Can You Boost Your Pet’s Immune System?
Many of us expend a considerable amount of time & money being proactive with our personal health care. We focus on nutrition as well as supplementation to achieve optimum health or to address any imbalances in our immune system. You have probably seen products that are marketed as pet “immunity boosters” & wondered if these products would “strengthen” your pet’s immunity, especially if your pet has a chronic or terminal disease. Before you open your wallet, you should consider your pet’s immune system & how it works.
The immune system is a complex network of organs containing cells that recognize foreign substances in the body & destroys them. It protects pets against pathogens (infectious agents), such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, & parasites. Simply put, the job of your pet’s immune system is to protect the body from foreign invaders. A healthy immune system is one in perfect balance – not too lazy, but also not overactive. Disease exists when this balance is not maintained. If the immune response is slow or hypoactive it leaves pets susceptible to infection & disease. However, if the immune system is overactive or hypersensitive, it starts to attack healthy cells & this is what occurs in immune-mediated diseases. Thus, a “boosted” immune system could, therefore, be just as harmful as a depressed one. The goal of a healthy immune system should be to maintain a perfect balance rather than tipping too far toward either extreme.
The marketing expression, “immune booster”, suggests that the immune system is like other muscles in the body that can be worked out & supplemented in such a way as to strengthen it with conditioning & time. Unfortunately, such a view of this complicated body system is overly simplistic and completely inaccurate. Technically, boosting an immune system is something that should be avoided & our advice to pet owners is to heed the proverbial “buyer beware” when it comes to those companies claiming their products will “boost” your pet’s immune system. They may only serve to weaken your wallets in the long run.
Find out what you can do as a pet parent to maintain your pets’ immune health by clicking the link below:
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