Our guest blogger this week is Jenny Mc Gee who has shared a fantastic article about canine health, and ideas for special treats to boost your pups immunity. 

“It doesn’t have to be flu season for germs and illnesses to enter your home and affect the health of your beloved pets. 10 to 20% of New Zealanders are affected each year by influenza, mainly during winter and spring months, with dogs also being susceptible to a canine strain of influenza during these months as well. The key to a healthy immune system in pets is to ensure they are eating a balanced diet while also receiving proper amounts of exercise.

Specific foods, however, have been found to boost immunity, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, omega-3, bioflavonoids, selenium and garlic. While this might sound like a lot of different ingredients, it is actually fairly easy to whip up tasty treats that incorporate a mixture of the above vitamins and minerals that will serve as a special immune-boosting treat for your furry best friend.

Super Simple Salmon Snack

Just like humans, dogs can benefit from Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon. Not only is the oil found in salmon a great source of healthy protein, it is loaded with selenium and generally low in calories. Creating a tasty salmon treat can increase your dog’s immune system while also serving as a great way to keep your dog fit and healthy. Seeing as up to 60% of dogs are overweight, and about half of those are obese, this is also a great way to introduce low-fat, all-natural snacks into their diet. Cook the salmon with low-fat butter and ensure they eat the skin by mixing it into their normal dog food.

Almond Butter & Pumpkin Treats

Almond butter is tastier and offers more nutritional value than peanut butter, which is great because almonds are also a great source of vitamin E that is just as important as Vitamin C in boosting immunity. Pumpkins are a great way to naturally incorporate other vitamins into your dog’s diet, such as Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, which are all great for canines. For this delicious pumpkin treat immune-boosting recipe, you will want to replace the peanut butter with almond butter and whisk all of the ingredients together to create a dough that you will bake for about 40 minutes. Form them into cute little shapes beforehand and feed them up to your pup as special training treats.

Loading Up on Vitamin C

Although you cannot feed dogs straight orange juice to get their daily dose of Vitamin C, you can actually incorporate Vitamin C into your diet with broccoli, both of which are recommended as part of an all-natural dog food diet as well. Add a little turkey on the side for a healthy dose of zinc and you have a well-rounded snack that is low in fat and calories, high in vitamins and will help your dog stay healthy. A turkey broccoli roulade made from ground turkey and filled with broccoli and your choice of healthy cheese can replace your dog’s normal dinner or serve as a quick mid-day treat.

Naturally Boosting Your Immunity

When flu season comes around, it is important to try and naturally boost your own immune system by incorporating a well-rounded dose of vitamins and minerals into the food you eat. However, you dog and his immune system deserves just as much attention. Try to find creative ways to incorporate tasty snacks into your dog’s daily life in order to provide them with a wide variety of the vitamins and minerals he needs to be happy and healthy.

To find out how many calories your dog needs use these calculations.

It’s also very important to keep your dog hydrated. Check out this infographic which shows what to look for if you are concerned your dog may be dehydrated.