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The role of antioxidants in dog food
Most people know that they need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in order to get the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to thrive. The same is true for dogs. Like us, dogs are omnivores, which means they need to consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and meat. You may notice that pet food like Petcurean Now! Grain Free Dry Dog Food flaunts the fact that it contains healthy antioxidants for your pooch. But what do these really do?
Antioxidants play two major roles in dog food. One is to preserve the food so that it stays fresh on store shelves and in your pantry. Over time, all things are subject to oxidation, the process of oxygen causing a breakdown in the nutrients and fats in food, making it rancid or lacking nutrients. Antioxidants works to block or slow down the rate of this type of damage.
As much as antioxidants help pet food manufacturers keep their product fresh on the shelves – they protect the cells in the body the same way. All bodies – dogs' included – are exposed to free radicals every day, which are produced when the cells are damaged by oxidation. If free radicals are left to their own devices, they can cause severe cell damage, like that seen in cancer.
Antioxidants are found naturally in certain foods. Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants, but they can also be found in a number of fruits and vegetables. Some of the most common antioxidants include vitamins C and E, citric acid and some herbs like rosemary. You can ensure your dog is getting plenty of these healthy nutrients by feeding it pet food like Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food, which contains real fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant qualities. Wet food like Petcurean Go! Natural Canned Dog Food also contains antioxidants from natural sources like fruits and veggies.
If you do not feel that your dog is getting enough of these vital nutrients from its pet food, talk with your veterinarian about giving it a supplement like The Missing Link for Dogs or Select Antioxidant, which contains 74 of these powerful elements. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet also provides a good source of antioxidants to keep your canine companion in tip top shape.