Top 10 Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease

Top 10 Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease

An autoimmune disease can be a very disheartening diagnosis for pet owners. These disorders are often uncurable, and they can reck all sorts of havoc on our dog’s body. Most are treated with medication, though sometimes surgery might be required. However, the symptoms can also be controlled with the right diet.

Medication can often cause problems for your pet’s gut, which probiotic pet food can help with. Food that is free from chemicals and other potentially toxic substances can also give the liver a break, which is often damaged in dogs with autoimmune disease. Now more than ever, it is also vital that your canine maintains a healthy weight, which their diet can help with too.

In this article, we’ll review some of the best dog foods that can help with autoimmune disease.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Autoimmune Disease

Royal Canin Vet Diet Recovery Mousse Wet Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery Ultra Soft Mousse in Sauce Wet Dog Food
Condition: Myasthenia gravis
Main ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, chicken, chicken liver, gelatin, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, fish oil, vegetable oil, egg product
Protein content: 9.4%
Fat content: 5.2%
Calories: 149 kcal/can

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Recovery Ultra Soft Mousse in Sauce Dog Food is a good recovery diet for dogs and puppies in critical care situations. With an autoimmune disease like myasthenia gravis, this food can provide support with high protein to maintain muscle mass and dietary fat to make it appetizing to dogs with inappetence.

Though intended as a short-term recovery diet under the supervision of your vet, this food offers complete and balanced nutrition following significant illness or injury. If your pet is hospitalized or recovering from a hospital stay, a supportive food like this can prevent a loss of nutrition. It’s only available through a prescription, however.

Cons
  • Only available with a prescription
  • Short-term diet
Pros
  • Supportive diet for hospitalization or convalescence
  • High protein
  • High fat

Hill’s Prescription Diet Urgent Care Chicken Wet Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet a d Urgent Care with Chicken Wet Dog Food

Condition: Myasthenia gravis
Main ingredients: Water, turkey liver, pork liver, chicken, turkey heart, corn flour, pork protein isolate, fish oil
Protein content: 5.2%
Fat content: 5.2%
Calories: 180 kcal/can

Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care with Chicken Wet Dog Food is an excellent option for myasthenia gravis. This food is formulated to support dogs recovering from a significant illness, injury or surgery and helps them retain lean body mass. The soft consistency is intended to make the food more palatable to help with the loss of appetite that occurs with illness or trauma.

This prescription diet also offers highly digestible ingredients, including protein, to limit muscle mass in recovery. Not intended as a long-term diet, this food should be fed in the short-term to support your dog under the supervision of your vet. This food is only available with a prescription.

Cons
  • Prescription only
  • Not intended as a long-term diet
Pros
  • Short-term dietary support after illness or injury
  • Highly digestible
  • Palatable for appetite loss

Hill’s Prescription Diet Multi-Benefit Chicken Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet w d Multi-Benefit Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Condition: Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Main ingredients: Whole grain wheat, powdered cellulose, chicken meal, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat
Protein content: 16.5%
Fat content: 9.5%
Calories: 255 kcal/cup

Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is a weight-control food that helps dogs get complete and balanced nutrition in a nutrient-dense, calorie-restricted formula. This diet also helps dogs maintain normal blood glucose levels and supports healthy digestion, both of which are important with a disease like diabetes.

Clinically tested for conditions that respond to fiber, this food helps to metabolize fat, maintain lean muscle mass, and control cell oxidation. The addition of L-carnitine increases energy metabolism and burns fat while preserving muscle. The fiber also promotes satiety to keep dogs satisfied between meals without extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. This food is only available with a prescription.

Cons
  • Only available with a prescription
Pros
  • Weight-control formula
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Promotes normal blood glucose levels

Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care Chicken Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet j d Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Condition: Autoimmune polyarthritis
Main ingredients: Whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, flaxseed, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, chicken liver flavor, fish oil, powdered cellulose
Protein content: 17%
Fat content: 11%
Calories: 364 kcal/cup

Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food supports your dog’s joint health and mobility with ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids and EPA to help maintain cartilage and prevent joint degeneration.

Clinically proven to help your dog walk, run, and jump more easily in just 21 days, this food is a good choice for joint conditions like autoimmune polyarthritis. Though it’s only available with a prescription, you can speak to your vet about whether it’s appropriate for your dog’s condition. Some reviewers struggled to get their dogs to eat it, but soaking seemed to help several dogs eat the food more comfortably.

Cons
  • Only available with a prescription
  • Not appetizing to dogs
Pros
  • Supports joint health and mobility
  • Proven to help your dog’s mobility in 21 days
  • Formulated with glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 fatty acids

Royal Canin Vet Diet Adult Glycobalance Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Glycobalance Dry Dog Food
Condition: Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Main ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, barley, corn gluten meal, powdered cellulose, wheat gluten, dried plain beet pulp, tapioca, chicken fat
Protein content: 35%
Fat content: 10%
Calories: 307 kcal/cup

Royal Canin Canine Glycobalance Dry Dog Food is a prescription dry dog food formula specially formulated to maintain a healthy body weight in dogs prone to weight gain. The high protein content preserves lean muscle mass without adding weight, and the antioxidants maintain health and vitality. It’s also formulated with a reduced level of starch.

For diabetes, this formula supports healthy blood glucose levels to keep dogs satisfied longer and discourage hunger or begging between meals. This diet is low glycemic, with grain, and no peas. You can only get this diet with a prescription from your vet, so be sure to discuss it and see if it’s the right option for your pet.

Cons
  • Prescription only
Pros
  • Formulated for weight maintenance
  • Promotes healthy blood sugar levels
  • Antioxidants for vitality

Purina Pro Plan Vet Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food
Condition: Autoimmune polyarthritis
Main ingredients: Brewers rice, trout, salmon meal, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, dried egg product, oat fiber, animal digest, animal fat with mixed tocopherols
Protein content: 30%
Fat content: 12%
Calories: 401 kcal/cup

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Canine Formula Dry Dog Food is a special formula to support joint and cartilage health in dogs. Made in collaboration with nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians, it contains glucosamine, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E for joint health.

Ideal for dogs at any stage of life, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Canine Formula Dry Dog Food has high protein content in a low-calorie formula to promote lean muscle mass and support a healthy weight, which limits weight gain that can add pressure to joints. Like the other foods on the list, this food is only available with a prescription from your vet.

Cons
  • Prescription only
Pros
  • Supports joint and cartilage health
  • Formulated with nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians
  • Protein, glucosamine, and vitamin E

Purina Pro Plan Vet Diets Hydrolyzed Chicken Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
Condition: Inflammatory bowel disease
Main ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with Tbhq, coconut oil, powdered cellulose, tricalcium phosphate, corn oil
Protein content: 18%
Fat content: 9.5%
Calories: 342 kcal/cup

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA formula offers complete and balanced nutrition to help adults and puppies get the nutrition they need without an immune response. Made in collaboration with nutritionists, researchers, and veterinarians, this food has just one protein source and a single carbohydrate source to minimize food sensitivities and inflammatory responses.

This food is designed to be highly digestible and promote optimal nutrient absorption in dogs. The chicken flavor is appealing to dogs without triggering a chicken allergy, which is among the most common protein allergens. This food is only available with a prescription, so be sure to speak to your vet about whether it’s the right choice for your pet.

Cons
  • Prescription only
Pros
  • Complete and balanced
  • Single protein and single carbohydrate sources
  • Minimizes food sensitivities

Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete Dry Dog Food
Condition: Autoimmune skin disease
Main ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed chicken, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, lactic acid, potassium chloride
Protein content: 13.5%
Fat content: 13%
Calories: 373 kcal/cup

Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Complete Environmental & Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food is clinically formulated to manage environmental and food sensitivities. The food helps support the skin barrier year-round to reduce reactions to environmental irritants. The single protein source limits food allergies or triggers that may cause itching and irritation.

This food also contains bioactives and phytonutrients to normalize immune response and improve the condition of the skin. In dogs with autoimmune skin conditions, this food can help to reduce triggers and reduce inflammation. It’s a prescription-only diet, however, so speak to your vet about whether it’s appropriate for your dog.

Cons
  • Prescription only
Pros
  • Manages environmental and food sensitivities
  • Promotes a healthy skin barrier
  • Single protein source

Royal Canin Vet Diet Adult Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food

Condition: Autoimmune skin disease
Main ingredients: Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, monocalcium phosphate, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, fish oil
Protein content: 19.5%
Fat content: 17.5%
Calories: 332 kcal/cup

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food is a palatable diet for dogs and puppies to help with skin conditions. It uses hydrolyzed proteins, which are composed of low molecular weight peptides for improved absorption into the digestive tract and a lower risk of immune responses. The added B vitamins and amino acids also work to protect the skin’s natural barrier, while the omega 3 fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat.

In addition, the blend of fiber supports healthy digestion in dogs prone to digestive upset. Another benefit of Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP is that it’s manufactured with strict protocols to avoid cross-contamination. This food can be used long-term for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, but it’s only available with a prescription.

Cons
  • Prescription only
Pros
  • Hydrolyzed proteins
  • Reduced risk of immune response
  • B vitamins and omega fatty acids for skin and coat

Hill’s Prescription Diet Skin Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet z d Skin Food Sensitivities Original Flavor Dry Dog Food
Condition: Inflammatory bowel disease
Main ingredients: Corn starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, powdered cellulose, soybean oil, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, lactic acid, potassium chloride
Protein content: 19.1%
Fat content: 14.4%
Calories: 354 kcal/cup

Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Original Flavor Dry Dog Food is a prescription diet formulated for food sensitivities that lead to skin, coat, ear, or digestive issues. In most cases, these reactions are caused by the protein in a food, which is why this diet uses hydrolyzed protein to limit adverse reactions. It also contains a variety of antioxidants to promote overall health, including a single carbohydrate source, cornstarch.

Another benefit is that this food is enriched with essential fatty acids to promote a healthy skin barrier for a marked improvement in the skin and coat. It’s ideal for all breed sizes. In conjunction with treatment from your vet, this food can help with the inflammation of inflammatory bowel disease. It’s only available with a prescription, however.

Cons
  • Only available with a prescription
Pros
  • Formulated for food sensitivities
  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Single carbohydrate source

Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Autoimmune Disease

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a great dog food. You need to look at the ingredient list, guaranteed analysis, and nutritional contents before making our final decision. This can seem complicated to the uninitiated. However, with some understanding of canine nutrition, you can easily make dog food decisions like a professional.

In this section, we’ll take a look at some necessary dog nutrition information, as well as some dietary points for those with autoimmune disorders.

Food Allergies

  • Today, many dogs have some food allergy. When they eat specific proteins, they become itchy. Often, they scratch their paws so severely that it causes sores. If this goes on for some time, secondary infections can set up. This is the last thing you want when your dog has an autoimmune disease, so it is essential to avoid allergies as much as possible.
  • Dogs develop allergies after eating the same food for an extended period. For example, if a dog eats nothing but chicken for years, the chance that they’ll develop an allergy to chicken increases. Because of this, dogs are more likely to be allergic to ingredients that are very common in dog food, like chicken and beef.
  • The best way to avoid allergies is to diversify your pet’s diet. Feed them food that contains a variety of animal protein sources. Change their food every few months. It is best to have a few foods you switch between regularly that all have different sources of protein. You might switch between a chicken food, salmon food, and beef food, for instance.
  • If your dog already has allergies, you need to avoid their allergen as much as possible. Dogs are only allergic to proteins. So, a dog that is allergic to chicken will not be allergic to chicken fat.

Ingredient List

  • When you’re shopping for new dog food, the first thing you should look at. All dogs deserve to eat food that contains high-quality ingredients. However, dogs with autoimmune disorders particularly need high-quality ingredients. This disorder can harm their organs, so you must keep them as healthy as possible.
  • Whole meat is always preferable. However, meal is also okay as long as it is from a named source. “Chicken meal” is just chicken that has been cooked down to remove most of the moisture content. It is more nutritionally dense than whole meat since the moisture has been removed. Meal is found mostly in dry foods, which need to be lower in moisture.
  • With that said, “meat meal” is not a high-quality ingredient because it could be anything. You don’t want to feed your pet mystery meat.
  • You should also consider whether the food is grain-free or not. Grains are fine for most dogs. Whole grains are nutritional and can be a good part of your dog’s diet. However, some dogs are allergic to the protein found in grain, which can cause them to become itchy. Whether or not your canine needs a grain-free food depends on their sensitivity to it.

Macronutrients

  • Macronutrients are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. These ingredients make up all food and are required by all animals to thrive. However, different animals need different ratios of macronutrients. When in the wild, an animal’s diet and natural behaviors typically lead to them getting the ratio they need. But, when animals rely on humans to feed them, things can get a bit skewed.
  • A study published in Behavioral Ecology discovered that dogs need a ratio of 30% protein, 63% fats, and 7% carbohydrates. As you can see, dogs need high amounts of protein and fats with few carbohydrates.
  • It isn’t easy to find a dog food that matches this ratio even a little bit. Most of the time, dog food formulas are going to be very high in carbohydrates. We recommend getting a food that contains as much protein and fat as you can manage.
  • Another important note: Sometimes, a food’s protein content can be misleading. Some companies add pea protein or potato protein to their dog food formulas to raise the protein content. However, vegetable protein is not the same as animal protein. It does not include the same amino acids and is not as suitable for dogs.
  • Be careful when you’re shopping and always look for vegetable protein. Take it into consideration when looking at the protein content.

The FDA DCM Investigation

  • In 2018, the FDA started investigating a rise in canine dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a severe heart disease in dogs. This investigation eventually found that most dogs affected were eating grain-free dog foods. However, not all grain-free dog foods seemed to cause this heart problem. Instead, it was only dog foods that were grain-free and high in peas, lentils, potatoes, and other legumes.
  • As of now, we do not know precisely why these ingredients are linked to DCM. Dogs who have developed this disorder usually do not have low taurine blood concentrations. Taurine deficiency is usually linked to DCM since your dog’s body needs taurine to repair the heart.
  • Some believe that peas and similar ingredients might cause your dog’s body not to absorb or use taurine properly. However, this has not been thoroughly studied yet, and the FDA investigation is ongoing.
  • In the meantime, you might want to avoid foods with high amounts of peas and potatoes, especially if your dog already has health problems.

Diet and Autoimmune Disease

  • There is no set-in-stone diet for dogs with autoimmune disease. This disorder is almost always treated with medication. However, you may be able to handle better some of the side effects of medication and symptoms of the disease using diet.
  • Firstly, medication tends to upset the dogs’ stomachs. An easy way to counteract this side effect is to take care of your pet’s gut. You may want to choose a food with probiotics or limited ingredients, which may calm your pet’s stomach.
  • Secondly, a diet with plenty of antioxidants may also be helpful. Antioxidants combat free radicals, which can cause more damage to your pet’s body and organs. Our goal is to keep your pet as healthy as possible. Antioxidants can play a role in that.
  • Thirdly, wholesome food that doesn’t contain unnecessary chemicals may help dogs with certain liver-injuring autoimmune disorders. As you might imagine, unnecessary chemicals can overload your pet’s liver, especially if the autoimmune disease is already harming it.
  • You should also aim to keep your dog as healthy as possible. Most dogs do fine with autoimmune disorders as long as they remain healthy. Your pet should stay at a healthy weight. You may want to switch to weight-maintenance dog food. However, this is not necessary if your canine is doing fine on a regular dog food formula.

Final Thoughts

There is a wide range of autoimmune conditions that can impact dogs. Be sure to work with your vet to choose a diet that’s appropriate for your dog and offers support for its specific symptoms. Our top choices for dog food for autoimmune diseases include Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care with Chicken Wet Dog Food for myasthenia gravis, Hill’s Prescription Diet w/d Multi-Benefit Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food for diabetes mellitus, Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food for autoimmune polyarthritis, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food for autoimmune skin conditions, and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food for inflammatory bowel disease.

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