Antioxidant requirements in the dog’s diet

Antioxidants are essential to fight against cellular aging. The dog must therefore benefit every day from an adapted diet so that its cells are better protected against the risks of oxidative damage, the main culprits of which are free radicals. Let’s see what diet to give your dog to meet the animal’s antioxidant needs, and take stock of the risks incurred in the event of a deficiency.

Antioxidants essential for dogs

Antioxidants are fundamental for the body because they prevent but also slow down the damage caused by certain molecules: free radicals. There are two types of antioxidants, namely:

  • The antioxidants of endogenous origin: these are antioxidant enzymes directly synthesized by the body.
  • The antioxidants of exogenous origin: they are provided by food.

In order to compensate for the cellular aging of his dog, the owner must give him a diet rich in antioxidants. It must be sufficiently provided with:

  • Carotenoids such as:
    • lutein,
    • lycopene,
  • Polyphenols,
  • Vitamins A, C, E,
  • Trace elements and minerals, essential nutrients including:
    • selenium,
    • manganese,
    • magnesium,
    • zinc,
    • arginine.

As for taurine, it is an amino acid that can be provided by food but the dog’s body is however capable of synthesizing it.

Antioxidants are sensitive to the action of oxygen, light and heat. For prevent their oxidation and therefore their denaturation, it is essential to always keep food well in opaque packaging, but also to opt for a gentle cooking method at moderate temperature.

Antioxidant deficiency and dangers to dog health

An unbalanced and poor quality diet cannot meet the animal’s need for antioxidants. He then risks suffering from many health problems, such as:

  • Cataract,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Cardiomyopathy,
  • Infections due to decreased immune response,
  • Degenerative lesions,
  • Cognitive dysfunctions,
  • Cancers …

However, except in rare cases, antioxidant supplementation in dogs is not scientifically judged to be justified, as these pets are generally given a diet that meets their needs.

Foods that are well supplied with antioxidants that you can safely feed your dog are:

  • Cranberry,
  • The strawberry,
  • Blackberry,
  • The Peach,
  • Blueberry,
  • The mango.

The master must take care to give these fruits only occasionally and in moderation because they contain sugar.

This list of antioxidant foods can be supplemented by:

  • The carrot,
  • The pumpkin,
  • Sweet potato.

These fruits and vegetables should therefore be incorporated into meat products so that the dog benefits from a quality diet capable of meeting all of its antioxidant needs. But we must not neglect the other nutrient inputs either. This is why we can also add green beans, zucchini, cucumber, lamb’s lettuce which also contain antioxidants but also fiber.

When deciding to adopt a dog, it is essential to consult a veterinarian first so that a checkup is carried out and that in addition a food program be established according to specific needs of the animal. To do this, we must take into account his race, his age, his sex, his general state of health but also his lifestyle. This is absolutely essential so that the dog stays in good health as long as possible and, once old, can live his old age serenely.