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If you already give your dog supplements to support their health and wellbeing, or are curious about starting, you may have heard about resveratrolbecause of it’s touted positive impact on a dog’s health and growing popularity…
You may associate resveratrol with the healthful part of red wine. That’s because it’s found there, in the skin of grapes and a variety of other plants. Plants produce this compound to help protect themselves from water loss as well as bacteria or fungi invasion – it acts similarly to an antioxidant. And yes, you may be thinking “But dogs can’t eat grapes!”, and you’re right – they’re incredibly toxic to dogs. But, resveratrol does not contain the same toxic elements as grapes do. So, is resveratrol safe for dogs…? Indeed it is.
In a study published in the Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology journal, researchers assessed what happened when resveratrol was introduced to a dog’s blood stream and measured it against what happened to their immune system functioning whilst resveratrol was present. The resveratrol seemed to stimulate the dog’s immune system’s activity! However, it also appeared to cause a decrease in the activity in the immune cells that are specifically there to fight off disease and kill unfriendly bacteria (neutrophils).
There was not enough conclusive evidence to decide either way if resveratrol was positively or negatively affecting the dog’s immune systems. However it’s thought that it may have an effect on reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and additionally slowing and preventing the development of cancerous cells. Some studies have suggested the idea that it may help prolong our furry friend’s lives too.
The findings in these studies are relatively promising but it’s still not clear if it’s a good idea to administer to dog’s on a long term basis. And, despite many studies optimism, there’s still no conclusive evidence that it’s the new go-to doggy supplement some websites and sources claim or suggest it to be.
If you do want to up the resveratrol in your dog’s diet, try sprinkling a few blueberries or peanuts onto their food as both are safe for dogs to consume in small amounts. They both contain naturally-present resveratrol as well as other free-radical-reducing antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Our Petlab Co. advice would be, at present, to look for a more well-rounded, scientifically proven supplement that targets overall health and aims to promote the immune system, like a dog specific Multivitamin. Until resveratrol has more backing and hard evidence behind it, there are many other options to explore when it comes to promoting your dog’s health. Ensuring they have a healthy, balanced diet that includes fibre, and the correct amount of exercise each day, along side attending regular veterinary check ups, a supplement like resveratrol shouldn’t be a vital inclusion on their daily routine… Unless your vet advises it, of course. A multivitamin packed with essential, vital vitamins and minerals will help put your mind at ease if you’re worried your dog isn’t getting enough immunity support.
If you feel your dog may benefit from any supplement, it’s always worth chatting it through with your vet first.