A natural food diet for Addisons dogs

Addisons dogs have a compromised immune system; it goes without saying that you should feed your pet the most nutritious ingredients available. By providing your dog with a home-made diet, you’ll avoid some of the shocking ingredients found in commercial food, including euthanized animals.

After reading Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food and finding out that the “premium” commercial dog food I was feeding Shakti-Holly may have contained rancid and moldy food products, toxic chemicals, diseased cattle and euthanized animals, I decided to research a little further. The statements are very much true, and have been acknowledged by the FDA, who found pentobarbital, a substance used to euthanize animals, in dog food. Click here for the FDA report.

These products were found to contain pentobarbital:

  • Pro Plan Beef and Rice Puppy
  • Nutro Premium
  • Ol’Roy Krunchy Bites & Bones
  • Ol”Roy Premium Formula with Chicken
  • Ol’Roy High Performance with Chicken
  • Ol’Roy Meaty Chunks
  • Ol’Roy Puppy formula
  • Ol’Roy Lean
  • Trailblazer Chunk Premium Quality
  • Trailblazer Bite Size Ration
  • Dad’s Bite Size Meal
  • Weis Value Chunky and Moist
  • Weis Value Puppy Food
  • Weis Value Crunchy
  • Weis Value Gravy Style
  • Weis Total High Energy
  • Super G Chunk Style
  • Rich Food Chunk Style
  • Rich Food Gravy Style
  • Rich Food High Protein
  • Pet Essentials Chunk Style
  • America’s Choice Krunchy Kibble
  • Ken-L-Ration Gravy Train
  • Heinz Kibbles and Bits Jerky, Puppy, Lean, Beefy
  • Champ Chunx Bite Size
  • Kibble Select Premium
  • Pet Gold Master Puppy

Are there Euthanized Animals in Your Addison's Dog's Bowl?

Are there Euthanized Animals in Your Addison's Dog's Bowl?

Note that the FDA didn’t test every dog food. In fact, they just took samples from one store. So just because your brand isn’t on there does not mean it doesn’t have euthanized animals in it!

You can try a vegetarian dog food for your Addison’s dog, like Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian Dog Food, which provides complete nutrition. It’s the only vegetarian product recommended by R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery for the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida, who specializes in the nutrition of immune compromised dogs, such as those dogs with Addison’s disease. You’ll be guaranteed of no euthanized animals in your pet’s bowl. But that may not rule out moldy grain and other nasty by-products.

If you want to feed your Addison’s dog a more natural diet, Dr. Clemmons recommends the following complete diet for dogs:

  • Basic diet: (1 serving size equals 1 can of commercial food, provides 1160-1460 calories per serving, and feeds a dog approximately 30-50 pounds)
  • Boiled, baked, or fried (olive oil), chicken (20z)
  • Tofu (4oz)
  • Long Grain Brown Rice (3 oz, prepared in 6 oz water)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2 oz)
  • Molasses (¼ cup)
  • Boiled and cut up Carrots (2)
  • Cooked Spinach (1 cup)
  • Chopped and Steamed Green Bell Pepper (4 Tbs)
  • Boiled and Chopped Broccoli Spears (4)

The above ingredients can be frozen for up to one month, and defrosted before serving. Before serving, add:

  • Dry Ground Ginger (1 tsp.)
  • Crushed Raw Garlic Cloves (2)
  • Dry Mustard (½ tsp)
  • Bone Meal (1 tsp)

Dr. Clemmons recommends that you weigh your dog while following this diet, and feed more or less each week depending on whether your dog is losing weight or gaining weight. Make sure to introduce the new food gradually into your dog’s diet.
Tofu, Dr. Clemmons states, is full of flavenoids and other ingredients to promote overall health. Garlic and ginger are natural anti-inflammatory substances, antibiotics, and anti-fungal agents. Ginger also calms the stomach. Mustard improves digestion and bowel function.

45 thoughts on “A natural food diet for Addisons dogs

  1. Mary Amaral

    I have a two year old german shepherd mix that I adopted from the humane society. Brodie, was only 7 weeks when I brought him into my life and at his young age he was fixed. Do you think the young age has anything to do with him getting this disease? I found this “all natural food” by nature’s Recipe. What is your opinion on this particular brand? Thank you for your time. Hope to hear from you.

    1. admin

      The only thing I know about Nature’s Recipe is that the vegetarian formula is recommended by R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD Associate Professor of Neurology & Neurosurgery
      Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida for dogs with Addison’s. I don’t know about the meat-based formula :/
      I haven’t come across any research at all that suggests Brodie may have Addison’s because of the young age–but being at a humane society surely must have come with some stress…and while stress has been shown to have brought Addison’s to the surface it isn’t a cause of the disease itself.
      Sorry to hear that Brodie has Addisons but I do hope you find some useful info here,

    1. Jayne Teachen

      Hi Penny,

      I would not give your dog anything,and I mean anything but Chappie mixed with water.

      Ham, chicken etc are full of salt and alters the levels in the dogs body!!

      My lab got the disese last November and it
      was touch and go but it looks like with
      medication now she is going to be fine!!

      Good luck

      1. Deb

        Have you read the reviews about Chappie? The first ingredient is meat by products! It’s inexpensive because of the low quality contents. Cooking your Addison dog’s food is cheaper and has more nutrition. Use tofu! They love it.

  2. Marsha Malamet

    I’ve been on the internet all day since yesterday my 7 lb. 2 year old, Chihuahua/Jack Russell
    was diagnosed with Addison’s.
    I’ve been feeding him Wellness brand,
    with some boiled chicken to make it appetizing. Is that ok? The natural recipe you posted sounds amazing. But I don’t have time to cook all that. Will he really
    thrive on that recipe? I don’t know what to do. Help!

    1. Jayne Teachen


  3. admin

    I personally use Nature’s Recipe vegetarian dog food, and Shakti loves it (and looks great)!

    Good luck with your little one!

  4. Bea

    Mary,The only thing I know about Nature’s Recipe is that the vegetarian formula is recommended by R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD Associate Professor of Neurology & NeurosurgeryDepartment of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Florida for dogs with Addison’s. I don’t know about the meat-based formula :/I haven’t come across any research at all that suggests Brodie may have Addison’s because of the young age–but being at a humane society surely must have come with some stress…and while stress has been shown to have brought Addison’s to the surface it isn’t a cause of the disease itself.Sorry to hear that Brodie has Addisons but I do hope you find some useful info here,Stephanie

  5. Karen

    My 7 year old yellow lab came down with Addison’s this August. She has had two instances where she loses her hair in chunks and has sores on her skin as well. Is this the side affects of the Predisone alone? Is there anything else I can do to alleviate this condition before I start pulling my hair out? The Vet gave me an antibiotic just incase it was a fungus but nothing grew or changed color in the petree dish. I’m also looking for any other sources of information on this disease and what more I can do for her…food wise and snack wise. I bought the book and that explains the disease well. Thanks!

    1. admin

      My dog’s hair fell out in chunks until I reduced her pred dosage. It *could* be the problem but if you do decide to reduce her dose (I did it AGAINST my vet’s advice), then keep a close eye on her.

    2. Jayne Teachen

      Hi there, my golden lab (have 7 in total), has Addisons, diognosed last November.
      Was touch and go.. Shes fully recovered now and is on Pred and Florinef. She can only eat Chappie mixed in water and has to eat
      elevated otherwise the food comes out of her nose. DO NOT give your dog anything else, not even ham, chicken scraps or otherwise!! they are full of salt and it affect the levels in the dogs body. A raw MARROW bone from the butchers is a good idea to keep the dog entertained!!!! good luck

    3. Jayne Teachen

      Hi Karen
      My 6 year old golden lab has Addisons.
      Shes on Pred and Florinef on prescription by the vet.
      She can only have Chappie mixed in water and that’s it???? Treats are full of salts etc and affects the levels in the dogs body and they relapse!!
      A marrow bone from the butchers only is the best thing after about an hour after food.
      Take care and good luck

  6. carole

    my bedlington whippet cross has just been diagnosed and is on 1 steroid and her addisons pills now but will her personality return it is like having a strangers dog? and will she get more energy?

    1. admin

      She will return to being your buddy again once her hormones are back in check. This should happen with in a few weeks if she is on the correct dose.

  7. Tamre

    I have a 6 yr old True Hairless Chinese Crested, and she developed Addison’s, I and 4 vets didn’t know what was wrong they thought poison , it cost me thousands and they told me to put her down as she was dying!!
    I had her at work with me, as she was dying any minute, and an angel came out of nowhere , i run a wheelchair store and this old Vet came in and saw my Loocee, he said have her tested for Addisons and he left the store I never saw this man ever again…That night I had her tested and sure enough full blown Addisons…!!
    I have to inject her with Percorten V every 26 days, she goes down hill fast if not as she is only 7 lbs. The weight goes off fast and she needs prednisone to keep her appetite up also. Is there a cheaper injection as this stuff is 300.00 every 6 months for her, I love her and if this what it takes, then so be it, but i wish i could find holistic ways also…thanks for the ear , Tam and Loocee

  8. Diane

    Cinnamon is a good spice to add to the diet as well. And ground turkey. My dog was diabetic as well as having Addisons. She always does better when adding these items. Also consider that you can use other vegetables as well as yams. Thank you for this website. It has much needed information!

  9. Carol

    Hi, I just have had my Shitzu/Lhaso mix, 6yrs old diagnosed with Addison’s disease & IBD (Irritabowl Disease). He is on prednisone now, but will soon start on the Addison’s meds. I am looking for a Natural Homemade diet I can put him on. Any suggestions?
    I had no idea so many sweet dogs have this disease. Anyone? how long do they live with this?

    1. admin

      I make lots of suggestions in my book, but basically one of the best foods out there is nature’s recipe vegetarian dog food.
      Good luck!

    2. Beverley Cano-Ahn

      Carol- IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Sure of your diagnosis? My German Shepherd recovered fully on a simple Tofu-based diet. Recipes are in cookbook by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, PhD. He is a former Professor Emeritus at UC Davis. His book is available at Amazon “Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets. The Healthful Alternative”. Avoid the conventional “medical model” as much as possible. If you MUST use IBD drugs, compound them down to the lowest effective dose i.e. Tylan 50 to 100 mg has worked well for 2 of my dogs after 300 mg. tore up the gut of a 3rd dog. Contact me anytime.

    3. Jayne Teachen

      Hi Carol
      My 6 year old golden lab has Addisions. She was about to be put down if it wasn’t for my vet who went the extra mile. Shes on Pred now and Florinef, chappie only mixed in water is the only thing she can eat because anything else alters her body levels.
      Good luck and take care

  10. lee

    My 5 year old Labradoodle has addisons we are just in the process of getting his dose right, 12 florinef and 1 prednisilone per day, it seems like a hell of a lot of pills in one day nut fingers crossed we get it right soon.

    1. Jayne Teachen

      Hi Lee,
      My 6 year old labrador has Addisons, since last November. Once the vet finally confirmed it was the disease and controlled the medication she has been fine.
      Shes on 1 pred and 6 florinef every day, forever. He did reduce it to 5 flornief but she relapsed. Please do not give your dog any other treats, nothing, no ham, choc, or whatever, it alters the dogs salt and potas levels, so its a no. Chappie mixed in water is what our vet recommended as her food.
      We have spent nearly 2K but it’s been worth every penny.
      good luck

  11. Scott

    Hello. I have a 2 year old Canary Island’s Mastiff who was just diagnosed w/ Addison’s. He has been lethargic, an extremely picky eater ( sometimes going a couple of days w/ eating nothing ) and slightly underweight since he was a pup. I’ve brought this up to several vets in the past and was always told that he was fine and that was just his personality. I’ve read that these are all symptoms of Addison’s, is there a good chance that now that he is on treatment that he will become more active and have a better appetite ? Also, is it possible to obtain Percorten V and do the injections myself ( $200 per month not including the office visit etc. is kind of rough )

    1. kenrosellc

      Scott, yes — you can do the injections yourself but it really won’t save you much (see the section in my book about obtaining cheaper meds). You’ll need an ACTH test to diagnose Addison’s — don’t give PErcorten until your pup has been tested. Stephanie

    2. Cyndi D

      I ordered Percorten V 25mg/IM 4 ml vial. that means 4 doses, from Pet Meds n more,Inc. It was about $180. You have to get a written RX from your vet, mail it in to them. Get refills also. That is about $45-$50 every 3 weeks.

    3. Jayne Teachen

      Hi Scott,
      Addisons disease is very hard to detect!
      My 6 year old golden lab has had it since last November, it took the vet 4 weeks to detect it!! She was nearly destroyed by another vet but thankfully wasnt????
      If it is Addisons, and they treat it with Pred and Florinef your dog will make a full
      recovery, my golden lab is, id say 97% fit now, thank the lord.
      Good luck
      ps: no other food apart from Chappie mixed in water, and I mean no bits of ham, choc, or otherwise, it alters the dogs body levels and Addisons is all about minerals etc etc
      Good luck

  12. Jayne Teachen

    My 4 year old golden lab, Kiki, is still in the process of being diognonsed
    The internet description is perfect, but
    she has to feed being elevated, will this
    ease off when they have definately diognosed her. It’s such a worry.

  13. Alina Navarro

    My Beautiful 5 yr old West Highland white Terrier (Westie) Jackie is now in the Hospital. Doc said she had all of the symptoms & sure enough the blood work came back positive.

    I had noticed for a few days that she wasn’t jumping on the bed, nor her favorite recliner. She was still spunky, but sleeping more than usual. I just thought winter blues, or even that she was older & more settled having just turned 5. She was eating well, and drink water. I massage her every night and her body & paws warm. She started jumping on me and snuggling (looking for my hands) after dinner as I watched TV & I thought wait, Westies aren’t lap dogs but again age & the massage distracted me.

    Two days ago while she sat under me as I worked online, I stepped away for some coffee & as I returned to my desk I saw her shivering. Now I knew something was Wrong! As I carried her to the car, she became a limp rag doll & her paws were Cold, really cold. I wrestled with all the possibilities of any poisoned item she could have eaten as I drove her to the hospital. Just in the nick of time too, cause her heart rate had dropped to 50. At 30 I was told she’d have died. I was beside myself with grief & guilt, what did I do????

    I’ve always fed her natural Holistic dog food since she was 3 months old. SOLID GOLD made with Fresh Bison & Ocean fish, it contains No Wheat, No Soybeans, No Corn, No Animal Fat added, No Poultry Fat, No added sugar, No artificial preservatives added, No salt added, No sunflower oil. I mean Westies usually suffer from hot spots, dry skin, skin allergies & Jackie has a perfect full beautiful coat. Once in a while I’d add Ceasar’s 1/2 of their little container to change up her meal. Now I’m told Addison’s must have been in her blood line because it’s hereditary. Though the breeder never mentioned it.

    I want to thank you for this blog, yet know not who to thank. I wish you had Twitter & Facebook LIKE buttons to facilitate sharing this, but I will share it on all the social media streams I can. A Google+ button on here would be great also & would drum up more sales of your book as I believe more pet owners need to be aware & know everything about Addison’s they can. God Bless you for your posts and sharing your findings!!

    So, my question is (if you’d be kind enough to answer) Do I need to change Jackie’s diet & remove the Bison?
    Will her hair fall out with these new meds she needs to take for the rest of her Life?

    She was diagnosed as Addison Crisis when I called to get the findings of her tests, but was told she would be back to normal in a few days when she gets out of the hospital. Any thoughts, besides my questions? Again Thank you, thank you, Thank You for all your articles!!

    1. kenrosellc


      Sorry for the late response to your question. The diet sounds fine — but you may want to try Dr. Clemen’s diet anyway (it can’t hurt?). and yes, once you’re on Addison’s meds it is almost certainly for life.

      Best wishes for Jackie’s health,


  14. janice

    My question is. Is that recipe considered a serving size and how do you portion out the recipe/ Thankyou for your help My bella might like this.

  15. Dave Gammon

    My 2 1/2 yr old Coco lab has just come down with Addison’s, We are just in the process of adjusting a diet for him along with some meds , I make his meals now and Feed him Wellness Core Dog food, which is a no Grain food, His Home made meal is , Fresh Chicken Breast, Pumpkin, Green Beans, stickey Rice, But i am going to try the diet that Dr Clemmons has sugested and will let yous know how he is doing.

    Sincerly, Dave G

  16. Elizabeth

    Thank you for all the information you have provided, it has been a help.

    I have a question about my dog and don’t know what to do. I have an 8 year old corgi who was diagnosed with Addison’s disease a few months ago. He goes to the vet every month for his Percorten shot but his appetite has pretty much disappeared and he sleeps quite a bit. I’m at the point where I’m cooking for him just to get him to eat and he snubs everything. He is drinking excessive amounts of water and is urinating more often and in greater amounts. Some days he has energy and others none.

    What should I do? It is killing me to see him like this.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.


    1. kenrosellc


      Have you had his electrolytes tested lately? It sounds like his meds need adjusting.


      1. Elizabeth

        I believe they were tested at the end of June but I think they should be tested again. I brought in a urine sample then as well but again, I think that should be re-tested. He was there Friday for his shot and was doing ok. These past few days he has no energy and he’s not really eating.

        What tests would you suggest I have them run?

  17. Sharie

    My 4 yr old standard poodle Duchess was diagnosed with Addison’s two wks ago. She had the typical symptoms and my vet caught it right away. I have fed her and feed her a just slightly boiled chicken diet with rice and veggies similar to the diet you posted. I follow the diet from Micki Voisard’s bk, “The Dog Chef’s Road Food Manual.” What about beef? I have fed her raw hamburger according to the bk. but since she has been sick I have only fed her a chicken diet and Blue Diamond dry food. Is Chicken the best? Sharie

    1. kenrosellc

      Sharie…I’m not a beef/chicken expert by any means…but I would say a chicken diet is more natural from a dog’s perspective (lower fat and not to mention a dog wouldn’t eat a cow in the wild ;) ). that said…it probably doesn’t make much of a difference as long as you are avoiding unnatural additives.

  18. Jennifer O

    My dog Shadow is 6 yrs old and was just diagnosed with addison’s diease this year. He just came home last night after being at the vets office for 2 days and doesnt seem to be in the mood to eat or much of anything. He nibbles on his food and drinks a little bit of water here and there. but most of the time he is lounging around,and urinating all over the place. What can i do to make him feel better here?

    1. kenrosellc

      It sounds like he isn’t stable yet — ask your vet to recheck electrolytes to make sure he’s got the right dose.

  19. Jayne Teachen

    Hi there
    I have 7 labradors, ranging from 7 to 2 years old. I would not feed them anything apart from Chappie mixed in water and don’t overfeed.
    Our guys have raw bones from the butchers which also keep them occupied!!
    Take care
    and good luck

  20. Dave Gammon

    The chappie dog food you feed them, is it a grain type of food, Cause i can not feed him a Grain Diet

Comments are closed.