Monday, August 29, 2011

Your Dog's Immune System

Your dog's immune system is a very complex mechanism that requires a variety of dietary nutrients to function properly.  This includes minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water.  These components, when mixed together in the proper quality and quantity can positively influence your dogs health and performance.  Common sense shows that dogs that are well cared for and well nourished have fewer diseases, fewer trips to the vet and an overall happier state of mind.

When a dog's diet is deficient in any of the essential nutrients, their immune system more often than not, does not function properly.  Dogs are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses and allergens in their everyday life.  To help neutralize these issues, their immune systems need to adapt very quickly.  Improper nutrition can cause your dogs immune system to become overactive, which in turn may result in devastating imbalances in their red blood cell.  Also, an under active immune system may reduce your dog's ability to fight infection.  This problem materializes as chronic ear infections, dry itchy skin, bladder infections and other generalized infections.

Although this information can vary dependent on the health and special needs of your dog, a general guideline is as follows:

Essential Nutrients:

  • Approximately 40% of total kcal from a protein source
  • Approximately 45% of total kcal from carbohydrates (35% cooked grains plus 10% veg or fruit)
  • Approximately 15% of total kcal from a supplemental fat or oil source
  • sodium chloride (again - to be monitored)
  • bonemeal/eggshells and a multi-vitamin (note that I have many articles on the advantages of eggshells over bonemeal - please see
Again, please note that these are just general guidelines and are to be used as a reference only.  I strongly suggest you consult your vet as every dog is different in their needs and nutritional requirements. 

1 comment: