Antioxidants and immune system vitamins for dogs

While inefficient or over active immune systems can cause diseases, other diseases can also compromise the immune system’s ability to combat diseases. Many times a certain drug used during the course of a treatment negatively affects the immune system, which in turn can be a cause behind the occurrence of another condition.

A dog’s body is capable of fighting minor diseases on its own. Frequent occurrences of skin disorders, allergies, respiratory and eye disorders and other general problems are sure signs of dysfunction of the immune system in pets. It is important to be on guard rather than letting the situation go out of hand. Maintaining the health of the immune system of your pet will not only restrict frequent occurrences of disease but also help in improving chances of survival in the event of a serious disease.

Antioxidants are one of the proven supplements that help in fighting disease. Antioxidants also limit cell damage and thus provide support to the immune system when disease occurs. Vitamins are a group of organic substances that are essential in small quantities to normal metabolism.

Vitamin C and E are specific antioxidants that are normally used as supplements to counter the oxidizing chemicals originating during cell damage. Vitamin C also plays a key role in enhancing the T-cell production for an increased resistance to bacterial and viral infection and allergies. Vitamin E, on the other hand prevents oxidation of Vitamin A, red blood cells and unsaturated fatty acids.

Carotene, an orange compound of an unsaturated hydrocarbon found in many plants is converted into vitamin A in the liver. It is indispensable for a healthy skin, growth, digestion and repair of body tissues and protecting mucous membranes of mouth, nose, throat and lungs for reducing vulnerability to infections.

Bioflavonoids or simply flavonoids, a group of antioxidant chemical compounds widely found often as a pigment in plants, fruits and vegetables, are termed as ‘nature’s biological response modifiers’. They have a strong inbuilt capacity to affect the way the body responds to allergens, viruses and carcinogens. Flavonoids are widely present in plants and protect them from microbes and insects.

Diseases like liver disease in dogs or feline liver disease are highly progressive diseases that are also difficult to diagnose and even lead to the death of your pet. Moreover, symptoms of liver disease in dogs and cats are varied and subtle and the disorder is likely to be diagnosed late. It would be unwise to look for vitamin supplements at the time of illness. The preferred approach should be to maintain the health of the immune system for reducing the incidence and severity of diseases in pets.

As much as you can, try to feed a natural diet to your dog. If you must buy commercial pet food gather enough information so that you can understand the contents mentioned on the label so as to be able to avoid those containing chemical preservatives. Chemical preservatives do more harm than the possible benefits of the ingredients.

To ensure that your dog is eating the best food, feed a home cooked diet that is rich in Vitamin C, E and A, antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids for best possible benefits for immune system. Even though dogs need meat based proteins, a healthy mix of meat and vegetables will go a long way to derive benefits that both vitamins and flavonoids can provide to the immune system.

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