Strengthen your pet’s immune system!

And some information on COVID 19 from the AVMA


This is indeed a trying time. It’s interesting to me that what is happening is that we are being faced with the same reality we face every day- we are not in control and we are not promised anything – not even tomorrow. Every day of my life has been a day where everything could change in an instant. However, the vast majority of the time, I’m not really thinking/acting that way. I don’t know many humans that live this way, in complete surrender/ mindfulness/ presence. I do know my dogs live this way and they may be the happiest beings I’ve ever met. BUT,  this isn’t a spiritual blog, it’s about animals so I will get on with it. 

Can your pet get COVID 19 from a person who has it? 

AVMA statement:

  • Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a face mask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.

Here is link for additional guidance from the CDC regarding pets:

How can you boost your pet’s immune system?

While this is a loaded question, I will keep it to one aspect of immune health: maintaining a healthy gut flora. Keep in mind, this is best maintained when pets are not eating processed food – human grade food is the way to go. However this is something you would discuss with your holistic veterinarian before starting to help make this transition as comfortable as possible for both you and your pet.

Top three aspects of a healthy gut flora: 

  1. Probiotics: see previous blog about this.  
  2. Fermented food
  3. Prebiotic  

A few key points about each: 

I wrote an entire separate blog on this if you want more information on probiotics for dogs ( ) A probiotic is a live organism. When at all possible, I recommend using something that is kept cold and has been kept cold the entire time it has been “alive”. So if you ordered something like this, it would come to you cold he way Visbiome does. 

For pets over 40#, I usually use the human visbiome ( )

For pets under 40#, I use the vet version (exact same formula just made to be able to dose it more easily for small animals) you can get this on 

Fermented food

A great example is goats milk, I like the one made by Answers pet food and The Honest Kitchen. One of our local pet stores in east Nashville, Mutts and Meows, has been closed since the tornado due to damage. If you want to support them, you may consider buying this from their online store. It’s widely available otherwise though. 

I often get the question/ comment that people give their pets yogurt. Unless it has zero sugar, I don’t really recommend this. I’m honestly not a big fan of any ‘cow’s milk’ with dogs and cats. Cow’s milk dairy products are highly inflammatory, so I recommend not giving them to your pets.



This can be as simple as fiber: canned pumpkin. (try to choose BPA free cans and store it in a non BPA container once opened). 

My prebiotic preference is to use the fiber beta glucan from mushrooms. You need to be sure the product is made from the fruiting body of the mushroom, not mycelium. My favorite product for this is Nammex 5 defenders and it can be purchased (this is a link to the capsules there is also a powder form available on this website).  The 5 defenders blend includes Reishi, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, Maitake, and Cordryceps mushrooms. The product is 3rd party tested and contains <5% starch, >20% Beta-D-glucans. 

Some additional immune health tips:

Add antioxidants when possible- organic blue berries are a great example of this, frozen is ok! Leafy greens are another but use caution during these times (or any time) if your pet has been eating kibble their whole life and you introduce leafy greens, you may see some diarrhea. In Chinese Medicine, leafy greens action is to “moisten the intestines” if you know what they mean. So, no more than 1 tsp per 20# of dog at first or better yet, if you aren’t prepared to treat early diarrhea at home on your own (see previous blog about this:   ) then maybe hold off until you are prepared should this happen.  

Stay healthy out there. And remember to turn off the TV, put the dogs on a leash and take them for a walk! It’s very easy to stay 6 feet away from others when going for a walk. 

And remember, I do offer telephone/ Zoom / FaceTime consultations. I do require recent vet records so I can see what’s going on with your pet, but there are some recommendations I can make over a Zoom call! Are you wanting to start doing some cooking for your pet but don’t know where to start? Do you want to discuss their supplements and see if what you’re using is a good choice or if there are better ones out there? Or, do you just want to talk about your pet and find out if there is anything that holistic, Chinese medicine or spinal manipulation can offer your pet? If so, click here and we can get started on scheduling a consultation! 

To schedule a house call or phone / facetime/ zoom consult click this link and fill out the requested information!

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