What Do You Feed a Dog With Cushings Disease?

Cushings disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, results in elevated cortisol levels for dogs. This high cortisol level disrupts body systems and may lead to symptoms including bloat, increased thirst and panting as well as muscle weakness.

Cushing’s can severely diminish your pet’s quality of life. A diet tailored specifically for Cushing’s is important; select food with easily digestible protein sources and low purine levels (avoid organ meats). Furthermore, fiber should also play an integral part in supporting detoxifying processes within their bodies.

High-Quality Protein

Dogs living with Cushings require a high-quality protein diet in order to stay healthy. Their bodies produce too much cortisol, wreaking havoc with liver and kidney functions. A raw diet provides these organs with essential nourishment while providing enough protein for muscle maintenance and mass maintenance.

Choose proteins sourced from animal sources rather than plant or vegetable sources for maximum nutrition value and easy digestion. Eggs make an excellent protein source with high biological value that’s easily digested.

Consume foods low in sodium to reduce fluid retention and excessive thirst that aggravate the symptoms of Cushings disease. They may also interfere with medications prescribed to manage it such as trilostane and mitotane.

Add digestive enzymes and fish oil to their diet in order to pre-digest fats and lessen their burden on their pancreas. Furthermore, supplement their meal with immune-enhancing tonic herbs like astragalus or Siberian ginseng to enhance overall health.

As your furbaby’s thirst increases, they may need more frequent potty breaks to eliminate. Exercise will also help regulate energy levels. In addition, provide smaller meals throughout the day to prevent overeating which could result in weight gain and additional complications with pancreas function.


Cushings disease causes the body to produce too much cortisone, an excess hormone which affects all systems within a dog’s body – from liver and kidney function, through skin problems to fat accumulation in their bodies. A diet high in proteins will be essential in helping your dog lose weight as it will also take pressure off of his liver and kidneys.

Consider selecting food labeled as “low-fat,” with less than 10% fat on a dry matter basis. When calculating fat percentage, take note of both metabolicizable energy as well as total calories; these will be what your pet consumes directly.

Avoid foods with high sugar contents as this may increase insulin resistance and increase cortisone levels further. Instead, opt for food with more digestible energy and fibre content so your pet stays feeling satisfied and full for longer.

Consider giving your dog herbal and natural supplements that support his/her adrenal glands, such as milk thistle, burdock root, Si Miao San tea leaves or nettle leaf which have all been shown to assist the glands by helping balance cortisol levels and provide support.

Hill’s offers a veterinary-prescribed diet designed for weight management that contains low-fat protein and fibre levels as well as around 1100 Calories per Cup, available with a valid veterinarian prescription and targeting dogs suffering from Cushing’s Disease. It includes antioxidants like a-tocopherols, b-carotene, Vitamin C and methionine which work to lower circulating blood fats.


As well as traditional medical therapies and supplements such as lignans and melatonin, high-fiber diets may also help relieve symptoms of Cushing’s. High circulating levels of corticosteroid hormone promote elevated glucose and insulin levels that lead to weight gain; fiber helps keep your pet feeling full without adding additional calories or energy; it also adds bulk to stool, promoting regularity in their digestive tract for regular poop routine.

Search for foods containing both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, helping regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber adds bulk to feces thereby stimulating regular movements through your digestive tract and supporting overall health.

If you prefer using commercial kibble, look for something with low fat and moderate fiber levels with an abundant supply of high-quality proteins from human grade animal sources, while providing vitamins and minerals. Make sure it meets AAFCO nutritional standards without artificial additives.

If your pet has mild Cushing’s disease, home-cooked meals may provide relief. A diet rich in protein and low in fat should be your starting point in treating their symptoms; choose recipes featuring lean red meat such as chicken or turkey as well as veggies, fruits, grains and legumes for additional vitamins and minerals.

If your dog has advanced Cushing’s disease, consulting a veterinary herbalist to identify effective herbs and spices that can reduce his symptoms may be beneficial. You could also use si miao san, which has long been used by veterinarians to regulate hormonal levels in older animals.


Cushing’s disease dogs must follow a low-purine diet. Purines are natural molecules found within cells and foods like liver, kidneys, yeast, mackerel, herring and mussels contain purines as well. When animals consume purines they break them down in their bodies to produce uric acid which is then excreted via urine and bowel movements – excessive levels can be harmful for kidneys and bladder health so limiting intake reduces how much acidous waste products their bodies generates resulting in high urine or bowel movement issues. A low-purine diet limits consumption of these foods so producing less uric acid produced.

A diet low in purines should also consist of easily digestible meat proteins like chicken and fish, in addition to plenty of fiber-rich foods like brown rice, oatmeal and vegetables like sweet potato. Finally, fruits such as apples and pears that are low in sugar may provide additional sources of essential fiber.

If your dog’s diet contains too much purine, there are prescription-grade diets available that can restrict it. These kibble-based and nutritionally balanced diets also aim to provide sufficient water intake in order to prevent the formation of urea crystals in its bladder or kidneys.

If a prescription-grade diet is out of the question, homemade recipes are also an option to help feed your pet. When selecting homemade dishes for your furry companion, select ones with low amounts of fat and plenty of fibre from sources such as oatmeal and brown rice. Also be sure to include fructooligosaccharides and beet pulp which help decrease serum triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations as well as energetic-balancing herbs like licorice or ginger which may alleviate symptoms such as bloat and abdominal discomfort.


Dogs with Cushing’s disease need a diet designed to minimize stress. This will help stabilize blood sugar levels and alleviate symptoms such as bloat, weight gain, muscle loss, fatigue, anxiety depression or insomnia. Natural foods with moderate fiber levels and digestible proteins should be given priority; foods high in sodium/chloride/organ meat content should be avoided as much as possible in order to minimize mineral deposits on skin surface and organ meat consumption should also be limited as much as possible.

An ideal diet for dogs suffering from Cushing’s disease should consist of raw meats, bones and organs in an anti-inflammatory format to combat chronic inflammation that accompanies this illness. When selecting raw foods to purchase for this diet make sure they have low purine (to prevent kidney damage) and fat contents as these will aid recovery from Cushings disease more effectively.

At Fire Diet, turkey provides lean, easily digestible protein rich in L-tryptophan. This amino acid plays a pivotal role in producing serotonin which balances out high cortisol levels while simultaneously relieving anxiety, insomnia and depression symptoms.

Cleavers, one of the ingredients in the Fire Diet that helps bolster an optimal adrenal gland, are essential in relieving excess water from liver. This is particularly essential as Cushings dogs typically drink more water to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration from setting in, leading to feeling of fullness throughout the day. More frequent feedings may also be necessary since Cushings dogs tend to be ravenous all of the time and this may lead to obesity and bloat; feeding small meals regularly will give them control of hunger while giving control of their hunger levels and helping them control over hunger pangs.

Lisa Thompson

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