All newborn mammals receive Colostrum in their mother's milk- so it's more than likely that both you and your dog have received colostrum as babies. For all mammalian newborns, Colostrum provides vital nutrition and, most importantly, helps boost the immune system by providing high levels of antibodies to help fight infections and bacteria.
However, newborns aren't the only ones who experience benefits from colostrum, research has shown that the high levels of antibodies and other key components in colostrum can also benefit adult humans and dogs. Packed with nutrients and antibodies, Colostrum is truly Mother Nature's first superfood. This article will aim to explain how colostrum will benefit your dog.
What's In Colostrum and Where Does It Come From?
Colostrum is jam-packed with proteins and antibodies that will help your dog in many ways, here is a list of some key components that help give Colostrum a lot of its therapeutic properties. Extracted from cows, bovine colostrum has all the health benefits while being affordable and easy to obtain.
- Immunoglobulins: Immunoglobulin, also known as antibodies, are a key component in making Colostrum a disease-fighting superfood. Some of these antibodies include Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Immunoglobulin M (IgM), and Immunoglobulin A (IgA) which work together to boost the immune system of your dog. IgG, Ign, and Ig A work together to attack viruses, bacteria, and pathogens to keep your dog safe and healthy. IgA, however, stands out as it is the most common antibody in dogs and also has the added function of lining the digestive system of your dog to prevent pathogens from causing allergy reactions, inflammation, and chronic infections in your dog's digestive system. Without enough IgA your dog will be especially susceptible to diarrhea and bowel complications.
- Growth Factors: Growth Factors in Colostrum have been shown to stimulate the growth and repair of the gut lining in dogs. In addition to this, there are many other benefits of growth factors including stimulation cell growth and repair of muscles, joints, and bones.
- Lactoferrin: Lactoferrin in Colostrum has been shown to have a myriad of effects including fighting tumors, reducing inflammation and fighting viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi that may enter your dog's body.
- Methylsulfonylmethane: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a popular dietary supplement and has anti-inflammatory properties. That's why it's often used to maintain the health and strength of joints and to fight certain cancers.
- Proline-rich Polypeptide: Proline-rich Polypeptides (PRP) in Colostrum help regulate your dog's immune system when attacking pathogens and allergens. Due to this, PRPs have been shown to help your dogs mitigate their allergy responses and stop the immune system from overreacting to allergens.
How Will Colostrum Benefit My Dog?
1. Bowel Health:
Colostrum has been shown to significantly benefit the bowel health of your dog by increasing protection in the digestive tract. 70% of all your dog's immune cells are located in your dog's digestive tract and, as previously mentioned, IgA lines your dog's digestive tract and is the most common antibody in your dog. Studies have shown that IgA in Colostrum can work to provide further protection to your dog's bowel system and prevent any bowel disease and inflammation. In addition to this, studies have shown that lactoferrin, another key component in Colostrum, helps reduce intestinal bacteria in dogs. Furthermore, if your dog has been experiencing "Leaky Gut Syndrome", growth factors and MSM can help reduce inflammation and stimulate repair in gut tissues.
Allergies are caused by your dog's immune system overreacting to an allergen by producing an immune response to attack it. Abundant with PRPs, Colostrum can help your dog's immune system mitigate its reaction to allergens that enter its body. Since allergies in your dog often lead to "leaky gut syndrome", colostrum can help prevent future allergies while treating symptoms of allergies like "leaky gut syndrome".
3. Topical Use
Studies have shown that Colostrum also helps dogs repair skin and wounds and also helps to treat and prevent skin infections in dogs. Colostrum can help treat wounds, skin infections, insect bites, rashes, ear infections, cysts, etc when applied topically. To apply colostrum topically, all you have to do is make a paste by combining colostrum powder with distilled water and applying the paste to the affected area.
In addition to all the uses listed above, colostrum can also be used to help treat joint issues in your dog, treat gum disease, fight cancer cells, increase your dog's coat and hair quality, and boost the overall immune system of your dog.
Although side effects of colostrum are very rare, some side effects of colostrum can include diarrhea or vomiting. If these symptoms occur, it is important to immediately stop feeding your dog colostrum and consult your vet on how to continue.
Your vet may suggest that you restart feeding your dog colostrum in smaller amounts. Furthermore, since colostrum is extracted from cows, it is important to make sure that your dog is not allergic to beef or dairy. If your dog is allergic to beef or dairy, it is important to consult a vet before you start giving your dog a colostrum supplement.
Colostrum is truly mother nature's superfood and will provide your dog with a seemingly endless list of health benefits. Whether your dog is experiencing allergies, bowel issues, immune diseases, skin infections, etc, colostrum is an easily accessible, healthy, and affordable way to increase your dog's quality of life.