What is Colostrum & Why Do Dogs Need It?

What is Colostrum & Why Do Dogs Need It?

Disclaimer: Joyride Harness writers are not professionals. Please consult your trusted veterinarian before providing your dog new supplements.

The importance of the healthy development of dogs is understood but rarely do we talk about the details of the healthy development of dogs.

For example, we know that certain foods can maintain or strengthen bone marrow, and we also know that vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption. But what else is important to know as a dog owner and the development of your dog? 

Your dog needs something called colostrum.

What is Colostrum?

There are different phases of breast milk produced from the mother’s mammary glands. Colostrum, specifically, is found in the first phase of breast milk production. It’s an antibody-rich fluid that comes from the mammary glands within the first few days of birthing. It’s also known as a mother’s first milk.

Who benefits from Colostrum?

Dogs and other mammals benefit from colostrum, however, only certain age groups benefit from this fluid. Colostrum offers newborns important growth hormones in addition to compounds such as lactoferrin.

Young animals and infants absorb antibodies, whereas older animals cannot absorb antibodies. Despite that, older animals that ingest colostrum could still possibly yield anti-inflammatory effects. 

According to Healthline, “​​Colostrum promotes growth and health in infants and newborn animals, but research shows that taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout life.”

What are the benefits of Colostrum?

There are a handful of benefits that come from Colostrum. If your dog ingests colostrum, they may experience any of the following benefits:

  • Maintained allergies
  • Healed leaky gut
  • Loose stool/diarrhea management
  • Reduction of bacteria that causes dental disease
  • Reduction of bacteria that can aggravate autoimmune disorders
  • Gut damage from drugs
  • Anti-aging
  • Treat Lyme Disease
  • Skincare and skin repair
  • Prevent upper respiratory disease
  • Immune-boosting
  • Prevent yeast infections

Dogs Naturally Magazine reported the benefits of colostrum also touching on cancer treatment. They shared, “the cytokines in colostrum can help the body fight cancer as they activate special white blood cells … that can find and kill cancer cells. Colostrum also contains a special protein called Lactalbumin. Researchers report that Colostrum lactalbumin can cause apoptosis (death) of cancer cells … but leaves the healthy cells to thrive.”

When should dogs ingest Colostrum?

Colostrum is most impactful in development when ingested as a puppy. Remember, “Young animals and infants absorb antibodies, whereas older animals cannot absorb antibodies.” That doesn’t mean adult and senior dogs can’t reap any benefits of colostrum though. Its aid as an anti-inflammatory solution can alleviate other health issues.

How is Colostrum given to dogs?

Lucky for you and your fur baby, colostrum is available as a powder and is widely available for dogs. To get an understanding of how it works, colostrum is recommended as something you give to your dog at least 20 to 30 minutes before they eat their meal. Instructions may vary when it comes to how much colostrum you should give your dog, so when you shop colostrum, be sure to read the labels and information!

Are there any risks?

Innovative Veterinary Care (IVC) Journal explained, “Available data and anecdotal observations indicate that BC is generally considered safe and well-tolerated in dogs and cats. After all, it is just “high octane” milk. However, because it is milk, idiosyncratic reactions can occur in individual animals, and possibly in lines within a breed, based on an intolerance to milk sugars or a true hypersensitivity to milk proteins. Excluding mild idiosyncratic reactions, there are no reports in the literature of serious side effects or toxicities in humans using BC supplementation.”

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog in this section.

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