You feed your dog every day … but are you adding in these disease-fighting antioxidants for optimal health?
Most pet owners give their dog supplements like probiotics, coconut oil, and turmeric.
But there are other things that you might not have thought of adding …
I’ve got 7 excellent antioxidants for dogs listed below … so read on to learn why they need to be in your dog’s diet.
But first, let’s review why antioxidants are important.
Antioxidants slow the aging process and boost the immune system by fighting free radical damage. Feeding antioxidants to your dog will help combat this damage.
To learn more details about free radical damage check out the blog:
Now let’s review the top 7 disease fighting antioxidants that support his immunity, joint health, digestive system and so much more.
This red pigment belongs to a group of compounds called carotenoids. It comes from microalgae.
And it’s what makes shrimp, salmon, flamingos, and crayfish pink when they eat it!
Here are just a few of the key health benefits for your dog:
Astaxanthin’s powerful antioxidant properties have been shown to be 65 times more powerful than vitamin C and 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene.
- Joint health: reduces inflammation and pain
- Immune system: boosts the immune system and protects against free radical damage
- Brain Health: crosses the blood-brain barrier and provides essential nutrients
- Eye Health: anti-inflammatory properties can ease conditions like dry eye
- Heart Health: shown to reduce C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in the body, a marker for inflammation and heart disease
Caution: always make sure your astaxanthin comes from microalgae or krill. Some dog antioxidant supplements contain synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals that are used as color additives in some foods – including farmed-raised salmon.
How Much To Give
If you buy an astaxanthin supplement made for pets, follow the label directions.
When using a product made for people, assume the dosage is for a 150 lb person and adjust for your dog’s weight.
Most human supplements recommend 8 mg to 12 mg per day, which means you can give your dog 1 mg to 1.6 mg daily per 20 lbs of bodyweight.
But it is also antioxidant-rich with properties that support your dog with his:
- Immune system: a hormone called Proline-Rich-Polypeptide (PRP) in colostrum can stimulate an under-active immune system and boost immunity
- Allergies: Allergies are the result of an over-active immune response and PRP also has the ability to regulate the immune response
- Joints: A human study found it to be highly effective in relieving joint pain, reducing inflammation and increasing mobility
- Digestive system: Studies have shown it can alleviate conditions like leaky gut syndrome – which boosts the immune system
- Prevent cancer: Colostrum can help fight cancer through a protein called lactalbumin that can cause cancer cell death. It also has immunoglobulins that destroy bacteria and fight viruses.
- Wound healing: works externally to promote wound healing. Great for healing skin conditions, ear infections, abscesses and more.
How Much To Give
The dose for colostrum for dogs is: 1/3 tsp powdered colostrum per 25 lbs body weight twice daily.
Colostrum is best given on an empty stomach or mixed with a little yogurt or broth. Use it daily for one month and then as needed.
For topical use, mix with distilled water to make a paste and apply to the infected area.
[Related: Top 5 Reasons To Give Your Dog Colostrum]
3. Green-Lipped Mussels
Green-lipped mussels come from New Zealand waters and they’re a rich source of antioxidants for dogs. They are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes.
They’re a natural source of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS). These are the main components of cartilage and synovial fluid found in the joints.
Studies have shown them to relieve discomfort and inflammation in dogs (and people) suffering from arthritis.
They support joint mobility, cartilage maintenance, cardiovascular health and help maintain healthy skin too.
Green-lipped mussel powders for dogs are easy to find … but make sure the product you buy is cold extracted as heat destroys the nutrients.
How Much To Give
You can follow the dosing instructions on the package … or you can give about 15 mg of powder per lb of your dog’s body weight per day.
If your dog has severe inflammation, you can double the dose for the first two weeks and then reduce the dose to the recommended level.
You can also give your dog freeze-dried green-lipped mussel treats: give 2 mussels for every 10 lbs of body weight per day.
Don’t forget to make sure the product you buy hasn’t been heat-treated.
4. Eggshell Membrane
Eggs are a nutritional wonder … one part, in particular, is the delicate eggshell membrane (the thin layer between the egg white and the shell).
It may not be what first comes to your mind when thinking about antioxidants for dogs …
But it should as studies have shown its dramatic results in improving joint health for both humans and dogs.
Eggshell membrane contains several natural joint-supporting compounds like:
- Hyaluronic acid
A NEM six week trial of 51 dogs (with various levels of joint problems) was completed.
It showed that the natural eggshell membrane significantly reduced joint pain.
And the best part is that eggshell membrane is very safe for your dog … unlike potentially harmful drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS).
How Much To Give
The dogs in the study received 6 mg per lb daily of NEM brand eggshell membrane.
Or you can buy an eggshell membrane supplement made for dogs and follow the package directions.
Phytoplankton is a rich source of omega-3 fats and can replace toxic fish oils that can go rancid and cause inflammation in your dog.
It protects cells and helps remove toxins, including heavy metals, from the body because it contains Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). SOD is known as the king of antioxidants.
Trace minerals found in phytoplankton can prevent and reverse serious disease.
Selenium has been shown to prevent cancer tumors; magnesium supports heart, joint and neurological health; and iodine.
Among its many benefits, phytoplankton can:
- Boost the immune system through its antioxidant actions
- Improve cellular function … leading to healthier organs, reduced inflammation, increased energy and stamina
- Supports digestion: it’s especially beneficial for dogs suffering from conditions like IBD, EPI or leaky-gut.
- Manage skin issues and allergies
- Support the liver and help with detoxification
How Much To Give
Phytoplankton is easily absorbed making the dose for any size dog: 1/16 tsp per day.[Related: 5 Reasons Your Dog Needs Phytoplankton]
6. Larch Arabinogalactan
Arabinogalactan is a type of soluble fiber found in various plants and vegetables. Often found in carrots, pears, corn, coconut, and shiitake mushrooms. As well as herbs like echinacea and astragalus.
Larch arabinogalactan comes from the Western Larch tree and its extract provides great antioxidant support for:
- Immune Support: it’s a prebiotic that feeds the “good” bacteria (probiotics) in the gut, helping them be more effective. A healthy gut = strong immune system.
- Gut Health: fermentation protects the intestinal lining against viruses and bacteria.
- Cancer Prevention: it produces cancer-fighting butyrate which is a powerful anti-inflammatory can cause cancer cell death
How To Give Larch Arabinogalactan
When buying larch arabinogalactan, look for a high-quality product that contains at least 10 billion CFU (colony forming units) of probiotics to go with it.
The probiotics will ferment and produce cancer-fighting short-chain fatty acids.
You can follow the dosing instructions on the label if you buy a product made for dogs. Otherwise, the average medium-sized dog needs about 1/2 tsp per day.
Give your dog a rest from the larch from time to time … for example: give it for two months daily and then give him a 2-week break without it
[Related: How This Special Fiber Fights Cancer In Dogs]
7. Green Tea
Green tea is very popular because of its antioxidant health benefits for humans … and your dog can also benefit.
It’s controversial … because people worry about caffeine in green tea.
The answer is to use decaffeinated green tea for your dog.
Green tea is an antioxidant with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. It contains antioxidant polyphenols called catechins that provide the medicinal benefits, including:
- Anti-inflammatory and immune support: green tea’s antioxidant properties support the immune system. As well as reduce inflammation, and support the liver and heart
- Brain health: contains L-theanine which crosses the blood-brain barrier and can improve and protect brain function
- Anti-cancer: several studies have shown green tea to be helpful in preventing various types of cancer in humans by killing cancer cells.
How To Give Green Tea
According to veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier, green tea is safe for dogs with no known side effects.
A 2009 study ended after Beagles were fasted and given large doses of green tea extract in capsule form … and dogs died.
But a later study without fasting … didn’t produce the same harmful results, so it’s thought that fasting was a factor in the first study …
To be safe, don’t give your dog green tea in capsule form.
Make your own organic decaffeinated green tea:
- Use 1 tea bag or 1 Tbsp of loose tea per 4 cups of water
- Steep for about 15 minutes and remove the tea bag or strain the tea
- Cool and give 1/8 cup per 20 lbs body weight up to twice daily with your dog’s meals
- Keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. If the tea turns cloudy, throw it out and make a new brew.
Caution: Tea naturally contains fluoride. Studies have linked fluoride consumption to a number of health issues. So check the fluoride content before you buy.
To minimize fluoride in your (and your dog’s) tea make sure you brew it with water that’s been filtered to remove fluoride. Brita filters won’t filter out fluoride … but reverse osmosis filters can.
Now you know why you need to start giving these powerful antioxidant supplements to your dog.
You don’t have to give all of these daily … but rotating them in into his diet can help keep him dog active and vigorous.