The Benefits of Antioxidants for Dogs
Having a curious mind and a will to use their tongue to discover the world makes our dogs the most adorable and hilarious company. But the world around us is full of things we shouldn’t eat and harmful toxins, and while we can try to teach our furry friends about the dangers in their discovery, it’s in their nature to roll around in wild grass and lick all kinds of surfaces. This curiosity exposes dogs to many more toxins, and they need special support to protect them while allowing them to live their best life.
Whether you’re an experienced dog parent or are just starting your journey, you may have heard from nutritionists and dieticians about the benefits of antioxidants. They’re recommended so widely because of this extra exposure to danger and a heightened need to protect dogs. But they’re also highly valued in the industry because of how effective they are at combating this risk, enabling dogs to live happily and freely. For owners, this means a much more relaxed parenting experience and less running for your life every time they put something obscure in their mouth.
What’s also great about natural antioxidants for dogs is the diversity of loveable forms they come in. From organic vegetables to teas and antioxidant supplements, everyone’s dogs here at Hypro Premium have a favourite way to take theirs, keeping their taste buds and their immune system happy. But we’ve also been in our customers’ position, wondering why antioxidants for dogs are important and what benefits they provide. While we always want to do the best thing for our little family members, we need the facts to ensure we make the right decisions.
In this article, we’ll explain the main benefits of antioxidants for dogs, and the best natural antioxidants for dogs at different stages of life.
- The Benefits of Antioxidants for Dogs
- What Are Antioxidants?
- Are Antioxidants Good For Dogs?
- Best Antioxidants for Dogs
- What Foods Contain Antioxidants For Dogs?
- Making Sure Your Pup Gets The Best
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are a type of chemical, and they’re as natural as the many vegetables they’re found in. They live in several fruits and plants, which is part of the reason eating our greens, fruits and veggies provide us so many benefits, and the same is true for our pets. Antioxidants are powerful because they can identify and eliminate harmful chemicals in the system while reducing oxidation of the blood.
Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction that happens in the body, but too much oxidation causes an imbalance, which is sadly a common characteristic in dogs. We know oxidation in many common everyday situations, like the rust on our bike chain, caused by iron reacting with water and oxygen to weaken the metal. When your fruit turns brown, oxidation is also occurring to break down the organic material rapidly.
Antioxidants protect the blood from this imbalance and encourage healthy circulation, more energy and less fatigue in the muscles and cells. The regular intake of antioxidants into the body refreshes the blood from the harmful effects of chemicals and pollutants. It leaves people and animals feeling physically and mentally energetic and stable.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
To discover how antioxidants manage to keep our body and brain balanced, we need to look at their effect on free radicals. Free radicals are a molecule that the body produces when it breaks down food, but they can also develop from exposure to harmful elements like tobacco smoke or radiation. These molecules are missing an electron and want to balance themselves to stay stable, so they steal an electron from healthy cells in the body and sometimes even DNA, damaging our cells’ ability to regenerate.
This electron theft harms healthy cells, making bodies more prone to various illnesses, including chronic health problems such as heart and inflammatory diseases, cataracts and cancer. Free radicals affect humans and dogs alike, and as we’re constantly consuming and breaking down foods, our bodies need protection from free radicals in the form of antioxidants.
Antioxidants swoop in to provide free radicals with an electron to take so they don’t steal one from healthy cells, reducing the damage caused to our bodies. Free radicals aren’t strictly out to damage our health. They serve some important functions like helping immune cells fight infection. The problem comes when they outnumber antioxidants in the body, and the excess free radicals quickly cause harm. This is why a regular intake of antioxidants is vital to maintain the right balance between the two molecule types and prevent oxidation stress.
Are Antioxidants Good For Dogs?
Dog’s bodies react similarly to free radicals; the molecules are necessary and healthy when they exist in a balanced amount. Still, it’s unfortunately too easy to slip into an overbalance that can have a disastrous effect. Dogs intake antioxidants through fruits, vegetables and plants just like we do, but their diets often don’t have the same inclusion of these foods to help them maintain balance, which is why antioxidant supplements are super helpful in their diets.
Antioxidants and The Ageing Process
Antioxidants have an excellent benefit on the ageing process of our little best friends, providing them with the best chance of staying younger for longer and living their longest life possible. The reaction between antioxidants and free radicals is again responsible for this. The chemical reaction between free radicals and healthy cells speeds the ageing process, due to the harm they cause to cellular regeneration.
Beyond the ageing process, free radicals put our dogs’ bodies at risk of contracting a whole host of health issues, including some fatal conditions. Sadly, these health conditions can shorten a dog’s life dramatically if they become chronically ill and their body can’t recover from illnesses such as heart disease or cancer.
Antioxidants provide a big helping of relief for many owners as we can give them this critical balance through a simple dietary inclusion. We all want our pups to live forever, and while we can’t control the natural order of things, science helps us make the most of our time with them by prolonging their healthiest years.
What Can Happen If My Dog Doesn’t Get Enough Antioxidants?
Without enough antioxidant intake, dogs are more prone to developing the health concerns of too many free radicals lingering in their body. As we mentioned earlier, the reaction of free radicals taking electrons from healthy cells is called oxidation, and an imbalance is called oxidative stress. It’s this stress that causes cell and tissue damage. If you know much about health and science, it’s when our cells are damaged that we increase our risk of developing health conditions.
Oxidative stress is known to cause:
When too many free radicals are present, dogs’ response to infection causes an over inflammation which produces even more free radicals and can soon lead to:
- Heart disease and failure
- Cardiovascular conditions such as strokes and hypertension
Oxidation of DNA cells caused by excess free radicals can trigger cancer cell growth.
The fastened ageing process of oxidation stress causes decreased lung capacity and other respiratory diseases.
Due to the damage to healthy brain cells from an imbalance of free radicals, dogs can experience neuron damage and memory loss.
Best Antioxidants for Dogs
Antioxidants through pet food and supplements provide balance to the body and reduce the number of free radicals to a desirable amount. Various types of antioxidants serve slightly different purposes. Generally speaking, a balanced supply of various antioxidants is the perfect remedy to keep your pups healthy and living their best life for longer.
In particular instances and stages of their life, some antioxidants are more important than others due to their changing vulnerabilities. For example, puppies need some help absorbing their vital minerals, while senior dogs might need more support with joint issues.
Best Antioxidants for Puppies
Puppies are new to the world and are still in the process of getting particular vaccines, so while they’re busy discovering new surfaces with their tongue, they need extra care to support their health. The following antioxidants are essential for puppies to get the protection they require:
- Vitamin E: Promotes the health of the immune system and blood vessels at a critical time in their immunity development.
- Vitamin C: Improves the absorption of certain vitamins in foods, increases energy, reduces inflammation and heals infections faster to assist in effectively managing minor problems.
- Beta Carotene: Increases antibodies and assists blood cells in their function while potentially making vaccines more effective.
- Selenium: Mitigates the risk of health issues that oxidative states can cause, such as heart disease, asthma symptoms, cancer risks and declining cognitive function.
Best Antioxidants for Adult Dogs
Adult dogs love to move quickly and use their bodies to their full use, and this heightened playfulness requires certain antioxidant protection. Keep their muscles moving and functioning well, their blood flow healthy and reduce inflammation problems through:
- Vitamin E: Just like pups, adult dogs are curious and adventurous and need immune system and blood vessel support through vitamin E.
- Vitamin C: The increased use of muscles and faster movements make vitamin C important for adult dogs. It alleviates joint pain and reduces the risk of inflamed gums and infected wounds.
- Polyphenols: Adult dogs have been alive longer than pups, so they have an increased risk of developing the different diseases caused by oxidation stress. Polyphenols protect against cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
Best Antioxidants for Senior Dogs
Much like humans, our little friends’ immunity weakens as their bodies age. As our dogs grow older, they need more help to support their immune systems and help their body stay healthy and free of infections and disease. Here are the best antioxidants for senior dogs:
- Vitamin E: While important for all aged dogs, vitamin E becomes critical in protecting senior dogs by supporting the immune system and blood vessels at a vulnerable time.
- Vitamin C: Including vitamin C in the diet of senior dogs has significant benefits because of its inflammation reduction as they’re prone to joint issues.
- Beta Carotene: To boost their immunity and help senior dogs avoid health problems, Beta Carotene is helpful as it increases antibodies in the blood.
- Polyphenols: As your furry friend ages, serious illnesses become more of a concern. They need extra protection from developing heart or lung diseases, diabetes and cancer, and polyphenols can give them the extra protection they need.
What Foods Contain Antioxidants For Dogs?
All antioxidants serve a beneficial purpose in keeping the body and brain healthy, which is why balance is key for dogs and humans. We humans can easily add many tasty fruits and different colours of veggies into our meals to get the variety we need. The same antioxidants in these foods have the same benefits for dogs, but owners might need to get a little creative for their dogs to love antioxidant-rich foods as much as their health system does.
Most of these come from plant foods, and as you’re probably aware, lots of dogs are reluctant to eat their fruits and veggies and can often be intolerant to them. The good news is there are thousands of foods with natural antioxidants, so there are lots of chances to find something that works for your furry friends.
Here are some of the most popular and nourishing choices in the plant rainbow for canines, and you can experiment with some of them to discover what your dog enjoys:
- Red and blue fruits and berries: Go for some blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries, which many dogs love eating as a snack. They’re full of antioxidant goodness, including anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol.
- Yellows and oranges: Cook some yellow squash, sweet potatoes and carrots and add them to your dogs’ meals for an instant boost of flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and beta-carotene.
- Greens: Just like your human kids, encourage your canine kids to eat their greens. Choose spinach, kale, green beans and steamed broccoli for a highly beneficial intake of vitamins A, B, C, E and K.
- Tomatoes and mangoes are also rich in antioxidants but provide these in moderation as they cause diarrhoea in dogs.
These foods are great to add to your dog’s diet, but most of the time, they won’t let you include this much of a range of fruits and vegetables in their meals, reducing the variety of antioxidants they regularly absorb. Hypro Premium exists to combat this problem. We provide a range of doggie kibble designed to specifically support their health and wellbeing without forcing them to eat the whole rainbow of fruits and veg.
We use quality meat, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals with optimal nutrient ratios of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. You can choose delicious chicken, kangaroo, duck, turkey, lamb and fish, ensuring they devour their much-needed antioxidants. Check out the full list of nutritional benefits of Hypro Premium products.
Making Sure Your Pup Gets The Best
Giving your pup the best is a delicate task to execute in real life. Supporting their health and wellbeing while allowing them to be the curious and adventurous creatures that they are requires some additional help. By introducing antioxidant rich foods into your dog’s diet, you can better protect their health, body and mind and allow them to live a long and enjoyable life by your side. Including some antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables into their diet is always a helpful strategy, but it can quickly feel like you’re forcing them to eat things they hate.
Our Hypro Premium kibble is made with a super-premium blend of Australian ingredients packed with antioxidants like cranberries, apples, blueberries and carrots. Our dog food is made without grains and gluten, delivering the much-needed nutrients to support their health and immune system without harmful ingredients. Our products are made with the guidance of pet experts to keep your furry friends healthy and happy.
Luckily, you don’t need to work too hard to make sure they eat nutritiously because Hypro Premium is made to appeal to their taste buds as well as their health. So, the next time you’re out pondering what to feed your pups, consider the importance of antioxidants in pet food and how they support your canine companion’s health and choose a product proven to help them live well.