If you’re lucky enough to have a dog then you’ll know how blessed you are. And you’ll want to ensure that you care for them as best as possible, especially when it comes to their health.
You might have heard that antioxidants are excellent for human health.
But, Are They Good For Your Dog’s Health Too?In this article, we will learn about what antioxidants are and why they are important for your dog.
What Exactly Are Antioxidants?
You might have heard the word, but you’re probably not sure exactly how they work.
To understand antioxidants, first, we need to know what oxidation is. In simple terms, oxidation is a chemical process, caused by a chain reaction, which occurs in the presence of oxygen. It causes damage and deterioration via something known as free radicals, which can be caused by sunlight, smoke, radiation, pollution etc.
Free radicals can cause inflammation and can be responsible for several health-related issues including ageing, heart diseases, and cancer. These free radicals have the potential to irreversibly damage the cells in your, and your pet’s bodies.
So, there needs to be something to combat this, and that is the role of Antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation and they help prevent us and our pets from free radicals and the damage that they can cause.
How Can Antioxidants Help My Puppy?
Now that you understand what oxidation and antioxidants are, and how free radicals can damage your dog’s health, it’s important to understand how antioxidants can be beneficial to your dog.
Antioxidants work as a protective shield against the free radicals and have the potential to remove them from your dog’s body. So let’s look at some of the ways that antioxidants are beneficial to your dog:
- Stronger immune system
- Reduces joint pain
- Improved cognitive function
- Healthy heart
- Improved eye health
- Allergy resistance
Let’s look at these in a little more detail...
1. Stronger Immune System
Antioxidants are able to boost the immune system and keep your dog healthy. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn protects the cells in the body from getting damaged.
Reduced inflammation also helps protect against a number of other diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
2. Reduces Joint Pain
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from arthritis, with some breeds suffering more than others.
Arthritis is caused by inflammation, and so free radicals and oxidation can worsen symptoms of arthritis and joint pain in your dog.
Antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and joint pain and help them live a fuller and more active lifestyle.
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3. Improved Cognitive Function
It’s great fun teaching your dog new tricks, and complex tasks, and in order to do this, your dog needs to be cognitively healthy. Antioxidants help dogs in learning complex tasks as it helps in improved cognitive function.
If you have an adult dog, antioxidants can prove beneficial to their mental health as well.
4. Healthy Heart
Did you know that heart disease is more common in dogs than in humans? Studies report that chronic valvular disease, which is a form of heart disease, is seen occurring in 20-40% of dogs.
So it’s pretty common and definitely something that you want to help prevent in your dog. It can have a genetic component that is dictated by breed; however, antioxidants can help reduce the risk of severe heart ailments in dogs, especially when paired with a proper diet.
5. Improved Eye Health
Dry eyes are quite common in dogs and can exacerbate any existing eye treatments. If left untreated this can lead to further eye problems.
Antioxidants are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and so can help to relieve your dog from dry eyes and other eyes related conditions.
6. Allergy Resistance
Dogs can suffer from allergies too, and this might be exacerbated by free radicals. If your dog suffers from allergies, then antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and other skin related issues.
It also promotes healthy skin and shiny coats in dogs.
Why Do I Need To Feed My Dog Antioxidants?
As we’ve mentioned, free radicals occur naturally and dogs are exposed to more than us humans. Although not much can be done about it, you can always do your bit to protect your pet. This can be done via a good diet that is packed with antioxidants.
However, it’s worth things about all the possible ways that your dog might be exposed to the harmful free radicals:Dirt and pollutants are present in their paws. Unlike humans, dogs don’t wear shoes and so they pick up toxins out of their walk or runs. Even if you clean them there are high chances that your dog has already licked them.Licking everything in their reach is a common trait in dogs. They lick your face, themselves, any open surface of your home, sidewalks and anywhere else. This introduces them to a number of toxins and chemicals such as floor cleaners, which can cause inflammation in their body via free radicals.Lazing and lying around on the floor or the lawn is a favourite pastime of most dogs, and if your pooch is one of them, you need to be careful. You can’t help but let them play around and lay on the grass that might have the remnants of the pesticides you just usedThese are just some of the regular toxins your dog is exposed to, and most of them you won’t even notice. There isn’t much that you can do about it, however, it’s good to be aware of it so that you can introduce antioxidants into your dog’s diet as a defence mechanism.
What Natural Foods Are Antioxidants Present In?
So I think that we can agree that antioxidants are extremely important for your dog’s health. The good news is that they are naturally present in many foods that are available to you and your dog.
Here are a few natural sources of antioxidants:
- Tomatoes and mangoes
- Cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, and yellow squash
- Steamed green beans, spinach, broccoli, and kale
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
- Citrus fruits, peaches, and apples
However, it’s worth noting that while most antioxidants come from plants and seeds, many dogs are intolerant to fruits and veggies. So, you should feed them in small amounts at once to see if your dog can tolerate them.
How Can You Introduce Antioxidants Into Your Pets Diet?Besides the naturally available plant-based antioxidants available, there are other sources of antioxidants available in the market:
1. Pet Food
Perhaps the most simple solution is to feed your pet food rich in antioxidants. There are various forms of pet food that are made up of nutrient-dense ingredients which are good for your dog. These can be served to dogs of all sizes. Have a look at our available pet food here.
2. Antioxidant Supplement
Another convenient way to ensure your dog’s diet is rich in antioxidants is via supplements. As well as antioxidants, these supplements also have vitamins, minerals, proteins, and oils in them.
However, you should consult us, as an overdose in supplements can cause toxicity and cause more damage than good to your dog.
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Are Antioxidants Safe For My Dog?
Yes! Antioxidants are safe for your dog.
Whether you feed them via canned, packed or home-cooked food they will help reduce inflammation and have a number of health benefits for your dogs. However, before you start with your holistic journey with antioxidants for your dog, there are a few things that you should be aware of:
As with everything, antioxidants are great in moderation. You need to make sure your dog gets the right proportion of antioxidants depending on his age and health condition.
You should consult their medical history, and it’s worth speaking to one of our teams before changing their diet or adding supplements.
2. Medical Therapy
Prolonged medications can weaken the immune system of dogs and some medications also kill the good bacteria present in the body.
Although helpful, some antioxidants can clash with some therapies or treatments that your dog might be undergoing already, for example, they may react with cancer treatments.
In such cases, it is always a great idea to contact us for advice and understand your dog’s health.
So, Should You Include Antioxidants In Your Dog’s Diet?
In life, you and your dog are naturally exposed to a chemical process called oxidation, which will cause free radicals and inflammation in your body.
This can result in a number of health issues including heart disease, joint pain and even cancer.
Antioxidants can help to reduce and prevent this inflammation and have a number of health benefits and they can be introduced via diet or supplements for your dog.
As always, a good quality diet is essential for a healthy and happy pet, and you should ensure that you are feeding them quality food that is suitable for them.
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