An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) makes lively dogs tired. Hormones, metabolism, and diet are closely related. So what should you watch out for when it comes to food with hypothyroidism in dogs? We give tips.
Can Improper Diet Lead to Thyroid Problems?
Yes – however, this does not happen when feeding with commercially available ready-made dog food. Because in Germany complete feeds for dogs can only be sold if they meet all nutritional needs.
However, if the four-legged friend receives homemade food or if it is a stray animal that feeds on waste and leftovers, nutritional errors can affect the thyroid. In order for the thyroid to work properly, the optimal amount of iodine must always be present.
An inadequate diet in the form of too few calories leads to a glucose deficiency. This deficiency makes the absorption of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) more difficult.
Too Much Calcium is Unhealthy
Too much calcium in the diet can prevent the dog from getting enough iodine. Calcium is mainly found in bones, but also in eggshells, algae flour, quark, and various barf additives. Over a long period of time, a diet with too much calcium can trigger an iodine deficiency-related hypofunction of the thyroid gland. Here, too, the following applies: Ready-made feed does not involve this risk.
What Nutrition Does the Thyroid Support?
Let the veterinarian advise you individually and according to the overall constitution of your four-legged friend if he diagnoses hypothyroidism. Often the dogs can keep their familiar food. Because the therapy of an underactive thyroid is done with tablets.
Dogs with this condition usually benefit from a low-protein diet. The protein it contains should be of high quality. So make sure you eat pet food with protein from muscle meat.
If iodine supplementation is necessary from the vet’s point of view, this should be done regularly and always in the same amount. Short-term fluctuations can have a negative effect on metabolism.
Warning: Raw throat as a snack contains many thyroid hormones.
Whether eating raw throats will have a positive or negative effect on dogs with hypothyroidism cannot be predicted. To be on the safe side, remove raw gullies from your four-legged friend’s menu. Many veterinarians recommend dietary supplements with high-quality polyunsaturated fatty acids for thyroid problems.
Selenium, Zinc, and Iron for Hypothyroidism
If the four-legged friend lacks sufficient amounts of selenium, zinc, and iron, this can lead to low thyroid levels. For example, selenium is required for normal thyroid metabolism. If there is too little selenium, the conversion of T4 to T3 is disturbed.
If the four-legged friend receives too little zinc, a T3 deficiency can also occur. But be careful: If there is an overdose, zinc triggers an overactive thyroid in dogs in some cases.
In dogs with hypothyroidism, iron levels should be checked at long intervals. Because in some animals, the intestines do not absorb enough iron. If you want to do something good for your four-legged friend, add iron-rich liver, lungs, or seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame, or bran to their meals from time to time. Green vegetables also contain high levels of iron.
What Role Does Iodine Play in Hypothyroidism?
Iodine can affect the thyroid gland: Too much iodine in dog food interferes with its work. Then it can be good to feed them foods that prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing too much iodine.
Foods high in calcium such as beans, peanuts, or cabbage vegetables and nitrate-rich water inhibit the uptake of iodine in the thyroid gland.
An iodine deficiency-related hypothyroidism does not occur in dogs that are exclusively given ready-made food. Caution is advised with barfing: there should not be too much – and not too little – calcium in the food.
Owners of a dog with hypothyroidism who baref should discuss their four-legged friend’s diet with the veterinarian. It is easier to stick to a food recommended by the veterinarian.
Properly Administer Anti-thyroid Medication
Does your four-legged friend receive medication for an underactive thyroid?
Then it is essential that you adhere to the instructions for administration given on the respective medication.
Because dog food or snacks can interfere with the utilization of the medication. One of the reasons for this is that calcium blocks the absorption of thyroid hormones. Therefore: Give the dog his thyroid tablet at least 30 minutes before or three hours after his meals. Do not feed snacks in between.