Antioxidant Supplements for Dogs

Supplements for dogs may complete their alimentation providing vitamins, minerals and other substances the body needs. A balanced diet and supplements intake contributes greatly to the dog’s overall well being. Antioxidant supplements help with a series of problems which occur as the dog ages: immune system deficiencies, skin problems, cardiovascular or respiratory disorders and vision problems. In order to slow the aging process in your dog, it is advisable to give him antioxidant supplements.

Antioxidant Supplements for Dogs

Antioxidants are enzymes, minerals and vitamins which play an important role in fighting the free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or molecules which cause the body to age. Therefore, antioxidants slow the aging process and help fighting a series of medical disorders associated with this process. Antioxidants help by:

  • Supporting the immune system
  • Reducing the risk of cancer, arthritis, hip dysplasia, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems
  • Preventing eye conditions such as cataract or blindness
  • Preventing and treating infections and skin conditions

The most common and most efficient antioxidants are: Vitamins A, C and E, Carotenoids, Selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Coenzyme Q10.

Antioxidants can be found in food: fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but if your dog does not eat enough of these you should probably consider adding antioxidant supplements to his meals.

It is recommended to consult with your veterinarian and then decide which combination of antioxidants you should administer to your dog according to his age and needs.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an antioxidant which helps with the regeneration of body tissue mucous membranes. It is recommended in dogs with skin disorders (eczemas), eyesight problems (cataract) or respiratory conditions (asthma). It has beneficial effects on digestion, lactation, bone and teeth growth.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is water-soluble and stimulates the immune system, fighting viruses and bacteria. It also prevents fat-soluble vitamins (A and E) from being oxidized. The dog’s body does not produce vitamin C, so a supplement intake is advisable. Vitamin C has an important role in healing wounds or fractures and contributes to healthy skin. It makes blood vessels stronger and stimulates the processing of folic acid and iron in the body.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a strong fat-soluble antioxidant which prevents cells from being damaged by oxidation. It nourishes cells, increases the oxygen supply in the blood and makes the capillary walls stronger.


Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties. It is efficient against membrane degeneration caused by oxidation and helps tissues maintain their elasticity. Selenium is very good for dogs with cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or dogs on a corticosteroids treatment. It is also efficient in cancer prevention.

In overdose selenium is toxic and can cause unwanted side effects:

  • anorexia
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • breathing problems
  • weakness
  • staggering walk

Consult your veterinarian on how to administer antioxidant supplements which contain selenium.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a universal antioxidant because it is both fat and water soluble. ALA can protect all body cells against oxidation. It can also reactivate other antioxidants which have been oxidized.   

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 helps prevent oxidation damage in body cells. It strengthens the cardiac muscle and improves the metabolism of the dog. It is also beneficial for gums and helps strengthen the immune system.