Your dog’s health and ability to fight disease depends on his immune system.
But his immune system is constantly bombarded … with vaccines, antibiotics, medication, flea and tick preventatives, the food he eats.
And while many of these stressors can be avoided … others aren’t so easy to remove from his environment.
Things like air pollution, or chemicals and pesticides on the surfaces he plays on … those can be especially hard to avoid.
And a stressed immune system can lead to many health problems …
- Organ disease
- Digestive problems
- Immune disease
Luckily there are ways to strengthen your dog’s immune system so that he can live a healthier life.
Today I want to talk about 3 natural solutions that can help boost your dog’s immunes system.
1. Medicinal Mushrooms
When it comes to immunity, mushrooms are a key player.
That’s because of all their immune-boosting properties.
Just look at Reishi mushrooms …
Reishi mushrooms are known as the mushrooms of immortality. And while the idea that mushrooms can keep animals alive forever may not be believable … research showed they can extend the lifespan of mice.
This is because Reishi are full of helpful compounds that will help make your dog stronger …
Mucopolysaccharides are complex sugars that make cells resistant to viruses and bacteria.
Triterpenes help produce the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) protein. TNF helps to regulate immune cells as well as kill cancer cells.
Polysaccharides activate the macrophages that detect and destroy bacteria and other harmful invaders
How about maitake mushrooms? They’re also rich in polysaccharides … especially beta-glucan.
And beta-glucan is a powerful immune booster with anti-oxidative properties. That means it can scavenge harmful free radicals that damage cells.
- Renew cells and improve detox to protect the liver
- Control blood pressure to help manage diabetes
- Improve blood and oxygen supply to the heart
- Inhibit histamines that cause an allergic response
- Slow aging and cognitive decline
- Increase lubrication to protect joints
- Scavenge free radicals and fight oxidative stress
- Reduce inflammation for improved gut health
- Boost exercise performance
- Support kennel cough and canine flu
- Fight off viruses and infection
- Are a source of prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in your dog’s gut
How To Give Your Dog Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are most effective for dogs who need to …
- Prevent and fight cancer
- Battle infection
- Scavenge free radicals
If you want to give your dog whole mushrooms, you should cook them first. Mushrooms can be difficult for your dog to digest and may be toxic when raw.
You could also choose to make a broth or add mushroom powder to your dog’s food.
If you go with a powder supplement, be sure to look for a good quality supplement …
- Whenever possible, buy organic.
- Look for a product made with the whole mushroom. Many contain only mycelium … this is only a part of the mushroom, and it’s lower in beta-glucans.
- Avoid mushrooms or mycelium grown on grain ( they’re higher in starch)
2. Bovine Colostrum
Colostrum is the mother’s first milk and is full of immune boosting properties. It provides newborns with nutrients but … it also helps them build a healthy immune system.
And it turns out babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from the first milk. It can help boost the immune system in an adult as well.
So why bovine colostrum?
Bovine colostrum is almost identical to a dog’s colostrum but … it’s more concentrated with the components that make it an immune booster.
- Antibodies fight viruses, bacteria and long-tern infections. They help complement proteins that attach to and destroy invaders. And they prevent the introduction of bacteria and viruses in the body.
- Growth factors stimulate growth and repair cells.
- Lactoferrin destroys pathogens that cause inflammation. They also act as an antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiparasitic.
- Methylsulfonylmethane – helps wounds heal, maintains cartilage, regulates pain and fights cancer
- Transfer factors – molecules that transfer immunity information from one individual to the next. This results in instant resistance to some diseases.
It also contains Proline-rich polypeptides (PRP). PRP regulates the immune system.
If your dog’s immune system is underactive, that means it won’t be strong enough to fight invaders. PRP will provide a boost. If it’s overactive, that can lead to improper reactions like allergies. PRP will balance it out.
How To Give Your Dog Bovine Colostrum
You should consider bovine colostrum as an addition to your dog’s diet if he …
- Can’t maintain weight
- Suffers from allergy symptoms
- Is prone to viruses and infection
Powder and capsule supplements are a convenient way to feed bovine colostrum to your dog.
It’s best given on an empty stomach, but you can mix it with broth.
Gloria Dodd DVM recommends you give colostrum daily for one month, then as needed.
80% of your dog’s immune system is in his gut. So you need to keep his gut strong. It’ll help him fight illness and stay healthy.
A big player in this is probiotics.
Probiotics are good bacteria that act as the front line of defense. When bad bacteria and yeast enter the lining of your dog’s intestine, they cause inflammation. And that can lead to leaky gut and other problems.
That’s why you need to keep your dog’s inflammation under control. It’s critical to disease prevention.
Probiotics help reduce inflammation. They create a protective layer in the gut to shield the lining from bad bacteria and yeast. And they help keep the cells that line the gut close together.
But that isn’t all probiotics do to help keep your dog healthy.
Good bacteria produce digestive enzymes, B vitamins and serotonin. This helps your dog’s body break down food, regulate mood and support the brain.
They also create a byproduct called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
These SCFAs help …
- Develop good bacteria
- Discourage harmful bacteria
- Lower glucose levels
- Build T-cells which support the immune system
- Prevent food allergies
- Help the body to absorb important nutrients
How To Give Your Dog Probiotics
Probiotics are a great maintenance solution. They’re especially effective if your dog …
- Has loose stools
- Struggles with allergies
- Is prone to illness
Other times probiotics can give your dog’s immune system a boost is …
- After a round of antibiotics
- When he has small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO)
- If there’s a lack of bacteria diversity
To help maintain a healthy gut flora, it’s a good idea to give your dog probiotics at least a few times a week. If they’re unwell, switch to daily until it clears up.
When you give your dog probiotics, you also want to include prebiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that feed probiotics so that they can do their job.
Prebiotic-rich foods include …
- Burdock root
These are just some of the many natural immune boosters for dogs. Take the time to find something that works for your dog and you can help him live a longer and healthier life.