over low heat until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Take care not to shortcut with high temperatures or overheat. Heat can reduce the setting strength of gelatin.
- Remove from heat.
Cooling the gelatin base:
Although gelatin isn’t “cooked” to high temperature when prepping gummies, to reduce the risk of losing nutrients to heat, the spirulina is added to the gummy mixture after it has been prepped and slightly cooled.
This will also help to hold the spirulina in suspension in the gummies, as the powder doesn’t fully dissolve (at least in my experience). Here’s a close-up look at the powder-in-liquid before gelling. These gummies were made with a plain water base, and gummies made with stock may vary in tint/opacity.
Mixing the spirulina and finishing the treats:
- Measure your spirulina powder into a suitable container for mixing and pouring.
- Mix a small spoonful of the prepared liquefied (cooled slightly, but still liquid) gelatin with the powder to dissolve/mix with minimal lumps and clumps.
- Once mixed, add in the rest of your gelatin and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Pour into a glass pan (cut and slice) or silicone moulds (shapes).
- Chill to set fully before removing from moulds.
Gummy Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- See our comprehensive post on making and storing homemade gelatin gummy dog treats for additional information about making gummy treats including helpful gummy making tips, troubleshooting, and safe treat storage.
- These treats should be kept refrigerated and can be frozen for longer storage, although freezing can affect consistency.
Recipe and Ingredient Tips and Tricks
- My boys have had spirulina gummies many times now, both plain (as pictured) and with stock. They enjoy both. If you want a more indulgent treat, a little boost of stock never goes astray. You can read more in our FAQ post on stock for making homemade dog treats.
- In my experience, 3 tbsp of gelatin powder per cup of liquid makes firm gummies. If you prefer, you can use more gelatin for added supplementation or less for a jigglier jelly treat with lower gelatin content. Individual gelatin powders may be a little stronger / weaker. Find a ratio that works for your preferences and, of course, your dog.
🦴 Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of different DIY dog treats here on the blog. Woofs! Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes or dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies or intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.