We’ve heard this sentence so many times: “Fruits for dogs? Carnivores don’t need them!” But it doesn’t matter if you feed raw, kibble or any other diet. It’s been proven that fruits have the ability to change your dog’s life… in the best way possible! If you’re not convinced, we’re hoping to change your mind with these top 5 reasons to feed your dog more fruit!

1. Fruits Contain Polyphenols

In the 1900s, scientists tested diets rich in fruits and vegetables. Surprisingly, they found they protected people from cancers, heart disease, diabetes and more. Today, they’ve been able to link these health benefits directly to polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds that come only from fruit and plants. But your dog can’t actually digest polyphenols directly, so instead they travel to his colon, where the bacteria that live there eat the polyphenols. They then produce healthy by-products like short chain fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and many other health issues. The key in keeping your pup healthy is prevention. Polyphenols are found in some spices, herbs, nuts, vegetables and especially in fruits. Apples, pears and berries contain about 200 to 300 mg of polyphenols per 100 grams of fresh fruit. Luckily you can find many ingredients in our meals that contain large amounts of polyphenols!

2. Fruits Kill Cancer Cells

Studies show that polyphenols reduce the risk of cancer. This is because they can inhibit cells that cause DNA methylation, which is a major driver of cancer. They can also reactivate silenced genes in cancer cells and cause their death (apoptosis). A study showed that resveratrol (found in fruits like apple skins), reduced bacteria activity linked to colon cancer. This polyphenol and others can also control cancer cell growth and division. This means that cancer cells are less likely to spread in your dog’s body. We have seen so many studies showing cancer dropping by over 80% in dogs whose diet was richer in polyphenols.

3. Fruits Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural part of the body’s defense system. Any time your dog is sick or hurt, acute inflammation delivers immune cells to the affected area. These cells help to fight and repair damaged tissues. So, while inflammation is helpful, only if it’s short term and resolves quickly if it continues it becomes an unhealthy chronic inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is becoming a common disease in dogs that’s linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Joint disease
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases

In a 2014 study, researchers fed three groups of rats differently for two months.

  • Group 1- ate rat food
  • Group 2- ate a high fat, high sugar diet
  • Group 3- ate the same high fat, high sugar diet with some cranberry juice added.

They then analyzed their livers. The rats fed the cranberry juice had fewer inflammatory markers. The polyphenols suppressed inflammatory enzymes and the pro-inflammatory immune cells called cytokines. 

4. Polyphenols Balance the gut

When you feed your dog, you’re also feeding the few billion bacteria that live in his gut. We consider the gut the key to a dog’s immune system. Having a healthy gut means all of your dog’s other bodily/organ functions run smoothly. Foods like proteins and healthy fats, have important responsibilities, they feed the friendly bacteria in your dog’s gut.

The bacteria in your dog’s gut play a few very important roles:

  • produce your dog’s vitamins
  • protect his gut lining
  • help modulate his immune system.

Toxins and excess starch in the gut can feed the bacteria that produce inflammatory by-products. When there is a good population of friendly bacteria, they crowd these “bad bacteria” and keep your dog’s tummy happy. They do this by competing for receptor sites in the intestines.  Polyphenols feed the friendly bacteria and can bind to receptor sites on “bad bacteria”. This interferes with their activity and growth so that the good bacteria can thrive. The polyphenols in their diet called catechin, can stop the growth of E. coli, Bordetella bronchiectasis (the bacteria that cause kennel cough) and Salmonella. Quercetin, another polyphenol, can also stop E. coli from growing. 

5. Polyphenols Help Detoxify the Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in your dog’s body and has two very important jobs. It produces his nutrients and it processes and removes toxins from food and the environment. Some toxins, most often fat-soluble toxins, are hard for the liver to break down and metabolize. These toxins are then able to cling to cells inside the liver.  Over time, when these toxins build up, the free radicals also build up in the liver.  Polyphenols support the liver in activating enzymes in the liver that defend it from these said toxins and help neutralize them by converting them into less harmful molecules they then help make them water-soluble so they can easily exit the body. 

We hope these 5 reasons help you understand the importance of why we choose to incorporate more fruits into your dog’s diet. Even wolves scour their environment for fruits and veggies. In the summer months, up to 25% of their stomach contents is fruit and other plant matter. Are you ready to add more fruit and other plant matter to your dog’s diet? If so, a Pure Love Dog Food diet is what’s best for your pup!

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