In this article you will find:
- 10 Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease
- 1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
- 2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
- 3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe
- 4. The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe
- 5. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
- 6. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Formula
- 7. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula
- 8. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
- 9. Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+
- 10. Crave High Protein Lamb Formula
- Bonus Supplement: Olewo Digestive Health & Anti-Diarrhea Dehydrated Carrots
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs and Autoimmune Disorders
- What Are the Treatment Options for Dogs with Autoimmune Disease?
- What Should You Look For in Dog Foods for Autoimmune Diseases?
- How to Prevent Canine Autoimmune Disorders?
- What can I give my dog for autoimmune disease?
- What foods will boost my dogs immune system?
- How do you treat autoimmune disease in dogs naturally?
- What triggers autoimmune disease in dogs?
Whether your dog has just been recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder or has been suffering from this illness for some time, this guide can help you in choosing the best dog food for autoimmune disease. It’s never too late to switch to the right food for your pup.
Here at DogFood.Guide we have a dedicated mission to provide dog owners like you with well-researched information so they can provide the best care and nutrition to their dogs.
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DogFood.Guide is maintained by Mary Nielsen & her staff. Mary is an animal lover of both dogs and cats. She and her staff are passionate about animals and work hard to provide you with a wealth of information for you and your dog.
Autoimmune disease may not be as common as canine distemper, cancer, or diabetes, but it’s real and it can happen to any dog.
And in some dogs, it can be triggered by the preservatives or artificial ingredients in their diet. Hence, as dog owners, it is important to choose wholesome food for your pooch to ensure that he is getting proper nutrition safely.
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10 Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
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Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
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Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe
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The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe
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American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
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ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Formula
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Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula
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Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
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Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+
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Crave High Protein Lamb Formula
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Olewo Digestive Health & Anti-Diarrhea Dehydrated Carrots
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- Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe
- The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe
- American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
- ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Formula
- Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula
- Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+
- Crave High Protein Lamb Formula
- Olewo Digestive Health & Anti-Diarrhea Dehydrated Carrots
1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
First 5 ingredients: Depends on the recipe you choose
Overall Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease: The quality of the ingredients in your dog’s food is directly related to its impact on his health. Low-quality ingredients are harder for your dog to digest which means that he won’t get as many nutrients from it.
Nom Nom is a fresh food delivery service that uses only the highest quality natural ingredients in their formulas to ensure that your dog gets the premium nutrition he deserves.
The company is committed to deliver the best nutrition possible for your four-legged companion. They offer made-to-order recipes that is formulated by a board certified veterinary nutritionist in the US, Dr. Justin Shmalberg.
All meals have no fillers, by products or any artificial preservatives plus don't forget their door to door delivery service.
Choose from four protein-rich recipes featuring pork, chicken, turkey, and beef with fresh fruits and vegetables and supplemental nutrients for balance.
Each recipe is vet-crafted and prepared fresh then sent to your door with easy-to-follow feeding instructions to ensure that your dog gets the energy and the nutrition he needs.
To maximize your dog’s taurine intake, choose the turkey recipe which features dark-meat turkey as well as taurine-rich organ meats like turkey heart and turkey liver.
Make note that this is a grain-free recipe, but it is not legume-heavy – it only contains lentils and they are the 7th ingredient listed.
2. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula
First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
Most Popular: Nourish your sick pup with Taste of the Wild Grain Free Diet, a premium dog food packed with naturally sourced ingredients.
This high-protein dog food is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, and all the essential nutrients that your dog needs to thrive each day while battling his illness.
Taste of the Wild High Prairie is loaded with novel proteins from roasted bison and venison meat, as well as lamb meal and chicken meal.
These meat sources can ensure that your pup is getting high-quality protein every day without triggering an allergic response.
This premium dog food is a top choice among pet owners, and we totally understand why. It is not only packed with natural ingredients, but it is also free from grains, wheat, corn, and artificial flavors or colors. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and prebiotics to support your pet’s gut health, and immune system.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food is made with love in the USA and only uses high-quality ingredients from reputable and sustainable local and global sources. You can guarantee that your dog is well taken care of with every bite of this tasty meal.
3. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Beef, Potato & Bison Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Beef, Turkey Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Sunflower Meal, Dried Peas
Most Affordable: If you’ve been giving your dog the same food all the time, chances are he’ll get bored with it sooner or later.
So, before that happens, it’s best to introduce a new dog food with a significant edge over what you are currently giving your pup.
Introducing Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food – a high-protein recipe packed with omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, prebiotics, and other important nutrients to support your dog’s overall health.
And on top of all these, this meat-filled dog food is gluten-free, allergen-free, and devoid of artificial flavors, and preservatives.
4. The Honest Kitchen Chicken Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Potatoes, Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dried Apples
Treat your pooch to a nutritious and delicious, human-grade diet with The Honest Kitchen Chicken Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food.
This particular recipe features free-range chicken as the main ingredient with grain free carbohydrates such as flaxseed and sweet potatoes along with dried fruits & veggies to provide a boost of premium quality nutrition.
It is complete and balanced thanks to fortification with essential vitamins and chelated minerals, plus it provides the optimal balance of protein and healthy fats.
All you have to do is place a serving into your dog’s bowl, add warm water, and wait for at least three minutes. You can either serve it alone or add it as a topper to your pup’s favorite dry dog food.
It’s also economical because a one-pound box can already make 40 pounds worth of dog food.
It’s also packed with enough fiber from fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, bananas, and de-cored apples to promote good digestion.
And it doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, hormones, antibiotics, by-products, preservatives, and GMO ingredients – making it a great choice for dogs with food sensitivities and weak immune system.
5. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
It comes from Chewy’s in-house brand, so it is highly affordable and made with wholesome, natural ingredients. American Journey is loaded with high-quality nutrients to keep your dog active and healthy all day every day.
This high-protein dry food features real salmon as the main ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates to avoid triggering unnecessary inflammation.
Formulated with deboned salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal, this premium high-protein dog food is sure to provide your pup with amino acids to help maintain lean muscle mass and restore damaged cells caused by autoimmune diseases.
It is also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables like carrots, blueberries, and dried kelp for your dog’s immune support.
And it contains sweet potato and chickpeas, which are both easily digestible carbohydrates, and a far better choice than grains.
This grain-free dog food doesn’t contain a hint of soy, corn, wheat, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and other harmful chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics that are not good for dogs with autoimmune disorders.
6. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Formula
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
Your dog deserves peak nourishment from high-quality dog food, and that’s why Orijen Original dog food is a perfect choice if you are looking for new food in his diet.
It is also a biologically appropriate diet crafted with raw or fresh free-run chicken and turkey, and wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish.
And just like the other foods in this list, it is also made from natural ingredients, and it’s free from soy, wheat, corn, and artificial flavors and colors. It’s also gluten-free and allergen-free, which makes it a great choice for dogs with food sensitivities.
This premium dog food is also enriched with vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, DHA, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate to keep your dog’s coat, joints, heart, immune system, and overall health in prime condition.
Additionally, it is crafted with the succulent parts of the prey, and it is freeze-dried coated to add that much-needed burst of flavor with every bite. Your pup will definitely keep wanting for more.
7. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula
First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
Puppies, adult dogs, and senior canines regardless of breeds and sizes would benefit from holistic nutrition that would make them look and feel great no matter what they are going through.
This recipe is also great for dogs with sensitivities as it is loaded with hypoallergenic ingredients.
Made primarily from wild-caught salmon, this grain-free dog food is rich in protein, and is enriched with essential fatty acids, taurine, L-carnitine, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Plus, it is also packed with probiotics and easily digestible carbohydrates that help support good digestion and promote gut health.
On top of all its nutritional benefits, Diamond Naturals is also made in the USA by a family-owned company, and crafted with the most scientifically advanced food safety protocols.
It is also free from wheat, corn, soy, fillers, or artificial preservatives which are not just empty calories for your pups but can also be dangerous for them, especially with their compromised immune health.
8. Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Chicken Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Potatoes, Peas, Pea Starch, Chicken Meal
Older dogs who are also diagnosed with autoimmune disease would reap heaps of benefits from Blue Buffalo Freedom Senior Grain-Free dog food.
This 100% grain-free and gluten-free kibble is unlike many dog foods in the market. It is specially crafted for senior dogs, and it features real deboned chicken meat as its primary source of protein.
This grain-free dog food also contains essential fatty acids and DHA from flaxseed and fish oil. These nutrients help promote a senior dog’s health in general while keeping his immune system strong, his cognitive functions intact, and his healthy coat soft and shiny despite the tests of time.
Additionally, it is formulated with taurine to promote heart health, and glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health and mobility, which are common problem areas with senior dogs and canines with autoimmune disorders.
Also, your senior dog can benefit from Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits – a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants chosen by vets and nutritionists to ensure that every dog regardless of age gets all the nutrients that he needs to thrive in life.
And of course, this dog food doesn’t contain corn, wheat, poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, and preservatives. With each tasty bite, you are guaranteed that your senior dog is safe and well-nourished.
9. Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal
Most dogs start manifesting symptoms of autoimmune diseases later in life, and when that happens, a change in their diet is one of the initial steps to help slow the progression of their illness.
If your dog is at least seven years old, Purina One SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity can help him get through this challenging phase of his life.
Made with real chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal, and enhanced botanical oils with every bite, this kibble for adult and senior dogs can help support your furry friend’s muscles, heart health, and provide him the energy that he needs to enjoy life every day.
It is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, glucosamine, and antioxidants to promote mental sharpness, support joint health and mobility, promote healthy skin and coat, boost his immune system, and support his overall health.
Best of all, this recipe has no artificial flavors and its tender morsels and crunch provide a delicious taste and inviting texture that makes senior dogs wag their tail from excitement every mealtime.
10. Crave High Protein Lamb Formula
First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat
Protein-rich dog food is ideal for dogs with autoimmune diseases, and that’s exactly why Crave High Protein Lamb formula is on this list.
Crave with Lamb is a high protein kibble made with premium ingredients and no grains. It doesn’t use any of the typical cheap fillers such as corn or soy, and the formula uses no artificial colors or flavors.
This high-quality, yet affordable dog food is specially formulated to help restore damaged cells and spike your dog’s energy to face each day with vigor.
Additionally, it is free from soy, corn, or wheat, as well as artificial preservatives, colors, and by-products. It doesn’t use any chicken by-product meal either which can also be a source of allergies.
Aside from its high-protein content, it’s also loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fatty acids that help give your dog a lean and energetic body, a healthy digestive system, stronger immune health, and healthy skin and coat.
At 34% protein, your dog gets a delicious meal that promotes lean muscle growth. It balances the protein content with complex carbohydrates from lentils and peas to give dogs energy.
The texture is smaller than standard kibble so many dogs may find it easier to chew the kibble. Large-breed dogs could be prone to eating it too quickly, but overall Crave gets just the right texture for the kibble.
Bonus Supplement: Olewo Digestive Health & Anti-Diarrhea Dehydrated Carrots
Only ingredient: Dehydrated Carrots
Dogs are omnivores, so, they would also benefit from having nutrient-rich vegetables in their diet.
And if you are looking for that extra kick of vitamins, minerals, fiber, beta-carotene, and antioxidants in your dog’s food, you’d better try adding Olewo Dehydrated Carrots Food Topper on his favorite meal.
You’ll be surprised that your dog will love it even if you, yourself isn’t a fan of eating these highly nutritious veggies.
And with the natural benefits of eating carrots, this food topper can help promote your dog’s digestion, strengthen his immune system, and improve his skin and coat health.
Above all, this food supplement is non-GMO, and it’s free from preservatives, additives, and other ingredients that can be harmful to your pup.
Not convinced enough? Well, let your dog decide.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs and Autoimmune Disorders
What is Autoimmune Disease?
The term “autoimmune disease” encompasses multiple disorders that involve a dog’s immune system and another organ, or system.
Hence, the symptoms, or manifestations, as well as the treatment plan will also depend on which parts of a dog’s body are affected.
By definition, the immune system is made up of a complex network of white blood cells, antibodies, and other defenses in the body that fight off diseases and infections starting from the simple flu to more serious and life-threatening health problems.
A healthy immune system can do its function properly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What happens to a dog suffering from an autoimmune disease is that his own immune system cannot identify his own body. And this causes a dog’s immune system to attack or reject the body’s own cells and tissues, labeling these as foreign.
An autoimmune disorder can be life-threatening depending on what body organ or system is affected. That being said, it can affect the blood, digestive system, adrenal glands, joints, skin, brains, eyes, or worse, it can also affect many systems in the body at the same time (Lupus).
Treatments are long-term and can also be damaging to the kidney and liver over time. Hence, it’s also important to protect these organs even if they are not the ones directly affected by the disease.
How to Diagnose Dogs Suffering from an Autoimmune Disease?
Veterinarians diagnose autoimmune diseases based on the presenting clinical symptoms and the results of different laboratory tests.
For autoimmune disorders that affect the blood, titer tests play a major role. These tests check the number of antibodies in your pup’s blood.
Increased antibodies could indicate the presence of an infection. Additionally, these tests can also determine if your dog’s antibodies are fighting the body’s own cells or tissues.
If symptoms suggest that the brain is affected, an MRI and spinal fluid test would be performed. The MRI will help identify the presence of inflammation in the brain, while the spinal fluid test can determine whether the infection is caused by an increase in the antibodies or not.
For skin diseases, a skin biopsy will be performed, followed by a histopathological examination of the samples or the diseased cells and tissues taken during the biopsy.
Once a diagnosis has been done, more tests will be required to determine whether a dog is suffering from a primary (without known cause or triggers) or secondary (with known trigger/s) autoimmune disease.
What Causes Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs?
Problems with a pet’s immune system that prompt it to attack other parts or systems in the body can be caused by several factors. Below are some of the reasons that cause autoimmune diseases in dogs:
Some breeds are more at risk of having autoimmune diseases. For instance, the Italian Greyhounds are more predisposed to developing immune-mediated polyarthritis, while Dobermans are more sensitive to certain drugs that can trigger autoimmune disease.
Overuse of Medications
Antibiotics such as penicillin, sulfa-containing drugs, and cephalosporin can cause a hypersensitivity reaction in dogs that can lead to autoimmune disease. The excessive use of corticosteroids can also trigger autoimmune diseases in canines.
The environment also has a strong influence on the prevalence of autoimmune disease in dogs. Bad air quality, the presence of pathogens, and contamination may all trigger secondary canine autoimmune disorder.
Some dog food preparations contain artificial ingredients and harmful additives, which are known to cause problems in your pet’s autoimmune disease. That’s why in choosing your pet’s diet, it is important to always read the label and to look for wet or dry food that doesn’t only provide a balanced diet but is also free of these artificial ingredients.
Infections can already wreak havoc on your dog’s health, but that doesn’t stop there. Infections can also trigger autoimmune disorder in dogs.
Some of the common canine diseases that can trigger autoimmune disease are tick-borne infections such as Ehrlichia, and Lyme disease, as well as chronic infections that affect the spinal cord and the heart valves.
What Are the Clinical Symptoms of Autoimmune Disorder in Canines?
If a dog is suffering from an autoimmune disorder, he may exhibit different symptoms depending on which part of the body is affected. However, in general dogs with a weak immune system may exhibit any of the following clinical symptoms:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue or lameness
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Hair loss
- Changes in skin color
- Presence of skin ulcers
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of pigment in the nose
- Loss of balance
Based on the symptoms, autoimmune disease may present itself like any other canine disease. That’s why it’s best to consult your vet if you suspect that something is wrong with your pooch.
What Are the Treatment Options for Dogs with Autoimmune Disease?
Treatments can vary depending on the type of autoimmune disorder, but generally speaking, your vet will prescribe medications to fight infections, allergies, or viruses that are causing the symptoms.
Most dogs respond well to steroids, and these drugs are also considered the first line of treatment for many autoimmune diseases.
Traditional treatments will also include adapting to a diet that promotes a healthier immune system, supports the kidneys, and liver, and are free of artificial flavors and other harmful additives.
Incorporating probiotics and supplements into your dog’s diet can also help, particularly those that contain turmeric, vitamin E, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C.
Additionally, dogs with arthritis may also benefit from hydrotherapy. Removing stress from your dog’s environment, including things that may cause anxiety, is also helpful.
For severe autoimmune diseases that don’t respond well to treatments, TPE or therapeutic plasma exchange can be done. This treatment is used to filter the antibodies from a dog’s blood and has proven to be a lifesaver to many canines.
What Should You Look For in Dog Foods for Autoimmune Diseases?
It helps to buy specially formulated food for your dog’s condition. As mentioned earlier, a healthy diet is one of the pillars of an effective treatment regimen for dogs with autoimmune diseases.
Choose a high-quality and minimally processed wholesome food that is free of artificial preservatives and ingredients.
Avoid BHA, hormones, and ethoxyquin, and stay away from foods that contain allergens such as glutinous grains to help promote healthy digestion and maintain the balance in your dog’s digestive system.
Also, choose a diet that can help promote a healthy weight for your dog, and a diet that is rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients from as many fresh and natural foods and ingredients as possible.
You should also look for foods that contain essential fatty acids that won’t just support your dog’s heart and brain, but also protect his joints, which are common targets of autoimmune diseases.
Additionally, look for a dog food that contains vitamins A, and E, as these are important in keeping your dog’s skin and eyes healthy.
Moreover, issues with the digestive tract are also common in dogs with autoimmune disorders. Hence, to relieve your dog’s gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s best to provide him a diet that contains probiotics, and that contains plenty of fiber.
And of course, a protein-rich diet can help your dog a lot since his body needs to rebuild the cells that were damaged due to his illness.
And we know that protein can help with this task of rebuilding damaged cells throughout the body, including the skin, fur, and mucus membranes.
You should also look for a diet that can support your dog’s liver and kidneys as these organs work non-stop to remove the toxins inside your pet’s body. And it’s also important to provide your dog with food that can be easily digested and absorbed by the body.
Your dog’s health is already compromised, so, the last thing that he needs is to eat food with ingredients that can challenge his weak immune system.
Hence, a limited ingredients diet would also be perfect for him, as well as food that don’t contain additives at all.
How to Prevent Canine Autoimmune Disorders?
Many autoimmune diseases are hereditary. However, early diagnosis is the key to finding the best treatment options for your dog. This can also increase his chances of having a happy, long and healthy life despite his condition.
You should also bear in mind the common causes of autoimmune diseases in dogs, especially those that can trigger secondary autoimmune disorder. And by all means, avoid all of these to decrease your dog’s chances of developing any of the diseases.
Again, these triggers include environmental pollutants, chemicals, artificial preservatives in your dog’s food, disease-carrying ticks, as well as antibiotics.
If you notice any symptom of autoimmune disease, consult your veterinarian immediately so your dog can get a definitive diagnosis as soon as possible, and start with treatment right away if the tests are affirmative.
What can I give my dog for autoimmune disease?
Your vet will likely prescribe medication to help your dog fight any infections, viruses or allergies that may be causing symptoms. Steroids (i.e. prednisone) are often the first line of treatment for many of these conditions.
What foods will boost my dogs immune system?
Carrots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system. Dogs can eat cooked or raw carrots as long as they're cut into small chunks, and chewing on raw carrots can even boost your pup's dental health. We also include carrots as one of topper ingredients!
How do you treat autoimmune disease in dogs naturally?
In general, autoimmune diseases can be helped holistically by a restricted protein diet, probiotics, antioxidants, herbal supplementation, and fatty acid supplementation. As SLE affects many systems in the dog's body, we recommend using multiple supplements to help support the body.
What triggers autoimmune disease in dogs?
Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is thought to be a predisposing or 'triggering' cause of autoimmune skin diseases in some dogs. Certain drugs have also been reported as potential triggers for pemphigus foliaceus, a common form of autoimmune skin disease in dogs and cats. Early recognition is extremely important.