Experts constantly talk about the powers of fruits and vegetables when it comes to staying healthy.
But what is it about fruits and vegetables that makes them such a great addition to your diet?
The answer is simple … flavonoids!
Flavonoids – like quercetin – are in almost every fruit and vegetable. It’s what makes them so vibrant!
But they also offer many health benefits.
Just look at quercetin …
It acts as an:
So how do you safely add it to your dog’s diet?
I will get to that, but first let’s take a look at the ways quercetin can help your dog.
1. Quercetin for Allergies
When your dog has allergies, his body sees the allergen as a threat. Whether it’s pollen, dust, food or something else entirely, his immune system will want it out.
To do this, his body will release histamines.
These histamines force the allergen from your dog's system and cause an allergic reaction. Reactions like:
- Teary eyes
- A runny nose
But they’re also the reason your dog experiences inflammation, redness and irritation …
The histamines are increasing blood flow so his immune system can do its job.
If you take your dog to the vet, they will likely prescribe an allergy drug. But these do more harm than good and only mask the symptoms.
Quercetin is a natural antihistamine - it slows the release of histamines and halts the allergic response.
It will also act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce any swelling that occurs. And that means less itching.
2. Quercetin for Asthma
Quercetin is also a good option for asthmatic dogs or dogs with respiratory issues.
During an asthma attack, your dog’s body releases histamines and leukotrienes.
Like histamines, leukotrienes are a natural immune response. They can cause an increase in mucus production and the narrowing of airways.
Quercetin not only slows down the release of histamines, but leukotrienes as well.
3. Quercetin for Cancer
Did you know that flavonoids have cancer-fighting properties?
A study run by the University of Maryland Medical Centre shows that quercetin (and other flavonoids) can slow the growth of cancer in …
This is because cancer feeds off low-grade inflammation. Like inflammation from being overweight or from exposure to toxins.
Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce this inflammation. This decreases blood flow to the cancer cells to stop them from growing.
4. Quercetin for Fighting Free Radicals
Free radicals are cells with missing electrons.
To make themselves whole again, these damaged cells will steal electrons from other cells. But as you can guess …
… this starts a vicious cycle.
One cell is repaired but another is now incomplete.
Free radicals are created when cells metabolize and even during exercise. They’re also created by toxins in our environment …
- Tobacco smoke
If the free radicals take over, this can cause oxidative stress. Fatty tissue, DNA and proteins are damaged. And this damage can lead to …
- Premature aging
… and many other diseases.
To prevent oxidative stress, your dog must have an adequate supply of antioxidants.
Antioxidants have electrons to spare. They stabilize the free radicals and stop the damaging chain reaction.
Quercetin is full of antioxidants … this makes it a great choice for neutralizing free radicals and preventing disease.
Other Ways Quercetin Helps Dogs
Antioxidants, like quercetin, help to reduce or eliminate oxidative stress.
But that isn’t all they do. Quercetin has been shown to positively affect rats suffering from bone loss.
Not to mention ... quercetin also:
- supports weight reduction
- addresses heart disease
- protects against the damage caused by bad cholesterol (LDL)
- reduces blood pressure (hypertension)
Your four-legged friend can’t go wrong with this mighty flavonoid!
Sources of Quercetin for Dogs
The perfect way to help your dog benefit from these flavonoids is to feed him a balanced raw diet with fruits and vegetables rich in quercetin.
Safe options include:
- Dark Leafy Greens
Important: Do not feed onions and grapes to your dog. They’re full of quercetin, but they can also cause TOXIC reactions.
If you aren’t ready to go raw (or don’t feel your dog is getting enough fruits and vegetables) you can give your dog a quercetin supplement.
But remember … not all supplements are equal.
Choosing the Right Supplement for Your Dog
Finding the right supplement can be tough with all the available options. Tougher still when you start to read the ingredients list.
You would hope that supplements sold for dogs would adhere to strict guidelines. But this isn’t the case.
When choosing a supplement, find one that is sourced from whole foods.
Organic powder supplements are the best choice. Especially if they’re produced at temperatures below 118 °F and considered raw.
Tablets and capsules are more likely to contain additives that provide little to no benefit to your dog.
Some common ingredients you want to avoid are …
Fillers increase the volume of the supplement.
That way it looks like you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Common fillers are:
- Calcium Phosphate
Tip: A good way to know there are fillers is if the dosage is higher. This is probably because there are fillers (which means less good stuff per spoonful)
Binders (like the name suggests) bind the ingredients together when making tablets.
Common binders are:
- Gum Arabic
Not all of these may be harmful …
In fact, honey offers lots of great benefits to your dog. But it does mean you’re paying for ingredients that aren’t providing the intended benefit.
Disintegration agents help tablets break down easily so that the supplement can be released.
Common disintegrators are:
- Corn Starch
- Confectioners’ Sugar
- Sodium Carboxy-Methylcellulose
- Croscaramellose Sodium
- Sodium Starch Glycolate
- Alginic Acid
Lubricants and flow agents are used to streamline the manufacturing process.
They have nothing to do with health …
… they’re only there to help release tablets from molds at the factory.
- Magnesium Stearate
- Calcium Stearate
- Stearic Acid
- Polyethylene Glycol
- Vegetable Stearate
Flavorings and Sweeteners
Flavorings and sweeteners are intended to make supplements tastier so your dog will eat them. But they aren’t necessary.
And they can do harm to your dog … feeding viruses, bacteria and yeast.
Common flavorings and sweeteners are:
- Artificial Flavor
Coloring makes your treats look more attractive. But when was the last time your dog was worried about how colorful his food was?
While some coloring is natural, many are synthetic and should be avoided:
- Artificial Color
- Any Color followed by a number (Blue 2, Red 3, Yellow 6, etc.)
Coatings are added to tablets to increase shelf life, mask unpleasant odors or make the tablet easier to swallow.
Common coating ingredients are:
- Pharmaceutical Glaze
- Confectioners Glaze
- Natural Glaze
Preservatives are chemical additives that extend the shelf life of supplements.
Common preservatives to look out for are:
- Synthetic Vitamins (E and C)
Emulsifiers suspend insoluble drugs and are often used in the form of gums.
Common gums are:
- Arabic Gum
- Tragacanta Gum
- Karaya Gum
The reality is there are few rules about what goes into pet supplements. And most supplements don’t go through an approval process.
That’s why it’s up to you to make sure your supplements only contain the good stuff.
No chemicals, fillers or inactive ingredients.
So take the time to find a quercetin supplement that is right for your dog!
That way you can feel confident that he is getting all the goodness he can from this incredible flavonoid.