10 Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism in 2022

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cavelier spaniel dog lying

Like humans, dogs can have hypothyroidism. This is a thyroid condition where the gland fails to produce essential hormones.

This can lead to excessive weight gain, dry skin, and other health issues. But, it’s also treatable, and part of that treatment plan involves choosing the best dog food for hypothyroidism. 

Our favorite option is Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

It’s full of healthy fats that can help reduce symptoms like dry skin and l-carnitine to boost your dog’s metabolism. 

And there are other choices too, including options for small and large breeds and affordable food. 

Best Budget Option
American Journey LID Venison Sweet Potato Grain Free
American Journey Limited Ingredient

Single animal protein source

Digestible carbohydrates

All life stages formula


Best Overall
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural

Turkey #1 ingredient

Added taurine for heart health

Pumpkin & superfoods


Best Premium Option
ORIJEN Six Fish Grain Free
ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Food

85% premium fish ingredients

WholePrey nutrition

Freeze-dried coated


Our Best Dog Food for Hypothyroidism

10 Best Dog Foods for Hypothyroidism Reviewed 

The formulas below follow AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. Before changing your dog’s diet, consult with your veterinarian. 


Best Overall

1 Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potato, Tapioca, Dried Egg
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages (except growth of large-size dogs)
  • Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with probiotics and animal fats for a healthy thyroid

This formula can work well for most dogs with hypothyroidism because it’s grain-free and high in protein to boost metabolism. 

Boasting 32% Crude Protein, it also contains l-lysine and l-carnitine. These nutrients improve calcium absorption for strong bones and turn fat into energy to increase your dog’s metabolic rate

It also contains multiple animal proteins — including turkey, chicken, and fish meal. These real meats provide DHA to boost cognitive function and improve gut function, which can help your dog keep a healthy weight. 

Since the recipe doesn’t include grains, it’s easier to digest for many dogs with hypothyroidism.  But, it does contain fiber-rich ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, and apples

These aid in easier digestion and keep inflammation at bay. Plus, these components are high in vitamin A and C to boost your pup’s immune system. 

Dog owners say they’re happy this food brought back their dog’s energy. But, many note that the kibble is too small for larger breeds.  

Pros:

High in protein for metabolic health

Grain-free for digestibility 

Contains probiotics for gut health

Affordable

Cons:

High in fat

Kibble pieces are small


Best Budget Food

2 American Journey Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

American Journey LID Venison Sweet Potato Grain Free
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Venison, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Venison Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 364 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Key Feature: High-protein and limited ingredient dry dog food for dog owners on a budget

This food offers a novel protein and grain-free carbohydrates for dogs with food sensitivities and needs help with their metabolism. 

Instead of chicken or beef, it starts with deboned venison and venison meal. These leaner cuts of meat do lower the protein content, so the formula only offers 22% Crude Protein. 

It’s also low in fat but offers 12% from ingredients like sunflower and fish oil. These offer omega-3 fatty acids, which can decrease inflammation that compromises thyroid function.

This recipe contains l-threonine — a unique supplement that helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic. The body also uses it to make thyroxine, a thyroid hormone — making it a great food additive. 

Dog moms and dads say this is the only food they can feed their dogs without causing allergic reactions, dry skin, and extra weight. But many note that their picky pups aren’t the biggest fans. 

Pros:

Free of poultry and beef for dogs with allergies

Grain-free for sensitive dogs

Essential amino acids reduce itchiness and inflammation

Affordable

Cons:

Only available online

Not great for picky pups


Best Premium Food

3 ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Six Fish Grain Free
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Whole Mackerel, Whole Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 468 kcal/cup 
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Chicken-Free, Gluten-Free, Raw, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Key Feature: High-protein and grain-free dry dog food with novel proteins and turmeric for metabolic support 

This dog food offers 85% premium protein content and doesn’t contain gluten, wheat, or soy to promote healthy digestion and thyroid function. 

It’s also free of proteins like poultry, beef, and lamb — the most common allergens. Instead, it includes whole mackerel, whole herring, monkfish, and acadian redfish as its top four ingredients. 

These are packed with protein and healthy fats — including omega-3 fatty acids — which aid in heart, gut, and cognitive function. 

Whole pumpkin, butternut squash, and collard greens supply gentle fiber and prebiotics for digestive support. And pumpkin also contains high levels of vitamin C and manganese. These nutrients are important protectors of the thyroid gland. 

Pet owners note that this food is the best for chronic health issues, including hypothyroidism. However, they hate the smell of fish and say it can cause gas in some dogs. 

Pros:

Contains real animal proteins as the main ingredients

Chicken-free for sensitive pups

Improves fur texture and shine

Kibble is easy to eat

Cons:

Stinky kibble

Expensive


Best for Seniors

4 Annamaet Grain-Free Re-juvenate Senior Formula Dry Dog Food

Annamaet Grain Free Rejuvenate Senior
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Silver Carp, Turkey Meal, Green Peas, Lentils, Pea Protein Isolate
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 33% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 366 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: High-Protein, Low Glycemic, Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Non-GMO
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Key Feature: Grain-free dry dog food with Yucca Schidigera Extract dogs with hypothyroidism

This recipe comes formulated for seniors — with just 366 calories per cup and 12% Crude Fat to provide energy while helping them avoid weight gain.  

But it’s still high in protein, offering 33% protein content since silver carp and turkey meal are the first ingredients. These offer omega-fatty acids that can protect aging joints and reduce inflammation in your dog’s digestive system. 

This formula also contains turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory, and l-carnitine, which helps support a healthy metabolism.

Yucca Schidigera Extract is the perfect addition to this senior food. It’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient but also offers anti-arthritic benefits, keeping older dogs sprightly.  

Senior dog owners appreciate that this food doesn’t contain artificial additives that exacerbate their canine’s sensitivities. But they do admit that it’s costly and smells like fish.

Pros:

Chicken-free for sensitive dogs

Contains anti-inflammatory ingredients

Grain-free for easier digestion

Lower calories for reduced metabolisms

Cons:

Smells like fish

Expensive


Best Grain-Free Food

5 Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Raw Great Plains Red Recipe
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 392 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Raw, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Key Feature: High-protein and high-fat grain-free dry dog food with probiotics for gut support 

A raw diet can be beneficial for dogs with hypothyroidism, so this formula is perfect while keeping your pup safe from harmful gut bacteria. 

While it offers high-quality animal protein, so it’s highly digestible, it’s freeze-dried to eliminate bacteria that can cause inflammation, poor gut health, and loose stool. 

It’s one of the highest protein foods on this list — providing 38% in each cup. And it contains real meats, including deboned beef, lamb, and salmon

It also includes apples, blueberries, and sweet potatoes to boost fiber content for metabolic health. These ingredients also contain zinc, which can enhance thyroid function

Dog parents say this food is perfect if your dog can’t process grains efficiently. But many admit that the kibble is hard, so it’s hard for their smaller pups to eat. And for dogs allergic to beef, this is not a good option. 

Pros:

Contains real animal proteins

Grain-free for digestibility 

High-protein formula provides energy

Contains probiotics for gut health

Cons:

Contains beef (common allergens)

Crunchy kibble

Freeze-dried bits are crushed easily


Best for Small Breeds

6 The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Whole Food Clusters Dry Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Whole Food Clusters
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Liver, Lentils
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 14.5% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 422 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Human-Grade, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Low Glycemic, Non-GMO
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Key Feature: High-protein and grain-free human-grade dog food for small pups

This formula offers human-grade ingredients to improve digestion and thyroid function — like low-glycemic carbohydrates and real animal protein. 

It’s considered low-fat, offering 14.5% fat content — which can help with weight management and boost energy levels. And, with 5% fiber, it’s also great for keeping the digestive tract healthy. 

This recipe contains high-quality coconut oil, and its medium-chain fatty acids can nourish skin and boost metabolic function. 

This food is also free of GMOs, meat meals, and fillers. Avoiding these ingredients can improve vitamin absorption during digestion for your pup with hypothyroidism. 

But the main protein is chicken, which can cause allergic reactions in some dogs. 

Dog moms and dads say this is the most effortless food switch since it’s close to kibble but with better ingredients. But some say that the food can be hard to chew for older dogs. In those cases, they recommend adding water or broth. 

Pros:

Contains human-grade ingredients

Lower in fat to avoid weight gain

Coconut oil for thyroid health

Great for picky eaters

Cons:

Has chicken, a top allergen

Expensive


Best for Large Breeds

7 Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 342 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with green tea extract and probiotics for large breeds with hypothyroidism

This formula has a large kibble size for giant breeds and contains ingredients that promote lean muscles and boosts your dog’s metabolism. 

It provides 34% Crude Protein, with deboned chicken and turkey meal as the first two ingredients. This also offers glucosamine and taurine, essential for heart health and reducing inflammation in the gut and joints. 

This recipe is also low in calories, containing 342 kcal/cup. This makes it easier for your dog to metabolize their food and absorb essential vitamins and minerals without spiking their glucose levels. 

It also provides parsley, kale, and blueberries which are rich in antioxidants. These boost immune function and can reduce oxidative stress — reducing inflammation flare-ups and protecting the thyroid. 

Large breed owners say even their pickiest dog loves this food and that it’s perfect for weight management. But many complain that the food easily crumbles. 

Pros:

Low-calorie for metabolic support 

High-protein for lean muscle mass

High in antioxidants

Gluten-free for sensitive dogs

Cons:

Crumbly kibble

Contains chicken, common allergen


Best Wet Food

8 Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Grain-Free Stew Wet Dog Food

Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Grain Free Chicken Wet
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Broth, Pumpkin, Carrots
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 7% Crude Protein, 2% Crude Fat, 2% Fiber, 85% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 216 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Pea-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Key Feature: Limited ingredient and high-protein wet dog food with omega fatty acids 

With less than 10 ingredients, this food is perfect for dogs who need digestion support but still provides supplements like zinc to boost thyroid health. 

Although it’s low in calories, with just 216 kcal/can, it still boasts a whopping 7% protein content per can. When measured on a dry matter basis, that’s almost 30% Crude Protein, perfect for dogs who need to keep lean muscle mass. 

It’s important to note that this recipe contains real deboned chicken and chicken broth. While many dogs can digest chicken products, dogs with food allergies may struggle. But these ingredients provide taurine and chondroitin, improving heart function and supporting muscles. 

For picky eaters or dogs without teeth, this “stew” is an easy-to-eat option and can be used as a topper to entice them to eat. 

Pet parents enjoy that this food doesn’t cause their dog’s digestion issues. But many dislike the soupy texture and say it causes a mess (although their pup loves it). 

Pros:

Free of grains and peas for allergy support

Low-calorie for weight maintenance

High in moisture for digestion

Limited-ingredient diet

Cons:

Cans are easily dented 

Messy texture


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

9 Crave High Protein Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Crave High Protein White Fish Grain Free
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: White Fish, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Split Peas, Chicken Fat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 422 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Key Feature: Grain-free and high-protein dry dog food with animal fats for thyroid support

This high-protein dog food is grain-free and contains fiber-rich ingredients with prebiotic fiber to support dogs with hypothyroidism. 

It starts with white fish and chicken meal, offering 34% Crude Protein. And these ingredients contain B vitamins and iodine. These aid in metabolism regulation and balance the production of thyroid hormones. 

This is another grain-free formula and instead offers lentils and split peas. These provide more B vitamins and folate, boosting immune function and improving digestion. 

With 422 kcal/cup, it may be too high in calories for some dogs with hypothyroidism. But, with the nutrition content and beneficial ingredients, you may be able to feed your dog less and still avoid weight gain. 

Dog owners say this food is perfect for dogs with allergies and other health issues. But they also admit that it smells fishy and tends to clump up. 

Pros:

Free of grains for sensitive dogs

Contains real animal proteins

High in prebiotics for easy digestion

Omega-6 acids for shiny coat

Cons:

Smells fishy

Contains chicken

Hard to store


Best Fresh Food

10 Ollie Lamb Recipe Dog Food

ollie lamb with cranberries
Our Rating:
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 10% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 74% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 225.5 kcal/cup
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Key Feature: Human-grade and fresh dog food customized to your dog’s needs
Get 50% OFF your first Ollie order!

Try this easy-to-customize and human-grade food to ensure that your dog has quality ingredients that support their hypothyroidism.  

First, it starts with real grass fed lamb protein, a novel protein for dogs who need digestion support. But, there are other proteins too — including chicken and beef. It provides almost 40% of protein when measured on a dry matter basis. 

You can also request changes when ordering the food for dogs that need a low-calorie diet or have to avoid specific ingredients. 

Superfoods like kale and butternut squash provide vitamins C and A and minerals like potassium and copper. Copper aids in hormone production and nutrient absorption — which can support thyroid function. 

Pet parents boast about this food and how convenient it is to feed their pups. But they admit it can be costly, especially when you have a larger dog. 

Pros:

High-protein for metabolic support

Human-grade ingredients

Contains probiotics for gut health

Customizable for health issues

Cons:

Must be shipped

Expensive

It has to be refrigerated or frozen


beagle sleeping

Buying Guide: How to Pick Dog Food For Hypothyroidism

If your dog has hypothyroidism, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. This includes the type of food they need. Here’s what you need to know.

Hypothyroidism in Dogs

The thyroid gland is one of the essential glands that your dog has. It’s controlled by the pituitary gland and aids in regulating their metabolic rate.

Your dog’s metabolism slows down when the thyroid gland is underactive, thus hypothyroidism. 

This can cause many symptoms, including:

Weight gain, even though there is no increase in appetite

Extreme lethargy 

Cold intolerance

Dry and dull hair 

Excessive shedding

Increased dark pigmentation in the skin

Slow heart rate

Lameness or dragging of the feet

Lack of coordination

Infertility in female dogs

Fat deposits in eye corneas

Hypothyroidism is treatable but not curable. When your dog needs medication, it’s treated with thyroid hormones. This requires lifelong treatment. 

Of course, a proper diet can also help. But, you’ll want to watch out for key ingredients, which we share below. 

Dog Breeds and Hypothyroidism

While any dog can have hypothyroidism, some breeds are prone to have it. It usually affects mid and large-size species and is rare in smaller dogs. 

The most common breeds with hypothyroidism are: 

Golden Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers

Doberman Pinschers

Irish Setters

Miniature Schnauzers

Dachshunds

Cocker Spaniels

Boxers

This is not to say that every dog in these breeds will have hypothyroidism. But if you have these breeds and your dog exhibits any symptoms, please see your vet immediately. 

What to Feed a Dog With Hypothyroidism

There are a few key components to look for regarding your dog’s diet with hypothyroidism. 

Animal Protein

Hypothyroidism can cause extreme weight gain and obesity. Choose animal-based ingredients and protein to build lean muscles and give your dog plenty of nutrition. 

This includes real meats and meat meals, like chicken, fish, lamb, beef, turkey, and even venison. 

Animal-Based Fat

One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is dry and dull skin. Your dog may also have an excessive shedding coat. Animal-based fats like chicken fat, beef fat, salmon oil, and fish oil can make a huge difference. 

First, they’re needed to provide energy. And they can promote healthy skin and stop itching, scratching, and hair loss. The omega fatty acids can also reduce inflammation and boost cognitive function.

Digestibility

Last but not least, choosing a digestible formula for your dog is crucial. Focus on recipes that have higher bioavailability of fats and protein. In other words, you want a formula that your dog can get quality nutrients from. 

How do you do that? Choose formulas focusing on novel proteins (like fish or lamb — if needed). Plus, focus on options that don’t have too many fillers. Limited ingredient dog foods, grain-free options, and high-protein formulas are excellent options. 

Also, quality fiber is important to aid in digestion and boost the thyroid hormone. 

Ingredients You Should Avoid

Luckily, many dogs with hypothyroidism don’t need too specialized of a diet. But, there are a few ingredients that you should avoid when possible. 

Fillers like wheat, beef by-products, and artificial additives are best to avoid. They can cause problems with your dog’s thyroid since they aren’t easy to break down. 

Medication can help the absorption of nutrients. But these ingredients aren’t worth the extra work your dog’s body will need to absorb them.

Our Verdict

Hypothyroidism can cause some exhausting symptoms. But it doesn’t have to affect your dog’s day-to-day life. Your pup can live a long and fulfilling life with the right treatment plan and high-quality food. 

Our favorite is Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

It’s full of omega fatty acids to reduce inflammation and protect joints. It also has vitamin C for immune health. These are all significant benefits for dogs with hypothyroidism. 

But the other foods on this list are great and can support your dog. What’s most important is choosing a formula that works for your dog’s needs.

FAQs

Have questions about your dog’s hypothyroidism? Here are a couple of asked questions and our answers.

Can dog food cause thyroid problems?

No, because most dogs get hypothyroidism as an inherited disease. But, iodine deficiencies or too much iodine in the diet can exacerbate symptoms. And foods with fillers or a lack of nutrients can also worsen symptoms. 

What happens if hypothyroidism goes untreated in dogs?

If your dog has hypothyroidism and it’s left untreated, they are at risk for more severe health issues. This includes diabetes, anemia, vision loss, lameness, and even death. 

While your dog may not need medication, they need a diagnosis for hypothyroidism. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the best way to support your dog with this disease.

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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