It’s estimated that over 4.6 % of the American population suffers from hypothyroidism to some extent.
However, underactive thyroid function is also a common health condition in our canine friends.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces insufficient thyroid hormones. Dogs most commonly develop hypothyroidism between the ages of four and 10.
The most prevalent symptom of this disease in both humans and dogs is unexplained weight gain, but dogs may also experience symptoms such as skin conditions and fur loss.
Left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will worsen with serious potential consequences for your dog’s quality of life.
Although hypothyroidism can’t be cured, it can easily be treated through a combination of diet and medication.
A dog suffering from hypothyroidism requires a diet consisting of high levels of antioxidants, probiotics, and amino acids, including plenty of lean, high-quality protein.
Bearing this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best dog foods for hypothyroidism.
These are some of our favorites!
|Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive...||Check Price on Amazon|
|Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With...||Check Price on Amazon|
We’ve also created a buyer’s guide and an FAQ section to support you in making the best dietary decisions for your poorly pooch.
We understand that you’re probably anxious to provide your fur baby with the best hypothyroid diet as soon as possible. To save time, take a look at our top choice:
- Alleviates digestive and dermatological symptoms.
- Source of prebiotic fiber.
- High in real chicken protein.
- Rich in vitamin E.
- Contains omega-6 fatty acids.
- Recommended by veterinarians.
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Unsurprisingly, Hill’s Science Diet’s Dry Dog for sensitive stomach and skin tops our list of the best dog food for hypothyroidism due to the formula’s digestive and dermatological benefits.
This formula comes highly recommended by veterinary professionals, so you know you can entrust your dog’s health to this brand.
This food is an excellent source of prebiotic fiber, which is essential for maintaining optimal digestive health and healthy levels of bacteria in the gut.
It’s also very easy to digest, so it’s perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The high vitamin E and fatty acid content of this dog food also make it effective at treating and preventing skin irritations and hair loss that frequently accompany hypothyroidism in dogs.
These ingredients have the added benefit of keeping your dog’s coat thick and healthy so he or she can look as good as they’ll feel after switching to this food!
Meanwhile, the real chicken used in the formulation of the food provides plenty of high-quality protein for building lean muscle and boosting energy levels.
- Unsurprisingly, Hill’s Science Diet’s Dry Dog for sensitive stomach and skin tops our list of the best dog food for hypothyroidism due to the formula’s digestive and dermatological benefits.
- This formula comes highly recommended by veterinary professionals, so you know you can entrust your dog’s health to this brand.
- This food is an excellent source of prebiotic fiber, which is easy to digest and essential for maintaining optimal digestive health and healthy levels of bacteria in the gut – perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- The high vitamin E and fatty acid content make it effective at treating and preventing skin irritations and hair loss that frequently accompany hypothyroidism in dogs. These ingredients have the added benefit of keeping your dog’s coat thick and healthy.
- The real chicken used in the formulation of the food provides plenty of high-quality protein for building lean muscle and boosting energy levels.
- More consistently effective for treating digestive issues than skin conditions.
Other Great Dog Food Options for Hypothyroidism
- One (1) 47 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dog Food With Probiotics for Dogs, Shredded Blend...
- Hard kibble combined with tender, shredded pieces for taste and texture dogs love
Next up, Purina Pro Plan maintains its brand popularity with the Probiotics Dry Dog Food formula, which provides healthy nutrition for all adult dogs but is especially good for dogs with hypothyroidism.
This is a high-protein formula that uses real meat (a choice of lamb, beef, and salmon is available) to provide your dog with all the protein they need to build muscle and maintain a healthy weight.
Because this formula contains rice, it’s a good source of carbohydrates which will help to combat the lethargy that is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
Purina has fortified this food with probiotics to facilitate healthy digestion and a strong immune system, both of which are crucial in combating the symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs.
As we’ve mentioned, this food is available in three different flavors, so you can choose the one that best fits your pooch’s preferences.
Additionally, you can purchase this food in multiple bag sizes, from 5 pounds to 47 pounds (availability may vary between flavors), so whether you just want to try it out or buy a long-lasting supply, Purina’s packaging options give you that flexibility.
- High in meat-derived protein.
- Contains rice for energy.
- Fortified with probiotics.
- Three flavor options.
- Multiple bag sizes.
- Reports of irregular kibble size.
- An adult dog food made with highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your small dog's stomach
- Nourishing omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
Feeding a smaller dog can be complicated enough due to the specific nutritional needs of smaller breeds.
Finding suitable food for a small dog with hypothyroidism, therefore, can be especially difficult.
Luckily, Hill’s Science Diet has created a dog food formula that is perfect for treating and alleviating the symptoms of hypothyroidism in small dog breeds.
Just because your dog is small doesn’t mean they can’t be mighty, and Hill’s Science Diet supports this by packing their food full of high-quality protein for building lean muscle mass in miniature and toy dog breeds.
If your dog suffers from hypothyroidism, they will benefit greatly from this high protein content.
Additionally, this food is high in both vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids, so you can expect to see noticeable improvements in your dog’s skin and coat condition despite their condition.
The blend of antioxidants incorporated into this food is specific to the nutritional needs of small dog breeds and will help to keep your pet’s immune system strong and fully functional.
This food is available in chicken or lamb and rice flavor and can be purchased in bags of either 4.5 pounds or 15.5 pounds.
- Veterinary recommended.
- Ideal for small breeds.
- High in omega-6 fatty acids.
- Rich source of vitamin E.
- Contains antioxidants.
- Two flavor options.
- Two bag sizes.
- Some dogs do not like the formula.
- ADVANCED NATURAL NUTRITION TO FUEL YOUR DOG'S BEST LIFE: Premium protein expertly balanced with...
- SAVORY FOOD DOGS LOVE: Wellness CORE is available in grain and grain free recipes, as well as...
As implied by this brand’s name, Wellness Core’s Natural Dry Dog Food has been formulated to promote optimal health and well-being in dogs through a natural and nutritious diet.
This is another protein-rich formula designed to support the growth of lean muscle in your canine companion for a healthy body mass.
The protein is derived from real chicken, turkey, and salmon oil.
The salmon oil present in this formula also helps to promote skin and hair health, along with flaxseed, which is a good source of fatty acids.
Beyond this, Wellness Core’s Natural Dry Dog Food contains all the nutrients your dog needs to live a healthy and active life in spite of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
These nutrients include antioxidants, probiotics, and taurine for enhanced immune, digestive, and heart health.
This food is available as a grain-free formula for those dogs with grain allergies or intolerances, but can also be purchased with grains included for a healthy boost of carbohydrates.
You can also purchase this food in bags of 4, 12, 24, or 26 pounds.
- High in natural meat-based proteins.
- Contains omega fatty acids.
- Source of antioxidants and probiotics.
- Available in grain and grain-free formulas.
- Four bag sizes.
- Some reports of damaged packaging.
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe...
- Made with non-GMO ingredients; no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy
Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food certainly does provide the essentials when it comes to a healthy and balanced canine diet, but it also provides a whole lot more!
With farm-raised chicken as the primary ingredient, you can trust that your dog will derive all the natural, high-quality protein they need from this food.
This formula is wheat free but contains healthy carbohydrates in the form of brown rice and sweet potato for an energy boost that doesn’t go overboard on the calories.
Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials food is also high in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, making it an ideal choice for dogs suffering from hair loss and skin conditions as a result of hypothyroidism.
What we really like about this food is that it also contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which are important for joint health and strength.
This is a great bonus for all dogs but is particularly important for those with inactive thyroids since the common symptom of weight gain can put added strain on a dog’s joints.
Nutro’s bag sizes range from 5 to 40 pounds, offering a lot of flexibility in terms of quantity and price.
- Made with farm-raised chicken.
- High in vitamin E and antioxidants.
- Supports joint strength and health.
- Multiple bag size options.
- Not suitable for dogs with grain allergies.
As we mentioned earlier, dogs with hypothyroidism have specific dietary requirements.
All dogs need high-quality protein in their diets, but those suffering from hypothyroidism are even more dependent on it for maintaining lean muscle and keeping up energy levels.
Additionally, a canine diet for hypothyroidism should contain plenty of amino acids, antioxidants, probiotics, and iodine.
These are the nutrients we have prioritized in our selection of foods.
The proteins included in our reviewed range of foods are, where possible, sourced from real meat for optimal and natural nutrition.
We’ve also selected foods that provide healthy but not excessive amounts of carbohydrates from different sources.
Dogs are omnivorous, and while there is no specified daily amount of recommended carbohydrates for dogs, canines can benefit from a certain amount of plant-based carbs.
Be sure to check with our Ultimate Guide to Dog Food for help in understanding label terminology and potentially harmful ingredients.
Dogs with hypothyroidism may experience lethargy, so they benefit especially from moderate carbohydrate levels for energy.
Brown rice and wheat, for example, are excellent sources of this nutrient. For dogs who are sensitive to grains, sweet potato is another good option.
Other beneficial ingredients included in some of the foods we reviewed are glucosamine and chondroitin. These two nutrients are vital for joint health and functionality.
Because one of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs is weight gain, joint pain and weakness may arise as a side effect.
By supplying adequate amounts of chondroitin and glucosamine in your dog’s diet, you’ll be helping to keep their joints healthy and strong, maintaining their mobility in the face of potential weight gain.
We also feel it’s important to note that many of the foods advertised as suitable for canine hypothyroid sufferers are grain-free or wheat-free formulations.
Due to the increasing awareness of grain and gluten intolerance in humans, many owners instinctively believe that grain-free dog food will be the healthiest option for this dog.
However, most of the time, this is not the case.
While grain or wheat-free dog foods are certainly the preferable options for dogs with sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances to these ingredients, the prevalence of these conditions in dogs is not as high as many might think (around 10%), and most dogs are able to process wheat and grains perfectly well.
In fact, recent studies have indicated that a grain-free diet may increase the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
Therefore, we advise opting for one of the grain-free formulas on our list only if your dog has a known sensitivity to this food group.
While perusing our reviewed products, you may have noticed that all of the options featured on our list are dry dog foods as opposed to wet or canned varieties. There is a reason for this.
There are, of course, many benefits to wet food varieties for dogs, including increased hydration and a lower calorie density.
However, most vets advise against feeding dogs an all-canned diet, and since consistency is key to ensuring your dog regularly gets all the specific nutrients needed to combat hypothyroidism, an all- kibble diet is likely to be the best option.
Dry dog food also has the added benefit of being less expensive, so it’s more affordable for the long-term, which is desirable given that hypothyroidism is a treatable but not curable condition.
However, there may be cases where canned dog food will be the better option – for example, if your dog also suffers from conditions such as renal failure, which requires extra hydration.
Ideally, you should consult your vet before making any food purchases since they will be able to advise you professionally with your dog’s specific health status in mind.
In order for your dog to benefit fully from hypothyroid-specific nutrition, it’s important that they enjoy the food enough to eat sufficient quantities of it.
That’s why it’s so helpful that so many of the dog food brands we’ve reviewed offer multiple flavor options.
Whether your dog prefers chicken, lamb, beef, or salmon, there’s a dog food on our list to match.
It’s also worth considering the fact that, since most of the brands reviewed in this article use real meat to source their proteins and flavorings, some flavors are likely to have their own individual benefits.
For example, salmon is an excellent source of fatty acids – particularly omega-3.
Fatty acids are essential in supporting thyroid function, so this is an example of how specific dog food flavors can actually benefit thyroid health.
We briefly discussed the benefits of dry dog food varieties earlier, but one advantage we didn’t mention is that dry food is generally much easier to store and tends to come in a wider range of quantity options.
Depending on the size of your dog, the severity of their hypothyroidism, and the presence of any other pre-existing health conditions, your vet is likely to recommend a specific diet.
No two dogs are exactly the same, so your companion might require more or less food on a daily basis than someone else’s.
Therefore, you’ll probably need to think about how much food your dog needs and how much you want to have stocked up in advance.
Many of the brands reviewed above provide multiple bag size options, so you can purchase their dog foods in quantities that meet your dog’s needs, either as needed or in bulk.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Hypothyroidism?
The only way to conclusively diagnose hypothyroidism in dogs is through thyroid hormone testing, which measures T4 concentrations in the blood.
However, there are many warning signs and symptoms that can help you to catch the condition early.
The two main symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs, much like in humans, are lethargy and unexplained weight gain.
Your dog might sleep more than usual, move more slowly, or lose interest in exercise.
You may also notice that your dog is gaining weight despite there having been no change in diet or appetite.
Other symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs include increased sensitivity to cold, skin irritation, and hair loss.
As hair begins to thin, you might also notice a darker pigmentation in your dog’s skin.
If you notice any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is not to panic and contact your vet as soon as possible.
These symptoms can be indicative of a number of conditions, and hypothyroidism is a very treatable illness.
What Dog Breeds Are Prone to Hypothyroidism?
All dogs can potentially develop hypothyroidism with age, but certain breeds are more prone to the condition than others.
Hypothyroidism is more common in medium and large dog breeds.
Commonly affected breeds include Doberman, Labradors (learn more about Lab predispositions to diseases here), Boxers, and English or Irish setters.
Some smaller breeds also commonly affected by hypothyroidism include Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers.
If you know that your dog is predisposed to hypothyroidism, you’ll be in a more informed position to look out for the warning signs and better prepared to offer care should the need arise.
Last update on 2022-05-19 at 14:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API