Support your pup's overall well being by looking for nutritious fruits and vegetables that also act as immune boosters for dogs.
Did you know that 70% of your dog’s immune system is in their gut (aka the gastrointestinal tract)?
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your pup gets the best nutrition for their life stage and any health conditions they might have. Even with perfectly healthy dogs, you want to give them as many good, immunity-boosting ingredients as you can.
You can start by checking out the label on the food you give your dog every day. Look for nutritious fruits and vegetables that also act as immune boosters for dogs. Sundays for Dogs recipes have plenty of natural whole foods, including the best fruits and vegetables for dogs.
#1 Immune Booster for Dogs: Berries
If your dog loves berries, you’re in luck. Berries have tons of vitamin A, C, and E, and all of these act as antioxidants. Free radicals are unstable agents that can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants shut off the power supply to free radicals, which neutralizes them and stops them from affecting other cells in the body. They also help boost the immune system and fight cancer.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cranberries all have another antioxidant superpower called anthocyanins. Not only do anthocyanins give berries their amazing blue, red, and purple colors, but they also provide one of the most powerful natural sources of antioxidants.
#2 Immune Booster for Dogs: Apples
A lot of dogs like good, crunchy apple slices as treats. It turns out that apples are great immune boosters for dogs, too. In fact, the USDA tested a bunch of foods to see which had the most antioxidants, and three different varieties of apples made it into their top 20 list!
So you’re in luck if your pup’s favorite type of apple is red delicious, gala, or Granny Smith, although all apples are low in fat, high in fiber, and have plenty of vitamins A and C. Vitamin C helps strengthen immune system cells, and vitamin A helps protect cells from damage.
Peel and core the apple and cut it into small slices before giving it to your dog. For smaller dogs, feed just a few slices because of the high sugar content.
#3 Immune Booster for Dogs: Oranges
Although oranges have plenty to offer in the way of immunity, some dogs don’t like the taste of citrus. For those that will happily accept an orange slice, they can benefit from tons of vitamin C, which we all know is great for the immune system. It helps the body produce antibodies and also fights free radicals.
Unlike us, dogs’ bodies produce vitamin C, but there are times when they could use a bit extra. When dogs are stressed, vitamin C is sent with other nutrients to help manage stress hormones. So they may need a boost from their diet to keep their immunity up. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, since the citrus can irritate their tummy if they eat too much.
If your dog doesn’t like the taste of oranges, don’t worry; we’ve included it in both Sundays for Dogs recipes for them to enjoy!
#4 Immune Booster for Dogs: Carrots
Just like apples, carrots are low in fat and high in fiber. But in terms of immunity, it’s the beta carotene that does the job. First off, it’s a great antioxidant all on its own. And then when dogs eat carrots or another food that’s high in beta-carotene, their body converts it to vitamin A, which helps maintain a healthy gut lining, among other things.
Beta carotene also encourages the body to produce more antibodies and have a better immune response. Not to mention that it helps maintain your dog’s good eyesight and wards off certain eye diseases like cataracts.
#5 Immune Booster for Dogs: Zucchini
You probably wouldn’t think of zucchini as a vegetable that supports immune system health. Like the other fruits and veggies on this list, zucchinis are packed with antioxidants. They also have several vitamins that are full of immune-boosting power, like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A.
Fruits and Veggies in Sundays for Dogs Recipes
You don’t have to feed your pup tons of fruits and veggies to give them all these nutritious benefits. In fact, too much fruit isn’t good since fruit has a bunch of natural sugar.
The easiest way to get all the goodness is to feed your dog a complete and balanced diet that also has these ingredients. Sundays for Dogs serves up the best fruits and vegetables for dogs with plenty of nutrients that are great for your dog’s immune system:
- Tart Cherries
If you do want to supplement your dog’s daily diet with some delicious fruits and vegetables, make sure that these along with any other treats don’t add up to more than 10% of their total food intake.