How to Build a Stronger Immune System

14 Sep



As we are heading into the Fall, often times our pet’s will need a little boost to their immune system. The immune system is the first line of defense and is important for fighting off illnesses, bacteria and viral infections, as well as eliminating toxins from the body. Having a reinforced immune system will help to prevent disease in the first place.  Is your dog suddenly itchy, have excess yeast, hot spots or chewing their feet?  Read on……they may just need an immune boost. 


There can be many contributing factors which could lower your pet’s immune system. A poor or insufficient diet, over vaccinating, chronic stress or lack of exercise all can lower the immune system and welcome disease. Our pets are also faced with exposure to free radicals and disease causing agents right in our backyard. There are pesticides in fertilizers and weed killers which can also weaken and damage your pet’s immune sygallery-thumbnailsstem. Common household cleaners and air fresheners can also affect your pet’s health. Puppies and kittens who have been weaned off their momma have a vulnerable immune system and it becomes compromised after vaccinating.


Looking at your pet’s diet is the first and, in my opinion, most important step to look at when wanting to improve your pet’s immune system. Is the food you are feeding loaded with fillers and artificial flavors and coloring? When you feed a processed diet to your pet, although vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids are added, most are destroyed during the cooking process. Pet’s immune systems are weakened when fed foods that contain cheap fillers such as corn, wheat or soy, which are one of the main causes of allergies and skin problems. If you are feeding a home prepared diet, make sure that it includes all the amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are required for your pet’s nutritional needs. If you are not sure if your pet’s diet is nutritionally beneficial and tailored for your individual pet,  you can email me here with any questions.

Exercising your pet daily will not only increase their immune system, but keep them fit and trim. Positive stimulation helps relax your pet, which helps remove any negative stressors.

There are many supplements that help build the immune system as well. Vitamin C is not only helpful with enhancing tissue growth and wound healing, it acts as an antioxidant and enhances immune function. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps reduce stress. The average dog produces 18 mg. of vitamin C per pound of bodyweight per day, therefore, the recommended daily dose of Vitamin C to help boost the immune system would be 500 mg. per every 30 pounds. Although Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, it is recommended that the doses be divided and given with food to avoid tummy upset. Another great supplement that I’ve used for my own dog’s for years is NuVet.  It not only contains Vit. C as mentioned above, but uses only human grade ingredients and is water soluble, which means, whatever your pet does not utilize will be urinated out, therefore eliminating the risk of toxicity build up.  Using this supplement is an easy and efficient way to safely boost your pet’s immune system. You can view the list of ingredients on their web page here.

Omega fatty acids make digestion easier and more efficient. They can also increase energy levels. They are gallery-thumbnails-3good for your pet’s coat, skin, eyes and internal organs. Fish oils such as salmon and cod liver, are wonderful sources of Omega fatty acids. You can purchase it in liquid form or in a gel capsule and can also use human grade. The recommended dose is 100-150 mg per 10 pounds, but if your dog needs an immune boost, then the recommended dose is 300 mg. per 10 pounds.

Spirulina also contains a large amount of phytonutrients, polysaccharides and sulfolipids which are beneficial in strengthening the immune system. Studies have shown that Spirulina can improve immune function and it helps the body to generate new blood cells. It helps promote a healthy shiny coat and skin. Spirulina helps stimulate the good bacteria in your pet’s gut and suppresses the bad bacteria, such as e-coli and candida. By improving gastrointestinal health, proper nutrient absorption is increased. NuVet supplement contains spirulina.  You can also purchase spirulina in a powder form or pill form from your local health food store.

Coconut oil is another beneficial oil to use in helping boost the immune system. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids or MCT’s. MCT’s increase metabolism and fight against viruses and bacteria. The most prominent MCT is called lauric acid which has been shown to destroy several bacteria, viruses and even yeast. I would recommend feeding coconut oil daily to your pet, 1 tsp per 20 pound. 

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email


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