Natural Immune Boosters for your Pet
Part Two

Here are two supplements you can give to your pet to help boost their immune system. If I had to pick one, probiotics would be the easiest to give and something almost all our pets need in their diet. If you find that your pet’s immune system needs a boost, medicinal mushrooms can be very beneficial and easy to add to their diet. 

About 80% of your pet’s immune system comes from his gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and L. acidophilus. These good bugs act as a front line of defense by sticking to the intestinal mucosa.
They compete for space and crowd out the pathogenic bacteria that enter the gut. Some probiotics also produce a protective mucose layer.

And this mucose layer is what keeps bacteria from entering the lining of the intestines. When bacteria is able to enter the lining it creates inflammation which can lead to a leaky-gut.

Probiotics produce the short-chain fatty acids lactic acid and acetic acid. Which discourage the growth of pathogenic bacteria. This means less chronic inflammation in the body.

Reducing chronic inflammation is a big step in disease prevention. And it reduces your pet’s cancer risk significantly.

And bacteria, like Lactobacillus, can decrease the production of Salmonella and E. coli … at least, in vitro. They are able to regulate the growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. By destroying these foreign invaders they prevent disease.

When To Give Your pet Probiotics:

If he has loose or soft stools

When he is struggling with allergies

If he is prone to illness

How To Give Your pet Probiotics:
You will want to give your dog probiotics at least a few times each week as prevention. And daily if they are currently unwell.
By feeding probiotics on a regular basis you’ll have fewer diarrhea episodes to worry about. And you’ll be boosting his immune system too.
We do carry supplements you can add to the food, but my favorite is the Answers Fermented raw milks and stocks. Because this is a food, the body easily adjust to it and takes in the nutrients much easier than a powder supplement. They also make a great line of dog and cat food that is all fermented with different strains of probiotics. 

There are a variety of medicinal mushrooms with immune-boosting properties and combinations of several medicinal mushrooms seem to work best. We carry the Healthline which has 14 medicinal mushrooms in it. 

The major medicinal mushrooms include:

#1 Reishi
Reishi has anti-cancer and immune-enhancing effects. This is due to its mucopolysaccharides. These are complex sugars that the body incorporates into its cell membranes. This “coating” makes cells resistant to viruses and harmful bacteria.

Reishi mushrooms also contain triterpenes. These stimulate the production of a special protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TFN regulates immune cells and kills cancer cells. They are also rich in polysaccharides. They activate the macrophages that “eat” viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders.

#2 Maitake
Maitake mushrooms have a very high concentration of a unique polysaccharide compound called beta-1,6-glucan. Researchers consider this beta-glucan to be one of the most powerful immune stimulants known. Studies found maitake produced a 64 percent inhibition of breast cancer and tumor activity in mice. And a 75 percent inhibition of skin cancer and tumor activity.

The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Japanese National Institute of Health ran more studies. These showed that maitake extract killed the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and enhanced the activity of helper T-cells.

Researchers reported that the maitake extract was as powerful as AZT. A commonly prescribed AIDS drug … but without the toxic side effects.
Overall, maitake protects healthy cells from becoming cancerous. This helps prevent the spread of cancer (metastasis) and slows or stops the growth of tumors.

#3 Turkey Tail
This medicinal mushroom was approved by the FDA for a trial in cancer patients.Turkey tail mushroom is rich in beta-glucans and also in Polysaccharide K (PSK). This active compound is approved to treat cancer in Japan and few side effects have been reported. A Penn State study reviewed turkey tail use in dogs with hemangiosarcoma. Dogs treated with PSK from turkey tail mushrooms had the longestsurvivaltimes ever reported for dogs with this common cancer. Also, Turkey Tail is a prebiotic and will help to feed the probiotics (bacteria) in your pet’s gut. 

And there are other immune-boosting mushrooms. These include:





Ideally, you’ll want to give your dog a blend of several of them.
When To Give Your pet Mushrooms:

  • As he ages to provide anti-oxidant and anti-cancer support
  • when he is battling cancer
  • When he is battling a virus or infection

How To Give Your pet Mushrooms:
The recommended dose of mushrooms is 200mg of each mushroom for a medium-sized pet. You can give them once a day for prevention or twice daily for dogs with immune challenges.

But be sure your dog’s mushrooms are double extracted and are really mushrooms … not mycelium! Mycelium vs. Mushroom – The actual mushroom itself is called the fruit (or fruiting) body. It produces spores; the spores germinate and create a network of mycelium (almost like roots). … The mycelium are like the roots of the mushroom. They are very light, thin, wispy, almost like spider webs.

If you did not see Part 1 of Immune support for your pets, please go to our blog on our web page as keeping your pet’s immune system strong needs to start with diet and environment as well as adding supplements. If you would like a free consult, please feel free to contact me. 

Disclaimer –  Kristina McLeskey is not a Veterinarian. These are just general guidelines. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please see your veterinarian.