What are the benefits of using bromelain for dogs?
This natural supplement may not be one that you are overly familiar with at the moment, but for dogs that experience digestive issues it may be a worthy addition to their diet!
Bromelain also has the added benefits of being able to reduce pain, swelling, and allergy symptoms, as well as being able to boost the immune system.
Best of all, since bromelain is a naturally-occurring enzyme derived from pineapples, it carries very little negative side effects. Though rare, it is possible that dogs may experience stomach issues or cardiovascular problems– especially for pups that are on blood thinners or have a history of heart complications.
As such, always consult a vet first as you would with any supplement before trying bromelain with your dog! Not only will they be able to tell you whether the supplement is suitable, but also where you will be able to procure the product.
- What is Bromelain?
- Why Should I Give My Dog Bromelain?
- What Are the Risks of Bromelain for Dogs?
- Where Can A Dog Owner Get Bromelain?
- In Summary
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Bromelain is an enzyme that is derived from pineapple. Research shows that bromelain has numerous potential benefits for humans, such as containing anti-inflammatory properties and being able to boost the immune system.
Humans aren’t alone in benefitting from the chemical however; dogs can benefit from bromelain, too.
The enzyme can be used on its own, or it can be paired with other enzymes or medications to promote positive chemical interactions. For example, bromelain and Quercetin supplements are commonly prescribed together since the combination increases the efficiency of absorption.
There are myriad reasons why a dog owner or a vet might use bromelain for dogs. Here are a few:
Fibrin and kinins are significant causes of inflammation in the body. The former is a protein that the body produces during bleeding and which promotes blood clotting. The latter are a group of chemical compounds that regulate various blood-related activities in the body.
If your dog has suffered a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain, these two agents are most likely behind the swelling.
Bromelain disintegrates fibrin and kinins, which reduces the swelling at the site of the injury. This same biological process can help reduce swelling in dogs suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, too.
Not only can bromelain reduce swelling, but it can also reduce pain too. Bromelain is a natural pain reliever that a vet might prescribe alongside other medications to reduce pain in sick or injured dogs.
Bromelain is an antihistamine (allergy relief agent). The enzyme is useful for reducing the symptoms of both chronic allergies (such as seasonal conditions) and acute allergies (for example, an insect bite). In the case of skin reactions, topical bromelain creams are available.
Just as with humans, dogs’ immune systems decline with age.
Natural enzymes, like bromelain, can increase the level of zinc in the body. This mineral benefits the immune system, which will, in turn, promote overall health in aging dogs.
This mineral boost means bromelain and related supplements may be prescribed to dogs with autoimmune disorders and other illnesses impacting the immune system.
This one is a significant benefit of bromelain for dogs.
Digestive problems can be brought on by any number of causes in dogs, including allergies, behavioral problems, specific medical interventions- and even shedding.
Enzymes like bromelain promote healthy, regular digestion. On top of that, they can increase the absorption of nutrients, leading to better overall health.
Bromelain is a safe and effective medical treatment and supplement for most dogs. However, as with any medical intervention, its effectiveness will vary from dog to dog.
People looking into bromelain for dogs should consult their vets before adding the enzyme to their dogs’ health care routine. Moreover, dog owners should always take their dogs to the vet right away if they notice any sudden abnormalities or downturns in their dogs’ health.
Side effects of bromelain for dogs can include:
As good as bromelain can be for treating digestion problems in some dogs, it can create or aggravate those types of problems in other dogs.
Diarrhea is something for which to be especially vigilant, though it is likely to occur only when a dog has consumed too much bromelain.
Vomiting is another possible digestive problem that can arise with bromelain use. A dog reacting negatively to this enzyme may show other signs of being nauseated. Dog owners should also avoid bromelain for their dogs if they have ulcers.
In some instances, bromelain can thin dogs’ blood.
Because of that risk, bromelain should not be used if a dog is on blood thinners or has a history of blood disorders that result in blood thinning.
Additionally, bromelain use can result in tachycardia, a heart condition where the heart rate rises above normal. This condition is a grievous one that requires immediate medical attention.
Bromelain is known to interact negatively with certain medications. Dogs on blood thinners, antibiotics, and certain cancer medications should not be given bromelain.
If bromelain is being added to a dog’s diet via pineapple, it is essential to monitor the sugar intake that comes with it. Sugars contained in some fruits and vegetables, as well as in snacks such as Reese’s pieces or sugar cane, can be very harmful to a dog’s overall health.
Use only fresh (or frozen from fresh) pineapple, as the sugar in canned or otherwise preserved pineapple can lead to dental problems down the road.
Dogs should only be eating the flesh of the fruit—never the core or the exterior.
When giving their dogs bromelain, owners should also watch out for allergic reactions. Whether such reactions are caused by the enzyme itself or by the way it is being administered, owners should stop giving bromelain to their dogs and seek veterinary care.
Dog owners can get bromelain from many places (including from the comfort of your couch via Amazon!) Before proceeding any further, though, dog owners interested in using bromelain on their pets should speak with their vet.
Suppose the vet believes bromelain treatments are a proper course of action for a specific dog- In that case, the vet will most likely prescribe bromelain and direct the owner as to where it can be bought.
Bromelain supplements are also available online and in pets stores. One must be careful with this route, however. Since enzyme treatments do not always require a prescription, dosing and composition will not be universal among brands.
Moreover, some regions have fewer regulations concerning supplements like bromelain than others.
As such, some manufacturers may be inaccurate with their labeling. It is imperative, then, that a person not only reads the label of any medication or supplement that is to be administered to a pet, but that they do proper research before buying anything.
If prepared bromelain supplements are unavailable, you can always buy fresh pineapple from a local grocery store and supplement your dog in that way.
Bromelain for dogs may be a great, natural option if the pup is suffering from any mild pain, swelling, digestive issues.
The anti-inflammatory and gut-healthy properties of the enzyme can provide a beneficial boost to both the immune system and overall well-being of a canine.
Side effects that you may need to watch out for however include stomach problems, allergy symptoms, and cardiovascular complications for dogs that are predisposed to those difficulties.
To be safe, always talk to your vet first!
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.