Stress Can Take a Toll on a Dog’s Healthy Immune Function

Stress from travel, competition, exposure to other dogs, and an unfamiliar environment can all contribute to gastrointestinal (GI) upset. Some dogs are more prone to developing digestive problems than others. The key is to recognize signs of a problem early.

“Since 70 percent of a dog’s immune system is associated with the gut, an upset digestive tract can result in reduced immunity,” says Purina Research Scientist Melinda Fleming, DVM. “When digestive tract inflammation and reduced immunity occur, an imbalance of the intestinal microflora can occur, resulting in digestive upset.”

Among the signs of digestive upset, owners may notice:

  • Poor stool quality
  • Reduced energy and performance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excess gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loose stool
  • Poor-quality skin and coat
  • Lethargy

Exercise is a natural stress that challenges a dog’s gastrointestinal GI system, which is

important in healthy immune function. The immune system is made up of specialized cells that recognize beneficial bacteria and help protect the body against pathogenic bacteria and viruses. When the GI system is compromised, it affects immune function.

Long-term digestive upset can cause dehydration, weight loss, and skin and coat problems. Owners should consult their veterinarian if they suspect a problem. Proper treatment can help alleviate GI upset.

The role of the gastrointestinal system as a natural defense system in healthy immune function is often overlooked. Supporting digestive health is as important as training a dog for his or her sport. 

FortiFlora Nutritional Supplement  Helps Manage Dogs with Diarrhea 

Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora canine nutritional supplement helps promote a healthy immune system. FortiFlora contains a special strain of probiotic, Enterococcus faecium SF68, which has been proven to promote intestinal health and balance.

Prescribed by veterinarians, FortiFlora may help nutritionally manage the stress of travel

or unfamiliar environments that can disrupt a dog’s digestive system. The supplement contains guaranteed amounts of live active cultures and has been shown to be safe, stable and effective in restoring normal intestinal health and balance.

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