A stressed or overworked immune system can result in a number of preventable health issues. To keep your dog or cat in good health, immune support supplements in addition to a balanced, wholefoods diet may be the answer.
Immune system health is as important for our dogs and cats as it is for us. Nowadays, as the number of cheap, low-quality pet foods continue to line shelves and make their way into the homes of pet parents, it’s more important than ever to develop a toolkit of immune support supplements to keep on hand. In addition to understanding the importance of feeding animals a high-quality, wholefoods diet, adding in a few dietary additions is a great way to improve their immune health – and overall well-being.
Immune support supplements – a natural health booster!
When it comes to the immune system, the most important nutrients should come from a healthy, balanced fresh food diet. Ideally, diets should be biologically appropriate – similar to what animals would eat in the wild – and should already include a number of immune-boosting ingredients such as those containing vitamin C, E and zinc. For dogs and cats with autoimmune disorders or other health concerns, the addition of immune support supplements may be beneficial.
“When the immune system becomes stressed or overworked, there are several useful herbs to consider as supplements,” says integrative veterinarian Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA. “We use ashwaganda (an adaptogen that can be used for to balance immune function), medicinal mushrooms (which have many helpful immune system support functions), turmeric root (helps support healthy inflammatory responses), as well as other important organ and immune support supplements like milk thistle or licorice root.”
When to use immune support
When an animal has immune system issues, it typically stems from either an underactive or overactive immune system. According to Dr. Royal, signs and symptoms may include allergies, chronic infections that never seem to fully resolve, and even cancer.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, book an appointment with your veterinarian. “Several simple blood tests can be helpful to determine proper white cell counts, normal organ function, evidence of infection or certain cancers,” says Dr. Royal.
An ounce of prevention
As the old adage goes – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can’t hurt to start your pet on a higher-quality diet that improves the general health and functionality of their immune system. Appropriate supplementation gives healthy animals a better chance of staying healthy, and may even help to extend their longevity.
“NOW® Pets Immune Support is designed to help support a pet’s immune system and innate resistance to pathogens, as well as help to enhance liver and kidney function,” says Dr. Royal. “The supplements are ecologically and thoughtfully sourced and combined in a recipe that I’ve used with clinically significant results for patients.” This immune support supplement provides many of the important immune support nutrients from natural food-based sources that make it easy for the body to absorb (see sidebar for more information). It’s gentle enough to be taken as a daily supplement to support good health, and powerful enough to be used as part of a larger treatment plan for animals with stressed immune systems.
To best support your pets’ immune systems, educate yourself on the importance of a healthy, balanced diet, and find an immune support supplement you can trust!