PetsDisease-Fighting Food to Feed Your Dog

Disease-Fighting Food to Feed Your Dog

Nothing is satisfying as seeing your furry friend active, happy, and healthy. Strengthening your dog’s immune system is crucial in ensuring that your dog is healthy. Like humans, dogs are vulnerable to infections. However, does a diet of flaxseed, oatmeal, and blueberries keep dog diseases at bay as it does to humans?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic food that can keep your dog’s veterinarian away. Like humans, a balanced diet is crucial for your dog’s health. However, this doesn’t rule out the effectiveness of food items thought to be of high nutritional value. For instance, inconclusive studies show that a fresh diet is very nutritious.

Is Quality Food Enough to Fight Diseases?

While quality commercial dog food provides endless nutritional benefits, such as improving dog kidney health, they don’t provide all the required nutrients. Most commercial dog foods are rich in cereals and grains. You should supplement your dog’s diet with homemade food options.

For instance, fruits and vegetables provide the much-needed vitamins and minerals required to improve the immune system. This diet is important for growing puppies with maturing immune systems or senior dogs with deteriorating immune systems due to advancing age.

Disease-Fighting Food to Include in Your Dog’s Diet

You should consider the following diet to improve your dog’s immune system.

1. Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are widely known to control inflammation. Fatty acids derived from fish oil have been found to be effective in managing skin inflammation, joint disease, and kidney diseases. Unfortunately, not all commercial dog foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Even those with omega-3 fatty acids don’t have sufficient amounts required to produce the desired effects.

Apart from quantity, the source of omega-3 acids also matters. For instance, dogs and cats can’t metabolize omega-3 acids from flax seeds and other plant sources efficiently. This explains why veterinarians recommend feeding your dog with omega-3 acids derived from fish oil.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are a good option. However, you should be wary of several things before buying them for your dog. For instance, ensure the manufacturer has satisfactory quality control measures to ensure supplements are not contaminated and are toxins-free.

There are several omega-3 fatty acid supplements available on the market. However, most of them are formulated for human consumption. While you can feed your dog with these options in the form of meatballs or other formulations, opt for supplements specifically made for pets. Most human supplements have high levels of vitamins A and D, which might be risky for your dog. Fish oil also has extra fat calories, which might be dangerous for your dog in high doses.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good source of trace nutrients and compounds that can’t be found in commercial dog food. The following fruits and vegetables can boost your dogs’ immune system function:

  • Apples – Your dog will certainly need more than an apple a day to stay away from the vet. However, apples are a healthy and nutritious addition to a dog diet. Apples are rich in vitamins A and C, which fight free radicals in the body. They are also a good source of fiber, which supports digestion and immune system health.
  •  Carrots – You should also include carrots in your dog’s meal plan. Carrots are affordable and low in calories, making them a perfect snack for hungry dogs. They also contain beta carotene, which are powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and strengthen your dog’s immune system.
  • Berries – Dogs like these delectable fruits. Strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries are very beneficial to your dog’s immune health. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  •  Pumpkin – Pumpkin contains vitamins A and C, which support immune system function. They are also low in calories, thus a perfect choice for pet parents concerned about their dogs’ weight.
  • Sweet potatoes – These offer beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Beta-carotene is also converted to vitamin A in dogs, which is important in dogs’ overall health.
  • Bananas – They are a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including copper, potassium, manganese, and vitamins B and C. They also strengthen the immune system. However, limit your dogs’ intake because of their high sugar levels.
  • Broccoli – Serving your dog broccoli supplements vitamin C and fiber. They also have low calorie and fat levels.
  • Melons – Very few pet owners serve their dogs melons. However, melons are rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, and beta-carotene.

3. Mushrooms

Though lesser known, mushrooms should be part of your dog’s meals. Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharopeptides, which have excellent tumor-fighting properties. PSP from mushrooms also improves your pets’ immune response. Mushrooms also contain lectins, which stop the proliferation of cancer cells, and B-glucans, which stimulate immune system cells. However, not all mushroom strains are good for your dog’s health. You should only feed your dog with medicinal mushrooms. These include turkey tail, shiitake, maitake, and reishi.

4. Fiber

Not all commercial pet food contains sufficient amounts of fiber. Your veterinarian may suggest supplementing your dogs’ fiber intake by feeding them with lentils or oatmeal. Psyllium, chia, and flax seeds are also good sources of fiber for your dog. Fiber is beneficial to your dog in many ways.

For starters, fiber increases satiety, which encourages weight loss. Ensuring your dog maintains a lean body weight is important. Excessive weight gain and obesity affect your dog’s overall health and shorten its lifespan. Fiber also improves your dog’s gastrointestinal health by supporting the gut microflora. Gut health is strongly linked to immune health.

However, amidst all these benefits, you should take precautions when choosing sources of fiber for your dog. For instance, including excessive fiber in your dog’s diet can reduce nutrient bioavailability. It can also cause flatulence and gut discomfort.


Like humans, feeding your dog with essential nutrients ensures they remain strong and healthy. Apart from commercial pet food, your pet diet should include homemade delicacies. While at it, chocolate, grapes, macadamia nuts, avocado, and onion/garlic shouldn’t be part of your dog’s diet, as they can make your dog sick.

Heather Jones
Heather Jones
Hello! I'm Heather Jones, a dedicated writer and expert in the fields of DIY projects, home improvement, and emergency preparedness. With over 15 years of hands-on experience, I'm committed to sharing practical tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your home and life.

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