Posted 7th Feb 2018
Just like us, our four-legged friends can fall ill
Adult dogs have thousands of immune cells to help fight illness but, for the first three to four months of their life, a puppy's natural defence system will be relatively undeveloped. As a result, young dogs can be especially vulnerable when they're left exposed to the elements.
What's more, a weakened immune system can pose a risk to your dog's health leading to bacterial and viral infections. As a pet owner, you will need to provide your puppy with extra care and support to help them to build a strong immune system - this way, they will be better equipped to effectively fight certain illnesses should they strike.
This is where these simple tips from Eukanuba's Veterinary Training Manager, Kellie Ceccarelli could come in to help you strengthen your dog's immune system from day one.
Ensure a healthy and balanced diet
The immune system will usually, but not always, protect dogs from infections, allergies, and various pathogens. For the first four to eight weeks of your puppy's life, their immune system will be protected by antibodies in special milk from their mother, called colostrum. After this, puppies will slowly build up their own natural defences. However, it's important to remember that while the immune system is very complex, there are some things you can do to help to give your puppy a good start - for instance, feeding your puppy a 100 per cent complete and balanced diet, made with high quality animal proteins and antioxidants.
Set aside time for regular exercise
Taking the time to exercise your dog each day is crucial. Walks don't need to be long, especially for a puppy, but even 30 minutes of exercise can give dogs the chance they need to run around, sniff out new smells and enjoy a change of scenery. Giving them repeated exposure to certain substances will allow their body to build up a resistance to it. Moreover, just like humans, physical activity will increase the amount of oxygen sent to the blood cells, helping to fuel the body's natural regeneration processes.
Visit your vet
Providing your dog with appropriate care will be an important part of pet parenting - that's why it will be essential to visit your local vet with your puppy as soon as you can. They can check for any underlying health issues, abnormalities or birth defects.
Introducing a puppy to your home is extremely exciting - however, during this time, some of the important steps of responsible pet ownership will need to be remembered. Following the above guidelines will help to give your puppy a great start.