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Arguably the foundation of any lifestyle for any animal is the maintenance of a sound immunity. For your dog, the dog immune system is the protective shield that stops them from getting ill, so that they can enjoy a happy and healthy life. By taking the necessary steps for your four-legged friend by providing immune support for dogs, you can work to boost your dog’s immune system and promote their longevity.
What is The Dog Immune System?
The immune system is essentially an umbrella term to describe all of the active components in the body which work to protect the body from illness. When your dog feels slightly under the weather and then makes a recovery after a lie-down and a relax, that is an example of the dog immune system at play. The bodies’ natural defences all form the immune system. However, like all of the intricate systems working in the body, the immune system can’t necessarily just be left to its own devices and indefinitely ward off the threat of infection and illness! The dog immune system can do with support to ensure that it is working in the best way for your four-legged friend, with routines to boost dog immune systems being more than welcome.
Threats to The Dog Immune System
To better understand how best to boost and maintain your dog’s immune system, you need to first understand what kind of factors can provide a risk to your dog’s immune system in the first place. This includes:
Age is a complicating issue when it comes to all kinds of factors in your dog’s life such as joint health, digestion and activity, with immunity being no exception. When your dog gets older, a fact of life is that their body will become less efficient at operating in general, and that will make it more sensitive to the environment around and, as a result, they are more likely to catch something nasty. It is important to keep this in mind when you are looking after your dog. When they’re young, it is important to build their natural immunity by exposing them to the environment around them, but as they reach the winter of their life, this practice should be reversed and the support of their immune system will massively benefit from external aid.
‘But I thought the immune system was supposed to deal with that?’ Well yes, but it is inevitable that your dog will get ill at some point, not at least because getting ill is how your dog’s immune system will experience a natural immune booster for dogs in the form of natural exposure, but illness weakens the immune system.
Imagine that your dog’s immune system is like an internal police force and illness is the pesky criminals. If your dog’s immune system is focused on rounding up one illness and fighting it, the introduction of a second illness will not be able to receive full attention. In these situations where your dog is ill and its immune system is hard at work, it is important to take measures to prevent another issue and to boost the immune system where possible. This is why you often see that hospitals and vets are very sanitary environments and why getting over illness usually runs in tandem with rest, medicine and plenty of healthy food.
Speaking of healthy food, diet can have a profound effect on your dog’s immune system. For example, if your dog’s diet is heavily processed, this can cause more harm than good in the form of free radicals (microscopic elements that you find in pollution, UV rays, smoke etc) that will damage your dog’s body on a cellular level. Canine immune support, however, is possible with diet too, and diet is a prime example of a natural immune booster for dogs. By eating a balanced diet packed with lots of naturally sourced produce, or one filled with foods to build up your dog's immunity, your dog will likely be taking in a lot of antioxidants. These active agents work to aid the immune system and combat cellular damage to your dog. You can see that the effect of diet really is dependant on the choices of the owner! If you chose to take an avenue of cheap and processed food, you may be limiting your dog’s immunity just as much as you would be benefitting it with a balanced and healthy diet.
Crazy though it sounds, exercise can actually be bad for your dog’s immune system in some situations! That is not to suggest that you should commit your dog to the sofa for fear of making them ill; exercise is a natural dog immune system booster as it helps to optimise systems such as the digestive and circulatory system. However, what a lot of people don't know is that there is such a thing as too much exercise. The energy that your dog intakes in their food is equally split between movement, hormones, enzymes, reproduction and immunity. If your dog is committing too much of that precious energy to exercise, there will be less available for immunity, and your dog could be at a greater health risk. However, this is a problem that can be dealt with by simply mediating exercise or increasing food intake.
What Can I Do To Boost My Dog’s Immune System?
Looking after your dog’s immune system is about as simple as looking after your own. There are, however, some very simple preventative measures that you can take with your pooch to ensure that they are well protected. Firstly it is important to ensure that your dog gets a balanced diet. Always remember to check the label when buying for your dog and try to avoid heavily processed dog food. The closer to nature you can make your dog’s diet, the greater volume of immunity aiding antioxidants you are likely to enlist to help your dog internally. Equally, make sure that your dog is eating a diet that is tailored to their lifestyle. If they are very active, feed them more than the average dog, if they are a little lazier, don’t be afraid to downsize.
Exercise is also really important for your dog’s immune system and regular exercise and walks is a great natural immune boosting activity for your dog that will safeguard their body, whilst providing them with a tonne of fun. Having said that, don’t overwork your dog because that can cause distress and also weaken their immune system.
Lastly, there is a rich bounty of dog immune system supplements and dog immune booster supplements that you can work into your dog’s daily life that can make a big difference in keeping them healthy for the foreseeable future. Diet complementing aids are also really useful for an ageing dog, or for one that is in the throes of an illness, as they will help compensate for the immunity concessions that your dog’s internal system will make in those context’s. Just make sure you focus on natural immunity supplements that contain vitamins, minerals and immunity-boosting botanicals such as Echinacea.