You’ve probably heard of antioxidants before. Antioxidants are found in many human foods. They offer us many health benefits. The question is, do they offer those same benefits for our canine companions?
T he answer is yes! Antioxidants are very important for keeping your pup happy and healthy throughout his life. Let’s look at some of the major benefits of antioxidants for dogs.
As their name suggests, antioxidants battle oxidation. Oxidation occurs when food is exposed to oxygen. This will break down the food’s cells over time and spoil it. It’s the same reason that fruit goes brown after a few days. Dog food is the same. By including antioxidants in pet food, manufacturers can keep their products safe for consumption for longer than they would be otherwise.
At home, you can also take some steps to keep your dog’s food fresh. Start by keeping it away from heat, light, and moisture. Storing Fido’s kibble in a cool, dry, dark place is also helpful.
Antioxidants do much more than just protect your dog’s food—they’re also beneficial for his health. Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals in Fido’s body. Free radicals are naturally occurring agents that contain oxygen. They can damage both healthy and unhealthy cells that already exist in your dog’s body. Antioxidants will help to keep free radicals at bay, therefore keeping your dog’s cells healthier for longer and stopping the degeneration of tissues.
Other health benefits of antioxidants include increased immune system function, better vision, and even increased exercise tolerance. Antioxidants also protect Fido’s heart and circulatory system from free radicals, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. They can even lower the risk of cancer!
They Combat the Effects of Aging
Antioxidants are especially important for our older animal companions. As dogs age, their cells suffer small amounts of damage. Over time, Fido’s vital organs won’t function as well. Fortunately, antioxidants can help combat that cell damage. They’re vital for maintaining your pup’s health as he enters his golden years.
Want to learn more about the role antioxidants play in your dog’s nutrition and wellness? Need a dietary recommendation? Contact your veterinarian today!