Grape Seed Extract - Alternative Medicine for Dogs and Cats

grape seed extract for dogs and cats

★ 3 min read

In this article:
  1. Grape Seed Extract 
    1. What's Safe
    2. What's Not Safe 
    3. History of grape seed extract 
  2. Health Benefits
  3. Cautions
  4. Side Effects
  5. Drug Interactions

1.0 Grape Seed Extract (extract of Vitis vinifera)

Whats Safe for Dogs and Cats

Organic grape seed extract is not toxic to dogs and cats. Organic grape seed extract is a traditional alternative medicine.
Grape seed extract is used in various forms as a natural alternative medicine for dogs and cats:
  1. Encapsulated extract
  2. Liquid extract
  3. Powder extract

Whats NOT Safe for Dogs and Cats

The fruit of the grape vine (grapes and dried grapes {raisins}), can be toxic and life threatening to dogs and cats.
The skin and flesh of some grapes contains substances that can cause renal failure in dogs and cats.  
Possible cause - the potent, toxic chemical pesticides, herbicides used in growing non-organic grapes.
Some dogs and cats do not suffer an adverse reaction after accidental consumption of a few grapes (grape flesh and skin), or raisins. 
However, other dogs and cats can suffer from serious and life-threatening side effects. To learn more about grape and raisin toxicity go to this article.

History of Grape Seed Extract 

Since ancient times various parts of the grape plant (fruit, leaves, stem), however extract from the grape seed was not used until the 1970s, when a French biochemist, Professor Masquelier isolated the substance oligomeric proanthocyandin (OPCs) from the seed.

The professor first alerted to the possibility extract after studying the mission logs of the famous explorer Jacques Cartier. Cartier, his men and his ship had become ice bound during a particularly cold Canadian Winter – during that time his men had fallen victim to scurvy (caused by insufficient intake of vitamin C). During that ice-bound season Cartier had the good fortune to meet a helpful Indigenous person who taught Cartier how to make tea from pine bark. The resulting tea produced an immediate improvement in the ailing crew’s health.

The professor surmised that pine bark must contain high levels of vitamin C, he proceeded to investigate. His investigations revealed that pine bark contained substances other than vitamin C – in particular OPCs and procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs). In 1952 the professor patented his method of extracting PCO from pine bark. The trade name that he assigned to the extracted PCO was Pycnogenol.  In 1970 he successfully extracted PCO from grape seeds. PCO is one of many plant flavonoids. In 1986, the professor went on to discover more about grape seed extract and proved that the OPC strength of Pine Bark extract ranges between 80-85%. While grape seed extract has more efficacy as its OPC range is between 90-95%. Grape seed extract also contains high concentrations of Vitamin E and Linoleic Acid.

Grape seed extract is a by product of the wine manufacturing industry. The extract is made from the crushed seeds of the grape.

2.0 Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

Benefits of grape seed extract include (a partial list)

Anti-allergenic activity:
  • Asthma (an inflammatory disease)
  • Food allergies
  • Skin Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Environmental allergies (hay fever)
  • Grape seed extract contains natural Cox-2
Arthritic Support
Brain Support:
Active ingredients in grape seed extract can cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing
antioxidant properties to aid in the prevention of oxidative stress to the brain, eyes and nerves. This action helps provide protection from:  
  • Dementia
  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
Cardiovascular Disease:
  • Grape seed extract increases the production of nitric oxide which dilates arteries and increases blood flow.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment:
  • Grape seed extract has been proven to halt the growth and survival of colorectal cancer cells and kills the cancer cells in large numbers without harming healthy cells.
  • In contrast to chemotherapy to which cancer cells may become resistant, the many bioactive compounds in grape seed extract are able to target multiple mutations – with efficacy actually increasing in stage IV cells.
  • Grape seed extract has been shown to trigger the destruction of leukemia cells by turning on a protein called JNK that regulates the cancer killing pathway.
  • Decreases risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic venous insufficiency

Diabetes complications such as:
  • Blood Vessel damage
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Macular degeneration (AMD)
Gastrointestinal Issues:
  • Crohn's
  • Diarrhea
Liver Issues

3.0 Cautions

For pregnant or lactating dogs and cats use only when absolutely require and not for an extended period of time.

4.0 Side Effects

None unless allergic to grape seed.

5.0 Drug Interactions

Drug interactions include:

  1. Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drug
  2. Medications changed or broken down by the liver
  3. May interact with NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory)
Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat

For information about my holistic diet, nutrition and wellness services, visit my holistic wellness services page.

Maintain good health | Address acute and chronic health issues | Pre and post surgery support and recovery

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For information about my holistic behavioral services, visit my holistic behavioral services page.

For dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

My behavioral services are available worldwide via video consultation.

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To set-up your holistic behavioral session get in-touch via email, go to my contact me page.
Affiliations to Companies  
✓ None. 
✓ I don't sell food, supplements, or other products.
I'm not aligned with any companies. 
Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.

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