Top 12 Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs

Top 12 Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs

Recommended Article #29October22

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Top 12 Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs

Dogs’ allergies could be helped with colostrum because colostrum is a potent immune modulator. The immune benefits mean that colostrum has a whole lot of other benefits to offer, beyond allergy relief.

What Is Colostrum?

Colostrum is a substance found in mother’s milk. It provides newborns with their first nutrition and aids in building a healthy immune system. The best part? Colostrum is not just beneficial for newborns, but your furkid too, and it does not have to come from a dog! Bovine colostrum, from cows, works well and is easily found.

How to give Colostrum to dogs?

Colostrum usually comes in a powder or capsule form that could be orally administered. It is most effective on an empty stomach, and could be mixed with a little broth or plain unsweetened yogurt for feeding.

Why Colostrum is so good for dogs?

Colostrum has some key components that make up its healing properties.


Colostrum contains immunoglobulins, otherwise known as antibodies. The antibodies in colostrum include IgG, IgM and IgA.

IgG antibodies give puppies and young animals passive immunity, protecting them until their own immune system matures. IgG antibodies also neutralize viruses. and fight bacteria and long-standing chronic infections.

IgM antibodies are the first antibodies newborns make. They activate a component of the immune system called the complement cascade. Some bacteria have evolved to have surfaces that complement proteins are unable to bind to. IgM antibodies have the ability to bind to nearly every surface the bacteria will throw at it. This helps the complement proteins attach and destroy the invaders. IgM antibodies are the first defence line against viruses too.

IgA is another important class of antibodies. Your dog makes more of this than any other antibody. IgA antibodies form a lining in the digestive tract. Their job is to coat bacteria and viruses in the digestive tract so they do not enter the body. If dogs do not have enough IgA antibodies, foreign invaders will constantly escape the digestive tract to cause chronic diarrhea and bowel inflammation. They could also enter the blood stream and cause allergy symptoms and chronic inflammation in the organs. It is, therefore, critical to have enough IgA stores in the body.

Growth Factors 

Growth factors stimulate cell growth, help repair muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Growth factors also help with healing the intestinal lining.


This milk protein is antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiparasitic. It helps eliminate pathogens that trigger inflammation. It also has anti-tumor effects. New research even shows it is more effective than Doxycycline at treating Lyme disease.


Proline-rich polypeptides (PRP) regulate the thymus and immune function by stimulating underactive immune systems or moderating overactive ones. They help the body respond to invaders like microbes, toxins or allergens.


Methylsulfonylmethane is often found in joint supplements. It is a micronutrient that supports wound healing, and helps maintain cartilage and manage pain. MSM is also used in cancer treatments. Studies have shown it reduced breast cancer tumors, even helping to manage prostate and liver cancers.

As can be seen, one of the main benefits of colostrum is its ability to regulate the immune system.

The Top Twelve Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs

There are many reasons to give your doggie friend colostrum. One of the most common reasons is to relieve allergy symptoms.

1) Allergies

Allergies are an overactive immune response, of which PRPs in colostrum help moderate that response. Colostrum also aids in managing inflammation that causes rashes, itching, and discomfort. Colostrum also helps manage leaky gut, a common cause of allergic reactions in dogs.

2) Leaky gut

Leaky gut happens when your furkid’s gut lining gets damaged. Drugs or other environmental toxins are the causes of this. Once damaged, undigested food particles would be able to pass through the lining to get into the bloodstream. These invaders could then cause problems. ranging from allergies to digestive issues, even arthritis. 

Colostrum is able to help heal leaky gut thanks to lactoferrin, which helps manage inflammation and acts as a  prebiotic to “feed” healthy gut bacteria.

3) Diarrhea

Aside from healing leaky gut, colostrum is also able to help manage diarrhea.

Studies show it is able to help reduce many different kinds of diarrhea, from chronic, acute, to even infectious diarrhea.

Colostrum could also be useful for that litter of puppies. A 2004 study showed that colostrum improved the fecal quality of weaned puppies.

4) Oral health

Periodontal disease is a leading veterinary problem in small animal patients. It is particularly prominent in small dogs, and often leads to tooth loss. Most conventional vets recommend regular teeth cleaning under anesthesia, which is risky, and is usually why many dog owners are understandably reluctant.

It has been suggested that colostrum could help reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease. Growth factors in colostrum may also repair damaged tissue.

5) Gut damage from drugs

Drugs like non steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDS) and antibiotics have many side effects, and are able to cause permanent damage to your doggie friend’s gut health, including leaky gut.

Several studies show that colostrum can help repair gut damage from pharmaceutical drugs. Keep colostrum in mind if your furkid ever needs conventional drugs in an emergency.

6) Aging

Every pawrent would want their furkid to stay young and vibrant. Research has shown that colostrum could have anti-aging effects by helping preserve lean muscle mass and bone density in older adults. This relates to better mobility and strength as your dog ages.

Colostrum also improves recovery from exercise, helping prevent oxidative stress. Studies also show it may prevent cognitive decline as well.

7) Autoimmune disease

Similar to their human counterparts, dogs are suffering more and more from autoimmune disease. Over-vaccination, leaky gut and environmental toxins are some of these contributing factors. The PRPs in colostrum help regulate an overactive immune system while growth factors decrease inflammation. Both of these work to reduce the risk of autoimmune disease.

Immunoglobulins and lactoferrin also help by limiting bacteria and viruses that could trigger or aggravate autoimmune disorders.

8) Yeast

Yeast causes itching, skin odor and much discomfort. Lactoferrin and its peptides have strong antifungal activity. Along with colostrum’s immune-boosting properties, it could help fight that stubborn yeast infection.

9) Cancer

Immunoglobulins in colostrum help support the immune system by helping fight viruses and bacterial infections.

Lactoferrin’s anti-inflammatory effects may also help treat and prevent cancer.The cytokines in colostrum can help the body fight cancer by activating special white blood cells that find and kill cancer cells. Colostrum also contains a special protein, Lactalbumin. Colostrum lactalbumin is able to cause apoptosis (death) of cancer cells to leave the healthy cells to thrive.

10) Joint Issues and Arthritis

Managing leaky gut and inflammation are a big part of controlling joint pain and arthritis in a dog. Growth factors in colostrum help repair tissue damage in the joints, while the MSM help manage pain and inflammation. MSM is also important in cartilage maintenance.

11) Canine flu

Colostrum has the ability to prevent upper respiratory diseases, and is an even better flu prevention than vaccination. In fact, a 2007 study showed colostrum being “at least 3 times more effective than vaccination”. A 2013 study found that a lactoferrin-whey protein supplement could cut down on colds. Only 48 of the participants got sick versus 112 in the placebo group. Those who did get colds were sick for shorter periods.

Another study in 2013 showed that dogs’ immune function improved with colostrum; and if vaccinated (though it is hoped not!), the same study suggested colostrum may improve the vaccine response.

If your furkid goes to daycare or boarding, a colostrum boost could help prevent that flu or kennel cough!

12) Skin problems

Using colostrum topically could help speed skin repair and wound healing. Its antibacterial effects could also help with skin infections. This could be done by mixing powdered colostrum with distilled water to make a paste.

  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Ear infections
  • Hot spots
  • Insect bites
  • Rashes
  • Skin infections
  • Wounds, including surgical ones

Bonus Benefit: Colostrum For Lyme Disease

There is a bonus benefit to colostrum. A University of New Haven study found that lactoferrin could help treat Lyme disease, and is more effective than the antibiotic doxycycline, the standard treatment for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease comes from the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Previous studies have shown that B burgdorferi often appears in biofilm form. Biofilms are structured bacteria colonies, surrounded by a polysaccharide layer that contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium or manganese. Biofilm hides the bacteria from the immune system and protects them from antibiotics, even increasing B burgdoferi's antibiotic resistance up to 1000 times compared to individual spirochete forms of the bacterium. This makes Lyme disease very difficult to treat.

The new UNH study shows that lactoferrin at concentrations of 80ug/ml was 5% more effective than doxycycline. Lactoferrin lowered the viability of B burdorferi biofilm by 15%. Lactoferrin may work due to its absorption of iron and manganese from biofilms. B Burgdorferi also uses manganese for biological processes, which deprives the bacteria of the essential nutrients. 

The 80ug/ml concentration was the most effective. Researchers have found the lactoferrin concentration in colostrum to range from 1.5 to 5 mg/mL. The effective concentration of 80ug/mL converts to 0.08mg/mL, so colostrum has ample concentrations of lactoferrin.

If your furkid has Lyme disease symptoms, colostrum is a low cost, safe supplement to help fight this stubborn bacterial infection.

Safe for lactose intolerant dogs?

Colostrum has very little lactose and should not, usually, cause a reaction in most lactose intolerant dogs. However, should your furkid have a dairy or beef allergy, start with a small amount and watch out for reactions. Should there be no signs of digestive upset, colostrum administration could be continued.

How to choose a good colostrum?

The quality of colostrum quality does vary, so here are a few tips to help with choosing a quality product.

  • Find colostrum that comes from pasture-raised, rBGH-free cows

rBGH is a genetically engineered growth hormone, used to boost milk production. Any genetically engineered product carries potential health risks, maybe even cancer. It is banned in many countries, including Canada, the EU, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

  • Make sure the dairy source does not use antibiotics in the cows’ feed

Dairies often use antibiotics to prevent mastitis and other diseases.

  • Look out for an independent Certificate of Analysis

Make sure the product does not have harmful bacteria, and watch for heavy metals or other contaminants too.

  • Ethical considerations

Calves need colostrum from their mothers, especially in the first 48 hours. Check for when the colostrum is harvested if possible and look for products where the calves get the colostrum they need in their first hours.

Colostrum is great with helping with a wide range of health problems in your furkid. Not to mention it is inexpensive and easy to dose due to its mild flavor! Holistic veterinarian Stephen Blake DVM finds it is able to strengthen other treatments like homeopathy, acupuncture and flower essences. Dr Blake relates that “this natural package contains all the immune and growth factors necessary for life is no accident … and should be considered in any health-related problem.”

"Twelve Benefits of Colostrum for Dogs to Know" curated and sourced from Dogs Naturally Magazine is written by :

Julia Henriques

Julia Henriques is the Managing Editor of Dogs Naturally Magazine, and lives in Chicago with her partner Marc an rescue Samoyed Tarka. On the Board of Playing Again Sams (Wisconsin Samoyed Rescue), she enjoys helping adopters and group members choose more natural health care options for their dogs.

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This blog first appeared on the Dogs Naturally Magazine website, where this article "Top 12 Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs" was curated and sourced from.

Original source: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/colostrum-benefits-for-dogs/

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