Colostrum for Dogs: Why It Matters for Your Pet’s Health

Colostrum for Dogs: Why It Matters for Your Pet’s Health

While dogs are strong animals, they’re also prone to various diseases and conditions that hurt their well-being. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for ways to improve their lives while they improve ours — enter colostrum, a nutrient-packed substance found in mammals.

Colostrum offers a wide range of health benefits that should help your pet live a healthier and happier life. In this article, we’ll dive deep into these health benefits and why you should consider adding colostrum to your dog’s diet.

Understanding Colostrum

Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by mammals during late pregnancy. It’s literally the “first milk” from the mother.

black and white cows looking into camera

Colostrum contains tons of proteins, vitamins, and bioactive compounds. All of these offer many health benefits to your dog — especially newborn ones who are at the earliest, most vulnerable stage of their lives.

When looking for sources of colostrum for dogs, the most ideal choice is bovine colostrum or milk from cows. This colostrum contains powerful growth hormones, antioxidants, and more.

Bioactive substances from bovine colostrum are more concentrated than other milk from other mammals.

Benefits of Colostrum for Dogs

We’ll dig deeper into other sources of colostrum for dogs below. For now, we’ll look into the biggest benefits of colostrum for dogs.

Supports Dog’s Immune System

Colostrum contains substances that improve your dog’s immune system. These bioactive components improve your dog’s resistance against infections.

Some of these components include:

  • Lactoferrin: this protein has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It destabilizes bacteria and helps your dog’s immune system fight them. It also impedes the invasion of viruses into cells.
  • Immunoglobulins: these proteins neutralize toxins and microbes.
  • Proline-Rich Polypeptides: these are amino acids that can stimulate suppressed immune systems or stabilize overactive ones. This quality makes them perfect for combatting auto-immune diseases in dogs.
  • Trypsin and Protease Inhibitors: these compounds protect the immune system and growth chemicals from degradation within your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Boosts Digestive Health

Colostrum’s epithelial growth and immune factors have anti-inflammatory and healing effects, particularly on your pet’s digestive hyperpermeability.

Your dog’s gut becomes more resilient against digestive issues. Drugs, food particles, and toxins can damage the lining of your pet’s digestive tract, but colostrum helps manage such risks.

Diarrhea also becomes manageable. Colostrum prevents chronic, acute, and infectious diarrhea.

Enhances Skin and Coat Health

Nutrients in colostrum improve your dog’s skin health. It's the bioactive compounds again: they promote cell growth and repair.

Your dog’s skin will heal faster and look and feel healthier. If your dog is suffering from a skin disease such as dermatitis and infections, colostrum may help alleviate their symptoms.

Thanks to its anti-inflammation properties, colostrum may also help alleviate any skin irritation, dryness, or itchiness that your dog might feel.

Provides Allergy Relief

Allergies are common in dogs with weakened immune systems. Colostrum is high in proline-rich polypeptides, which are a booster for a dog’s immune system.

These polypeptides alleviate allergy symptoms by inhibiting the production of specific cell types that cause or are associated with allergic reactions.

Gives Way to Better Oral Health

Periodontal disease is another common health issue among dogs. Research shows that 80% to 90% of dogs over three years old have some component of periodontal disease. The cases are worse in smaller breeds, and their incidence increases with age.

This disease is caused by a host of factors such as diet, genetic factors, and microbes. The antimicrobial factors in Colostrum combat or delay the progression of this disease.

Immune-modulating components in colostrum also alleviate pain and inflammation caused by this oral disease. Gum tissues also heal faster because of growth factors in colostrum.

Slows Down Aging

Dogs are just like humans: as they age, they weaken, and their skeletal muscles become fragile.

Fortunately, colostrum’s growth factors contain properties that stimulate muscle growth and regeneration. Your pet can enjoy increased lean muscle mass, improved leg strength, and reduced bone degeneration.

Speeds Up Injury Recovery and Tissue Repair

Rich in diverse growth factors, colostrum expedites the tissue repair process, making it easier for dogs to recover from injuries.

For instance, the growth factor in colostrum stimulates platelet growth, which in turn encourages collagen production. Fibroblast growth factor and epithelial growth factor help with the mending of muscle fibers, tendons, and ligaments.

Dog running in field

Improves Joint Support

Colostrum for dogs makes their joints healthier, thanks again to their bioactive compounds that repair and grow new joint tissues.

For one, colostrum has methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a natural compound that supports joint health and pain relief. Your dog can move around easily without any pain in their joints. This also means your dog can be more active and have a healthy inflammatory response.

Sources of Colostrum for Dogs

You can get colostrum for your dogs from a variety of sources. The main ones are:

Natural Source

You can get fresh colostrum from natural sources such as from cows or goats. You can source the milk from dairy farms or specialty pet stores.

Make sure the milk comes from disease-free animals, and use the milk within a few days of collection. You can also freeze it to preserve its good qualities.


Colostrum supplements for dogs come in various forms, such as:

  • Powders
  • Capsules
  • Chewables
  • Gels

These supplements usually come from cow milk because it’s easily accessible. Some supplements may even contain large amounts of added nutrients such as probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

Quality supplements retain the bioactive compounds that support your dog’s health. So, when choosing a supplement, look for organic products free from additives and tested for purity and potency.

Important: always consult your vet before giving your pet new supplements.

How to Incorporate Colostrum into Your Dog’s Diet

Since colostrum is available in different forms, it’s easy to incorporate it into your dog’s diet.

If you’re using supplements, you can use treats or chewables to introduce colostrum to their diet. Give your pet one colostrum chew per day, and then slowly increase the dosage as necessary.

If you’re using colostrum powder, you can sprinkle it directly to your dog’s meals. Or you can add it to their water bowl — you ensure your dog gets the right amount of colostrum each day while they remain hydrated.

If you’re unsure how much to give your dog, consult your vet. Ask for a personalized recommendation based on your dog’s health history and current needs.

Colostrum offers a variety of health benefits for dogs. It also improves their quality of life and well-being. From reducing pain and inflammation to improving your dog’s immune system and joint health, colostrum offers fantastic benefits that should make your dog happier and healthier.

Under The Weather Pet offers a host of other supplements that aim to improve your dogs’ well-being and health. Consider checking them out today!

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Written by: Min Lee

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.