The immune system is what protects us from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Keeping a strong immune system is vital for good health. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can have a negative effect on the immune system. If the immune system is weakened, that leaves us open to all kinds of illnesses.
But it’s not just us. Our pets also need to maintain a strong immune system - especially considering some of the things they get into like rolling in dirt and dead things, snatching things out of the garbage, chasing and sometimes catching and eating bugs. Our pets definitely need to keep their immune systems strong.
You may be especially worried if you have a pet that is aging or going through a treatment like chemotherapy. Just like people, animals that are immunocompromised need special consideration. These dogs and cats need special attention to maintain and rebuild immune system health.
How can we help our pets maintain immune system health? It’s easier than you think. We have some suggestions for ways to keep your pet’s immune system strong. Keep reading to find out the best ways to naturally boost your pet’s immunity.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many pets are overweight or obese. 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs are suffering from weight problems. Even being just a few pounds overweight can lead to numerous health problems. Obesity doesn’t just affect mobility and joint health. It can also suppress the immune system. Excessive body fat can cause inflammation which can in turn, reduce immunity.
Helping your pet maintain a healthy body weight will help keep their immune system functioning normally.
Exercise is an important part of overall health. Besides helping maintain an ideal body weight, regular exercise helps boost immunity. Exercise serves to reduce inflammation that suppresses the immune system.
By now, we all know that stress can take a toll on our bodies and suppress our immune system. Thankfully, exercise has been shown to reduce stress, boosting our immune function.
A Healthy Diet
Food plays a huge role in immune health and maintenance. Proper nutrition will help your pet maintain a healthy body condition. A healthy diet also promotes a strong immune system by providing the nutrients that keep it functioning at top notch. Make sure your pet is getting a diet that has the nutrients that are essential to immune health. A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and a variety of meats may help to keep your pet’s immune system functioning at its peak. A well rounded diet will provide nutrients like:
- Omega 3’s- Found in fish and fish oil, omega 3’s are loved for their anti-inflammatory properties. They promote a boost to immune function and have been used to defend against autoimmune disorders like joint discomfort.
- Antioxidants- Found in foods like blueberries, antioxidants have been found to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Antioxidants include vitamins like vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like zinc, selenium, and copper.
- Iron- This mineral is essential to healthy blood cells and plays an important role in immune function.
- Protein- Protein is used to help the body recover after an infection.
Carrots, blueberries, cranberries, celery, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, healthy fats, and varied meat selections are all foods that have been used to boost the immune system. So they certainly have a rightful place in your pet’s diet!
There is strong evidence of the link between the microbiome, the naturally occurring bacteria in the gut, and immune health. That’s where probiotics and prebiotics come in.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are given as supplements to help replenish the colonies of bacteria in the body. Prebiotics are the fibers that feed these bacteria.
Among the many benefits credited to probiotics, is the ability to boost immune function. This link is so strong the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approves of the use of probiotics as an immune support supplement.
You can find probiotics for your pet in powder or tablet form. But you may have some in your refrigerator. Plain yogurt is a source of probiotics for dogs and cats as are bananas, unsweetened kefir, and even buttermilk. Make sure any probiotic foods you feed your pet do not contain artificial sweeteners. Talk to your vet if you have any questions about choosing the right probiotic for your pet.
Turmeric and CBD
Turmeric is another popular pet supplement choice. Many pet parents add turmeric to their pet’s routine because it may help with fighting inflammation.
Turmeric has also shown some promise as an immune booster. In fact, the active ingredient in Turmeric, curcumin, has been observed regulating overactive immune cells. Turmeric is also used to aid in gut health, and improving gut health has been shown to indirectly boost immune function!
You can add turmeric to your pet’s diet by mixing it into their food or giving it as a supplement. The turmeric oil in the Homescape Pets Calming Relief blend is mixed with Hemp. Hemp is a pet-safe source of CBD. The Calming Relief blend can be used as a natural option to reduce inflammation and stress.
Another popular pet supplement, CBD, isn’t messing around either! CBD shows promise as treatment for a variety of things. One of the benefits currently being studied is the effect of CBD on the immune system. Early studies show that it has positive effects on immune function, helping to properly regulate the immune response.
Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on your pet’s immune system. If you have a pet with anxiety, and you’re worried about the effects it will have on their health, try a full spectrum CBD oil like Companion’s Best Day. It is recommended to help support your pet’s overall wellbeing and may help to relieve anxiety and reduce stress.
When using CBD supplements for your pet, be sure you are purchasing from a reputable company. Testing should be done by a third party and easy to find on the website. And the supplements should be designed specifically for use in animals.
If you have questions about any of our products we hope you’ll reach out and contact us. We’ll gladly answer any questions you have.