The immune system is an intricate biological protection system responsible for
determining what belongs to and in the body versus what does not belong and
requires elimination. It defends the body against infection, disease and foreign
substances. The immune system begins with the skin and digestive system, and
incorporates the glands, hormones, blood and organs throughout the body. Keeping
your companion’s immune system in good shape will go a long way in preventing
ill health and chronic disease.
When we talk of keeping the immune system healthy, many people think of boosting
or stimulating the immune system with herbs such as Echinacea. Boosting
immunity, however, is not always appropriate or required. In some cases the
immune system needs calming and balancing – as is the case for autoimmune
disorders and frequently for chronic allergies.
A good, natural diet is the most important component in building and supporting
a healthy immune system. Since your companion is dependent upon you to provide
the best possible diet, it is prudent for you to educate yourself about the
options available and the benefits of feeding the freshest, most wholesome diet
you can. Please see our article, "What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Food,"
for more details.
Along with a top quality diet,
exercise, minimal exposure to toxins and a low-stress living environment are of
utmost importance to the health of your companion. If these elements are not
attended to first, then adding supplements to boost the immune system or balance
it will be far less useful or effective. Giving immune-supportive supplements to
an animal without attending to the foundations of good health is like trying to
heat a house with poor insulation and broken windows – you can turn the
thermostat up as high as you’d like but the house will still be cold.