Just like humans, pet health and vitality can be greatly impacted by the immune system.
The immune system is what the body uses to combat things like bacteria and viruses and germs.
We tend to be conscious of the things we’re doing that impact the strength of our immune systems. We choose to spend time out of doors, take herbs like echinacea, and monitor our intake of vitamins like vitamin C, all to help our body’s immune system stay forceful and resolute. But are there things we should be doing to help improve the immune system of our pets? The short answer is, absolutely.
The following seven things should be kept in mind when caring for your furry friends in order to ensure their immune systems stay in tip-top shape.
1. Pay Attention to Your Pet’s Food
Just like us, pets need to eat healthy and nutritious food in order for their bodies to function optimally. Unfortunately, many pet foods are heavily processed and contain countless unnatural additives that animals in the wild would never eat.
Make sure to do your research when choosing what you put on your pet’s plate. Don’t be afraid to look into raw feeding for dogs and cats. Raw food not only improves the immune system of pets, but helps with liver function, improves digestion, keeps teeth clean, and helps the pancreas and bowel function. (As a bonus for you, pets on raw food tend to have less nasty stools.)
2. Consider a Kelp Supplement
Sprinkling a little bit of seaweed on your pet’s regular meal can have a ton of benefits for the health of your furry friend. Kelp is full of minerals and prebiotics which help every part of your pet’s body function, but especially the immune system, digestion, and recovery time after injury or surgery.
3. Think About the Chemicals You Use in Your Home
Our pets are all over our houses, they roll on the floor, jump on the couch (even when they’re not supposed to), and put almost everything in their mouths. Just like you would when a baby is around, be cautious of the chemicals you use on surfaces that your furry friend might lick or eat off of.
Toxins overload the bodies of both pets and humans and stress the immune system and our houses are full of them. If you must use toxic chemicals where your pet’s mouth will be, do your best to rinse thoroughly and keep the room ventilated as you work.
4. Consider Giving Your Pet a Fish Oil Supplement
Just like people, pets need to get their Omega-3s, and one of the best sources of this is fish oil. This is also an easy one to deliver, just sprinkle the oil onto your pet’s regular meal. Fish oil for your pets not only boosts the immune system but offers lots of other lovely benefits as well. Being anti-inflammatory, fish oil helps reduce joint pain in older pets. It also improves the coat’s thickness and luster, reduces shedding, and supports your pet’s eyes, heart, and brain. Need we say more?
5. Spend Time in Nature
Make sure your pet is getting lots of time outside. Studies have shown that spending even half an hour in the forest can strengthen our immune systems for up to a week afterward. This is an easy way to take care of your pet’s immune system (and your own since you’ll be there with your pet) and is also a chance to spend some quality time together.
6. Pay Attention to Your Pet’s Weight
As with humans, excess weight can be hard on a pet’s health. Too much weight will stress not only the immune system of your pet but can also cause joint pain and reduce the overall quality of your pet’s life. Your vet will be able to tell you the ideal weight range for your animal.
7. Pets Can Get Stressed Too
Animals can feel stress, and when they do, their immune system takes a hit. Likely you already know which environments and circumstances leave your pet feeling frazzled. In addition to avoiding these situations, you can make sure your pet gets a lot of exercise (which helps reduce stress) and eats a balanced diet (see point one).
There you have it, seven things that you can do to help boost your pet’s immune system. With these few tips in mind, you’re well on your way to giving your furry friends what their immune system needs to flourish. Well beyond improving your pet’s immunity, these tips will help care for your pet’s overall health, happiness, and wellbeing.