A dog sitting and holding a stethoscope in its mouth.

How To Strengthen A Dog’s Immune System

We are not the only ones that can feel under the weather, especially during the winter period. Dogs also catch colds and feel unwell. They also happen to be good at not showing that something is wrong, too, until something is really wrong. Don’t be surprised if you hear your dog sneezing or being unhappy to play today compared to yesterday, for example. But is there a way to help them? In other words, how do you strengthen a dog’s immune system?

There are multiple ways to keep your dog’s immune system healthy. The most important ones are regular physical activity, proper food and feeding schedule, sleep, and regular consultations with your vet regarding supplements if needed.

How To Strengthen A Dog’s Immune System

A dog laying down with a stethoscope.
This dog wants to know.

There are many ways to strengthen a dog’s immune system. Let’s start with getting exercise.

Give Them Exercise

Regular walks, activities, hiking or swimming, they are all good ways to keep us fit and healthy. They will do the same for your dogs’ immune system too, which means that enjoying the great outdoors can be a great adventure for everyone. 

Dogs are active creatures. Even lazy couch potatoes love to do some stretches from time to time. Regular walks and playtime with their furry friends at the dog park help your dog use all the energy they get from their meals too, preventing them from building up fat. This is important because the metabolism of fat promotes the production of different inflammation hormones that could alter the immune system of your dog and make it more prone to colds, bacteria, and viruses. 

Regular activities also help promote the release of endorphins, which stimulates the lymphatic system, which plays an important role in removing toxins from the body. That’s why we recommend finding ways to keep you and your dog active.

Exercise also helps dogs to have quality rest, which is another key component of a healthy immune system.

Choose Your Dog’s Diet According To Its Needs 

Dogs also need to be fed healthy food. Nowadays, there is a variety of ways to feed a healthy meal to your dog, regardless of whether you choose one of the many balanced food brands or a home-prepared dog-friendly meal. 

It does not come as a surprise when people say that health comes from the mouth, either. Dogs’ gastrointestinal system plays a major role in keeping the immune system up and running by managing to use up all of the nutrients from the food. Many dogs that have a disbalance in the intestines end up being more prone to simple colds because flora and fauna in their gastrointestinal tract do not function properly. 

Discuss with your vet what diet plan would work best for your furry friend because one diet does not work best for every dog. Diet depends on the age of the dog, the breed, and the activity. You can’t feed a senior with high-protein food, for example, because they are pretty much done with all the growing.

One important thing for any type of food is to make sure it is full of all of the vitamins and minerals that are needed for the immune system to function properly and keep doing what it does best, making sure your dog is strong and healthy.

Supplements Are Your Dog’s Friends

Many times when you visit the vet for a regular check-up or when your dog has a cold, your vet may mention something about supplements. Many people think that feeding their dogs properly should be enough. Sometimes, that is not the case, though.

One of the things every owner should consider giving their dogs is probiotics. They are different types of friendly bacteria that positively affect the flora dogs have in their gut. Have in mind that offering your dog some of the human probiotics to save some money on the special dog one will not benefit your dog. On the contrary, at the very least, it may upset your dog’s tummy, which could mean you will end up spending the afternoon at the vet’s. 

Nowadays, there are many different products available on the market, so discussing which ones to get with your vet is a good idea. Vets usually are good at knowing a thing or two about the available products, and they will know how your dog works, too, so they can help you choose what product will work best for your pooch. 

Conclusion: How To Strengthen A Dog’s Immune System?

Keeping your dog happy and healthy helps ensure its immune system works properly. Though it may seem like it costs a small fortune, it is a good investment because in the long run, your dog will get to live a longer and healthier life.

So, what do you plan to do to strengthen your dog’s immune system? Let us know in the comments below! 

Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva, DVM, PG Dipp (Anesthesia and Analgesia) Nade is a young veterinarian from North Macedonia, with five years of experience in small animal clinical practice. She graduated from the Veterinary Faculty in Skopje, after which she got employed in her hometown. She has shown great interest in the field of pain management and anesthesia, and was the first vet in the country to continue education in the field. In 2021 she graduated with Distinction at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, obtaining the title Postgraduate Diploma-Anesthesia and Analgesia. Nade is owned by a year old black Labrador retriever named Fred and she loves spending her time outdoors with her dog and friends. In her spare time, she also loves to learn to play the guitar and take photos of nature and animals.