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“The best defense is a good offense.”, this phrase pretty much sums up the importance of having a strong immune system, for man and dog alike. Much like ourselves, our dogs require a healthy immune system to defend against all kinds of sickness, injuries and diseases. Like us humans, dogs may require a few immune boosters!
Which is why it is vital that as dog owners we learn how to better our dogs’ immune systems and therefore overall health.
In order for us to care for our dog’s immune system, we need to start at the root cause! It is not much use to treat the symptoms if the root cause of problems is not dealt with.
However, gauging a dog’s immune system and knowing the right steps to boost them can be tricky. Our canine’s immune systems are incredibly complicated, and understanding how to care for their immune system’s needs requires much study and knowledge.
The simple fact that immune systems work at a microscopic level makes it impossible for us to observe until a symptom appears. These symptoms may vary from loss of appetite, feverish, constantly falling sick, slow healing of wounds, loss of energy, infections and etc.
Weak immune systems, or sometimes also known as immunodeficiencies all have a cause. These causes are often very specific in their nature and source. They could be caused by a myriad of diseases, or perhaps even natural reasons that occur from birth.
Once these causes are understood, we can then take accurate measures to better boost their immune systems. This will allow us to take pin point adjustments in diet, supplements and medical action to better build our dog’s immune systems.
To put it simply, there are reasons for a weak immune system in dogs which are:-
Genetical reasons are likely the most common reason for immunodeficiencies. Your dog may have specific weaknesses in its immune system that is inherited from one or both of its parents. This is very common as in most cases where puppies have been observed to consistently succumb to similar viral, bacterial and fungal as their parents do.
Much like us humans, this is much easily observed and precautions can also be easily taken.
If a puppy’s parents have a consistent medical history with specific weakness in immune systems, you simply have to be wary of the same occurring to the pup. Plus, if such similar immunodeficiencies do arise, vets usually recommend similar treatments or dietary supplements to the pup as used by the parents.
It is also common for specific dog breeds to have targets immunodeficiencies.
Most pure-bred dogs have exclusive immunodeficiency ailments. Therefore, there are medical treatments or dietary supplements that can be easily sourced according to breed.
For example, Rottweilers tend to succumb to canine parvovirus infections, especially when they are puppies.
In some cases, there are also diseases that are unique to specific breeds.
German Shepherds for example, are the only breed that suffer from Whole-Body Aspergillosis.
Information on how to better care for your specific breed of dog can easily be obtained from your vet, especially during key vaccination times.
Just like all living things, age will eventually take a toll on our physical defense against viruses and bacteria. It is common knowledge that as they age, mammals tend to develop weaker immune systems.
This occurs similarly in our dogs and typically results in an overall weakness in the immune system.
Most would believe that a weak immune system is due to age cannot be avoided, this is not entirely true. With the proper dietary control and supplements both from an early age and as they grow, your dog can live long and healthy without compromising its immune system.
Specific diseases have also been observed to result in damage to the immune system in dogs.
This can occur when your dog is subject to a disease or even after recovering.
Viruses and bacterial infections are known to target specific cells in your dog’s body. Some of these illnesses have been known to cause damage to cells that are in charge of defending your dog’s body.
For example, distemper and parvovirus infections cause a reduction in white blood cells in your dog. Similarly, distemper also weakens the antibodies in a dog’s body.
Both of these incidents will then subject your canine to other viruses and bacterial attacks.
Now that we are aware of the causes of a weak immune system in your dog, how do we boost and improve their body’s defense system?
The good news is that there is no need for complicated and expensive supplements to achieve this, you simply need to feed your dog the right food! A good diet will take your dog far in terms of health and it is more natural for your dog to process too.
Especially key to this would be types of food that is high in antioxidants.
As most of us tend to stick to processed wet or dry dog food, it is not uncommon for dogs to suffer from weakened immune systems due to lack of antioxidants.
Adding beans such as black beans or kidney beans to their regular diet could be a good start as they are quite cheaply available.
If your pooch has a sweet tooth, supplementing their sweet snacks with berries will provide it with an antioxidant-rich source.
You may also opt for fruits such as black plums or apples as these are also immune boosters that are easily found in your local market. Similarly like us, skipping out on greens is always a bad dietary idea. Antioxidant-rich greens that most dogs would like are such as cabbage, broccoli and barley grass.
Alternatively, there are also means outside of the diet that will help in boosting your dog’s immune system. Do these things and watch as your dog’s immune system grow healthier:
Get out and move! Going outside to play, getting under the sun for a stroll or even a hike are all options you can attempt.
Being outdoors and moving lowers stress, improves cardiovascular health and burns fat for your dog. Not to mention that you will also get your daily dose of exercise and movement from walking your dog frequently.
All these are crucial elements of developing a healthy and strong immune system in your canine, not to mention that most dogs just enjoy being out.
On the supplementary end, you may consult with your dog’s vet on the specific types of dietary supplements that they may require, be it vitamins or minerals.
We do however, recommend that you include probiotics as part of your dog’s dietary routine.
As a large quantity of sickness and infections enter your dog’s body via its digestive system, any supplement that helps strengthen its digestive tract should be considered.
Probiotics help improve your dog’s intestinal flora, promote the growth of beneficial bacterias and boosts immune systems.
Aside from the basic principle of keeping your dog well hydrated, checking on the source of your dog’s water could be key to better immune systems.
The rule here is simple: let your dog drink what you would drink. There is no reason for your dog to drink untreated tap water when you have access to filtered water.
This exposes it to ingesting bacterias that are harmful and may affect its health either temporarily or permanently if not careful.
If all else fails, just like humans, there are vitamins and minerals to take in addition to what has been recommended above. There is no harm in boosting your dog’s immune system this way.
As a word of caution, it is better to read the ingredients on the label before purchasing any product. Ensure that there are no ingredients that are toxic to your dog. You may also consult with your dog’s veterinarian before making any purchases or feeding it immune boosting supplements.
One of the best vitamin supplements to boost your dog’s immune system is Flaxseed Oil from Petcubes.
This flaxseed oil is a rich source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Just adding a half a teaspoon or a teaspoon, according to the size of your dog, to your dog’s food will do wonders for your dog.
You can also try Petcubes’s Spirulina. A dietary supplement, spirulina is a powerful blue-green algae that is rich in antioxidants. It contains multiple vitamins and minerals that all promote a healthy immune system for your dogs.
Again, just add it to your dog’s normal diet and watch as your dog’s immune system is boosted.
Observe your dog’s needs and consult your vet. Find out what works for your dog when it comes to supplements that boosts immune systems. Make it a point to feed your dog a well balanced diet that’s paired with antioxidant-rich sources to ensure that its immune system is healthy and strong. Finally, make an effort to observe regular exercise, consistent hydration and dietary intake to better maintain your dog’s immune system. All this will ensure that your dog spends more time being healthy than sick and will have a life that is long and happy.
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