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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in 2022 Revealed!

Hypothyroidism

Does your dog seem more lethargic than usual? Has he started to put on weight despite a lack of appetite? Is he exhibiting changes in behavior that are starting to worry you?

Your dog is your baby and your best friend, so you’re right to worry if you notice changes in his health or behavior. The three changes mentioned here are some of the most common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance disorder called hypothyroidism.

This is a condition that affects a small gland in your dog’s neck but can have a big impact on his total health and wellness.

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In this article, we’ll explore the subject of hypothyroidism in dogs in greater detail to teach you what you need to know about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this disease.

We’ll also talk about how to choose the best foods for dogs with hypothyroidism and show you our top 10 picks.

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Basics About Hypothyroidism in Dogs

The thyroid is a small gland located in your dog’s neck and it is responsible for producing certain hormones that regulate essential bodily functions.

One of the functions the thyroid regulates is metabolism – if the thyroid becomes overactive, it elevates the dog’s metabolism and, if it becomes under active, it slows it down. As you can imagine this leads to corresponding changes in body weight.

The term for an overactive thyroid gland is hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism refers to an under active thyroid. In dogs, there are two primary causes for hypothyroidism – lymphocytic thyroiditis and idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy.

Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is a tricky condition to diagnose. It isn’t because the symptoms are difficult to identify, however. The real trouble is that the diagnostic criteria for the condition have changed over the years.

If you’re wondering just what hypothyroidism in dogs looks like, here is a quick dog hypothyroidism symptoms checklist: 

  • hypothyroidismWeight gain (often without increase in appetite)
  • Lethargy or low energy
  • Lack of interest in exercise or play
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Dry, dull hair with increased shedding
  • Thinning hair and/or bald spots
  • Increased skin pigmentation
  • Frequent ear infections
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Slow heart rate

In addition to these common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs, some breeds experience additional abnormalities such as thickening facial skin, abnormal nerve function, loss of libido, fat deposits in the eyes, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye.

Many of the symptoms related to hypothyroidism in dogs are physical, typically related to metabolism. In some dogs, however, it can cause behavioral changes. According to veterinarian Dr. W. Jean Dodds, there is a connection between abnormal behavior and thyroid issues in dogs.

Some dogs experience unprovoked aggression, sudden seizures, moodiness, erratic temperament, fearfulness, compulsiveness, irritability, or even anxiety. In fact, when it comes to dog hypothyroidism, anxiety seems to be an increasingly common problem.

OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR DOG FOODS FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM

10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 2
  • Contains triple lamb formula
  • Natural sources of omega fatty acids
  • With iodine for dogs with thyroid problems
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 4
  • Wholesome, high-quality diet
  • Every ingredient is fresh and recognizable
  • Simple, customized meal
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 2
  • Keeps immune system strong and healhty
  • Contains healthy fats for hips and joints
  • Zero - wheat, corn, and soy
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The 10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism

The best dog foods for thyroid issues is not necessarily an expensive prescription diet. In fact, veterinary diets made with low-quality ingredients could do your dog more harm than good. Instead, look for a recipe from a reputable brand made with high-quality, natural ingredients.

It should be rich in protein and healthy fats with low-to-moderate levels of digestible carbohydrates. It also doesn’t hurt if it contains beneficial supplements like iodine, chelated minerals, or probiotics.

Here’s our top pick for the best dog food for hypothyroidism:

IMAGE PRODUCT  
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 7
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  • Wholesome, high-quality diet
  • Every ingredient is fresh and recognizable
  • Simple, customized meal
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 8
Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain
  • Contains triple lamb formula
  • Natural sources of omega fatty acids
  • With iodine for dogs with thyroid problems
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 9
American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Keeps immune system strong and healhty
  • Contains healthy fats for hips and joints
  • Zero - wheat, corn, and soy
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 10
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Partners with vets for formulation
  • Guaranteed tasty turkey meat
  • Made in USDA-regulated kitchen
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 11
Zignature LID Trout & Salmon Meal
  • Doesn't upset your pooch's stomach
  • With savory trout and salmon meal
  • Low-glycemic and hypoallergenic
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 12
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
  • Dehydrated fresh food
  • Longer shelf life than raw food
  • Contains beneficial supplements
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 13
Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe
  • Quality of recipe is superb
  • Includes healthy grains for fiber
  • Made for dogs of all breeds and ages
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 14
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe
  • Made with lean beef and pork meal
  • Contains ancient grains for fiber
  • For dogs with blood sugar issues
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 15
Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken
  • Contains a single source of animal protein
  • With krill meat for EPA and DHA
  • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
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10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 16
Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Healhty and good for stomach
  • Contains active probiotics
  • Nutritionally balanced dry food
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What is the Best Dog Food for Hypothyroidism?

  1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  2. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Formula
  3. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  4. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  5. Zignature LID Trout & Salmon Meal
  6. The Honest Kitchen Whole-Grain Chicken Recipe
  7. Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe
  8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe
  9. Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken Dry Food
  10. Holistic Select Adult Health Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

1. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

First 5 ingredients: Diced Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Spinach, Water sufficient for processing

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 17
Nom Nom conducts minimal processing with their recipes, and they cook their foods gently to protect the integrity of the nutrients. Their food is delivered in portioned bags to avoid overfeeding or confusion.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 8.5%
Crude Fat 6%
Crude Fiber 1%

If you’re looking for a wholesome, high-quality diet to boost your dog’s health and wellness, try Nom Nom. This is a fresh food delivery service that sends perfectly portioned packages of customized dog food right to your door.

We chose Nom Nom as the best dog food for hypothyroidism because all of the ingredients are fresh and recognizable, and the meals are cooked in small batches. The preportioned food is customized to each specific pet so you know that each dish is made uniquely for your pup.

Simply provide some basic information about your dog’s breed, age, and weight as well as any nutritional requirements or allergies he has, then Nom Nom will customize one of their recipes to meet your dog’s unique needs.

Choose a customized delivery plan to receive shipments as often as you like and follow their simple instructions to feed your dog properly. Nom Nom uses only fresh, high-quality natural ingredients like real animal protein, wholesome fruits and veggies, and natural botanicals to create flavorful, nutritionally balanced meals for dogs.

This specific wet dog food recipe uses chicken as the primary protein source. Chicken is also one of the best sources of essential amino acids, which are important for tissue repair, nutrient absorption, and recovery. 

And its source of healthy fats are sunflower oil and canola oils, both providing a high amount of iodine, which is essential for dogs with hypothyroidism. Not to mention that these two oils also supply plenty of omega fatty acids necessary for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

What we also like about this grain-free food is its low calorie but nutrient dense formulation. This is extremely helpful in keeping your pup at a healthy weight. 

Pros: 

  • Customized your dog’s meals 
  • Fresh food delivered to your door
  • Made with wholesome natural and high-quality ingredients
  • Vet-crafted
  • Low calorie
  • Grain-free

Cons: 

  • Expensive compared to most commercial diets
  • Limited number of recipes

2. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Formula

First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Lentils

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 18
This is a triple lamb formula: Lamb, Lamb Meal and Roasted Lamb. Without a doubt this is a tasty and healthy kibble plus it is a good alternative for pets who are allergic to poultry or beef.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 25%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 5%

If you’re not sure what to get for your dog but you know he has a sensitivity or allergy to grains, Taste of the Wild could be the perfect brand. It’s a brand known for its choice of premium quality protein ingredients that are also novel, like wild boar, bison, buffalo, and quail.

The brand offers a variety of high-protein formulas featuring wholesome natural ingredients like the Sierra Mountain, a dry dog food recipe. This particular dry dog food formulation is grain-free and features lamb (and lamb meal) as the primary protein source.

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The dry dog food contains natural sources for omega fatty acids (3 and 6) in the form of salmon oil and canola oil, both of which provide plenty of iodine (helps with your dog’s thyroid problems) and omega fatty acids (for your pup’s hair, skin, and  immune system).

You’ll also be glad to know that this grain-free formula contains fresh fruits and veggies to provide natural sources for key nutrients as well as vitamins and chelated mineral supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

Pros: 

  • Single source of high-quality animal protein
  • Naturally grain-free
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Contains fresh fruits and veggies for natural sources of key nutrients

Cons: 

  • Primary source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

3. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 19
Full of natural dietary fiber from sources like flaxseed, carrots, blueberries, oatmeal, brown rice and barley. Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, helping your dog maintain lean muscle mass.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 25%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 6%

You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune to get high-quality ingredients for your dog. American Journey is Chewy’s in-house brand and it provides a wide variety of dog food formulas, including both grain-inclusive and grain-free options.

If you’re looking for a grain-inclusive recipe that contains lean protein (when you want your pup to maintain lean muscle mass), this dry dog food recipe is a great place to start. It features fresh deboned chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, followed by two kinds of healthy grains.

This dry dog food formula offers an ideal balance of protein (25%), fat (15%), and fiber (6%) to keep your dog’s diet stable. It also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and synthetic vitamins for nutritional balance as well as natural sources for key nutrients like fresh blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cranberries.

Pros: 

  • Rich in lean animal-based protein
  • Contains digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Beneficial supplements like chelated minerals

Cons: 

  • Contains some plant-based sources of protein
  • May be too high in fiber for some dogs

4. Ollie Pet Food Fresh Turkey

Rating: 4.75/5

First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Kale, Lentils, Carrots, Coconut oil

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 20
If you want to let your pet experience a new kind of food, you should consider feeding your pet this one. It uses human grade ingredients and recipes a lot like the raw food dogs would eat in the wild.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 7%
Crude Fiber 2%

If you are concerned about your dog’s health and wellness, you should make an effort to feed your dog the best pet diet you can afford, and if you want to go above and beyond, you should consider feeding your dog Ollie pet food.

Ollie’s fresh food is made and hand-packed in the USA. The brand partners with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate its nutritionally-balanced recipes in accordance with AAFCO standards. All of the foods are cooked in small batches in its USDA-regulated kitchen, and no artificial preservatives are used.

This specific diet uses only turkey as its only protein source, which means pups who may be sensitive to meats other than turkey will be able to thrive on this formula.

It also has turkey liver, which aside from supplying additional protein, contains significant values of omega fatty acids, iron, zinc, and calcium.

Since turkey and turkey liver (yes, even turkey liver!) are lean proteins, there is no risk of weight gain for your pup. 

Pros: 

  • Vet formulated
  • Single animal-based protein source
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
  • You can customize your subscription
  • Low calorie dog food

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Shorter shelf life than kibble

5. Zignature LID Trout & Salmon Meal

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Trout, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 21
This grain-free, limited ingredient formula is made with one protein source and only a handful of other ingredients, creating a clean recipe with ingredients you can count on.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 31%
Crude Fat 14%
Crude Fiber 4%

Many dogs develop sensitive stomachs as they get older. If your dog also has hypothyroidism, you need to be particularly careful to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach.

A limited ingredient dog food diet made with wholesome natural ingredients and a single source of premium animal protein is the way to go for whole body health.

This grain-free Zignature dry dog food recipe features fish (trout and salmon meal) as the primary source of protein and contains a limited number of main ingredients. It provides 31% protein and 14% fat with chelated minerals and added vitamins for nutritional balance.

It’s low glycemic, hypoallergenic, and free from troublesome ingredients. The grain-free dry dog food formulation is a little higher in calories than some recipes go, so pay attention to the feeding recommendations.

However, it does contain l-carnitine, which is useful for turning excess fat into energy. What’s more, this formulation has salmon oil, which is loaded with omegas. 

Pros: 

  • Limited number of main ingredients
  • Trout and salmon as the main ingredients
  • Chelated minerals and added vitamins for nutritional balance
  • Contains l-carnitine

Cons: 

  • Contains pea protein (a plant-based protein) as a main ingredient

6. The Honest Kitchen Whole-Grain Chicken Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 22
It contains organic whole grains like barley and oats with fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. You’ll find that it is supplemented with essential vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure maximum nutrient absorption

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 24.5%
Crude Fat 14%
Crude Fiber 4%

Fresh food is one of the best diets you can offer your dog because the raw ingredients haven’t been exposed to the same high-heat process as commercial kibble. If fresh food isn’t quite within your budget, or you want something with a longer shelf-life, try this high quality dog food made by the Honest Kitchen.

This dog food recipe is dehydrated rather than cooked, so it is shelf-stable until you mix it with water to prepare it for your dog. It features 100% human-grade ingredients and is prepared in a human food facility, held to the highest standards for quality.

It contains real responsibly farm-raised chicken as the main ingredient with digestible whole grains like barley and oats. (Do note that barley is one of several gluten-rich grains. If your dog is not allergic to gluten, then this is completely fine.)

It also contains fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients with added vitamins and chelated minerals for nutritional balance. Serve it as your staple pet’s diet or as a food topper to add a boost of natural flavor and premium-quality nutrition to your dog’s current diet.

Pros: 

  • Dehydrated, not cooked at high temperatures
  • USDA certified organic
  • Lean chicken as main ingredient
  • Whole-grain digestible carbohydrates
  • Beneficial supplements
  • Rehydrates to 4x its weight

Cons: 

  • Some dogs dislike the rehydrated texture

7. Castor & Pollux Organix Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Oatmeal, Organic Barley, Organic Brown Rice

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 23
A great choice that features USDA certified organic ingredients such as free-range chicken, barley, oatmeal, and chickpeas yielding a protein-rich and nutritious bowl every meal time.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

When it comes to dry dog food, the quality of the ingredients determines the quality of the recipe and organic ingredients are usually best.

This Castor & Pollux Organix Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe is a great option because it features USDA organic ingredients like free-range chicken, oatmeal, barley, and chickpeas in a protein-rich recipe balanced with plenty of omega fatty acids.

It provides 3.5% crude fiber and probiotics to support healthy and regular digestion, plus chelated minerals to maximize your dog’s nutrient absorption.

It is complete and balanced for dogs of all breeds and ages, plus it contains a special blend of superfoods and is easy for sensitive stomachs to digest.

You’ll also be glad to know that it is completely free from corn, wheat, soy, and artificial additives like antibiotics, hormones, flavors, colors, and preservatives. Your dog is sure to love it.

Pros: 

  • Made with high-quality organic ingredients
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Easy for sensitive stomachs to digest
  • Special blend of superfoods for maximum nutritional value

Cons

  • Fairly expensive compared to traditional kibble
  • A little high in calories

8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Pork Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 24
This dry dog food is developed with high levels of omega fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat while glucosamine and chondroitin support hip and joint function.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

Organic dog food is great, but it is also very expensive. If you’re looking for a slightly more affordable option that still delivers premium quality nutrition, try this dry dog food from Merrick.

It comes from a reputable brand known for high-quality, natural ingredients, and it is made with lean beef and pork meal as the main ingredients, Ancient grains give fiber and carbohydrate support. 

This formula delivers a wholesome balance of protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables with added vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.

It contains added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and bone health, plus it is a potato-free recipe, which makes it a lower glycemic option for dogs with blood sugar issues. 

It also supports your dog’s skin and coat health with a rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You can see now why it is one of our top picks for the best dog food for hypothyroidism!

Pros: 

  • Wholesome blend of protein and digestible carbohydrates
  • Nutrient-rich ancient grains
  • Blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Locally-sourced ingredients

Cons: 

  • Could be higher in fiber (only 3.5% compared to 5%)

9. Petcurean Gather Free Acres Organic Free-Run Chicken

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 25
Petcurean company is known to handpick the farmers, growers and fishers that supplies them the produce they need. Rest assured this dry dog food is made from premium quality ingredients along with non-GMO veggies and fruits.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 5%

Another excellent option in organic food, this dry dog food from Petcurean Gather features free-run chicken as a lean source of premium animal-based protein.

This formula contains non-GMO vegetables, including organic peas, lentils, blueberries, and cranberries, all of which also add a boost of antioxidant nutrition and natural flavor.

With sustainably harvested krill, this recipe is a great source of EPA and DHA fatty acids, which support brain and heart function as well as healthy skin and coat. 

This dry dog food recipe is fortified with essential vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and balanced nutrition. Plus, it is rich in fiber to support healthy and regular digestion. Overall, it is a great choice for any dog but especially dogs with hypothyroidism.

Pros: 

  • Made with premium organic ingredients
  • Made with non-GMO vegetables
  • Rich in omega fatty acids for skin and coat
  • Chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption

Cons: 

  • Very expensive compared to the average kibble
  • Has a distinct smell

10. Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe

Rating: 4.75/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 26
This kibble is created to offer extensive digestive health support, with active probiotics, digestive enzymes and healthy fiber combining to create a great companion for your dog's gut.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 25%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 4%

A dog food with added nutrients won’t do your dog any good if his body can’t digest and utilize them. This Holistic Recipe is a great solution to the problem because it is formulated with a unique Digestive Health Support System made up of active probiotics, added fiber, and digestive enzymes to boost your dog’s digestion.

Combined with other natural ingredients in a holistic recipe, this dry dog food supports health nutrition and optimal wellness in adult dogs. It features chicken meal as the main ingredient and a concentrated source of lean protein with digestible whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal for carbohydrate support.

You’ll find an optimal blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to in this dry dog food help with nutritional balance. This recipe also contains chelated minerals to maximize your dog’s nutrient absorption.

Pros: 

  • Formulated with unique Digestive Health Support System
  • Concentrated source of lean animal-based protein
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Has glucosamine for joint health

Cons: 

  • May be too high in calories for some dogs
Diagnosing hypothyroidism in dogs starts with blood testing to check the dog’s levels for thyroid hormones. Low levels of thyroxin (TT4) in the blood combined with certain signs from the dog hypothyroidism symptoms checklist above is indicative of hypothyroidism. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a free T4 test or thyroid panel. Once diagnosed, hypothyroidism can be treated but, unfortunately, it is not a curable condition.

The Basics About Hypothyroidism In Dogs

The thyroid is a small gland located in your dog’s neck and it is responsible for producing certain hormones that regulate essential bodily functions.

One of the functions the thyroid regulates is metabolism – if the thyroid becomes overactive, it elevates the dog’s metabolism and, if it becomes under active, it slows it down. As you can imagine, thyroid problems can lead to corresponding changes in body weight, among other things.

The term for an overactive thyroid gland is hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism refers to an under active thyroid. In dogs, there are two primary causes for hypothyroidism – lymphocytic thyroiditis and idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy.

Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is a tricky condition to diagnose. It isn’t because the symptoms are difficult to identify, however. The real trouble is that the diagnostic criteria for the condition have changed over the years.

If you’re wondering just what hypothyroidism in dogs looks like, there is a quick symptoms checklist to see if your dog has thyroid problems. Dogs with hypothyroidism usually show

  • Unexplained weight gain (often without increase in appetite)
  • Lethargy or low energy
  • Lack of interest in exercise or play
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Dry, dull hair with increased shedding
  • Thinning hair and/or bald spots
  • Increased skin pigmentation
  • Frequent ear infections
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Slow heart rate

In addition to these common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs, some breeds experience additional abnormalities such as thickening facial skin, abnormal nerve function, loss of libido, fat deposits in the eyes, and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or dry eye.

Many of the symptoms related to hypothyroidism in dogs are physical, typically related to metabolism. In some dogs, however, it can cause behavioral changes. According to veterinarian Dr. W. Jean Dodds, there is a connection between abnormal behavior and thyroid issues in dogs.

Some dogs experience unprovoked aggression, sudden seizures, moodiness, erratic temperament, fearfulness, compulsiveness, irritability, or even anxiety. In fact, when it comes to dog hypothyroidism, anxiety seems to be an increasingly common problem.

Breeds That Are More Prone to Hypothyroidism

Dogs of all breeds and ages can be affected by hypothyroidism, but there are a few that are especially prone to the disease. These breeds are the:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Irish Setter
  • Dachshund
  • Miniature Schnauzer

Hypothyroidism is most common in dogs who have reached 4 to 10 years of age. Usually affecting medium to large dog breeds, it is often seen equally in the male and female genders. However, the disease is rare in toy and miniature breeds.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Your Pup

Your first focus on keeping your dog healthy is providing him with the absolute best dog food that’s suited to his needs and, hopefully, taste preferences too. And in this case, the best means a well-balanced diet.

Here are the things you should look for in dog recipes that support thyroid function:

Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism

1. Get recipes with mostly animal-based protein. Look for dog foods which list animal proteins as the first ingredient. High-quality protein like meat, fish, and poultry are your best bets as these provide long-term energy and help develop lean muscle mass. 

Make sure you go for lean proteins as these are less likely to promote weight gain in your pup with thyroid problems. 

And only go for proteins that are named, like chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, etc. Generic and unnamed meat meals and animal byproducts carry the risk of your pup ingesting any kind of animal and any part, which include feet, nails, entrails, feathers, and more. 

One thing of note, though. Fish and seafood are great sources of iodine. (Iodine is necessary in making the thyroid hormone, and iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.) If your pup is not allergic to fish, feed him dog foods that contain cod, tuna, or kelp. 

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2. It must include healthy animal fats. Animal-based fats, like proteins, also boost your pet’s energy levels. Your dog can get these from ingredients like chicken fat, flaxseed, and salmon oil. 

Animal fats are also good sources of omega fatty acids that are responsible for reducing inflammation, improving skin and coat health, aiding in the proper development of the brain and eyes (in puppies), and helping older dogs with cognitive functions.

Remember that the proteins should always be higher than the fat content. And avoid anything that has lard in it.

And as before with unnamed meats, steer clear of unnamed fats too, which are often listed as “animal fat” or “poultry fat.”

3. It should offer balanced nutrition. Dogs are omnivores, and while a meat-rich diet is essential, dogs can also definitely use some vegetables, fruits, and grains in their diet. It’s not necessary to feed your pup with only grain-free dog food products unless he is sensitive to grains, although you can do so if you prefer.

Vegetables and fruits provide natural sources of nutrients, including iodine and all other vitamins your pup needs for optimal thyroid function. 

The grains or sweet potatoes or potatoes are great sources of carbohydrates (for quick blasts of energy) and dietary fiber, which supports a dog’s digestive system.

4. The best dog foods are highly digestible. Look for either wet or dry dog food recipes with animal-based ingredients because these are easier on the tummy. The inclusion of probiotics and prebiotics are also a big plus since these boost your dog’s immune system, help reduce allergies, prevent diarrhea, and improve the balance of the digestive system.

Probiotics can also help with weight management in some cases.

5. It shouldn’t contain harmful or artificial ingredients. Artificial additives like artificial preservatives and artificial flavors can negagtively your pup’s thyroid gland function and cause food allergies. They’re also extremely unnecessary. If your dog’s food is based on animal proteins, there really is no need to add flavor enhancers. 

And there are plenty of natural food preservatives available, like Vitamin E (also known as tocopherols) or Vitamin C. There is no need to resort to cheap artificial ones.

As for harmful ingredients, some artificial colors can harm your pets over time. Aside from that, your dog does not choose his food based on colors. The colors are there to entice a dog owner to buy the food.

Other harmful ingredients:

  • Carrageenan 
  • BHA, BHT, and Propyl gallate (preservatives)
  • MSG

Lastly, don’t forget to ask for veterinary advice before change your dog’s diet completely.

hypothyroidism

Treatment for Hypothyroidism

Sadly, there is no cure for hypothyroidism, but it’s something that can be easily managed with thyroid hormones replacement therapy through medication. It is a lifetime therapy, but dogs with hypothyroidism will be able to live a full and happy life just like any other dog while on this therapy program.

Typically, within a few weeks of administration of the medication, you will be able to see a definite improvement in your pup’s activity level.

In a few months, your pup will begin to show significant improvement in other areas. Healthy skin will be the norm and and hair will begin to regrow and become more abundant.

Veterinary guidance throughout the therapy will be needed. Every 4 to 8 weeks, the levels of thyroid hormones will be checked. Your vet may have to adjust the dosage of your pup’s medication as needed. 

Close monitoring is also necessary so that your dog’s condition is adequately maintained.

Does a Dog’s Diet Help With Hypothyroidism? 

Though diet does not cause hypothyroidism in dogs, it does play a role in treatment. For the most part, the best diet for dogs with hypothyroidism is one made from wholesome, natural ingredients that is highly digestible and formulated to provide balanced nutrition.

Luckily, most commercial dog foods are formulated to provide for a dog’s basic nutritional requirements, but not all dog foods are created equal. 

Looking for the AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy gives you an idea whether a product is intended for use as a staple diet or supplemental feeding, but that statement doesn’t indicate the quality of the product or the ingredients used.

Simply put, the quality of your dog’s diet has a significant impact on your dog’s body and his health. Particularly for dogs with metabolic issues, it is important to provide a stable source of calories and balanced nutrition, so your dog’s body doesn’t have to deal with the stress of dietary changes and weight gain on top of dealing with the symptoms and treatment of hypothyroidism.

Conclusion

By now you should have a thorough understanding not only of what hypothyroidism in dogs is but how to treat it. 

We aren’t qualified to provide veterinary advice for thyroid problems, so make sure to talk to your vet for testing and diagnosis information. If you’re simply looking for the best dog foods for hypothyroidism, however, you’ve come to the right place. Try one of our best ten dog food recommendations above!

10 Best Foods for Dogs with Hypothyroidism in [year] Revealed! 27
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