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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Can medication change my dog’s taste in food?

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Q.I have a four-year-old Maltese. He was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a month ago. He has been put on a low dose of synthetic hormone.

About three weeks into his medication, he decided he no longer wanted to eat his dog food. We change his protein source once a week so he is not bored with just chicken or lamb, etc. He is on a raw diet. My vet is not a supporter of the raw movement and has been trying to steer me to another type of food. So I really can’t contact my vet for advice.
I broke down and bought several sample bags of dry food from our specialty pet store. He is now eating this without issue and looks forward to mealtime again. Is it possible that the medication has changed the way food tastes? I can’t imagine that a dog would walk away from a raw diet.

 

A.You are starting with a disease, hypothyroidism, that affects basic metabolism. Then you add a synthetic to re-regulate the body. So yes, there are considerable changes that could possibly shift how your dog perceives food.

With that said, and as much as I feel a raw diet is the best choice, not all animals acclimate to it. I have also seen animals love raw for a period of time, then shy away from it. I’d rather an animal eat a high quality food he likes than force him to eat something theoretically better. But dry would not be my second choice. I’d choose home-prepared, and next, high quality canned.

Before committing to the synthetic for life, keep in mind that hypothyroidism can be more naturally and effectively addressed, controlled, and even reversed by working with a good integrative veterinarian.