We aren’t the only ones who are affected by this epidemic. Stress puts a lot of strain on our immunity and on our DNA. Dr. Oz did a whole segment on stress and how it actually affects and modifies our DNA. Do our pets suffer the same? Answer is yes.
Just like us stress affects our pets too, they may not have tight deadlines or have bills to pay, but stressors like inflammation, exercise, medications, separation or any kind of anxiety, disease, all these things can put a lot of stress on them and you better believe takes a toll on their system, not just psychologically but physiologically as well. Their immune system takes a hit and gets affected just like ours does. So, what to do?
Enter Bovine Colostrum. There was a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition to evaluate the immunomodulatory effect of dietary supplementation of bovine colostrum in dogs. The dogs were randomized in 2 groups and both groups were fed a nutritionally balanced diet, at the end of the ‘pre-test’ phase, all dogs received a canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine, and the dogs in the ‘test group’ were switched to a diet supplemented with BC. “Response to the CDV vaccine was evaluated by measuring vaccine-specific plasma IgG levels. Gut-associated lymphoid tissue response was assessed by measuring faecal IgA levels. Gut microbiota were evaluated by the temporal temperature gel electrophoresis methodology. Dogs fed the BC-supplemented diet demonstrated a significantly higher vaccine response and higher levels of faecal IgA when compared with the control group. Supplementing diets with BC also resulted in significantly increased gut microbiota diversity and stability in the test group. In conclusion, diets supplemented with BC significantly influence immune response in dogs.” (British Journal of Nutrition, 2013). In addition, a study was also conducted on sled pulling dogs, two control groups were used, one supplemented with BC and one without after a sled run. Dogs who were fed the BC had a significant increase in recovery and immune support versus the ones who weren’t. Bovine colostrum significantly increases the diversity in the microbiome, hence promoting healthy gut microbiota, which as we know is 80% of our immune system.
Furthermore, evidence suggests, it increases natural antibodies and other bio actives as well as balancing beneficial and potentially harmful intestinal bacteria. These findings could be relevant for improving protective immune and gut responses to various stress factors including infections, allergies, etc.
If you are planning on supplementing your pet with BC, make sure it is from a good quality grass fed source. If your pet has severe medical issues, always consult with your vet or holistic vet when introducing anything new to your pet.
Lucy is an avid pet mom; with dogs, cats, goats and horses to keep her busy! All of her pet 'kids' are fed a species appropriate diet with proper supplementation so she can watch them thrive. Her expertise and experience lie in nutraceutical supplementation and is a health advocate for proper diet and nutrition. Her other passions in life are schutzhund and equestrian riding.