Foods that Promote Pet Eye Health
Written by Laura Strommen, edited by the Pharmacists at Pet Health Pharmacy
A nutritional diet is essential for maintaining pet health and preventing disease. This extends to eye health; many nutrients contribute to healthy vision, including Omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene and vitamin A, taurine, and antioxidants. Deficiency in any of these nutrients, however, may have a negative impact; according to Dr. Larry Siegler’s Addressing Eye and Ear Disorders Holistically: “Many chronic degenerative diseases such as cataracts develop over time as a result of inadequate nutrition and exposure to toxins in food and environment.”
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body and used by the retina to maintain vision in dim light. PetMD’s Jennifer Kvamme, DVM says that, while eating carrots will not cure eyesight that has already been diminished, “it has been shown to prevent cataracts and other eye diseases.” Other foods containing beta-carotene include broccoli and cooked sweet potatoes, according to Mercola’s Eye Support for Pets, while foods rich in antioxidants (such as blueberries and kale) can be also used for supporting eye health.
Dr. Siegler says that “Prevention and treatment both begin with the basics – a very high quality diet supplemented with additional vitamins and minerals.” In addition to raw foods—including organ meats, which Dr. Siegler notes as a good source of taurine—supplements and herbs are also available to purchase in many natural food stores. Additionally, some manufactured pet foods have begun incorporating these nutrients into their products.
Consult your veterinarian before altering your pet’s diet. Together you can assess your pet’s individual dietary needs, determine what supplements to use, and what dosage levels to administer. Once you’ve determined what foods are best, the only challenge left will be to convince your pet to eat it; perhaps not such a task for dogs…but for cats, this might prove a challenge!
- Kvamme J. Do Carrots Naturally Improve Your Cat’s Vision? PetMD. https://www.petmd.com/cat/nutrition/evr_ct_can_carrots_improve_cat_eyesight. Accessed November 2018
- Your Pet’s Eyes Are Gateways to the World: Are You Doing All You Can to Support Their Health? https://products.mercola.com/healthypets/eye-support-for-pets/?utm_source=petsnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=dpe&utm_campaign=20180816Z1&et_cid=DM228063&et_rid=394221530. Accessed November 2018
- Siegler L. Addressing Eye and Ear Disorders Holistically. Only Natural Pet’s Holistic Healthcare Library. https://www.onlynaturalpet.com/holistic-healthcare-library/eye-care/41/addressing-eye-and-ear-disorders-holistically.aspx. Accessed November 2018.