Whether it’s in a human, dog, cat or plant, an immune system’s job is to protect their host from diseases, illnesses and viruses. And just like any other bodily system, it can be incredibly helpful to give one’s immune system a boost, such as taking vitamins daily, so it is extra strong if something were to happen.
Which is why this same philosophy should be applied to your pets as well. Just like humans can get sick, have diseases and get allergies, so can all pets. So giving them a helping hand in keeping their immune system strong is just another way to know you’re taking the best care of your pet.
Here are four ways to keep your pet’s immune system strong:
No. 1 Keep Them Active
Just like humans, pets can benefit greatly from regular exercise. Exercise helps promote healthy bones, muscles and tissues over every part of a pet's body, ensuring they are able to keep moving and play as long as they want.
Regular exercise also helps keep their most important muscle, the heart, at top performance shape for when the later years catch up to your pet.
There are many ways to make regular exercise fun for your pet, as you probably already know. If you have a dog, consider taking a daily 30-minute walk with them. It’s a win-win situation because you both get to stay active together.
If you have a cat, invest in a laser pointer and have them run around the house trying to catch it. And any hamster loves a good hamster ball.
Whatever kind of pet you own, talk with your vet about ways to keep them active.
No. 2 Watch Their Diet
A good diet really can help out our furry friends just like a good diet for us keeps us feeling happier and healthier. It’s important to take the time to really analyze what kind of food you’re giving your pet, and here’s why.
There are hundreds of types of food you can give to your pet. Each one has different ingredients, but many of them have artificial proteins, vegetables and any other ingredient you can imagine.
Ideally, your pet should be eating as much of an all-natural diet as they can. The best way to identify what is as natural as possible is to read the label on your pet’s food. When in doubt, ask your vet.
No. 3 Consider Supplements
In today’s world, there are all sorts of vitamins and supplements you can consider giving to your pet to help boost their immune system.
For example, you could add probiotic supplements to their food daily to help their digestive tract. This gives their tummies a boost in staying healthy and protects them from getting sick from E. coli or salmonella. There are also vitamins to reduce shedding and help fur become healthier.
Whatever you choose, it’s important not to give them too much, so speak with your vet. For example, an excess amount of calcium can cause pets to stop eating, and too much vitamin A can lead to dehydration.
No. 4 Fight Against Allergies
Believe it or not, pets can have allergies too. They usually fall into two categories: seasonal allergies and food allergies. Most of the time they fall into the seasonal allergies group.
You can tell the two apart in certain ways. If your pet is itchy and sensitive year-round, it’s probably thanks to their food. If it’s just during the summer though, it's probably seasonal allergies.
Some easy ways to fight off allergies with food is to identify what ingredient, with the help of your vet, is causing the allergy in your pet. Once you figure that out, you need to do a food tasting to see what allows your pet to feel its best.
It’s also easy to fight against seasonal allergies. First and foremost, keep the house clean and dust free. Secondly, watch what you put into the air, especially from things such as diffusers and candles. Lastly, do a regular foot soak on your pet to keep allergens off their paws, and give them regular baths with oatmeal-free shampoo.
Keeping Your Pet’s Immune System Healthy
Here at Academy Animal Hospital in Greenwood, Ind., we know that your pet is an important part of your life. They’re a part of the family, so they should be treated as such.
If you have any questions regarding how to strengthen your pet’s immune system or about your pet in general, give the veterinarians at the Academy Animal Hospital a call or schedule an appointment today.
We promise you and your pet will feel well taken care of and leave happier and healthier than before.