Why Antioxidants & The Six Nutrients Are Essential in a Dog's Diet
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Why Antioxidants & The Six Nutrients Are Essential in a Dog's Diet

Dogs
Health & Safety

All dog owners want to provide the best possible diet for their canine friends so not only do they enjoy their food, but they get the best out of it too. A well balanced diet is essential to their well-being so when it comes to knowing what goes into the dog food, it's important to know it contains only the best top quality ingredients. The pet food you feed your dog also needs to include valuable antioxidants because just as in humans, these are really important to dogs too.

The Plus Points of Antioxidants Found in Pet Food

Over the years, pet food manufacturers have put a lot of time, effort and money into researching the best combinations of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other valuable nutritional elements that dogs need to stay as healthy as possible. One of the elements they've spent time researching is the usefulness of antioxidants in dog and other pet food. The result of this research shows that antioxidants play a key role when it comes to preventing certain illnesses and diseases from developing and as such they may help prolong a dog's life.

The Health Benefits Antioxidants Offer Our Dogs

Antioxidants offer great preservative properties but apart from that they also offer a whole host of other health benefits to your dog. It has been shown that dogs suffering from allergies, skin issues and immune disorders can benefit when fed antioxidants. Even older dogs with health issues associated with age may benefit from an antioxidant supplement because they help reduce any cellular damage. The damage is caused by what is known as “free radicals” which develop in the body because of the effects of oxidation. Should these free radicals not be kept in check, the damage continues and it destroys healthy and unhealthy cells found in the body.

Research has indicated that antioxidants are valuable because they help boost a dog's immune system whether young or old. Young dogs can really benefit from being fed a diet high in antioxidants because it helps keep their immune systems strong prior to them being old enough to have all their vaccinations. In older dogs, they help slow down cellular damage to both the organs as well as the brain and which as a result, may promote a longer and much healthier life.

The Most Common Sources of Antioxidants

The most common sources of antioxidants found in dog food include the following:

  • Vitamins A, C, E
  • Zinc
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lycopene

Each one of the above plays a very specific role when it comes to promoting good health in dogs with vitamin E being responsible for optimising T-cell activation in a dog's immune system. In short, this helps maintain healthy tissue and as such slows cellular ageing down. Beta-carotene on the other hand, helps to increase the blood's antibody levels which helps dogs fight off all sorts of infections and illnesses. The B-carotene once converted into vitamin A can help improve your dog's eyesight, their skin and the condition of their coats.

However, there are also many natural foods which are rich in antioxidants which includes the following:

  • Whole grains
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

Check the Labels on All Dog Food

If you're worried about providing the quality of dog food you feed your pet, the best thing to do is check the labels to make sure they contain the nourishing top quality ingredients which includes a list of valuable antioxidants too.

The Right Pet Food Helps Promote a Longer, Healthier Life

Feeding the right pet food to your dog could extend their lives. However, each stage of your dog's life will see them needing a different type of diet but the one thing that remains constant is the nutritional value of the food they need. There are six specific nutrients which all dogs (and other animals) require for their overall well-being and to maintain a healthy existence which are as follows:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water

The Essential Nutrients Explained

All dogs need to be fed essential nutrients in their diet because their bodies cannot produce them. This means a deficiency of them in their pet food could lead to all sorts of health issues. With this said, non-essential nutrients are not needed in a diet even though they are necessary for dogs to stay healthy. The reason being that a dog's body is capable of producing non-essential nutrients. On top of this dogs need over 20 amino acids to sustain their lives of which 10 are considered essential because they cannot produce them in their bodies either.

Don't Forget the Importance of Water

You should never forget the importance of water because it is the key ingredient to your dog or any other pet's diet. This is why it is so important for dogs to have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Just filling a bowl up in the morning is okay but dogs prefer to drink cold water and they prefer it to be running water. Investing in a dog fountain is a great solution and may help solve a horrible habit that some dogs have of drinking out of toilets!

Conclusion

All dog owners want to do the very best for the pets all of the time so they live happy, healthy and longer lives. Making sure you feed top quality pet food goes a long way in achieving this but you also need to make certain you are providing the valuable antioxidants in their diet along with the essential six nutrients. Just as with humans, dogs can benefit from the properties antioxidants offer them at every stage of their lives.

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