It goes without saying that dogs are our playful lifetime companions, and a healthy immune system enables protection of our dogs from diseases and infections throughout their lifetime. Just like human beings, dogs need a complete and balanced nutrition to ensure that their immune system is optimally developed and strengthened. This is regardless of their breed, size, and life stage.
There is increasing attention on what is called immuno-nutrition in the field of modern nutrition today, which focuses on the crucial relationship between immunity and nutrition. Nutrients play an essential role in the proper development and optimal functioning of the immune system.
To achieve a healthy immune system, a dog needs to be equipped with protein, amino acids, fatty acids, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Deficiency in one area could easily lead to malnutrition with deleterious effects on the immunity and long-term health of the dog. This highlights the importance of balanced yet complete nutritional provision.
Given that dogs will naturally come across several pathogens throughout their life, their immune systems need to be boosted and developed to protect the body against foreign invaders. Nutrients are key in the fight against viral diseases. They can either directly interact with the viral pathogen or activate immune cells as part of the adaptive immune system.
It is also important to note that there are specific functions of each nutrient in building up a dog’s immunity. Vitamins have been found to enhance body development and repair mechanisms resulting in increased immunity. Similarly, proteins help to develop effective immune responses. For instance, branched-chain amino acids are essential for intestinal health and immunity. Likewise, fatty acids modify inflammatory and autoimmune reactions.
Pedigree® Dry and Wet Food has been developed in collaboration with researchers from the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, the world’s leading authority for pet care and nutrition, mindful of these nutritional and immunity needs. It contains the spectrum of protein, vitamins, minerals, with high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin E, which are the very ingredients to strengthen dogs’ immune response system.
Researchers at Waltham are also mindful of health needs that vary across the life stages of a dog and have helped Pedigree® develop products according to a dog’s life stages.
Puppies require meals that will fuel them for rapid growth, posits Dr. Gen Maala-Castro of Consult A Vet Animal Hospital. “The first six months are very crucial because they need increased levels of protein, calcium, DHA, iron, and probiotics to support its rapid growth and development,” she says. Any nutritional deficiencies experienced during puppyhood will possibly have severe and potentially life-long implications for dogs. Pet owners need to remember that feeding puppies right during their growth phase is important.
When dogs become adults, they need to ensure the continued balanced intake of animal-based protein, vitamins, and minerals as they enter the maintenance period of their lives and to guard against underlying health issues.” The quality of the ingredients will also play a part in strengthening immunity, aiding digestion, and their optimal functioning.
Dr. Gen Maala-Castro recommends mixing dry and wet food ranges by Pedigree® to reach a complete and balanced meal for dogs. “Feeding dogs proper nutrition is important. This is a very big factor because as much as possible, we want to prolong the life of our pets. So, it starts with the food that we feed them. We should remember that quantity is not automatically equivalent to a healthy diet. What is key is the balance of nutrition present in the food.”
Carefully made with scientific insights about dogs’ nutritional and immunity needs across their lifetime, Pedigree® Dry and Wet food comes in a selection of nutritionally balanced varieties that will help your dog reach their full potential. Choose the food that gives your dog a strong immune system that can go a long way to keep them happy and healthy!