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Health & Nutrition

How to Boost Your Dog’s Immune System: 8 Simple Ways

March 01, 2023 - 10 minute read by The Team at Dr. Harvey's

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A dog’s immune system is responsible for protecting against various illnesses. So, how can you support your dog’s immune system? Explore our guide that outlines how to boost your dog’s immune system.

What Causes a Weak Immune System in Dogs

Before discussing the tips to boost a dog’s immune system, it’s helpful to understand what causes a weakened immune system. Various factors can play a role in immunity, such as:

  • Age: Interestingly, puppies and older adult dogs have weakened immune systems for similar reasons. Puppies are new to the world, so their immune systems have not had time to develop, while the immune systems in older dogs may decline over time.

  • Common Allergies: Can cause the immune system to flare up and mount a response to a perceived danger, the same way it would if it was fighting off an actual threat – like an infection. The flaring-up of the immune system associated with allergies can cause your dog a lot of pain and discomfort.

  • Excess stress: Changes to a dog’s environment or a new addition to the home can cause dogs to feel stressed. It can take a toll on their body, weakening the immune system.

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  • Medications: Some medications suppress the immune system. There are some medications that can cause a weakened immune system if used for long periods of time. It is best to do your own research on the medications you are giving to understand their potential side effects.

  • Poor diet: Nutrition plays a significant role in the overall functionality of the canine immune system. Feeding highly processed foods, for example, can cause a weakened immune system as they do not provide the appropriate nutrients your dog needs to thrive.


Feed Your Dog Fresh, Real Food

Because Dr. Harvey’s uses real whole foods, your dog can easily absorb the nutritional value of the organic grains, vegetables and fresh protein!

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Signs of a Weakened Immune System in Dogs

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A weak immune system can show up in a variety of ways. Some signs may point to a specific condition, while others may indicate something is wrong with your companion.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, we advise you to reach out to your holistic vet: - Anemia - Diarrhea - Fatigue - General weakness - Itchy Skin - Joint pain - Lesions - Loss of appetite - Vomiting

How to Boost a Dog’s Immune System

Here are eight ways you can strengthen your dog’s immune system:

1. Feed the Right Foods

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As mentioned before, a poor diet can cause immune system problems. A healthy diet can improve immune system function and ensure your dog is getting everything they need.

Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance is a great food that will help boost your dog’s immune system. You can pair Raw Vibrance with your dog’s favorite protein.

Here are the ingredients in Raw Vibrance: Broccoli, Green Beans, Squash, Celery, Cabbage, Carrots, Crushed Eggshell, Spinach, Beets, Raw Goat’s Milk Powder, Apples, Blueberries, Bone Meal, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Ginger, Kelp, Parsley, Eggshell Membrane

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Raw Vibrance to the Rescue!

Our base-mix takes the prep-work and guesswork out of creating a balanced, nutritious Raw & Homemade Diet

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2. Weight Management

Being overweight puts more strain on the immune system and makes your dog more vulnerable to illnesses. Helping your pup shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight benefits their overall well-being and immune system. If your dog is underweight, that too can cause weakness. Providing appropriate whole foods, additional vitamins and minerals as well as good fats including Omega 3 fats can be helpful for helping your dog reach their optimal weight.

If your dog is overweight, Dr. Harvey’s Healthy Weight is a great choice.

If your dog needs to gain weight, Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health would be ideal.

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Cleaner food for a leaner dog

Made with 100% real whole food ingredients that support healthy immune function.

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3. Exercise

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Weight management and exercise go hand in hand, which is why it’s next on the list. Exercising aids in weight management, releasing endorphins, strengthening the immune system, and reducing stress. Taking your dog for walks throughout the day is a great way to keep them active!

4. Massage

What if we told you that petting (or massaging) provides your dog’s immune system with a tremendous boost? Gently kneading and rubbing your dog’s muscles and coat activates the lymphatic system and promotes relaxation and healing—time to schedule a massage session with your companion . There are also known health benefits to rubbing your dog’s ears!

5. Regular Baths

A dog being held by a person

We know some dogs would rather do just about anything over getting a bath, but it’s vital to maintain canine hygiene. Think about where dogs walk, what they sniff, and what they put in their mouths when you take your eyes off them for one second. There are plenty of opportunities for your pup to get exposed to bacteria or viruses that could weaken their immune system.

Luckily, dogs don’t require daily baths, as excessive washing can strip the skin of its natural oils.

6. Clean Toys and Bowls

Along with keeping your pup’s body clean, make sure their toys and bowls for food and water are also clean. Use warm water and mild, animal-safe soap to clean these items daily.

7. Less Stress

Since stress affects the immune system, look for ways to reduce your dog’s stress level. For example:

  • Create a safe place where they can go when new people come to visit.
  • Stick to routines as much as possible.
  • Introduce new people or animals slowly.
  • Reassure them of their safety and your love in new situations.
  • Make traveling as comfortable as possible.

8. Probiotics and Supplements

In some cases, regardless of your efforts, your dog’s immune system is still vulnerable. In this situation, it can be extremely beneficial to boost the immune system with supplementation: Probiotics and prebiotics can often improve gut health or what is known as the microbiome.

Probiotics and prebiotics, such as inulin, contain good bacteria that help restore the balance of bacteria in the digestive system. This balance is vital because of the close link between the immune and digestive systems.

Fish oil is another beneficial supplement that helps your dog’s immune system and reduces inflammation. Additionally, it improves brain function and skin health. Other supplements that can help the immune system include multivitamins and healing mushrooms.

Use Dr. Harvey’s Supplements for Your Dog’s Immune System

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Finding the right supplements and probiotics can be difficult. It’s crucial to ensure they contain top-quality ingredients and are easy to feed your pup. Dr. Harvey’s products meet both requirements, so consider which might benefit your dog.


This supplement comes with two formulas—one for the morning and one for the evening. Both help boost a dog’s immune system by reducing oxidative stress. Each contains powerful organic healing mushrooms, whole foods and herbs.

Based on your pup’s weight, use the following dosage:

  • 3–18 pounds: 1 scoop
  • 19–45 pounds: 2 scoops
  • 46–80 pounds: 3 scoops
  • 81–125 pounds: 4 scoops


This holistic organic supplement features a blend of immune-boosting ingredients like flaxseed, turmeric, and a variety of different roots. The amount of Emune-Boost powder to give your dog daily depends on its weight:

  • 2–20 pounds: 1 scoop
  • 21–50 pounds: 2 scoops
  • 51–95 pounds: 3 scoops
  • 96–150 pounds: 4 scoops

Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement

This supplement is full of whole-food ingredients teeming with different vitamins and minerals. With ingredients like spinach, chamomile, thyme, and peppermint, Dr. Harvey’s Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement can be given daily to help your dog look and feel their best.

Here’s how much to give based on weight:

  • 2–20 pounds: 1 scoop
  • 21–50 pounds: 2 scoops
  • 51–95 pounds: 3 scoops
  • 96–150 pounds: 4 scoops

Health and Shine

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Health and Shine is wild-caught fish oil which assists with immune system maintenance while improving a dog’s skin, coat, heart, and joint health. Health and Shine also contains several antioxidants.

For every 20 pounds of weight, you give one capsule, which you can mix with your dog’s food. Or use Dr. Harvey’s Health and Shine, liquid formulas. Dr. Harvey’s Omega 3 formula which is a combination of Mackerel Oil, Sardine Oil, Herring Oil, Anchovy Oil. Or Dr. Harvey’s Health and Shine Salmon and Krill Oil. We recommend alternating between these two formula.

Keep Your Pup Happy and Healthy with Dr. Harvey’s

While keeping your companion healthy takes some effort, it’s certainly worth it for years of unconditional love you will recieve. Good news for pet parents everywhere: Dr. Harvey’s strives to make it a little easier to maintain your pup’s health. Boosting your dog’s immune system is critical to long-term good health, by feeding whole foods and removing chemicals and preservatives from their diet, you will see your dog regain and maintain a strong immune system.

Between the tasty foods and the catalog of supplements, it’s easy to use various Dr. Harvey’s products to create a new healthy routine your dog.

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Makes Healthy Homemade Meals So Easy

Specially formulated with a blend of 6 organic grains and 9 dehydrated vegetables to help your dog feel healthy and energized.

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