Benefits of Colostrum for Dogs
Colostrum is renowned as an immune system booster. It is most often used to help dogs with allergies, but it has other incredible benefits too. First, though, what exactly is colostrum?
Colostrum is the first type of breast milk produced after giving birth. Nutrient-dense and rich in antibodies and antioxidants, it helps nourish and build a healthy immune system. But it isn’t just puppies that benefit from colostrum. Adult dogs can benefit too—and it doesn’t have to be sourced from canines. Colostrum from cows, called bovine colostrum, is effective and easily sourced.
Could colostrum improve your dog’s health? Read on to find out.
Benefits Of Colostrum for Dogs
1. Immune System One of the main benefits of colostrum is improving your dog’s immune system function. Bovine colostrum strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight disease-causing agents. The immune-boosting effects of colostrum are mostly due to its high concentration of the antibodies IgA and IgG, proteins that fight viruses and bacteria. A 2013 study showed that dogs’ immune function improved when colostrum was given orally.
2. Allergies Allergies are the result of an overactive immune response. The PRPs in colostrum help moderate the overreaction. Colostrum can also decrease inflammation, helping moderate rashes and itching.
3. Diarrhea Colostrum can also help treat diarrhea, whether acute, chronic, or infectious. A 2004 study demonstrated improvement in fecal quality associated with feeding bovine collagen to puppies.
4. Leaky Gut Leaky gut in dogs is the result of gut-lining damage caused by drugs or environmental toxins. A leaky gut can cause problems from allergies to digestive issues and even arthritis. The lactoferrin (milk protein) in colostrum helps to heal leaky gut by managing inflammation and acting as a prebiotic, increasing healthy gut bacteria.
5. Oral Health Research has shown that colostrum in oral care products boosts the natural defense system and improves periodontal repair. Apply topically by making a paste of powdered collagen and distilled water.
6. Gut Damage from Pharmaceutical Use A number of studies have found that colostrum can help repair gut damage from pharmaceutical drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or antibiotics.
7. Aging Research has shown that colostrum can help preserve bone density and lean muscle mass in older adults. It is thought colostrum may help prevent cognitive decline as well.
8. Autoimmune Disease The PRPs in colostrum help regulate an overactive immune system, while the growth factors in colostrum help decrease inflammation—both key in reducing instances of autoimmune disease.
9. Yeast Lactoferrin and its peptides have antifungal properties that can help prevent or fight yeast infections in dogs.
10. Cancer Studies suggest that lactoferrin and whey lactalbumin found in colostrum can be utilized to treat cancer in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation.
11. Arthritis Addressing leaky gut and inflammation play a large role in controlling your dog’s joint pain, both of which colostrum help with. Growth factors in colostrum can also help repair joint tissue damage. The MSM in colostrum helps maintain cartilage.
12. Canine Flu Colostrum can prevent upper respiratory diseases and the canine flu. In the latter case, it’s more effective than vaccination. A 2007 study found that “colostrum, both in healthy subjects and high-risk cardiovascular patients, is at least three times more effective than vaccination to prevent flu and is very cost-effective.”
13. Skin Problems Colostrum applied topically can hasten skin repair and wound healing in dogs. Colostrum’s antibacterial effects can also help with skin infections. Mix distilled water with powdered colostrum to form a paste and apply directly to the skin.
14. Lyme Disease A University of New Haven study found that the lactoferrin found in colostrum can help treat Lyme disease thanks to its antimicrobial properties.
How to Give Bovine Colostrum to Dogs?
Colostrum usually comes in a powder or capsules that you give orally. If your dog won’t eat it plain, simply mix with a little bit of food, broth, or yogurt. It’s more effective given on an empty stomach. For topical application, mix the powdered colostrum into a paste with distilled water.
Living Stream Bovine Canine Colostrum is a natural, whole food supplement for dogs delivering immune-system-building benefits of a mother’s first milk. Collected from U.S. dairy herds, it’s 100% pure, as well as hormone, antibiotic, and pesticide free. ($29, livingstreamhealth.com)