How To Help My Dog’s Immune System (7 Health TIPS)

A dog’s weakened immune system is unable to protect it from diseases and other health issues, including infections, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and even cancer.

Veterinary specialists claim that maintaining your dog’s immunological balance might help minimize the risk of your dog developing diseases. It also helps your dog heal from cuts and bug bites without getting sick.

So, how do you help your dog’s immune system to stay strong and active?

We’ll go over some of the best things you can do to help your dog’s immune system be as strong as possible and answer the question, “how to help my dog’s immune system?”

How To Strengthen a Dog’s Immune System

A dog’s immune system is strengthened through a healthy well-balanced diet, probiotic supplementation, exercise, cleanliness, Omega-3 supplementation, and a reduction in stress levels.

These things help our immune systems become healthier, and our dog needs the same care.

The immune system is your dog’s first and best defense against disease, so it’s vital to keep it working well.

Why Is My Dog’s Immune System Important?

immune system protects your dog from disease
Your dog’s immune system keeps him healthy so he can remain playful and active.

Your dog’s immune system circulates through the body looking for bacteria, germs, viruses, and even harmful fungi.

When it finds things that don’t belong, it destroys the unknown cells and organisms.

This vigilant protection system keeps your dog from getting many illnesses and helps prevent or fight off infections.

The immune system also keeps viruses and bacteria from being able to replicate in your dog’s system, making him very sick.

What if My Dog’s Immune System Is Weak?

If your dog’s immune system stops working properly, diseases can take hold and make your dog very ill.

Bacteria and other pathogens can create a state of constant inflammation in your dog that leads to things like diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.

While you can’t be sure your dog’s immune system is working at 100% all the time, there are some basic things you can do to help your dog’s immune system stay active and healthy.

Can Omega-3 Boost My Dog’s Immune System?

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for your dog’s overall health, but many dog owners are surprised to learn that they are a big factor in immune system health and vitality.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory which is important for calming the body’s immune response to avoid chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and certain nuts and seeds. Look for a dog food that is high in fatty acids.

Can a Healthy Diet Boost My Dog’s Immune System?

a dog needs good nutrition to stay healthy
A well-balanced diet gives your dog the nutrition he needs to stay fit and active.

A healthy diet is vital for immune system function. A healthy diet includes vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and beneficial bacteria that are necessary for immune system function.

70% of your immune system resides in your intestinal tract, and it’s no different for your dog.

So, nourishing your dog’s gut by feeding a healthy balanced diet is one of the best things you can do to help your dog’s immune system function optimally.

You can also give your dog certain foods known to boost the immune system.

These include bone broth, rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids; raw, organic eggs; and vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach.

Can I Give My Dog Probiotics?

Many people take probiotics to boost their immune system, but did you know that your dog can take them too?

Probiotics replenish important bacteria that digest food and kill pathogenic bacteria in the gut, so they’re an excellent way to boost your dog’s immune system.

However, your dog doesn’t have the same gut bacteria that you do, so he can’t take your probiotic.

You can find canine probiotics at the pet store. We prefer refrigerated probiotics for efficacy.

Dose the probiotics to your dog according to the label on the bottle.

While some dog foods include probiotics, we prefer to buy them separately to ensure the live bacteria are getting into our dog’s gut.

Can Exercise Boost My Dog’s Immune System?

How to help my dog's immune system
Exercise gets the heart and blood pumping, increasing lymph purging and speeding up overall organ function and cleansing.

In addition to a balanced diet and regular veterinary care, another way to help support your dog’s immune system is to encourage them to engage in their natural love of play.

This can include playing fetch, going for walks, and swimming. Exercise is great for keeping your dog healthy and fit, but it also helps keep their immune system functioning properly.

Exercise also helps to expel lymph fluid which contains the contaminants that the immune system is working to purify from the body.

It’s wise to give your dog’s body help with ridding itself of toxins through exercise.

Does Bathing Help My Dog’s Immune System?

Bathing can help your dog stay much healthier, to a point. Dogs don’t need to be bathed more than once a month. Excess bathing can lead to dry, irritated skin and brittle fur.

However, bathing your dog with a gentle dog shampoo helps to cleanse bacteria and pathogens off of the fur so they aren’t ingested.

Keeping up on ear cleaning is very helpful for maintaining your dog’s overall health, because dogs are especially prone to ear mites and ear infections from wax buildup that can harbor bacteria.

Does Weight Affect My Dog’s Immune System?

Weight control is another important aspect of strengthening your dog’s immune system, as obesity can lead to a number of health problems.

A healthy diet and regular exercise will help keep your dog at a healthy weight.

In addition to getting your dog out for more exercise, you may need to feed your dog food that encourages weight loss to help lower caloric intake without making him feel hungry.

Help Your Dog Relax to Boost Immune Activity

Did you know that your dog’s stress level can negatively impact the health of his immune system?

Stress causes chronic inflammation which wears and tears on your dog’s organs, decreasing immune system effectiveness.

If your dog experiences a lot of stress from being left alone a lot, is frequently confronted by other animals, or suffers from nervous tension, you can help boost his immune system by helping him relax.

Try to stick to regular routines for eating, sleeping, exercising, and playing. Take special time to cuddle with your dog and massage his muscles to help him relax.

Provide your dog with an increased sense of safety by giving him a cave bed, a safe crate to stay in during the day, and fun toys to keep his mind busy rather than focused on agitating circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Your dog’s immune system is the invisible defender against infections, viruses, and diseases. We owe it to our faithful companions to help their immune systems stay strong and healthy.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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