Having a dog is a great responsibility that we should take seriously. In recent years, dog owners have become very responsible when it comes to keeping their pets healthy. However, since some aspects are still a bit unclear, or you are just starting a journey with your furry friend, here are some things you should know about their immune system and overall health.
Make sure your dog eats the right food
Long gone are the days of our dogs eating bones, and leftover lunches. We now understand that dogs too need a versatile food regime that will provide all the necessary nutrients. Dogs should eat a certain amount of meat, especially cooked chicken or lamb, for example. When giving your dog this food, make sure it doesn’t have any onion sauces, which can be toxic. One more thing to keep in mind is to not give your dog cooked bones since they can splinter and cause internal damage. Consider a raw dog food diet which can provide the nutrients your dog needs without the stress of buying individual meats for them. As a treat, your dog can always eat fish, just keep an eye on bones in them, too. Good fibers are also necessary for the normal function of bowels. Vegetables are also an option. You should stay away from fatty and salty foods, chocolate, citrus, and onion and garlic sauces.
Supplementing your dog’s diet
Sometimes, like in any human diet, it is impossible to give all the necessary nutrients to your dog just from food, so we resort to supplements. This is done to ensure their immune system is healthy as well as their overall health. Some of the most important ones are probiotics, which are important for the digestive tract. And research shows that a healthy gut is key to a strong immune system. Fish oils supplements are a good source of fatty acids, which help fighting inflammation. Another popular one is glucosamine, which can relieve joint pain and help prevent arthritis, especially in older dogs. Vitamins C and E serve as antioxidants, and they are important for keeping cognitive functions healthy. They also protect the body from free radicals.
Keeping your dog safe from environmental factors
Dogs are outdoors oriented and it would be cruel to deny them of that experience. However, many factors from the outside world can affect their health and disrupt their immune system. This is why it is important to look for dog supplies online or consult your veterinarian on what you should get. Protection from fleas and ticks will make your dog’s outdoors activities more comfortable and prevent any complications, like paralysis which they get from tick bites. After playing with them a few times outside, you should bathe them, but make sure you get special dog shampoos, don’t use yours on them. However, don’t overdo it, because frequent bathing can harm the natural immune system of the skin, causing bacterial infections or fungi.
Encourage your dog to be active
There is no need to state that it is in dogs’ nature to be pretty active and love to play. However, sometimes due to the living conditions, they don’t have the active time they need. It is important to allow your dog enough playtime because this too helps the immune system. Excess fat can cause a weakened immune system because it promotes inflammatory processes. Since exercising burns fat, activity in dogs is of great importance. Some of the examples can be frequent walks, playing fetch or playing in the water and chasing toys. Basically, any activity that keeps them interested and is fun for both your dog and you.
Save your dog from stressful situations
A trigger for many illnesses and bad immune system in dogs can be long-term stress. Any pet will have stressful situations in life, and this is something normal, however, prolonged periods of it can have many consequences. Some of the reasons may be: leaving your dog alone a lot, moving, traveling in a car or death of your family member. You will recognize your dog is under stress by changes in eating habits, constipation, whining, or changes in sleeping patterns. Prevention is the best solution, if possible; however, if not, the best thing you can do is calm down because the dog will pick up on your emotions and will feel calmer, too. Make them feel safe, loved and make sure they have everything they need. If it doesn’t help, getting professional help is the best solution.
Having a dog requires time, affection and effort. They are sensitive as well and need someone to take care of them. If you follow these steps, you will make sure your dog leads a long, happy and healthy life.