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Your pet’s immune system


Do you know how important a good functioning immune system is for your dog or cat? The answer- very! Your dog’s or cat’s immune system exists to protect them from any nasty illnesses or infections that may come their way. A good functioning immune system will lead to a healthier and happier animal… and reduced vet bills (so often a happy owner too!)…

The immune system is made of different layers, all of which have slightly different jobs

The first line of defence in the immune system is the animals skin, hair and mucus – all of which have the role of preventing foreign bodies (germs) from entering the body. Any cuts or scrapes to the skin can lead to infections and can spiral into serious problems. If an infection is picked up, the next stage would be the body relying on its internal system of white blood cells to attack the invaders and prevent the infection from spreading. Finally the immune system develops targeted chemical weapons called antibodies that disable the invaders. This is the process we try to accelerate through vaccination. Get all this working well and you’ll have a happy and healthy pet!

The majority of the time our pets immune system works effectively and we are able to avoid those dreaded vet bills! However, there are numerous factors which can hinder the effectiveness of their immune system, could any of them be affecting beloved creature?

Stress – Like us, if your pet is stressed, be it from separation anxiety or a scary post man at the door, then it is likely to affect how well their immune system is functioning. There are numerous studies and anecdotal stories of people having a ‘weakened’ immune system when suffering with stress… its likely this won’t be any different with your pet.

Prior Infection – Have you ever caught an infection a week after you’ve caught a cold? Sometimes, our immune system can be busy working on one problem and it leaves the body susceptible to picking up other infections or illnesses. If your pet is already feeling run down by a bug, this can often have a ‘weakening’ effect on the immune system (which will be working hard to fight off the bug). Sometimes this can lead to a vicious circle of your pet feeling ‘run down’ for a lengthy period of time.

Poor nutrition – as with all other cells in the body, the immune system is made up of a variety of nutrients, if your pet is not receiving all the nutrients he needs to produce healthy functioning cells, then his immune system is going to be more susceptible to attack. This increases the chances of your dog or cat picking up a bug or infection.

So, with the above 3 examples in mind – what can be done in order to keep your pet as healthy as possible?

Firstly… an appropriate diet is essential for the dog or cat - the amount and type of food will depend hugely on their lifestyle, activity and health. Dogs and cats can live off of meat-based foods or diets high in vegetable proteins - as long as other missing nutrients and amino acids are replaced.

Secondly… provide all the building blocks required for the production of cells for the immune system. Sounds complicated… but as an owner, it’s really not that hard to provide your four-legged-friend with all the immune support they need.

Learn more about how to support your pets immune system - CLICK HERE

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