A strong immune system is a key to a happy, healthy life—for humans and animals alike. Just like we need to eat nutrient-rich foods to keep our bodies functioning at their best, so too do our canine companions.
There are a variety of different nutrients that play a role in boosting immunity, but here are five of the most important ones for dogs. By incorporating these into your dog’s diet, you can help keep its immune system functioning properly and ward off illness.
Antioxidants are substances that help protect cells against damage caused by oxidation—a chemical process that can produce harmful byproducts called free radicals. Free radicals have been linked to several chronic diseases in both humans and animals, so it’s important to ensure that your dog’s diet includes healthy sources of antioxidants.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants include blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. You can also find antioxidant supplements for dogs at most pet stores. Just be sure to speak with your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of supplement to ensure that it’s the right one for them.
Vitamin C is another nutrient with powerful antioxidant properties. It’s also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. Dogs typically get enough vitamin C from their diet, but some may need an extra boost if they’re particularly active or prone to illness.
Foods that contain vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. You can also find vitamin C supplements made specifically for dogs. However, it’s always best to speak with your vet before giving your dog any type of supplement.
Like vitamins C and A, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps support immunity. It can also help protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. While most dogs get enough vitamin E from their diet, some may need an additional source if they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications.
Foods that contain vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and avocados (though avocados should only be given to dogs in small amounts due to their high-fat content). You can also find vitamin E supplements made specifically for dogs; however, as with any supplement, you should speak with your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.
4 . Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that occur naturally in the gut—and they’re not just good for humans! They’re also good for dogs and can help boost immunity by keeping the digestive system healthy. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. You can also find probiotic supplements made specifically for dogs; however, as with any supplement, you should speak with your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.
5 . Omega -3
Fatty Acids Omega -3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that’s essential for various bodily functions, including immunity. Unlike other fats, omega -3 fatty acids can’t be produced by the body, so they must be obtained through food or supplements. Good sources of omega -3 fatty acids include fish oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. You can also find omega -3 supplements made specifically for dogs; however, as with any supplement, you should speak with your veterinarian first.
A well-rounded diet is essential for all members of the family—including our furry friends! By incorporating these five immune-boosting foods into your dog’s diet, you can help keep its immune system strong and ward off sickness. However, as always, be sure to speak with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet or giving them any type of supplement. Visit their website for detailed information. Wishing you and your pup a happy (and healthy!) life together!