Hypothyroidism Diet Recommendations for Dogs

A hypothyroidism diet can be especially helpful in alleviating symptoms suffered by dogs with hypothyroidism. This condition is caused when the thyroid fails to produce adequate hormones, leading to problems with weight control, high cholesterol, lethargy and skin and coat problems. There are traditional medications available for treatment of hypothyroidism in dogs, but changes to diet and lifestyle can make a significant impact as well.

Choosing a Dog Food

There's no place in a hypothyroidism diet for low quality dog food. Many commercially branded dog foods are corn or grain-based and this leads to numerous health problems and obesity. Since one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs is problems with weight gain or weight loss, a well-balanced and nutritious diet is of utmost concern.

There is no need to search for specially marked packages or special diet food for this condition. Simply read the ingredients label and be sure the first several ingredients are derived from a protein or animal source, and not corn, grain or fillers. This type of food tends to be a bit more expensive, but your dog will require less food and receive vital nutrients not present in lower quality food.

You may need to check your local pet store or organic food store, as this type of food may not be readily available at a general grocery or department store.

Homemade Recipes

You may prefer to make your own homemade food to include in your dog's hypothyroidism diet. This way, you'll know what ingredients are included since you'll be preparing it yourself.

Commercial pet food is also commonly high in salt, and preparing a diet at home including fresh vegetables, rice and lamb or chicken will reduce your dog's salt intake and potentially prevent the dog's condition from worsening.

Dogs require sufficient protein in their diets, as well as some healthy fat content to produce energy. Avoid added salts, cooking oils and seasonings when preparing food for your dog, and do not feed your dog foods that are greasy, fried or filled with sugar. Treats and snacks should be nutritious as well.

Natural Health and Supplements

There are products available that can supplement a hypothyroidism diet for dogs with additional nutrients and vitamins essential to good health. You may wish to research homeopathic remedies or natural herbal supplements that could assist the thyroid in regaining necessary strength for proper functioning. There are several herbs, in particular, that can help with skin and coat problems, digestive health and direct stimulation of the thyroid gland.


Many dogs with hypothyroidism are given a prescription medication to take for the remainder of their lives. This medication helps to regulate the thyroid by adding necessary hormones to the body. You may find that a hypothyroidism diet provides sufficient nutrients to a malfunctioning thyroid, to the point that it begins to regulate itself over time. Have your dog's thyroid tested regularly for signs of improvement. If hormones are added unnecessarily using medication, other body organs and systems may be adversely affected, leading to damaging side effects.