Boosting your dog’s immune system is one of the best ways to keep them healthy and happy. It’s especially important if you have a dog that has been diagnosed with an illness or disease. But even healthy dogs can benefit from a boost in their immune system.
Your Dog’s Immune System
Your dog's immune system is a complex network of cells and organs that work together to protect the body from germs and infections. The immune system is able to recognize harmful invaders and mount an attack against them.
The immune system is made up of two types of cells:
- B-cells (B lymphocytes) produce antibodies that help destroy bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances in the body.
- T-cells (T lymphocytes) trigger the production of antibodies by B cells, as well as directly attack infected cells by releasing chemicals called cytokines.
The immune system also contains white blood cells that move through the bloodstream looking for signs of trouble.
These "search-and-destroy" cells include neutrophils, macrophages, monocytes, and eosinophils. If any foreign substances are detected, these white blood cells will engulf them and kill them with chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or enzymes called proteases.
How Can I Boost My Dog's Immune System?
There are many steps you can take to keep your dog's immune system strong. Some of these include:
- Good nutrition: A well-balanced diet will provide the nutrients needed for strong bones and muscles, as well as healthy skin and coat. Make sure that you feed your dog a high-quality diet that meets his nutritional needs.
- Exercise: Regular exercise helps keep your pet fit and healthy. It also encourages him to release energy in a positive way instead of chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard!
- Cleanliness: Keeping areas where your pet spends time clean is important for his health because it reduces the amount of bacteria in the environment, which can lead to illness.
Boost the Dog Immune System with Supplements
There are many supplements that can help boost your dog's immune system and keep him healthy. You may already be giving them to your dog, but if not, here are some great options:
- Vitamin C: A daily dose of Vitamin C can help keep your dog's immune system strong. This vitamin is also necessary for proper bone growth and healing wounds.
- Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral that helps support the immune system by promoting white blood cell production.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat, as well as joint health by reducing inflammation throughout the body. Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, which help support a strong immune system. Supplementing with salmon will also help maintain healthy skin, coat and joints for your best friend.
- Garlic: Has anti-viral properties that help prevent viral infections. Garlic also has antioxidant properties that support a healthy immune system response against bacteria and fungi.
Supplements can be added to your dog's food, given separately by mouth, or injected under the skin (subcutaneous). The choice depends on the supplement and the condition being treated. Some supplements are not appropriate for use in every situation, and some can have adverse side effects if used improperly.
Each dog reacts differently to different supplements, so always discuss any changes in diet or medication with your veterinarian before starting, especially if your dog has been diagnosed with a health condition.
Always Provide Probiotics
Dogs who suffer from an infection or illness often require antibiotics to treat the problem. However, antibiotics can be more harmful than beneficial, especially if your dog is given them too often or for too long.
Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria in the body and are commonly used to treat a variety of infections. However, giving your pet antibiotics for an extended period of time can harm their immune system and make them more susceptible to future infections.
One way you can help boost your dog's immune system is by giving them probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep the balance of microorganisms in your dog's digestive tract healthy. These good bacteria help prevent bad bacteria from invading their bodies and causing illness or disease.
S. Boulardii is Recommended
S. boulardii, the probiotic strain found in Daily Dog, is a beneficial yeast that can help enhance your dog's immune system and even fight infection. S. boulardii is antibiotic-resistant, which means that it can be used in conjunction with antibiotics and not be killed off.
Frequently used to manage diarrhea, S. boulardii has also been shown to be effective for dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The yeast is found in human and animal intestines, but it's not always present in high enough numbers to help with digestive problems. That's why veterinarians may recommend giving your pet this supplement as a way to replenish the good bacteria needed for proper digestion.
Get started on the right track by providing your dog with a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, sleep, and FullBucket’s vet-formulated canine probiotics.
As you begin boosting the immune system, talk to your veterinarian or canine nutritionist about what other supplements could be beneficial for your dog’s overall health and wellness.
Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 influences the gut-associated immune system
Characterization of the Probiotic Yeast Saccharomyces boulardii in the Healthy Mucosal Immune System
The Role of the Canine Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Health and Gastrointestinal Disease
Comparison of Gut Microbiota of 96 Healthy Dogs by Individual Traits: Breed, Age, and Body Condition Score
Similarity of the dog and human gut microbiomes in gene content and response to diet