The immune system is “the great protector.” A balanced immune system protects against a specific disease by inoculation or because of innate or acquired resistance.
The immune system protects the body from pathogens and other foreign substances. It also destroys infected cells.
Why is a Balanced Immune System Important?
The immune system’s job is to respond to infections.
Recent studies show that an animal’s emotions have a tremendous effect on immunity, both positive and negative. Environmental influences including noises, odors, light patterns, and pollutants can also dramatically affect the immune system.
The goal of a holistic approach is to integrate all of the components of the immune system to bring them back into balance.
Balance is very important, because an imbalance in either direction –the immune system is underactive or overactive – can ultimately lead to disease in the body.
Immune System Disruptors
There are many ways immune function can become unbalanced.
Diseases can directly attack the cells of the immune system or they can slowly invade parts of the immune system, decreasing its effectiveness.
Stress can overwhelm the ability of the immune system to respond, which makes your pet more susceptible to disease.
Antibiotics can assist the immune system by killing off bacteria. But they also destroy the protective friendly bacteria that live in an animal’s gut, on the skin, and in other areas of the body.
Maintaining Your Pet’s Immune Health
A healthy immune system is a balanced immune system, and there are several things you can do to maintain your pet’s immune health.
1. Encourage Your Dog’s Innate Love for Play
Exercise can benefit for your pet’s immune system. When you keep your dog fit it can boost immune health and promote overall well-being.
When your pet works their muscles, it helps to cleanse their body of toxins.
2. Feed Your Dog the Right Foods
Your dog’s diet is extremely important for good immune health. The gut contains about 70 percent of your immune system.
3. Harness the Healing Power of Dog Massage
Touch and massage can be beneficial because it promotes relaxation, healing, and emotional health and therefore, your pet’s immune health.
4. Consider Certain Supplements for Your Pet
To increase the effectiveness of the immune system, you may consider supplementing probiotics because they introduce beneficial microorganisms into the digestive tract. Healthy gut flora promotes improved gut immunity, which has shown to promote improved internal immunity.
5. Keep your dog at their ideal weight
An appropriate diet will help manage inflammatory responses, which improves your pet’s immune function.
The more antioxidants they receive the better. This is impossible to do if you’re feeding an entirely processed diet in the form of dry or canned pet food.
Animals have very high antioxidant requirements. You can either provide a synthetic vitamin and mineral supplement like pet food manufacturers do it, or you can provide whole food nutrition.
To be vibrantly healthy, animals need lots of unprocessed fresh foods to meet their antioxidant requirements. These include vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and vitamin D. Fresh meats and organs, herbs, and organic, non-genetically modified (GM) vegetables are excellent natural sources of the vitamins and antioxidants your pet needs for a balanced, healthy immune system.
6. Reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals your pet encounters
Reducing the amount of chemicals on and around your pet is important for maintaining a good immunity.
Offering chlorine-free water is very important, as is toxin-free air.
Holistic veterinarians advocate the importance of balanced immune systems. They have many tools to help re-balance an under-active or overactive immune system. We hope this article has helped you find ways to create a balanced immune system for your pet.