Strengthening the immune system in dogs - this is how it works

Maybe you know it from yourself: Once you get really wet, your nose tingles or your throat itches. Our furry friends are no different: in autumn or winter, when the temperatures drop and the golden autumn days gradually turn into the dull wet grey of winter, dogs can also catch a cold more quickly. Would you like to know what you can do to strengthen your dog's defences and keep his body fit? We have tips and tricks for you to help you get through the cold season in good health!

5 tips for a strong immune system for your furry friend

This is what you can do to strengthen the defences so that your dog does not have to expose himself to unnecessary stress:

1. Balanced nutrition

For a healthy immune system, the right composition of food is crucial. Minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats and carbohydrates - your dog needs all of these as components of a species-appropriate nutrition. Trace elements such as iron, iodine and zinc must also be provided in the right amounts. An important contribution is also made by intestinal bacteria, which ensure a healthy intestinal flora and thus have a decisive influence on a functioning immune system - because actually more than half of all immune cells are located in the intestine. It may therefore be worthwhile to first put your dog's nutrition to the test!

2. Sufficient liquid

It is important for your dog to have enough fluids so that his organism can function properly. Therefore, make sure that your furry friend always has fresh, clean water available. A puddle or other stagnant water, on the other hand, carries the risk of your dog catching germs from contaminated water, which in turn could even weaken his immune system.

3. Enough rest

If active movement phases and appropriate breaks are in balance, this is the best prerequisite for the organism to regenerate after it has been challenged. The psyche also benefits from this, because if your pet is balanced and content, it can cope with stress much better.

4. A lot of movement

Sufficient exercise in the fresh air not only promotes circulation, but also boosts the metabolism. During this process in the body, food is converted into energy - and this is necessary to set up the immune defence in the best possible way.

5. Suitable dog clothing

For some dogs, dog coats can be useful, for example if your four-legged friend has no undercoat or only a thin coat. Rain and winter coats protect against wetness and cold.

Our tip: Many four-legged friends are particularly susceptible during the coat change, as this demands a lot from the body. Treat your pet to a cuddle session more often during this time - this is a great way to combine brushing and cuddling, and the hair will shed faster. It's also worth taking a look at your dog's food: Is your furry friend getting enough nutrients so that his organism can cope well with this additional task? Dog nutrition experts or vets can advise you on the right nutrition for your individual needs.

Strengthen the dog's immune system naturally

Many dog owners swear by natural home remedies to support the work of the immune system - including, for example:

  • Propolis:

Propolis is said to have a similar effect to antibiotics and can therefore be used preventively to strengthen the body's own defences on the one hand and to help with bacterial infections on the other. In addition, it is also used for intestinal cleansing.

  • Echinacea:

The active ingredient of echinacea is said to increase the number of white blood cells and thus promote the formation of antibodies. In this way, echinacea is said to prevent infections and infammations (for example of the respiratory tract or urinary tract).

  • Vitamins and antioxidants:

It can happen that the vet determines that your four-legged friend is lacking vitamins or minerals based on certain symptoms. Here, individually dosed dietary supplements or a change in nutrition can help to support the immune system. Natural food supplements are a good alternative for many dog owners: Rose hips, for example, are rich in vitamin C, and black cumin oil, with its antioxidant effect, is said to protect your dog from so-called oxidative stress and can thus help your four-legged friend's cell health.

The active ingredients are available in different forms - some as juice, others as powder or drops. Your veterinary practitioner or vet can advise you individually on this.

Chantal from the We love HUNTER Team

"I always add a little salmon oil to Floki's food. It's especially good for his sensitive skin so that inflammations don't form so quickly. It also makes him seem fitter overall - probably because his body doesn't have to put as much effort into keeping his skin healthy."

Why strengthen the immune system in dogs?

A dog's immune system has to cope with a lot: viruses, fungi and bacteria - germs and pathogens lurk everywhere. But that's not all: parasites such as ticks, mites or worms are also serious opponents that want to get at your dog's health. Fortunately, in the course of evolution, the immune defence system has become established as the body's own system for warding off diseases and fighting off invaders. A fit organism usually has no problems with this. However, there is nothing to be said against giving nature a helping hand, because especially

  • dogs with chronic diseases,
  • animals after operations,
  • illnesses or infections that have been overcome, and
  • older animals or very young puppies

have an immature, susceptible or weakened immune system. To ensure that these four-legged friends can romp and browse to their heart's content, full of energy and zest for action, without putting their health at risk, it is particularly worthwhile to strengthen the immune system.

Conclusion: Whether you specifically promote the intestinal health of your furry friend with probiotic food ingredients or you are regularly active outdoors in all weathers - there are a number of ways to strengthen the immune system! It's up to you to decide what's right for your pet. If you need professional advice, your vet will be able to help. The main thing is that your dog is optimally equipped against pathogens or parasites with his body's own antibodies - so infections don't stand a chance! With what do you have good experience? Tell us about it in the comments!

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