Is This Wreaking Havoc With Your Dog's Immune System?


Hi there Lyndall Pinchen, Canine Naturopath from Canine Vitality back again in this week’s post “Is this wreaking havoc with your dog’s immune system?” Now this is something that I see alot of in my clinic and in pretty much every case of immune related issues, this is a factor.

So what is it you may ask??

Well I’ll get to that in a moment. But firstly I wanted to ask you as the dog owner if you have a dog (or have had one in the past) that has suffered from any type of allergy or yeast infection, recurrent infections (ear, urinary tract, gut and skin), autoimmune diseases including inflammatory bowel disease or thyroid disease, hotspots, wounds that take a long time to heal, low energy and stamina, recurring bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea or of course, any type of cancer? If so then your dog’s immune system may need support and balancing.


Now back to today’s topic. So what is this thing that is wreaking havoc with our dog’s immune systems?? STRESS!!. And while there are many things that can have a negative impact on our pet’s health including poor diet, chemicals and so on, stress plays a huge role in the ability of the immune system to function in a normal balanced way. So today I’m going to talk to you a little bit more about what stress does to our dog’s immune systems and a few tips on overcoming stress in a more natural way.

The word ‘stress’ is such as overused term in our society and as humans we all seem to be constantly under some sort of stress whether is be physical or emotional. And while some stress is actually a good thing, of course too much or stress that becomes ongoing is NOT healthy. Stress and has the same harmful effects on your dog’s body and immune system that it does on our own. And it is well known that high anxiety levels play a big role in the overall functioning of the immune system. When I talk about stress, I mean stress that can affect your dog physically (such as pain or chronic itching, poor nutrition, any disease, poor living environment etc) or emotionally. This might be triggered by the way we interact with our dogs or other external influences. Often both emotional and environmental changes for a dog can be a trigger for stress and subsequent health issues.

So why does stress have such a negative impact on the immune system. Well, that’s a big question and I could probably write a book about that (hmmm, that’s a good idea actually). And to answer that let’s first look at an example of ‘good’ stress in your dog. Now most of us are familiar with our dog’s doing ‘zoomies’....what do I mean by that?? You know, when they take off running around the yard, oval, beach, or any dog friendly space and run themselves into exhaustion and then collapse in a heap with a big smile on their faces.... Well, at least that’s what my dogs do! What happens internally in this process?? Well thia good stress actually manifests whats called the ifght or flight response...a chemical reaction that occurs when a threat to survival is perceived this trigger a physiological response. This creates a temporary boost of energy and alertness.


When stress becomes prolonged or chronic, this actually results in high levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol that remains circulating in the body for long periods of time. Aside from  many other negative effects, high levels of cortisol WEAKEN the immune system leading to a development of inflammatory conditions as well as an increase in both infections and autoimmune diseases due to a very confused immune system.


And this is where you may see the development of those things we mentioned in the beginning of today’s post.

So if your dog is suffering from any immune issue, then it might be a good thing to consider whether there may be an underlying stress issue because until this is addressed, the problem with the immune system will be very difficult to overcome.

Now there are a range of natural herbs and supplements that can be really beneficial when it comes to lowering stress hormones and supporting the nervous system. But it’s important to look at what is causing the stress in the first place.

Always make sure your dog has a happy and calm living environment and make sure they are on a natural raw diet that is free from processed foods as this can contribute to anxiety levels. Try where possible to reduce the level of chemicals and medications you give to your dog as all of these are physical stressors for your dog. And if you are experiencing stress or anxiety behaviours with your dog, I would recommend you check out Jenny Golsby from Complete Canine Communication and her monthly run workshop “Unleash the dog within”. Go to This workshop is designed to help you understand about the dog and its language and also  understand in easy terms why problems exist and how to avoid them. There is a focus on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of behaviour. This is an excellent workshop to understand where stress may be coming from in your dogs life and how to overcome the problems.

Now if you’d like to find out more about my favourite stress and anxiety supplements, just check out my blog. And you can also read more about more STRESS/ANXIETY herbal blend that can be a supportive remedy for dogs suffering from any anxiety issue. Just go to the link on the screen for details. (

So by treating your dog’s underlying stress problem, you will often find that immune issues can resolve naturally. And if they don’t, then it becomes much easier to treat them naturally when you have a calm and happy dog.  This allows for more full healing and a return to balance and strength.

So thankyou for watching today’s post on “Is this wreaking havoc with your dogs immune system?”.

Don’t forget to like, comment and share this post or subscribe to my youtube channel for the latest happyhealthydog updates straight to your inbox. And I look forward to catching up with you in next week’s post but for now, it’s goodbye!