What is Cushing’s Disease in dogs?
Though there can be multiple causes, the most common reason for Cushing’s disease is a tumor placed either on the pituitary gland at the base of the brain or on either of the glands placed next to the kidneys.
This tumor causes uncontrolled production of the stress hormone called cortisol. Excess of anything is bad, but excess stress hormone cortisol is worse. It gives rise to a host of health issues and complicated comorbid issues.
Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease in 2022 [Reviews]
1. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Dog Food
The primary protein here is boneless, skinless, white-meat chicken. White meat chicken is a high protein source with very little fat content. The low fat-to-protein ratio makes it our leading choice for best dog food for Cushing’s disease.
The formulation is not dry kibbles but has a wet gravy composition, which makes it very easy for your dog to eat. It is known that kidneys, liver, etc. make Cushing’s disease worse, so it is preferred not to have products that do not use whole, natural, non-GMO chicken or chicken waste. It has a dolphin-caught wild tuna for added protein benefits.
Allergies increase the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Therefore, it is imperative to avoid ingredients that can provoke allergies. Therefore, Weruva doesn’t contain grains, wheat, soy, gluten, or carrageenan.
The lack of additives, artificial flavorings, or colors makes it an extremely healthy alternative. A burst of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals have been added to make this healthier. Antioxidants, free radicals to fight any disease, make it a vital addition. It is a complete meal solution for your pet. This alleviates most of the symptoms and helps build muscle mass.
- High-quality ingredients which are grass-fed and non-GMO
- A high protein, low fat, and sugar ration is a good diet for Cushing’s
- The dogs enjoy the chicken meal
- It is a bit runny and messy to store
2. Purina Pro Plan Adult Wet Dog Food – Complete Essentials
Just like its name suggests, the Purina Pro Plan Adult Wet Dog Food is a protein-rich food. It is made with real beef for dogs’ better health. This would be their preferred dog food for those who want their dog to maintain its ideal body condition. It will support a healthy and better immune system. It not just nourishes the skin but also boosts the better overall health of your dog.
Consuming such high-protein dog food helps to have lean muscles in your dog. For adult dogs, it offers 100% complete and balanced nutrition. There are more than 23 nutrients present in this dog food that will benefit your beloved dog. Moreover, no additional flavors or artificial colors are added that might harm your dog. It also doesn’t contain any preservatives in it.
The Purina Pro Plan Adult Wet Dog Food contains beef, lamb, salmon, and poultry as the primary protein sources. Consuming such protein-rich food items will boost lean muscles and a shiny coat. There are many food items offered by the manufacturer from which you can choose your dog’s favorite ones.
- Available for Various Food Items
- Boosts Immunity
- Made with Real Beef
- No Artificial Colors
- No Preservatives
- Lean Muscles
- Not Really
3. Merrick Grain Free All Breed Sizes Canned Wet Dog Food (Case of 12)
Merrick Grain Free All Breed Sizes Canned Wet Dog Food is real deboned chicken with great taste. Your dog is going to love this dog food. To maintain a healthier body and immune system, consuming nutrients rich food such as chicken is essential. It is grain-free dog food that contains no artificial colors in it. It also contains DHA, which will help your dog’s brain development process.
There are no flavors included in the Merrick Grain Free All Breed Sizes Canned Wet Dog Food. It also contains no by-products but only healthy chicken made with delicious recipes. The manufacturer offers an easy pull tab for quick serving without wasting time. Various packages are offered, each with different food items in it so your dog can have a variety of nutrients and vitamins through each consumption.
The package with Chicken contains turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, granny smith apples along with peas in its gravy. Other can flavours include Turducken, Thanksgiving Day Dinner, Smothered Comfort, Cowboy Cookout and more. You can choose a pack of 12 or pack of 36 as per your requirements.
- Real Deboned Chicken
- Grain Free Food
- No Artificial Flavors
- No Preservatives
- Easy Pull Tab Cans
- Not Really.
4. Evanger’s Grain-Free Single Protein Game Meats for Dogs
If you believe in holistic treatments and natural welfare, you should find Evangers rabbit protein as the best dog food for Cushing’s disease in your canine. It is a product that is not only free of any fillers or preservatives, but it is also 100% natural.
The meat for this brand is first canned and then as per methods cooked while sealed in the can to fortify the nutrients and the real taste in the can itself. So when you open a can of their food, you will get near real meat with no added ingredient.
This product is free from any allergen in the form of wheat, soy, corn, or potato, which can provoke sensitivity and cause allergic breakouts. They use a rabbit as their main protein. Rabbit protein is believed to be lean, has a low fat-to-protein ratio, and is wholesome. The game meat feeling keeps the dogs upbeat and titillates their pallet.
Not only does this alleviate symptoms of Cushing’s, but they are also reportedly good with dogs who suffer from seizures and other health issues. The single meat with nothing else added is great for dogs with diabetes and helps regulate their blood sugar level.
- Rabbit protein gives the dogs the game feel.
- 100% natural with no added preservatives, additives, etc.
- Wholesome and nutritious.
- The issue is finding out the list of ingredients that go into it.
5. Nulo Adult & Puppy Grain Free Canned Wet Dog Food
If you are dealing with an overweight dog or are bogged down by weight issues, this is the best dog food for Cushing’s disease and its weight management. They have done away with all ingredients contributing to weight gain among canines. Wheat, soy, potatoes, tapioca, and corn are the few ingredients that trigger sensitivity.
They have done away with those as well. Cushing’s disease causes elevated cortisol levels; a high cortisol level wreaks havoc with cholesterol levels by increasing triglycerides. This needs to be stopped. To curb this, Nulo dog food has designed this dog food which is super easy for dog owners to feed.
It features Chicken as its primary protein; the low-fat high, protein ratio keeps it as a natural diet as possible. The immune system is bolstered by antioxidants and nutrients, amongst others. The low carbohydrate intake reduces the incidence of osteoarthritis, heart disease, and more.
Vegetables like carrots and peas have been added to give a necessary dose of the vitamins, strengthening immunity, whereby antioxidants will fight free radicals. This product has been known to alleviate the symptoms of Cushing’s.
- Is very good at weight management
- They do away with sensitivities and improve skin and coat
- Tasty flavor, and most dogs would enjoy it
- It is an expensive product
6. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Shredded Blend Adult Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food
Cushing’s syndrome causes a high appetite in dogs. They are prone to overeating and gaining weight which causes weakening and wastage of muscles. So it is crucial that they are given a low-fat, high-protein diet, which doesn’t contain any organ form of the protein.
The main protein here is beef, which, though it has more fat than chicken, has a way higher protein content than chicken. The inclusion of rice fulfills the low carbohydrate requirement. This is the best dog food for Cushing’s disease in senior dogs. Dogs aged seven and up largely benefit from this because, with age, the protein requirement increases.
Purina Pro Plan Savor propagates the power of nutrition in healing. They provide dog food that has specialized nutrition for carious dog needs. Even here, they have provided a low fat-to-protein ratio for Cushing’s syndrome. Antioxidants have been packed to fight free radicals and prevent the body from disease. The omega-6 acids protect the skin and keep the coat shiny and nourished.
They use all real animal produce and not by-products of animal husbandry. The lack of preservatives or additives helps to keep it as natural as possible, avoiding triggers.
- This is singularly the best product for adult dogs.
- The meaty canned option with gravy is every canine’s favorite.
- A lot of owners register a vast amount of improvement.
- For dogs with sensitive stomachs, this is a rich product.
7. Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Adult Wet Canned Dog Food Chicken & Rice
If you are on a budget and looking for the best dog food for Cushing’s disease, then you probably should choose Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner as pet food. Cushing’s disease needs clean proteins, which do not have any form of organs. This is done to lower the purine level. Purine levels are counteractive to Cushing’s disease.
A high-protein, low-fat diet shows a vast improvement in symptoms. Hence Pedigree concentrates on using Chicken as its primary protein. The chicken used is real chicken which doesn’t include a chicken meal or chicken byproducts. It uses completely grass-fed, cage-free real chicken.
Canines of all breeds and ages savor the taste of this. The nutrition here is complete and well-balanced, which means one is not missing the necessary nutrients to form a complete meal.
You can mix this with their kibbles to add variety to their diet. But check the fat-to-protein ratio of the kibbles first. There are no additives or preservatives, and they contain all antioxidants needed for a dog.
- Healthy may not always be fun for the dogs, but this is a meal they relish
- The lack of any allergens means they keep the dog healthy
- It is a good budget option
- The product is not very high quality like other expensive options
Types of Cushing’s disease?
Cushing’s disease morphs into four forms: two are quite common, and two are fairly rare.
- Pituitary-dependent Cushing’s disease- It is by far the most common form of Cushing’s disease. This form of disease happens when there is a very tiny, probably pea-sized tumor based on the pituitary gland on the base of the brain. This causes cortisol.
- Adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease- This tumor placed on the adrenal glands near the kidney may or may not be malignant. This placement causes extra production of cortisol.
- Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome- This condition is caused due to the side effect of taking excessive steroids for any other reason, for e.g., skin allergies. It is rare, but there.
- Cushing’s caused by food or meals- This is an inexplicable type, where the enzymes and hormones are released by having some reaction that causes excess production of cortisol.
Is your dog the only one who suffers from Cushing’s?
Its occurrence is more frequent in canines than in humans. After a lot of research, it was found that nearly two dogs in every thousand dogs suffer from Cushing’s disease.
There is no distinction between Cushing’s syndrome and disease in dogs.
How to know if your dog has Cushing’s?
The occurrence of Cushing’s is in these symptoms, also called the 5 P’s:-
- Polyphagia which means increased appetite
- Polydipsia which means increased drinking of liquids
- Pot-bellied appearance due to excess eating
- Polyuria which means increased urination
- Panting excessively of normal
After these symptoms, a dog may eventually develop symptoms of calcinosis cutis. A condition where excess calcium accumulates on the top layer of the skin, causes open sores, is not treatable and not curable, and is a massive point of discontentment.
It should be noted not to confuse Cushing’s with Hypothyroidism when the body produces less thyroid hormone, which causes hair loss, weight gain, lethargy, and dry skin, amongst others.
Can a bad lifestyle in dogs cause Cushing’s disease?
We have already elaborated on steroid treatment for skin conditions or other conditions that can result in Cushing’s syndrome. It should also be noted that Cushing’s syndrome may also be caused by bad and low-quality commercial diets, which have a lot of fillers and preservatives, or with a diet of high fat and low protein.
What are the treatment options for the common types of Cushing’s disease?
The two common types of Cushing’s are the Adrenal and Pituitary glands. For the tumors on adrenal glands that cause Cushing’s disease, a major abdominal surgery requires removing the entire tumor and making sure it has not spread to other parts. In that case, surgery would be successful in removing the entire tumor.
Surgeries are offered unadvised due to the graveness of it and the complications that they can cause. Medicinal treatment is mostly followed. Pituitary tumors are more complex than adrenal tumors. They are way complicated to treat.
Most commonly, drug treatment is followed. Drug treatments followed by dietary management is the only way the canines be given a better quality of life. Dietary management becomes even more important post-medicinal treatment.
Is dietary management effective?
Since surgery is only advised in very few cases, medicinal treatment is the only option for you to alleviate some misery of your pets. Even the medicinal treatment leaves a lot to be desired. The treatment is not very effective in alleviating the troubles. This calls for a more holistic or natural treatment to help the canines.
Nutritional therapy helps allay cortisol levels, which reach extreme highs in dogs with Cushing’s disease.
Follow the tips to have a good diet at home:-
- It should be formulated for adults- AAFCO ( Association of American Feed Control Officials) has given a dietary recommendation for adult dogs. It helps to bridge the protein requirement because of muscle wastage and doesn’t have high calorific contents needed for other stages.
- Low fat, moderate fiber diet- As discussed earlier, cholesterol levels rise during Cushing’s disease. These issues need to be fought with food that has low fat and moderate fiber content.
- Easily digestible high levels of protein- It should have a higher mass of proteins which should be easy to digest by the compromised dog’s digestive system.
- Low in Calcium, Sodium, and Chloride- Sodium and chloride affect hypertension. Calcium is already in excess in the dog’s body. Hence these two must be avoided.
If you are looking for commercial dog food for Cushing’s disease, you should select one with a high protein, low fat, low carbs diet.
Should supplements be added to dog food for Cushing’s disease?
Before one adds supplements to the dog’s diet, one must understand that.
- The body with Cushing’s excrete calcium. That should not be supplemented until specified by doctors.
- The metabolism rate of vitamins is very high. Therefore one needs to ensure the dog food has enough as specified by AAFCO before supplementing the diet.
- To lower the circulation of fats in the blood, one needs to keep a healthy diet consisting of alpha-tocopherol, selenium, beta-carotene, and methionine, amongst other powerful antioxidants. They fight free radicals and help combat weight issues.
- To lower triglycerides and fats, fish oil must be given as supplements. Fish oil also helps improve skin and coat.
What is the best diet of dog food for Cushing’s disease?
One should choose a near-natural diet with healthy natural ingredients like lean meat, vegetables, and low-fat cottage cheese, amongst others. Care must be taken to avoid anything high fat or can provoke diabetes. This is an expensive diet to maintain. Find canned options in your budget which use real meat and vegetables without being dry or using preservatives.
FAQs about Best Dog Food For Cushing’s Disease
1. Why should organs be avoided for dogs for treats?
Organ meats have high purine levels. The purine levels are harmful to the health of a dog. Purine-rich meat is difficult to digest. Instead, lean meats should provide higher amino acids than organs.
2. Should I switch to homemade diets for my dog with Cushing’s disease?
A homemade diet as dog food for Cushing’s disease will be time-consuming and expensive. If you can afford the same, then it’s a good alternative. Conversely, there are good commercial options available that have good and well-balanced nutrition plans. They make it easier to maintain health.
3. What are the other health tips with regard to dogs with Cushing disease?
Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome feel thirsty more often, so the owner should not regulate or restrict water consumption. Water should be easily reachable by dogs.
Weight loss or weight management should be made the goal. It is important that increased appetite doesn’t cause excessive weight gain, as excessive weight gain will lead to aggravation of other symptoms.
When you have a dog with Cushing, it is a landmine of trials and failures. Consulting your veterinarian, a nutritional expert, might be the right place to start. One needs to understand that a healthy lifestyle is a must and that, as an owner, you are bound to make mistakes while trying to achieve that for your dog.
We have tried to pick our favorites and elaborate on why we think it’s the best dog food for Cushing’s disease. If you have tried any other, please let us know.