How To Support Your Dog’s Immune System

Your Dogs Health: Are You Sure Your Dog Has A Healthy Immune System?

The immune system is a network of specialized tissues, organs, cells, and hormones. There are two main types of immunity. Innate immunity is a system built into the body to resist disease. Acquired immunity is the immune system’s ability to adapt as the body is exposed to pathogens through exposure, illness or vaccines.

Symptoms of a weak immune system are shown as skin infections, recurring parasitic infections, and mild infections or illnesses that develop into more serious health issues. This occurs because the body’s immune system is not strong enough to defend itself.

As I will always stress, diet is the starting point. It is the foundation of good health and the first line of defense against disease. Fresh food is the first step. A varied diet of fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables may require a little more time to prepare, but is well worth the effort in the long run.

It is important that your dog have a healthy gastrointestinal tract in order to get the most benefit from the raw diet. If your dog’s intestinal tract is weakened by allergies or digestive disorders, the nutrients even in a raw diet will be harder to process and absorb. Digestive enzymes, probiotics and essential fatty acids all contribute to your dog having a healthy digestive tract and proper digestion.

Two other contributors to a strong immune system is exercise and weight control. Exercise helps to build and maintain a strong immune system. Weight control is important because overweight dogs are more susceptible to chronic and acute infections and diseases.

An easy way to help boost the immune system is to use a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement daily.

Antioxidants are important because they help the immune function, by preventing oxidation of chemicals, and may help decrease the risk of infection and possibly cancer. They destroy free radicals which are reactive molecules that damage cells. Damaged cells leave the body susceptible to cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. The most common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C and E and they are found in food.

Vitamin A is found in the liver and other tissues. It is most abundant in the fish liver oils. Carotene is found in plant material and dogs can convert carotene to vitamin A with an enzyme that is found in the intestinal walls. Vitamin A makes white blood cells which destroy viruses and harmful bacteria which help regulate the immune system. Vitamin A helps the skin, mucous membranes, and urinary tract.

Vitamin C is manufactured in the liver and kidneys of dogs and is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Fresh fruits provide Vitamin C.

Vitamin E is in vegetable oils, cereal grains, greens, liver and eggs. It is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body. It is very helpful in protecting against oxidation in fatty tissues

I wish you the best of life for you and your dog.

Sandra Bailey, who has raised dogs for over 50 years, is the author of “Real Dogs Don’t Eat Kibble!” She is a member of the National Center for Homeopathy and a Professional Member of the Animal Wellness Association. She is the owner of the website http://www.TheNaturallyHealthyDog.com, and blog http://TheNaturallyHealthyDogSeries.blogspot.com.
 

Filed under: Canine Health

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