Even if you’re not quite sure what they are, you probably know antioxidants are good for you.
But did you know they’re also good for your dog? In fact, not just “good for,” but essential for optimum health. Why? Because antioxidants protect your dog’s body from cell damage caused by free radicals.
To understand antioxidants and why your dog needs them, you first need to understand free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage your dog’s cells, organs and tissues. They do this damage by attacking and destroying cell membranes, proteins and DNA.
This destructive process is known as oxidation. Oxidation is associated with many chronic diseases, as well as degenerative diseases associated with aging (e.g., cancer and arthritis).
Free radicals are normally produced through your dog’s metabolism, but free radical levels are increased with exposure to stress and toxins. These toxins may come from your dog’s food or the environment (such as pesticides and insecticides). Other factors include X-rays and UV rays from the sun.
Berries are chock full of antioxidants, but it’s not always safe to let your dog eat everything you eat.
Technically speaking, free radicals are created when a molecule or atom loses an electron. It then tries to take an electron from another molecule to balance itself, causing cell damage. This causes another free radical to be created, and so that molecule steals an electron from another molecule, and the process continues.
Antioxidants defend your dog’s body against the damaging free radicals.
Technically, antioxidants give an electron to the free radical molecules that have lost one. This stabilizes the free radical without the antioxidant becoming one itself. Once the antioxidant gives up the electron though, it is no longer useful, so more antioxidants are needed.
Antioxidant benefits include:
- Strengthening your dog’s immune system
- Fighting inflammation
- Reducing cell damage
- Decreasing allergy symptoms
- Slowing the aging process
- Reducing risk of chronic, degenerative diseases
- Improving circulation
- Strengthening blood vessel walls
- Improving cognitive function
If your dog has any of the following conditions, it can benefit from antioxidants.
- Autoimmune diseases
- Cardiovascular disease
- Immune suppression
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver disease
- Vision problems
Antioxidants can include nutrients such as vitamin A, C, E, selenium, beta carotene, bioflavonoids and green tea extract. The best source of antioxidants is from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
The problem with this is that dogs are carnivores (they eat meat). Of course, this doesn’t mean that your dog does not or cannot eat vegetables and the like, but some foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as red grapes, are poisonous to dogs.
Additionally, if you take into consideration the poor quality of some commercially available dog food, and the possibly stressful environment your dog lives in (e.g., the toxins of a city), the need for antioxidants becomes clear.
i Love Dogs Signature Line of Supplements with Green Tea
i Love Dogs has developed the following range of premium, veterinarian-formulated vitamins and supplements for your dog that are all boosted with decaffeinated green tea to provide a powerful source of antioxidants:
- MULTIVITAMIN with Green Tea & Reishi
- GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN with Green Tea & Reishi
- REISHI with Green Tea
- GREEN TEA