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Boron is a trace element found in many foods and can be purchased as a supplement. Boron isn’t considered an essential trace mineral, and humans get their recommended daily amount – 1 to 13 mg daily – through diet (we can’t produce it on our own). But what about our dogs? Do they need boron?
I learned about boron from Thomas Sandberg, Long Living Pets Research Project, when we interviewed him on The Alternative Dog Moms. I trust Thomas’ recommendations (he’s never steered me wrong), so I ordered a couple of bottles and have stayed stocked up.
Benefits of Boron
What interests me most about boron are its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Many fitness professionals use boron supplements to help recover from workouts faster. And some in the medical field believe boron slows signs of aging, including arthritis, bone loss, and cognitive decline. Additionally, Boron improves the absorption of magnesium and calcium, improving our metabolism and bone health.
According to Dr. Axe, boron is believed to prevent several health conditions, including the following:
- Osteoporosis and weak or broken bones
- Low concentration or “brain fog”
- Poor memory
- Signs of aging on the skin
- Worsened menopausal and PMS symptoms
- Weak muscles
- Stomach and digestive parasites
- Candida infection and yeast infections
- Eye infections
Benefits of Boron for Dogs
I couldn’t find much information about adding boron to a dog’s diet, but I did learn that a study concluded this mineral could help reduce pain in animals. According to Dr. Axe, there has been success in easing pain and inflammation in domesticated animals by treating them with boron supplements.
Dog-Safe Foods Rich in Boron
Many foods are rich in boron. I drink a lot of apple juice and white grape juice. Yes, that’s a lot of sugar, but I don’t eat much junk food, so I don’t mind. I’ve learned that these foods (apples and grapes) are rich in boron.
I don’t mind sharing foods with my dogs that are also rich in boron – apples, broccoli, and avocado (not the seed). I’ve fed these foods from time to time in the past, but learning about the benefits of boron encouraged me to add these foods to the menu for my dogs.
Rita Hoga, the Canine Herbalist, shared that the following herbs are high in boron. She stated that “boron is the not too little, not too much trace mineral.”
- organic alfalfa
- horsetail (use the phytoembryonic for long-term safety)
Why I Add Boron to My Dogs’ Diet
The more I learned about boron, the more I became convinced that, once again, Thomas Sandberg was on to something. Boron is a trace mineral that my dogs needed in their diet.
Cognitive Health – Rodrigo and Zoey are senior dogs, and boron will help slow the progression of cognitive decline as they age.
Reduce Inflammation and Arthritis Pain – Rodrigo is suffering from arthritis. Although his joint supplement helps, adding boron to his diet has also made a positive impact.
Strengthen Bones and Improve Bone Health – with a growing puppy in the house and two seniors, keeping my dogs’ bones strong and healthy is essential to avoid future injury. We have an active pack, and I want them to stay strong.
Balances Hormones – boron has been shown to balance sex hormones in men and women. But what about puppies that are spayed/neutered before adolescence? We adopted a puppy from a rescue that was spayed at three months. Could boron help support her system?
Promotes Healthy Muscle Mass – keeping my dogs lean and healthy is suitable for their bones, joints, and overall wellness. When my dogs are at a healthy weight, their more active, less stressed, and less prone to injury.
Promotes Healthy Skin – boron is an active ingredient in OTC yeast infection medications because it’s a natural anti-fungal. Boron can also prevent skin infections by reducing inflammation, redness, and other signs of irritation.
I’ve found that itchy skin can be related to diet, environment, or yeast overgrowth. Alternating between a boron/water spray and an apple cider vinegar/water spray cools irritated skin.
The Side Effects of Boron
Boron is believed to be safe for both humans and animals. The dosage amount for dogs isn’t clear, so I’m cautious when adding it to my dogs’ meals because boron toxicity is a risk. While it’s best to get this trace mineral from food, it may be necessary to supplement for dogs that need more support.
Avoiding Boron Toxicity
Rodrigo is now a senior dog living with arthritis. Adding a capful of boron to his meals three days a week and a capful to my dogs’ water dishes periodically is helping to reduce his arthritis symptoms. But this isn’t the only thing I’m doing to ease inflammation.
Being conservative with this supplement, we won’t approach toxic levels. But to be certain, I plan to have him nutrient tested through ParsleyPet.
Boron Drug Interactions
A boron supplement shouldn’t be given to dogs with kidney disease, liver disease, or hormone-sensitive conditions (Cushing’s, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism). If you want to add a boron supplement to your dog’s diet, speak with your veterinarian.
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