How To Build Your Dog's Immune System: Top Tips
You want your dog to be healthy and by your side for as long as possible. To keep them happy and healthy, the first step is a strong immune system: the first line of defense against illness.
If you're wondering how to build your dog's immune system, start with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and supplements like bully puppy supplements from XDOG.
Feed Your Dog Delicious and Nutritious Food
Think about how sluggish you feel after only eating foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. A well-balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables helps keep us healthy and feeling our best. The same is true for dogs!
According to studies, 65% of a dog’s immune cells are in its intestines, so it makes sense that healthy diets make healthy dogs.
Dogs are omnivores. This means that they need a variety of foods to stay healthy. In addition to high-quality kibble, feed your dog fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and grains. Some foods that can help boost your dog’s immune health include:
- Bell peppers
- Canned salmon or tuna
- Canned pumpkin
- Cooked broccoli
- Cooked potatoes
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
You can add these foods to your dog’s kibble for a tasty, and healthy, treat.
Does your dog love to play fetch or run around the dog park? Great! One of the easiest answers to the question, "how to build your dog's immune system?" is physical activity.
Regular exercise stimulates your dog’s lymphatic system. This system helps clear toxins from your dog’s body, keeping the immune system functioning properly. Exercise also produces endorphins—chemicals in the brain that reduce stress.
Exercising with your pooch doesn’t mean walking the same route every day. Dogs can be physically active in many ways. Let them run around the yard, play with friends at doggie daycare, or even go swimming.
Most dogs need at least 30 minutes of activity a day, but keep in mind that this varies by breed. High-energy dogs, like huskies and collies, need a lot more exercise than low-energy breeds.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog's Weight
Your dog’s immune system works a lot harder if your pup packs on extra pounds. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and getting a lot of physical activity will help them lose any extra weight. Make sure to read the nutrition label on your dog’s kibble, which recommends how much to feed your dog depending on their weight.
It’s also important to track how many calories your dog is eating. Don’t forget to count the calories in treats. Even a few extra treats a day can turn into extra weight over time.
Employ the Healing Power of Touch
Massages are great for people, and they’re great for your dog. Just like physical activity, massage stimulates the lymphatic system and helps remove toxins. A bonus is that massages feel good, so your dog will love them.
Massaging a pooch isn’t much different than massaging a person. Gently rub and knead your dog’s body. Rub small circles in its back from head to tail to help it release tension along its spine. When you’re done, your dog will be completely relaxed.
Clean Your Dog's Bowls, Toys, and Bedding
When was the last time you washed your dog’s water bowl or favorite tennis ball? It might surprise you to learn that you should be washing them every day. Bacteria build up on unclean surfaces.
A quick clean with clean water and a bit of soap can kill harmful bacteria that are waiting to make your dog sick. Don’t forget to dry everything afterward—bacteria thrive in damp spaces.
Keeping your dog clean helps build their immune system. Most dogs should have a bath every month, but bathe them more often if they get dirty. Regular brushing and nail trimmings will help them stay clean and healthy.
Don’t forget to change their bedding. Give it fresh, clean bedding once a week, or get in the habit of changing your pup’s bedding every time you change your sheets.
Manage Your Dog's Stress Levels
You might not realize it, but dogs also deal with stress. Stress stimulates a hormone called cortisol that makes it hard for your dog’s immune system to do its job. Lowering your dog’s stress levels can keep their immune system working at its best.
Do your best to keep your dog out of situations that make them uncomfortable. That might mean limiting how long they’re home alone, keeping car rides to a minimum, or staying away from your neighbor with the loud motorcycle.
Plus, give your dog healthy outlets to manage stress. Regular exercise and massages are great places to start. Sticking to a regular daily routine can also go a long way to keeping your dog’s stress level low.
Don’t Skip the Vet
Annual check-ups help keep dogs in the best health. Schedule a yearly vet visit so your pooch can get a check-up. The veterinarian will give your dog necessary vaccines to strengthen its immune system against dangerous viruses. Your vet will also notice anything that’s out of the ordinary and give you actionable steps to take to help perk up your dog’s immunity.
Add Supplements to Your Dog's Diet
While kibble and the other foods listed above are excellent sources of nutrients, adding supplements to your dog’s diet can take their immune health to the next level.
A multivitamin can be a good place to start. A high-quality multivitamin will contain a mix of the vitamins and minerals most dogs need to be healthy. Look for a multivitamin that supports healthy muscles, skin, gut health, immune system, and coat. Antioxidants for dogs pack a healthy punch to a dog’s immune system, keeping inflammation in your dog’s body low by protecting it from free radicals and other toxins.
Now that you know how to build your dog's immune system, you can start applying your knowledge. XDOG sells a wide range of products that can enhance your dog’s health. Shop for vitamins and supplements for dogs at XDOG.com.