Much like us, as our pets age and experience health issues, their eyes tend to weaken. The eye health of our pets is not something we often think about, but it is important to feed our pets a diet that is rich in eye supportive nutrients. It is also important to examine our pet’s eyes regularly. Here’s how:
Gentle At-Home Eye Exam:
1. When looking into your pet’s eyes look for the following:
– discharge or mucus
– change in color
– pupils that are different size
– redness in the whites of the eyes
– frequent rubbing of the eyes
– eye that bulges
– squints often
If you find any of the above, this could be a sign of an infection, inflammation, or other health concern. Contact your vet.
2. Then, gentle, without touching the eye, pull down on the lower eyelids and check for coloring. Also check the upper eyelids. The inner eyelids should be pink in color, not red or white. This could be a sign of infection or irritation. Contact your vet.
3. Check your pet’s eyes regularly.
Natural Means for Improving Eye Health
Adding the following to your pet’s diet can help improve their eye health:
1. Vitamins A, C & E– these vitamins contain antioxidants that fight free radicals that may harm the eyes.
2. Zinc– a mineral that is known to protect the tissue of the eye and prevent inflammation. It is found in the retinal tissue.
3. Bilberry Extract– a fruit that is great for overall eye health and improving vision. It is known as the “vision herb”.
4. Lutein & Zeaxanthin– carotenoids that provide antioxidant protection to the eyes. Lutein is known to shield the eye from harmful light. They are found in the retina and lens of the eye. Sources included dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.
5. Astaxanthin– an antioxidant that is great for overall eye health. Sources include red salmon, lobster, crab, and other seafoods.
Foods that Support Eye Health
Blueberries– contain carotenoids & flavonoids
Carrots– contain Vitamin A & beta carotene
Kale & Other Dark, Leafy Greens– contain lutein & zeaxanthin
Broccoli– contains lutein, zeaxanthin, & beta carotene
Eggs– contain lutein
Salmon– contains astaxanthin & omega 3 fatty acids