Just as human beings are exposed to the process of oxidation in their body, your pets too could experience the same in theirs’. Oxidation is the process when the food is exposed to oxygen and it causes a breakdown in the nutrients and fat in the body causing symptoms such as discoloration and rancidity etc.
This is why the use of antioxidants is imperative in the food of pets as well. Antioxidants are the substances that block or slow down the process of oxygen to cause damage in the body.
Most of the pet owners are under an impression that antioxidants are added to the food of pets for the sake of extending its shelf-life, but in contrast antioxidants are imperative for some major kinds of body functions too for the pets.
Functions Of Antioxidants In Pets:
Just as you make use of all the pet grooming tips to enhance the outer appearance and personality of your pet, the antioxidants maintain the inner health in their body. This is due to their functions of protecting the damage of cells and restoration of the body immunity.
Similar to the human beings, the body of pets too produces harmful free radicals which are deficient of an electron. These free radicals try to derive the electron from some part of the body, thereby rendering it unstable. Due to this, even pets could experience conditions such as tumors and cancers.
Antioxidants are the substances that provide the required electron to these free radicals containing oxygen and turn them stable and harmless. In turn, the antioxidants do not become unstable on their own and thus are harmless to the body.
Free radicals could also be said to be the by-product of metabolism in the body and have more chances of occurrence when the pet is sick, elderly, intoxicated or suffers due to poor nutrition. These, while being deficient of the electrons, are highly reactive and could attack the electrons of body-proteins, cell membranes and DNA.
However, due to the functions of antioxidants, these reactive molecules obtain stability and are settled harmless in the body. While the pets are young, it is with the effects of antioxidants that they could derive a superb immunity in their body. This is helpful for them to fight the diseases until the pet gets vaccinated.
Antioxidants are also helpful in preventing the allergic reactions and inflammations in the body of pets. Due to the depression in body immunity, the pets could experience allergies and it mostly affects to degrade their skin and outer coat. With the presence of antioxidants in the food of pets, it is ensured that the pets would have a supreme immunity in their body and would stay safe from inflammations and allergic reactions.
Sources Of Antioxidants For The Pets:
The best sources of any kind of nourishment for the body are always obtained from the natural sources and the antioxidants are no different in this. A regular balanced diet could be highly imperative for the pets’ body to ensure a proper supply of antioxidants.
Some powerful antioxidants that are vital in the food of pets are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, carotenoids and Selenium etc. These could be obtained from the pet-foods that are obtained commercially and could also be supplied with the food that you prepare at home.
For naturally supplying them with antioxidants, you could offer them various seasonal fruits and veggies in either raw or cooked form. Cranberries, carrots, apples and citrus fruits etc. are supreme containers of antioxidants that immensely help the body of pets to combat the effects of free radicals.
Apart from the natural sources, the pets could be offered some kind of antibiotics too, which offer them assistance in fighting the damaging radicals. While investigating the pet food, you could look for the presence of BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin in them, which denote the presence of antioxidants in them. BHA and BHT are almost similar to Vitamin E that is derived from the foods and helps in restoring the lost body immunity.
Ethoxyquin however, was considered rather unsafe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously, but now its use has been facilitated much and is rather a safe option when used in appropriate quantities.
While choosing a particular kind of commercial pet food, it is essential to take the advice of an expert vet beforehand. This is because the vets could offer you advice on appropriate amount of nutrients, which are imperative in the day to day nourishment of pets.
Antioxidants too play a significant role in healthy existence of pets and keeping them safe for certain perilous disorders such as cancer and tumors. Make sure that they are present in the diet of pets for their long and blissful life in the future.