An allergy is an abnormal response of the immune system. The body reacts to a usually harmless substance in the environment called an “allergen”. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested, or when it comes into contact with a dog’s skin.
As your dog’s body tries to get rid of the allergen, a variety of skin, digestive, and respiratory issues may surface. These include (but aren’t limited to) paw licking/chewing, ear infections, watery eyes, itchy skin, and a lot of scratching.
Histamine is one of the biggest players in an allergic response, causing much of the inflammation, redness and irritation we and our pets experience. Once the body goes through this process, being exposed to the same allergen again will result in this antibody response, hence the allergic reaction.
Quercetin is a flavonoid (also called a bioflavonoid) that has anti-oxidant, anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties. During an allergic reaction the body releases histamine. Histamine contributes to inflammation, redness and irritation. Research has shown that Quercetin can “turn off” histamine production and suppress, or at least moderate, inflammation. Furthermore, Quercetin helps suppress cellular activity associated with inflammation. This means less itching! For this reason, it has been coined “Nature’s Benadryl”.
“Quercetin and other flavonoids have been shown in these studies to inhibit the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lung tumors.” - University of Maryland Medical Center
Quercetin supplements are available in pill and capsule form. They are often packaged with “Bromelain” which increases the bioavailability of Quercetin, meaning you get more bang for your buck when combined.
To work out the proper dosage in milligrams, just multiply the weight of your pet (in pounds) by 8. So a dog weighing 50lbs should get 400mg or a 125lbs dog would get 1,000mg.
1000mg of quercetin a day is roughly equal to consuming 124 red apples or 217 cups of blueberries. Researchers suggest that the average human who consumes an abundant amount of fruits and veggies is only getting about about 230mg of quercetin a day.
Remember: Whatever the amount you give your pet, always split the dosage into two separate portions throughout the day for best results.
For more info on Quercetin, head on over to Dogs Naturally Magazine: Dogs Naturally Magazine