The benefits of bee pollen for dogs

Contrary to popular belief, bee pollen doesn’t just benefit bees. Learn how this supplement can support the health of your dog.

Unlike honey, bee pollen is a product of bees that’s still widely misunderstood. But this nutrient-dense powerhouse supplement is packed with vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, protein and fats – and it’s a great dietary addition for both humans and their canine companions. It has one of the most complete nutritional profiles in the world, made up of 35% protein and 50% carbohydrates. It’s also high in chromium, cobalt, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron, folic acid, and much more! Below is a closer look at bee pollen and what it can offer your pup.

Where does it come from?

Bee Pollen is gathered by worker bees and mixed with nectar and bee saliva.  The bees then pack this “blend” into a granule that adheres to their back legs, and carry it to the hive where it’s used to feed the colony.

The type and quality of pollen varies by location, plant source (whether fruit or forage), and weather. It’s not uncommon for pesticides and/or heavy metals to influence the quality of the pollen, so it’s important to know your source. Reach for toxin-free bee pollen – the most expensive and sought after is that created around a desert area.

The benefits

The health benefits of bee pollen are numerous. Antioxidants of flavanol, resveratrol and lycopene found in bee pollen, along with vitamins A, B, C, K and E help to ward off infections by strengthening the body’s ability to overcome or prevent inflammation while regenerating the cells.

Bee Pollen also contains a variety of fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are the most predominate of these – approximately 70% of which are Omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha-linolenic acid) and 5% Omega-6 (linoleic acid), which is necessary for growth in dogs. The remaining percentage is monounsaturated and saturated fats.

Nearly a dozen major enzymes and several thousand minor enzymes and co-enzymes in bee pollen help with food digestion and absorption of nutrients while regulating the immune system.

Some key reasons to add bee pollen to your dog’s diet

Here’s a few additional reasons why you should consider adding bee pollen to your dog’s daily meals:

  • It’s hepatoprotective – It protects and promotes a healthy liver, and assists in the healing process for a compromised liver. This makes it a good option for dogs who need to detox.
  • It improves muscle mass.
  • It boosts metabolism.
  • Allergy protection – Bee pollen contains Quercetin, a natural antihistamine. When taken regularly, it can help reduce allergy symptoms and allergic reactions.
  • It’s anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
  • Improves blood flow to the nervous system helping to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • It contains trans-cinnamic acid, which is a natural antibiotic.
  • It’s alkaline – Bee pollen balances the overall pH in the body promoting a healthy urinary tract.
  • It contains the plant pigment rutin, which offers cardiovascular support. This helps strengthens blood vessels and capillaries.
  • Gram for gram, it contains more amino acids than beef, fish or eggs.
  • As part of a daily diet, bee pollen can improve moisture in the skin which in turn can speed healing of wounds.
  • It supports and can improve digestion via anti-microbial properties that rid the GI tract of invading pathogens.

Bee pollen can be added daily to your dog’s food. The recommended dose for a 50 lb dog is 1 teaspoon per day. Start with 1/3 dose, and gradually increase to ensure he doesn’t have a sensitivity. Ask about organic bee pollen at your local pet food supply store, or find it online!

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Joyce Belcher is the founder of Herbs for Life, Inc, d/b/a Sustenance Herbs™, herbal formulator and manufacturer of organic pet supplements and veterinary botanical medicine in Kittery, Maine. Her areas of expertise include immune balance, detoxification, endocrine system and tick-borne diseases in dogs & horses. In her practice, Joyce educates animal owners to be proactive in caring for the health of their animals, is a columnist for various publications. 207-451-7093