You’ve probably heard of antioxidants before. Antioxidants are found in many human foods and 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 important for keeping your pooch happy and healthy throughout their life. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of antioxidants for dogs.
They Keep Food Fresh
Antioxidants do just what their name suggests: they battle oxidation. Oxidation occurs when food is exposed to oxygen. Oxygen will break down the food’s cells over time and spoil it. This is why fruit goes brown if it’s left out for too long. Dog food is the same way. By including antioxidants in dog food, manufacturers can keep their product safe for your canine pal to consume for extended periods of time.
At home, you can also take some steps to keep your dog’s food fresh by keeping it away from heat, light, and moisture. Storing Fido’s kibble in a cool, dry, dark place is your best bet.
They Boost Your Dog’s Health
Antioxidants do more than just protect your pup’s food. They are also beneficial for your dog’s health. Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals in your furry friend’s body. Free radicals are naturally occurring agents that contain oxygen, and they can damage both healthy and unhealthy cells. Antioxidants also help to keep free radicals at bay, keeping your dog’s cells healthier for longer and slowing down the degeneration of tissues.
Other benefits of antioxidants include increased immune system function, better vision (thanks to antioxidants like leutine and zeanxathin), and even higher exercise tolerance. Antioxidants can also protect the heart and circulatory system from free radicals, thereby lowering the risk of your pooch developing heart disease. Even cancer can be made less likely, thanks to the power of antioxidants.
They Combat the Effects of Aging
Antioxidants are particularly important for our older animal companions. The older your dog gets, the more that his or her cells will suffer small amounts of damage to their structure. That means that the cells, and the organs they make up, won’t function as well as your furry friend ages. Since antioxidants combat that cell damage, they’re vital for maintaining your canine pal’s bodily systems as they continue to enter their golden years.
Want to learn more about the role antioxidants play in your dog’s nutrition and wellness? Need a dietary recommendation? Contact your vet right away.