Hypothyroidism Recipes & Feeding Guide

Dog Nutritionist-approved
Ready for immediate download
Overview of hypothyroidism in dogs
Symptoms and treatment guide
Suggested natural supplements
Complete with recipes


Hypothyroidism Recipes & Feeding Guide

Dog Nutritionist-approved
Ready for immediate download
Overview of hypothyroidism in dogs
Symptoms and treatment guide
Suggested natural supplements
Complete with recipes


About hypothyroidism

Like so many other dog-related health problems, canine hypothyroidism is becoming increasingly common. Not to put too fine a point on it, many holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists are now calling the disease an epidemic. At a time when so many human health conditions are on the decline, something is clearly going wrong for man’s best friend. That’s why I’ve written this dog hypothyroidism treatment guide.

The most common endocrine (glandular) disorder in dogs, the vast majority of cases of canine hypothyroidism, are said to result from the immune mediated disorder lymphocytic thyroiditis.
While it is a lifelong condition, many dogs respond well to hormone replacement treatment and an improved diet.

Breeds said to be most commonly affected are medium to large breeds, generally in the age group 4 to 10. Breeds such as the Akita, Irish Setter, Dobermann Pinscher, Beagle, Golden Retriever, Dalmatian, Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Airedale Terrier and Pitbull Terrier appear to be more susceptible.

The thyroid and what it does

The thyroid is a small but important, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your dog’s neck just in front of the windpipe. It regulates your dog’s metabolism (the process that turns food into energy), by producing hormones which help control numerous essential functions in the body that include energy levels, body temperature and weight.

That said, the thyroid does not work alone. Like your dog’s gut, it works directly with the brain. In this case, it works in conjunction with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. To that end, it’s part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis.

If the thyroid is unable to produce enough of these hormones, it is considered underactive. This condition is what we know as hypothyroidism.

What is canine hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism results when your dog’s thyroid doesn’t produce sufficient of the thyroid-stimulating hormoneT4, which in turn results in the metabolic rate being reduced.

There are two main causes of dog hypothyroidism:

Primary hypothyroidism, the previously mentioned autoimmune disease, autoimmune thyroiditis or lymphocytic thyroiditis. This results from your dog’s body mistaking its thyroid gland and the hormones it produces as foreign invaders. The body then produces antibodies which set out to attack and destroy the cells of the thyroid gland. In turn, this process leads to loss of thyroid function. Lymphocytic thyroiditis accounts for approaching 90% of cases of hypothyroidism.

Secondary Hypothyroidism results from a breakdown in communication between the thyroid and the previously mentioned hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis. In this case, there is nothing wrong with the thyroid itself, it just doesn’t receive the signals it needs to operate as it was designed.

Dog hypothyroidism symptoms

As with many canine health problems, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are confusingly similar to symptoms of other diseases. They can also vary greatly from dog to dog. Many other diseases and their symptoms are said to mimic hypothyroidism leading frequent misdiagnosis of the disease.

These can be confused with symptoms relating to IBD, arthritis, allergies, obesity and many more canine health problems. That’s one of the many reasons that I, as a dog nutritionist, prefer to tackle any canine health problem initially with a change of diet and gut improvement. Because that alone can rule out so many health issues before involving potentially invasive veterinary intervention.

But some of the more common symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs include:

Increased appetite
Unexplained weight gain
Hair thinning or loss
Dry, flaky skin
Recurring skin and ear infections
Exercise intolerance
Sad or sorrowful facial expression
Digestive problems
Cold intolerance
Unexplained lameness
Mental dullness

Other symptoms more recently reported by some veterinarians include behavioural changes such as shyness, compulsiveness, aggression, fearfulness, irritability, hyperactivity, erratic temperament.
Some vets have also reported another rather worrying trend. The fact that dogs as young as eighteen months of age are increasingly being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a disease more commonly associated with dogs over 4 and over.

Early diagnosis of this disease is imperative. In most cases, up to 75% of the thyroid will be damaged before many of the classical symptoms of the disease begin to show. The sooner you begin dog hypothyroidism treatment the better.

Causes of dog hypothyroidism

As with so many dog health problems, the potential causes of hypothyroidism largely come down to the usual suspects:

Poor diet (commercial dog food) – Ultra-processed food triggers inflammation, an imbalance in gut bacteria (gut dysbiosis), allergies, food sensitivities and increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome).
Medication – Over vaccination and over use of chemical flea, tick & worming treatments can lead to a whole range of immune-related inflammatory conditions which can include the likes of arthritis, pancreatitis, colitis and even cancer.
Herbicides and pesticides – Pollution and environmental toxins.
Genetics Poor breeding.

Treatment of dog hypothyroidism

In most cases, if your dog is found to be suffering from hypothyroidism, her or she is likely to require hormone replacement medication for life. The good news though is that the disease is not life threatening.

Much can also be done to improve your dog’s lot with a properly balanced, high quality fresh food diet.

Commercial dog food with its inferior ingredients and its heavy reliance on carbohydrates, grains, fillers and artificial additives, is only likely to exacerbate the condition.

A prescription diet from your vet is not the answer for this condition. Healthy homemade food is. Your dog needs a well-balanced, highly digestible, grain-free fresh food diet with lots of wholesome ingredients: animal proteins, animal fats, fruit and vegetables.

If I can help with your dog’s hypothroidism symptoms and treatments, please book a consultation.



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