If you have noticed your canine struggle with poor or low immunity, have frequent aches, bowel distress, fever, allergy or rashes, you might want to give it attention for it may be a sign of autoimmune disease in your dog.
Everybody, human, dog or otherwise is a complex defense system of an interconnected network of white blood cells, antibodies. This is called the immune system. When the body stops recognizing itself and starts attacking itself, or rejecting its own tissues, it is called an autoimmune disease. The autoimmune disease makes it difficult for the dog’s body to fight infections and heal itself.
There are multiple angles and things to consider when your dog has an autoimmune disease, the first are foremost being changing his diet from a regular diet to a diet which specializes in autoimmune disease. Here is a list of the best dog food for autoimmune disease from which you can choose.
Best Dog Food For Autoimmune Disease [Reviews 2020]
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
At Taste of Wild High, they understand the importance of good complex nutrition to support the immunity of your canine friend, therefore they are the best dog food for autoimmune disease when well-balanced nutrition needs to be met in high amounts.
These cravings satisfying dog food is formulated from high-quality premium roasted bison meat, wild boar meat and buffalo meat to meet the high protein requirements for dogs with autoimmune disease. To give more strength to muscles and make them lean and strong, they have added salmon and turkey for the amino acid optimization.
This formulation is a no grain, corn, gluten and additives or artificial coloring dry dog food. The energy burst comes from complex carbohydrates in the form of sweet potatoes, legumes amongst others. The energy received by these carbohydrates last long and provide sustained energy.
They realized that just giving importance to amino acids is not enough. To support the immune system, prebiotics and specific probiotics, which are naturally found in the gut of dogs. After the kibble has been cooked, these live bacteria cultures are added.
This along with chelated minerals make it an easily digestible compound with optimal absorptions of well-balanced nutrition. Taste of Wild High is like a superfood that has the power of antioxidants and fatty acids to make the skin and coat flawless.
- Optimally well-balanced nutrition
- High-quality meat and proteins
- The no grains and preservatives formulation
- Some dog owners complain of the kibble being too dry
2. Olewo Carrots Digestive Dog Food Supplement
Dogs are carnivores and carnivores don’t eat plant-based products or vegetables. Nothing can be further from the truth than this statement. A dog suffering from an autoimmune disease needs the power of antioxidants to help with it and other complicated issues like joint pain, allergies, stomach issues amongst others.
This is the best dog food for autoimmune disease in a dog who needs the power of antioxidants and is suffering from a stomach ailment and loose stools. This product was designed by a dog owner who kept losing his breed of dogs to lack of adequate nutrition caused by autoimmune disease.
Olewo Carrots are the quickest and surefire way to alleviate chronic diarrhea in your dogs and restore their digestive health. There is a new understanding of the impact of food on the immune system and gastroenteric tract of the canine. Many dogs have shown to have alleviated the symptoms of their autoimmune disease when their gut health improved.
Dogs have an inability to properly digest raw carrots as their stomach lacks the enzyme amylase. The cooked carrotss, however, have increased digestibility. But the Olewo Carrots are specifically designed to make it highly digestible by breaking down the carrots fiber, grown in a soil that helps the carrots develop maximum nutrition and therefore make sure it is extremely well absorbed by the dogs gut.
These dehydrated carrots provide vitamin A in spades and provide comfort for aging dogs.
- Completely natural, grown pesticide-free
- Relief for a dog’s gut
- Bodes well with any meal- can be added to just about anything
- It could get a bit mushy when too much water is added
3. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Small Paws for Small Breeds
Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws Adult Dog Food has been researched and developed to meet the nutrients requirements of your small breed dogs and puppies. This is by far the best dog food for autoimmune disease in little dogs. They have targeted, researched and precise nutrition which will help the development of the small puppies.
It has a unique small-sized kibble that is comfortable for small dogs to take in their mouth and is also easily digestible. It is a grain-free, well balanced nutritious formulation that helps keep allergies and stomach troubles at bay for these small canines.
The small-sized kibble doesn’t affect the protein sufficiency in the dog food. The primary source of protein comes from chicken liver, with added pork belly which gives an exceptionally easily digestible amino acid trove. The high-quality flaxseeds, corn gluten meal, green peas, barley, whole grain wheat which helps develop lean muscles, yet give an exceedingly well-balanced nutrition plan.
Autoimmune disease may be affected directly with improper digestions, hence they have a host of premium quality added fiber, which aids the digestion. There are also alimentary minerals that help in the absorption of the nutrients by the digestive tract.
This formula has a burst of antioxidants which are the primary supplement for autoimmune disease. It uses fish oil to give the required DHA, Omega 3-6 fatty acids which keep the heart and nervous system healthy.
- Uses real chicken and no by-products
- High in proteins and essential fatty acids
- Adequate for small dogs
- Some dogs may complain about the smell
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural
It is extremely difficult to breed some of the dogs because of their energy and active nature. The best dog food for autoimmune disease in dogs who have abundant energy is Blue Buffalo. Their lifestyle requires their feed to be given special attention and care towards the nutritional requirement. The Blue Buffalo Life formula uses real meat as its primary component.
The protein is derived from the chicken as its main ingredient. Made up of whole grains, garden-fresh vegetables, fruits, they supplement the diet well enough to make it completely balanced.
This form of protein helps in providing well developed and lean muscles, that is beneficial for the development of the canines. They realize that because of the autoimmune conditions, these dogs’ immunity needs support which comes from vitamins and minerals and the most important antioxidants.
Blue Buffalo Life has a patented Lifesource Birts Technology, which is a meticulous blend of the essential nutrients, chosen by a bunch of holistic veterinarians and nutritional experts, which are adept at supporting the life needs of an autoimmune dog. They restore the oxidative balance and meet all growth requirements. The presence of calcium and phosphate aid bone and teeth development.
The presence of glucosamine for joint mobility, omega fatty acids for the nervous system truly makes it an energy booster.
- Lifesource bits are a fantastic addition
- Every ingredient is natural
- Whole grains help in improving the gut
- On the expensive side
5. NUTRISCA Dry Dog Food Bag
They at Nutrisca know that nutrition is an important parameter when dealing with autoimmune disease. Therefore, those who are looking for a completely real food product for dogs need to know that this is the best dog food for autoimmune disease if you want to go completely natural. They use real and high-quality lamb meat for their protein. The lamb meat gives a crude protein of 30%!
They steer clear of any product that may cause allergy, so this is a formulation that is free from allergens like soy, corn, wheat amongst others. To boost the presence of lamb, this uses amino acids in the form of chickpea and carbohydrates from sweet peas. This balances out the need for fiber, amino acids and high protein.
The antioxidant quotient, which in fact is the most important factor in dog food for autoimmune disease, is given by the presence of multiple fruits and vegetables. This has chelated minerals for better nutrients absorption, it also is packed with Omega 3 and 6 acids which help keep the eye and nervous system healthy.
DHA has been added to ensure proper nutrition without damaging the sensitive dog gut with chemicals or additives laden dog food.
- Lack of sweet potato/ pumpkin for dogs with allergies to those
- A high presence of protein
- Uses real lamb and not by product
- Misses added pre/probiotics
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Beef, Pea, & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural is a wholesome dog food that is made of natural and simple ingredients. It focuses on the health of the dogs. Therefore to call it the best dog food for autoimmune disease for dogs who need a high protein, safe and wholesome meal.
The primary protein for this brand is beef. It carefully selects the other proteins to go in it. So it has premium poultry chicken and no by-product of the industry, along with a host of vitamin giving vegetables like peas and carrots. The nutrish here uses her personal recipes to recreate a healthy, tasty and wholesome meal for your dog.
Vitamin A from the carrots really boosts the immune system of the canines. The peas are an exceptional source of dietary fiber and vitamins which help increase digestion. To give the carbohydrate boost and add vitamin B to the diet, this product uses brown rice. Brown rice is a powerhouse for carbohydrates and vitamins and fiber.
Enriched with beet juice, folates and other essential vitamins, this is a simple and wholesome food product that directly targets the immune system and helps it restore itself to its optimum functioning. It has added prebiotics which aids in healing the gut.
- Adequate for all sizes and breeds
- Simple and nutritious
- The amount of Prebiotics present are exceptional
- It doesn’t contain glucosamine for the mobility of joints
7. ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food & Topper Recipe
At Ziwi they believe in crafting a nutrition-rich diet that believes in wild diets, that is, the prey diet which helps in providing the best possible nutrition for dogs keeping their natural eating habits intact. It uses venison as its prime protein and has a composition of 96% of the fresh meat where there are organs, bones and muscles.
This entire meat is raw but to eliminate bacteria it has been subjected to the air-drying procedure in twin stages, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria. The meat has been grass-fed and does not need to be rehydrated, heated or any other thing before the feed.
The choice of venison as protein makes it the highest protein dog food available. Venison is considered to be the most protein-rich food which meets the entire requirement of amino acids. They have even added New Zealand green mussels which are high in protein and in other nutrients like glucosamine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are fabulous for joints, eyes and nervous systems.
What is noteworthy here is the addition of three ingredients that are not regularly found- insulin- which has been derived from chicory root. It is a starchy compound which has been made by repeating units of carbs. It also contains chelated minerals which help in the proper utilization of the nutrients by the gut. The last is the unique selenium yeast.
This organic form of selenium is not carcinogenic and is a very good addition. Taurine is added to ensure a healthy heart. All in all this is the best dog food for autoimmune disease in those dogs who have good digestive power and need more power to maintain their optimal nutritional needs.
- Extremely rich in protein with venison
- Near natural prey diet
- Inclusion of organic insulin and selenium
- High fat to protein ratio not suitable for every dog
8. Purina ONE SmartBlend
It is not just taking care of the immune system which is important for a canine who suffers from autoimmune disease. What is important that their overall health is taken into consideration.
Purina has researched and developed a proper nutrition plan that supports the overall health of a dog. The One SmartBlend has its core protein in the form of chicken and chicken meal.
It is best for those dogs who love chicken to be quite active. It provides targeted nutrition which is enough during the lifetime of a canine. This also contains whole grains, minerals and multiple vitamins. It has a dual defense antioxidant profile that builds and supports the dog’s immune system.
It uses natural sources of glucosamine for the mobility of joints and their better health. The fat to protein ratio here is near perfect for every kind of dog, therefore in case you have multiple dogs, you won’t need to worry about which food to choose for who.
The kibbles are smaller than average, hence they slow the speed of consumption reducing the gassy tendency.
They have smartly added zinc and selenium which is the prime need for any immune system, especially for an autoimmune disorder. Therefore this seems to be the best dog food for autoimmune disease when you need to choose a product that is well-balanced and nutritious throughout.
- Well balanced for overall health
- Has zinc and Selenium
- Ideal fat to protein ratio
- Lack of pre or probiotics
9. Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula Dry Dog Food
This is a brand that uses proteins from freshwaters in the Northern USA. The Trout and Salmon form the primary source of proteins for this brand, they are easily digestible, while being good and beneficial for a growing dog’s nervous system. They are again a limited ingredient, close to natural prey diets.
They use carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index, dogs need a high-protein diet as opposed to a high-carb one. They use low glycemic ingredients like chickpea, which are excellent in regulating blood sugar levels and add dietary fiber to all the meals.
They have an entire production that is free of any allergy-inducing ingredients like wheat, soy, corn and chicken. They don’t use chicken or chicken produce or meal in any form, neither do they use corn, potato, etc even as fillers. Therefore this is an extremely healthy product for dogs with sensitivities. They use dehydrated alfalfa meal, flaxseed, peas, sunflower oil for the required oils.
They exploit natural science and have a recipe that has a high dose of antioxidants that are needed by the immune system along with a gamut of vitamins and minerals which are balanced just right. They have high levels of organic Omega 3 fatty acids from salmon oil, which is why this is the best dog food for autoimmune disease in a pup.
- Completely natural
- Has no chicken component
- Has high antioxidants
- Some dogs don’t like the smell
10. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Recipe Natural Dog Food & Toppers
This is a brand that believes in one protein and one vegetable. It is by far the cleanest and simple dog food diet we have come across. This is done to make it very easy for the digestive tract and also to do away with allergies and anything that irritates a sensitive immune system.
Crafted with wild Salmon, it is the healthiest and complete form of amino acids which is easily digestible. It has no ingredients like whole grain, soy, corn, chickpea, potato, that could add any complexity to the dogs’ gastroenteric function.
Here every kibble is freeze-dried, is raw and is completely natural. The flavour is real and delicious for all breeds and sizes of dogs. The vegetables used are peas. Peas give easily digestible fibre and high carbohydrates. Whereas the dog food isn’t lacking in any vitamins and minerals.
The added Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and chelated minerals make it an extremely nutrient-rich and easily absorbed.
- Contains Zinc
- Is one protein one vegetable
- Completely natural products are used
- Lack of probiotics can be a deal-breaker for some
What is the function of an Immune System in Dogs?
Immunity is when your body protects you from foreign invasion. That is when the body fights and prevents infections and outside influence which can harm it.
The immune system is of two types based on their functionality-
- Innate immune system- This is the first line of defense to keep every attack out in organisms. In the case of dogs, their skin acts as the first line of defense.
- Adaptive immune system- It is the part of immunity that protects against foreign invasions. They use various tactics and procedures for viruses and bacteria.
When these two systems work in tandem, the immune system handles all invasions. When the innate immune system is compromised then the adaptive immune system gets activated.
Why does autoimmune disease occur in dogs?
There can be several reasons or factors which influence a dog’s immune system. Some of the frequent reasons are:-
- Overuse of drugs- Using antibiotics frequently, or abusing it at the slightest of pretext can cause harm to the body of your pet. These drugs inhibit the absorption of protein and convert it into energy. It also lowers the production of certain proteins in the body which triggers autoimmune.
- Preservatives in Food- food preservatives can break havoc with any immune system and a dogs’ immune system is no different. Hence the need to buy as much natural food for the dog becomes a must.
- Chemicals- Toxins and harsh chemicals are debilitating to the immunity of these canines. It becomes imperative for owners to minimize any kind of exposure to these compounds.
- Unbelievable but true that over-vaccination damages the immune system for certain pets. Vaccines are good, but they may harm the immune system for certain pets.
- Environmental Pollution- There have been a lot of scientific studies that point toward environmental pollutants and their link to autoimmune disease.
What are the symptoms of autoimmune disease in dogs?
Autoimmune disease doesn’t have a specific symptom. It affects various organs of the body of a canine. When a pet suffers from an autoimmune disease, you will note it in the following symptoms:-
- Hair Loss
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain or swollen joints
- Ulcers on paws and face
- Increased water consumption with frequent urination
- Loss of pigmentation
- Kidney issues
There can also be symmetrical lesions on both sides of the body or focal lesions, this happens due to the immune system attacking these issues.
These can be genetic which have been inherited or can be passed down.
How is Autoimmune Disease diagnosed in Dogs?
You need to take your pet to the veterinarian who could conduct blood tests, urinary lab tests and maybe an in-house SNAP. The vet may run invasive tests, detailed blood panels, whereby he also measures the complete blood count. Determination of platelet levels, cortisol levels amongst others are necessary.
How can an Autoimmune Disease be treated?
An autoimmune disease cannot be cured. There are various treatments available that help the manifestations of the disease. The nature of the treatment also differs from the conditions or symptoms. Some of the available options are:-
- Hydrotherapy- at times an autoimmune disorder affects the movement of the canine. To improve mobility and strength back to joints hydrotherapy must be considered. They enable movement in joints and facilitate healing.
- Massage- Massage helps in a host of medical conditions, and has started being accepted and respected by medical practitioners across. Though it is still better to have a professional massage done rather than winging it yourself.
- Acupuncture- This is a holistic treatment plan which works wonders on your canine. They are exceptional for chronic pain relief. One needs to get it done by anyone with exceptional training.
- Vitamin E & C- This is imperative for a body’s nervous system. It helps heal the nervous system and provides strength to the immune system.
What should the dog food comprise for a dog with autoimmune disease?
- High-quality animal protein- Proteins provide amino acids that are essential for the dogs’ healthy skin and hair, joint movement, muscle development and repair of tissues. Proteins form the core of your dogs’ diet. Choosing a formula or recipe has to be done according to the type and content of protein in it. The focus should be on the fresh, single-source protein which is easily digestible by the stomach. The high-quality product should be selected and not by-products.
- Absence of artificial ingredients- Any food product which uses additives, flavoring or colors is harmful to your dog. When choosing a product make sure there are no artificial or chemical ingredients fillers which will adversely affect the dogs’ immunity.
- Probiotics- They are essentially the good bacteria present in the digestive tract of the body. They give support to the digestive system while maintaining the flora and fauna of the gut.
- Essential Fatty Acids- The omega-3 fatty acids heal the body. They have a wide gamut of positive effects on the health of the body. If your dog food isn’t packed with this, you should consider an additional supplement.
- Vegetables- Vegetables are a repository for vitamins and fiber. They enrich the diet an autoimmune dog needs, therefore, they need to be added to every meal. The vegetables you should aim for having are:-
- Green Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Avoid foods that are known allergens- There are certain food items that are known to cause breakouts of allergenic episodes. Your canine may also suffer from some allergy, the first path is to determine the source of allergy and then eliminate the same from the diet.
- When buying dog food for autoimmune disease please make sure you buy food that is free from these allergens and chooses products that have whole grains instead of fractionated. Brown rice, quinoa are some of the healthy whole grains. Corn, soy, wheat should be avoided.
- Herbs- Some of the herbs are known to have healing properties. They help alleviate the symptoms in the dogs affected by autoimmune disease. Alfalfa, wisteria are some of the more common herbs that are added to the diet.
FAQs about Best Dog Food For Autoimmune Disease
1. Can autoimmune disease in dogs be cured?
It is a condition that needs to be managed for the duration of the pet’s life. It has no cure which completely eradicates the disease, but there are a lot of options to alleviate the symptoms. Immunity stimulations like vaccines etc should be avoided.
2. Is the autoimmune disease in dogs contagious?
It is not a contagious condition which transfers from one pet to another. It is a condition within the body of the dog and this is influenced by genetics.
3. Are there any natural supplements for dogs?
As discussed earlier, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are the best products to help with the symptoms and effects of autoimmune disorder. They not only help in getting a shinier and smoother coat, but they also help in cognitive development.
Some of the natural sources of it are-
Antioxidants are another extremely important nutrient. They are natural barriers against various diseases. They help eliminate free radicals and help in cell production. The focus should be on essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, selenium, vitamin A, E amongst others.
4. What are chelated minerals in dog food?
Chelated minerals are those minerals which have had a chemical reaction between minerals and ligand. They are bonded with amino acids chemically to make absorption of the nutrients easy. Chelated mineral forms of zinc, selenium, etc are easily absorbed than non-chelated forms of the same mineral.
To conclude a detailed and in-depth article, we’d like to suggest the best dog food for autoimmune disease is ZIWI PEAK which has air dried protein. It is completely natural, healthy and has a power-packed antioxidants burst for the immune system.
The venison it contains is a high protein, natural and grass-fed. This is grain-free, preservative-free and is an underrated brand. If your dog finds it dry, you could mix it with any wet ingredient.
Otherwise, we have tried to help you by telling why we think every added brand of dog food on the list is good for your canine. It always helps to try out some and then reach at the best one for your dog. There are no fails here, it’s just a matter of permutation and combination.