1. Boosting immunity
Colostrum begins it’s work in the gut, which is where the majority of dogs’ immunity resides. When the canine gut microbiome is out of balance, it can cause their immune systems to behave erratically, reacting defensively to things that they normally wouldn’t.
Thanks to its health-promoting properties, colostrum helps reduce inflammation, calms the immune response, and allows dogs’ immune systems to begin functioning normally. Also, when given at an early age, colostrum helps to build strong, balanced immune systems in puppies, setting them up for a healthy adult life.
2. Digestive health
As all health begins in the gut, it’s important that the digestive system functions optimally. An imbalanced gut microbiome can result in all sorts of discomfort for dogs, including leaky gut, allergies, malabsorption, and more. Much of this can be avoided through a whole food, species-appropriate diet, but some dogs do require additional help in the form of nutritional supplements.
Colostrum contains IgA antibodies, which form a protective lining in the digestive tract, so that bad bacteria and viruses don’t enter the bloodstream. It also acts as a food source for healthy gut bacteria, allowing the “good guys” to outweigh the bacteria that promote the potential for gut health issues. It also helps to soothe irritated gut linings, aiding in their ability to regenerate and restore, thus supporting the natural healing process.
3. Growth and development
Puppies grow at a rapid rate, and require optimal nutritional support throughout their various developmental stages. Receiving the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive is made possible through balanced gut health, as a healthy gut allows them to absorb and assimilate nutrients more effectively.
By contrast, an imbalanced gut microbiome may prevent puppies from absorbing these much-needed nutrients, resulting in less than ideal growth and development, along with other potential issues down the road.
Colostrum gives puppies their best chance at healthy growth and development by starting them out on the right path nutritionally. Their immune systems, digestive health, and ability to absorb/assimilate nutrients are all strengthened through the use of colostrum in their early lives, boosting their health in numerous ways from the very beginning. This strong start follows them as they grow, resulting in healthier, happier adult dogs.
Discover more about supporting your puppy’s growth and development with a fresh natural diet in our puppy raw feeding guide, and read tips for welcoming your pup home from our canine behaviourist, Caroline Spencer, in our Puppy-Prep guide.
4. Joint and muscle support
Dogs can experience joint and muscle issues for a variety of reasons, with age, malnutrition, and poor exercise recovery being among them. However, inflammation is more often the cause of these issues, which stems from an imbalanced gut and ripples out into dogs’ various systems. Calming this inflammation is possible by infusing the proper nutrients into dogs’ diets, with colostrum being one of the most helpful.
The multiple growth factors, MSM, and other health-promoting properties in colostrum work together to repair cellular and tissue damage, preserve muscle mass and bone density in older dogs, reduce pain and inflammation, and support muscles and joints to return to their optimal state.
5. Anti-inflammatory properties
As I’ve mentioned, colostrum plays a crucial role in calming inflammation throughout dogs’ systems. Since inflammation is responsible for a wide array of health issues including joint and muscle problems, allergy symptoms, skin health concerns and poor gut health, the anti-inflammatory properties of colostrum are particularly helpful. Through calming, balancing, and restoring the gut, inflammatory responses can be corrected, allowing dogs relief from various inflammation-related health issues.
The naturally occurring Lactoferrin in colostrum is largely responsible here: it takes care of any inflammation-causing pathogens including viruses, parasites, and fungi.