How to boost your dog's immunity?
Your dog is inseparable part of your life. You're probably trying to protect your four-legged friend from anything bad. You want him to be happy and healthy at all times. But, whether you live in the city or the country, bacteria and parasites are difficult to avoid - your dog is exposed to them every single day - in vet offices, training buildings, on the streets, in dog parks and even open parks and fields. The key to a healthy dog is not to keep him locked up at home, but to keep his immune system in the best shape possible so he can quickly and effectively fight disease when it strikes.
Try to improve your dog's health and boost his immune system by following these simple steps.
1. GIVE YOUR DOG ENOUGH EXERCISE
Physical activity is one of the basics, but very important. It promotes proper blood flow, supports the function of the lungs, heart and other organs. Take your dog for a walk often, go for a jog together, get a training lesson with other dogs or just visit his favorite dog park, so he can meet his furry friends. Any exercise is better than none. It will help your dog to stay in a good shape and will develop a certain immunity to microorganisms that do not occur at home.
2. KEEP YOUR DOG WARM
When the weather is already cold and windy, we don't call it a sweater weather for nothing. If you have a small dog at home, or a senior dog who cannot move or run as much as before, you should consider getting him some nice clothes, such as a dog sweater or a dog coat. It should be preferably made of wind- and water-proof material that will assure the dog will stay warm even in the rain or a snowy weather. Machine washable feature is great as well.
3. HEALTHY DIET & WEIGHT CONTROL
Do not underestimate the importance of high-quality food for your dog. It is another relevant factor that can influence the dog's immunity. Many health issues with an immune system are caused by intestinal dysfunction. The intestines creates antibodies called immunoglobulins, plus there are also many types of microorganisms that are supporting the right levels of immunity. If their balance is disturbed, e.g. by a poor quality food, the dog is much more sensitive for catching various diseases. Keep an eye on the quality of snacks and treats you're buying as well.
The higher a dog’s weight is over his ideal weight, the more his immune system can struggle if effected. If you're not sure about it, discuss with your vet what your dog’s ideal weight is and try to maintain it. If your dog needs to loose a few pounds, the easiest way for you to do this is to monitor your dog's food intake and control the portions. You do it for his health and that's worth it.
4. STRESS-FREE ENVIRONMENT
People know what stress is and many of us have to deal with it on daily basis. But, do you know that dogs can sense the stress and be bothered by it as well? Stress can actually inhibit their immune system and reduce the ability of their body to fight a disease. The key is to avoid stressful situations and environment and keep your dog on schedule - same time of meals, walks and playtime, so he always know what is going on and when.
If your dog is stressed out he can be shaking, howling, breathing quickly, hiding away from you, destroying things in the apartment etc. It can be caused by a lot of things - e.g. fear of something, separation anxiety, change of his routine etc. Dogs cannot tell us, but you can see it. You should react calmly and show the dog your love and that he is safe with you.
We know the basic pillars of dog's healthy immunity now and in cases where we, as people, can no longer help, we usually call the vet. Vaccination is a good thing and can protect dogs against many diseases waiting for them outside of your house - for example - in autumn, we should be aware of the kennel cough, which can make dog's life very unpleasant. It doesn't feel nice to see those sad dog's eyes when you're at the vet, but sometimes it's important to undergo this basic vaccination and let the medicine help.
6. NATURAL HELPERS
The power of nature can also help to boost immunity. You may have heard of the freshwater alga spirulina and its positive effect on human health. And, surprisingly, it also helps dogs. Not only it suppresses bad breath and flatulence, but it also inhibits viruses and strengthens the organs that dogs need for a healthy and well-functioning immune system.
Also oyster mushroom has miraculous effects having a positive effect on strengthening the immune system. The mushroom can be administered to animals, for example in the form of syrup or tablets. It is also suitable after repeated infectious diseases, but it can also support wound healing. It is priceless during periods of increased mental or physical stress. Echinacea, evening primrose and salmon oil, milk thistle, flaxseed, etc. are also effective.
7. PROPER HYGIENE
Keeping proper hygiene is also super important in boosting a dog’s immune system. Dogs sniff and lick pretty much everything and everywhere they go. Germs from your dog’s mouth can, and will, be transmitted to whatever he touches. In order to maintain the cleanliness you should also regularly wash his toys and bowls. Most toys you can put into the washing machine. Be sure to dry the toys after washing thoroughly. The bowls you can clean with just a water.
You can cut down the number of bacteria by bathing your dog regularly. It is not just the dirt you can see, the dogs has a natural fats going through their hair etc. and that should be cleaned off once in a while too. If needed of course. Your short hair Vizsla is fine with a bath once a month, while your long hair Retriever needs maybe more than that. Always use gentle shampoos made for dogs.
STAY WELL AND SAFE!