What to Feed a Dog with Lyme Disease: Essential Diet Tips and Recommendations

Question What to Feed a Dog with Lyme Disease?
Answer Nutrient-Rich, Supportive Diet
More Info 1. High-Quality Protein: Essential for immune function and overall health. 2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish oil, these can reduce inflammation. 3. Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Vegetables like carrots and spinach can support immune health. 4. Probiotics: To aid in digestive health, which can be compromised. 5. Avoid Inflammatory Foods: Reduce grains and foods that can cause inflammation. 6. Adequate Hydration: Ensure constant access to fresh water. 7. Consult Your Vet: They may recommend specific dietary adjustments or supplements based on your dog’s condition and treatment plan.

Always coordinate with your veterinarian, as they can provide the best guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs and health status.

Dietary Needs for Dogs with Lyme Disease

What should you feed a dog with Lyme disease

Importance of Nutrition

When your dog has Lyme disease, proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining their health and aiding in the recovery process. A well-balanced diet can help improve your dog’s immune system, making it easier to fight off the disease and its symptoms.

Recommended Nutrients

To optimize your dog’s health, focus on providing diets with high-quality animal proteins such as chicken or beef, which are easier for them to digest compared to plant proteins like soy or wheat gluten.

It’s also a good idea to look for organic options when selecting food for your dog with Lyme disease, as this can further contribute to their health and well-being.

Here are some essential nutrients to consider for your pet’s diet:

  • Proteins: Ensure that proteins, like chicken or beef, make up a substantial portion of their diet.
  • Fats: Include healthy fats such as omega-3s to reduce inflammation and provide energy.
  • Carbohydrates: Offer easily digestible carbs, like cassava, to maintain their glucose levels.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Some dogs with Lyme disease may develop food allergies or sensitivities. Keep an eye on any changes in your dog’s appetite or behavior after introducing a new food.

If you notice symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or itching, consult your veterinarian for guidance, as they might advise on switching to a hypoallergenic diet to promote overall well-being.

Remember that each dog is different and the ideal diet for your pet with Lyme disease may vary. Always consult your veterinarian for tailored advice on your dog’s specific needs and adjust their diet accordingly – their health and happiness depend on it!

Choosing the Right Food Products

Commercial Diets

When selecting a commercial diet for your dog with Lyme disease, focus on high-quality animal proteins such as chicken or beef, as they are generally more easily digested than plant proteins like soy or wheat gluten. Opt for organic options when possible, as this may provide added benefits.

Remember, it’s crucial to avoid foods with unhealthy additives like Chicken McNuggets (at the extreme end of the spectrum), which are not recommended for any dog, let alone those with Lyme disease.

Prescription Diets (The Best Plan)

If your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, consult your veterinarian about prescription diets specifically formulated for the condition. These diets typically include added support for joint health and immune system function, as Lyme disease can compromise these areas.

Prescription diets also take into account any specific dietary needs your dog may have due to the disease.

Natural and Home Cooked Diets

Some pet owners opt for natural or home-cooked diets as a way to provide customized nutrition for their dogs with Lyme disease. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric and boswellia, can help regulate inflammation and provide analgesic benefits for joint and body soreness associated with the disease.

Also, consider including nutrient-dense options like duck eggs which are rich in protein and essential nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and selenium.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet, as they can provide guidance and ensure that all nutritional requirements are being met.

Supplements for Lyme Disease Support

Immune Support Supplements

When your dog has Lyme disease, strengthening their immune system is vital to help them combat the bacteria. A few immune-boosting supplements include:

  • Probiotics: These promote a healthy gut flora, leading to a stronger immune system. Consider providing a reputable multi-strain probiotic to benefit your dog.
  • Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant can aid in fighting inflammation and supporting the immune system. Sources like papaya and blueberries are great choices in moderate amounts.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Add fish oil or krill oil to your dog’s diet to improve their immune health and reduce inflammation.
  • Echinacea and astragalus: These herbs bolster the immune system and might be beneficial for dogs dealing with Lyme disease.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian before making major changes to your dog’s diet.

Joint Support Supplements

Lyme disease can cause joint pain and inflammation. To help ease this discomfort, consider the following joint support supplements:

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: These well-known joint supplements help maintain cartilage health and reduce inflammation. They’re typically available as chews, tablets, or powders.
  • Green-lipped Mussel: This natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids provides joint support alongside immune-boosting properties.
  • Turmeric: The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Use it as a supplement in small amounts or as part of your dog’s meal.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): This organic sulfur compound helps to reduce inflammation and maintain joint health.

Ensure that you pay close attention to the dosage and frequency for each supplement, and always consult your vet before introducing any new products into your dog’s regimen.

Consulting with a Veterinarian or a Canine Nutritionist

When your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist in order to determine the most suitable diet for their specific needs.

One option is a nutrition consultation with an ACVN board certified veterinary nutritionist.

During this consultation, the expert can help determine the best feeding options for your dog, taking into account their unique medical condition and nutritional needs. This tailored approach is critical, as it considers your dog’s overall health and helps with their recovery.

Veterinary Nutritional Consultations, Inc. (VNC) is another good resource you can utilize. They offer independent consulting services for professionals and pet owners seeking nutritional advice. You can also explore Pet Diets, a teleconsulting service in veterinary nutrition.

There are six crucial nutrients for dogs:

  1. Water: Represents 70-80% of a mature dog’s body mass and helps with nutrient transport and temperature regulation
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Vitamins
  6. Minerals

Keep in mind that discussing your pet’s nutritional assessment with your veterinarian is vital. They will assess your dog’s body condition, body composition (lean versus fat), and check for any medical conditions that could affect the diet. Following their expert advice will be instrumental in your dog’s successful recovery from Lyme disease.

Make sure to stay in communication with your veterinarian or canine nutritionist throughout this process, as adjustments may be necessary depending on your dog’s response to the prescribed diet.

Lyme Disease and Dogs: 101

Origin and Transmission

You might be wondering where Lyme disease comes from and how it’s transmitted. Well, it is a bacterial illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The main culprit in transmitting this disease is the deer tick.

Ticks can transmit the bacteria to dogs, humans, and other animals through their bites. It’s important to be cautious about where your canine companion roams, as ticks often reside in wooded areas, tall grasses, and bushes.


Would you know if your dog is suffering from Lyme disease? Recognizing the symptoms is crucial in providing timely treatment. Symptoms can vary, but the most common ones include:

  • Low energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Swollen joints
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Lameness
  • Dehydration
  • Swollen lymph nodes

One distinct symptom in dogs is “shifting-leg lameness,” where the lameness may last for a few days and recur later in different legs.


Diagnosing Lyme disease in your dog requires the expertise of a veterinarian. If you suspect your dog might be infected, a visit to the vet is essential. They’ll perform a thorough examination and may conduct blood tests to check for the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.

Early diagnosis is important for effective treatment, which often involves a course of antibiotics. Remember, the sooner you can pinpoint the problem and start treating it, the better the chances of your dog making a full recovery. Keep an eye out for any symptoms and stay vigilant in preventing tick exposure to protect your beloved pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What diet changes can help a dog with Lyme disease?

A dog with Lyme disease may benefit from a diet that focuses on providing ample nutrients, immune support, and promoting digestive health. Ensure that their diet consists of high-quality protein sources, easily digestible carbohydrates, and appropriate fiber content.

Are there specific foods that help with lyme disease in dogs?

While there isn’t a specific ‘Lyme disease diet’ for dogs, feeding them whole and natural foods with anti-inflammatory properties may aid in comforting Lyme-related symptoms. Foods like wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens contain essential nutrients that can help support your dog’s immune system.

What kind of supplements can benefit dogs with Lyme disease?

Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin may help alleviate joint pain and inflammation in dogs with Lyme disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can also support your dog’s immune system and improve their skin and coat health. Always consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your dog’s diet.

How does Lyme disease affect a dog’s appetite?

Lyme disease can sometimes lead to a loss of appetite in affected dogs. Monitor your dog’s eating habits, and try offering small, frequent meals instead of one or two large meals. If your dog’s appetite doesn’t improve, contact your veterinarian for further guidance.

Do dogs with Lyme disease require additional hydration?

Staying properly hydrated is essential for all dogs, especially those battling Lyme disease. Ensure your dog has access to fresh water throughout the day. If your dog’s hydration seems low, offering ice chips or using a water fountain bowl can encourage them to drink more water.

Does protein intake need to be adjusted for dogs with Lyme disease?

A dog with Lyme disease requires a diet with high-quality protein. This helps to support their immune system and meet their nutritional needs. It’s essential to tailor the protein intake based on your dog’s age, weight, and lifestyle. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal amount of protein for your dog’s specific needs.