Like us, our dogs are constantly being exposed to bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can cause health issues. Their immune system helps to fight off disease and plays a big part in keeping your dog healthy. A good immune system will help your dog fight off infections, inflammation, and reduce the risk of health conditions like diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart conditions, and cancer.
Boost your dog’s immune system and keep them healthy and happy with these tips.
Keep your dog clean
Good hygiene and regular grooming will go a long way towards helping your dog to fight off disease and infection. This includes washing them regularly (but not too often), brushing regularly, and detangling mats.
Keep your dog’s stuff clean
Make sure you keep all of the things your dog comes into contact with clean as well. This includes their bedding, bowls, toys, exercise, and training equipment. Regularly wash them in warm water and dry thoroughly before letting your dog at them again. This will prevent bacteria and parasites from infesting your dog’s things.
Keep your dog’s environment clean
Ensure any designated dog areas of your house and yard are also kept clean. In the backyard, make sure you clean up their poop and keep the yard mown and the gardens tidy. This will also help you to see any potential hazards lurking around, like dead animals. Also, clean up any water lying around because it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mosquitos. Avoid contaminating your dog’s environment, inside or out, with toxins from herbicides and pesticides. Where possible, use natural non-toxic products around the house.
A healthy balanced diet of high-quality foods is the best way to boost your dog’s immune system. A diet full of antioxidant-rich foods like fresh berries, beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and green vegetables like broccoli. Try a few out with your dog and once you know what he likes, add a small amount into his daily diet. Fish oil is also very good for dogs. It helps to reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. You could use fish oil supplements, but the best fish oil for dogs comes from natural foods like salmon and sardines (just check for bones), or oils like flaxseed oil. Add a little into your dog’s food a couple of times a week if you can.
Gut health is also an important factor in your dog’s immune system response. You can give your dog a probiotic supplement made specifically for dogs. Commercial dog food can be filled with poor quality byproducts like corn, soy, or wheat. So, if you do feed it to your dog, please check the ingredients and make sure it is full of good quality ingredients and beneficial nutrients for your dog. Add in fresh raw food to your dog’s diet, and when possible make it organic. If you are not sure what foods are safe to give to your dog you can look them up and this great site we use Can I Give My Dog …? It is always best to talk to your vet to find out the right immune-strengthening diet for your dog.
Keep their bowl filled with good quality fresh water
Make sure your dog always has water in his bowl. If your water supply is not the best quality or has too many chemicals added to it, make sure to give your dog filtered water to drink. Keep the water clean and fresh. When you are out of the house on walks or going to the park, make sure you take some water for your dog if you need to.
Exercise is a great way to boost your dog’s immune system. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation and reduce fat. Excess fat can cause stress on the immune system. A good mix of physical and mental exercise will help keep your dog fit and healthy. Check with your vet if you think your dog is overweight and set a regular exercise regime to get it under control.
Keep your dog stress-free
Stress affects the immune system in dogs just like it does in us. There are a few things you can do for your dog to help reduce or limit their stress. Try to keep to a regular routine for meals and exercise, don’t overdo their training, and try to avoid negative interactions with other dogs, animals, and humans. Watch your dog for signs of separation anxiety and take steps to help your dog through it. Give them lots of opportunities to play and keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
Give your dog immune boosting supplements
While we recommend you provide your dog with all the nutrients he needs through a healthy diet (see the nutrition section above), if you have done that and your dog is still getting sick, then you can try supplements.
A good organic choice is BIXBI Organic Immunity Dog Supplement. Or you can try a probiotic like Purina Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement, or a fish oil supplement for dogs like Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs. Remember to use supplements as a last resort, always the buy the best quality you can, and check with your vet first.
Avoid overuse of medications
Like us, dogs can become drug dependent, and antibiotics can reduce their immune system’s ability to protect your dog. Do not give them human medications and only medicate on advice from your vet.
Regular checkups with the vet
Don’t wait until your dog is sick to take them to the vet. Get regular preventative health checks for your dog, including vaccinations. If you are not sure how often to take your dog for regular checkups, see this article for advice, as it does depend on their age.
Massage is another great way to boost your dog’s immune system. It stimulates the muscles and tissues and aids circulation, digestion, and elimination of toxic waste. It will also help to relax your dog, which will help reduce stress. As a bonus, it helps to strengthen your bond.
Give your dog plenty of love
They, like us, need a lot of hugs and love. A loved dog is a happy dog.
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