What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid that comes from the mammary glands of humans, cows and other mammals during the first few hours after giving birth, before regular nursing milk is produced.
It contains life-supporting immune and growth factors, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and antibodies that fight disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. It also contains essential nutrients, 17 amino acids, whole food building blocks and elements such as leptin, vitamins A and B12, and a broad spectrum of biologically active substances to support the immune, nervous, skeletal and endocrine systems.
It can benefit healthy animals as well as those that are extremely ill.
More specifically, bovine colostrum, or colostrum that comes from a cow, is a universal donor of colostrum. All mammals can gain benefits from using it, dogs and humans alike. It is the most commonly used source of colostrum for this reason, along with the fact that cows produce the most of it and it can be obtained humanely.
Due to factory farming, certain colostrum supplements may contain hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or even nuclear contamination. For this reason, source is hugely important. Also, there are many companies that sell transitional milk and call it colostrum, this will not cause damage, but it will not be nearly as helpful either.
Colostrum from pasture raised, grass fed cows has more beneficial enzymes that make it more easily absorbed into the system. This maximizes its benefits and also offers a more diversified immune source. The best form to receive colostrum is in a powder (water-soluble) and it should be prepared without excessive heat.
How Can My Dog Benefit From Taking Colostrum?
Because “colostrum contains all of the immune factors necessary for protecting a newborn from bacteria, allergens, toxins and viruses along with a balanced proportion of growth factors that are required for growing and healing” dnm, it is an enormous resource. It has been used in all types of medical models for centuries for treating, preventing and curing a list of ailments that is continuing to grow as time goes on.
Currently, the reason most people find out about colostrum is for immune system support or allergies, but it has had huge levels of success in treating things like:
- Auto-immune diseases
- Heart disease
- Joint problems and arthritis
- Leaky gut
- Absorption deficiencies
- Candida (yeast overpopulation)
- Thyroid problems
- And it is making huge advancements in treating and even curing cancer.
- Healing open wounds
- Insect bites
- Ear infections
Just to name a FEW ailments.
Some animals who have been treated for things prior to the addition of colostrum, were not helped until it was added to their diet, others were even able to eliminate the other treatment entirely.
Colostrum can be used as:
- An antibiotic
- A probiotic
- To balance the thymus gland
- To fight viruses, toxic buildup and destroy bacteria
- To regulate the immune system
- It has growth factors that speed wound healing, skin growth and cellular repair
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory
- It can protect against canine flu
- Lime disease and more
In short, colostrum helps repair cells all over the body and most importantly in the internal organs.
It contains all of the immune and growth factors necessary for life.
Colostrum is safe and inexpensive. It is also easy to administer and most dogs like the taste. I have yet to see a single down side that isn’t 100% source related. A woman that I admire very much, gave me insight into a source that comes from New Zealand. It is sustainable and ethically sourced. I’m sure that there are others but I think that this is so important in this case, not just for safety and benefits, but because of what these animals are giving us!
I was first introduced to colostrum when researching how to make my own organic dog toothpaste. I had no idea how lucky I was to stumble onto this. My dog and I are now both taking it and I could not be more grateful.
This is only a very brief insight into the amazing things that colostrum can do. If your dog has any problems whatsoever, it is absolutely worth asking your vet about adding some colostrum. It can’t hurt and has the potential to do so much good!
The colostrum we use is: New Zealand Colostrum
There are very concrete and definitive scientific reasons for all of these benefits. I did not attempt to try to digest the science on this one, it was just too far above my head, however This Article does this absolutely beautifully, if you are interested in learning more!
These are some general feeding guidelines. Every animal, use and product is different. This is just to give a very general idea for how much may be needed for a mostly health dog. I used this to help me know how much to purchase.
Gloria Dodd DVM recommends the following amounts:
- 1/3 teaspoon powdered form/25 lbs body weight twice daily or:
- Small dogs and cats –1 cap twice daily
- Medium to large dogs- 2 caps twice daily
This recommended dosage is for one month minimum, then give colostrum as needed. It is most effective on an empty stomach, but it can also be given with a small amount of plain yogurt.
Currently, my dog only has ear infections but my immune system is a little more compromised, so we will update next month and let people know what we have found!