How to Lower Cholesterol in Dogs

By Terrie Berry

Most people do not realize their dog can have high cholesterol levels, but they can and sometimes it is related to other underlying causes such as diabetes, Cushing's disease, and hypothyroidism. If there is no underlying condition, it is possible it is hereditary or it is also possible the dog is getting too much fat in the diet. The first course of action is for your veterinarian to check if there are underlying conditions that need to be treated. The high cholesterol will need to be addressed separately.

Take your dog to your veterinarian if any of the following symptoms occur, noticeable abdominal pain, seizures, continual vomiting, and diarrhea. A thorough examination will be performed on your dog to see if any other illnesses are present, if they are, these will be treated with the necessary medications. If there are no other conditions present, the treatment will consist of lowering the blood cholesterol levels.

Purchase a dog food that has a fat of 10 percent or less. You can also buy fish oil capsules, as diet alone will be the first course of treatment along with fish oil. Veterinarians will only treat dogs with certain statins as a last result, since the side effects are continual vomiting and loose stools; only specific statins can be used on dogs such as niacin and gemfibrozil. The best option for lowering the cholesterol levels is through diet.

Realize your dog will need to be on a restricted fat diet for the rest of his life in an effort to control his cholesterol levels. A fish-based dog food is a good choice since fish is good for her and often contains additional fish oils; it is also naturally lower in fat.