7 Everyday Foods to Boost Your Dog’s Immune System

Nutrition09/22/2020
4 min read

We humans write endless articles about taking probiotics and eating yogurt to improve our gut health, with many studies going deep into the benefits and mysteries of the microbiome's effect on our wider health.

It's no secret that the same applies to our pups. Your dog's gut microbiome contains 70% of their immune system, so taking care of it is crucial to their wellbeing. Here at Heed, we're all about making sure we have as many years as we can with our pups (short of figuring out the secret to dog immortality), and we need to help build up their immune systems to do so!

Alongside feeding your dog Heed (we formulated our kibble recipe with the help of canine microbiome specialists), there are lots of "human foods" you can give as the occasional treat to help boost their immune system.

Here are seven of the best:

  • Blueberries - These delicious little berries are often listed as a “superfood”, and with good reason. They’re low in calories but high in a wide range of other beneficial nutrients, making them a great snack for your fur-baby. They're a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C and K. We include blueberries as an ingredient in our kibble.
  • Bananas - Rich in vitamin C, they promote a strong and robust immune system. And because they’re also a good source of potassium, magnesium and fiber, bananas are loaded with lots of other goodness your furry friend will love, which is why we include them as one of our topper ingredients. Just remember that bananas should only be given in moderation!
  • Yogurt - This treat contains plenty of calcium and protein, but also lots active cultures that can help provide probiotics for your pet's diet. Probiotics are essential for gut health, helping to maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in your dog’s gut. Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt without preservatives. Some dogs may struggle to digest yogurt properly, so don’t over-do it.
  • Carrots - An extremely versatile ingredient that can help protect your pup against illness and disease. Carrots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system. Dogs can eat cooked or raw carrots as long as they’re cut into small chunks, and chewing on raw carrots can even boost your pup’s dental health. We also include carrots as one of topper ingredients!
  • Broccoli - A vegetable that kids all around the world love to hate, no matter how good it is for them. But broccoli is good for dogs as well, and even better, many pups also love the way it tastes. Whether cooked or raw, broccoli is an excellent treat when given in small quantities. Not only is it high in vitamin C for a stronger immune system, but it’s a rich source of fiber to help aid healthy digestion.
  • Pumpkin - Canned pumpkin is a great snack when you need to soothe your pup’s upset stomach, and it can also provide a welcome boost to your pet’s immune system. It's rich in vitamins A and C, iron and potassium, all of which contribute to your dog’s overall wellbeing and help keep illness at bay. There’s plenty of fiber in pumpkin to aid with digestion, while it’s also low in calories if you’re trying to help your pet lose weight. Stay away from pumpkin with added sugars or spices.
  • Bell peppers - Last but not least on our list of immunity-boosting foods for dogs is the humble bell pepper. While red bell peppers offer the most nutritional benefits, it’s also safe to give your dog green orange or yellow bell peppers. They're high in antioxidants and important vitamins, can help reduce inflammation. They also contain beta carotene for healthy skin and coat, and are low in calories to make a healthy snack.

There are plenty of everyday foods that can support and strengthen your pup’s immune system — you might already have one or more of them in your fridge or pantry. They’re simple to add to your dog’s diet, a tasty snack for your pet, and can increase your pup’s chances of living a long and healthy life.