If you notice that your dog is gaining excessive weight even if you’re sure you’re not overfeeding him, then hypothyroidism could be a likely culprit. When your dog suffers from hypothyroidism, he’ll usually exhibit symptoms like excessive shedding, changes in appetite, and thinning of his fur, among others.
In this article, we’re going to discuss a bit more about hypothyroidism in dogs and recommend some of the best dog foods to deal with the condition.
- Why Hypothyroidism Happens in Dogs
- How to Pick the Right Dog Food for Hypothyroidism
- 5 of the Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism
- Final Thoughts
Why Hypothyroidism Happens in Dogs
Like humans, a dog’s thyroid gland plays a vital role in regulating essential bodily functions like digestive function, heart rate, and metabolism by releasing a hormone known as thyroxine. However, once the gland stops producing enough of this hormone, hypothyroidism happens.
This condition is actually quite common among dogs than other household animals. Fortunately, it’s not life-threatening, though it will require treatment using synthetic hormones such as levothyroxine.
Apart from medication, dogs with hypothyroidism can benefit greatly from a high-quality diet which consists of wholesome, natural, and filler-free ingredients.
How to Pick the Right Dog Food for Hypothyroidism
When choosing the right food to give your dog, here are some factors you have to consider:
First and foremost, a dog food which is designed for hypothyroidism should contain quality ingredients to help maintain your dog’s healthy bodily function. As much as possible, look for brands that contain natural ingredients like animal proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
Animal Protein Content
As mentioned, you should consider dog foods that contain animal protein. This is because this specific protein will provide your dog with the support he needs to achieve healthy body weight. Also, since animal proteins are considered whole complete proteins, they can give your dog all ten essential amino acids he needs.
A digestible food will allow your dog to enjoy its maximum nutritional benefit. Those with animal-based ingredients tend to be the best option for this, though you should also consider looking for supplements like probiotics and prebiotic fibers.
While there are dogs who can tolerate whole grains, most products that contain grain can actually impact the hormonal balance of your pet. Therefore, you want to go for a grain-free formulation as much as possible.
Free of Artificial Additives
lastly, make sure that the dog food you give your dog is free of any artificial additives including flavors, colors, and preservatives. Artificial ingredients will only affect your pet’s thyroid function – which is why you must avoid them at all costs.
Once you’ve picked the best dog food that will suit your dog’s needs, make sure you transition him slowly. Don’t put him into a sudden diet switch at once. Make sure that your dog will get used to his new diet little by little.
You can start by mixing around 30% of his new food with 70% of his old food for a few days. Once he takes a liking to his new meal, gradually increase the percentage until he can fully tolerate the changes.
How much food should I give my dog?
The amount of food you should give your dog will depend on his weight, age, and activity level. Usually, adult dogs will need to eat two meals a day. However, small breeds and those who engage in a lot of physical activities will need three meals. Just keep in mind that your dog’s calorie needs will decrease as he ages.
Ideally, you want to refer to the recommendations specified on the package of the dog food you purchased.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed in dogs?
The diagnosis for hypothyroidism among dogs is similar to us humans. A blood test is the first procedure done to detect any hormonal imbalance in dogs. It is often done to measure the thyroid stimulating hormone which is secreted by the pituitary gland. They might also test for thyroxine. If thyroxine levels are low while TSH levels are high, then your dog has hypothyroidism.
What ingredients should I avoid?
You want to avoid dog foods that contain by-products. However, not all of them can be bad. Specifically, you want to avoid beef by-products as hypothyroidism in dogs is often linked to cattle consumption containing cow glands and gullets.
Why does my dog’s stool smell?
If your dog’s stool has a very strong odor after taking a dog food that’s designed to deal with hypothyroidism, you shouldn’t worry that much. After all, this is just one of the very few side effects your pooch will experience, and it’s due to the absence of additives in the food.
Another possible side effect is shedding, though it only happens on some breeds and will recede after a while.
Now that you’ve known the important things about hypothyroidism in dogs and how you can pick the right food for such condition, let us review some of the best dog foods for hypothyroidism in the market.
5 of the Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism
1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Diet
First on the list is the grain-free high-protein dog food from Taste of the Wild. This is no doubt the best dog food for hypothyroidism overall, and there are a number of good reasons for that.
First, it’s a grain-free formulation which can greatly eliminate the risks of introducing or worsening skin conditions on your dog. With the absence of grains and an excellent balance of protein, this food will be quite helpful for dogs who are suffering from hypothyroidism to maintain a healthy weight.
Second, the product is made of premium-quality ingredients such as real salmon, fruits, vegetables, and more. It’s also free of any artificial additives for that wholesome nutrition for your furry friend. Due to its salmon ingredient, it can serve as a healthy source of omega fatty acids which are vital for maintaining your dog’s healthy skin and coat.
Apart from that, it also has probiotic supplements, chelated minerals, and a natural and tasty flavor. Lastly, it’s an egg-free formula, so if your dog is sensitive to eggs, it could be a very excellent option.
- Made of premium natural ingredients
- Grain-free formulation
- Protein-rich product for maintaining a healthy weight
- Contains no artificial preservatives
- Contains canola oil as its fat source
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Blue Buffalo is known for creating quality dog food and other dog products. The Life Protection formula, in particular, is designed for senior dogs in order to help them maintain a healthy immune system as well as healthy skin and weight.
It doesn’t contain any artificial fillers, making it perfect for dogs who are currently suffering from hypothyroidism. It even addresses joint health issues on senior dogs with the help of glucosamine.
The formulation contains real meat as its main ingredient. There are basically three options to choose from, and each of them contains real meat which is essential for maintaining healthy muscles on your dogs. They also feature fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Moreover, the product contains oatmeal and brown rice which serve as supplemental fiber, allowing your dog to enjoy healthy and regular digestion and possibly eliminate digestive problems. Overall, the formulation provides 10% fat and 18% protein which is ideal for senior dogs.
- Designed for older dogs
- Comes with digestible carbohydrates
- Includes omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for healthier skin and coat
- Boosts your dog’s immune system
- Its protein content might be too high for some dogs
- Has flaxseed as its main fat source
3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
Another excellent product for dogs suffering from hypothyroidism, this dry dog food from Hill’s Science Diet is one that’s highly recommended by veterinarians for reducing the symptoms associated with the condition.
The reason is that its formulation is made to deal with the digestive and skin issues that often appear when your dog experiences the condition. It has vitamin E which keeps your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Aside from that, it contains no artificial colors and dyes.
This works best if your dog is currently on thyroid medication as it can prevent any unwanted side effects from occurring such as stomachaches and poor stools. It can also get rid of any allergies which can cause dogs to scratch their fur, thereby causing shedding.
The product comes in chicken and grain-free flavors, and it even has a slightly different formulation specifically designed for small-breed dogs.
- Consists of natural ingredients without any artificial fillers
- Rich in vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids
- Can reduce side effects which are often experienced by dogs taking hypothyroidism medications
- Effective in preventing and removing allergies on dogs
- Contains no beef flavors
- Your dog will produce smelly stools
4. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The Wellness Core grain-free formula is perfect for maximum digestibility. While it is a bit costlier compared to other products on the market, it is important to keep in mind that the nutrition and quality of this product are worth more than what you’re paying for.
For starters, it contains zero grains which can often worsen the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Meanwhile, it has omega 3 fatty acids which are excellent for dogs suffering from hypothyroidism. You can also take comfort from the fact that it has no artificial flavors in it.
Since there are no grains included in the formulation, that only means that you’ll only be giving your dog an excellent dietary meal that contains turkey, chicken, and vegetables as the main ingredients. Of course, it also comes with essential vitamins that are vital for your dog’s overall health.
Moreover, it is filled with protein which is helpful for lean muscle maintenance, fruits & veggies for antioxidant support, and probiotics for healthy digestion.
- Contains no grains
- Rich in vitamins, proteins, and omega fatty acids
- Contains no beef by-products
- Its fiber content might be too high for some dogs
- Has canola oil as its main fat source
5. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Dog Food
The Purina brand is definitely one that is widely known and accepted by a lot of dog owners due to the quality of its products. This Pro Plan SAVOR formulation, in particular, is a premium blend of rice and real meat which is really essential for maintaining a healthy weight on your dog. Aside from that, it can also help him maintain a healthy and shiny coat as well as excellent energy levels.
In case you’re wondering, the addition of rice to your dog’s diet will help alleviate gastrointestinal problems which can be common if he’s suffering from hypothyroidism. One such problem is diarrhea which can quickly result in dehydration and fatigue if left unattended.
Moreover, rice adds a lot of protein apart from the meat ingredient. Compared to the other products on this list, however, the Pro Plan SAVOr contains grains. Don’t take it the wrong way though. Even though it has some grains, the manufacturer has taken extra care regarding their quality and amount.
If your dog is used to eating traditional foods, then this one could be an excellent option as it has some of the grains which they’re used to. Of course, they’re only available in small amounts and of a higher quality. It also comes with prebiotics which can promote better digestion.
- Includes rice which serves as a great alternative for protein
- Easy for dogs to adjust to
- Doesn’t contain any ingredients that might cause hypothyroidism
- Comes in four different real meat flavors
- Supports better digestive health with probiotics
- May cause fullness in just a single bowl for some dogs
Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is a condition that has no cure. Hence, if your dog acquires this condition, he will carry it for the rest of his life. The only way to manage it is to provide him with daily medication and proper diet.
Even though hypothyroidism isn’t a disease acquired through poor diet, giving your furry friend a high-quality and healthy diet will support his overall health and manage the condition with ease.
You can give him wholesome foods which are rich in animal proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. However, if you’re not sure which one to give your dog, simply refer to the 5 best dog foods for hypothyroidism which we discussed above!