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Boosting Your Dog's Immune System: Unleashing the Secrets to a Happy, Healthy Pooch

Written by: Helena Lawrence



Time to read 5 min

Every dog parent wishes for their four-legged companion to lead a long and happy life by their side. A healthy immune system is vital in ensuring your dog stays energetic, in top condition, and ready to face any health hiccups that come their way. 

But how do you boost your dog's defences naturally? Worry not, fellow dog lovers! In this action-packed guide, we’re barking out all the essentials to help you boost your dog's immune system and keep it in superhero shape.

Recognising the Signs of a Weakened Immune Sytem

Signs of a weakened immune system in dogs may not always be obvious, but the clues are there if you know where to look. What does a compromise in immunity look like, and when should you act?

Watch Out for These Symptoms

  • Persistent Digestive Troubles : Frequent stomach issues like diarrhoea or vomiting can indicate a struggling digestive and immune system.

  • Recurrent Infections : If your dog repeatedly battles ear infections, urinary tract infections, or skin irritations, there could be a deeper immune issue at play.

  • Chronic Fatigue : Is your usually energetic pooch suddenly going slow? Lethargy when accompanied by other symptoms may signal low immunity.

  • Slow Healing Wounds : Have you noticed that your dog’s cuts and scrapes are taking longer to heal? That's a common side effect of a weakened immune response.

If you notice any of these symptoms we would always advise speaking to your vet as they will be able to diagnose if there is an underlying condition causing the symptoms. 

The Building Blocks of Doggy Defence

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of immune-boosting munchies for your pooch, you need to understand what affects your dog's immune system and what you can do to give them a boost.

What Weakens the Immune System?

Just like us, our pups' immune systems face daily challenges. Poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, and viral or bacterial infections can all take a toll on your dog's body armour, making them more susceptible to illness. Additionally, underlying health conditions such as diabetes or cancer can also weaken the immune response.

The Power of Nutrition

A balanced and wholesome diet is one of the cornerstones in maintaining your dog's health. Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats not only keep your dog's coat shiny but also play a significant role in supporting their immune system.

Your dog's diet plays a vital role in maintaining their immune system health. Research suggests that a whole-food diet for dogs could help regulate their immune system, much like it does for us humans.

It's important that your dog has a complete, well-balanced, and easily digestible diet. Consider including:

  • Antioxidants

  • Vitamin E

  • Zinc

  • Glutathione

We'll delve deeper into good sources of these vitamins and immune boosters later in this article.

Ensuring your dog's gut health is also essential. A healthy microbiome, which has a balance of both good and bad bacteria, and other organisms in the digestive tract, enhances overall immunity. A stable microbiome means your dog can prevent excessive inflammation while still responding to infections

The Benefit of Exercise

The second key influencer of your dog's immune health is physical activity. Exercise boosts antioxidants more effectively than any supplement.

Regular exercise helps your dog maintain a healthy body weight, reduces stress, and enhances blood pressure, circulation, and joint health. These benefits collectively support the immune system.

Maintaining a healthy body weight reduces inflammatory stress on your dog's immune system, leading to a stronger overall immunity. A less stressed dog experiences an immune system boost too.

Vaccinations and Preventing Diseases

Vaccines trigger a robust immune response, safeguarding your dog from infections and diseases. Vaccines are generally safe and recommended, sometimes even required, for dogs. They enhance your dog's immunity against prevalent life-threatening diseases such as:

  • Distemper: Canine distemper virus is highly contagious and often fatal.

  • Parvovirus: Parvo is another contagious and dangerous virus that can be prevented through vaccination.

  • Infectious Hepatitis:  A virus that attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels. Infectious hepatitis spreads in bodily fluids and can survive in the environment for up to a year. After an initial primary course, infectious hepatitis vaccination is usually necessary every three years.

  • Leptospirosis: A bacterial infection that can spread through the bloodstream, leptospirosis varies in severity and can also affect humans.

  • Rabies: Although the rabies vaccine isn't a core one unless your dog travels in and out of the UK, rabies is fatal, highlighting the importance of keeping your dog up to date with their rabies vaccination.

If your dog has reacted to medication or a vaccine before, it could pose a risk to their immune system. While this isn't very common, it's important not to skip canine vaccines but if you are concerned about the risks we advise speaking to your vet who will be able to provide advice.

Top Foods to Boost Your Dog's Immune System

Now it's time to dish out the good stuff! Here are some paw-some foods and ingredients that will give your dog’s immune system the boost it needs.

Superfoods for Superdogs

  • Lean Proteins : Sources like chicken, turkey, and fish provide amino acids necessary for a healthy immune system.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids : Found in fish oil, these help fight inflammation, protecting against conditions that could weaken immunity.

  • Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Veggies : Think blueberries, spinach, and carrots. These help to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, supporting the immune system.

  • Pumpkin : Pumpkin is a powerhouse of vitamins A, C, E, iron, and folate, all boosting your dog's immune system.

  • Probiotics : Maintain strong gut health with dog-friendly probiotics. A healthy gut is a haven for a strong immune system.

  • Bone Broth : This nutrient-dense liquid gold contains vitamins and minerals that can help heal a gut and boost immunity.

  • Turmeric : The compound curcumin found in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in maintaining a healthy immune response.

  • Medicinal Mushrooms : These powerful immune boosters are safe and effective for your dog. Turkey Tail and Maitake mushrooms, which are in our Super Shrooms 5 mushroom blend, are especially good at helping your dog in the fight against illnesses.

A Happy, Healthy Future Begins Today

With these immune-boosting tips and tricks, your dog will be on the fast track to a healthier, happier life. Remember, the key is consistency! Adding these foods and habits into your pup's regular routine will keep their immune system as resilient as they are.

By taking a proactive approach to your dog’s health, you're ensuring many years of tail-wagging fun and a lot less time at the vet. Here's to your dog’s health – and to the unconditional love and joy they bring to your life!