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What You Need To Know About Dogs And Their Immunity

dog health Dog Nutrition Dogs

 

Fido’s immune system, much like a human’s, is a complex and multifaceted system of defense against foreign agents - or antigens, such as viruses, dust, and pollen - and abnormal biological processes - such as the formation of cancer cells. A dog with a healthy immune system, of course, can effectively fight off illness; whereas a dog with a compromised immune system is susceptible to all kinds of health conditions. 

What You Need To Know About Dogs And ImmunityEcoImmune is a powerful immune system support supplement for dogs and cats. Made with the best all-natural ingredients, EcoImmune is the answer if your pet is fighting infection, dealing with allergies, or suffering from chronic health problems. With a money-back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Give EcoImmune a try, and see the difference for yourself.

  

 

 



What You Need To Know About Dogs And Immunity

Mechanisms of Defense

Physical barriers. Anything that will physically block foreign invaders include the skin, hair, cornea, and membranes that line the respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts. Good bacteria, such as those in the mouth and stomach, and enzymes, such as those produced by the eyes and intestines, also help fight off harmful invaders.

Nonspecific, innate immunity. These are called “nonspecific” because this form of immunity reacts to all foreign substances the same way. It’s called “innate” because it is present at birth. The most common manifestations of nonspecific immunity are inflammation, fever, and itchiness, which occur when white blood cells attack destroy anything that threatens the body.

Specific or adaptive immunity. This is acquired immunity which occurs through “learning” or memory recall of the immune system. The immune system learns how to best attack a foreign body or antigen and stores this knowledge so that when it encounters the same antigen, it reacts more rapidly and effectively than before. It is also so named because the response is specific to a particular antigen. Vaccinations work through the mechanism of specific immunity.

 

What You Need To Know About Dogs And Immunity

Factors that Affect a Dog’s Immune Health

Stress. Just like humans, environmental, physical, and emotional stress can trigger hormones in the body, which signal the immune system to prepare to respond. Because around 70% of the immune system is associated with the gut, the stress response usually leads to digestive problems. Prolonged or chronic GI upset resulting from prolonged or chronic stress, in turn, compromises the immune system which makes Fido susceptible to other health problems.

Stress-related digestive problems may include vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, flatulence, and constipation. In addition to weakened immune function, long-term digestive issues also lead to weight-loss, skin and coat problems, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Poor nutrition. Again, 70% of the immune system is found in the gut, and because the gut’s microbiome plays a crucial role in immune function, proper nutrition that supports the health of gut microflora also directly affects Fido’s immune health. Dogs that are exclusively fed meat-and-bone raw diets are often not getting enough support for a healthy gut microbiome. Likewise, dry formulas high in starch usually cause inflammation - a typical immune response - which is associated with GI problems and improper nutrient absorption. These diets adversely affect the healthy balance of microflora in the gut and thereby the gut’s immune function.  

Specific nutrients are also required to maintain a healthy immune system; these include vitamins A, B6, C, and E; linoleic acid; lutein; selenium; and zinc. If Fido is not getting sufficient amounts of these nutrients from his food, his immune healthy will eventually weaken.

 

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Unhealthy weight. Excess weight makes heavier demands on most of the body’s functions, including immune function. If Fido is overweight or obese, his immune system can go haywire and become ineffective in protecting him against diseases and infections. Excess fats actually trigger an inflammatory immune response. In addition, studies have shown that inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and stroke, which are associated with being overweight or obese, develop due to the aforementioned inflammatory reaction by the immune system.

Antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to aid the immune system in fighting off pathogenic bacteria. However, these drugs also destroy the good bacteria in the gut, skin, and other parts of the body, which are integral to immune function. This is one of the reasons why the overuse of antibiotics makes the body more susceptible to bacterial infections. In fact, excessive or prolonged antibiotic use does not only inhibit immune function but eventually takes it out of commission.

 

What You Need To Know About Dogs And Immunity

Boosting Fido’s Immunity

A healthy immune system can be easily compromised by a lot of factors, some of which we cannot control - such as aging - and others, we can either avoid or remedy - such as weight gain. We can also help boost his immunity with a nutritionally-balanced diet and vet-recommended supplements. Fish oil and probiotic supplements for dogs have other health benefits in addition to their immune-boosting properties.

What You Need To Know About Dogs And Immunity | Vet OrganicsEcoImmune is a powerful immune system support supplement for dogs and cats. Made with the best all-natural ingredients, EcoImmune is the answer if your pet is fighting infection, dealing with allergies, or suffering from chronic health problems. With a money-back guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Give EcoImmune a try, and see the difference for yourself.

 

Following Fido’s vaccination schedule, especially as a puppy, is also important to his lifelong health. Vaccines are designed to strengthen his immune response against specific infections.

Additionally, giving him adequate time for play and exercise will not only help keep his weight in check but will also serve as an effective stress-reliever. Just as it is with humans, a happy dog is a healthy dog. Ensuring Fido’s immune health reduces his risk for a wide variety of problems and thereby ensures a good quality of life.

Further Reading:

Michelle Lievense

Michelle is a writer and ghostwriter, specializing in wellness, sustainability, and global social change. She is particularly fond of serving ethical organizations who contribute to a better life for people and animals through humane and environmentally responsible missions. At Vet Organics, Michelle uses her time as a vet tech, her academic studies in animal science and behavior, and nearly a decade working on a ranch teaching animal husbandry to write on a variety of cat and canine health topics. When she isn't writing, Michelle can be found hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her dogs or snuggled up with a good book and her cats.

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