Common Supplements for Canine Autoimmune Disease

Canine autoimmune disease occurs as a result of poor diet, allergies or excessive dosage of steroids or antibiotics. Dogs of all ages and breeds can suffer from autoimmune diseases.

Canine Autoimmune Disease

Some cases of canine autoimmune disease are idiopathic or occur spontaneously whereas in some breeds, genetic factors can cause these disorders. Exposure to environmental pollutants, preservatives in food such as ethoxyquin and chemicals in pesticides can also make your pet suffer from an autoimmune disease. This disease generally occurs when one or more components of your pet’s immune system become very active.

The immune system loses the ability to distinguish between normal cells and foreign cells. Hence, instead of creating antibodies to fight infections, the immune system produces auto-antibodies that destroy normal cells.

Types of Canine Autoimmune Diseases Include:

Symptoms of Canine Autoimmune Disease

The symptoms of canine autoimmune disease can affect many organs of the body. Some common symptoms include diarrhea, lethargy, depression, skin ulcers, anemia, loss of appetite, seizures, strong body odor, stiffness in the joints, weakness, intolerance to exercise, and an increase in body weight. Since these symptoms are common to other diseases, it’s difficult to diagnose autoimmune diseases in dogs.

Treatment for Dogs with Autoimmune Disease

There are a wide variety of supplements that are prescribed by veterinarians to strengthen the immune systems of dogs suffering from an autoimmune disease. These are administered along with a natural nutritious diet and medicinal herbs. The supplements include essential fatty acids that improve the health of the digestive tract and the skin. They also include enzymes that aid digestion by maintaining a healthy balance of essential bacteria in the digestive tract.

It’s also important to remove any factors that induce anxiety and stress in our pet. Your dog should be kept away from pollutants and toxins, and should be regularly exercised as this can go a long way in improving his health.

Supplements for Dogs with Autoimmune Disease Include:

  • Astragalus
  • MilkThistle
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Carrots
  • Whole Grains
  • Yogurt
  • Antioxidants


The dried roots of this plant (a member of the pea family), boost weakened immune systems. It helps to promote the growth of white blood cells in particular.

Milk Thistle

Silymarin, the active ingredient of milk thistle, protects the liver. Canine milk thistle supplements are available in chewable tablet form.

Cat’s Claw

This is an anti-inflammatory supplement for canines that should be administered only after discussing the same with the vet.


Rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, carrots help boost weakened immune systems. You can either give raw carrots to your pet or mash them into his food after boiling them.

Whole Grains

Since the digestive system is adversely affected in dogs with autoimmune disease, boosting your pet’s fiber intake by adding some brown rice or cooked oatmeal to his regular food can improve his immune system.


Yogurt is full of healthy bacteria that improve your pet’s digestion. Since it’s also rich in calcium it should be added to your pet’s diet.


Antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and rhodiola assist in boosting the immune system by removing free radicals and oxidative stress.

If your dog has autoimmune disease, you should administer supplements as prescribed by the veterinarian to ensure that he continues to live a healthy life.