Just like humans, as our dogs age, we need more antioxidants to help us protect against oxidative damage. "Oxidation is actually a reaction that occurs as a result of normal metabolic processes in the body, but it also releases by-products called free radicals. Free radicals roam around the body, robbing electrons from stable molecules. And this is what leads to cell damage known as oxidative stress" (Source: Herbsmith).
The less oxidative stress and damage in the body, the better. This is where antioxidants come to the rescue. Antioxidants are compounds that are made in our bodies and found in foods (think bright colored veggies and fruit) that protect cells against oxidative damage. Antioxidants help keep us all strong and healthy.
More antioxidants are found in high quality food, like raw or home-cooked as opposed to kibble. Additionally, access to fresh water, exercise and sunlight also help the body function as optimally as possible and helps to naturally fight oxidative stress.
The supplements listed below are also incredibly effective in supporting health and combating oxidative stress as well:
- Fish Oil: Fish oil is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids for many functions, from muscle activity to cell growth. Health benefits include heart health support; aids in the prevention of cognitive decline; supports eye health; reduces inflammation; supports health skin and reduces liver fat. Amazon sells a bunch of options, but I like this brand because it is sourced from wild-caught fish.
- Golden Paste: This a fabulous overall supplement to promote wellness is made of turmeric, MCT or coconut oil, filtered water and black pepper, which helps the body absorb these ingredients. It is a natural anti-inflammatory; it is believed to have anti-cancer properties; can reduce blood clots; offers natural pain relief; has anti-bacterial properties; and is a powerful antioxidant. Click here to see the recipe.
- Kefir: You can find kefir in most dairy aisles in supermarkets. Goat's milk kefir is great, but if you can't find that, regular kefir is just fine. Because it is fermented, it can contain more than 50 species of probiotic bacteria and yeast that promote gut health, which in turn can boost immunity; build bone strength; aid in fighting cancer; provides allergy relief and supports healthy digestion and skin. .
- Myos: Myos Canine Muscle Formula is a clinically proven all-natural muscle building supplement that reduces muscle loss in aging dogs and improves recovery from injury of surgery. Amazon sells it!
- Senilife: Senilife is a nutritional supplement for the signs of brain aging in elderly dogs, which can provide an improved quality of life for the elderly pet, delay the appearance of age related behavior problems, and reduce the need for age related dependencies to the owner. Amazon sells this one too!
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone. Also, laboratory studies show that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. I give Sheldon Liqua-D by Apex Energetics, which is for humans and works beautifully for dogs as well.
- Wholistic Pet Organics: Joint Mobility with Green Lipped Mussel: Green lipped mussel is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, can reduce pain, increase movement and has been also shown to improve gut health by feeding the good bacteria found in the digestive system. Amazon to the rescue.
Aging is inevitable. However, there are lots of natural ways we can rely on to optimize the health of our dogs and help them live happy and healthy lives for as long as possible.