Antioxidants for dogs, are they really necessary?
Every living entity needs antioxidants to survive, and your dog is no different.
Oxygen is the mainstay in your dog’s life, but it can, believe it or not, actually behave so aggressively that it may act to shorten your dog’s life though free radicals.
Free radical damage can happen to your dog in the same way that it happens to you.
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons.
Normal compounds in your dog’s body are composed of atoms that are bound together by sharing electrons from an atom.
However, if they become unpaired for some reason, they become extremely energetic and will by nature seek out companionship of another electron.
When this occurs, they can very easily steal electrons from any normal compound, and in most cases, it will be your dog’s oxygen.
However, it does even more damage when this process occurs; it alters the stability of other electrons, and as a result, creates yet another free radical.
Once this process gets out of control, it begins to cause all kinds of problems in your dog’s cells.
Although free radicals are part of the normal metabolism in your dogs, they can very easily start a destructive chain of events.
They may be caused by as injury or a disease that has attacked your dog.
Once this occurs, it can very easily over power your dog’s natural defense system that protects against this type of attack.
This is referred to as oxidative stress and results in both cellular as well as tissue damage in your dog.
Just like the lack of natural oxygen browns fruit, this process does more intensive damage as it can actually shorten your dog’s life dramatically.
There is a lot of hype in advertising that dog food is supplemented with antioxidants to help in the stability of dog food, which is absolutely true.
However, what they do not advertise is that dry dog food is still extremely susceptible to both fat rancidity as well as deterioration.
Premium dog foods are much safer, as they provide natural antioxidants which include tocopherols, Vitamin C, citric acid, and rosemary extract.
However, even these can break down over time and they are the best of the best.
But how long are they actually on the shelf, in storage, and is the date coding process totally accurate?
Not to mention the lesser brands that does not have the same preservatives and are used by the majority of the owners worldwide.
So what exactly is the answer to providing enough antioxidants in dogs?
Antioxidants for dogs in foods may be enough, but they are your pet’s only major defense against this possible onslaught of both free radical damage as well as oxidation stress.
Antioxidants are also found in the food that we eat, but will still add them in our diet.
Your dog should be no different as they desperately need these agents to protect against the potential cell and tissue damage that can be caused.
Antioxidants for dogs include Vitamins E and C, taurine, and well as the carotenoids and some trace minerals.
Vitamin C is an extremely powerful antioxidant, and it is a water soluble vitamin which means it is virtually impossible to ever be toxic to your dog.
Any excessive is very easily removed from your dog’s body by their urine.
Even though your dog can synthesize this antioxidant, it is still required in a vast majority of dogs in some type of supplement.
If your dog is active at all, they need it to prevent against oxidative stress.
But if your dog is a working dog, a dog that likes to run a lot, or any type of a rescue dog, it is critical to them. However, it does not end there.
These antioxidants for dogs also help the healing process as well the glandular and circulatory processes.
It is also plays a major factor in the formation of bones and tissues, as well as helping with their gums and teeth.
But it has a few more benefits, as it helps with hip dysplasia in younger dogs as well as arthritis in older dogs.
This form of antioxidants for dogs is often referred to as the wonder drug.
It is essential for the proper function of the reproductive system, the muscular system, as well as the nervous system.
This vitamin cannot be synthesized by your dog and it is considered the most essential antioxidant needed for protecting your dog’s cells from radical damages.
It helps to reinforce Vitamin C as well as beta carotene, but it also helps with the synthesizing of taurine and selenium.
However, it also helps in dissolving tumors, especially breast tumors in dogs.
It also oxygenates your dog’s blood, and as a result, improves the functions in all of your dog’s organs.
It is especially effective in oxygenating the lungs of your pet.
These forms of antioxidants for dogs are fat soluble pigments that are found in several plants, including carrots and tomatoes.
Even though your dog is carnivorous, they still need these very important antioxidants.
Additional benefits of these antioxidants are enhanced every year with further research as they are also believed to fight degenerative diseases, cancer, and aging.
Taurine and Minerals
This antioxidant is an amino acid, and helps your dog with their vision and heart functions.
It also helps to protect cells from being damaged. The minerals zinc, copper, and selenium are also essential antioxidants for dogs.
All three of them are essential components in the various enzymes in your dog’s body.
However, of the three, selenium is perhaps the most important, as it helps with protecting your dog’s immune system, helps with muscular weakness, as well as with several skin problems.
Free radical damage will always be part of the natural cell metabolism in your dog, but can be exasperated by several factors including UV radiation, smog, and especially cigarette smoke.
Antioxidants for dogs in both their food as well in supplement form can help with the oxidative stress that your dog will face.
Ask yourself how long is dog food really protected before it loses these valuable nutrients despite all of the claims.