“A dog is a man’s best friend” is not merely a saying. It has always stayed true to its meaning, perhaps even more so as time goes by. Back in the day, people used to rely upon dogs for work, but as times changed, we began to appreciate a different bond with them. These days they are like a part of our family and we care for them as we would our children.
For dog owners, one of the top priorities is to ensure their pet’s health and happiness. We treat our furry family members with the utmost care; from dental visits to grooming and making sure they have good caretakers in the case of our absence.
When they become ill, we take them to the vet and help ease their ailments. But like humans, the best health cures are preventative ones. Colostrum strengthens the immune system which allows it to regenerate and fight off pathogens. Components like proline-rich polypeptides, immunoglobulins and lactoferrin are the building blocks of the immune system and are naturally present in colostrum.
Below is a list of common ailments that can affect your dog's health and how colostrum supplements can help prevent and reverse these ailments to keep your faithful best friends healthy and robust.
Common Health Issues That Can Affect Dogs
Many dogs experience a variety of skin issues. Some skin may appear red and flaky, some may lose patches of hair. There are different reasons why this happens but the most common is due to allergies.
Urinary Tract Infection
Dealing with dogs urinating around the house can be frustrating and most owners associate it with a lack of training or behavioral issues. But this can also be a sign that your dog may have a urinary tract infection.
Bad breath is not normal in dogs and can be a sign of a dental disease. Plaque and tartar in a dog’s mouth harbor dangerous bacteria, causing damage to the teeth and gums, which if not prevented, can worsen over time. The bacteria can enter the bloodstream, leading to other more serious issues in the body.
Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders
Healthy digestion is essential for dogs to be able to use the nutrients from their food to build and repair tissues and obtain energy. GI disorders and diseases can result in pain and other problems such as dehydration, acid-base and electrolyte imbalances as well as malnutrition.
A respiratory infection can be easily transmitted from one dog to another when they interact, especially in places where large amounts of canines congregate such as boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows.
Benefits of Colostrum Supplement for Dogs
Colostrum has all the same benefits for dogs as it does for people. Holistic medicine is promoting the use of bovine colostrum to improve the overall health of dogs. Some of the ways that colostrum is known to improve a dog’s health are:
Increased Ability to Ward Off Allergies
Colostrum contains proline-rich polypeptide (PRP), which “have a unique ability to modulate the immune system, turning it up when needed to fight an infection, or turning it down when it is overactive, such as is the case in autoimmune disorders,” Andrew M. Keech, PhD. Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system. The PRP in colostrum down-regulate the overactive immune system, relieving the symptoms of allergies such as pain, swelling and inflammation.
Protects the Urinary Tract
According to the Journal of Medical Biology (1980), Escherichia coli produces 80% of all urinary tract infections. Numerous researchers have shown that colostrum has bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal effects against E. coli. Peroxidase, lactoferrin and immunoglobulin A (IgA) in colostrum, are capable of combating against E. coli, as well as many other viruses and bacteria.
According to John Ellis DVM PhD, several factors in bovine colostrum could counteract or delay periodontal disease (PD). Since oral bacteria is thought to be the inciting factor in PD, the antimicrobial factors present in colostrum, such as lactoferrin could have a direct effect on the oral bacterial load.
Colostrum is the best remedy known for all-around gut health. The gut contains both good bacteria and bad bacteria. When the bad bacteria outnumber the good, it causes what is known as intestinal permeability. This is where toxins and pathogens are able to pass through the gut lining, into the body, causing a multitude of diseases. The growth factors and hormones in colostrum help repair damage to the intestinal lining. Immunoglobulins in colostrum help control harmful bacteria and fungi from overgrowth. Colostrum also promotes recolonization of good bacteria in the gut. All of these factors together improve the absorption and assimilation of nutrients leading to better overall health for your pet.
Colostrum is unmatched as an immune system stimulant and moderator. Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are special proteins produced by the body that can bind to virtually any bacteria, virus, protein, peptide, carbohydrate or cell that the body recognizes as ‘foreign’. Once attached, scavenger cells are sent to destroy or neutralize it. Colostrum also contains an array of immune factors including cytokines, interferon, lactoferrin and PRPs. Supplementation of these factors can dramatically restore immunity, prevent infection and speed healing.
Colostrum builds up immunity benefits over time so it’s suggested to give your dog colostrum on a regular basis. If your pet suffers from an ailment you should increase the daily dosage to ramp up the immune system and help fight the disease. Likewise, if you plan on boarding your pet during a vacation, double the dosage a week or so prior to boarding so that it isn’t susceptible to bacteria or viruses that can often be picked up in kennels.