Dogs and cats don’t “catch colds” like humans, but their immune systems are still incredibly important. Keep your animal companions healthy by focusing on gut health!
Our animal companions are incredibly stoic. They rarely get sick, and it’s nearly impossible to recognize when they’re experiencing discomfort. But though it may seem like it at times, dogs and cats aren’t invincible. Like us, they’re protected by a complex network of cells that can fall victim to foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and allergens. Sound familiar? This network is commonly known as the immune system, and it plays an important role in your pet’s overall health.
A closer look at immunity
As pet parents, it’s our job to keep our animals’ immune systems strong and healthy. But before we can do that, we need to gain a basic understanding of what helps this system thrive. “Compromised immunity can result in a whole host of issues such as disease, infection, poor skin and coat quality, and less energy and zest for life,” says Leasa Moltke, Nutrition and Regulatory Manager at Solid Gold. “The most important thing a pet parent can do to support their pet’s immune system is to feed them an all-natural, holistic diet full of ingredients that help cleanse, balance and fuel the gut.”
The role of gut health
Nowadays, it shouldn’t come as a shock that what your pet eats is of utmost importance. His diet impacts his gut health, which largely influences the state of his immune system and, ultimately, his overall wellness. “It is thought that up to 80% of the immune system is in the gut,” says Leasa. “The digestive system is home to an incredible array of micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses and fungus. A good balance and diversity of bacteria helps keep the gut, and in turn the immune system, happy and healthy.”
How to support his immune system
So what steps can pet parents take to support their animals’ immunity?
1. Avoid unnecessary vaccinations or medication unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian – these can compromise health by overloading his system with toxins.
2. Keep him fit – regular exercise helps strengthen the immune, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
3. Feed a healthy, natural diet – “Immune system issues often go hand in hand with digestive issues,” says Leasa. Feeding a high-quality, holistic diet will make a world of difference in your pet’s overall health.
4. Supplement wisely
- Probiotics help combat foreign invaders which helps prevent disease.
- Prebiotics feed good bacteria which support a healthy gut environment.
- Antioxidants thwart damage to cells caused by free radicals (unstable atoms caused by negative factors such as stress and pollution).
- Omega-3 fatty acids offer many benefits, including immune system support.
“Many dogs and cats can benefit from extra supplementation to help support their immune system health,” says Leasa. She recommend reaching for a supplement that provides a variety of nutrients, such as Solid Gold SeaMeal™. “As supporting digestive health also helps support the immune system, a digestive aid like Solid Gold DZyme + Probiotics™ can be an excellent aid for dogs and cats that might need a little extra help with their digestion.”
Your dog’s quality of life is dependent on his immune system, and it’s up to you to keep it functioning optimally. Play with him, protect him from toxins, and focus on good nutrition that supports his gut. With a bit of luck, the rest will take care of itself!