Your dog's body is just as biologically complex and intricate as your own. Many crucial organs have to work together to keep your dog's body going like clockwork. Unfortunately, when one issue arises, it can throw a wrench in the works.
One such issue that plagues millions of canines is hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a unique condition that affects the performance of the thyroid gland. It refers to the gland's decreased output of biologically necessary hormones.
Without those crucial hormones, your dog can experience a significant decline in metabolism. A genetic disorder that often plagues middle-aged dogs, hypothyroidism requires lifelong treatment to manage.
There's no cure for this disease. However, there's a lot that you can do to manage its symptoms. In addition to ongoing medication, providing a nutritious diet is a must!
Your dog's diet impacts their overall health and can combat the effects of hypothyroidism.
As an owner, it's your job to ensure that everything your dog puts into its body supports its health. Fortunately, there are plenty of great foods to manage all of your dog's needs. Here are some of the best dog foods for hypothyroidism on the market today.'
7 of the Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism
1. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Salmon & Whitefish Dry Dog Food
From Whole Earth Farms is this balanced and wholesome dry dog food. The formula isn't specifically made for dogs with hypothyroidism. But, it certainly has the goods to manage the disease.
Instead of artificial fillers and byproducts, this recipe is ripe with wholesome ingredients. Salmon meal is at the top of the list and contributes most to the formula's 24 percent protein content.
The rest of the recipe has a blend of digestible ingredients that your dog can efficiently process. They include omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and plenty of fiber to keep your dog regular.
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Deboned Turkey & Chicken Meal Recipe
Next up is this grain-free formula from Wellness core. Made for whole-body health, this food is all about providing support through wholesome ingredients and a blend of must-have nutrients.
Turkey is the main meat source. It's easy to digest and makes up part of the 34-percent protein content.
A slew of fruits and vegetables round out the ingredient list. They provide all the nutrients your dog needs to achieve good health despite hypothyroidism. Overall, the recipe promotes lean muscle tone and stable energy levels.
3. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Adult Dry Dog Food
Cage-free chicken meat and liver are the stars of this Halo Holistic dog food. They make up about a quarter of the recipe, ensuring that your dog's muscles have all the support they need.
Non-GMO fruits and vegetables provide minerals and nutrients without any artificial additives.
Digestibility and balanced nutrition are the top priorities for this food. Simple and identifiable ingredients are easy to digest. Meanwhile, the probiotics support gut health as the various nutrients keep the immune system in top shape.
4. Forza10 Nutraceutic Sensitive Digestion Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Here's a unique dog food option that's tailor-made for dogs with stomach issues. It's a great option for managing hypothyroidism because it focuses on digestibility and balanced nutrition.
Forza10 utilizes fish as the main protein source. You'll notice that the ingredient list is relatively small compared to other dog food products. That's not a mistake.
This formula cuts back on the fluff so that your dog is getting only the essentials. Fewer ingredients mean fewer chances of a bad reaction and unwanted stomach upsets.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food
Rachel Ray's Nutrish line of dog food products is a fantastic choice for dogs with hypothyroidism. It's filled to the brim with wholesome ingredients that promote stable energy levels, easy digestion, and balanced nutrition.
You're not going to find any artificial fillers or fluff here. Everything serves a purpose! Real chicken and chicken meal serve as the protein source.
They contribute to the 25-percent protein content. Accompanying the meat is a collection of wholesome grains. Your dog is getting barley, brown rice, and plenty of other great ingredients.
6. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
You can't go wrong with Taste of the Wild. This formula is fine-tuned to mimic the diet of natural canines in the wild. It's the diet that nature intended!
When your dog eats this food, they're consuming wholesome ingredients that support every biological function. This particular recipe uses lean lamb meat as the primary protein source.
There are also great superfoods like blueberries, raspberries, and more. They act as antioxidants and high-value sources of vitamins. Taste of the Wild also includes proprietary probiotic strains, omega fatty acids, and more.
7. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
Here's a specialty food from Hill's Science. While it doesn't market to hypothyroidism directly, it's a good option that can help you combat the effects of the condition.
The food is formulated for sensitive stomachs and features ingredients that your dog will have no problem processing. With better digestion, your pup is free to absorb as many of the beneficial nutrients as possible.
They can take advantage of a diverse nutrient profile that supports their muscles, organs, and biological functions. It also has omega fatty acids for better skin and coat health.
What is Hypothyroidism?
As mentioned earlier, hypothyroidism is a condition that affects your dog's natural ability to produce essential hormones.
The disease has a significant impact on many parts of your dog's health. However, the most pressing issue lies within the changes in their metabolic state.
The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland in your dog's throat. You have one, too! In fact, humans can get hypothyroidism, too.
The effects are essentially the same, so it's essential to treat your dog with just as much care as you would a loved one.
It's one of two thyroid-related issues. Many confuse hypothyroidism with hyperthyroidism. The latter is a different condition entirely that causes overproduction of essential hormones. Hypothyroidism is when dogs can't produce enough of the hormones they need.
Hypothyroidism is caused by lymphocytic thyroiditis or idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy. Lymphocytic thyroiditis is the most common cause and is thought to be immune-mediated.
Many factors can lead to a diagnosis. Most experts agree that it's a mixture of genetic predisposition and external factors like environmental stresses and drugs.
Either way, there's no cure for hypothyroidism. Symptoms can be life-changing, but it is manageable with the right cocktail of medications and a good diet.
Typically, dogs will exhibit a range of troubling symptoms. The most common is weight gain. Because their metabolism dips, dogs can't burn enough calories to manage their standard dietary intake.
As a result, your pup can balloon in size and have a higher risk of diabetes. Other symptoms include extreme lethargy, noticeably changes in their coat, thickened skin, mental deterioration, and more.
Behavioral issues are common, too. Thanks to hormonal imbalances, dogs are susceptible to mood swings, aggressiveness, and tantrums. Some pups also suffer from anxiety and depression.
Any dog can suffer from hypotheyroidism. However, it seems to affect the following breeds more than others.
How is it Treated?
Because there's no cure, dogs with hypothyroidism need a lifetime of prescription medication. There are a couple of FDA-approved options.
Both act as hormone replacement therapy drugs. They work to replace the lost hormones the thyroid cannot produce naturally.
While this condition seems scary, it's completely manageable. With the right treatment plan moving forward, dogs can live life normally.
Dogs with hypothyroidism have a good prognosis with no impact on their life expectancy as long as you take action!
You must take steps to manage this condition's impact the moment your dog gets diagnosed.
How Does Dog Food Affect the Condition?
Food plays a big part in how hypothyroidism affects the body. This condition already wreaks havoc on your pup's system. The last thing you want is to add additional stressors through cheap food.
The goal of your dog's new diet should be to support the system and provide a reliable source of balanced nutrition and energy.
You want to go with products that are easy to digest and process. That way, your pup can get all the energy they need to make it through the day without any dreaded energy crashes.
Hypothyroidism is actively working against your dog. By providing a premium diet that's catered to your pup's unique needs, you can fight the disease every step of the way to achieve balanced health.
Choosing an Appropriate Dog Food for Dogs with Hypothyroidism
There are tons of great dog food products out there. Some vets may recommend prescription diets. However, you don't have to pay for pricey meals if it's not within your budget.
The key is to understand your dog's needs and how dog food fits into the equation. To make things easier, here are some of the most crucial things to look for when shopping for the best dog foods for hypothyroidism.
As always, the most important macronutrient is protein. Hypothyroid dogs need as much energy and support they can get. So, premium proteins are a must!
Go for wholesome animal meats like beef, chicken, and venison. Meat meals are fine, but steer clear of byproducts and mystery ingredients.
Always read the ingredients list and make sure that real animal meat is on the plate.
At the very least, the dog food you choose should be about 18 percent protein. However, dogs with hypothyroidism can benefit from more to overcome the metabolism decline.
Digestibility should be one of the most critical aspects of your dog's kibble. Their body is already having a hard time getting energy. Adding digestibility issues on top of that is just asking for trouble.
We always recommend looking for formulas that are made explicitly for high digestibility. That way, your dog can take advantage of as many nutrients as possible.
We're talking about digestible whole grains, fewer gluten-rich grains, and none of the artificial fillers. Things like corn, wheat, and soy are a big no-no!
Go with recipes that are simple, easy to process, and delicious.
Fats are necessary to keep your dog active and energetic. But, you have to make sure you're not going overboard.
Too many fats can lead to unnecessary weight gain, diabetes, and other significant complications. Stick to low-fat diets that have a good amount of omega fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty
cids are healthy fats that will support your dog's coat and cardiovascular health. Plus, they add plenty of flavors and give your pooch the boost of energy they need.
Simple, fast-absorbing carbohydrates aren't great for your dog. Unfortunately, many dry food products are rife with simple carbs!
Take a moment to scrutinize every ingredient. Look for low-to-moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates. Good examples include legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains.
Complex carbohydrates are easy to digest and provide your dog with a slow and steady supply of energy. It's perfect for combating the effects of low metabolism.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Healthy Proteins
Of course, we can't forget about the vitamins and minerals. Formulas with a diverse collection of plant-based ingredients can do a lot to fortify your dog's health.
More vitamins and minerals mean better organ function and improved biological function.
Thyroid-supporting nutrients should be your primary focus. Foods with a good amount of iodine are a must. Your dog's thyroid needs iodine to perform efficiently. Iron, folic acid, and Vitamins A and B are important, too.
Don't let your dog's health decline because of thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism can be difficult to diagnose. But once you rule out other issues and know for sure that hormone production is to blame for all of your dog's ailments, addressing the problem is a cinch.
Consult with your vet about a diet change. With their help, you can give your pooch the long and healthy life they deserve!