Dietary Considerations for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease
If there is something similar between humans and canines, then it has to be somewhere between the lines of diet and health. As humans have domesticated canines for thousands of years, both humans and dogs have drastically changed in terms of diet and health, complications have also started to appear. Domesticated canines rely on us humans for shelter, protection, and most of all, for food. Since domesticated dogs are no longer able to hunt prey and procure food items from the wild, they now rely on us to provide them with sustenance. Unfortunately, with the dawn of commercialized pet food product comes various canine diseases, and because none of these diseases can be found in wild canines that are getting food from Mother Nature, speculations as to commercialized food sources for pets causing various canine diseases have risen.
Like many canine diseases, Cushing’s disease may also be caused by what your dog has been eating. With Cushing’s disease, the over-secretion of Cortisol triggers so many changes in your dogs body; Cortisol in excess causes so much damage even to the point of altering your canine’s appearance and all the way to your canine’s behavior. Cortisol in excess causes polydipsia, polyphagia, polyuria, excessive panting, excessive shedding of hair and so much more; Cortisol is what is you should be most concerned with in Cushing’s disease and it should be what you need to consider in planning for your canine’s diet.
In general, since dietary considerations for Hyperadrenocoricism are not researched in detail, here are some dietary planning pointers that you may want to consider. For a healthier dog and for a dog with top physical conditioning, you’ll want to feed:
- Ample levels of protein
- low levels of fat and it must be fat coming from proper sources
- Low amounts of fiber
- Food sources with low levels of purine
- Sufficient potassium and sodium content, especially if the dog is on medication for Cushing’s disease
- An adequate quantity of water
If you would dare to think this through a bit deeper, you can actually begin to understand that what your canine needs is not another can of wet dog food or another serving of kibble. These products could never provide your dog with optimum nutrition, these products contain preservatives and you can in no way manipulate them or alter their composition in order to give your dog only the best that it contains without any of the bad stuff.
A lot of commercial dog food contains fillers, grains, chemicals, synthetic ingredients and preservatives, all these ingredients can and will be detrimental to your dog’s health and present condition as these can in fact trigger allergies and intestinal irritations and thus in turn, making your canine’s body secrete Cortisol all the more. Cortisol is a hormone secreted in response to stress, immune system problems and even when blood glucose levels become imbalanced and also when metabolic processes within your canine’s system go haywire. This scenario is most likely what feeding your canine over-processed dog food can do.
All dogs will love to have optimum nutrition from proper diet, optimizing your dogs nutrition by choosing what your dog eats wisely will benefit them a lot. By making your own pet food, you can get protein, fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients from the right sources and you can also eliminate over-processed food items and harmful chemical preservatives at the same time. Just make sure that you will utilize fresh and natural sources in making your own pet food and you should also make sure that you will measure the right proportions each and every time.
Canine Cushing’s Disease and RAW diet
There are many proponents to utilizing raw food and Biologically Appropriate Raw food or RAW when it comes to treating canines with Cushing’s disease. In fact, some proponents have even stated that by optimizing their canine’s diet by providing their dogs with REAL food, supplementation and other non-conventional treatment approaches, they have slowly taken their canines off Trilosane and other prescription drugs. Though this can only be applied in a case to case basis, changing your canine’s diet drastically by opting to feed raw or by opting for the BARF diet will ultimately do wonders for your canine. This is because you are primarily eliminating any factors which may be counterproductive to the treatments that you will utilize later on for your dog’s Cushing’s disease.
First of all, feeding your dog a high-protein diet is very beneficial for your canine; the protein intake will help condition your canine’s body and it will help normalize his or her metabolism as canines are accustomed to eating high-protein diets. Just make sure that you will utilize raw and safe meats as your canine’s protein source instead of utilizing plant based or commercially prepared protein sources. Give your dog ample amounts of fresh and uncooked meats such as poultry, rabbit, and lamb. You can also give your canine some eggs as the protein from these sources are low in purine and can help rebuild muscle mass and the amino acids from these food items can help counteract some of the symptoms present in Cushing’s disease.
Other food items that need to be present in your canine’s diet are fresh fruits and vegetables, these food items can help provide your canine with much needed nutrients, fiber, antioxidants and electrolytes. Vegetables such as potatoes with the skin, beans, carrots, peas and broccoli are great for canines that are suffering from Cushing’s disease. While fruits such as apples and other high antioxidant content fruits can also be given in proper amounts in order to provide nutrition and support in treating Cushing’s disease. A canine that is suffering from Cushing’s disease or any other illnesses for that matter, can have diminished nutrient absorption, canines that are also taking medications such as the ones commonly prescribed in canine Cushing’s disease can also further this problem, that is why opting for readily absorbed nutrients from natural food items are necessary.
Lastly, make sure that you give your canine adequate potassium and sodium from the right sources. Make sure that your canine will not take in high amounts of purine; purine is usually found in animal meats such as beef and pork, organ meats and some sardines. If your canine is taking Cushing’s disease medication, make sure that you will give your dog a constant supply of fresh filtered water as well.
- High carbohydrate foods such as cooked brown rice, oats or vegetables such as sweet potatoes
- Fatty food items and fats from Chicken skin and Animal bones
- High sodium food items
- Most seafood
- Canned dog food
- Food items that have preservatives such as Ethoxyquin, Propyl gallate, BHA or BHT
Dog Foods to Avoid with Cushing’s disease
RAW Diet Basics
The RAW dog food diet is designed to give your canine optimum nutrition with the help of all-natural food items devoid of over processing, preservatives and other harmful chemicals. BARF is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food; it simply means feeding your canine food that they are accustomed to having, not commercially prepared food items, but real, raw, unprocessed meat, fruit and vegetables.
Usually made of 60-80% raw and meaty bones which is about 50% meat, the other 20-40% is made up of fruits and vegetables specifically chosen for your canine’s health. A selection of meats such as chicken, beef, lamb and also protein from organ meats can be given to your dog in proper proportions, meaty bones can also be given but wreck bones are not highly recommended as they may cause health problems when they are not given properly. The choice of meats must be carefully chosen however for cases of Cushing’s disease, this is because some meats will have more purine content.
The RAW food diet is all about being a responsible, loving and caring canine owner; this is because with a RAW food diet, you are not just opening a can of pet food or another pack of kibble without even knowing if it will trigger various illnesses in your dog. With this diet you will have to prepare the food for your dog and you will know exactly what you are feeding your beloved best friend. A RAW diet provides nutritional balance for your dogs and it is known to drastically improve your canine’s health, appearance and mood. The Pet Harmonics family advocates the use of any RAW food diet especially for dogs that are suffering from Cushing’s disease.