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Is your canine struggling to maintain a healthy immune system? Does he often suffer from muscle weakens, fever, and abdominal pain?

These symptoms might indicate autoimmune disease in your pet and require immediate attention. The complex defense network of antibodies and white blood cells make the immune system.

In the case of autoimmune disease, the body fails to recognize itself and starts attacking or rejecting its own tissue.  

What to know how to help your pooch?

Well, why not try the best dog food for autoimmune disease. It today’s post we will review a couple of brands, designed to fight this condition.

Our Food For Dogs With Autoimmune Deficiency Reviews

Best Overall

Small Product image of Taste of Wild food
Taste of the Wild
Best Overall
Chicken Meal
Lamb Meal
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Sensitive Stomach

Small Product image of American Journey Grain free
American Journey
Sensitive Stomach
Deboned Salmon
Turkey Meal
Chicken Meal
Sweet Potatoes
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Active Dogs

Small Product image of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior
Blue Buffalo
Active Dogs
Deboned Chicken
Brown Rice
Chicken Meal
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Overall Health

Small Product image of Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken and Rice Formula
Purina ONE SmartBlend
Overall Health
Corn Gluten Meal
Rice Flour
Chicken By-Product Meal
Whole Grain Corn
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Adult Dogs

Small Product image of Hills science diet Sensitive stomach & skin
Hill's Science
Adult Dogs
Chicken Meal
Brewers Rice
Yellow Peas
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Taste of the Wild - Best Overall

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo
  • Chicken Meal
  • Lamb Meal
  • Peas
  • Potatoes

Taste of the Wild is a premium dry dog nutrition and the most popular choice of pet owners. Due to high-quality ingredients and an abundance of vitamins and minerals make this food the best option for fighting autoimmune disorder.

Considering its grain-free, this formula will alleviate allergies and other unpleasant conditions. The primary protein source comes from chicken, lamb, and buffalo meal. This is one of the few recipes on the market that use bison and venison meat as well.

Additionally, this formula features sweet potatoes, peas, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. They offer energy for active canines, along with the natural antioxidants.

To conclude, Taste of the Wild High Prairie stimulates the maximum absorption of nutrients. It will provide a complete and balanced diet and boost the immune system in your pet.

American Journey - Ideal For Dogs With Sensitivities

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned Salmon
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas

It’s pretty clear that American Journey is investing a lot of recourse in their grain-free dog food. If your pet is suffering from food sensitivities and allergies, then we recommend this recipe.

Deboned salmon, chicken and turkey meal come as the first ingredients. At 32% protein, this nutrition is excellent for maintaining lean muscles mass. The optimal amount of omega fatty acids will stimulate cognitive development and a shiny coat. This food contains sweet potatoes which add some sweetness to the recipe. It’s excellent for canines who enjoy a fabulous flavor combination.

On the other hand, there is no artificial colors or additives. Your pooch is only getting high-quality nutrition. We should mention that the American Journey is a viable alternative for a prescription diet.

Overall, if you have a dog suffering from allergies and skin conditions, then Salmon & Sweet Potato recipe is the right choice.

Blue Buffalo - Fit For Active Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned Chicken
  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken Meal
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley

Energetic canines are quite challenging to breed. They require special care, as well as proper nutrition to support their active lifestyle. However, one of many features of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is its real meat component. This meal contains whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, it’s famous for its LifeSource Bits, which feature an ideal blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.

The high-quality proteins will stimulate muscle development, while carb provides energy. The Blue Buffalo nutrition contains calcium and phosphorus for healthy teeth and bones. On the other hand, glucosamine promotes healthy joints.

Your pet will enjoy this recipe, considering it contains a lot of antioxidants, which are excellent for the immune system.

In all, the premium set of components will stimulate the active lifestyle in your pet and keep his body in excellent shape.

Purina ONE SmartBlend - Best For Overall Health

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Rice Flour
  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Whole Grain Corn

The overall health is crucial for the proper development of every canine. For that reason, Purina brand has developed special nutrition to fulfill the dietary needs of your pet.

The One Smartblend blend recipe features real chicken as its first ingredients. It is an excellent addition for dogs who are moderately active and love the taste of chicken. Apart from poultry, the meal contains a blend of various components, such as whole grains, vitamins, and minerals.

Here you will find a perfectly balanced ratio of fats and proteins. Therefore, it’s suitable for the majority of healthy canines. Due to zinc and selenium, many vets believe this diet can minimize and prevent symptoms of an autoimmune disease.

In summary, you should try Purina One Smartblend to boost your pet’s health and provide optimal development.

Hill's Science - Fit For Adult Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Brewers Rice
  • Barley
  • Yellow Peas

The Hill’s Science Adult recipe is designed to offer complete and balanced nutrition. It targets canines from one to six years of age. Considering it is grain-free, this meal is suitable for pets suffering from allergies and food sensitivities.

The chicken comes as a dominant ingredient. Additionally, the food contains prebiotics which stimulates digestion and nutrient absorption. Moreover, antioxidants will boost the immune system in your pet and protect his body from many health conditions. Considering chicken is a valuable protein source, it features necessary amino acids your pooch needs.

When it comes to carbs, this nutrition includes yellow peas, potatoes, potato starch, and flaxseeds. They are highly digestible carbohydrates and naturally gluten-free and grain-free.

In conclusion, your pooch will benefit from Hill’s Science Dry Dog Food and lead a long and healthy life.

How Does The Immune System Work?

The immune system monitors and protects the body from foreign substances. There are two parts of this system based on their functionalities.

  • Innate immune system – all organisms have an innate immune system. For dogs, it would be their skin. It is the first line of defense, which is meant to keep everything out. Additionally, the repeated influence of external factors can’t disrupt the system’s efficiency.
  • Adaptive immune system – it protects the body from specific foreign invaders. The adaptive immune system has different tactics for various viruses and bacteria. It can memorize the repeated treat and prevent further issues.

These two systems work together. If the innate immune system manages to stop the invader, then no disease will occur. However, in cases of breach, the adaptive immune system is activated.

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What is Autoimmune Disease in Canines?

An autoimmune disease happens when the immune system is unable to recognize its own body. In this case, it begins to attack and reject the tissue, thinking it’s foreign.

Depending on the situation, for some pets, it can be a life-threatening condition. This disorder can take numerous forms. Therefore, it can affect skin, blood, joints, digestive system, and others. As a result, your pet will experience inflammation and pain. The conventional treatments for the autoimmune condition may affect the dog’s kidneys and liver. In that case, you have to work with your vet to protect these organs.

Many pet parents wonder: how long can a dog live with autoimmune disease? With proper care, this condition doesn’t affect the canine’s lifespan.

Possible Causes

  • Drug Overuse

A specific type of antibiotics can harm your pet’s health. They urge cells to produce lower levels of proteins, which can trigger autoimmune condition. Antibiotics are considered miracle drugs. However, in the last couple of years, there has been a lot of controversy regarding their use. Additionally, scientists found that some corticosteroids can also trigger this disease.  

  • Environmental Pollutants

The numerous studies show a strong connection between environmental pollutants and autoimmune disease in canines. For example, poor air quality, pathogens, and contaminants can trigger this disorder.

In that case, you should perform a variety of tests to determine the right cause.

  • Food Preservative

Food preservative might be responsible for the autoimmune condition. Unfortunately, some dog foods contain these chemicals. Therefore, when buying nutrition for your pooch, pay attention to these ingredients.

Nowadays, there are a lot of manufactures on the market. In that case, you aren’t limited to only one brand. So, when you see that food contains additives, then make sure to avoid it.

Read more: Top 10 Best Dog Food Brands

  • Chemicals

Dogs like to wonder! Unfortunately, we can’t protect them from chemical and toxins. However, you can try to minimize their exposure. Some studies found that certain types of chemicals can cause an autoimmune condition. Even though this theory needs additional research, it’s better to be sound than sorry.

Common Symptoms

The autoimmune condition can affect various organs within canine’s body. For instance, lungs, kidneys, skin, heart, joints, and blood are often at risk. So, when it comes to this disease, your pet might experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Hair loss
  • Fever
  • Ulcers on feet and face
  • Loss of pigment in nose
  • Thyroid issues
  • Anemia
  • Kidney infection

Some pooches might inherit this disorder. Also, try to protect them from UV light, to prevent further health issues. Only severe cases require hospitalization.

Different Target Areas

  • Blood

Hemolytic Anemia is a blood disease, which affects red blood cells. The body destroys the red blood cells which result in anemia.

Symptoms include:

  • Free hemoglobin in blood and urine
  • Anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Reddened, blue, or crusty extremities
  • Swollen spleen
  • Jaundice


Pemphigus is a skin disease where antibodies attack the skin cells. The cells will lose their ability to stay attached. They will separate, and form the small fluid-build blisters. There are four types of this condition. However, the most common one is pemphigus foliaceus.

Symptoms include:

  • Blisters
  • Crusting
  • Loss of hair
  • Dandruff
  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Endocrine

In most cases, hypothyroidism appears as a result of autoimmune thyroiditis. This condition destroys thyroid gland tissue. For that reason, the gland cannot produce enough thyroid hormone. Canines suffering from this condition have a lower metabolic rate than average.

Symptoms include:

  • Hair loss
  • Slow heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry eye
  • Obesity
  • Dandruff
  • Constipation
  • Thinning skin
  • Cold intolerance


Autoimmune disease cases an eye inflammation and depigmentation of nose, lips, and eyes. This disorder is not common in most dogs, but it can happen in certain breeds. A virus or exposure to UV light can be a possible cause.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive blinking
  • Pain around the eye area
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Small pupils
  • Bumping into things
  • Joint

Arthritis involves a group of conditions where antibodies attack its own connective tissue. It can result in erosive arthritis or non-erosive arthritis. In the case of erosive arthritis, the disease damages the joint surface and cartilage. On the other hand, non-erosive arthritis causes inflammation, without damaging the tissue.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Swollen joints
  • Lack of appetite
  • Restricted movement
  • Dislocated joints

To help your dog with joint issues feed him with one of the 7 Top Rated Dog Food With Glucosamine.

  • Digestive System

Inflammatory bowel disease is considered to be an autoimmune disease. The chronic inflammation of the intestine often causes IBD. In this case, the swelling comes as a natural response of the body.  Additionally, it’s a positive sign of a functional immune system.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loose stool
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Read more: 5 Best Food For Dogs With Colitis

Image of adorable adult dog at vet

How Is It Diagnosed?

When it comes to a diagnosis of autoimmune disease, vets find it quite challenging. All dogs don’t show the same symptoms. On the other hand, many signs correspond to other conditions.

For that reason, a vet should run a detailed blood panel. It requires complete blood count, to measure red and white blood cells. In this way, he will determine if your pet has low platelet count, low blood cortisol, and other chemistries.

The blood test is the best way to see whether your canine suffers from this illness, and if so, what type. For example, a positive anti-nuclear antibodies test shows the signs of lupus.

Treatment Options

  • Hydrotherapy

This condition may restrict movement in some canines. Therefore, hydrotherapy is the best solution for promoting mobility. On the other hand, it can facilitate the movement and enable exercise, for dogs who find it difficult to move due to painful joints. You can either perform hydrotherapy at home or find a trained professional.

Read more: Training Your Dog to Like Water

  • Massage

Nowadays, massage has become an accepted treatment for many health conditions. Even though many pet parents try a massage at home, we would advise you to visit an expert. Any wrong move can harm your dog.

If you want to help your pet, they try to learn the basic moves. However, for this, you will need professional training.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an excellent way to reduce chronic pain. A lot of vets combine herbal formulas with acupuncture. But, keep in mind that a licensed veterinary should perform this procedure.

He needs to have experience and training according to the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

  • Vitamins E and C

Many breeders often wonder how to boost dog’s immune system naturally. Well, a daily dose of vitamins C and E are a great start and a powerful immune booster. They will help your pet combat this disease and strengthen the immune system.

Additionally, natural supplements will protect his body from secondary infections.

Preventive Tips

  • Diet – by adding high-quality nutrients to your pet’s diet, you might be able to prevent specific symptoms. In that case, your canine will feel better and have a stronger immune system.
  • Regular checkups – medical checkups will help you detect disorders and act immediately.  For example, blood tests are one of the most accurate methods to diagnose autoimmune disease.
  • Avoid drugs – only in case of emergency you should use medications. We already mentioned how antibiotics might affect your pet’s health.
  • Provide a safe environment – even though we can’t protect our dogs from outside influence, we can offer them safe living conditions. You should limit their exposure to contaminated air, chemicals, toxins, and UV light.

Natural Remedies

  • Natural Supplements

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are some of the best natural supplements to treat autoimmune disease. They promote immunity, healthy skin and coat, as well as cognitive development.

Sources of omega fatty acids:

  • Krill
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Trout
  • Sarine
  • Seaweed

On the other hand, you can always resort to commercial supplements found in pet stores.

  • Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting your pet’s body from severe health conditions. They promote cell production and eliminate free radicals. Therefore, you should focus on vitamins, A, C, E, zinc, selenium, and manganese.

  • Healthful Diet

A natural and well-balanced diet is essential for your dog’s recovery. For that reason, you should implement easily digestible nutrients. They won’t stress his GI tract while they’ll improve the immune system. However, you should avoid processed food, salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Moreover, a proper diet will help you canine with weight management.

If you are using commercial formulas, then try to find a reputable manufacturer who targets this condition.

  • Calmer Environment

Stress and chaotic lifestyle can harm your dog. Therefore, a peaceful environment, plenty of rest, and moderate exercise should improve his health. Try to engage your pet in everyday activities. Just because your dog is sick, it doesn’t mean he should lie all day. Make him feel useful and accepted, despite his condition.

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What To Look For In A Dog Food For Autoimmune Disorder?

High-Quality Animal Proteins

Protein intake is essential for the optional body functions in your canine. These days, you can choose a recipe based on the protein type and content. However, if you are dealing with autoimmune disease, then you should focus on chicken, turkey, and salon meat.

They are easily digestible ingredients, which will promote digestion. Additionally, you can add beef, pork, chicken eggs, beef, and pork liver.

No Artificial Preservatives/Additives

We already established that artificial ingredients only elevate the symptoms of autoimmune disease. Fortunately, reputable brands tend to avoid these components in their formulas. However, some of them may still add a couple of additives or preservatives.

This is one of the reasons why you should learn to read the labels. They will help you detect harmful ingredients and avoid specific recipes.

Essential Fatty Acids

The omega-3 fatty acid has extraordinary healing properties. It features a broad spectrum of positive effects, especially on dogs suffering from autoimmune disease. The majority of dog foods are packed with essential fatty acids. In that case, you don’t require additional supplementation.


Probiotics have a similar function as the digestive enzymes. They can be added to your pet’s diet, or you can buy food that contains probiotics. The probiotics mostly support digestion and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the stomach. On the other hand, they are excellent for the immune system.


Before resorting to this type of diet, you must determine the type of allergy your dog suffers from. Some allergies appear suddenly, without previous symptoms and a couple of them cause autoimmune disease.

Therefore, you should buy allergen-free food, to avoid further health issues. Try to focus on a diet that has whole grains, instead of fractionated ones. Brown rice, quinoa, and barley are an excellent choice.


Veggies enrich any diet, regardless of your canine’s condition. However, if you are purchasing a specific dog recipe, targeting an autoimmune disease, then try to include the following:

  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrots

They will provide the necessary vitamins and minerals essential for your dog’s recovery.


Herbs are often used to treat autoimmune disease in canines. They may alleviate symptoms and balance your pet’s immunity. Herbs used for this purpose are a yellow dock, ginkgo biloba, wisteria, spirulina, alfalfa. However, when using herbs, consult a holistic veterinarian for better results and safer application.


The autoimmune condition can affect any dog, and canine autoimmune disease life expectancy can vary.  Unfortunately, the initial symptoms are challenging to detect. It may pass months before you discover your pet has this disease.

Even though the treatment involves mediations, diet remains as the safest option. In this article, we tried to explain the possible causes, as well as the best dog food. You should try Taste of the Wild and see for yourself why we consider this the best nutrition.

We hope our insight will help your canine combat this challenging condition. But, keep in mind that nothing happens overnight. It takes time and a lot of dedication for your pet to recover.