What should you feed a dog with Cushing’s disease?

Answered by James Kissner

When it comes to feeding a dog with Cushing’s disease, it is important to focus on a diet that is low in fat and moderate in fiber. This is because dogs with Cushing’s disease often have elevated levels of cortisol, which can lead to increased triglycerides and cholesterol levels. By selecting a diet that is low in fat, we can help combat these increases and promote better overall health for our furry friends.

Ideally, the food should contain less than 12 percent fat on a dry matter basis (DM). This means that when the food is analyzed for its nutrient content without moisture, the fat content should be below this threshold. By choosing a low-fat diet, we can help prevent further elevation of triglyceride and cholesterol levels in dogs with Cushing’s disease.

In addition to being low in fat, the diet should also have a moderate amount of crude fiber. A range of 8-17 percent fiber on a dry matter basis is considered reasonable. Fiber plays a crucial role in regulating digestion and promoting bowel regularity. By including an appropriate amount of fiber in the diet, we can help support gastrointestinal health in dogs with Cushing’s disease.

It is important to note that every dog is different, and individual dietary needs may vary. Consulting with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist can provide valuable guidance in determining the most suitable diet for a dog with Cushing’s disease. They can take into account factors such as the dog’s specific health condition, age, weight, and activity level to recommend an appropriate diet plan.

When selecting commercial dog food, it is beneficial to carefully read the label and choose a product that meets the recommended fat and fiber criteria. Some brands offer specialized formulas designed for dogs with specific health conditions, including Cushing’s disease. These formulas are often formulated with the nutritional needs of dogs with Cushing’s disease in mind, making them a convenient option for pet owners.

Alternatively, a homemade diet can be considered under the guidance of a veterinary professional. Homemade diets allow for more control over the specific ingredients and can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the dog. However, it is crucial to work with a veterinary professional to ensure that the homemade diet is nutritionally balanced and meets all the necessary requirements for a dog with Cushing’s disease.

Feeding a dog with Cushing’s disease involves selecting a diet that is low in fat and moderate in fiber. This can help combat the elevated triglyceride and cholesterol levels associated with the condition. Consultation with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is highly recommended to determine the most appropriate diet plan for an individual dog with Cushing’s disease.