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Boosting Your Pet's Immune System with Digestive Health

Dr. Danielle Bernal

By Dr. Danielle Bernal
1/14/2021

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As a loving pet parent, you give your dog or cat food, water, exercise and loads of affection. When it comes to their immune strength, you ensure their vaccinations are up to date and select a food with added antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help keep their natural defenses strong. But have your ever wondered how your pet's digestive system affects their immunity? 

The digestive system is commonly thought of as the location for food to be digested, absorbed and excreted; however, research shows that the digestive system plays a far greater role when it comes to your pet’s immune health and wellbeing.

The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs working together in a continual communication process that allows the body to inform the immune system of what’s going on. In your pet’s digestive system, part of this communication network is the immune system communicating with bacteria or microbiome. The term “gut microbiome” refers to the trillions of microorganisms living in the intestinal tract. While some microorganisms are harmful to our pet’s health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body. 

Science has shown that your pet’s microbiome and digestive system bacteria can impact almost every aspect of your pet’s overall health including their immune strength.

By supporting your pet’s digestive system you can help them build their natural defenses.

So how do your pet’s immune and digestive systems work together? 70% of a pet’s immune cells are located in their digestive system. The immune system is responsible for protecting your dog from infections. The digestive system serves as a "control tower" of sorts for the body's immune system.

pet immune system

The Microbiome and Your Pet’s Health

Because the microbiome is so closely connected to the immune system, pets’ gut bacteria can help them stay healthy as a well-formed immune system is able to keep potential diseases in check. In normal conditions, the immune system promotes the growth of beneficial microbes and helps maintain a stable microbial community, while in return, a healthy microbiota produces molecular signals that support the development of immune cells and contribute to the fine-tuning of immune responses. Put another way, the microbiome plays a direct role in stimulating and supporting the immune system and the immune system plays a role in supporting a healthy microbiome balance.  

When the microbiome suffers an imbalance or state of dysbiosis where the numbers of bad bacteria have increased, the communication network from the microbiome triggers the immune system in a different way potentially making our pets more susceptible to pathogenic infections as well as chronic diseases that are caused by excess inflammation.  

A Healthy Digestive System Supports Immune Defenses

What we choose to feed our pets plays a big role in keeping them healthy. Premium digestive focused food like Wellness CORE Digestive Health includes key nutrients to support the digestive system and microbiome. With added dietary fibers and prebiotics, great nutrition can add additional energy to the cells lining the intestinal wall of the digestive system, making them healthier. A healthy intestinal wall guards against harmful toxins or bacteria and can prevent these toxins from attaching or passing through the intestinal wall. If bad bacteria are allowed to pass through the intestinal wall barrier and are detected by the immune system, your pet could get a reaction leading to more inflammation in the body. 

How do You Keep Your Pet’s Immune System Strong?

Look for a complete and balanced dog or cat food recipe that contains the following ingredients to ensure your pet is getting the highest quality digestive health nutrition that optimizes their microbiome and supports their immune health: 

Food should contain:

•High quality animal proteins and whole grains to optimize nutrient absorption and support high digestibility  
•Dietary fiber such as beet pulp fiber to help promote intestinal wall health 
•Prebiotics such as FOS and MOS that support the growth of good bacteria
•Probiotics or so-called additional “good” bacteria which help balance the microbiome

Wellness CORE Digestive Health recipes are highly digestible, support a healthy microbiome and immunity, promote lustrous coat and healthy skin and encourage vitality for optimal energy, helping pets achieve whole-body health. This addition to the Wellness CORE family was scientifically crafted by a team of nutritional experts to support digestive health and fuel pets’ best lives.

wellness core digestive health dog food

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Probiotic-Coated Kibble Recipes with Wholesome Grains are formulated with no added wheat, corn, soy, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The highly-digestible kibble is coated with probiotics and is made with digestive enzymes and a unique blend of prebiotic fibers to support digestive health for wellbeing. Kibble recipes for dogs are available in Whitefish and Brown Rice, Chicken and Brown Rice and Small Breed Chicken & Brown Rice recipes. 

About This Page

Pet Type:

Cat Dog

Topic:

Health & Nutrition Digestive Health

Date:

1/14/2021

Author:

Dr. Danielle Bernal
Dr. Danielle Bernal

Dr. Bernal has over a decade of experience in veterinary medicine, specializing in animal nutrition. In her role as on-staff veterinarian with Wellness Pet Food, she educates pet parents on the importance of natural ingredients like wholesome meats and nutrient-rich superfoods. She passionately believes that proper nutrition helps pets lead happier, healthier lives. Dr. Bernal has been featured in radio, TV and print stories in numerous countries.

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