Chlorophyll is a ‘super green’ natural plant component that is safely used by pets and humans. It serves as a nutritional supplement and as a nutraceutical for healing and optimum immune function in dogs, cats, horses, livestock, fish, birds, rabbits and other small animals.
The benefits of chlorophyll are virtually the same for pets and humans:
- Digestive aid
- Improved nutrient absorption
- Binds carcinogens and may help prevent liver and colon cancer
- Protects against toxin-induced kidney failure
- Lowers blood sugar
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers blood pressure
- Aids immune system function
- Cleanses and refurbishes red blood cells
- May improve skin & coat
- May help with weight loss
Sources of Chlorophyll for Pets
Seaweed – A full range of chlorophyll types can be obtained by simply mixing brown, red and green seaweed. Since seaweed pigment is more complex than terrestrial plant pigmentation, each species has numerous forms of chlorophyll which in turn offers unique beneficial qualities. Another advantage of seaweed over other supplements is the nutritional support that facilitates extended benefits. For example, horse trainers like the red blood cell improvement offered by chlorophyll, but to increase stamina through better oxygenation and electrolyte balance, the horse is better served by a whole, mixed seaweed supplement.
Spirulina sp. – This algae is packed with nutrients and chlorophyll but must be used in moderation. It is toxic in large amounts and may be cyanogenic. For this reason, we blend Spirulina with mixed powdered seaweed for a powerful supplement that is less likely to be overdosed, while also offering a broader range of nutrients and other benefits to the animal.
Chlorella – Chlorella algae is tough to digest so it’s high Chlorophyll content is largely unavailable to pets. However, there are supplements available that utilize a process involving cell wall cracking that makes the chlorophyll in Chlorella more available.
Terrestrial sources – Barley Grass, Wheat Grass and Alfalfa aren’t as packed with chlorophyll as the above foods, but they’re still great sources. Pets may enjoy nibbling on a tray of Wheat or Barley Grass if it’s provided for them.
Pet Chlorophyll Dosage
Chlorophyll may be part of your pet’s daily diet but very little is required due to the nutrient density and bio-availability. Below is a supplement/extract guideline (as opposed to a whole food source).
Cats – Add 1/8 tsp to each pound of food.
Dogs – Add 1/4 tsp to each pound of food.
Fish – Aquarium fish benefit from chlorophyll, usually obtained through seaweed and algae. It may also be used to ‘gut load’ (bio-encapsulate) live foods. In supplement form, a pinch for each pound of food is plenty. We use seaweed, algae and chlorophyll extract in our line of Bottom Bites natural fish food.
Birds – Whole food sources are usually recommended for birds. Use extreme caution when administering chlorophyll in supplement form or from high level sources such as Spirulina or Chlorella. Nervous reactions may occur and some species are more sensitive than others. Further research as it applies to your species is highly recommended.
Horses and other large animals – For larger animals you can do a human proportional estimate, but we suggest that you not exceed the human dosage no matter how large the animal.
Caution: Large quantities of Chlorophyll may cause digestive issues in pets.
Do you supplement your pet’s diet with chlorophyll? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Wynn, Susan G. DVM. Emerging Therapies: Using Herbs and Nutraceuticals for Small Animals. American Animal Hospital Assn. 1999.
Cooksley, Valerie Gennari. Seaweed: Nature’s Secret to Balancing Your Metabolism, Fighting Disease, and Revitalizing Body and Soul. 2007.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements 2001.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Balch, Phyllis. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. 2010.
Kellon, Eleanor M. V.M.D. Horse Journal Guide to Equine Supplements and Nutraceuticals. 2008.
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