6 Common Dog Illnesses Impacted By Nutrition – Here’s How To Help


6 Dog Illnesses Linked To Diets

A balanced, healthy diet is extremely important for your health, and it’s important for your dog’s health too! What your dog eats directly impacts the way its body works on a daily basis, and over time can go so far as to cause life-threatening illnesses. Below is a list of 6 common illnesses that are impacted by improper nutrition.

1. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

There are two forms of heart disease in dogs: congenital and acquired. Congenital heart problems are present since birth and there is not much that can be done to prevent them. They are usually and it may be exacerbated by age, injury, or diet. Acquired heart disease is usually seen as either mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dilated cardiomyopathy occurs when the left ventricle of your heart is enlarged and weakened, compromising your heart’s ability to pump blood. This occurs for a variety of reasons, but one important one is diet. One of the worst parts of DCM is the fact that it’s hard to diagnose; most of the time your dog will end up dying before your veterinarian can spot the signs of DCM. Recently, the FDA has recalled over 16 types of grain-free dog food for contributing to DCM in dogs, identifying grain-free dog food as a possible cause. To lower your dog’s risk of developing DCM, feed your dog healthy diets, filled with high quality proteins, vitamins, healthy fats, and amino acids such as taurine (can improve your dog’s heart function).

2. Obesity

A growing problem in both humans and dogs, obesity in dogs is caused largely by improper portioning. Many commercially made dog foods don’t often come with accurate portioning instructions, leading to your dog becoming overweight, or even obese, over time. Additionally, commercially made dog food is made using high heat and subpar ingredients, meaning your dog ends up eating mostly empty calories. Fresh dog foods, made with real meats, fruits, and vegetables, can help your dog avoid obesity, allowing them to live a longer, healthier life.

3. Skin and Coat Conditions

Just like you can get acne by eating the wrong types of foods, your dog can develop skin and coat conditions by eating foods they’re allergic and sensitive to, or foods that don’t offer the proper nutritional value. Diets that are low in nutritional value, especially essentially fatty acids (which are found often in fish and flaxseed oil) can lead to dull, brittle coats and dry, flaky skin. Additionally, your dog might be allergic to some of the ingredients in their food, or they could be suffering from thyroid or endocrine problems, which are both closely related to diet and nutrition. A healthy, balanced diet is an easy fix to these problems, but you should always consult your veterinarian to be sure it isn’t linked to other, deep-rooted issues.

4. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an extremely painful, life-threatening condition. When developing pancreatitis, the pancreas becomes inflamed, leading to the leakage of digestive enzymes. Over time, the pancreas begins digesting itself. While there are both acute and chronic forms of this disease, both are related to diet. In dogs, pancreatitis is most often caused by eating too much fat, whether it’s from grains or meats. Lowering your dog’s fat consumption can help to prevent your dog from suffering from pancreatitis.

5. Lowered Immunity

Without the proper nutrients and fuel, your dog’s body won’t be able to work the way it’s supposed to, resulting in compromised functions. One of the first things affected by improper nutrition is the immune system. If your dog has cuts that aren’t healing, recurrent infections and fevers, or even allergies, your dog could be suffering from a bad diet. Consulting with a veterinary nutritionist will help you to avoid these types of problems, and make sure your dog is eating the right foods in the right amount to fuel its body and keep it healthy.

6. Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs is common to diabetes in humans, and can be caused by both genetic and dietary conditions. Oftentimes, the genetic condition is not present until triggered by improper nutrition. Conditions like chronic pancreatitis and obesity also contribute to diabesity in dogs, both caused by a bad diet. Diabetes cannot be cured, but can be held in check by insulin injections and a strict diet: avoiding foods like corn, soy, rice, breads, and other grains, that need more insulin to be processed.

Helping Prevent Illnesses: A Better Diet

Feeding your dog correctly portioned meals made from fresh, healthy ingredients will help your dog prevent these illnesses, and contribute to a healthier life for you dog. You should always stay away from commercially made dog food, which is most often made from low quality ingredients, along with waste products from the food industry used to cut costs. There are lots of unhealthy dog foods that claim to be fresh and healthy, which is why research is so important before buying new dog food. To make it easier for you, we’ve done the research for you. Here are our top three picks:

Best overall: Ollie

Ollie is all about quality. While Ollie’s headquarters are in New York, all of its cooking and packaging takes place in New Jersey, at a USDA certified facility. This means that the meals Ollie makes aren’t only edible for dogs – they’re edible for you too. Ollie’s dog food is custom formulated by veterinary nutritionists to include all of the proteins (all their recipes are 65+% meat), carbohydrates, and healthy fats your dog needs so they don’t end up with any of the nutritional deficiencies that may be produced by lower quality grain free diets. They offer a Turkey recipe which is 100% potato-free and just 5% of the recipe includes legumes. Meals are made fresh, and each batch is tested for quality by third party testers for taste, freshness, and quality. Additionally, Ollie makes portioning your dog’s food easy, including portioning tools and instructions in every package. Currently, Ollie is offering 20% off your first box, but you can get 50% off through this link for a limited time only.

Runner Up: Farmer’s Dog

Founded in Brooklyn, the Farmer’s Dog is focused on not only making your dog’s life better, but making the whole world better too. As part of this, Farmer’s Dog only uses recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable materials when packaging its meals. Before packaging, meals are designed by veterinary nutritionists to fit your pet’s profile, and cooked in a USDA certified kitchen using proteins, vegetables, starches, and fruits that are cooked at low heat. Every two weeks, the Farmer’s Dog asks you to choose which two meals you’d like to have featured in your delivery for the next two weeks, then vacuum packs and sends your chosen recipes in fourteen meals delivered to your door.

Runner Up: Nom Nom Now

NomNomNow is dedicated to making sure your dog gets all its necessary vitamins and minerals. To achieve this, each NomNomNow meal includes NomNomNutrient mix and Fish Oil, so you don’t have to worry about buying extra supplements for your pup. All of NomNomNow’s meals are specially made by Dr. Justin Shmalberg, one of the world’s leading veterinary nutritionists. He and his team have created four main meals: Heartland Beef Mash, Tasty Turkey Fare, Chicken Chow-Wow, and Porkalicious Pork, customizing each of these recipes based on your dog’s needs. Meals are made fresh weekly using restaurant-quality ingredients, and then are hand-inspected before being sent to you.


Our team at Insider Envy are not veterinarians but care deeply about dogs. Feeding your dog healthy and balanced meals made out of real, fresh ingredients from places like Ollie may help to lower your dog’s risk of disease, but it doesn’t eliminate it. If you believe your dog is at risk for DCM or any other disease, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

Update: Ollie is extending a limited time offer to our readers. Buy Ollie now through this article and receive an exclusive 50% off your first box for a limited time only.

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by Insider Envy Staff

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