8 winter superfoods for your pets to boost their immunity - Hindustan Times
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8 winter superfoods for your pets to boost their immunity

By, New Delhi
Dec 12, 2023 06:29 PM IST

Cold temperature can affect your pet's immunity and make them susceptible to a range of illnesses. Here's a list of winter superfoods to keep them healthy.

As the year draws to a close, mercury continues to plummet, putting us at risk of winter ailments. Just like us, our furry friends too are susceptible to illnesses during this time of the year and it's important to fuel their body with the right nutrients. While walks during early mornings and late nights are a strict no-no, it is important to keep them active throughout the day as their digestion and immunity may get impacted due to sedentary habits. Despite cold weather, dogs may be at risk of dehydration during winter, as they may not feel thirsty. It is important to add more fibre and water to their diet to keep them healthy. Pet experts also suggest adding high quality protein, omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds, fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals to support body functions. (Also read: 5 ways owning a dog can keep dementia at bay)

Pet experts suggest adding high quality protein, omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds, fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals to support your furry friend's body functions.(Freepik)
Pet experts suggest adding high quality protein, omega 3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds, fibre, and other essential vitamins and minerals to support your furry friend's body functions.(Freepik)

"As winter's embrace takes hold, our cherished pets become the focal point of our attention, urging a comprehensive approach to their well-being that carefully considers both nutrition and lifestyle, especially in the face of colder temperatures. At the core of this approach lies the incorporation of nutrient-rich foods, pivotal in fortifying your pet's immune system, equipping them to face the distinctive challenges that winter presents," says Dr Jadhav Aditya Sudhir, Veterinary Product Executive (Specialist), Drools.

FOODS TO BOOST YOUR PET'S IMMUNITY THIS WINTER

For good health and immunity, it's important to make sure your furry companion consumes the right foods. Dr Jadhav shares a list of important nutrients.

1. Protein: Proteins sourced from lean meats, eggs, and fish transcend their role in tissue repair, becoming essential contributors to the maintenance of a robust immune response.

2. Seasonal veggies and fruits: Pet-friendly produce like sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries, rich in vital vitamins, assume an additional mantle as antioxidants, acting as a protective shield for cells and actively fortifying the immune system.

3. Omega-3: The introduction of omega-3 fatty acids, gleaned from fish oil, becomes imperative due to their dual role—supporting joint health and mitigating inflammation, thereby significantly contributing to overall immune resilience. The synergy between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids becomes apparent as they play a crucial role in insulating organs and promoting optimal functioning.

4. Nuts and seeds: Among the arsenal of antioxidants, vitamin E sourced from nuts, seeds, and leafy greens emerges as a stalwart defender against free radicals, fostering a robust immune response.

5. Citrus fruits: Abundant in citrus fruits and berries, vitamin C adds an extra layer of protection against winter ailments, enhancing overall immune function.

6. Zinc: Found in red meat and poultry, it not only aids immune cell function but becomes a crucial contributor to the body's defense against infections

7. Selenium: Sourced from fish, meat, and whole grains, it supports antioxidant enzymes, providing an extra layer of fortification to the immune system.

8. Vitamin A: Present in liver, eggs, and orange and green vegetables, it assumes a dual role as an anti-infective vitamin crucial for vision and overall immune health. Adequate hydration, provided through room temperature water and wet food, is crucial for supporting bodily functions and effective winter management.

OTHER WINTER HEALTH TIPS FOR PETS

  • Indoor activities such as fetch and interactive play sessions transcend mere recreation, significantly contributing to both physical and mental health during winter.
  • For outdoor pets, a warm shelter with dry bedding and heated mats becomes a sanctuary on chilly nights, directly impacting their overall well-being.
  • Routine veterinary check-ups, integral to monitoring your pet's health, are enhanced by vaccinations and preventive care, playing a pivotal role in fortifying their immune system against seasonal challenges.

By embracing this comprehensive guide, pet owners can ensure their furry companions not only endure but thrive during the winter, paving the way for a life that is healthy and happy.

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