Last Modified on May 22, 2014
Does your pet suffer from a weak immune system? Is it always coming down with infections? Or has your dog, cat, or other pet recently suffered an illness or been on a drug that reduces the potency of its body's immune response? Certain natural remedies can help boost your pet's immune system and protect its overall health.
Infections, parasites, and certain genetic conditions can weaken your pet's immune system, leaving it more vulnerable to infestations and illnesses of all kinds. Antibiotics can help fight off infections that are already present, but better yet is to strengthen the immune system slowly and naturally before an infection occurs.
Home Remedies: Pet owners report that a number of natural foods and supplements can help support and even boost your pet's immune system (though every breed and species is different). Garlic (use cautiously with dogs), a raw foods diet, and astragalus are among the most commonly recommended immune supporters for pets.
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 11/09/2009: Vegamom from Lubbock, Texas: "Swelling in my dane
I have a great dane that is 12 months old. She has had staph as a puppy in her paws. When we got her she had been to the vet to get shots and came down with parvo from the vets office. She has been healthy but recently her back paw swelled from the elbow on down. It stayed swelled for a few weeks. Started her on acv in her water and 1tsp. garlic in her food. The swelling went away but now it is back but in her ears, the flaps and the top of her head. Has anyone else dealt with this? She has been a "special" dog since day one. I think her immune system is messed up. Thanks."Replies
12/29/2009: Twilab from Alexandria, Va replies: "Flaxseed Oil to boost pets immune system. 1.5 Tblsp per 100 lb dog/animal/day."
12/29/2009: Suze from Tweed Coast, Australia replies: "My Weimaraner puppy had lowered immunity from vaccines, and he only ever had 2 core shots (at 6wks, and 12wks) - never again. I also treated him with ACV and vinegar.
I also used dried nettle herb (fresh chopped if you have it), parsley, coriander, green barley powder and MSM to cleanse the blood and boost the immune system. Also virgin organic coconut oil is a fabulous remedy for any skin conditions with dogs - it helped my puppy with hives which would stay for weeks otherwise. Just put on your hands and rub over the coat - my pup loves it so much he liks my hands too!
He is now 10 months, and doing well.
I wouldn't recomend more vaccinations, and it goes without saying that raw food diet is essential.
Good luck and keep up the healthy foods and herbs - your dog has the power to heal inside, and you simply need to strengthen her body to help nature do it;s thing :)"
03/31/2010: Ozarkansaw from Little Rock, Ar replies: "I believe the best way to boost immunity is with a raw meat and bones diet. It has worked wonders for my pets! They are completely new animals! Kibble and vaccines defiently destroy immunity and cause dogs to have a shorter lifespan."
[YEA] 11/04/2010: Lisa from Pottstown, Pa replies: "ASTRAGALUS is extremely helpful in boosting the immune system of any pet, as well as curing many ailments. I used it to cure my 60 lb lab mix's kennel cough. I purchased the liquid for and gave her about 14 drops daily. I usually just mixed it with a little peanut butter or egg and she gobbled it right up. Within 2 days her kennel cough was gone! It was recommended to me for any ailment that could be helped by an immune boost. I was able to purchase it at my local Vitamin Shoppe."
11/08/2011: Judye from Central Nc, North Carolina replies: "An excellent immune builder is Essiac Tea. You can do a search to find it. Make it as directed. I'm using this for myself and my Dogs. It is known to cure cancer so I am giving it do my Doberman with cartlidge cancer. We just recently got started on it, so we we see."
10/25/2012: Harveyp from Ancaster, Ontario replies: "All mammals get their immune systems by ingesting colostrum from mothers milk shortly after birth. The body has what is called a master antioxidant name Glutathione (GSH). While some foods may slightly boost your immune system, there is only one thing that can actually restore your immune system. Doctors use artificial glutathione injected into the liver to counteract someone who overdoses on drugs. However, when attempting to use this form as a supplement, it does nothing! That's because Glutathione is actually made in the body and this only can happen if you consume the right precursors to enable the internal generation at the cell level. The precursors are lactoferrin, beta lactalbumin, and scrum albumin which absorb readily into the bloodstream, serving as a cysteine and cystine delivery systems. Dr. Gustavo Bounous spent 22 years at McGill University to discover and provide these temperature sensitive precursors in supplement form. Pasteurization kills these precursors in milk. Using a cold pasteurization process, the precursors are sold as [supplements] derived from undenatured whey protein. This supplement should be taken with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Folic acid. If you have had things like Chronic Fatique Syndrome, like myself, you must do the following: I weigh 215 lb. And therefore require 3 pouches a day for 6 weeks straight. This is very important (some people won't do this step because of the price). I investigated and have met dozens of people who were diagnosed with incurable forms of cancer are living because of this product. If you have health problems it is very important to refuel the Glutathione levels to full capacity. Instead of an Antioxidant having the ability to neutralize 1 free radiacal, the Glutathione keeps scrubbing your system by replacing the hydrogen atom which takes a free radical OH and turns it to H2O so you can eliminate toxicity from the body. It can then send out the same Antioxidant to gather another and another. I was able to cure my chronic fatigue in about 2 months using this method. If you have a hole in your immune system, you need to continue with a maintenance dose. I severely injured my left knee and tore out multiple ligaments which cannot be fixed. Since this injury, I could feel my health literally being sucked out of my body. I went 17 years in suicidal pain with no sleep until I had a total breakdown before learning about [this supplement]."
12/09/2012: Rosie from Cambridge, Ma, USA: "My dog has had an infection on her lip for over three months. The vet cultured it, sent it to a good lab and it came back as strep. I treated it with heavy-duty herbal antibiotics (usnea, cat's claw, goldenseal and echinacea----two of these at a time for 2 - 3 weeks) with no results. So the vet gave her erithromycin tablets and topical gel, a 2-week supply, and we're almost at the end of that with no results. ) Does anyone have suggestions? Thanks in advance!"Replies
12/10/2012: Wendy from Columbs, Oh/usa replies: "Try a very diluted solution of organic apple cider vinegar (ACV). Mix 1/4 ACV with 3/4 filtered or spring or distilled water.
NOTE: if the infection on your dog's lip is open and "weeping", this solution is probably going to sting. You could try the diluted solution first, but keep some fresh-water handy to wash it off if it stings!
Also, start mixing a tablespoon of pure ACV into her food once a day.
There is tons of info here on EC about the benefits of ACV for both humans and pets. Just do a search for it."