CushAway Gives Back

At CushAway, we care about helping dogs and their caretakers lead happier, healthier lives. That’s why Cushaway gives back.  We’re committed to giving to those who need it and supporting those who work hard to care for dogs who need medical help or a home.

For those shelters that care for Cushing’s dogs, we offer free product. We also support those who adopt a Cushing’s dog with a small supply to help them transition as they leave their routine at the shelter. CushAway also supports The Grey Muzzle Organization and Hope for Paws, donating a portion of our proceeds to help these outstanding charities.

The Grey Muzzle Organization raises grants for shelters and organizations who specifically care for older dogs who may or may not be adoptable. They also support organizations that provide hospice care for older dogs. The Grey Muzzle Organization works to enable these organizations to do what they do for an often overlooked group of canine companions.

Hope for Paws is a non-profit that rescues neglected or suffering animals whether on the streets or in the wild. They work to raise awareness about abandoned animals. Hope for Paws has a dedicated YouTube channel sharing moving stories of dogs abandoned, rescued, and revitalized into a forever home. With 4 million subscribers, they truly are spreading the word.

Recently, after a shelter owner contacted CushAway, we were able to offer support by donating product to help her care for Cushing’s dogs at her facility, All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue. After caring for several Cushing’s dogs, Gina wanted to try something other than the traditional drugs prescribed. When her vet recommended our supplement, owner Gina Bartucci says “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference.

Offering support to the canine community is important to us. Just as each Cushing’s dog needs special care, so do pups with other conditions whether medical issues, aging, or abandonment. Our goal is to see canine companions live well. Thank you for choosing CushAway and helping us with that promise.

CushAway Partners with Shelter All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue

CushAway is proud to partner with All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue (ATLB). For years, this shelter has helped foster some of the neediest dogs and other animals. Those with hard to place behavior quirks and medical problems can find a home through ATLB.

Located in Morris, Illinois, ATLB started as a home-based foster rescue in 2012 and quickly grew. Founder Gina Bartucci says it all started when she lost her sweet dog Oz to cancer. When she was ready to find another furry best friend, Gina found out just how overloaded the adoption system was. Once she saw how many dogs needed help, Gina knew what she had to do, and All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue was born in memory of Oz.

While dogs and cats are their most common rescue, Gina says they’ve also fostered 2 pot-bellied pigs and even a few guinea pigs. When they get a call about an animal they can’t foster, like a horse, Gina is connected with other shelters that can help get these animals placed in a safe home.

All Those Left Behind is also a sanctuary for those animals who have trouble getting adopted due to health or behavior concerns. To date, they’ve sheltered several dogs with Cushing’s disease. When her vet recommended giving the dogs CushAway, Gina was willing to give it a try. After using holistic treatments for Oz’s cancer and seeing results, she knew she didn’t want to try chemo drugs. “Thanks to the CushAway, we saw a night and day difference,” Gina shares. She wishes they had known about CushAway earlier since they had to put down a sweet pup with multiple health issues along with Cushing’s. “Had we found the product sooner from what we had seen from the other two dogs, we think it could have been her miracle.”

When Gina contacted CushAway founder James Marshall to ask for help getting more product for their non-profit, he was happy to hear about their efforts in fostering Cushing’s dogs and other needy animals. CushAway’s policy is to donate product for free to shelters and rescues. CushAway also donates a 6-month supply to pet parents who adopt a Cushing’s dog to encourage more people to take these fur babies home.

All Those Left Behind has operated for years out of the homes of generous volunteers, some who even help care for hard to place animals on a permanent basis. Now, ATLB is poised to open a 6,000 square foot facility to house these pets as well as sanctuary animals who need a forever home. ATLB is still raising funds to help move this non-profit pet rescue and shelter into a permanent home after hiccups in the building process have delayed the opening and stretched their budget. If you’d like to help, use the link on the right-hand side of their website to donate through FundRazr.

We’d love to see more Cushing’s dogs get adopted, wouldn’t you? Thank you All Those Left Behind Pet Rescue for caring for these dogs and for sharing your CushAway story.

Lignans and the Cushing’s Dog

Q. What are lignans and how can they help a dog with Cushing’s disease?

A. As many pet parents choose to take a natural approach to manage Cushing’s disease, certain plant compounds can work to address the root cause of the disease. Many homeopathic remedies used to treat Cushing’s symptoms present only a band-aid to the symptoms and typical pharma treatments involve risky chemotherapy drugs to reduce corticosteroid production. Since Cushing’s is caused by an overproduction of these corticosteroids, it’s important to target the adrenal gland functions that cause these over-secretions. Lignans can do just that.

What are Lignans?

Lignans are a type of polyphenol, a naturally occurring micronutrient found in plants. These compounds work to block two enzymes needed to produce cortisol. Lignans are typically found naturally in seeds, legumes, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and tree bark but their most abundant source is found in flaxseed hulls. A study by the University of Tennessee’s veterinary program found that combining lignans with melatonin can work to lower concentrations of steroids. This is a direct benefit to Cushing’s dogs.

Lignans have been linked to reduced risk of certain hormone-related cancers in humans because of their phytoestrogen qualities. HMR lignans in particular, when used as a supplement can contribute to other health benefits with little to no side effects.

Lignans in CushAway

While many people utilize the lignans found in flaxseed hulls combined with melatonin to block steroid overproduction for dogs suffering with Cushing’s disease, Cush Away combines the superior HMR type lignans from Norwegian spruce knots with melatonin AND phosphatidylserine. These natural elements can be an effective alternative to the costly and side-effect heavy doses of traditional pharmaceuticals used to treat Cushing’s disease and are far more effective than traditional “folk remedies” that only address Cushing’s symptoms but not its cause. Known as a nutraceutical, CushAway uses these naturally-occurring HMR lignans, which provide higher bioavailability than flaxseed hull lignans, combined with melatonin, phosphatidylserine (a naturally-occurring phospholipid), and probiotics to counteract Cushing’s disease at its root cause—the overproduction of corticosteroids. These natural elements combined with a wholefood diet and exercise can work to increase a dog’s overall vitality without a risk of side effects.

Phosphatidylserine for Dogs with Cushing’s Disease

Phosphatidylserine for Dogs:  This powerful natural lipid helps stop the root causes of Cushing’s Disease

When a dog suffers from Cushing’s disease, their normal body function is disrupted. After being diagnosed, the owner can choose several ways to treat the symptoms, though the disease itself has no known permanent cure. Potent chemotherapy drugs are often prescribed, even in the early stages of the disease. These chemicals can help with symptoms, but also carry a wide risk of side effects. Because of these risks, many pet owners are choosing a more natural approach, with supplements that control symptoms and are gentler on a dog’s body.

CushAway is a nutraceutical, or natural supplement that helps combat Cushing’s symptoms at the root cause—corticosteroid overproduction. It uses a combination of three main components: HMR Lignans, Melatonin, and Phosphatidylserine (PS) to help control a dog’s steroid overproduction. While the first two ingredients are more common in nutraceuticals, the addition of Phosphatidylserine to CushAway’s formula is unique. This natural element works complimentary to the lignans and melatonin to halt corticosteroid production.

Phosphatidylserine For Humans

In human studies, Phosphatidylserine has been shown to blunt the production of ACTH, the chemical that signals the adrenal gland to produce corticosteroids. This was shown specifically in people whose bodies were subjected to the stress of sustained exercise. Those who took a supplement of PS regained energy faster and their body showed signs of better handling the stress.

Phosphatidylserine For Dogs

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid-a compound that allows for easy absorption in the body. PS is also known to increase the absorption and effectiveness of melatonin, which also helps to stop a dog’s overproducing adrenal glands. By reducing the production of ACTH you reduce the production of corticosteroids in a different but complimentary way that the lignans and melatonin work (by interfering with the “ingredients” that the dog’s body uses to make corticosteroids) thus increasing the benefit. For dogs, Phosphatidylserine decreases both the demand for corticosteroids and the dog’s ability to make them.

With three main ingredients working in tandem to reduce or eliminate Cushing’s symptoms, PS is an effective component of the triangle. Combined with a probiotic to increase absorption of each supplement, CushAway offers a natural way to reduce risk and address Cushing’s symptoms at the root of the adrenal problems dog’s face. As more research comes to light, Phosphatidylserine is clearly a natural powerhouse to help reduce the effects of Cushing’s so your dog can move towards a thriving life once again.

Cushing’s and the Science of the Gut


Why does dog gut health matter? Like humans, scientists are finding more and more evidence about the link between a healthy gut and a healthy animal.

The Innovative Veterinary Care Journal defines the microbiome as “the collection of the living microorganisms inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract.” These microorganisms function as wholistic helpers that contribute to everything from brain function to fighting diseases. A gut balanced with these good bacteria can effectively increase immune function and nutrient absorption, control bowel discomfort or deficiencies, help increase thinking and positive moods, and decrease inflammation. With all these benefits, the veterinary community is taking notice.

Why the Gut Matters for a Cushing’s Dog

Gut balance is especially important for Cushing’s dogs. A healthy microbiome helps combat chronic diseases like Cushing’s, and also helps control inflammation. Using a natural supplement combined with probiotics to address Cushing’s symptoms can be very effective for dog gut health. CushAway is one such supplement that utilizes adrenal-suppressing lignans (derived from flax seeds) and melatonin to balance the corticosteroid imbalances of Cushing’s. Taken with these natural supplements, the probiotics work to increase the absorption of the lignans and melatonin, as well as providing all the other benefits of a healthy gut.

Pitfalls of a Processed Diet

Pet owners know that avoiding processed foods in their own diet is the key to long-lasting health. Why should it be any different for your pet? Cushing’s dogs may benefit from a diet free from grain or at least lower in processed foods.

Compounds known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), associated with cancer and chronic disease are found in higher concentration in some pet foods than any food for human consumption. The Companion Animal Nutrition and Wellness Institute (CANWI) estimates that some pet foods may contain over 122 times the AGEs found in processed human foods. It’s no wonder a chronic disease like Cushing’s can be affected by these compounds.

The Whole Food Effect

Nutritional management of Cushing’s incorporates this idea using a whole food enriched diet along with the probiotics and natural supplement of lignans and melatonin to block adrenal hormone overproduction. Since a diet of whole foods is known to cut down on inflammation, a common struggle for Cushing’s dogs, it’ important to consider supplementing kibble with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Yogurt, fruits and vegetables, and even sardines can become part of a life-changing diet for your dog.

Probiotics and Canine Health

Since the canine gut is different than the human gut, dogs should take probiotics with bacterial strains specifically tailored to a dog’s stomach. The overall benefits of a balanced microbiome allow a dog more vitality. For a dog suffering from Cushing’s, the benefits are numerous. Coupled with a natural supplement which is more gentle on the gut than chemo drugs to halt the effects of the disease, a change in diet that fosters dog gut health can be a big step towards regaining a more vibrant lifestyle for your Cushing’s pet.

Help Your Cushing’s Dog Live Their Best Life

When your veterinary professional confirms Cushing’s Disease in your beloved pet, it’s easy for your heart to sink and worry about the life your pet can lead. While Cushing’s is not a curable disease, it is very possible for a dog to live a long life by managing Cushing’s disease symptoms with treatment and lifestyle changes.

Cushing’s dogs experience elevated cortisol levels which lead to varied symptoms throughout the body. Most common are fatigue, excess thirst, weight gain, hair loss, and muscle weakness. Vets may prescribe a chemotherapy drug like Mitotane or Trilostane to treat Cushing’s in your dog. Though effective in controlling the adrenal or pituitary tumors that cause cortisol overproduction, they also carry a risk of side effects.

Another option for managing Cushing’s disease symptoms is using a holistic supplement containing lignans and melatonin which work to naturally suppress the overproduction of cortisol in the body. These supplements pose little to no side effects and help a Cushing’s dog regain energy and a healthy frame.

Once you choose a treatment, you can also help your dog heal through their eating habits. A diet high in whole foods can help decrease inflammation, a reaction in the body to the overproduction of cortisol. Dogs with Cushing’s may benefit from a diet low in processed grains and high in nutrient-rich fresh foods. Even adding yogurt or fresh meat to kibble can help your pooch’s health.

Because the gut is central to nutrient absorption and overall health, giving your Cushing’s dog probiotics may also help restore energy and muscle function. A balanced digestive system will also allow the dog to absorb a supplement better, leading to increased overall wellness.

Some Cushing’s dog owners question the amount of exercise their pup should have if they suffer from Cushing’s. While dogs with surgery to remove adrenal tumors need to rest for up to two weeks post operation, Cushing’s dogs without severe joint problems can benefit from regular walks or playtime once symptoms are managed. The key is to find out what works best for your dog. Start slow, then build up to longer walks or more frequent outdoor playtimes.

A dog with Cushing’s needs lots of love and careful observation. Watch your pet for any changes in their behavior or bodies. With a balanced treatment for Cushing’s symptoms that includes overall digestive health, many Cushing’s dogs can lead a happy life.

Which Dog Breeds Are More Likely To Develop Cushing’s Disease?

Though there’s no clear reason as to why in some dog breeds Cushings Disease is more likely to develop, the evidence is clear. Some breeds are more prone to experience hyperadrenocorticism (another way to say Cushing’s). Dogs with the likelihood of Cushing’s disease range from large to small, with no clear distinction between breeds. Vets do agree however, that certain breeds are more at risk. Here are those breeds.

Most vets agree that in these three dog breeds Cushings Disease is more likely to develop:

• Dachshund
• Terriers
• Poodles

Other breeds are also commonly mentioned but not by all vets:

• Beagles
• Boxers
• German Shepherd
• Labrador Retriever
• American Eskimo Dogs
• Australian Shepherd
• Maltese
• Cocker Spaniel

Cushing’s disease, which is an overproduction of the hormone cortisol in the body, can affect two areas distinctly in these different breeds. The more common form of Cushing’s, pituitary-dependent, occurs in nearly 85 percent of dogs who develop the disease. In this form, the adrenal glands over-secrete cortisol because they are responding to the pituitary’s messages to send out too much of the stimulating hormone.

Adrenal-based hyperadrenocorticism affects the other 15 percent of Cushing’s dogs. Adrenal-based Cushing’s is caused by a tumor on the adrenal gland that stimulates an overproduction of cortisol.

Some vets suggest that certain breeds of dogs are even more prone to these different forms of Cushing’s disease. Of the main three breeds, the Poodle and Terrier are more likely to have pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, while the Dachshund is more prone to adrenal-based Cushing’s.

Since Cushing’s can be difficult to diagnose, knowing that your dog is more susceptible to the disease because of their breed might help you and your vet get answers. Cushing’s disease presents a range of symptoms that can display in dogs affected by hyperadrenocorticism. Some common symptoms of Cushing’s include:

• Excessive panting
• Excessive thirst
• Excessive urination
• Thinning and loss of hair
• Distended Stomach
• Restlessness

Though any breed of dog can develop Cushing’s disease in either form, certain breeds have shown to be more likely. Knowing the most about your pet can help you understand their health so they can live their best life.

If your dog is diagnosed with Cushing’s, we recommend a nutrition-based approach to help minimalize or even erase the symptoms of Cushing’s. To learn more, read our other blogs about diagnosing and treating your pet through a supplement and diet plan as a first step before using strong chemotherapy drugs.

Benefits of a Supplement to Counteract Cushing’s Disease
A Grain-Free or Whole Food Addition Diets

Addressing Corticosteroid Demands in Your Dog: Stress and Anxiety

Whether your pup gets shivers during a thunderstorm or retreats to the bedroom when company comes, their body is reacting to fear, releasing a physical and emotional response. Stress and anxiety in dogs can increase their corticosteroid production. For a dog with Cushing’s, the fight or flight mechanism at work in them will complicate corticosteroid production even more. Keeping your dog calm and as stress-free as possible is a big part of treating this condition.

Cushing’s disease in dogs is caused by an overproduction of Corticosteroids. The more your dog is under the constant stimulus of anxiety, the more their body will produce these steroids, creating a vicious cycle for a Cushing’s pet. Identifying the symptoms of an anxious dog is the first step. You know your pooch best, so watch for any unusual actions then address what seems to trigger symptoms of anxiety. Then, you can help your dog overcome and treat their stress, leading to better overall health for your pet.

Types of Anxiety in Dogs

Anxiety and stress are a response caused by fear. Vets have identified three major types of anxiety in dogs. The first is separation anxiety. A common condition for pets whose owner has switched routines, the stress of being alone can be difficult for social creatures like dogs. Depending on the severity of the reaction, conditioning and rewards can be used to overcome this stressor.

Another stimulus that causes dogs anxiety is noise. Many dogs get anxious during thunderstorms or are triggered by loud noises in the home. Dogs with this kind of anxiety will seek to feel safe and release this tension when this stimulus occurs.

Social anxiety can also plague dogs. For some pets that were not properly socialized from 6-12 weeks old, being around other dogs or people can cause symptoms of aggression or withdrawal.

Separation Anxiety

Several factors can contribute to a dog suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs with a past of neglect or abuse that come from shelters have the highest likelihood of this stress. However, certain breeds are also more susceptible to this condition. Organic Pet Digest lists the following breeds from Valerie O’Farrell’s Manual of Canine Behavior: Poodles, Cocker spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Rottweilers, Alsatians, Scottish Cairn terriers, West Highland white terriers, Chihuahuas, and Pekingese.

Dogs with separation anxiety can show extreme behaviors when their owner leaves the house. These may include excessive barking, chewing, self-mutilation like biting and licking, urinary or bowel accidents, and even aggression towards their pet parent. In some cases, a behavioral specialist must get involved with the help of your vet to break these destructive behaviors. However, many dogs can benefit from a few changes that help them associate separation with pleasant feelings. Toys that can be stuffed with food give a dog the reward of a treat while stimulating play. Special crates or beds prepared when an owner leaves the house can also help. Many vets suggest employing special toys or treats only when you leave so they are seen as a reward.

Noise Anxiety in Dogs

It’s not certain exactly why loud noises cause fear in dogs, however, this anxiety can be triggered by a vacuum, fireworks, thunderstorms, or other sudden and piercing noises. A dog suddenly cowering, urinating, shaking, or even self-mutilation at the onset of a noise is likely showing symptoms of noise-induced anxiety.

While this may seem like an easy problem to fix, it is crucial to identify and resolve this stress once noted, as it can become worse over time if not addressed. Experts suggest you remain calm but not rush to a dog’s side. They also recommend not subjecting an animal to their feared noise if it can be helped. A doggy who doesn’t like noise probably shouldn’t be at the park on the 4th of July, no matter how badly you want to show off their red white and blue necktie.

Holistic treatments for noise anxiety consist of music created specifically for dogs, clothing that helps insulate their bodies, and even herbal therapies. Extreme cases may require anti-anxiety medication as a last resort.

Social Anxiety in Dogs

If a dog has not had proper time to be socialized as a puppy, chances are they will have trouble as mature adults. Socially anxious dogs tend to react with either aggression or timidity in social situations. If faced with another pet or people besides the owner, the dog may cower or withdraw, or they may begin to growl and gnash their teeth.

To treat this anxiety, vets recommend desensitizing the dog to other company slowly and on their terms. If the problem is with other dogs, introduce your pet to one new dog at a time. With humans, allow the dog to become curious and meet the visitors on their own terms, again, one at a time if possible.

Other Reasons for Anxiety in Your Dog

There are certainly other stimuli that may lead to an anxious dog. Medical conditions can contribute to anxiety as well as diet. Pet MD says, “Providing your dog with a diet that is not properly balanced for his or her life stage and lifestyle may cause unforeseen repercussions that may lead to anxiety and stress.” Keeping your pooch fed with whole food additions to kibble can lead to a dog that’s more healthy and happy. Research suggests that the gut acts as a second brain, strongly affecting mood. Dogs may also benefit from probiotics that increase the good bacteria needed for healthy digestion.

Reducing anxiety in your dog will lead to a higher quality of life for your pet. Know what causes your pet stress and make a plan to treat it.

Addressing Corticosteroid Demands in Your Dog: Inflammation

Inflammation in dogs is a varied symptom that can be hard to pinpoint. As a pet parent caring for a dog with Cushing’s disease, inflammation is another factor that can add to your pup’s discomfort. Although we typically think of inflammation in the muscles and joints, it can occur in other parts of the body both internally and externally. If inflammation persists, it can compound symptoms of Cushing’s. Finding the root cause and managing a dog’s inflammation can help minimalize the effects of Cushing’s disease as well.

Inflammation Causes

Inflammation is the body’s response to a problem in order to protect and heal. It is an immune response triggered to protect the body from toxins and to repair damaged tissue. The response in dogs is similar to what happens in a human: chemicals released in the body cause blood vessels to leak at the site of the trauma, whether a foreign invader or an injury. This leads to redness and swelling in the affected tissues.

External inflammation can be detected in a dog’s movement or by the telltale red and swollen skin in the inflamed area. Internal inflammation can be harder to pin down without examinations and testing, as it can affect tissue in different body systems. When inflammation becomes chronic (continuing over a long period of time), it can be damaging and even life-threatening to your pet.

Look for these signs to identify inflammation in your dog:

– Localized redness
– Rigid limbs
– Swellings
– Awkward gait
– Reluctance to rise
– Muscle spasms
– Depression
– Diarrhea
– Vomiting
– Unusual vocalizations
– Loss of appetite

List compiled from

Inflammation in Cushing’s Dogs

Inflammation causes problems for dogs suffering with Cushing’s disease because it creates a vicious cycle. Cushing’s is caused by an overabundance of cortisone and cortisol, the corticosteroids that a dog’s body naturally produces to treat inflammation. If an older dog suffers from hip dysplasia or worn joints accompanied by inflammation, this triggers more corticosteroid production which will in turn compound Cushing’s symptoms. The key is to treat inflammation in your dog to reduce the demand to produce these steroids.

Reducing Inflammation

One way to cut down on a dog’s inflammation is through diet. When your dog maintains a healthy weight and a diet low in processed grains, inflammation is naturally reduced. Part of the reason for this comes down to fats. Omega-6 fatty acids, the kind found in typical processed diets contribute to inflammation while omega-3 fats have the opposite effect. Salmon is famous for omega-3’s, but plenty of other fresh foods can be a source of this good fat. Sardines and eggs both have a high concentration of omega-3. For more information on an omega-3 rich diet, read our blog about the benefits of giving your pet whole food additions to kibble.

A routine of regular exercise can also help manage your dog’s inflammation and maintain a healthy weight in your pet. Exercise can help prevent systemic inflammation because it continually works areas prone to inflammatory conditions. However, exercising an area already inflamed needs to be done with caution. If your dog is suffering with inflammation, it is best to treat integrate exercise slowly and with increased rigor over a period of time once you’ve identified the root cause.

Medications and natural supplements can be used to treat inflammation. Steroids are one option provided by vets. However, as previously mentioned, this is not a good idea for dogs suffering with Cushing’s because an overproduction of steroids is the main cause of disease. Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be prescribed as well. However, many pet owners balk at the list of side effects that also include joint damage, a common reason for inflammation. Herbal supplements are recommended by some as a natural alternative. Ginger, turmeric, and licorice are a few of the natural remedies touted by holistic vets and pet parents.

The best way you can identify if your pet is suffering from inflammation is to keep an eye on their day to day activity. Cushing’s dogs can show lower levels of energy and inflammation will add to this. Reducing your dog’s inflammation can help lessen the effects of Cushing’s at its root cause.

Whole Food Additions to Kibble

Whole Food Additions to Kibble

For dogs and their owners, a lot revolves around food. What to feed a dog and how much is a big topic for vets, pet enthusiasts, and dog owners alike. Certain diets have been given more thought lately as pet health, like human health has moved towards a focus on overall nutrition. Whole food diets have come to the table as a viable option to increase the nutrition and health of your pet.

Benefits of Adding to Kibble

While it may be unrealistic for many dog owners to create homemade dog food from fresh ingredients on a regular basis, adding whole foods to supplement kibble is an option. Research suggests that the incorporation of whole foods into a dog’s diet can lead to improving their health.

In the article “The Case for Whole Foods,” the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal cited a recent study that found “the consumption of any type of vegetable at least three times per week was associated with a 70% to 90% risk reduction in the development of transitional cell carcinoma in Scottish terriers.” The journal acknowledged this research citing that “other breeds are also likely to benefit from whole food supplementation of processed diets.”

The journal reported another study that compared the cognitive ability of older dogs based on their diets. “The control group was fed a processed senior diet. The test group’s food was enriched with vitamins E and C, mitochondrial co-factors (L-carnitine and DL-alpha-lipoic acid), and a mixture of fruits and vegetables. The dogs receiving the enriched diet performed significantly better than controls.”

Whole food diets may also be beneficial to dogs with certain conditions. Food allergies are one reason pet owners turn to whole foods. Eliminating some kibble and adding fresh ingredients allows owners to control more of what goes into their dog’s tummies. Certain diseases like Cushing’s, an endocrine disorder that affects the dog’s ability to regulate their immune system, respond to stress, and even digest food, may be affected by a change in your pup’s diet. When combined with a natural supplement to help control symptoms, some owners have seen an increase in their dog’s energy when moving to a whole food diet.

Adding Whole Foods to a Dog’s Diet

What foods are considered “whole” when it comes to feeding Fido? Unprocessed, fresh foods that come from a variety of sources constitute a “whole” diet. While not all fresh foods are good for pets to consume, there are plenty that will help your pooch eat well. Here are the top choices many whole food pet owners and pet nutritionists have championed.

1. Eggs
Packed with protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals, eggs are a strong nutritional choice. Remove the shell to avoid too much calcium then serve it up scrambled, or hard-boiled. Though there is some debate as to whether uncooked eggs negatively affect a dog due to bacteria, many pet owners choose to feed their dogs using a raw diet. Eggs are calorie dense though, so make sure you’re not feeding them daily to a small dog breeds.

2. Lean Meat
As with eggs, the raw versus cooked debate rages, but adding animal protein to a doggy diet adds nutrients. Whichever method you choose, consider the bones. Raw bones pose less of a hazard than soft, cooked ones when it comes to choking or splintering.

3. Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and veggies are nutritionally beneficial for dogs. Consider crunchy varieties like apples, watermelon, cucumber, carrots, even leafy greens. Sweet potatoes are a better starch choice. Even peas can be a treat! Cruciferous veggies can be used, but in small quantities—you don’t want to give your pooch too much gas. Remove all pits and seeds before feeding your pet. You should also avoid grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney problems. Some research also suggests that avocados, garlic, and onions are bad news. (Sorry, Fido, no guac for you.)

4. Yogurt
Probiotics for the win! Yogurt is a great source of these gut-enhancing microbes. Another added benefit is the calcium content. praises yogurt as an excellent nutrient source for dogs. “Adding a small spoonful of yogurt to your dog’s regular kibble at mealtime can provide digestive benefits and even help your dog stay full longer.” They also warn pet owners to check yogurt for the additive xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs. Find a plain yogurt to avoid added sugar.

5. Sardines
Believe it or not, these little fish can add a lot of good things to your pet’s diet. Sardines contain a mighty amount of omega 3 acids and other nutrients that can prevent cancer and heal inflammation. Experts suggest buying sardines that have no added sodium, are wild-caught, and are packed in water. Some dog parents even use the excess water from the tin as gravy for kibble! Be careful of portion and frequency depending on the size of your pet.

How to Balance Whole Food and Kibble

When choosing to add whole food to a dog’s diet, remember that balance is key. Since you are adding calories with the addition of whole foods, reduce the amount of kibble you serve. Combining different types of whole foods is important too. Portion size depends heavily on the size of your dog, something you can and should discuss with a vet as you move towards adding whole foods to a kibble-based diet. Once you make the switch, monitor your dog carefully for a few weeks, looking for irregularity in normal energy levels, stool, and overall behavior.

Why Diet Matters

We at CushAway believe in caring for your dog’s overall health to give them the best life. We believe a dog with Cushing’s disease can benefit from eating a diet that contains whole foods. Part of our nutraceutical approach to managing the symptoms of Cushing’s is gut health through probiotics, which increase the efficacy of the supplement. When dogs consume a diet rich in whole foods, the benefits of overall gut health and nutrition can play a role in increasing the vitality of your dog. We see this through improved energy levels and a shinier coat.

If your dog is suffering from Cushing’s disease, read our story to see if our natural supplement is the right choice for your pet.