Are you aware of the link between pet anxiety and the immune system? The immune system is a fascinating and essential part of the body’s defence mechanisms.
It’s a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect our pets from harmful invaders. Such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The immune system detects and eliminates these threats, keeping them healthy and preventing life-threatening diseases.
Studies show stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on the immune system. When the body experiences stress, whether it’s acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), it triggers a series of physiological responses that can disrupt and weaken immune function.
When pets experience stress and anxiety,
whether it’s acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term),
it can disrupt and weaken their immune function.
PetWell CALM, is a specifically developed formula by a pet naturopath with two vital objectives in mind;
- It aims to assist our beloved pets in managing and reducing stress and anxiety using naturally occurring Tryptophan and L-Theanine. Along with other ingredients which are known for their relaxing properties.
- CALM aims to bolster our pets’ immune systems, as stress and anxiety can compromise their health.
Help Improve Your Pet’s Immune System
In addition to giving your pet premium, targeted supplements like PetWell CALM, here are some things you can do to help improve your pet’s immune system:
Provide a balanced and nutritious diet
Feed them high-quality pet food that is appropriate for their breed, age, and health needs. A balanced diet supports overall health, including the immune system.
Regular wellness check
Schedule routine visits to the vet to ensure your pet’s overall health and catch any potential issues early on.
Regular physical activity helps promote good circulation, heart health, and overall vitality. Which indirectly supports the immune system.
Provide a stress-free environment
Minimise stressors in your pet’s environment. Create a calm and safe space for your pet to thrive.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity can negatively impact the immune system. Ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight through diet and activity.
Good hygiene practices
Keep your pet clean by regularly grooming them, including brushing their coat, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears.
Use appropriate preventive measures to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, worms, and other parasites. Parasites can compromise the immune system, consult your vet for suitable preventive treatments.
Provide mental stimulation
Engage your pet’s mind with interactive toys, puzzles, and training sessions. Mental stimulation can contribute to overall well-being, which indirectly supports the immune system.
Ensure proper sleep and rest
Just like humans, pets need sufficient rest to maintain a healthy immune system. Provide a comfortable sleeping area and establish a routine that allows for adequate rest.
Remember, every pet is unique and we recommend you consult with your vet to create a personalised plan to optimise your pet’s immune system and overall health
How Stress and Anxiety Affect the Immune System
Let’s take a closer look at how stress and anxiety affect the immune system:
- Suppression of immune response: Prolonged stress can lead to the release of stress hormones which can suppress the immune system. This can make their body more vulnerable to infections, slow down healing, and impair their body’s ability to fight off pathogens.
- Inflammation and autoimmune disorders: Chronic stress can lead to increased inflammation in the body. Persistent inflammation can lead to the development of chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues.
- Impaired immune cell activity: Stress hormones can alter the functioning of immune cells, such as lymphocytes and natural killer cells, which are essential for recognising and eliminating pathogens.
- Delayed wound healing: Stress can slow down the healing process by interfering with the production of collagen and impairing the immune system’s ability to repair damaged tissues. This delay in wound healing can increase the risk of infections and complications.
- Increased vulnerability to infections: Stress weakens the body’s natural defence mechanisms, making it easier for pathogens to invade and cause infections. It can also make existing infections more severe or persistent.
- Exacerbation of existing conditions: Stress can worsen the symptoms of pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders. It can trigger flare-ups and make managing these conditions more challenging.
The relationship between stress and the immune system is complex and can vary in pets based on age and breed.
Immune Boosting Foods
We have compiled a list of some foods that can help support and boost the immune system in pets:
High-quality sources of lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef provide essential amino acids necessary for immune system function.
Fruits and Vegetables
Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your pet’s diet, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, blueberries, and spinach. These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support immune health.
Bone broth can be beneficial for pets’ immune systems. It is rich in nutrients and provides collagen, gelatine, and amino acids that promote gut health and strengthen the immune system.
Foods that contain natural probiotics, like plain yogurt or kefir, can help support healthy gut flora. A balanced gut microbiome plays a crucial role in overall immune function. Read more here Probiotics for Dogs: Why Gut Health Matters
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In small amounts, garlic can be beneficial for pets’ immune systems. It contains compounds that have antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.
Incorporating a small amount of turmeric into your pet’s diet can help support their immune system due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Coconut Oil or Milk
Adding a small amount of coconut oil or milk to your pet’s food can provide medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have antimicrobial properties and can support immune function.
Remember, before making any significant changes to your pet’s diet, it is important to consult with a pet naturopath or nutritionist. They can provide guidance tailored to your pet’s specific needs and health conditions.
As we have established, the link between pet anxiety and immune system is vital. Maintaining a healthy immune system is crucial for our pets’ overall well-being. A strong immune system helps protect them from diseases, supports faster recovery, and promotes longevity.
To boost your pet’s immune system, provide a balanced diet with lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, consider incorporating immune-boosting supplements and foods like PetWell CALM and THRIVE, bone broth and probiotics, and ensure they receive regular wellness checks.
Minimising anxiety, promoting exercise, and maintaining good hygiene are all important factors. By taking proactive steps to support your pet’s immune system, you can help them lead a healthy and vibrant life.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research. And in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.
The Science behind it
Don’t just take our word for it, here are some evidence-based studies for you to review.
Effect of Immune Stress on Growth Performance and Immune Functions
The Impact of Everyday Stressors on the Immune System and Health
Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk
Psychological influences on immune function and health