A dog’s thyroid gland is located in their neck and has two lobes, one on each side of the trachea. The thyroid is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Dogs with an overactive thyroid experience hyperthyroidism, and their metabolic rate increases. Dogs with an underactive thyroid experience hypothyroidism, and the metabolic rate decreases. Dogs with hypothyroidism are prone to weight gain even without overeating, dull coats with hair loss, and lethargy.
While medication is usually prescribed to help treat hypothyroidism, diet also plays an important role in managing your dog’s quality of life. The right food can give your dog the energy that they need and improve the look of their skin and coat. Natural foods with wholesome ingredients are ideal.
To help, we gathered our top picks of foods for dogs with hypothyroidism. Browse these reviews to find the right one for your dog today.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Spot & Tango Turkey & Red Quinoa Dog Food||
||Click to Save 50%|
|Best Overall||Purina Pro Plan Shredded||
|Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||Halo Holistic Dry Puppy Food||
|AvoDerm Turkey & Vegetable||
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism
1. Spot & Tango ‘Turkey & Red Quinoa’ Fresh Dog Food — Best Overall
|Calories:||Varies for each recipe|
Dogs with hypothyroidism need wholesome food with nutritious ingredients. They should avoid any fillers or artificial additives because these can make their condition worse. Fresh ingredients can help support thyroid function, making Spot & Tango Turkey & Red Quinoa Dog Food the best overall dog food for hypothyroidism.
Spot & Tango is a dog food delivery service, bringing fresh, quality ingredients right to your doorstep, so having to go out and buy the right dog food is one thing that can be eliminated from your to-do list. The food is prepared with limited, fresh ingredients. There are different recipes to choose from, depending on your dog’s preferences. The turkey and red quinoa recipe is filled with spinach, carrots, apples, eggs, and a mix of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog energized and satisfied.
These recipes include lower fat contents than most commercial dog foods, and you can trust that your dog is eating high-quality ingredients. This fresh dog food looks like human-grade food and will give your dog the nutrition that they need. This food, combined with a veterinary-prescribed medication, can help keep your dog’s hypothyroidism manageable and controlled.
2. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food — Best Value
With live cultures of probiotics for easy digestion, Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for hypothyroidism for the money. Dogs with hypothyroidism will benefit from the high protein content from real salmon.
The blend includes tender, shredded, protein-packed pieces, along with crunchy kibble, for an enticing flavor. The omega fatty acids, vitamin A, and linoleic acid in this recipe work to support skin and coat health. Skin will be nourished from the inside, helping dogs with dull or damaged coats.
This affordable, balanced nutritional food does have salmon as the primary protein source, but poultry by-products are added along with beef fat. If your dog has allergies to poultry or beef, this won’t be suitable for them. If this food isn’t stored in an airtight container, there is a chance that it could mold in the bag before your dog has a chance to finish it all.
3. Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food
A blend of ocean whitefish, herring, and salmon in Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food gives this food its high protein content and provides natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants support skin, coat, and immune health.
This is a high-quality food choice for any dog, but dogs with hypothyroidism will greatly benefit from the wholesome fruits and vegetables. Apples, blueberries, spinach, and broccoli give your dog natural vitamins and minerals without any fillers. No preservatives, soy, corn, or artificial colors are found in this recipe. The easily digestible carbohydrates support healthy weight management. This food is designed for lean body mass and whole-body health.
4. Halo Holistic Dry Puppy Food — Best for Puppies
Halo Holistic Dry Puppy Food is a healthy choice for any puppy up to 1 year old. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that hypothyroidism is most common in dogs that are 4–10 years old. But if your puppy is experiencing an underactive thyroid, Halo food has the fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein that puppies need for balanced nutrition.
The ingredients are easily metabolized to work well with your vet’s suggested treatment plan. Healthy fats, antioxidants, and quality protein give your puppy energy while supporting their development and growth. Whole meat from cage-free chickens is the first ingredient. No artificial additives are included, so your puppy shouldn’t have trouble digesting this food.
5. AvoDerm Turkey & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food
|First ingredient:||Turkey broth|
The grain-free recipe in AvoDerm Turkey & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food is suitable for both puppies and adult dogs. It’s filled with healthy levels of protein and fat. Antioxidants from cranberries and blueberries are added for immune health and support. Turkey broth, turkey, and turkey liver are the first ingredients for a healthy protein that encourages lean muscle mass.
Avocado is added, which is rich in omega fatty acids, for skin and coat health. You won’t find any corn, soy, or artificial colors in this formula. Whole foods and real protein sources promote gentle digestion. Dogs like the flavor, and some dog owners have reported that their dogs stopped itching after eating this food.
Some dogs experienced constipation with this food, however.
6. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Dog Food
|First ingredient:||Lamb meal|
The simple but essential nutrition that Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Freeze-Dried Raw Dry Dog Food offers will benefit dogs with hypothyroidism by not overloading their digestive systems with unnecessary ingredients. There is only one animal protein and one vegetable in this recipe, also making it ideal for dogs with food allergies.
Grass-fed lamb is the protein source in this recipe, giving your dog the necessary amino acids while being gentle on digestion. This freeze-dried raw meat diet includes omegas for skin and coat health and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
A freeze-dried raw-coated diet might not be what most dogs are used to, and some have refused to eat this food. When switching your dog’s food, always introduce new food slowly by mixing it in with their old food, both to get them used to it and to avoid digestive upset.
7. Whole Earth Farms Salmon & Whitefish Dry Dog Food
|First ingredient:||Salmon meal|
The grain-free formula in Whole Earth Farms Salmon & Whitefish Dry Dog Food provides high-quality protein without fillers. This food was developed by veterinarians to give your dog everything that they need. Dogs with hypothyroidism will benefit from the salmon and whitefish protein, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.
A Wholesome Harvest Blend of veggies, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and dried beet pulp, offer antioxidants and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals. These ingredients are easily digestible and provide the energy that your dog needs when their hypothyroidism is depleting it. Glucosamine and chondroitin are added for joint health.
This food does contain chicken, so it won’t be a good option for dogs with poultry allergies. The kibble size is also reported to be too large for some dogs to eat.
8. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food
Lamb, sweet potatoes, and peas combine in Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food to give your dog the healthy energy sources that they need. As with many other foods recommended for dogs with hypothyroidism, this recipe includes real fruit and vegetable superfoods. Blueberries, raspberries, chicory root, and tomatoes provide vitamins and antioxidants for immune health.
Probiotics and prebiotics in this food help ease digestion. Working to maintain your dog’s weight with this food will keep them satisfied longer with real lamb as the first protein source. Omega fatty acids keep your dog’s coat healthy.
The kibble is large and meant for big dog breeds. Other kibble sizes are available from this brand, however. One issue that dog owners reported was the smell of the food, which is strong and unpleasant.
9. Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food
Keeping an eye on your dog’s weight is even more important when they have hypothyroidism. Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food is filled with nutrients, so if your dog requires less food per day to keep their weight under control, you can be sure that the food that they do eat is nutritionally complete.
This grain-free recipe is made with trout and salmon as the main protein sources, which also add omega fatty acids, vitamin B12, and phosphorus to the mix. No potential allergens are included in the ingredients. It’s also poultry-free, making it an ideal choice for dogs that are allergic to chicken.
Some dogs appeared to have increased thirst after eating this food.
10. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Dry Dog Food
|First ingredient:||Whole grain wheat|
We suggest speaking to your vet about this food as an option for your dog with hypothyroidism. Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Dry Dog Food is only available for purchase with a prescription, but it may be the answer if your dog isn’t doing well on other brands.
This recipe helps dogs maintain normal blood glucose levels while promoting healthy digestion. The ingredients provide necessary nutrients to dogs that easily gain weight. Dogs have an easier time metabolizing fat and maintaining lean muscle with the addition of L-carnitine.
This recipe is high in fiber to leave dogs feeling full and not deprived. Another bonus is that this food promotes urinary health. Antioxidants are added for immune system health.
Some dogs just won’t eat this food because they don’t like the taste. It’s plainer than other brands, but the dogs that do eat it seem to do well on it.
If you suspect that your dog may have hypothyroidism, it’s important to make an appointment with their vet right away. Food will not cure thyroid issues, and you should always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Different conditions can have signs that mimic each other, and the only way to accurately diagnose hypothyroidism is with a blood test. Once you know what condition, if any, your dog has, you can start managing it.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
The thyroid is a tiny organ in the neck that secretes the hormone thyroxin, which helps the body regulate its metabolism, among other things. When the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxin, there will be an insufficient amount of it in your dog’s body for normal functioning. This is known as hypothyroidism.
Signs of Hypothyroidism Include:
Which Breeds Are the Most at Risk for Hypothyroidism?
Any dog can be affected by hypothyroidism. However, some breeds seem to be more prone to this condition than others:
What to Look for in Food for Dogs With Hypothyroidism
Dogs need animal-based protein in their diet. Fish, poultry, and beef provide essential amino acids that your dog requires to be healthy. Lean protein sources from poultry are ideal for dogs with hypothyroidism because they are less likely to promote weight gain. Protein is the easiest ingredient for your dog to digest, so the higher the protein content in the food, the easier it will be on your dog’s digestive system.
The healthy fat in your dog’s food helps boost their energy levels, though the protein content should always be higher than the fat content of the food. Healthy sources of fat are omega fatty acids. These are usually found in fish. Flaxseed and canola oils are also commonly used as healthy fats. Pork and poultry fat can be found in many dog foods, along with vegetable and sunflower oils.
Avoid anything with lard in it. Lard is an example of an unhealthy fat.
Animal-based protein from only one or two sources and the addition of probiotics and prebiotics are good signs of how easy a food will be for your dog to digest. The easier the digestion is, the more nutritionally complete the food is for your dog. Since weight management is something to consider, you want the food that you feed your dog to be as nutrient-dense as possible.
All dogs want to eat foods that taste good to them, but dogs with hypothyroidism may need a little encouragement to eat. Dogs may not always have an appetite and may need to be coaxed to eat the food that they need even if it tastes good. While many dog owners may believe that their dogs will “eat it if they get hungry,” this is not a good rule to follow when it comes to dogs with health issues. They need proper nutrition and should be fed high-quality, nutritious food that they enjoy eating, even if takes trial and error to find the right one.
Ingredients to Avoid
Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives should not be fed to dogs with hypothyroidism. Fillers provide poor nutritional value, and some dogs can have trouble digesting them. Foods heavy in grains and gluten can be difficult on a dog’s digestive system.
Will My Dog Be Cured?
There is no cure for hypothyroidism, but the condition can be managed for the rest of your dog’s life. The most common treatment is synthetic hormone replacement. Medication will be given to your dog every day that will control their hormone levels and get them back to feeling like themselves.
Always consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet. If you suspect that your dog may have a health issue, getting a proper diagnosis and knowing the ways to treat the possible condition are the only ways to ensure that you can keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible.
Our best overall choice for food for dogs with hypothyroidism is Spot & Tango Turkey & Red Quinoa Dog Food. This is a dog food delivery service that makes nutritious, low-fat, healthy dog food that is shipped right to you. It’s freshly made with high-quality ingredients.
Our best value choice is Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food. It contains tender, meaty pieces to encourage your dog to eat. It also has live probiotics for easy digestion. We hope that these reviews have helped steer you in the right direction when it comes to choosing nutrition for dogs with hypothyroidism.
Featured Image Credit: joangonzale, Shutterstock