Owning a pet comes with responsibilities, and chief among them is keeping your pet in good health. Unfortunately, just like us, dogs are subject to 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 and happy by avoiding certain ingredients and feed more of others.
Here is a list of the top 9 dog foods that are ideal for dogs with hypothyroidism.
The Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism
1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Turkey, Chicken Liver & Turkey Liver Formula Canned Dog Food
This delicious dog food comes packed with protein, free of fillers, easy to digest, and a generous source of vitamins. This formula is good for healthy dogs as well as those with hypothyroidism.
This formula contains five different protein sources, including chicken and turkey liver, and has 50% more protein than other formulas by the same company. Providing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is a blend of fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, parsley, carrots, apples, and many more. Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids are provided by salmon oil.
2. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Adult Dry Dog Food
This mix of cage-free chicken, vegetables, and healthy oils is ideal for thyroid problems.
The antioxidants and omega fatty acids in this formula provide for healthy skin and coat. Additionally, the chicken liver helps balance hormone levels. Blueberries, carrots, cranberries, and other fruits and vegetables provide fiber for easy digestion. The ingredients are all high in quality, free of artificial components, and hormones that could aggravate hypothyroidism.
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken
Wholesome, high-quality ingredients are paramount when it comes to feeding a dog with hypothyroidism. This recipe by Nutro Wholesome Essentials contains farm-raised chicken as its primary ingredient and includes important omega fatty acids. Its non-GMO high fiber content makes this a highly digestible meal that contains no by-products, fillers, artificial preservatives, or colors.
4. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
This formula includes high-quality beef meal to provide abundant protein for building and repairing your dog’s healthy muscle and maintaining a proper weight. Fruits and vegetables provide minerals and vitamins needed for a thick and shiny coat.
It also contains probiotics to aid in digestion along with antioxidants for your dog’s healthy immune system. The all-natural ingredients are perfect for a condition like hypothyroidism.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
With hypothyroidism, the dog will need more carbohydrates, but at the same time, grains can be harder to digest. Grain substitutes can do the job, but not all grain substitutes created equal.
This Taste of the Wild uses peas and sweet potatoes to provide healthy carbohydrates. Tomatoes, raspberries, dried chicory root, and other fruits and vegetables in the recipe contain the necessary fiber to make this a highly-digestible and healthy meal.
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo makes some of the best grain-free dog foods, and this particular recipe, based on the diet of ancestral wolves, contains quality protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidant-rich items. Coincidentally, this summarizes all the needs of a dog with hypothyroidism.
Animal-based protein and fat make up the bulk of this formula, along with healthy fruits and vegetables. With just the right blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, this recipe will keep your dog’s immune system strong.
7. Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Glutens and grains are ingredients to avoid in foods for dogs with hypothyroidism. Because 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 to promote joint and bone health. Dogs with hypothyroidism can become obese, affecting their mobility and the addition glucosamine, along with calcium and phosphorus, can combat these problems.
8. Merrick Grain-Free Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
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.
The gluten-free formula supports sensitive digestion. The palatable taste is hard to resist even for dogs who are picky eaters.
9. Forza10 Sensitive Digestion Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Guide & Reviews: Senior Dog Foods
- Ultimate Guide to Dry Dog Foods
- Reviews of Large Breed Dog Foods
- Buyer’s Guide to Foods for picky eaters
Best Dog Food for Hypothyroidism FAQs
Problems with the thyroid are serious, and should not be taken lightly. As a pet parent, you want to take all the steps you can to minimize health risks to your dog.
Here are some common questions about hypothyroidism in dogs.
Can dog food cause thyroid problems?
Unfortunately, thyroid problems affect dogs more than other house pets. This auto-immune disease is genetic and is triggered by environmental stressors, including the food you give your pet and the vaccinations they receive. Food with poor quality ingredients, specifically those that 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 is at greater risk for other health problems such as weight gain, fur loss, anemia, and corneal ulcers, among others. In extreme cases, it can lead to the death of the animal.
What are the signs of thyroid problems in dogs?
The most obvious sign of hypothyroidism is excessive weight gain, even when your dog is eating an otherwise appropriate diet. Another specific symptom is hair loss. Other generic symptoms may include lethargy, cold intolerance, mental dullness, pigmentation on the skin, and thickening of the skin.
Can hypothyroidism cause anxiety in dogs?
Hypothyroidism can result in behavioral issues. Since this condition causes hormonal imbalance, tantrums, and unexpected behavior may follow. These changes can 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.
All the foods listed in this article are suitable for dogs with hypothyroidism. So, should you buy all nine of these 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? Here are the things you need to take into consideration.
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 adjusted accordingly.
The diet of a dog with hypothyroidism 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 can vary from breed to breed. Let’s say you own a whippet 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 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.
- Animal-based fat: Since this condition affects 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 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 can 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 are not good ingredients to have in dog food. Especially when your dog is going through any health issue. They are useless in terms of providing nourishment and add little to no benefit to your dog.
- Beef by-products: Avoid all by-products, but beef ones in particular. Hypothyroidism is often connected to the consumption of beef by-products, which include 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. You don’t want to feed anything that could harm the thyroid glands. Bear in mind that feeding dog food that is free of artificial preservatives causes stinky poop, but there is nothing with which to be concerned.
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 opposite conditions. Dogs, usually, are affected by hypothyroidism. However, that does not mean that there is no chance of hyperthyroidism in your best friend.
Before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, it is always important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from your veterinarian.
Now, this may sound obvious, but there’s a reason why I felt the need to emphasize this point.
Here’s the thing:
Hypothyroidism is uncurable. There will always be a thyroid problem once it starts. The only treatment is medication and proper diet. What this means is that unlike other specialized and therapeutic diets that are only fed for a short time, 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.
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. 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!