Dog’s Immune System and Alfalfa
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Jennifer
Posted on: February 27, 2007

Upon researching and reading, I’ve learned that if a dog is in optimum health they won’t get worms, fleas, etc. I am mindful of what my dog eats, where he eats, how he eats and how much. My question is if the vet examined him supposedly properly, how is my dog getting fleas, pin worms and I hate to think what else? Would giving him alfafa boost his immune system? Its benefits are listed in my herb book. Would it also work on my dogs immune system?

I assume from your email that your dog has had episodes of flea and worm infestation? (re: pinworms, please see the posting on this website (wwew.richters.com) entitled, "Possible Pinworms and Apple Cider Vinegar"). The foundation of all health (including immune system health) is diet. And in my experience, nothing has topped one that is homemade and comprised of fresh, species-appropriate ingredients. Please see the work of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst for further information and recipes. Herbs are wonderful adjuncts to diet, but they cannot replace the strong foundation only good nutrition can provide. Therefore, alfalfa may make a difference in your dog’s overall health, but not to the degree of a well-planned homemade diet. However, for your information, Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) contains high amounts of trace minerals, vitamins A, C, D, E, K, some of the Bs as well as fibre and chlorophyll. There have been some concerns regarding its use under the following conditions: do not use fresh alfalfa or alfalfa seeds as they can be implicated in colic and allergic response. In addition, use small amounts only as theoretically high doses of vitamin K (found in alfalfa) can lead to a condition known as Heinz-body anaemia.

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