Antioxidants: What are They and Why Does Your Dog Need Them?

05th February 2024 8 min read

The term 'antioxidant' is everywhere, but what does it mean and why should you include them in your dogs' diet?

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Antioxidants: The Science

In the quest to provide optimal nutrition to our furry companions, understanding the role of antioxidants and their significance in a dog’s diet is crucial. These mighty compounds are pivotal in maintaining your dog’s health by combating free radicals and supporting overall well-being.

To truly understand what an antioxidant is and how they work, we first need to understand some basic biochemistry. Don't worry, we won't overload you with scientific jargon, we have condensed this down into bite-size, easy-to-digest pieces.

Everything in your dog's body, including the cells, is made of tiny building blocks called atoms. Now, atoms have even tinier parts called protons, neutrons, and electrons. Think of electrons as little buddies that go around the atom in pairs. These electron pairs are like the workers of a cell, making important things happen, such as chemical reactions needed for every function in the body.

For a cell to be happy and healthy, its atoms need these electrons in pairs. When atoms don't have an equal number of electron pairs, we call them "free radicals." These troublemakers can create stress in the body, which we call oxidative stress. So, to keep your dog's cells in good shape, it's like making sure all the workers in the factory have their partners – it helps everything run smoothly.

Antioxidants: What is a Free Radical?

Imagine your dog's body as a bustling city and the cells are like hardworking citizens. Just like any city, there are good citizens (healthy cells) and troublemakers (free radicals). Now, a free radical is like a troublemaker who causes chaos by stealing from others. In your dog's body, these troublemakers are elements with unpaired electrons, making them unstable and eager to snatch an electron from a nearby molecule to become stable again.

When a free radical snatches an electron from a stable molecule, it creates a chain reaction, turning that once-stable molecule into a new free radical. This domino effect can damage important structures in the cells, like DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. It's like a crime spree in our city – the more troublemakers there are, the more damage they cause.

Antioxidants: The Superheroes

To keep your dog's body 'city' running smoothly, we need antioxidants, which act like the city's superheroes. Antioxidants have an abundance of electrons and generously donate them to neutralise free radicals, preventing them from causing further harm.

Eating a balanced diet with the addition of antioxidant-rich foods is like hiring extra superheroes to protect your dog's cells from these troublemaking free radicals. So, maintaining a healthy, species-appropriate balance helps the body function at its best, keeping the peace and order in the cellular city.

Toxins, whether environmental or dietary, can increase the amount of free radicals in the body. As toxins are rife in our current world, it's important to include antioxidants in your dog's diet.

Antioxidants: The Best for Your Dog

At Paleo Ridge, we know the importance of including Antioxidants in your dog's diet which is why we developed a range of premium raw dog food inclusive of potent antioxidants.

Paleo Plus has been scientifically developed to give your dog everything they need and more!

Included in this range is a 5% mix of antioxidant superfoods including:

  • Green-lipped mussel
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Organic Hemp Seed Powder
  • Seaweed

Not only are the above ingredients antioxidant but so are high-quality meat products such as offal and blood. Grass-fed, outdoor-reared animals have higher levels of antioxidants than those kept in caged environments and fed cheap, chemical-induced food.

Rest assured, all the ingredients used in our Paleo Plus range are of the highest quality and have a world of benefits for your precious pooch.

Further Reading