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Understanding Antioxidants in IAMS™ Dog Food
Understanding Antioxidants in IAMS™ Dog Food

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A Pet Parent’s Guide To The Best Antioxidants For Dogs

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Antioxidants are chemicals that the body uses to combat free radicals. And free radicals are substances that might harm the body if they exceed a certain level. Antioxidants are also beneficial for your pets, especially your dogs. Your dog needs antioxidants to help promote a healthy immune system. Hence, every IAMS™ dog formula contains optimal levels of these nutrients.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring essential nutrients that help maintain your dog’s health by slowing the destructive oxidative process of cellular molecules. IAMS™ research has been focusing on advancing antioxidant nutrients for senior dogs — and the benefit is improved immune function. Discover how the antioxidants in IAMS™ products can benefit your dog’s health in a number of ways.


 

Benefits of antioxidants for dogs

Antioxidants are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Common antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and certain compounds called carotenoids (like lutein and beta-carotene). When antioxidants are a part of a dog’s complete diet, they can provide the following benefits:

  •  Slowing the oxidative process of cellular molecules.
  • Reversing decreases in immune-cell function in senior dogs
     

How antioxidants work

As cells function normally in the body, they produce damaged molecules called free radicals. These free radicals are highly unstable and steal components from other cellular molecules such as fat, protein, or DNA, thereby spreading the damage.

This continues in a chain reaction and causes cells to die. This process is called peroxidation. Peroxidation is useful because it helps the body destroy cells that have outlived their usefulness, and it kills germs and parasites. However, when left unchecked, peroxidation also destroys or damages healthy cells.

Antioxidants help prevent widespread cellular destruction by willingly donating components to stabilize free radicals. More importantly, antioxidants return to the surface of the cell to stabilize other cellular components.

When there are not enough antioxidants to hold peroxidation in check, free radicals begin damaging healthy cells, which can lead to problems. For example, free radical damage to immune cells can lead to an increased risk of infections.


 

Antioxidants in IAMS™ adult dog and puppy foods

Antioxidants offer countless benefits to our furry friends. And it is imperative that their food is loaded with it. Want to know why? Read on.

 

Why do dogs need antioxidants?

 

Antioxidants are a must for dogs as they are exposed to significantly more toxins than humans. These antioxidants work like protective agents within the dog’s body, battling free radicals that cause symptoms and diseases like skin problems.

Furthermore, giving liver antioxidants for dogs will boost liver health and eliminate toxins from their body more efficiently. The liver will convert fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins to easily flush them from your pet’s body through the GI tract and kidneys.

Recent research has examined the benefits of certain antioxidants on the immune response of dogs, and the results of these studies indicated that antioxidants are important in helping dogs maintain a healthy immune system.

IAMS™ adult and puppy formulas contain optimal levels of antioxidants such as:

 

 

Antioxidant

Source

Function

Vitamin E

Plant oil extract and tocopherols

Optimises immune system’s T-cell activation

Beta-carotene

Vitamin premix, corn meal, chicken by-product meal and chicken fat

Optimises types of cells present in the blood,
increases antibody levels in the blood

 

Now that you know how dog food with antioxidants can benefit your dog, here’s a list of the best antioxidants for dogs:

Best antioxidants for dogs

Vitamin C

  • One of the most essential vitamins for a dog's health
  • Aids in wound healing and reducing inflammation
  • Provides energy so your dog can enjoy playing outside all day

 Vitamin E

  • One of the best antioxidants for dogs with cancer
  • Provides a natural boost to the immune system
  • Supports healthy blood vessels and protects against diabetes and heart disease

Beta Carotene

  • It is a fantastic dietary addition for your dog.
  • Helps boost the number of antibodies in blood and offers additional protection against diseases in older dogs

Polyphenols

  • Excellent antioxidants for dogs as they help maintain your pet’s health and strength for many years
  • Shields from diseases like cancer or diabetes

 

Sources of antioxidants for dogs

You can find natural antioxidants for dogs in the following:

 

Fruits and Vegetables

The antioxidant content of plant-based foods is high. Foods that are highest in antioxidants are fruits and vegetables as they are loaded with vitamins and beneficial in countless ways. Some examples of excellent sources of antioxidants are blueberries, strawberries, pears, red cabbages, and kale. Make sure to check which fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog to consume.

Supplements

Give your dog the best vitamins you can, so your pooch stays healthy. It is crucial that dogs receive a supplement that is specifically designed for their life stage. 

Look for dog food with antioxidants and nutrients that are bioactive and bioavailable so that these get absorbed properly into your dog’s body. Make sure that the supplement you choose has the ideal ratio of natural elements for your pet’s needs. That can be accomplished by looking for a combination of prebiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

For a healthy body from the inside, you can also feed your pooch IAMSTM Proactive HealthTM dog food. Find the products that are best for your dog by shopping based on your pet’s age.

 

 

Frequently asked questions about antioxidants in dog food

  1. What foods have antioxidants?
  2. Fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables are common foods that act as good sources of antioxidants. Giving your dog an antioxidant-rich diet will aid in the battle against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of any illnesses.

  3.  What foods promote healing in dogs?
  4. Foods such as organ meats, mushrooms, eggs, bone broth, and raw goat milk speed up the healing of cuts, wounds, and other injuries in dogs.

  5. Can too many antioxidants be harmful to dogs?
  6. The benefits of antioxidants for dogs are innumerable; however, it is always advisable to consult your veterinarian on the right dosage of antioxidants for your pet.

  7.  What are the 3 main antioxidants for dogs?
  8. Three of the most important antioxidant vitamins are Vitamin E+C, selenium, and beta-carotene.

  9. Do antioxidants help dogs
  10. Antioxidant-rich foods for dogs help prevent damages due to free radicals. An adequate intake of antioxidants can help boost your dog’s immunity.

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  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
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    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri
     

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 
     

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 
     

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.
     

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.
     

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.
     

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!