The Huge Health Benefits of Antioxidants For Dogs and CatsPet Care Tips 4 min read
There’s so much talk lately about antioxidants. But what are they really, and how can they help your cat and dog?
Well to really understand how antioxidants help our pets, we first need to understand it’s opposite: oxidation. Oxidation is a naturally occurring chemical process that happens within the body’s cells. When oxidation occurs, by-products like free radicals accumulate. It’s these by-products that cause the real trouble, as they are toxic to the cells and surrounding tissue. In a very healthy body, these toxic by-products are removed by antioxidants that combat oxidizing chemicals. When a pet’s body is in a disease state, excess oxidation can occur, which the body then has trouble removing. Excess oxidation can also occur and overwhelm the body if a pet is fed a poor diet (one that is lacking in variety, and wholesome antioxidant rich foods), stress, or even pollution. This is when supplementation with herbal extracts high in antioxidants are particularly useful.
Studies have shown that antioxidants are particularly beneficial for conditions like inflammation, arthritis, allergies, cancer and other disease states. They also help improve longevity, brain function, and general well-being.
Which particular antioxidants provide which benefits?
All antioxidants are good for overall health. Some antioxidants, however, are indicated for specific disorders and overall health.
Here’s a couple of antioxidants and how they help.
Antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E and minerals manganese and zinc are essential to maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
Coenzyme Q10 naturally occurs in the body, so there is no recommended dietary allowance since the body can make this powerful antioxidant from scratch. Sometimes CoQ10 supplementation is recommended for pets with heart disease, periodontal disease, immune problems, or senior pets that have a decrease in Coenzyme Q10.
Ginkgo, known for several medicinal benefits, also help scavenge free radicals, particularly free-radicals found in the nervous system. It can be very useful for pets with any type of nervous system disease.
Curcumin, the active compound found in Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that is especially beneficial in its uses against cancer. Its antioxidant effects are comparable to BHA andBHT, and vitamins C and E.
How do I give my dog or cat more antioxidants
If you’re interested in adding more antioxidants to your pet’s diet, we encourage adding antioxidants from whole sources instead of chemical supplementation. Getting antioxidant supplementation from whole sources means that the phytochemical properties are still intact. In addition, supplementing from whole sources means pets will also receive other therapeutic benefits contained within herbs.
Since studies show that feeding a poor highly processed diet results in excess oxidation, we encourage any pet parents who feed kibble or commercially canned food to supplement their pet’s diet with pet-specific home cooked meals. These meals can be given separately in addition to their regular AFCO approved diet, or can be given as a topper. Wholesome, unprocessed foods are a great addition to any pet’s diet, and will contain a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for a pet’s health. For instance, fish, eggs, and chicken contain selenium (another powerful antioxidant), while citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin C.
For a fun, easy recipe full of great antioxidants for your pet click here.
Do herbs contain antioxidants?
Herbs are amazing gifts from nature. They can be powerful anti-inflammatories, are very nutritive, and yes they even have antioxidant properties. Below is a non-exhaustive list of NHV supplements that can herbs that are know for their antioxidant qualities.
Published: October 6, 2017