If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for the best way to keep your dog healthy. You feed the best food. Maybe you add supplements to help with a certain condition or maybe just for overall health.
But even if you feed a natural, species appropriate, raw food diet, there are still many factors that can impact your dog’s health.
So, is there a way to counteract those impacts? Yes. It’s called bovine colostrum.
What Is Colostrum?
Colostrum is a fluid produced by mammals within moments of giving birth. For the first two days, the newborn receives all its protein, vitamins, fats and antibodies from colostrum. Then, after those two days, the newborns then feed off the mother’s milk.
Bovine colostrum comes from, well, bovines – better known as your friendly neighborhood cow. It’s the only form of colostrum that’s universal. This means that any mammal can absorb it. For example, a cow can’t absorb colostrum from a human, but a human can use the colostrum from a cow. This is the same for our dogs.
**And don’t worry, mother cows produce way more colostrum than their babies need, so they’re not missing out on the nutrients they need to thrive!
Bovine Colostrum And Immunity
Pollution, prescription drugs and toxic chemicals in tap water, genetics, even the neighbor spraying their weeds with Roundup are all things that can take a massive toll on our bodies and the bodies of our pets, especially immunity.
One of the ways that bovine colostrum can be used is to provide passive immunity. Bovine colostrum is full of bioactive compounds and peptide-rich nutrients that can neutralize viruses. A study done in 2013 found that bovine colostrum can significantly increase a dog’s immune response. The study showed that the dogs being supplemented with bovine colostrum had a much higher immune response as well as more stability and diversity in the gut microbiota.
Bovine Colostrum And Leaky Gut
Leaky Gut Syndrome is when the lining of the gut is damaged, resulting in holes in the mucosal wall. This allows food particles to enter the bloodstream, triggering an autoimmune response. Your dog’s antibodies recognize the food particles as foreign and attack them. This is how food allergies can manifest.
Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to numerous diseases and health related issues in both humans and dogs including:
- Skin issues (allergies)
- Behavioral Issues
Bovine colostrum has the ability to improve healthy and natural gut flora growth which can help heal leaky gut syndrome!
Bovine Colostrum And Allergies
Allergies are one of the most common health issues that veterinarians see in dogs. Typically, allergies show through the skin. If your dog has an allergy, it can be a terrible thing to watch him struggle with the itch. But an allergy can show itself in many ways. And not just food allergies, environmental allergies as well. You might see a rash, itchy skin, reverse sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea.
One way that bovine colostrum can help with allergies is with its ability to reduce histamine production in the body (otherwise known as inflammation). And, because bovine colostrum is made up of antibodies from the cow that has produced it, it can aid the body’s response to allergens dogs may be exposed to or have been exposed to in the past.
Want to know about why colostrum is so popular for allergies? Check this out.
Bovine Colostrum And Weaning Pups
Along with creating a more stable and diverse gut microbiome, colostrum can help a weaning pup with diarrhea. A young weaning pup’s diet is changed at a time when his immune system is vulnerable. When his immune system isn’t completely competent yet, colostrum is essential to ensure that proper gut development occurs.
Once in the weaning process, supplementing a pup with bovine colostrum can help ensure healthy gut development and transition him over to his new diet more smoothly. Preventing diarrhea from occurring as well as helping him fight off several viruses he may be prone to getting during this period is never a bad idea.
And let’s not forget, bovine colostrum can help our older dogs with diarrhea as well.
As you can see, there are many ways that bovine colostrum can benefit your dog. By giving your four-legged friend this powerful and natural supplement you’ll be providing him with a strong immune system, proactively stopping or potentially healing leaky gut syndrome, helping him with allergies and promoting good gut health.
Carrie Andersen and her company Loui & Me: Doggie Care Co. are dedicated to helping pet owners find holistic approaches to pet care. Her business produces a blog and podcast, Give Your Dog A Bone, which can be found on iTunes and Spotify. Her inspiration for helping pet owners find alternative and natural care methods comes from her dog Kahlua, a Shar Pei mix who suffers from skin allergies. To connect with Carrie, you can follow her on Instagram: @loui_and_me, you can subscribe to her blog at www.louiandmedogcare.com, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org