Best Dry Dog Food for Cushing's Disease

You have probably heard of dogs that have had to go under the knife to treat Cushing’s Disease.


But it does not always have to be the case. Whether your dog is dealing with pituitary or adrenal Cushing’s disease, you can improve your dog’s quality of life through nutritional therapy, and of course, the right medication.


The right diet can control your dog’s levels of cortisol and improve its lifespan in case of Cushing’s disease. This will mean doing away with fatty and high-sugar treats, a move that your fluffy friend might not like. But the results will be worth it.  

You should feed your dog the best dry dog food that is AAFCO-formulated for adult maintenance. It will help in recovering the muscles wasted from the disease. The food should be low in fat and high in protein and crude fiber. It must be made of high-quality ingredients, grain-free canned or dry, preferably with the addition of fish oil. It should also be low in sodium and chloride and have a highly digestible protein.

What is Cushing’s Syndrome in dogs? 

Cushing’s disease is a disease of the adrenal gland, which is characterized by excessive secretion of cortisol in the blood. Such a condition harms all organs in the body of the pet. The disease is most often present in dogs older than six years, and very rarely in cats. Cortisol is a steroid stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. When any stressful situation occurs, cortisol is secreted, which enables the organism to adapt to stress. In healthy dogs, when the pituitary gland receives a signal from the brain that the body needs cortisol, it begins to secrete the hormone ACTH, which then stimulates the adrenal gland to produce cortisol. When a sufficient amount of cortisol is secreted, both the pituitary and adrenal glands stop secreting ACTH and cortisol. Dogs with Cushing’s disease have this process disturbed. 


How Does it occur? 

Cushing’s disease occurs in three forms: 

  1. The pituitary-dependent form is present in about 85% of cases, and a mostly benign pituitary tumor causes it. Cancer leads to increased secretion of ACTH, which stimulates the adrenal gland to produce more cortisol. 

  2. Adrenal gland dependent form occurs due to tumors of the adrenal gland, which happens in 15% of cases. In this case, the tumor, which can also be malignant, causes excessive cortisol production, while the ACTH level is normal. 
  3. Iatrogenic form of this disease occurs in the middle of excessive intake of synthetic cortisol-cortisone. Although these medications can help a dog’s quality of life, their overuse can lead to serious side effects.

How To Recognize Cushing’s Syndrome in Dogs?

The common symptoms of a Cushing’s disease may be mild at first, but later progress as the disease progresses day by day. Almost all dogs with this disease have increased thirst, urination, urinary tract infections, and a strong appetite. Furthermore, skin infections, hair loss, wounds that cannot heal, and the accumulation of calcium in the skin, which form bumps resembling a stone, can occur. There is also muscle weakness and bloating due to fat deposition. In dogs with diabetes, due to this disease, blood sugar levels cannot be regulated regardless of insulin therapy. Very rarely, there are symptoms of a neurological nature that are a consequence of the growth of the tumor itself, and that is depression, disorientation, and behavioral changes.

Every pet owner can naturally recognize those disease symptoms in their pets. It is necessary to know that Cushings in a dog, no matter the size or breed, would cause them to be dehydrated.


How to get your pet diagnosed?

Before you go to look for the best available option, holistic treatments, a special food product to provide support in case of Cushing’s disease, the diagnosis of this disease must be established.  It can be challenging to diagnose and requires expensive tests. Firstly, you must talk to a veterinarian. Then, the vet will run blood and urine tests to look for signs to point to Cushing’s disease. The first sign may be diluted urine, which indicates excessive water intake. Another sign may be an elevated amount of a liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase.

Further tests for Cushing’s disease might include:

  •  An ACTH test: The pituitary gland produces adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) hormone, which signals to the adrenal gland when it should produce cortisol and in what amount. When it comes to this test, the veterinarian will check the cortisol level in your dog’s blood first. Then the vet will give an injection, which is a synthetic version of this hormone. After a few hours, the cortisol level is rechecked. A dog suffering from Cushing’s disease will show a significant increase in cortisol levels.

  •  The first version of an LDDS test: This test is a low-dose suppression of dexamethasone that is considered accurate for diagnosis. Keep in mind that your dog must stay for 8 hours at the veterinary clinic. The current level of cortisol in your dog is measured first, and then a small dose of corticosteroids and dexamethasone is given. In those dogs with Cushing’s disease, cortisol levels should drop after eight hours after an added dose of corticosteroids and dexamethasone.

  • The second version of an LDDS test: This test is slightly different from the one described above. The only difference is that a higher dose of dexamethasone is used. Therefore, the second version of this test is more accurate to pint to Cushing’s disease, than the first version.  
  • X-ray / Ultrasound: Dogs suffering from this disease have an enlarged liver and adrenal gland. Thanks to ultrasound, your vet can quickly determine this.


What are the available treatments?

The treatments vary on the type of Cushing’s syndrome. If it comes from a tumor on adrenal glands, it can be removed with surgery, and in that way, the dog will be cured.  Surgery is not an option if the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.

In other cases, when surgery is not an option, your dog can only live a normal life if using the right medications to treat its condition. The drugs must be used until the end of the pet’s life. The most common drug is trilostane (Vetoryl). 

The whole process must take place in regular consultation with your veterinarian. Your dog must go for regular checkups and blood tests to determine the development of a tumor and treatment success. 

No medication should be given to the dog without consulting a veterinarian. All prescribed medications must be given to the dog at a specific time and according to a particular plan.

Choosing the right dog food is crucial. Besides the regular checkups at the vet clinic, and following the dog’s treatment plan, selecting the correct type of food is more than necessary. 

Choosing the right diet will help your dog not gain weight, improve muscle weakens, and improve digestive problems.

Many dog food options are available on the market today to help alleviate the symptoms of this disease. 

Based on consumer reviews, we present you with several choices that have met the needs of dogs with the syndrome.


Pet Plate is an excellent source of safe, healthy, and well-balanced food for dogs. There is nothing artificial about the food. It is human grade and delicious while meeting AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.


The Chompin’ chicken includes sufficient protein, vitamins, and minerals that your dog needs to recover. It is grain-free, low in fat, gluten-free formula that includes fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, salt, and potassium chloride, among other nutrients.


The minimum percentage of protein is 7.1%, while that of fat is 3.2% as fed. The maximum percentage of fiber is 0.8% and 79.9% for moisture. Its calorie content is 38 kcal/oz.


The food is kettle-cooked, and you do not have to worry about your dogs rejecting the food, there is a money-back guarantee.


Benefits of Pet Plate Diet:

Pet Plate chomping chicken dry food diet meals will provide the following benefits:

  • Better management of your dog’s weight
  • Improved gut health
  • Reduced stress levels
  • A better coat
  • Increased energy levels
  • Meal-time excitement
  • Best Dry Dog Food for Cushing’s Disease
  • Diet Food


Room For Improvement for Pet Plate Dog Food Diet:


The price is not affordable. Cushing’s disease requires lots of hospital check-ups, and you still need to purchase medication. Adding pricy food to the equation can break your budget. 


The delivery of the food is not punctual. You should consider ordering the food earlier than you need it. 

Synorgon high-protein, low in fat, chicken, and rice formulation is the premium choice of dry food for dogs with Cushing’s disease.


It is grain-free and produced using advanced processes that maintain the nutritional value of the food. It contains high levels of micronutrients, such as probiotics, omega-3, antioxidants, and enzymes. 

It also has the required levels of vitamins and minerals to help your dogs fight the effects of Cushing’s disease.  


Synorgon’s crude protein minimum percentage is 27%, while that of its crude fat is 13%. The maximum percentage of its crude fiber is 4%, and that of moisture is 10%. 


Benefits of Wysong Synorgon: 

Synorgon Chicken and Rice Cultivated Diet Dog Food for Cushing’s Disease provides the following benefits.

  • It is affordable
  • It contains a high protein level that will help your dog recover lost muscle
  • Facilitates improved cognitive function
  • Better digestive health
  • Increased energy in the dog


Room For Improvement for Wysong Synorgon Pet Dog Food Diet:

It contains yeast extract. The glutamic acid in some yeast is known to have side effects on dogs. 

The best way to preserve the original nutrients in food is to avoid processing it. The Feed Me Turkey Freeze is raw, delicious, and rich in nutrients.


It contains 100% real turkey cuts, including the heart, liver, and ground bone topped with herring oil. It is high in protein, which will help your dog recover wasted muscle.


All the ingredients are natural. You do not have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction to foreign additives. 


It contains a minimum percentage of 46% for crude protein and 15% for crude fat. It has a maximum percentage of 2% for crude fiber and 7% for moisture. 


Benefits of TruDog Feed Me Turkey Freeze Raw Diet:

Here are the benefits your dog will derive from this unprocessed food for your dog with Cushing’s Disease.

  • A healthy gut
  • Helps with weight management
  • An improved immune system
  • Better energy and overall health
  • Healthier teeth and gums


Room For Improvement for TruDog Pet Dog Food Raw Diet:

It is pricey and unaffordable to those working on a budget.

This is the top-recommended dog food by veterinarians for dogs with Cushing’s disease. It is specially formulated to help your dog overcome digestive health problems. This, in turn, enables it to build and repair damaged tissues, digest protein sufficiently, and regulate levels of fat in the blood.


Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat meets the appropriate nutrient standards for a dog with Cushing’s disease. It contains Omega-3 and 6 as well as electrolytes and B vitamins. But you will need a veterinary’s authorization to make a purchase. It is grain-free, low in fat, high protein option for treating Cushings syndrome in dogs.


It has a minimum percentage of 20% for crude protein and 6% for crude fat. It has a maximum percentage of 5% for crude fiber. 

Dry Dog Food Benefits of Hill’s Prescription Diet: 

Hill’s prescription low fat chicken dog food diet is a worthy buy for a number of reasons.

  • Improves your dog’s digestion and enhances nutrient absorption
  • Increases the beneficial microflora in your dog’s gut
  • Hinders the formation of urinary stones
  • Improves your dog’s immunity
  • It is highly digestible and contains antioxidants
  • An excellent choice for healthy dogs as well


Room For Improvement for Hill’s Prescription Diet Pet Dog Food:


Although this is a prescription diet, the prices are quite high.


Purina Pro Plan Savor is a great choice for pet owners with a strict budget. Excellent grain-free nutrition for an adult pet. It is specially formulated food for dogs that help to maintain a healthy coat and skin, with added natural prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health. 


Purina’s crude protein minimum percentage is 32%, while that of its crude fat is 16%. The maximum percentage of its crude fiber is 5%, and the percent of the moisture is 12%. 

This option can be found in the form of canned food as well. Many people prefer dry matter for treating Cushing’s disease in dogs. 


Key Benefits of Purina Pro Plan Savor:


  • Made with real turkey and chicken meat, grain-free
  • It is formulated with optimal levels of protein and fat
  • Added vitamin A and linoleic acid
  • Added omega-6 fatty acid
  • Added natural prebiotic fibers sourced from chicory root 
  • No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or by-product meals

Room For Improvement for Purina Pro Plan Savor:


Small breed dogs may find it hard to chew. Even it’s a grain-free formula that can be used as food for Cushing’s, it can be lower in fat.

Best Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food Diet for Cushing’s Disease

Is it Necessary to Supplement a Canine Cushing’s Disease Diet for Your Dog?

If your dog is getting an AAFCO-formulated diet for adult maintenance, then you do not need to use supplements. However, antioxidant therapy and fish oil supplementation can lower circulating blood fats and triglycerides. 

What Dog Food Diet Do Veterinarians Recommend for Canine Cushing’s Disease?

The food should be low in fats, sodium, and chloride, and it should be moderate in fiber. It should have a highly digestible protein and meet the AAFCO recommendations for adult maintenance.

What are Other Diet Recommendations Made for Dogs With Cushing’s Disease?

Ensure that your dog has a constant supply of drinking water. And if it is overweight, get it into a weight loss program with your veterinarian’s recommendation.

Taking care of a dog with Cushing’s disease can turn into a frustrating task, especially if you do not have the right information. Follow your veterinarian advice, stick to the medication provided, and provide your dog with these four dry dog foods recommended for Cushing’s disease.


Some good changes can reduce your dog’s Cushing’s disease symptoms that include:


  • High-quality food that is high in protein
  • Low-fat food
  • Food low in fiber
  • Food that has low purine levels
  • Food low in carbohydrates
  • Food that is low in calcium
  • The best dog food for Cushing’s disease: carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes, broccoli, celery, lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, green peas, brussels sprouts, beef, bananas, watermelon (without seeds and rinds), apples, eggs, berries, pumpkins, chicken without bones or skin
  • Try to keep away all grains, seafood, Beef, and Pork liver food
  • Look for the best high-quality homemade wet dog food / grain-free canned dog food / high protein kibble to include in the treatment


How do dogs with this disease die?


The disease in dogs can develop gradually or rapidly. It depends on many factors. The range of survival is individual, but the average survival time for a dog is around two years. Some dogs manage to live up to 4 years, but only the small percentage.

Cushing syndrome in dogs must be treated correctly with the best treatments for Cushing’s in dogs.  

Cushings in dogs can not be cured completely, but the disease development process can be slowed down.

You have all rights reserved to find the best way to fight Cushings in dog that is your loyal friend.