Diet for Managing Cushings Disease in Dogs

Cushings disease in dogs, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is a serious medical condition that needs to be properly monitored. Cushings disease causes the dog to have an overactive adrenal gland, resulting in excessive amounts of cortisol, also known as cortisone, being produced.

Cortisol usually helps the body respond to stress, and it affects many of the body's normal functions. These functions include skeletal muscles, immune system response, sugar levels, and more. Cortisol is usually secreted due to:

  • stress
  • pain
  • trauma
  • temperature fluctuations
  • infection

In a healthy dog, cortisol levels will constantly be fluctuating to keep the system in balance.

A Natural Diet for Managing Cushing's Disease

Dogs affected with Cushing's disease need to be put on a special diet that consists of raw meats and vegetables. It is recommended that the dog be fed natural foods. Normal dog food is tailored to normally healthy dogs, but a dog with Cushing's disease cannot eat regular dog food. The diet should consist of high quality proteins, such as eggs.

Eggs contain the perfect amount of amino acids to keep the liver and kidneys regulating. You should also feed your dog foods that are high in potassium. Beans and potato skins are the perfect foods to assist with getting the right amount of potassium and protein. Feeding your dog a high amount of potassium is especially important if they are on any medication.

Dog Treats

You should never feed your dog normal dog food and treats found in commercial stores. Commercial dog treats usually contain a high amount of fat, which can make the symptoms of Cushing's disease worse. You should feed your dog plenty of raw vegetables and fruits in place of normal dog treats. Raw vegetables and fruits will contain very little fat and they will provide your dog with the nutrients it needs.

Most dog foods contain processed fruits and vegetables, so your dog should not have a problem eating raw fruits and vegetables. A slice of a carrot would be the perfect treat to keep your dog healthy and happy.

What to Avoid in the Diet

There are a lot of nutrients that you need to keep away from your dog. A dog with Cushing's disease should remain low on:

  • sodium
  • fat
  • purine
  • fiber

All of these things can harm the animal if they are not properly monitored. You should also limit the amount of calcium the dog is getting.

Some foods that contain a low amount of purine would be fish, lentils, mushrooms, and peas.

It would be a good idea to get into the routine of cooking your dog a natural meal of vegetables and fruits every night for dinner. Never give them anything that has an unknown amount of nutrients in it, and don't let anyone feed your dog something without your approval first.

One thing you should never limit is the amount of water the dog is allowed to drink. Cushing's disease increases the amount of water the dog drinks daily. It would be extremely unhealthy for you to stop providing your dog with a well supplied water source.