The best defense is a well-calculated, effective and sustained offense. But when the enemy is ever-present, sneaky, and unpredictable, it pays to be proactive and keep all your defensive faculties in top form. Such is the health story of your furry buddy. You can be proactive about preventing diseases and injuries. However, there are occasions when your dog could be predisposed to illness and injury.
You can strengthen your dog’s immunity and give them a better fighting chance against the symptoms and disease-causing pathogens. Read on and learn different ways to improve your dog’s immune system. But first, here’s a brief word on the immune system of our canine friends.
Your dog’s immune system, what it is and what it does
From grade school, we know that dogs are mammals. They share several attributes with humans. For example, the immune system of dogs is similar to a human’s – the mammalian immune system. It is an inbuilt defense mechanism to protect the body against invasion by foreign microorganisms.
Your dog’s body has several cell types circulating via the blood and lymphatics. These cells migrate out of their quarters whenever there is a threat and neutralize the foreign invading microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. They also neutralize abnormally growing cells and toxins.
Strengthening your dog’s immune system entails taking steps to help the immune system become efficient and identify and neutralize threats effectively. It will boost your dog’s wellbeing and stretch its lifespan.
Here are tips on how to strengthen your dog’s immunity.
Feed your dog on immunity-boosting diets
Immunity-boosting diets consist of foods that promote the production and functioning of the immune system. It includes foods that encourage cell growth, efficient cell functioning and foods that counter inflammation and oxidation. Since dogs vary widely in their nutritional requirements, it is best to consult a vet and get a precise opinion concerning your dog’s diet. But generally, you can refer to scientifically researched sources and learn more about your dog’s nutritional needs.
Excellent immunity-boosting dog diets contain the right balance of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids (including inflammation countering omega fatty acids), amino acids, and carbohydrates. Most commercial dog foods do not contain these elements in the correct proportions. Many manufacturers use plenty of grain starch to increase bulk and reduce costs. Your dog is likely to develop weight and inflammation-related issues due to the high starch levels. On the other hand, organic dog foods like Timberwolf Organics containing plenty of animal protein, tuber-sourced starch, and veggies could strengthen the immune system.
Ensure your dog gets regular and sufficient exercise
Exercise does more than keep the muscles and brain fit. It helps the body system work more efficiently. Regular and sufficient workout is crucial for strengthening your dog’s immune system. However, too much or high-intensity exercise could be counterproductive and result in injury or deterioration of the immune system. Therefore, due to variations in age, weight, breed, and external circumstances, consult a vet to get precise guidance on the intensity and frequency of exercise your dog can handle.
A good exercise plan will do the following and boost your dog’s immune system:
- Stimulate and promote efficient production of leukocytes (or white blood cells)
- Reduces fat mass and adipose tissue inflammation
- Encourages the production of IL-6 that boosts the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines
- Mitigates effects of aging on the immune function
Still on the aspect of your nutrition, if a vet recommends special care for your dog, you could also inquire about supplements. Dietary supplements are products intended to augment your dog’s current diet. They often come in small quantities and address specific deficiencies. If your dog has a specific dietary need, a vet could recommend a supplement to boost the levels.
You can consider supplements as a way to strengthen your dog’s immune system. But don’t feed your dog on all kinds of supplements at once. Mixing could be counterproductive. Multiple supplements could block absorption. Ask a vet concerning the type, amount, and frequency of supplements to give.
Probiotics supplements will help build your dog’s gut flora and strengthen the immune system.
Stress contributes to significantly increased inflammation and a compromised immune system. However, it is almost impossible to stay stress-free. Focus on the following de-stressing opportunities to strengthen your dog’s immunity.
- Play more frequently with your furry buddy.
- Avoid stressful environments and stress triggers.
- Consider treating your furry buddy to a doggy massage.
- Use calming products like CBD.
- Play music
Strengthening your dog’s immunity, a final word
The strategies above will help to strengthen your dog’s immune system. But like all systems, it helps to have regular checks by experts to ascertain everything is functioning alright and there is no trouble brewing underneath. Therefore, you must take your dog for regular checks at the vet. While at the vet, you can get immunity boosters like vaccines and other protection to further strengthen the immune system.
Article written by Author: Elsa Smith