The Mobility Benefits of Antioxidants for Dogs

May 29, 2024

Antioxidants are vital compounds that protect our cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. They do the same for dogs. This protection is especially helpful when it comes to managing dog mobility and inflammation issues. Your dog’s mobility and freedom from joint pain are essential for everyday functioning, and it can significantly affect their quality of life if something’s hindering their mobility and bringing them pain. Inflammation is a natural response of their immune system to that pain, but if it’s a chronic mobility issue, it can lead to even more serious issues. Antioxidants can positively impact these issues, and help our dogs live their best, most full-of-energy lives.

Understanding Antioxidants For Dogs

Antioxidants are compounds that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. In simpler terms, think of antioxidants like your dog’s body’s defense team, safeguarding cells from potential damage that can accumulate from normal metabolic processes or outside sources like pollution and UV exposure.

For dogs (and humans!) antioxidants are super important for maintaining cellular health across their body, including the tissues that are involved in mobility like muscles and joints. These compounds help manage the oxidative stress that if left unchecked, can lead to inflammation and degeneration of joints. Managing oxidative stress with antioxidants is what helps your dog move more freely and comfortably and that helps them lead a more active and healthy life.

Connection Between Oxidative Stress In Dogs and InflammationPhoto: A Visla looks at the camera with its tongue sticking out.

So what is oxidative stress in dogs? The science behind it is a bit complex, but important to understand. Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your dog’s body. Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons, and this allows them to interact pretty easily with other molecules. While they are a natural byproduct of everyday metabolic processes, too many free radicals can damage your dog’s cells, proteins, and DNA, leading to oxidative stress.

This oxidative stress is a key trigger for chronic inflammation in dogs. Chronic inflammation is a prolonged inflammatory response that can damage their body’s own tissues, including those that are super important for mobility, like the ones in their joints and muscles. Over time, this can lead to conditions like canine arthritis, which makes your dog’s ability to move so much harder and can lessen their quality of life because of the pain it causes.

Effectively managing your dog’s oxidative stress through a diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce the likelihood of chronic inflammation and support better joint health for your dog. This is how we can help make sure our dogs stay active and comfortable as they age, maintaining their mobility and overall well-being.

Antioxidant Supplements For Dogs

So what’s the best way to get antioxidants into your dog? For dogs, their balanced diet can be a rich source of antioxidants. Many of the safe and beneficial foods for dogs include fruits like blueberries and apples, vegetables such as carrots and small amounts of spinach. Whole grains such as brown rice or oatmeal can also contribute antioxidants, although they should be given in moderation. The problem is that few commercial foods include those ingredients, and if they do, they’re usually highly processed and the antioxidant benefits are not as strong. That’s where antioxidant supplementation for dogs can make a difference.

A well-rounded diet for dogs can provide many of the necessary antioxidants dogs need to combat oxidative stress. Still, antioxidant supplementation for dogs can be helpful, especially if they have specific health concerns or dietary limitations. Antioxidant supplements for dogs can include vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like selenium. These supplements can help fill any gaps in a dog’s diet and are particularly useful for aging dogs or those with heightened oxidative stress due to illness or heavy physical activity.

Natural Antioxidant-Rich Foods Or Supplementation?

Of course, natural antioxidants are preferred because they’re natural–and what our dogs were designed to metabolize. The problem is, and this is especially when you’re looking to help joint health and mobility for dogs with antioxidants, is that sometimes you just can’t get the antioxidant concentrations from most commercial dog foods.

Supplemental antioxidants provide a concentrated form, which can be especially beneficial for dogs with specific health conditions that may increase their oxidative stress or for older dogs whose natural antioxidant production slows down as they age. When you give your dogs antioxidant supplements, you’re helping make sure they get an adequate and precise dosage that can target specific health issues more effectively.

And, while natural antioxidants from foods are obviously important, the levels your dog actually gets can vary significantly depending on the source, season, and storage conditions. Supplements offer a consistent and reliable dosage, which also makes sure that your dog gets the exact amount needed for health benefits without the variability that sometimes comes from food sources.

The best reason to consider antioxidant supplementation for joint health and mobility in dogs is because many supplements are formulated to include a blend of antioxidants that work synergistically, which means they potentially enhance each other’s effects. It’s like getting extra mobility bang for the buck.

Benefits of Antioxidants For DogsPhoto: Three English Bulldogs run through the field.

Antioxidants play a crucial role in enhancing mobility and overall joint health in dogs by combating oxidative stress and inflammation. Vitamins such as E, C, and A are potent antioxidants that help maintain cell health and boost immune function. Vitamin E, in particular, is known for its ability to support healthy cells and immune response, protecting dogs from the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Vitamin C, while naturally produced by dogs, also gives an additional boost helping collagen production, which is crucial for healthy joints​.

Studies have shown that dietary antioxidants can significantly impact a dog’s mobility and joint health. For instance, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are highly recommended due to their anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce joint pain and enhance mobility. Additionally, incorporating antioxidants like blueberries, carrots, and green-lipped mussels can help them maintain optimal joint health.

Powerful Antioxidants For Dogs

So, what are some of the most powerful antioxidants for dogs? That’s what we were looking for when we created Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility. We wanted our large-breed best friend to have the best for joint health and mobility, and we wanted to harness the power of antioxidants. We looked for the most effective, science-backed ingredients and chose the following:

Blueberry Powder

Blueberry powder is packed with antioxidants, mainly anthocyanins, which protect against cellular damage by neutralizing free radicals. Reducing oxidative stress can help maintain healthy joint function and mobility in dogs. Research has shown that the antioxidants in blueberries can improve symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome in dogs, which includes reduced inflammation—and that’s a big deal for joint health!

Green Tea Extract

The polyphenols in green tea, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), are known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds help reduce inflammation in the joints, and this enhances mobility and reduces pain in dogs. Studies on green tea extract have shown that its antioxidant properties can significantly slow down the progression of arthritis in animals, and help preserve their joint integrity and function​.

Turmeric Extract

Curcumin is turmeric’s primary active component and a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the joints, promoting better mobility and reducing pain.

Clinical trials have shown that curcumin effectively reduces symptoms of arthritis in dogs, such as pain and stiffness, and this enhances their mobility and quality of life.


As a super-antioxidant, astaxanthin goes above and beyond many other antioxidants in its ability to combat oxidative stress and inflammation. This supports joint health by preventing the breakdown of cartilage and reducing inflammation. Several animal studies have shown that Astaxanthin improves antioxidant impact and modulates inflammatory responses, which suggests it’s powerful in reducing joint-related issues​.


Okay, while it’s not traditionally classified as an antioxidant, Boswellia acts synergistically with antioxidant ingredients by providing anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps to reduce joint pain and improve mobility in dogs. Research on Boswellia supplements in dogs has shown improvements in clinical signs of arthritis, such as reduced lameness and pain​. Science only continues to find more and more about the power of Boswelia in conjunction with antioxidants for dogs.

When it comes to a holistic approach to managing joint health and mobility in dogs, we’re all about the antioxidants. They’re what we chose for our Bernie when we created Marvelous Mobility, and it’s because they work synergistically to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. This is how you can help prevent and manage mobility issues for dogs, and how you can feel good about giving clean, safe options for your dog’s best mobility health!

Sign up now to receive the latest updates via email.