The immune system is your dog’s first and last line of defense against harmful bacteria, viruses, cancer, and other threats to your pet’s health. If you’re really looking to improve your pet’s health and help extend their life, you must support their immune system. Luckily for you, you’re in the right place, my friend! We offer the best veterinarian-approved immune support supplements for dogs to help boost their immune defenses.
What you should know about immune health for dogs
Caring for your dog’s immune system is one of the smartest things you can do for their health. Let’s take a gander at what information you should keep in mind!
- A balanced diet is essential for a healthy immune system. Many studies show that home-cooked diets are a great way to improve your pet’s health, but it’s not always easy to make sure they contain the nutrients your pet needs. If you are going to home cook for your dog, we strongly recommend using a nutritional service like BalanceIt (link)
- For many folks, like me, it’s impractical to cook for their dog. There are dozens of pet foods out there, and every dog has different needs. In general, though, fish-based diets are better than poultry, and poultry-based diets are better than red meats. Some dogs even do best with vegetarian diets. All bets are off if your pet has dietary allergies—only dietary trials or allergy testing will tell you what is best for them.
- Approximately 70-90% of the immune system resides in the gut. If you think about it, the intestine is exposed to the whole outside world because of the food that goes into it! The GI microbiota, the collection of bacteria and other bugs present in your pet’s intestines, is vital for immune system health.
- Over 70% of dogs suffer from stress, which can weaken the immune system. Chronic stress causes the production of cortisol, and this stress hormone not only decreases our pets’ ability to fight disease and inflammation but also increases other health issues.
The best ways to support your dog’s immune system include a healthy diet, lifestyle, and proper exercise, but many pets will also benefit from probiotics, natural supplements, and sometimes even drugs like rapamycin.
Benefits of immune support supplements and medicines for dogs
Okay, so you know how important your dog’s immune system is and some of what can affect it, but what can you do about it? Luckily, we have many products that can help!
- Rapamycin is a prescription medicine that has a great number of health benefits for dogs: reducing pain, fighting cancer, reversing heart disease, and, of course, decreasing inflammation which can boost immune system responses. It’s a new kid on the block, so check out more information here.
- Curcumin is a biological compound found in turmeric that aids with inflammation, oxidation, and immune regulation—all of which help your dog fight off disease! CurcuWin Ultra, found in our patented Longevity Plus supplement, has proven to be over 100x more bioavailable than regular curcumin.
- VisBiome is a prescription-strength probiotic that packs a serious punch—you’re not going to find a stronger probiotic at 112.5 million CFU! Probiotics regulate the microbiota of the intestine, and because most of the immune system is in the gut, it can not only help your pet’s GI function but also help your dog fight off allergies and diseases.
- Fisetin Vet is a gentle and safe plant extract that acts as a senolytic, which helps the body naturally get rid of aging and senescent cells before they can damage the other cells around them.
Mushroom supplements can help calm an overactive immune function through a variety of mechanisms. For instance, turkey tail mushrooms have been proven to strengthen the immune system and fight both cancer and infection.
A healthy, balanced diet is always a great start. Unless they have allergic issues, your pet benefits from exposure to the natural world to build a tolerance to bugs and allergens. This means lots of walks, which is good for everyone involved.
Boosting their immune health is necessary when dealing with diseases that suppress the immune system. Allergies, on the other hand, are an overactive immune system that needs mellowing out. Fortunately, there are natural approaches to both challenges, and we can help you find the right product for your pet.
Great question! The most common signs of a weak immune system in your pet are recurrent ear, skin, or urinary tract infections. Some are inherited as puppies, while some are caused by diseases that can happen later—viral diseases, like parvo for example. The immune system may be at fault if your dog has difficulty fighting off infection or is continually sick. Your veterinarian can help you diagnose most immune diseases with the right blood tests.
Yes! A dog’s intestine contains at least 70% of their immune system, and probiotics help regulate microbiota leading to healthier guts and overall healthier dogs. The best indicator of what makes a good probiotic is its CFU (Colony Forming Unit) count, and VisBiome has a CFU count of 112.5 million—no other probiotic can compare!
Most supplements should be taken daily, and each of our products has specific recommendations for your pet on the label. There are times when we may ask your veterinarian’s help in determining the exact treatment protocol for your pet.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) begins, for most pets, as a dietary allergy. Just like a bee sting, this allergy creates swelling and inflammation within the GI tract. Over time, this chronic inflammation results in scar tissue which prevents normal absorption of nutrients and water, leading to weight loss and diarrhea. Early detection of dietary allergies, probiotics, and supplements designed to help normalize the GI immune system will all play a role in treating IBD.
Listen, almost every breed of dog is prone to something, but more commonly it’s individual bloodlines within a breed that have immune problems. Retriever breeds are poster children for allergies, for example, while German Shepherds and Arctic breeds are known for their GI problems.
The hard part is that many breeders are not exactly forthcoming with this info when you’re considering buying a pup. We always recommend getting to know both the mom and the dad of your pup and their medical records. If your breeder won’t share this info, it might be time to move on.
Other collections you may be interested in
If you’re interested in more ways our supplements can help your dog live longer, browse our other collections!