Uses of Antioxidants in Dog Food
Every dog owner wants to get the best food for his pet but is not sure about the perfect combination. It has been researched and found out that antioxidants improve the quality of dog food. But, how antioxidants can improve the pet’s health is the major question in the minds of dog owners. We will try to answer that question in this write-up. The very reason your dog’s food remains in the store shelves and then sits on the pantry for a little longer is due to the presence of antioxidants in dog foods.
Due to the presence of antioxidants in the dog food not only makes your tyke’s food remain tasty, but also assists in maintaining the nutrition in the diet. Adding antioxidants in the dog food in conjunction with preventives can not only enhance his health, but also ensure that the ingredients in the dog food do not get spoiled by providing enough oxidation.
Before going any further, it is important to understand the meaning of oxidation. Oxidation process starts when foods are left bare to oxygen. With time due to the presence of oxygen there is a disruption in the nutrients and fats in the food that transforms everything from discoloration to decay. This is where the role of an antioxidant in the food starts. Antioxidants present in the dog food impedes or slows down the oxygen rate that results in damage of the food. Antioxidants are put together in food while processing of the food is still going on so that the shelf life of the final product can be extended.
The overall effect of dietary antioxidants in the food is contingent on various factors like: when are the antioxidants added during the production process. If they are integrated early on, it can have a great effect on the food, combination of antioxidants with other ingredients. There are certain types of antioxidants that work better with specific quantities and kinds of ingredients while others do not.
The Role Of Antioxidants In A Pet’s Life
Antioxidants provide different types of health benefits apart from preserving food. Due to the presence of antioxidants, the body’s cell gets protected from damage and they also assist in making the pet’s immune system strong. Every single day, the pet’s body is unveiled to the devastating consequences of free radicals, developed due to the damage caused in the cells as a result of the effects of oxidation. The bad part is that these free radicals are unreliable that can result in further cell damage if left untreated. This is where the role of antioxidants starts.
Antioxidant rich pet food can assist in slowing down the overall damage from free radicals also assists in preventing further cell impairment. With the aid of antioxidant, it is possible for the pet’s immune system to function without any intervention from free radicals. This protection assists in keeping serious pet health issues at bay, thereby reducing their chances of further development or worsening.
Antioxidants boost the developing immune system of young pets before the vaccination starts to show effect. While in older pets, it assists in slowing down the oxidative injury to the cells of the brain and organs which increases the chances of longer, healthier life of the pet.
Where Do You Get Antioxidants In Pet Food?
There are chiefly 2 types of antioxidants – natural and synthetic. Natural antioxidants can be derived from citric acid, vitamins C, E, and some herbal sources including rosemary. Vitamin C is present in fruits and vegetables like apples, blueberries, tomatoes, cranberries, etc. Natural vitamin E is normally registered as mixed tocopherols in the pet food ingredients list. Citric acids are derived from different types of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and limes.
Synthetic antioxidants can be seen on the pet food label in the form of BHT, BHA and ethoxyquin. BHT and BHA are chemically like vitamin E and are used in conjunction with dog foods as they work well together. They both are stable even when kept at high temperatures.
Ethoxyquin is a very effective antioxidant that provides superior preservative abilities with apparently very little to care about side-effects when kept at recommended levels.
Selecting The Best Dog Food
While selecting the best dog food always keep a watch on the list of antioxidants, their common names and their usability as a preservative. Natural antioxidants are often regarded to be more healthy, but the fact is that they do not have a longer shelf life. Remember, the dog food made up of natural preservatives will have a shortened shelf life than a pet food made up of a combination of natural and synthetic antioxidants.
Always check the best used date of the food product before getting one. Also, after getting the product, keep it in a cool, dry place with no direct exposure to the sunlight. Once you open the food pack, the one that has been preserved using natural antioxidants will lose its freshness sooner. So, if you are planning to get dog food with natural antioxidants, it is better to get smaller packages that can be consumed quickly.