A healthy diet rich in antioxidants is key to supporting your pet’s vision and eye health.
Antioxidants are special phytonutrients (“phyto” is Greek for “plant”) that help protect your pet’s cells by fighting free radicals in her body.
To understand how antioxidants work, consider the case of a bicycle that’s left outside in the rain…
As the oxygen molecules in the water react with the iron in the metal, a chemical reaction takes place called oxidation. We know it as rust, a sign of break down and decay.
It’s not much different with your pet’s body – or your own, for that matter.
In the body, unstable oxygen-containing molecules are called free radicals, and they travel throughout your pet’s body searching for electrons to steal from stable molecules. When they succeed, the exchange of electrons that takes place is called oxidation.
Without antioxidants to absorb excessive free radicals, your pet’s body experiences oxidative stress. Even though it’s not visible, like the rust on a bicycle, damage as a result of too many free radicals takes place in your pet’s cells.
Eye tissues are especially sensitive to this oxidative stress from free radical damage.
Antioxidants pair with the unstable free radical molecules, helping to neutralize them and minimize oxidative stress on your pet's cells.
Making sure your pet eats a healthy quantity of antioxidants is important for her vision and eye health, especially if your pet is aging or if she is a dog with a shorter muzzle and protruding eyes.
Feed Your Pet These Superfoods to Boost Her Antioxidant Intake
Plant foods are rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. But cats and dogs are natural carnivores, which means they need to eat mostly meat.
So, how do they get enough antioxidants?
In the wild, they eat prey, and the stomachs of those prey contain small amounts of fruits and vegetables. While it’s only a small amount, it’s crucial to maintaining their health. And the same is true for your pet.
I recommend feeding your pet a species-specific diet with natural antioxidants as the ideal way to support your pet’s vision.
Here are some of the best vegetable, fruit, and protein sources of antioxidants for your pet’s eyes. I recommend feeding them raw (unless otherwise noted) and in the case of fruits and veggies, gently puréed for optimal digestion:
Blueberries – Carotenoids, phytonutrients and flavonoids
Carrots – Vitamin A and beta-carotene
Kale – The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin
Broccoli – Beta-carotene
Sweet Potatoes – Beta-carotene and anthocyanins (Always serve to your pet well cooked)
Eggs – Lutein, sulfur and cysteine (Feed lightly cooked or raw if your pet tolerates them)
Sardines and Salmon – Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (Any raw salmon must be deep-frozen for at least seven days before feeding)
If you’re still feeding your pet a commercial diet, you can boost her antioxidant intake by mixing in some of these foods.
Every step you take to improve your pet’s diet, no matter how small, can promote good eye and overall health.
Active Ingredients per 1 Scoop (2 g)
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) .... 100mg
d-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E) .... 50mg
An Antioxidant Eye Health Blend of Bilberry Fruit Extract, Lutein [Tagetes erecta (Flower)], Zeaxanthin [Tagetes erecta
(Flower)], Astaxanthin [Haematococcus pluvialis (Microalgae))) .....54 mg
Inactive Ingredients Natural Liver Flavor, Organic Tapioca Maltodextrin.
Cautions: Safe use in pregnant animals or animals intended for breeding has not been proven. If animal’s condition worsens or does not improve, stop product administration and consult your veterinarian. Federal law prohibits the off-label use of this product in ruminants.
Administer Orally, once per day
Animal Type .... Amount
Cats (2+ lbs) .... 1g 0.5 scoop
Toy Breed Dogs (up to 14 lbs) .... 1g 0.5 scoop
Small Breed Dogs (15-29 lbs) .... 2g 1 scoop
Medium Breed Dogs (30-49 lbs) .... 3g 1.5 scoops
Large Breed Dogs (50-79 lbs) .... 4g 2 scoops
Giant Breed Dogs (80 lbs+) .... 6g 3 scoops
Dr. Joseph Mercola founded Mercola.com in 1997 as a portal for natural health information and resources. It is one of the first health websites established to cater to readers who are interested in holistic medicine.
Around 2007, Dr Mercola wanted to develop and produce a comprehensive natural health product line for pets. For a little over two years, he searched to bring on a holistic veterinarian who shared the same principles and philosophies on natural health that he has. In November of 2009, he reached out to Dr. Karen Becker. Dr Mercola was impressed with Dr Karen’s 20 years of veterinary experience, plus the research of creating protocols for pet products that integrated human-grade ingredients. So with like-minded mission and purpose, Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets was born. Our canine, feline, and even some other of our pet companions can be treated with some of the same heath regimens as humans, with supplements like probiotics and vitamin B just to name a couple, to take control of their health.
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