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2021 Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support

Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease

Notice any changes in your pooch lately? Thinning hair or a potbelly perhaps? Has she been drinking too much water or eating just about anything?

These signs could mean that she has Cushing’s disease, or in more technical terms, canine hyperadrenocorticism. Also known as Cushing’s syndrome, this illness is caused by the overproduction of a hormone called cortisol by the adrenal glands – two pea-sized glands situated on top of the kidneys.

Cortisol serves the body well. But too much of this hormone is bad for the immune system, and weakens its ability to fight other diseases.

In this article, you’ll have a better idea about this illness in dogs and how to better manage it. Also, nutritional therapy is known to help in achieving adrenal balance and bring back cortisol production to normal levels. This means feeding your dog with the right diet to better manage Cushing’s disease.

Check out our latest review of the best dog food for Cushing’s disease. As a bonus, we have also included a dry matter analysis of the food’s fat and fiber content to save you from doing the math.

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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOOD FOR CUSHING'S DISEASE

[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 2
  • Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-rich recipe
  • Real lamb as the #1 ingredient
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 4
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Door to door delivery
  • 60% off first order
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 2
  • High-protein recipe
  • Features real chicken
  • Hard kibble with meaty shreds
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →

What To Look For In The Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease  

A dog’s diet is always crucial to improving overall health and managing health issues. This is why as a dog owner, it’s highly important to know your dog’s nutritional needs well, especially if she has health conditions that need to be managed or addressed.

In the case of Cushing’s disease, a healthy dog’s food can help control the high level of cortisol, help support a healthy immune system, and help prolong the dog’s life.

Most vets will recommend nutritional therapy for dogs with Cushing’s disease. It’s an important step that pet owners must take to help alleviate Cushing’s disease and improve the dog’s condition. Failure to do so could put the dog’s life at serious risk.

Also, muscle wasting is typically associated with Cushing’s syndrome, and nutritional therapy with the right diet can help lighten muscle atrophy. 

It’s important too to keep your pups away from table scraps and cheap treats with high fat and sugar contents. Some vets may also recommend a prescription diet intended for Cushing's syndrome. Although more expensive, a prescription diet is more focused on addressing the health issue.

Here’s what a canine Cushing’s disease diet must look like:

Adult Dog Food Formulas

If you’re feeding your dogs with commercial pet food, pick dog foods that are meant for adult dogs to help ease Cushing’s disease, since adult food formulations (those that meet the standards of the AAFCO) have the nutritional requirements intended for older dogs, which are prone to Cushing’s disease. 

If you give dog foods that are suited for all life stages in dogs, these may have higher fat and caloric contents that may hinder the improvement of your dog’s condition.  

Low in Fat, Low to Moderate Fiber

The abnormal high level of cortisol in the dog’s body also raises triglycerides and cholesterol levels. And so, dog foods with high fat and caloric loads can only lead to a rapid increase in the dog’s weight.

It's best to feed your dog natural low-fat and moderate fiber diets. The ideal fat content is less than 12% on a dry matter basis (DM), and about 5-15% for fiber. 

For commercial dog food, you can compute the DM value by deducting the moisture percentage (as shown in the Guaranteed Analysis on the label of the product) from 100%.

Then, divide the Fat % (indicated also in the Guaranteed Analysis) by the DM value to arrive at the DM Fat value. Use the same formula to compute the DM Fiber value.

Can Dogs Eat Salmon

Highly Digestible Protein

To counter muscle wasting as a result of Cushing’s disease, it helps to have sufficient protein in the dog’s food. A crude protein load of at least 18% for commercial dry dog food and 10% for canned food is recommended.

But it also helps if the protein content is highly digestible in order to aid healthy digestion and for the quick absorption of amino acids and nutrients. 

Among the highly digestible protein in dog food are lean meats and organ meats from chicken, beef, and lamb, and egg whites.

Low in Sodium and Chloride

If your pup is hypertensive, avoid dog food with high chloride and sodium content. A low-sodium and low-chloride dog’s diet can help maintain a normal blood pressure.

Complete and Balanced Diet

Regardless of your dog’s health issues, she needs a diet that offers all the essential nutrients to keep her healthy and protected from other potential illnesses.

Balanced nutrition is when all the essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are present in the dog’s food, along with essential antioxidants and omega fatty acids. This is imperative if you want your furry pal to be in perfect health and avoid costly veterinary visits.

High-Quality Ingredients

Natural ingredients from trusted sources are considered as high-quality, which must be a priority when deciding on a dog food. If you’re serving commercial dog food, whether dry food or canned food, always check the ingredient list.

The best commercial dog food options are made with high-quality animal protein and natural whole foods. Preferably, choose the best dog food with a named animal meat (e.g. chicken meat, beef meat) as the first ingredient. 

Other good protein sources are processed meats called meals from a named animal (e.g. chicken meal, menhaden fish meal). Avoid unnamed animal sources (e.g. animal by-products, meat meal), which are mostly poor-quality. 

Free of Artificial Additives and Food Allergens

Choose commercial dog food that’s free of artificial flavors and additives as these could aggravate the dog's health disorders. Check your pup for allergies to some dog food ingredients.

If you have a food-sensitive pooch, pick dog foods with novel protein (e.g. salmon, turkey) as first ingredient, and perhaps a grain-free, gluten-free, and limited ingredients diet. Grain-free foods are free of common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy.

[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 7

Is Raw Food Diet Better For Cushing’s Disease?

Raw food diet for dogs is becoming more and more popular today as many pet owners associate it with the natural feeding in the wild that dog ancestors relied on.

This comes with the idea that feeding on raw meat is beneficial to the dog’s health and helps prevent a number of common canine health issues, including Cushing’s syndrome.

It’s true that many of the common health problems in dogs are caused by poor diets that we have been feeding our four-legged best friends for many years.

Most of the processed commercial pet foods, especially the cheaper ones, are made with very poor quality ingredients and lack the complete nutrition dogs need to stay healthy. 

A raw diet, at least, doesn’t have any of the harmful artificial components that are found in many commercial pet foods. But raw dog food also lacks some of the essential nutrients dogs need to thrive. You'll need to add supplements.

Feeding raw does have its health benefits including leaner muscle mass, which is great for dogs with Cushing’s disease. It also promotes elevated energy levels, improved digestive health, stronger bones, and better skin and coat. It's also generally safer for sensitive dogs because it's free of additives.

Raw Dog Food Reminders

First, the meat may be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Yersinia. Another challenge with a raw diet is the preparation aspect.

If you have the extra time to prepare the raw dog meal – cutting, washing, proportioning, blending with other natural ingredients – then that’s fine. Of course, you also need to clean and sanitize the food bowls after the raw foods are consumed, or it would attract bacteria.

Suggestions for Feeding Raw for Cushing’s Disease

For a dogs' Cushing’s disease, the main advantage of feeding raw meals is the high protein content, which should help largely in mitigating muscle wasting – a known symptom of the illness.

If you’re determined to introduce a raw diet, here are some important suggestions:

  • Gradually introduce the new diet by mixing with the old dog food, then gradually increasing the raw portion for about 2-3 weeks. A sudden shift to raw foods will likely result in an upset stomach.
  • Make sure the meat is a high-quality meat and free of harmful bacteria.
  • Mix the meat with raw fruits and veggies for a more balanced diet. Add some eggs too.
  • Provide your dogs with dietary supplements to provide the other nutrients not found in meat. Some dairy products like yogurt with probiotics or supplements with probiotics are also vital for digestive health and better digestion of raw ingredients.

You can try balancing raw diet with homemade dog food, which may be cooked or slightly processed, and high-quality commercial foods in both dry food and wet dog food. You may add small amounts of raw meats.

Home-cooked meals using fresh ingredients are just as beneficial and less problematic. Just make sure to use dog-friendly ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil instead of processed cooking oil. 

Avoid adding unhealthy spices like MSG, or too much salt. Homemade dog food mixed with the best commercial dog food options, including canned food, is great dog food.

Remember that most premium commercial dog foods – AAFCO certified and made with natural ingredients – are enriched with all the essential nutrients needed by dogs to thrive.

If you settle for commercial pet foods, please refer to the guidelines in this article about what to look for in the best dog food for Cushing’s disease. Dry dog foods are more economical and you will find some good options in this review.

Although more expensive, canned dog food has its advantages too like being more nutrient-dense per serving and also more palatable. You can also mix canned food with dry food.

IMAGE PRODUCT  
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 8
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Door to door delivery
  • 60% off first order
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 9
SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat Formula
  • Zero artificial ingredients
  • Food sensitivity-friendly kibble
  • Crafted with dietary fiber sources, prebiotics & probiotics
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 10
Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe
  • A grain-free and low fat formula
  • Free from chicken and egg proteins
  • Includes L-Carnitine to support the metabolism of fats
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 11
Annamaet Lean Low Fat Formula
  • High in protein, low in fat
  • Prebiotics and probiotics are added
  • Taurine & DHA helps support brain health
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 12
Diamond Naturals Light Formula
  • Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-rich recipe
  • Real lamb as the #1 ingredient
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 13
Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous with Alaskan Pollock
  • Features probiotic support
  • Made with nutritious whole grains
  • Specially crafted for weight control
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 14
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula
  • High-protein recipe
  • Features real chicken
  • Hard kibble with meaty shreds
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 15
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Fish & Oat Recipe
  • Features real whole food ingredients
  • Provides complete and balanced nutrition
  • Made with 100 percent human-grade ingredients
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 16
Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken in Gravy
  • Gourmet canned formula
  • Complete and balanced diet
  • Ideal for sensitive tummies or allergies
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 17
RUFFIN' IT Healthfuls Sweet Potato & Chicken Wraps
  • Low in fat and packed with protein
  • Wraps are free of grains and fillers
  • Combination of chicken breast and sweet potato
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
Get 50% off your first order  
  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat Formula
  3. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe
  4. Annamaet Lean Low Fat Formula
  5. Diamond Naturals Light Formula
  6. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous with Alaskan Pollock
  7. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula
  8. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Fish & Oat Recipe
  9. Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken in Gravy
  10. RUFFIN' IT Healthfuls Sweet Potato & Chicken Wraps

Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease in 2021

1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Chicken Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Carrots, Peas, Rice, Chicken Liver

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 18
Ollie makes human-grade premium dog food by the order. They use only all-natural ingredients and each batch is hand crafted for quality and flavor.

Our top overall pick for the best dog food fur Cushing’s disease is Ollie fresh Chicken recipe, a reputable fresh dog food option that’s respected for its all natural, high-quality food, and human-grade ingredients.

Made with quality real chicken meat as the main ingredient, this outstanding fresh recipe has a great blend of protein and whole foods to keep your pup nourished and wanting for more. 

Carrots and spinach are high in the ingredients list to provide iron and antioxidants, while cod liver oil supplies the essential omegas for healthy immune system, healthy digestion, and healthy skin and coat.

Whole dried eggs are also part of the mix for the additional protein pack, plus blueberries and chia seeds for more nutrients. As fresh dog food, you can be sure that it’s free of artificial flavors and other poor-quality ingredients.

The protein load for this recipe is 10% minimum and the fat DM is only 11.1%, while the fiber DM in 7.4%. It’s also rich in essential nutrients, especially vitamins E, B6, and B12. It has met the nutritional requirements of AAFCO.

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Pros:

  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Added Fruits & Veggies
  • Several recipes available, including a variety pack
  • Company offers 60% off on first order

Cons:

  • Fresh, small-batch prepared food can be expensive
  • Weekly and biweekly delivery not available for some areas (may cause storage issues)

2. SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Pacific Cod, Brown Rice, Ocean Whitefish Meal, Tapioca, Natural Vegetarian Flavor

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 19
This food sensitivity-friendly kibble is crafted with irresistible, low-fat Pacific cod, brown rice, whole egg, and cold-pressed sunflower oil—all of which help support your pup’s health

Next on the list is SquarePet VFS Digestive Support Low Fat Formula as it has met all the qualities we look for in the best diet for Cushing’s disease.

Proudly made in the USA, this first-class kibble has premium-quality ingredients, led by real Pacific cod meat and brown rice. 

Among the other remarkable components are ocean whitefish meal, whole egg, sunflower oil, Jerusalem artichoke, and psyllium husk.

This dry dog food has an ample protein load of 25% for muscle and bone support, and fat of only 6.6%, which is ideal for dogs with Cushing’s disease.

It’s also fortified with probiotics for digestive health, omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, and antioxidants for a robust immune system.

Although this dry dog food is not yet very popular, it has received high ratings from buyers across different websites. Those who have tried it are happy with its low-fat formula, which they claim to have worked well in keeping pups who require a low-fat food quite healthy. 

While most find this recipe quite costly, many of the buyers stated that it is worth the higher price tag for the health benefits it is able to deliver to their pups.

Pros:

  • Highly digestible
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Fat DM is only 6.6%, fiber DM is only 3.3%
  • Complete and balanced nutrition – with probiotics and antioxidants

Cons:

  • Costs more than the average commercially available kibble

3. Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Cod, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Lentils, Yellow Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 20
This grain-free recipe of cod & lentils provides the protein and amino acids dogs need, but includes more fiber and less fat calories than the other recipes.

Our next choice is Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils grain-free dog food and for obvious reasons. A look at this low-fat diet will tell you that the ingredients deck is amazing, with prime-quality cod meat as primary protein source, plus turkey meal and salmon meal – all novel proteins to avoid food allergies in dogs. 

The 74% animal-based protein account for a high 30% minimum crude protein content in this formula, which is great in battling muscle weakness from Cushing’s syndrome.

The plant-based parts are equally impressive, with high-quality lentils, yellow peas, sweet potato, chickpeas, carrots, and apples to name some. Fat content is only 7.7%, which is again ideal for dogs with Cushing’s disease and also excellent in keeping a healthy weight.

The grain-free adult formula has a moderate fiber DM of only 6.6%. This dry food is undeniably rich in essential nutrients including omega fatty acids and antioxidants, plus probiotics for healthy digestion.

It’s easy to see why this low-fat recipe is among the best options. Over 100 customers at Chewy.com gave this kibble an incredible 4.8 out of 5 stars rating, with a towering 97% acceptance rate. 

There are hundreds of rave reviews for this grain-free recipe, with so many customers delighted with the renewed energy it brought to their pups, and some relieved that their food-sensitive dogs didn’t have any adverse reaction to it. Some even mentioned how their vets noticed the remarkable results. 

There were only 4 critical reviews out of the total 111 respondents. Two of them are still working on getting their pups to eat, while the other two complained about the strong fishy smell of the diet.

Pros:

  •  High-protein at 30%
  • Crafted with probiotics
  • Contains calcium and phosphorus
  • Great digestible protein from novel sources

Cons:

  • Strong fish odor

4. Annamaet Lean Low Fat Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Field Peas, Lentils, Potato, Tapioca

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 21
This weight control formula contains half the fat of Annamaet’s other grain-free diets, along with high-quality ingredients without all of the fiber.

Not to be outdone is another premium dry dog food that’s known for its excellent quality – Annamaet Grain-Free Lean formula.

This USA-produced grain-free diet is not only suitable for overweight dogs but also for dogs with Cushing’s disease because of its low-fat but high-protein formula. 

The fat content is quite low at 7.7%, and the protein mass is a stellar 30% minimum, which is fit for lean muscle mass needed to battle muscle weakness. Its fiber DM is just 3.8%.

The nutritious ingredients include chicken meal, duck meal, herring meal, miscanthus grass, apples, and blueberries. Loaded with essential nutrients like taurine, vitamins B12 and D3, and L-carnitine among many others, plus probiotics, it’s a complete and balanced diet that’s perfect for adult and older dogs.

This grain-free kibble garnered a respectable 4.6 out of 5 stars grade from more than 200 customers at Chewy.com, with a 94% acceptance rate.

We found about 220 positive reviews as opposed to just 21 critical comments about this brand. A good number of the friendly reviews were about the encouraging results in their pups suffering from pancreatitis, and other health issues including diabetes and skin problems. 

Some also thought this diet is a great alternative to the more costly prescription diet. From the negative reviews, a few stated that the kibbles lack flavor and scent to entice finicky dogs. There were also a few complaints about the zip lock on the packaging being difficult to use.

Pros:

  • Low-fat, low-fiber
  • Prebiotics and probiotics are added
  • L-carnitine for more efficient fat burning
  • crafted with super premium chicken, duck and herring

Cons:

  • Packaging needs improvement

5. Diamond Naturals Light Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 22
Crafted with real pasture-raised lamb protein as the #1 ingredient, this recipe is specially formulated with fewer calories to support the needs of less active and overweight dogs.

Also a notable dry dog food brand, Diamond Naturals Light is another cool option for your dogs with Cushing’s disease. What’s even cooler is its affordable price despite the high-quality ingredients.

Made in the USA by a family-owned company, this low-fat recipe is made of food components from trusted sources, with lamb meal from pasture-raised lamb and whole grain brown rice as top two ingredients. 

It also has an astonishing array of whole foods such as flaxseed, pumpkin, kale, spinach, oranges, quinoa, and papaya that provide the bounteous antioxidants.

It’s also loaded with omega fatty acids and probiotics. This kibble has a moderate protein content of 18% minimum, and its fat is only 6.6%, with a fiber content 8.8%. It has zero artificial flavors and preservatives.

At Chewy.com, this dry dog food received an average 4.4 out of 5 stars rating from 202 reviewers, with a 91% acceptance rate. Many customers are highly satisfied with this dry food, and mostly elated about its friendly price.

Some also revealed that this adult dog food is a vet recommended diet. Among the critical comments, the most common complaint is about this diet causing too much gas in their pups.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly
  • Real pasture-raised lamb protein is top ingredient
  • Made without corn, wheat, artificial flavors or colors
  • Includes species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics

Cons:

  • Protein content is only 18%
  • Reports of too much gas in dogs from this diet

6. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous with Alaskan Pollock

First 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 23
This low-fat formula features fresh-caught, omega-rich Alaskan pollock, probiotics and a unique blend of functional superfoods for gut health and overall immune support.

Another premium brand worthy of inclusion in our best food list is Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous dry dog food. Alaskan Pollock is the main ingredient, which is an excellent novel protein.

While it is not grain-free, it has wholesome grains such as pearled barley, brown rice, oatmeal as its main sources of fiber. Nutrient-dense ingredients like oceanfish meal, dried eggs, pumpkin, and cranberries make this a truly healthy meal for pups. 

It has salmon oil for the essential omega fatty acids to achieve healthy skin and coat. The protein load is a sufficient 26% minimum and the fat is a mere 7.2%, with fiber content of 11.1%.

This canine Cushing’s disease diet-appropriate and low-fat formula is also teeming with essential nutrients and probiotics for digestive health and a healthy immune system. It is free of cheap fillers and artificial flavors.

4.5 out of 5 stars average rating is what this adult dog food earned from about 180 reviewers at Chewy.com, with an 89% acceptance rate.

Most of the comments were favorable, with a good number of them saying their dogs thrived with this diet and also resulted in revitalized energy.

Some said their overweight dogs started shedding weight, and a few said it’s a great alternative to a prescription diet.

The naysayers were mostly complaining about an apparent change in the diet’s formula, which wasn’t a welcome change. A few also thought the kibbles were too hard.

Pros:

  • DHA for cognitive health
  • Probiotics for gut health
  • Zero potato, corn, wheat, soy and artificial preservatives
  • Alaskan Pollock is the main protein source – a novel protein

Cons:

  • Kibbles are a bit too hard
  • Possible formula change

7. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Germ Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 24
This high-quality dog food with real chicken as the first ingredient helps deliver the outstanding nutrition he needs and the savory flavor your pet loves.

For a budget-friendly option but still with right balance of protein, fat, and fiber, you can’t go wrong with Purina Pro Plan's Weight Management formula.

A respected and experienced pet food maker, Purina offers this low-fat recipe as a complete and balanced diet formulated for adult dogs that need to cut down on weight. 

Real chicken meat is the first ingredient, with poultry by-product meal and fish meal as additional protein sources. This dry dog food is generous with essential nutrients and probiotics for numerous health gains that include immune system boost, healthy skin and coat, and digestive health. 

This dry food is also intended to promote lean muscle mass in dogs with a high protein content of 27% minimum, and a fat content of only 10%, with fiber at 6.25%.

A popular dog food, this low-fat formula accumulated almost 600 reviews at Chewy, with an average approval rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and an acceptance rate of 96%.

Over 500 reviewers gave affable remarks pertaining to the kibble’s savory taste and weight management benefit. On the other hand, 44 reviewers were dissatisfied with issues like a supposed formula change that lessened the shredded chicken bits and increased the crumbliness of the kibbles.  

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Balanced diet, with probiotics
  • Hard kibble with tender, meaty shreds
  • Real chicken as the very first ingredient
  • Formulated with an optimal protein-to-fat ratio 

Cons:

  • Too crumbly
  • Contains common allergens for sensitive dogs such as corn, soy, wheat 

8. The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Fish & Oat Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Dehydrated White Fish, Organic Barley, Organic Oats, Dehydrated Eggs, Organic Flaxseed

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 25
This whole grain dish features wild-caught white fish plus hearty oats—all dehydrated for prime nutrient retention, superior bioavailability, and digestibility.

If you opt to feed your dogs with Cushing’s disease with raw diet but don’t have the time to prepare it, the next best option is to serve dehydrated raw dog meal that’s ready to serve.

One of the finest choices in the market today is the line from The Honest Kitchen. Made with dehydrated wild-caught white fish as the main protein source and accompanied by organic whole foods, this highly nutritious and delicious dog food is guaranteed to be a big hit with your canine fish fan. 

Respondents on Chewy.com gave this dog food an average 4.2 out of 5 stars grade. Many said their picky pups absolutely devoured the dehydrated fish and oats meal, and the others also liked the improvement in their dog’s skin. 

A few buyers remarked this recipe needs less water to rehydrate. Compared to others, such as the brand’s dehydrated free-range chicken recipe, this fish and oats formula tends to be a bit watery. Another stated that they would like to see more fish and less oats.

Pros:

  • Made with natural, human-grade ingredients 
  • Free of unhealthy and artificial ingredients
  •  Dehydrated wild-caught white fish as main protein source

Cons:

  • Has too much oats, less fish

9. Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken in Gravy

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken (Boneless, Skinless, White Breast), Water Sufficient for Processing, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 26
Formulated with the carnivore in mind, so this recipe focuses on high quality protein, minimal carbs and a high moisture content for the most nutritious meal around for your pup.

As some dog parents prefer to feed their pups canned dog food, it’s not easy finding a better choice for wet dog food than Weruva grain-free Paw Lickin’ Chicken canned dog food. And for dogs with Cushing’s disease, we rate this recipe as the best canned dog food there is. 

Real chicken breast meat that’s boneless and skinless for lean protein is the main ingredient in this gourmet-style, gluten-free, grain-free, and low-fat recipe.

It’s also low in carbs making it ideal for overweight dogs. The protein supply is rich at 10% minimum per can, and the fat content is only 9.3%, which is lower than most canned dog food recipes.

Fitting of the best canned dog food in this review, this gluten-free and grain-free chunks with gravy formula earned an average 4.7 out of 5 stars at Chewy.com from more than 300 reviewers, with a 95% acceptance rate.

Close to 300 reviews were cheery, and it’s hard to keep track of the many times the word “best” was used in the comments, befitting of the best canned dog food for Cushing’s disease.

There were only a handful of naysayers, with most of them unhappy about the stiff price tag, and a several saying there’s not enough meat in the can.

Pros:

  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • More gravy for gravy-lovers
  • White breast chicken meat as main ingredient

Cons:

  • Not enough meat chunks

10. RUFFIN' IT Healthfuls Sweet Potato & Chicken Wraps

All Ingredients: Sweet Potato, Chicken Breast, Glycerin, Salt

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 27
This recipe features a hearty combination of chicken breast and sweet potato. Low in fat and high in protein and amino acids, these tasty treats are sure to help keep your dog’s tail wagging.

Of course, our furry pals suffering from Cushing’s deserve delicious and healthy treats too. And we’ve got a sure winner in Ruffin’It Healthfuls Sweet Potato & Chicken Wraps grain-free treats.

The finest sweet potatoes are selected for this treat along with human-grade chicken breast meat to make a delicious grain-free dog treat that your pup can adore. 

Without any artificial flavors and additives, and packed with a wealthy 25% protein mass, this treat is great in building stronger muscles and bones. The fat DM is a mere 6% max.

It is indeed the best dog treat if we consider the perfect 5 out of 5 stars grade given by all reviewers at Chewy.com. They said their fur-babies absolutely loved this grain-free treat. 

However, a few respondents who bought the product from Amazon commented that it has less chicken than they expected. 

Pros:

  • Extra helping of amino acids
  • Low in fat and packed with protein
  • Combination of chicken breast and sweet potato
  • Free of cheap grains and artificial flavors and additives

Cons:

  • Not enough chicken, according to several buyers
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Can Supplements Help Treat or Prevent Cushing’s Disease?

Supplements can help but there's no substitute to a healthy dog food. With a nutritionally-balanced food, supplements may not be necessary. Consult your local vet before buying any supplement to avoid interference with medication.

  • To aid nutritional therapy, supplements with essential antioxidants including beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, selenium, and methionine can help in lowering circulating blood fats in the dog’s body.
  • A high-protein food supplement can also help against muscle atrophy.
  • Fish oil supplementation can also help in lowering circulating blood fats and triglycerides, apart from supporting healthy skin and coat and preventing hair loss, which is a symptom of Cushing’s disease.
  • Melatonin is also believed to help manage Cushing’s disease as it regulates hormones and provides antioxidants.

Herbal Supplements

Some homeopathic vets also recommend certain herbs to reduce cortisol levels and help alleviate the effects of Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Among the herbs frequently mentioned are Ginko Biloba, Dandelion Root, Kelp, Siberian Ginseng, Ashwaganda Root, Turmeric, and Milk Thistle.

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First 5 Ingredients: Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Cleavers Herb, Horsetail Herb, Astragalus Root

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[year] Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease: Proper Diet For Adrenal Support 28
This formula is designed to help furry friends who suffer from Cushing’s Disease by promoting the balanced function of your pal’s adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and her endocrine system.

We mentioned in this article about how some dietary supplements can help ease the effects of Cushing’s syndrome, and possibly even balance the cortisol production.

This featured supplement is made of extraordinary herbs that can help boost the balanced function of the adrenal and pituitary glands. It’s also formulated to augment bladder function and promote healthy skin and coat in dogs.

There are 18 dog owners of dogs with Cushing’s disease that gave this supplement a superlative average grade of 4.7 out of 5 stars at Chewy.com, with an 89% acceptance rate.

We couldn’t find any bad reviews about this product although there were 2 reviewers that said they still have yet to see the results in their pups. 

16 pet parents said the results were incredible, with mentions of decline in cortisol levels after blood works and vast improvement of symptoms.

But before using this product, please seek the vet’s approval as it may interfere with other medication your pooch may be having.

Pros:

  • All natural herbs as ingredients
  • Reports of improvements in symptoms and lowering of cortisol levels
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About Canine Cushing’s Disease

What Is Cushing’s Disease?

Cushing’s disease, which is named after Harvey W. Cushing, who in 1932 discovered 12 human patients with a serious metabolic disorder stemming from tumors in the pituitary gland, affects humans and animals alike, including dogs and cats.

Cushing's disease is no laughing matter. It's caused by the overproduction of a chemical called cortisol (also cortisone), by the adrenal glands. 

Cortisol helps respond to stress, fight infections, manage body weight, and control blood sugar levels. It is a very helpful chemical to the dog’s body. But too much or too little of it brings significant health complications to dogs, as it does to humans.

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In the case of Cushing’s syndrome, the excess cortisol can result in many potential severe health issues such as hypertension, kidney damage, blood clots, and diabetes, which can put the dog’s life at risk.

Cushing’s disease is more common among older dogs, usually starting at seven years old. While it can affect any dog breed, some dog breeds are found to be more commonly affected by Cushing’s syndrome.

Among these dog breeds are small breed dogs like the Boston Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Dachshunds, Beagles, and Poodles, and larger breeds like the German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Boxers.  

Causes Of Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease can be classified into three different types, each with a different origin. It’s critical for the vet to determine the type of Cushing’s disease because each type also has a different prognosis and treatment.

Pituitary Gland Tumor

This is the most common cause of Cushing’s disease, which could account to about 85% of cases in dogs. The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain.

A tumor in the pituitary gland could be benign or malignant, and small or large, that induces the overproduction of a hormone called ACTH, which then stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. 

Adrenal Gland Tumor

The adrenal gland itself may have a benign or malignant tumor called adenoma and carcinoma respectively that triggers the overproduction of cortisol. If the tumor is benign, surgical removal can permanently cure the condition. If it’s malignant, the condition may recur even after surgery.

Iatrogenic Cushing’s Disease

This is caused by the excessive use of steroids in dogs, typically from oral or injectable medication. Some health disorders in dogs require the use of steroids. However, the prolonged use of steroids can also provoke the overproduction of cortisol.

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Symptoms Of Canine Cushing’s Disease

Middle-aged and older dogs are more susceptible to this disorder and the early signs are not easy to detect. Dogs with Cushing’s disease could show one or a few of the following symptoms:

  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst, frequent drinking
  • Frequent peeing
  • Weakening of the muscles, atrophy
  • Thinning of the skin 
  • Hair loss
  • Potbelly development, bloated abdomen
  • Panting
  • Lethargy, drop in energy level

Any of these symptoms call for an immediate visit with the animal doctor. 

Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Dog’s Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s syndrome in dogs can be quite challenging to diagnose even for experienced veterinarians because its symptoms are identical with other health issues like gallbladder disease, gastrointestinal disease, and tumors in the liver.

Various medical tests, like urine and blood tests, may be conducted to pinpoint the main source of your pup’s symptoms and also to eliminate other possible causes. MRI, ultrasound, and adrenal function tests may also be administered if necessary.

Pituitary Gland Tumor

The vet may prescribe medication to lower the dog’s cortisol levels. Although surgery is the more effective way of removing the cause, which is the tumor, medication is the more practical and safer method of treatment. The surgical removal of a pituitary gland tumor is complex and delicate, especially for older dogs, not to mention very costly. 

The most commonly-used drugs are trilostane (Vetoryl) and mitotane (Lysodren). Trilostane disrupts the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Mitotane, on the other hand, is a human chemotherapy drug prescribed, “off-label” by some vets for dogs with Cushing’s disease. But this needs careful monitoring by an expert as it can induce serious side-effects.

Adrenal Gland Tumor

For adrenal gland tumor, surgery is the logical treatment. If the tumor is not cancerous, the dog has a great chance of being in the pink of health soon after a successful surgery. 

Iatrogenic Cushing's Disease

For the Iatrogenic Cushing’s disease, the discontinuation of the steroid is required. However, it’s very likely that the disorder being treated by the steroid will recur.

In this case, the vet will recommend other medication or treatment to fix the issue without steroids. This will also likely necessitate the regular monitoring of the cortisol production by the vet as well as regular blood tests.

Treating dogs with Cushing’s disease can be tricky and sometimes frustrating because of constant trial and error but pet parents can do a lot to help by being diligent in bringing the animal to the vet regularly for checkups and for the necessary medical tests and by strictly following the vet’s instructions on medication and other treatment procedures at home.

Pet parents must also constantly watch out for side-effects or other health issues. This way, the vet will have an easier time treating the dog and help prolong its life. Sadly, many dogs are not given enough time by their owners that they continue to suffer and eventually die.

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Tips To Help Alleviate A Dog’s Cushing’s Disease

Unlimited Drinking Water

As increased thirst and excessive drinking are symptoms of Cushing’s disease, it’s necessary to always have clean water available for your pup to drink. Do not limit their access to clean water. As in humans, drinking water is healthy. Your pooch will just pee the excess water in her body.

Weight Loss

The vet may also recommend weight reduction measures for your Fido. This you must do to prevent obesity, which poses other health hazards including hypertension and heart disease. Exercise will also do your dogs a lot of good. Take the time to walk them daily. As for a healthy weight diet, you need to consult a vet.

Frequent Feeding in Small Amounts

You can also implement frequent feeding in smaller amounts, which should be easier to digest, and prevent overeating or eating just about anything. This can aid in maintaining a healthy weight.

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