As a pet owner, maintaining good health and care for your pet should be your utmost priority. Some dog owners would be surprised that many of the seemingly small choices we make on behalf of our dog, on a daily basis, influence their overall health. These include, but are not limited to: what we feed them, how they are exercised, or even simply the toys we select for them! Doggie Herbs is here to guide you through how to successfully improve your dog’s immune health through holistic practices and care.
What is Holistic Dog Care?
The term “holistic” translates to meaning “in consideration of the whole”. When considering the whole dog, you take into account their mind, body and spirit. This focus allows the betterment of the creature in their entirety, instead of in just one specific area. Holistic Dog Care uses several different practices, that we will touch upon further down, to address a variety of possible aliments and conditions, that together work to boost immunity within the dog.
What is Immunity in Dogs?
Immunity within dogs begins in their immune system. This is a complex system of organs and cells throughout the entire body that are built to recognize and defend a dog’s body against harmful materials [bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites, etc.] that may invade their body. A dog’s body has millions of different types of immune cells that communicate to form a protective network. This network can then be prepared, with proper care, to respond quickly and effectively to potential threats.
Boosting one’s immune system is a great start to positive care, but immunity to a disease or illness is achieved through the presence of specific antibodies within the system. Antibodies are proteins that are produced by the body to destroy those pesky toxins or disease-carrying organisms, as mentioned above.
During a dog’s life, the immune system needs to adapt to different physiological conditions, assuring surveillance and protection in a careful and controlled way.
Why Choose Holistic Care to Improve Immunity for Dogs?
Since holistic care considers a dog in their entirety, it is a great choice to target immune health as it can shift with your growing and aging dog. Aside from being an individualized way to care for each unique dog, holistic care has many other benefits as well, including the following:
Overall Health Improvements. Not only does holistic treatment focus on improving and healing physical health aspects of your dog, it also targets and improves emotional, spiritual, social and mental health as well.
Emphasis on Prevention. There does not need to be a problem in order to respond to it, holistic practices work proactively to avoid potential future issues. If an illness does already exist though, holistic care focuses on finding and eliminating the root cause of the disease. When the source of the problem is engrossed and removed by the treatment, there is no further need for repetitive and expensive traditionally treatments. This is different from traditional treatments that simply aim to treat the symptoms, not resolve the cause of said problem.
Fewer Side Effects: Holistic medicine is a natural alternative to medication that may produce an array of side effects due to the human manufacturing of those treatments. These side effects get removed, or minimized due to the reduction or elimination of pharmaceutical products being taken from their treatment plan, as holistic care is a chemical-free option.
Empowering. Holistic care helps dog owners discover and understand their innate ability to heal. It allows you a sense of control of your dog’s health and wellness. It is still encouraged that you receive guidance from holistic healers in order to feel educated about your choices, options and next steps though.
The benefits of holistic care are undeniable, but you are probably now wondering how you can personally implement these practices to aid in your own dog’s immunity…
How Do I Boost Immunity within my Dog?
There are many natural, holistic, ways that dog owners are able to boost their dog’s immunity. The following are some simple practices that you can embed into your dogs’ daily routines to strengthen your dog’s immune system:
- Encourage in physical fitness
- Feed your dog a complete, balanced, nutritious diet
- Provide fresh clean water
- Avoid inducing stress
- Regular veterinarian visits and check ups
- Supplement your dog’s diet with added nutrients
This last point could include supplements prescribed from a veterinarian, such as vitamins, or, to follow the holistic route, can be a variety of mushrooms and or herbs that are also known to boost a dog’s immunity.
Mushrooms and Herbs that Help Dog Immunity
Research around holistic practices with herbs and mushrooms outlines that they can improve immune system function, as well as host a wide range of other important health benefits for your dog. As Doggie Herbs has covered previously, there are a variety of mushrooms and herbs that are utilized in holistic practices, but some target and better dog immunity better than others:
Top Mushrooms for Dog Immunity
- Turkey Tail
- Reishi Mushroom
- Lion’s Mane
Top Herbs for Dog Immunity
- Astragalus Root
- Elderberry Fruit
- Goji Berry
- Ginseng / Ren Shen
- He Shou Wu / Fo-Ti
Herbs Can Be as Effective as Mushrooms for Immunity
One shouldn’t think about herbs or mushrooms, but rather herbs AND mushrooms for the best immunity boost from synergy possible
These mushrooms and herbs, that are listed above, are known to be social. This means that they can work well together, you can combine them to get the different healing properties of each one. A holistic professional should be consulted to ensure that the mushrooms and herbs you are selecting, or merging, are done in a controlled way and in safe amounts for your four-legged friend.
While there are many benefits to holistic medicine, keep in mind that it is not necessarily a replacement for traditional medical care. In some cases, certain holistic therapies can interfere with modern medications and do more harm than good. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian and holistic professional before trying holistic treatments.