Important Vitamins For Pet Health
There is not necessarily one magic vitamin for pet immunity rather a group of vitamins that when implemented can be very effective in promoting health and wellness. Most veterinarian and natural health experts agree that without a doubt nutrient deficiency is the most frequent initial cause of a depressed immune system. For years it was thought that only malnutrition could weaken a pet’s immune defense system but now research has revealed that a deficiency in any one vitamin or mineral can negatively impact the immune systems ability to do its job.
Vitamins fall into two categories, those that are fat soluble and those that are water soluble. What this means is that fat soluble vitamins can be stored whereas water soluble cannot. Common sense leads us to the conclusion that a deficiency in a water soluble vitamin for pet immunity is much more likely, especially in the short term. Fat soluble vitamins important for pet health are vitamins A, E, K, and to a slightly lesser extent D. Water soluble vitamins important for pet health are vitamins C, biotin, and all B complex vitamins including B6 and B12. Let’s take a closer look at three of these.
*Vitamin A – Vitamin A is a very important vitamin for pet immunity. Primary it plays a role in maintaining the surface of the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and other body tissues as well as their secretions. These surface buffers are considered the first line of immune defense against microorganisms. In addition vitamin A has been shown to boost and/or stimulate numerous immune mechanisms, including induction of anti tumor activity, enhancement of white blood cell function, and increased antibody response.
*Vitamin C – Most people recognize the benefits of vitamin C as a primary vitamin for pet immunity. But what is often overlooked is the fact that it is water soluble, which means continually supplementation is needed to reap its benefits. Among the proven ways that vitamin C has been shown to help with immunity is it improves white blood cell response to threats, increases certain agents in the blood that fight off viral infections and cancer, and improves the linings of mucous membranes. A very important point to remember is that vitamin C levels are rapidly exhausted during the stress of an infection.
*Vitamin E – A vitamin E deficiency normally results in significant impairment of immune defenses, especially in older dog and cats. It has shown to be effective both as a preventative tool as well as to prop up an already compromised immune system.
In summary, we have just scratched the surface on important vitamins for pet health and would encourage you to do some additional research, especially in the area of the B vitamins, to learn more about vitamins for pet immunity. Additionally, many pet owners have found success in combining vitamins for pet health with natural homeopathic remedies containing astragalus and echinacea. This powerful one two punch can be a potent tool in both preventing illness and reducing recovery time when sickness does strike.