9 Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism

Owning a pet is no less than being a parent, especially when it comes to keeping your fur baby’s health in check. Dogs are great companions but sadly, they are highly likely to develop hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones.

Luckily, medication and well thought out meals can keep your affected dog healthy too. All you have to do is avoid certain ingredients and feed more of some others.

Here is a list of the top 9 dog foods that are ideal for dogs with hypothyroidism.

1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken Liver & Turkey Liver Formula Canned Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: wet food, pate
  • Caloric Content: 244 kcal/6 oz. can
  • Top 5 ingredients: chicken, turkey, chicken liver, chicken broth, chicken meal
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 12%, fat (min.) 8%, fiber (max.) 0.5%, moisture (max.) 78%
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Pea-free
  • No soy, no wheat, no corn

This dog food is delicious, packed with protein, free of fillers, easy to digest, and a generous source of vitamins. It is a full-fledged meal that is sufficient on its own. I’d recommend this food for regular, healthy dogs too due to its high-quality ingredients. As for hypothyroidism patients, it is no less than perfect.

There are 5 protein sources in this food. It has 50% more protein than other formulas by the same company. What’s even better is the addition of chicken liver and turkey liver. Along with that, there is a blend of fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, blueberries, parsley, carrots, apples, and many more. It is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Salmon oil ticks off the need for healthy fat as well.

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2. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3660 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, oatmeal, pearled barley
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 25%, fat (min.) 15%, fiber (max.) 5%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Animal-based fat
  • Contains fruits and vegetables

A dog with hypothyroidism does not have to suffer more than its condition. Thankfully, products like these ensure that your dog gets all the right nutrients in a tasty blend. The mix of cage-free chicken, vegetables, and healthy oils is ideal for thyroid problems.

The antioxidants and omega fatty acids in this formula boost the quick recovery of the dog’s skin and fur. On top of that, the chicken liver helps balance the hormonal levels. Blueberries, carrots, cranberries, and other fruits and vegetables provide the mandatory fiber for easy digestion. The ingredients are all high in quality, free of artificial components and hormones that could worsen the condition of your pet.

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3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: large and giant breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3572 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, split peas
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 21%, fat (min.) 13%, fiber (max.) 3.5%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • GMO-free

You should be very particular about only purchasing products with wholesome ingredients. Ingredients that specifically aim at improving the symptoms along with helping the changes inside the body should be a major part of the product. That is why this Nutro Wholesome Essentials is among my top 9.

The main ingredient is farm-raised chicken. You’ll also find animal-based fat in this recipe. It has a high content of omega fatty acids. The non-GMO ingredients are easily digestible. High fiber content makes digestion even easier. There are no by-products, fillers, artificial preservatives or colors.

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4. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3518 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: beef meal, grain sorghum, ground white rice, dried yeast, egg product
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 25%, fat (min.) 15%, fiber (max.) 3.%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

As bad as beef by-products are, beef protein is not. Your dog will quickly get back on track with healthy muscles with this protein-rich diet. Beef and fish protein will help your fur child gain healthy weight. Fruits and vegetables balance the need for minerals and vitamins. Expect a shinier and thicker coat within a few weeks.

The probiotics in this recipe aid easy digestion. With antioxidants, this dog food will make sure your dog’s immune system remains strong. The all-natural ingredients are free of side effects which are perfect for a condition like hypothyroidism.

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5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3719 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 32%, fat (min.) 18%, fiber (max.) 4%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free

The thing with hypothyroidism is that the dog will need more carbohydrates but at the same time, grains aren’t recommended as they are harder to digest. Now, grain substitutes can do the job, but not all grain substitutes are good for dog health.

You don’t have to be concerned about this matter with this Taste of the Wild product. The peas and sweet potatoes provide healthy carbohydrates. Tomatoes, raspberries, dried chicory root, and other fruits and veggies in the recipe fulfill the need for fibers. It is easily digestible. Moreover, there is enough safe animal-based protein too.

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6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3599 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca starch
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 34%, fat (min.) 15%, fiber (max.) 6%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Grain-free
  • High-protein
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Blue Buffalo make some of the best grain-free dog foods. This particular recipe is inspired by the diet of ancestral wolves who consumed a lot of protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidant-rich items. Coincidentally, this summarizes all the needs of a dog with hypothyroidism.

Animal-based protein and fat make up most of this formula. The rest are all fruits and vegetables. With just the right blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, this recipe will definitely keep your dog’s immune system strong. The scaly, dry, and bald skin will be quickly replaced with shiny and lush fur. Absence of artificial flavors and grains adds the final touch of perfection in this recipe.

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7. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric content: 3583 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, potatoes, peas, tapioca starch
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 24%, fat (min.) 14%, fiber (max.) 6%, moisture (max.) 10%
  • Grain-free
  • Gluten-free
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Glutens and grains are both the worst ingredients to have in the food of a dog with hypothyroidism. Since this formula is free of these two components, it automatically becomes a great option. But what makes it one of the best is the addition of ingredients that provide glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus.

These elements promote joint and bone health. Dogs with hypothyroidism become obese very quickly. This affects their mobility. However, glucosamine along with calcium and phosphorus can combat these changes effectively.

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8. Merrick Grain-Free Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3812 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, sweet potatoes
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 38%, fat (min.) 17%, fiber (max.) 3.5%, moisture (max.) 11%
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free

Merrick Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato’s new and improved recipe is a great option for dogs who don’t like seafood or meat. You can still offer a high protein food, such as this one, with chicken and turkey. It also checks off the requirement of animal-based fat. Although, it does have sunflower oil too. But that only means higher amounts of omega fatty acids, so it is a good thing.

The gluten-free formula supports sensitive digestion. The palatable taste is hard to resist even for dogs who are picky eaters.

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9. Forza10 Sensitive Digestion Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: small, medium, and large breeds
  • Texture: dry food
  • Caloric Content: 3566 kcal/kg
  • Top 5 ingredients: anchovy meal, peas, fava beans, pork meal, fish oil
  • Analysis: protein (min.) 10%, fat (min.) 15.6%, fiber (max.) 3.7%, moisture (max.) 8%
  • Grain-free
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • GMO-free
  • Sensitive digestion
  • Gluten-free
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Before I tell you about the ingredients of this one, you should know that this dog food is part of the Integrated Nutritional Program which speaks for the guaranteed high-quality formula of this product. The balanced out limited ingredient recipe confirms this.

It is a source of lots of proteins. Fish oil has the power to encourage the rejuvenation of affected skin and coat. Although there are enough minerals in this formula, there is a lack of fruits and vegetables in the recipe. However, if you use this with another antioxidant-rich food, your dog will be just fine.

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Best Dog Food for Hypothyroidism FAQs

Thyroid problem should not be taken lightly. It is a very serious issue that must be handled with care and responsibility. As a pet parent, it is your obligation to go to all possible extents to minimize health risks in your dog.

Let’s start with the first of these steps. I’ve answered some common questions that pet parents tend to ask. These will inform you more about the condition of your dog so that you can take appropriate steps to help the poor animal.

Can dog food cause thyroid problems?

Unfortunately, thyroid problems affect dogs more than any other house pet. This auto-immune disease is caused by genetic issues but is triggered by environmental problems. This also includes the food you give your pet and the vaccinations it is exposed to. Food with poor quality ingredients, specifically those which are highly processed, is the major contributing factor. Over-vaccination can also lead to thyroid problems.

What happens if hypothyroidism is left untreated in dogs?

There is no permanent cure for hypothyroidism. However, it is highly important to take steps to tackle the health changes caused by this condition. If an affected dog is left untreated, it gets exposed to the risk of many other health problems. Weight gain, fur loss, anemia, and corneal ulcers are just some of the many risks. In worse cases, it can also lead to the death of the animal.

What are the signs of thyroid problems in dogs?

The most obvious sign of hypothyroidism, in particular, is gaining excessive weight even when your dog’s diet is controlled. Another specific symptom of this condition is hair loss. The rest of the symptoms are pretty generic. These include lethargy, cold intolerance, mental dullness, pigmentation on the skin, and thickening of the skin.

Can hypothyroidism cause anxiety in dogs?

Hypothyroidism is directly connected to behavioral issues. Since this condition causes hormonal imbalance, tantrums and unexpected behavior should be expected. These changes also trigger anxiety along with seizures, depression, irritability, aggressiveness, and phobias. Anxiety is further fueled by the unwanted and unexpected changes that the dog’s body goes through.

How long does it take for thyroid medicine to work in dogs?

Usually, the medicine starts kicking in within a few days. However, visible results vary depending on how bad the dog’s condition is. Generally, the hormone imbalance starts getting back to normal within 2 to 4 weeks. The hair growth in bald spots may not start until a month or two. It can take up to 4 months for the beginning of the recovery of hair loss. Similarly, other skin and ear-related problems take a lot of time to heal. In some cases, the vet may recommend separate medication for the quick recovery of these issues.

Buyer’s Guide

All these aforementioned dog foods are suitable for dogs with hypothyroidism. So, should you buy all these 9 now? Of course not. You only need one or two of these. But, how do you make the decision of which two are suitable for your dog?

You can stop panicking. As always, I’ve got you covered with my detailed buyer’s guide. Here’s everything you need to look into in order to make the right purchase.

Dog breed

Certain dog breeds are more prone to hypothyroidism than others. These include Irish Setters, Boxers, Dachshunds, Airedales, and Miniature Schnauzers. Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Doberman Pinschers are also more likely to develop hypothyroidism. Since these breeds are more sensitive to the condition, their diet needs to be administered accordingly. On the other hand, breeds that aren’t as sensitive do not need as much of a strict diet.

Nutritional Value

In order to compensate for all the loss that hypothyroidism has caused, your dog’s diet should be packed with energy. From the main meal to the treats, everything you choose for your affected dog should be more nutritionally valuable than what an average dog would need. This factor also varies from breed to breed. Let’s say you own a whippet who has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Not only will you need to ensure the presence of all the helpful nutrients for the thyroid problem, but you will also have to double-check that there are more than fats than normal since that’s what whippets need.

You will have to figure out what your dog’s breed needs more of yourself. But, as for hypothyroidism, here’s what the food must have:

  • Animal protein: Hypothyroidism causes excessive obesity but none of that weight is healthy or useful. Animal-based protein is required for the dog to build lean muscles. This will lead to a dog with a healthy weight and a lot of strength.
  • Animal-based fat: Since this condition worsens the coat and skin of the dog, animal-based fats such as salmon oil and chicken fat play an important role. Such ingredients boost the recovery of dry, scaly skin. These fats are a healthy source of omega fatty acids without any side effects such as weight gain.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Along with protein, your affected dog requires carbohydrates, fiber, and lots of vitamins. There is no better source of all these nutrients than fruits and vegetables. Fiber keeps the digestive system clean, carbohydrates keep the animal energized, and the rest of the vitamins boost recovery.
  • Liver: When you’re looking for food with animal-based protein, focus your search to livers. Animal liver in dog food is like a magic wand. It has the ability to compensate for many of the functions that thyroid glands perform. Moreover, the rich vitamin A, vitamin B, folic acid, and iron content is ideal for keeping the thyroid glands in good health.
  • Iodine: Try to go for a food option that has iodine. If you can’t find something suitable, you should purchase animal-friendly iodine separately. Add it to your dog’s meals to promote the production of thyroid hormones

These are the ingredients to avoid if you’re looking for food appropriate for a dog with hypothyroidism:

  • Fillers: Fillers, in general, are not a good ingredient to have in dog food. You should avoid it, even more, when your dog is going through any sort of health issue. They are useless in terms of providing nourishment. Yet, they keep the dog from consuming what is actually good.
  • Beef by-products: Avoid all by-products but beef ones in particular. Hypothyroidism is usually connected to consumption to beef by-products due to the interference of cow glands and gullets.
  • Artificial preservatives: Stick to 100% real ingredients as much as possible. Artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, and ingredients are a definite no. Remember that your dog’s internal system is messed up in this condition. You don’t want to feed anything that could have the slightest impact on the thyroid glands. Bear in mind that feeding dog food that is free of artificial preservatives causes stinky poop but there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • Gluten rich grains: Most dogs have a hard time digesting grains. Even if your dog doesn’t face this issue, you should stay away from gluten-rich grains. Make digestion as easy as possible for your pet.

Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism

There are two cases of thyroid malfunction. One is over-performing glands, which is called hyperthyroidism, and the other is underperforming glands, which is called hypothyroidism. Now, these are two completely opposite conditions. Dogs, usually, are affected by hypothyroidism. However, that does not mean that there is no chance of hyperthyroidism in your fur-friend.

Before you go out and start treating your little one, you need to first double-check whether your dog has hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. If you assume that the diagnosed thyroid issue in your dog is hypothyroidism and immediately start feeding specialized dog food for this particular problem, you could potentially be killing your pet with your own hands. Do not start a diet unless a veterinarian has confirmed your dog’s health situation.

Flavor

Now, this may sound obvious, but there’s a reason why I felt the need to emphasize this point.

Here’s the thing:

Hypothyroidism can never be cured. There will always be a thyroid problem once it starts. The only way around is medication and diet. What this means is that unlike other specialized and therapeutic diets that only need to be fed for a short time period, the dog food you choose for hypothyroidism is going to be a permanent change. Of course, you can change this food whenever you want. But I’ll suggest you research a couple of good options at once and then stick to them if they work fine.

This is where flavor plays an important role. Since this food is what your dog will be eating for pretty much the rest of its life, it must be palatable. Go for a flavor that you know your dog won’t quickly get tired of. A product that comes in multiple flavor options is generally the best. The ingredients and formula are the same, so it’s convenient to switch up the flavors without having to do thorough from scratch all over again.

You’re now ready to buy the perfect food for your dog with hypothyroidism!

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