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Boosting Your Pet's Immune System: Tips for Immune Support

Boosting Your Pet's Immune System: Tips for Immune Support

Help strengthen your pets’ guts, energise their immune function and reduce needless vet visits.

Do you spend far too much time – and money – at your veterinarian’s office? If so, it may be because your pets’ immune systems are disordered.

Perhaps their response is not strong enough to fend off invaders, or their systems go into overdrive with allergic reactions to every little thing.

To view it in a different light, there is a well-known story in the Buddhist tradition about a lute player who was learning the art of meditation. After a while, he got discouraged with his practice and went to the Buddha to seek instruction.

“Think about your lute,” the Buddha said. “What happens when you string it too tightly?”

“The strings break,” said the lute player.

“And too loosely?”

The lute player replied, “It can’t produce any sound.”

“Yes,” explained the Buddha. “A string needs to be balanced between tight and loose to produce a beautiful sound. That is how to practice – not too tight and not too loose.”

The same is true for the immune system of a dog or cat. If it is...

  • wound too tight – overactive – it will produce symptoms such as allergies and painful, itchy skin.
  • wound too loose – underactive – it will leave your pet vulnerable to repeated health challenges.

Too many pets face this very situation. Immune imbalance, which presents as immune dysfunction, is one of the most common reasons for vet visits.

And if this is happening with your pets, we have a few tips to boost your pet's immune system.

Your pet’s well-being doesn’t need to be ruled by a mixed-up immune system. You can help restore immune balance in your pet and support vibrant health.

Maybe you can even reduce the number of unnecessary visits to your vet, saving you time and money – and your pet needless stress.

That said, we often get questions like - “How to boost dog's immune system?”, or people asking “Ways to improve Dog immune system”, and even “Cat's immunity support tips”.

So before we get into the details, it’s important to know that while many herbs and nutrients may stimulate immune function, choosing the wrong ones can aggravate your pet suffering from allergies or autoimmune issues into a potentially dangerous tizzy.

The last thing you want to do is stimulate an already confused immune system.

That’s why, it’s important to be thoughtful and careful. Because it’s all about balance…

A 4-Point Approach for an Effective Immune Harmonizing Formula

One of the most followed wellness and integrative veterinarians, Dr Karen Becker, says, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about immune function, it’s that it takes a delicate dance to get it just right.”

She further adds that while Echinacea is a well-known herb for immune support, it can be a catastrophic choice for the wrong pet – or the wrong condition. And there are many other potentially problematic options, like Echinacea…

That’s why she offers her 4-point criteria for picking the right substances to help balance immune function.

  1. Must be very safe and unable to do harm, no matter the condition.
  2. Must support all conditions related to immune function.
  3. Must encourage the immune system to behave normally.
  4. Must have a balancing effect and be able to restore homeostasis.

We know that’s a tall order, but it’s critical to meet every point.

Over the years, she says she has found four substances that stand out for their ability to promote immune balance, no matter whether the immune system is underactive or on overdrive. And the key is to combine these four together to create a synergistic formula that provides total immune balance.

Quoting from her practice, she also adds that all four of these ingredients have withstood the test of time in her practice. Some of them, as you’ll see soon, come with a treasure trove of exciting research, too.

That said, let’s take a look at the first of these four substances… a unique type of fibre from a tree.

Here’s How Natural Larch Tree Extract Supports Your Pet’s Cellular and Gut Health

Our pets’ guts are full of beneficial bacteria that help them break down the food they eat so they can use it for energy and essential body functions. Keeping those bacteria healthy helps protect their health and vitality.

One of the best ways to do this is to provide food for the beneficial bacteria. Scientists call this food “prebiotics.”

Arabinogalactans are a special type of digestible, or soluble, fibre that acts as prebiotics.

This fibre is found in many different vegetables and plants, but when doing studies, researchers prefer to use arabinogalactan from Western larch trees for two simple reasons:

  • It’s far more concentrated than food or herb-based sources,
  • and it’s a natural extract, not a drug.

To get the same amount of arabinogalactan researchers have used in studies, your pet would need to eat the equivalent of a full pound of arabinogalactan-containing foods like carrots, corn and pears – something clearly not recommended for dogs or cats.

There’s even more arabinogalactan in larch tree extract than highly prized shiitake mushrooms, another rich source.

Perhaps that’s why Native Americans have used bark from this unique deciduous conifer for hundreds of years…

So, what benefits can larch arabinogalactans potentially provide for your pet?

Once this prebiotic fibre enters your pet’s gut, it begins to ferment. This valuable fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids that help:

  • Protect your pet’s intestinal lining.
  • Support colon health.
  • Promote a healthy normal inflammatory response.
  • Produce butyrate, a substance that promotes healthy cell growth.
  • Fuel the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria.
  • Activate important immune cells – macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells.

Larch arabinogalactans can strengthen your pets’ foundation for health by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in their guts. But that’s not the only benefit larch extract can provide…

Pets Get Leaky Gut, Too, and Traditional Veterinary Treatments Can Make It Worse

Itchy skin and ears, and other allergic signs, are some of the most common complaints we hear from pet parents. Sadly, skin issues have even become a top reason for euthanizing dogs today.

Dr Karen Becker writes in her blogs that traditional veterinarians tend to look only at the surface – and treat accordingly.

Whereas, she has learned to look much deeper…

She then adds that the root cause of many allergy symptoms can be traced to your pets’ microbiome – the unique collection of bacteria that resides in their intestines.

A whopping 70% of your pets’ immune systems live in their guts. So, if your pets’ microbiome isn’t up to par, their immune health is likely to suffer.

That’s why traditional treatments often don’t work for these types of symptoms. In fact, many of these treatments are likely to make things worse, as they can damage or upset the delicate balance in your pet’s gut flora.

When your pet’s beneficial bacteria become unbalanced, dysbiosis and a condition called leaky gut can develop.

With a leaky gut, the connections between the cells in your pets’ gut linings loosen. This creates openings that can allow rogue substances, toxins and undigested food to leak through and enter their bloodstream – something that is not supposed to happen.

As these foreign invaders circulate in your pets’ bodies, their immune systems can overreact, leading to inflammation, joint discomfort, a worsening of allergy symptoms and a host of health issues.

Larch arabinogalactans and the short-chain fatty acids they produce can play important roles in protecting the mucosal cells in your pet’s intestinal lining – helping to balance and vitalise the immune response throughout your pet’s body.

In short, arabinogalactans are especially useful for immunodeficient animals.

The Perfect Food for Mammals – Not Only Newborns but Cats and Dogs of All Ages

Within the first few hours of a baby mammal’s birth, its mother begins producing a special milk called colostrum.

Colostrum is a sort of super-concentrated milk. It provides vital nutrients like vitamins, electrolytes and the natural antibodies a baby mammals need to support their not yet fully developed immune system.

It’s Mother Nature’s way of supplying what’s known as passive immunity to jump-start the newborn’s immature immune system…

However, researchers are discovering what Ayurvedic and other early practitioners have known for centuries:

Colostrum may provide important benefits for adult mammals too.

There are over 1,000 clinical studies documenting the potential benefits of colostrum – specifically bovine or cow colostrum.

Why bovine colostrum? Researchers have found that:

  • It acts as a universal donor for all mammals, meaning it can potentially benefit humans as well as dogs and cats.
  • The immune and growth factors in cow’s colostrum are nearly identical to those in humans.
  • It is up to 100 or even 1000 times more potent than human colostrum, making it an outstanding choice for any mammal.

Even though colostrum is an animal product, Dr Karen Becker writes that she feels good about using it with pets because she knows that cows produce more colostrum than any other domestic animal and that it can be obtained in a humane manner.

7 Ways Bovine Colostrum Can Support Your Pet’s Immune System

Bovine colostrum can provide a multitude of benefits for your pet’s immune and gastrointestinal health.

Full of vitamins, minerals and special immune-supporting proteins, it also strengthens your pet’s gut and helps build a healthy microbiome.

Here’s how bovine colostrum can help in 7 ways to improve a cat and dog’s immune system:

    1. A hormone in colostrum called Proline-Rich Polypeptide (PRP) helps balance immune function – it can help support an under-active immune system or calm one that’s overly active.
    2. Containing important immune factors, like lactoferrin and immunoglobulins, including IgG, it supports the body’s protective functions against invaders and toxin buildup.
    3. Its growth hormone helps boost cell, tissue, and organ repair to help reduce the signs of cellular ageing.
    4. Loaded with nutrients that help seal the gastrointestinal tract lining.
    5. It contains probiotics, another important element in a healthy gut microbiome.
    6. Its cytokines promote healthy cellular growth and a healthy inflammatory response.
    7. Growth factors in colostrum promote healthy tissues and cellular repair.

Colostrum is full of nutrients with potential benefits for your dogs and cats. Some of these nutritional factors are not produced by your pet’s body and must be provided through diet.

These include 17 essential amino acids and glyconutrients that support white blood cell activity and essential fatty acids.

With the current state of commercial pet food, Dr Karen Becker highly recommends supplementing a pet’s diet with bovine colostrum. Even if you feed pets a nutritionally balanced fresh food diet, they can still experience benefits from this exceptional nutritional supplement.

However, make sure it comes from healthy cows that are not fed synthetic hormones or routine antibiotics.

A Blockbuster Superfood: Moringa Oleifera is a Nutritional Goldmine for You and Your Pet

Moringa is one of the hottest botanicals to hit the market in recent years.

Only, it’s not new…

Dr Karen Becker reports she has been using it extensively for years in dogs and cats. And it has a long, colourful history of use on two continents.

Native to Southern India and Northern Africa, Moringa Oleifera has been used by the local people for multiple health purposes, both for themselves and for their animals. A hearty and nourishing leafy green, they also use it for food.

Ayurveda practitioners list more than 300 different uses for Moringa, from supporting the immune system to promoting a healthy normal inflammatory response.

Most of all, Moringa is a bomb of a superfood. A true nutritional powerhouse, Moringa has:

  • Three times the beta carotene (vitamin A) of carrots.
  • Nine times the protein of yoghurt.
  • 12 times the vitamin C of oranges.
  • 15 times the potassium of bananas.
  • 17 times the calcium of milk.
  • 26 times the iron of spinach.
  • 50 times the vitamin B2 of sardines.

Many parts of the Moringa, or Malunggay, tree are used, but its dried leaves offer the greatest value as a supplement. A rarity in the plant world, they contain complete proteins, more than 90 bioavailable nutrients, and 46 antioxidants.

Because of Moringa’s potential for health, the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation are supporting ongoing research into its traits and actions. In 2007, the National Institutes of Health recognised it as the Botanical of the Year.

Far from being just the latest nutritional fad, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union now plant and cultivate this exceptional tree in different locations, including Africa, in order to help combat malnutrition.

Moringa offers the same benefits for animals as it does for humans. Let’s take a look at what makes it potentially so valuable for our pets.

This Mineral-Rich Ingredient Delivers a Dynamic Variety of Benefits for Your Pet’s Immune Health

Moringa is a valuable whole food supplement because it’s exceptional at supporting immune function.

It’s a boon for pets consuming less than optimal nutrition, providing abundant nutrients to quickly boost cellular nutrition. And it’s a must for any pet coming from a shelter.

Because a dog or cat’s body views Moringa as food, it’s especially beneficial for sensitive pets who can’t tolerate other supplements.

In addition to its abundant vitamins and minerals, here are some other reasons Dr Karen Becker recommends Moringa for pets:

  • Contains chlorogenic acid, which helps slow cells’ absorption of sugar and other beneficial plant compounds, like isothiocyanates, to promote healthy, normal blood sugar levels.
  • Helps promote a healthy, balanced immune response.
  • Its isothiocyanates, flavonoids and phenolic acids promote a normal healthy inflammatory response, helpful for flexible and comfortable joint movement.
  • It supports cardiovascular health.
  • May help support digestive and liver health.

Dr Karen Becker also mentions that she has found Moringa to be one of the most diverse herbs on the planet. Along with her findings, she highly recommends it for pets for all-purpose immune support.

A Surprising Discovery – This Special Yeast Fermentate Offers Profound Support for Balancing Immune Function

When it comes to yeast, Dr Karen Becker has a huge bias against it. It’s because she didn’t find any type of yeast to be good for animals.

That is until she discovered Yeast Fermentate.

She recalls a story when several years ago, a very well-known producer of a yeast fermentate product contacted her. They wanted her to help prove to the world that it could offer immune-balancing benefits, especially to debilitated animals.

In fact, they offered to ship her thousands of dollars of their product to use on some of her sickest animals.

Well, you can imagine the shock and disbelief when they told her it was a yeast product… she was very sceptical.

But after they showed her their research and data, she was convinced that it deserved a closer look, and decided to give it a try.

First off, she found out that this product wasn’t new. It was developed over 60 years ago to help ease the weaning stress that pigs often encounter on farms and to help factory-farmed chickens and cows endure everyday stress.

What especially caught her attention during her research was that the people who worked with this yeast fermentate reported improved health.

The research was compelling and, ultimately, led her to feel comfortable trying this yeast product with her clients. Here’s what she found:

  • There were no negative immunologic effects, no yeast reactions – in fact, in her clinical experience, it actually helps support body defences against yeast.
  • It contained no gluten.
  • It helped promote a normal, healthy allergic response.

Most importantly, she learned that the fermentation process used to make this product cancels any of yeast’s potentially negative effects.

And it did an outstanding job of supporting balanced immune function in the animals studied – as well as her own patients.

Could This Special Yeast Fermentate Help Your Pet?

You’re probably wondering… what exactly is yeast fermentate?

The yeast fermentate Dr Karen Becker uses is a concentrated formula, made in the U.S., of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols (antioxidants) and other natural ingredients.

It starts with baker’s yeast – a safe, natural organism that’s been used for many years to make bread, wine, and beer. Through an oxygen-rich process, the microorganisms multiply. The microorganisms are then put under stress to produce beneficial metabolites.

The natural product that results contains a multitude of proteins, peptides, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds. It also contains wholesome beta-glucans and mannans from the yeast cell wall.

In human research studies, this special yeast fermentate has been shown to help support immune function. It promotes Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and antioxidant protection within just hours of consumption.

Lab studies and a human clinical study also suggest yeast fermentate acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

In pets, it may help increase serum IgA levels – an important antibody for supporting normal immune function.

And this was the reason Dr Becker continued to order the product after her initial stock ran out – it was one of the only things her IgA-deficient patients responded to.

Many animals are born with less-than-ideal immune function, and this natural immune support has been a godsend for these animals.

Plus, both cats and dogs like its mild flavour.

To summarize, her clinical experience shows yeast fermentate works like a super-multivitamin supplement for pets, and it may help:

  • Support your pet’s normal, healthy immune response.
  • Support digestive function and gut health.
  • Promote flexibility and comfortable movement.
  • Provide support for environmental allergies.
  • Support a normal, healthy inflammatory response.

A Revolutionary, Holistic, 4-in-1 Approach to Pet Immune Health

No one has ever combined these four immune-balancing compounds before – Larch Arabinogalactan, Colostrum, Organic Moringa and Yeast Fermentate.

Each one is exceptional in its own right. For years, Dr Becker sent clients home with all four products to help achieve immune balance and relieve their pet’s complaints.

But juggling four different supplements each day can be overwhelming, which is why Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support combines all four into one convenient product for optimal immune-balancing support.

She, along with her team have searched for the best forms they could find of these ingredients to make Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support:

  • Arabinogalactan from Western larch trees.
  • Bovine Colostrum with standardized Ig (180 mg/serving) from American dairy cows not fed synthetic hormones or routine antibiotics.
  • Certified Organic Moringa leaf powder.
  • Yeast Fermentate is grown, harvested and manufactured in the U.S.

With this unique combination, you now have an extraordinary 4-in-1 tool for helping your pet flourish with a healthy immune balance. This combination can help provide benefits for your pet that:

  • Harmonise immune function due to both an under-active or overly active immune system.
  • Support the body’s protective functions against invaders and toxin buildup.
  • Boost cell, tissue and organ repair to help slow cellular ageing.
  • Seal your pet’s gastrointestinal tract lining to help prevent leaky gut.
  • Nourish your pet’s gut and help restore a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Promote healthy cellular growth.
  • Support digestive and liver health.
  • Promote flexibility and comfortable movement.
  • Provide support for environmental allergies.
  • Support a normal, healthy inflammatory response.
  • Support healthy, normal blood sugar levels.
  • Support cardiovascular health.

If you were to buy all four of these ingredients separately, you’d pay significantly more.

Plus, you’d miss out on the convenience factor… But with Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support, you only need to open one container instead of four.

With This Carefully Designed Formula, You Can Give Your Pets the Gift of Exceptional Gut and Immune Support

Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support isn’t just for weak or sick pets. Health is an ongoing process, and every ounce of support you provide now can help you and your pet reap rewards later.

Imagine reducing the number of unnecessary trips to your vet’s office – now and in the future. The time and money you’ll save… The needless stress on your pet…

Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support offers benefits for cats and dogs of all ages and breeds. However, here are some groups that may especially benefit:

  • Pets who were born immuno-deficient.
  • Pets who might benefit from extra inflammatory support on an ongoing basis.
  • Pets with a genetic disposition to certain conditions, including “runts” and “poor doers”.
  • Pets who will be boarded or living in a different environment.
  • Pets coming from foster homes or shelters.
  • Pets exposed to other animals in dog parks and other public areas.
  • Pets who eat a processed, commercially prepared diet.
  • Pets who face stressful experiences, such as house guests and travel.

Give your pet the gift of gut support and immune balance, and help your dog or cat enjoy vibrant health for years to come by ordering Bark & Whiskers™ Immune Support today.

Dr. Mercola Pet Products
Jan 2023
Dr. Mercola Pet Products

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