February 22, 2013
Most Bulldog owners know are familiar with the breed’s immune function problems that include skin disorders, a tendency to infections, and even allergies. My immune booster of choice for my Bulldog is Omega 3 fish oils. Even adding a little olive oil (not on this list) to food can help boost immunity and remedy skin problems. This article explains the immune system in dogs and how to boost it:
The immune system in canines is a complex structure that is made up of several cells and organs and plays the role of defending the dog’s body against various infections, toxins and parasites. If the immune system is weak, the dog is exposed to diseases and the body will not be able to respond to the attack. Consequently, it’s important to keep all components of the immune system healthy and provide boosters when needed.
The immune system is made up of:
- The skin, which stops many bacteria and toxins from entering the dog’s system, containing also a few immune cells and producing antibacterial matter, which will play an important role in defending the pet
- Tears, saliva and other secretions that contain enzymes that protect against infectious agents
- The lining of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genital tracts will also protect the body
- The lymphatic system
- Bone marrow
- The spleen
- The antibodies
- White blood cells
The immune system can weaken due to:
- Allergies, which will activate certain antibodies
- Diseases and infections
- Autoimmune conditions
- Surgeries or trauma
- The administration of various medications such as corticosteroids or antibiotics
Natural immune system boosters may be administered to dogs that have a medical problem and require a strong immune system or simply to maintain the immune system strong and prevent any infections and diseases.
Herbs can be used to boost the immune system and keep diseases at bay, without having any negative effects as other types of medication. The most commonly herbs used to improve immunity in dogs include:
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), which contains various vitamins and minerals such as A, B, C and D, iron, zinc, magnesium, lecithin or potassium
- Echinacea is a natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral solution
- Ginger root
- Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
- Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), which is known to detoxify liver and the entire system, containing powerful antioxidants
- Burdock root, which has effects similar to steroids, but none of the side effects
- Green tea, which is an antioxidant
These herbs may be used in the form of tinctures that can be added to the dog’s meals or applied on the dog’s skin, to provide protection. Teas may also be prepared and served cold instead of the dog’s regular water.
Other natural ingredients used in dogs with weak immune system include:
- Fish oil, which contain numerous fatty acids that have various benefits for the immune system
- Whale fat, which also strengthens the immune system.