You love your pet and treat them like a member of your family. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or horse, you want your animal to be as healthy as possible. You may have read about how antioxidants are healthy for humans and are wondering if they’d be good for your pet too. Or maybe your friend has been giving their dog with allergies antioxidants and has recommended them for your pet. You may be wondering what good sources of antioxidants are, or does CBD have antioxidants? Good for you for doing your research. It’s important to be informed when it comes to the health of your pet. And, with all nutritional supplements, it’s important to include your vet in the discussion before you give your pet any new nutritional supplement. In this article, we’ll take a look at what antioxidants are, good sources of antioxidants like pet CBD, and if antioxidants are good for pets.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals before they can damage the body. In this way, they prevent or delay some kinds of cell damage. Vitamins E, C, A, carotenoids, and selenium are all powerful antioxidants.
Formed naturally by your body from metabolic processes like exercise and digestion, free radicals are very volatile molecules. They are missing an electron, so they go around the body, scavenging electrons from healthy cells, which leads to two things. First, cells are damaged, which is called oxidative stress. And, more importantly, more free radicals are formed. This creates a vicious cycle of damage that continues with cells’ membranes, proteins, and DNA being damaged, and again forming free radicals. This process is stopped with the introduction of antioxidants, which donate electrons to the scavenging free radicals. Free radicals are also formed in reaction to exposure to harmful substances, like environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, poor nutrition, and excessive sunlight. Also, when an animal is sick, they produce a greater than normal number of free radicals.
Antioxidants can also be synthetic or man-made. Antioxidants contain that missing electron free radicals are so desperate to obtain. By providing that missing electron, antioxidant molecules can stop free radicals from taking electrons from healthy cells. This helps to keep cells healthy and prevents damage to a cell’s DNA.
Antioxidants are found naturally occurring in foods like fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower risks of many diseases. Examples of high antioxidant foods and plants are green tea which is high in polyphenols, flavonoids, catechins, and epigallocatechin gallate. Citrus contains antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, and leafy greens contain high amounts of antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.
Cat and dog-safe food sources of antioxidants include:
Hemp contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which are potent antioxidants. There are two types of hemp supplements, one is hemp CBD oil, which is made from extracting all of the plant compounds from the hemp plant. The other is hemp seed oil, which is a nutritious food oil made from the seeds of the hemp plant. CBD oil and hemp seed oil both make great nutritional supplements for pets.
Carrots have two main kinds of antioxidants, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. Carrots make great, moderately low-calorie treats for dogs. Many pups love snacking on carrots, so try giving your dog carrots, and see if they like them. It’s a good way to give your pup a healthy dose of antioxidants, while also replacing some of their higher calorie treats. If your pup won’t eat carrots on their own, try sprinkling some chopped carrots over their dog food. Cats can also eat carrots, although they need to be cooked first.
Anthocyanins, ellagic acid, and resveratrol are all found in berries in rich amounts. Dogs can eat blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Make sure you wash the berries thoroughly to remove any dirt, germs, or pesticides. Berries also make easy food toppers since they don’t require any chopping. Berries are the original superfood and are a great source of antioxidants for your dog. Don’t give your dog cherries. The pits in cherries are a choking hazard and their stems and leaves are toxic to dogs.
Cats can also eat berries, including blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries. All of these berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, and fiber. Cranberries are especially helpful for cats since they are protective of the urinary tract. Urinary infections are a common health condition for cats.
These plants and foods are rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids like lycopene, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. This is a very short list of foods. There are many more antioxidant-rich foods in the world, a lot of which make healthy snacks for pets. (Be sure to do your research first!) But, once you’ve done your research, you may find a healthy fruit or vegetable that your pet adores, which means more healthy snacking and strong antioxidants for your pet.
Does CBD Oil for Pets have Antioxidants?
Are there antioxidants in CBD oil? A study has found that cannabidiol, or CBD, the main pharmacologically active compound found in hemp, has beneficial antioxidant functions. This is likely part of why CBD may be so helpful for a wide variety of health issues. Compared to a-tocopherol, a potent antioxidant, CBD showed greater free radical scavenging abilities. CBD is more powerful than vitamin C, and vitamin E. Research is showing that whole-plant sources of CBD contain higher concentrations of antioxidants. CBD has been shown to act like other antioxidants by interrupting the free radical chain reaction, capturing free radicals, or making them less active and damaging. CBD makes conditions less oxidative by stopping the creation of superoxide radicals, which are powerful free radicals. CBD also changes the activity levels of other antioxidants and helps them to perform more effectively. CBD has been specifically shown to increase the activity of glutathione, which helps the body reduce levels of free radicals.
Are Antioxidants Good for Pets?
There have been many studies about how antioxidants affect pets, and there is a lot of experience in the veterinary community with using antioxidants to treat conditions like allergies and arthritis with pets. Many veterinarians recommend antioxidants for pets, though some primarily support food sources of antioxidants.
According to the VCA Hospitals, any animal can benefit from antioxidants, and they are regularly used with horses, dogs, and cats. Antioxidants counteract the metabolic pathways that lead to many different health problems. (An important note-antioxidants, while effective are not cure-alls, and should never be a substitute for medical treatment. Use antioxidants with the supervision of a veterinarian, especially if your pet is sick.) Antioxidants are often used to treat skin problems related to allergies.
Several studies were done with antioxidants and elderly dogs and it was found that dogs who were eating an antioxidant-rich diet were able to learn more complex tasks than the dogs on the control diet. This result supports their hypothesis about oxidative damage impacting the brain. Another study found that an antioxidant-rich diet in older dogs improved their mental function, including their ability to recognize family members. They also had greater agility than animals in the control group, as well as fewer displays of cognitive decline.
Another important source of antioxidants for pets is their food. A high-quality food will often have antioxidant-rich food ingredients. This is another area where talking to your veterinarian is a good idea. They likely know of good pet food that has antioxidants, or they can likely recommend good antioxidant supplement brands. It’s also recommended that balanced supplements be given, rather than individual antioxidants like vitamin E or selenium. Antioxidants are necessary for a pet to have a good immune system and age healthfully.
Antioxidant-Rich CBD Oil from Pet Releaf
Choose antioxidant-rich, full-spectrum hemp CBD from Pet Releaf. They make a variety of pet CBD for dogs, cats, and everybody in between. All of their products are lovingly crafted from their USDA organic CBD oil for pets to their Edibites for dogs. Edibites are CBD and functional herbal soft chews. While they aren’t regular treats, your dog will not believe you with flavors like Peppered Bacon and Sweet Potato Pie. There are Calming, Digestive, Hip and Joint, and Immunity Edibites and your dog is sure to love all of the flavors.
You can rest assured you’re choosing the best when you choose Pet Releaf. They start with high-quality hemp, which is grown here in the U.S. with regenerative and sustainable farming practices. Pet Releaf uses cutting edge Terpex™ technology, which is a process that uses zero heat, chemicals, or solvents to make their CBD. They extract from the entire hemp plant, which includes seeds, stalks, and leaves to ensure a full cannabinoid profile. Pet Releaf guarantees a full-spectrum hemp extract with naturally occurring CBD. This allows pets to gain full access to all of the antioxidant health benefits of CBD in combination with terpenes and flavonoids. If you’re not sure which Pet Releaf CBD product is right for your pet, check out their helpful product finder.