I want to talk with you today about winter, mature dogs and the immune system.
During the winter, with many days of limited sunshine, cold feet, snow, cold rains, with the heating systems blowing day in and day out, can play havoc with our dogs and their health by affecting their immune systems.
Winter, Mature Dogs and The Immune System
The immune system is the bodyâ€™s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response,the immune system attacks foreign organisms and substances that invade the body and cause dis-ease.
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.
When the immune system is functioning properly or as this natural, built in energy/vibrational frequency is flowing freely, the body (our pet’s bodies as well as our own) have an awesome ability to resist dis-ease. But when the immune systemâ€™s energy is blocked or becomes unbalanced and the natural vibrational frequency lowered due to such things as poor nutrition, exposure to toxic chemicals, stress or injury; our pets become vulnerable to illness/dis-ease. Once the immune system is weekend and they have symptoms of illness, the energy becomes even more unbalanced, making it much harder for them to recover.
Our older dogs especially need extra care in the winter as their immune systems may have slowed down over the years. Dogs are considered old after 8 to 12 years of age but, please, donâ€™t let them hear you say they are â€œoldâ€, dogs do not keep time the way we do and never really know they are getting older.
They become less able to regulate thier body temperature and older animals will often seek warm places to rest. Be sure to provide a warm environment for them. Cold floors are particularly hard on the older pet with stiff and/or arthritic joints. Cold drafts may compromise the senior pet with the weaker immune system, making them more susceptible to illness.
I have found that the winter season is a good time to give your dog’s Â immune system boost.Â There are some predictable changes that accompany our dogs maturing. Thier metabolic rate decreases and caloric needs often decrease by 30 to 40 percent in the last one third of the life span. Body fat increases and lean body tissues decrease.
The signs of age are more evident when the dog is or has been in a poor nutritional state or when the level of stress in their lives is high or becomes increased. If you are still feeding Kibble or even cooked food to your dog, now may be a good time to consider switching to a home made, raw diet and at the very least, Â if you are not already doing so, adding probiotics and digestive enzymes daily to their meals to aid in digestion and keep the beneficial flora strong in the gut.
Respiratory capacity and oxygen availability also decrease. All of these symptoms of aging can be held off and often greatly reduced by keeping them physically active and feeding them nutritionally dense, raw meats, organs and bones.
I know it can be difficult in the winter months, but, do make sure your dogs get regular exercise and escpecially your more mature dogs. You see, any changes in routine and lack of daily exercise interfere with mobility and regularity. In our mature dogs, this could start a chain reaction of health problems. Fresh air and of course fresh, filtered water, help our companionâ€™s sensitive system function better.Â Avoid the chemicals and sediment of tap water by offering filtered or distilled water.
Our pets are more sensitive to air pollutants, mold and house hold chemicals then we are, especially when they are now trapped indoors often all day in the cooler months. Scented air freshness, wax melts and candles emit toxic chemicals that greatly affect our pets (and ourselves). Â Consider cold air diffusing some therapeutic grade essential oils instead. Â Diffusing therapeutic grade essential oils not only naturally clean and purify the air (they don’t just mask it) but they have been scientifically proven to raise the vibrational frequencies of the body – thus boosting the immune system!
While out walking, donâ€™t forget to protect or rinse your dogâ€™s paws afterwards. Salt and chemicals used for clearing roads and walkways can be caustic and even toxic if ingested. Take note too of early lawn gardeners with fertilizers and chemicals
The more mature dogâ€™s immune system becomes slower to respond over the years, and if he/she has not been kept in good, balanced health, they will have a more difficult time warding off infection. The incidence and even the malignancy of tumors has shown to increase with age.
Watch for dry skin and coat texture. With the use of artifical heat and lower humidity, supplementing with essential fatty acids and brushing regularly will help stimulate and keep the skin healthy and the pores open. If your dog becomes “stinky” during the winter months you may want to consider giving him/her a massage with a stainless steel order remover! Â These simple little bumpy tools work wonders at removing odors and gently massaging the skin to aid in circulation and detoxing.
Supplement wise, in addition to adding probiotics and enzymes to your dog’s meals during the winter, there are some safe and effective immune system enhancing and boosting products you may want to try. Click Here for a few tried and true, totally naturally sourced immune boosting supplements
Remember the immune system is the built in healer. Â A strong, balanced Â immune system is a must if you want your dog (and yourself) to enjoy a â€œillness-freeâ€ winter.