Supplements for Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs

Autoimmune diseases in dogs are rare. However, diseases such as Addison's, pemphigus, systemic lupus or reumathoid arthritis may be met in canines as well. The autoimmune diseases occur due to a hyperactive immune system that doesn't make the distinction between the internal compounds of the dog's system and foreign bodies; the immune system in turn begins destroying the cells of the dog's body. Autoimmune diseases are not curable, but they can be controlled. There are a few supplements that can be administered to control the immune system.

Supplements for Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases can be managed by keeping the immune system balanced. This can be done by feeding a quality food to the dog and by getting a few supplements, which can be natural or synthetic. The supplements that balance the immune system include fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins, digestive enzymes and antioxidants. 

Fatty Acids

The essential fatty acids offer a great immune system support and will keep the skin and the coat healthy. The skin is often affected by autoimmune diseases, being the largest organ of the dog's body. Essential fatty acids are also beneficial for the digestion and the digestive tract, and may help in autoimmune conditions such as irritable bowel disease.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are supplements that promote a healthy digestion and are part of a healthy, nutritional diet. These enzymes will also support the bacteria that fight diseases in the digestive tract.


Probiotics have similar effects as the digestive enzymes and can be added to the diet of a dog affected by an immune disease. They support digestion and maintain a healthy balance of the bacteria in the digestive tract.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E supplements are helpful in dogs that are affected by autoimmune diseases that affect the skin, such as discoid lupus or pemphigus. Vitamin E supplements will protect the skin and prevent the immune system from attacking its own cells.


Antioxidants help in getting rid of free radicals without having a stimulating effect on the immune system. Coenzyme Q10, rhodiola and alpha lipoic acid can be used to treat autoimmune diseases.

Natural Supplements

Natural supplements may also be used in dogs with autoimmune diseases. These herbs should be used with caution. There are some herbs that can have a stimulating effect on the immune system, which can worsen an autoimmune disease. Dogs with an autoimmune disease should receive herbs that will reduce the activity of the immune system or balance it. Beneficial natural supplements for autoimmune diseases include:

  • Plant sterols and sterolins, which reduce the activity of the immune system and can be found in nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables
  • Burdock root extracts, which can balance the immune system

In addition to these supplements, the dog should also live a stress free life. Stress can trigger autoimmune disease outbreaks. You should also eliminate toxins and pollutants from the dog's environment, as these may have a negative impact on the immune system.