Easy ways to keep your dog healthy and boost their immunity

dog immunity health

Whilst dogs do not get common colds like us humans, depleted immune systems can result in kennel cough, warts and even skin infections. 

Every time your dog interacts with other dogs, there is a risk they can be exposed to these types of contagious conditions. Keeping your dog healthy and their immunity strong, especially during the cooler months, will help to ensure they stay fit and happy, and avoid any of these nasties.

So, how can you keep your pupper’s immunity strong?

Maintain an ideal weight

It can sometimes be challenging to keep your pupper at an ideal weight for their body shape, age and breed, especially if your pupper loves a few extra treats, but the further your pupper strays from an ideal weight, the more their immune system will struggle. Firstly, you want to make sure you know what your pupper’s ideal weight is – this will depend on their body shape, age and breed. Portion control is the easiest way to ensure your pupper is chowing down on the correct number of calories and serving of food per day. You can speak to your vet about what ideal weight and body shape they would recommend for your pupper based on their health record. As a starting point, you can always assess your pup’s body shape at home using our helpful guide.

Stay calm and stress-free

Stress can be a major contributor to a weakened immune system, as well as impacting your pup’s emotional wellbeing. Like humans, when a pupper is in a stressful situation, they can release cortisol, which in excess can weaken their immunity. Playtime, regular affection, a healthy diet and good sleep, will all assist in keeping your dog happy, healthy and stress-free.

Keeping fit

Keeping your pup fit has been proven to be one of the most effective ways in building and maintaining strong immunity. Active dogs have a stronger immune system than sedentary dogs, so thirty minutes of daily exercise is a good goal to aim for. Exercise can come in the form of walking, playing with a ball or a trip to the local dog park. Plus, it’s good for the humans, too!

Nutrition

Did you know that the gut contains about 70% of the key markers for a pup’s immune system? This means that maintaining good bacterial balance in their gut microbiome is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system. A great way to do this is by adding a probiotic to your pup’s diet alongside a complete and balanced diet.

Why antioxidants are so important to for your pup’s immunity

Antioxidants help in removing oxidised molecules (otherwise known as free radicals) that can accumulate and place cells under stress. Whilst puppers already create their own antioxidant-filled defence system to protect from free radicals, some pups may rely on a bit of a ‘top up’ from their food.

Antioxidant powerhouses you should look out for include:

Vitamin E

Our meals include Vitamin E oil as well as ingredients high in this essential vitamin such as spinach, broccoli and butternut squash. It protects against oxidative damage and is essential for cell function.

Vitamin C

Dogs can synthesise Vitamin C on their own and it plays an important role in their antioxidant intake. Some dogs with imbalances in their microbiome may not be able to manufacture adequate Vitamin C (and Vitamin K). At Lyka, we ensure our meals have the correct balance of nutrients by including Vitamin C-rich foods such as cauliflower, blueberries, basil and bok choy.

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is a vitamin that your pupper’s body is unable to produce, and therefore it’s important to feed them plants or supplements that include beta-carotene to help build their immunity. In our meals, you’ll find ingredients like carrots and butternut squash that are jam-packed with this powerhouse vitamin to help fight disease and infection.  

Omega 3’s

Omega 3’s have antioxidant properties and are a key ingredient aiding anti-inflammation to help with skin and joints, as well as build immunity against common illnesses and even cancer.  

Lyka: help puppers stay healthy and strong

A strong immune system will help to keep your dog healthy and ensure they live the longest and happiest life they can. On top of exercise and playtime, a good diet will do the trick! Each of our signature recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages, and each meal plan is portioned according to the weight, breed, lifestyle and activity level of your pupper. Help boost your pupper’s immunity, join the pack today!