Strong Immune system poodle in snow

By Dr Jeannie Thomason

Everything our dogs experience in a day of their lives, from the quality of the afternoon sunlight to an emotional upset within the household affects the immune balance  ~ Dr. Jeannie Thomason

The key to self-healing is a strong immune system, which protects dogs, cats, horses (and of course ourselves) from everything from viruses and microbe invasions to cancer cells getting out of control.

A weak immune system plays a key role in causing disease. Conventional medicine perscibes antibiotics “to fight infection and kill the bacteria taking over the system”.  However,  they don’t  have any affect whatsoever on the cause that weakened the immune system in the first place. We need to focus a whole lot less on the things that cause dis-eases and a whole lot more on those things that affect the body’s natural defenses.

Just as the world is filled with disease-causing organisms, our Creator designed the body with defenses to resist them. In fact, no matter what your pet is confronted with, his/her body has been well-designed to fight back. Studies have shown, for example, that cats that have suffered serious nerve injuries can recover complete muscle function. When pets take medications (or eat poisons), the liver will produce extra enzymes to help detoxify them. Even something as minor as a pulled muscle is quickly addressed with an increase in blood flow, which brings additional oxygen and nutrients and carries off wastes. The main reason a pet gets sick, is that something is interfering with or suppressing the body’s God given natural healing powers – the immune system.

The Immune System

The immune system is indeed a miracle of creation!

The immune system is actually a network of glands, nodes, and organs that work to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful organisms. The immune system requires a constant supply of energy and nutrients to maintain optimum function and performance.

While we now know that 80% of the immune system is housed in the gut, it (the immune system) is not just made up of bacteria but of mucus membranes called the mucosal immune system.

It is the mucosal immune system that stands like a military battalion protecting the nasal passages, intestinal lining, and other vulnerable surfaces of the body, it is often the very first part of the immune system to tangle with microbial and/or viral invaders.

There is a natural interplay between the mucosal immune system and friendly microbes (which include probiotic bacteria) in the gut according to B. Brett Finlay, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Finlay has spent his career studying diarrhea-causing bacteria. In a commentary in the July 2010 issue of Nature Immunology, he and colleagues Navkiran Gill and Marta Wlodarska offer what he admits is “an outsider’s take on the mucosal immune system. This defensive line includes the mucous membranes that line the respiratory system, the digestive tract, and other potential portals of entry for pathogens. But it also encompasses immune cells such as T cells and dendritic cells, signaling molecules, and other protective components that pitch in to guard the body’s boundaries.”

If you think about, every illness or “dis-ease” is actually an autoimmune illness. When the immune system cannot ward off a problem in the body in time, something fails. The only defense a body has is the immune system.

When the immune system is working properly, our pets (and ourselves) have an awesome built-in ability to resist dis-ease.

The immune system protects the body in three ways:

1. It creates a barrier, the first line of defense against bacteria and viruses so they can’t get in the body.
2. If that bacteria or virus happens to invade the body, this system can detect its presence and eliminate it before it does damage.
3. It can continue to work against the virus or bacteria if they do begin to reproduce (making you sick) and eliminate it (getting you better).

Toxins in the environment, poor nutrition, lack of or excessive exercise, or any undue stress can adversely effect the function of the immune system and can cause a decline in its proper activity. Without the immune system functioning at optimum levels, the body becomes subject to illness, infections and health problems.

Electrical Frequencies

Consider that the body is made up of trillions of cells. The cells are made up of atoms and atoms are made up of electrical impulses spinning around each other in groups called protons, neutrons and electrons. The speed at which they spin around each other establishes an electrical frequency.

Dr. Robert O. Becker in his book “The Body Electric” establishes that the body has an electrical frequency and that much about an individual’s health can be determined by it. When the frequency drops, the immune system is compromised. In the early 1930’s, Royal Raymond Rife, M.D. found that by using certain frequencies, he could destroy a cancer cell or virus. He found that these frequencies could prevent the development of disease, and others would destroy disease. Substances with higher frequency will destroy diseases of a lower frequency.

So, by raising the oscillating frequency of every cell in the body, we are increasing the rate at which the immune system operates as well as eliminating the negative toxins that the body is trying to fight off. The “vibrations” that make up the memory of the cells of the body start creating different “memories.” This type of frequency reprogramming allows the body to remember the natural effectiveness of the immune system and regenerate back to its original state. When foreign invaders enter the body such as bacteria, viruses or toxins they have different electrical frequencies than cells do. The different frequencies allow the immune system to identify the invaders.

When the immune system is functioning properly or as this natural, built in energy/electrical frequency is flowing freely the body is balanced, in harmony, in a state of homeostasis. But when the immune system’s energy is blocked or unbalanced due to such things as poor nutrition, exposure to chemicals, stress or injuries, our pets become vulnerable to illness. Once they get sick, the energy becomes even more unbalanced, making it much harder for them to recover.

Everything our animals or we ourselves experience in a day, from the quality of afternoon sunlight to an emotional upset, can actually affect the immune balance. In particular, things such as diet, environmental toxins, chemical exposure and exercise, play highly important roles in determining whether pets get sick or stay healthy even when being exposed to a dis-ease.

Importance of Nutrition

I was taught to look at it this way: Just as the wrong fuel causes our car engines to knock and ping, so, certain diets make the body more vulnerable to problems. Most pets today are fed commercial foods (kibble or canned), which if you will investigate and read labels you will find are made of poor quality, cooked ingredients and loaded with artificial dyes, preservatives, and additives. How soon we forget that dogs and cats have spent thousands of years eating wild, natural foods in a raw or natural form, and this is what God designed their bodies for. It has only been in the last several decades that we have exposed them to over-cooked, commercially prepared, non species appropriate foods, as well as the chemicals these foods contain (chemicals that their bodies simply aren’t meant to handle). In addition, just the artificial ingredients alone can trigger an immune response that can, quite literally, make pets sick.

The immune system is designed to attack foreign invaders with little to no electrical frequencies while ignoring “normal” molecules, such as those found in fresh, raw meat, bones and organs. The chemicals in foods today certainly aren’t natural. If the immune system perceives them as threats, it will mount a defense. A meal of dry kibble can unleash a flood of basophils and other immune-system cells, which in turn, release chemicals such as histamine. Unfortunately, these chemicals aren’t entirely benign and in some cases, they can trigger a rash of itching, vomiting or diarrhea. Sound familiar?

Diet affects the immune system in other ways as well. Among the most important components of immunity are antibodies. Antibodies are nothing more than specialized germ-fighting proteins. The only time your pet can make enough antibodies is when he/she is healthy and well-fed.

In addition, for some reason, we have been lead to believe that the dog’s and cat’s digestive tracts have evolved to digest and utilize certain kinds of foods such as vegetables and grains. This is quite simply, NOT true! Our lovely little companions are still carnivores through and through. Grains, most vegetables, extra ingredients such as food additives and preservatives put a strain on the entire body as it works to attempt to break them down and eliminate them. It is especially hard on the pancreas, kidneys and liver.

I believe that diet; more specifically a diet consisting of highly processed – dead foods (such as kibble or canned pet food) of questionable nutritional quality, is one of two main reason pets get sick. This is why I believe if one desires their pet to be healthy it WILL involve changes in diet! the second reason our pets are so sick today is toxic overload from vaccinating and the use of toxic chemicals such as flea and tick medications, de-wormers and household chemicals.

If your pet’s immune system is weak it will not be able to protect him/her against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that are naturally attracted to a body in a state of dis-ease.

How Can I Support and Boost My Pet’s Immune System?

First of all, I need to emphasize that in order to support and “boost” the immune system, we have to support the whole dog! We need to consider and look at the digestive system, lymphatic system, emunctory organs, the stress levels of the animal, its environment and think in terms of process and complexity of mind and body, not just a single “system”  Immune system strength and balance reflect and protect the health of the whole being.

It takes time to build up the weak or compromised immune system; that’s why babies and puppies tend to get sicker than adults. They are building up and strengthening their immune systems by exposing it to microorganisms, germs and viruses. The immune system will remember the “germs” and protect the body the next time it meets those same germs(or viruses). Elderly pets and people also tend to have lower immune systems and are more vulnerable to illnesses.

What are some things you can do to help build and strengthen your pet’s immune system?

Feed raw, species specific nutrition – alive with natural enzymes and energetic frequencies! (Eliminate all cooked and processed diets and treats).

Supplement only with species specific, animal sourced nutrients (as found in prey animal glands and organs). Give soil based probiotics and animal sourced digestive enzymes when necessary.

Eliminate household and garden chemicals as well as anything with a synthetic fragrance

Give your pet more exercise! More walks or play time outside in the fresh air and sunshine is good for strengthening the whole body and keeping the lymph moving. Moderate but consistent exercise is best over all.

Proper rest and elimination of stress and exhaustion – stress can tear down and weaken the immune system.

Use Pure/medical grade essential oils* to raise and maintain balanced electrical frequencies.

Let your dogs be dogs! Let them eat grass and dig and roll in the dirt (of course, never grass or dirt that has been sprayed or sprinkled with chemical fertilizers or herbicides!).

Take puppies to public areas with you for short periods of time (and build up the time spent in the public area gradually) where they can be naturally exposed to “germs” and viruses”. Dogs that live a more natural lifestyle and are not kept indoors without exposure to direct sunlight and fed dead, void of nutrition processed foods have stronger immune systems and live longer lives – just a fact.

Please Note: It is unwise to assume that supplements, herbs, vitamins or essential oils alone can be used to eliminate ill-health or be a magic bullet for our pets. Experienced animal naturopaths, natural animal health coaches, and truly holistic veterinarians will always recommend a change in diet and life-style, in addition to any natural healing modalities or therapy.


*Essential Oils

With the premise being that if we keep the body frequency high enough and well oxygenated, our pets (and ourselves) can live free of disease. Pure essential oils have thehighest frequencies of any measured natural substance known to man! Essential oils align frequencies, thus balancing and harmonizing the immune system.

Pure, quality, essential oils offer a natural way to restore the body’s (human or animal) healthy electromagnetic vibrational frequency. They are multifunctional so they have a wide spectrum of application, working for the need that is present. While quality, food grade essential oils will not accumulate in the body, their frequency and effect is cumulative. Essential oils are absorbed and go to work within seconds in the body.

Because each oil has a specific frequency, as do the organs and body systems and the nutrients needed to maintain optimum health each have their specific frequencies, the oil’s electrical affinity to these components of our bodies will enhance and support these organs and body systems, and will aid in the assimilation of nutrients.

Essential oils don’t resonate with the toxins in our bodies. This incompatibility is what helps eliminate the toxins from our systems.

*CAUTION: All Essential Oils Are NOT Created Equal

It’s important to note that not all essential oils are created equal, especially when using them with animals. Essential oils have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to inferior quality oils being used and in many cases, causing harm to companion animals. Most of the essential oils that you find in the health food stores are filled with synthetic ingredients. This affords the producer a greater yield making them more profitable. Essential oils are only regulated by the cosmetic industry which then allows for extreme liberty in labeling: allowing a label to state “100% organic” as long as just one ingredient in the process is organic.

I have only, ever used  Young Living Essential Oils over the last 15 years. Their Seed-to-Seal process is one of the many reasons for doing so. Young Living is proud to set the standard for essential oil purity and authenticity by carefully monitoring the production of their oils through their unique Seed to Seal process. From the time the seed is sourced until the oil is sealed in the bottle, they apply rigorous quality controls to ensure that you are receiving essential oils exactly the way nature intended. These oils are often imitated by other companies, but never duplicated, they are that good…



Reexamining the hygiene hypothesis

Think Big and Small to Understand Key Part of Immune System

Natural Rearing: Breeding & Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended


*A consultation is highly recommended before any preventative program or diet change is started.

While I continue to provide educational articles and information for you here, most of these are general in nature. Therefore, I encourage you talk to set up an appointment with me to tailor a total wellness program specifically for your pet’s needs. This is particularly imperative in pets that are aging, with complicated health issues, or if you’ve done a lot of outside reading and have conflicting information.



The information on this site is based on the traditional and historic use of naturopathy, essential oils and herbs as well as personal experience and is provided for general reference and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or promote any direct or implied health claims. This information is and products are not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice

This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.



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