Antioxidants and Your Dog
Antioxidants are the key word of the day. Everyone is talking about them and taking them because they are good for us.
Now, what do antioxidants have to do with your dog?
Well, for one thing they are good for your dog, too.
What good are antioxidants in regard to your dog’s health?
Antioxidants do the same for your dog as they do for you, they chase free radicals and help keep you healthy.
Actually, antioxidants offer many things in the way of protecting our pets, as well as we humans, from a great many diseases.
Antioxidants are very interesting.
As great as they are, they do not behave the same way in all species, or for that matter in each individual, whether they be dog or human.
Even diseases respond differently at different times to the administration of antioxidants.
The more scientists know about antioxidants, the more they find they don’t know.
The list of variables grows and the answers vary due to the fact that foods grown containing antioxidants are subject to climate, soil composition and processing.
Supplements are subject to manufacturing methods and the list goes on.
By now you are wondering what all this jibberish has to do with the health and welfare of your dog; and I in my humble way am going to try to tell you because I feel it is important for the health of your pet.
Many holistic vets claim that antioxidants will provide benefits for the following problems:
Arthritis: Antioxidants along with Vitamin C help in building and healing bone and joint structures.
Immune Function: Antioxidants enhance and protect many areas of the immune system. Help keep it functioning properly.
Vision: Antioxidants are extremely helpful in promoting good vision and eyesight.
Heart Disease: Antioxidants protect the heart and circulatory system from the stress of free radicals.
Cancer Prevention: Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, help slow tumor growth and help keep cells healthy.
Aging: As our animals age, cells and tissues can be damaged by free radicals, antioxidants help protect and help improve the efficiency of your pet’s body, thus giving you a healthier older pet.
As our pets get older their chances of getting arthritis, cancer, heart disease and eye problems increases and we need to do what we can “naturally” to help prevent or hopefully eliminate these problems.
What can you do to supply your pet with the antioxidants it needs?
There is no perfect pill that will work perfectly and in accordance with your particular pet’s needs.
There are of course, many schools of thought on this subject, but the one thing that is important to remember, is when giving supplements and/or vitamins all things have to work in balance in order to create the “right affect.”
You can do more harm than good if you are over zealous.
Most antioxidants are found in food after the food has been pureed or cooked, tomatoes are a good example of that, as the antioxidant lycopene is found after the tomatoes are cooked.
It is possible to feed our pets foods that are high in antioxidants without breaking the budget or taking a great deal of our time to prepare.
There are three main antioxidant vitamins that can be easily found in foods and they are vitamins A,C and E.
The C vitamin, however, is not really a concern, as the dog’s body manufactures it and unless your dog is under a great deal of stress or is/has been ill, it does not require any additional.
The others along with other vitamins and minerals can be found in most foods. The wonderful thing about dogs is that they will eat almost anything, especially if it appears to be people food.
Vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries are all excellent sources of antioxidants.
The secret here is to feed your dog a combination of these things.
Mix lightly cooked veggies with your dog’s dry or canned food, spaghetti sauce mixed with some veggies or dog food is good, fruits or berries (that your dog likes) can be used as treats instead of giving cookie treats all the time.
What’s good for you is good for your dog, if he/she will eat it.
Do not give your dog extra vitamins or minerals, without your vets approval, as too much of a good thing can lead to problems.
If vitamins are on the list of things to give your dog, Swanson's has a good vitamin for dogs (and people, too.)
The goal here is to keep your dog as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
We humans, strive to keep healthy, so it is only right that we do what we can for our faithful and loyal pets.
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