Antioxidants Are Important For Your Dog’s Health
An antioxidant supplement is important to consider in supporting your pet’s health. It is vital that you look for a quality supplement expressly made for dogs and cats.
Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with unpaired or an odd number of electrons formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules.
Normally, the body has an ability to handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production is excessive, damage can occur.
Once the free radicals are formed, these reactive radicals can start a chain reaction causing cell damage when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane.
As your dog ages, free-radical-production-fighting enzymes decrease, creating more oxidative stress. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age and can contribute to diseases like cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that antioxidant nutrients in the form of vitamins A, C, and E will help slow down and prevent the free radical damage that speeds up the aging process.
Senior dog health issues often involve the senior dog being less able to resist infections and other diseases, and its organs becoming less efficient. Your dog will start to slow down and lose stamina, and the body’s presence of free radicals can begin to take its toll. We, as dog guardians, will find it difficult to watch.
Current estimations are that 1 out of every 4 dogs will suffer from the disabling symptoms of arthritis by middle age… for most dogs, that’s about 5 years of age.
Dogs less than 20 pounds might not show signs of senior dog issues until about 12. A larger dog may begin to show signs of senior dog issues around 8-10 years of age.
Some free radicals arise normally during metabolism (the chemical reactions in the body’s cells that convert the fuel from food into the energy needed). Sometimes the body’s immune system’s cells purposely produce free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria. However, environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can also spawn free radicals.
Antioxidants are found naturally in foods represented as: Antioxidant Vitamins - A, C, E; Antioxidant Minerals – Selenium and Zinc; Antioxidant Enzymes in the form of dietary enzymes found in certain foods, herbs, amino acids, hormones, botanical sources, etc.
A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables may contain adequate natural antioxidants. Dogs and cats eating commercial pet food, however, may not get enough appropriate antioxidants in the diet.
Make every effort to give your animals bright green vegetables.
Broccoli several times a week, chopped or pureed in small amounts, is a healthy addition to the diet. You can include celery, all kinds of greens, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, cabbage, spinach, chard, parsley, cilantro, dark green lettuce outer leaves EXCEPT iceberg, which is not very nutritious, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, asparagus, turnips, parsnips and asparagus spear stalks. All are excellent sources of chlorophyll as are all dark green vegetables. Natural chlorophylls exert protective effects against carcinogenic exposure in both animals and people.
Coenzyme Q10 helps the immune system work better and makes the body better able to resist certain infections and types of cancer. Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone) is not a free radical scavenger, but helps prevent the formation of the damaging oxygen free radicals during cellular metabolism.
The reason you want to select an antioxidant supplement expressly for dogs and pets is because the right dosage is very important, and it is just as important that the antioxidant includes only ingredients that are safe for pets to ingest. One must remember that although there are similarities between our dogs and ourselves, there are also some profound differences.