How To Improve Your Dog’s Immune System

happy dog

Just as with humans, when the strength of a dog’s immune system is compromised, the risks of disease and infection are heightened.

By focusing on keeping your pup’s immune system strong as a part of their overall wellbeing, you can reduce such risks and support their optimal health.

Here are some key ways to improve your dog’s immune system.



Provide optimal nutrition

The quality of a dog’s diet is pivotal to the health of its immune system. Dogs are designed to consume a moist, meat-based diet, yet many commercial dog foods are high in starches that promote inflammation.

Ideally, your dog should be eating a grain and starch-free diet that includes regular fresh meat and vegetables.

Unfortunately, many mainstream commercial brands simply aren’t high enough in nutrition or low enough in unhealthy additives or fillers to promote the health of your dog’s immune system and overall health.

There are specialty pet foods available, such as Timberwolforganics, that focus on providing exceptional, nutrient-dense ingredients for your pet.

Other antioxidant-rich foods that you can add to their diet include:

  • Berries – Raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries
  • Beans – Black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans
  • Apples and plums
  • Cabbage and broccoli
  • Potatoes (only serve cooked)


If you need to address health or weight issues with your pet, it may be best to consult with a vet to determine the best diet.

Focus on fitness

One of the best ways to boost a dog’s immune health is to keep them fit. Excess fat weakens the immune system, as it secretes many inflammation-promoting hormones.

Exercise burns fat, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation and, therefore, the risk of disease.

Dogs are active by nature, so if they are unenthused when it comes to exercise, it’s important to determine the cause of their apathy.

Of course, it’s essential to introduce them gradually to heightened exertion if they have been inactive for a long time or are recovering from an injury or illness.

If necessary, with the assistance of a vet, assess what physical output is appropriate for your pet and work up to it consistently.

Control their weight

While we’ve mentioned weight when discussing diet and fitness, it deserves its own mention.

An over or underweight dog will struggle to maintain optimal health, and being overweight in particular is a common problem in dogs with weak immune systems.

If you have a dog who needs to lose weight and you are unsure how to go about it, consult with a vet and make a plan to provide them with the appropriate amount of food and exercise to reach and then maintain their optimal weight.

happy dog


Consider adding supplements

To improve the effectiveness of your dog’s immune system, it may be beneficial to include some dog health supplements in their diet.

That said, it’s essential not to over supplement, as too many conflicting ingredients can interfere with nutrient absorption.

Probiotics are generally recommended, as they introduce beneficial microorganisms into your pup’s digestive tract, promoting gut and overall immunity.

Remember, however, that the microbiome in a dog’s stomach differs from a human’s, so it’s important to feed them strains that are specifically beneficial to their gut flora.

Another beneficial supplement to consider is fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation.

Keeping inflammation down is critical to a healthy immune system, and it can be tricky to get enough of these omega-3 fatty acids into a dog’s diet, so supplementation is a good option.


Keep their stress down

Some dog owners fail to understand how significantly stress can impact a dog. Just as with humans, ongoing stress and anxiety can compromise a dog’s immune system, making it much harder for them to fight disease and infection.

Monitor your dog for signs of stress and provide them with as calm an environment as possible so that they can retreat. Especially if you have a busy, chaotic household, ensure that your pup has somewhere peaceful to get away and rest.


Keep them clean

While some parasites and bacteria can in fact strengthen a dog’s immune system, there needs to be a balance when it comes to keeping a dog clean – after all, they lick and sniff practically everything.

Keeping their bodies and teeth clean with regular baths, dental chews and tooth-brushing can work towards keeping their immune systems strong – just don’t overdo it, as a dog that is too clean will end up with similar issues.


Be Friendly

Dogs love to be very friendly and helpful. They can be a great source of entertainment and companionship.

However, they are also very sensitive animals that need to be treated with care and respect. But they expect friendly behavior from us too. Give more time with your dog and keep it happy.

It is common you do not have the whole day to play with them. But after returning a home you give them some extra time, also keep it busy with physical movements and regular playtime. It will increase their passion for you and better engagement. End of the day, that helps.


Focus on connection

A lack of connection can cause stress to a dog, impacting its health. Life can get busy, but never forget that your dog is a family member and needs regular interaction, play, and affection.

Schedule daily time to play together and bond to ensure that they feel nurtured and connected, as this is crucial to their overall wellbeing and the health of their nervous system.

You can even take it one step further and give your dog massages to help them to feel more relaxed.


Final thoughts

Of course, an optimal immune system depends upon optimal overall health. So, ensure that your pup is fed nutritious food, takes plenty of exercise, and has a secure routine that includes regular mealtimes, play, affection, and nap times.

And, if you are in any way concerned regarding your pet’s health, weight, or overall wellbeing, be sure to consult with a vet for further guidance.

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