“My 10 year old Shi-poo was put on Prednisone. After a few weeks she seemed improved, so I took her off prednisone but in about 3-4 days her symptoms came right back and I had to put her back on the meds. She is driving me crazy on this medication, constantly begging for food and acting like a maniac!! She is not like my little dog that I love, what can I do to help her?? HELP!!“
The story above is a common example of what we hear from pet owners dealing with a pet on prednisone. The side effects of prednisone for dogs can range from mild to severe, but in any case, the medication has many undesirable side effects.
Common Side Effects of Prednisone
- Excessive Thirst and Hunger
- Diarrhea and/or Vomiting
- Joint inflammation
- Anxious behavior or other behavioral changes
How to Handle the Side Effects of Prednisone
Our #1 piece of advice: LIMIT PREDNISONE. The best way to limit the side effects of prednisone for your dog is to reduce the duration of the medication, however, this is not always possible.
With nutritional support, the side effects of prednisone can be reduced during therapy, and in some cases, you may be able to get your dog off prednisone altogether. We recommend a nutritional strategy that involves supporting the gut and discouraging toxin and yeast build up in the body. Supply your dog with a good probiotic and remove grains from the diet. If possible, feed raw.
Behavioral Changes: Agression, Anxiety, and Restlessness
Your dog is not feeling “right” while on prednisone. He knows his body is in a state of imbalance and this results in behavioral changes which can be almost unbearable. Counteract the side effects of prednisone with nutrition and a few adjustments during the day which we’ve listed below.
Excessive thirst and hunger
Make sure there is fresh water accessible for your dog, that’s easy. But for a dog that acts like he’s starving, it can be difficult to keep him satisfied. If you feed your dog a dry kibble, the thirst may be even more emphasized, so try to feed a raw diet or provide extra water in the food.
Your dog isn’t really more hungry, or needing extra food during this time, but, to settle his tummy, keep a few healthy snacks on hand and allow him to chew on something safe (chewing also helps with the behavioral issues). Some dog owners find success with breaking up the meals to allow extra feedings without increasing daily calorie intake.
Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Stomach Issues
Prednisone, like other prescription medications, can strip the gut of healthy flora. The result expresses itself as a dissatisfied feeling for your dog, and if he experiences diarrhea or vomiting, that’s even worse.
If possible, boost your dog’s gut health with probiotics for one week prior to starting prednisone therapy. If your dog is already on prednisone, experiencing the side effects, replace the healthy bacteria as soon as possible. Probiotic Miracle®, in daily therapeutic doses has been very effective for dogs. Supply the probiotics twice per day, or at each meal, rather than just once.
How To Reduce The Need For Prednisone
Sometimes prednisone is a necessary medication, but in many cases, the need for prednisone can be avoided with some extra care in nutrition. While prednisone may offer an immediate relief for your dog, the side effects cause another array of problems. Nutritional treatment may take longer to improve the underlying condition of your dog, but, the results are long lasting with no negative side effects. Below is a full list of support remedies to help your dog avoid needing prednisone therapy. Allow 8 weeks for the full effect of nutritional therapy to stabilize the body.
- Reduce or Eliminate Allergens
Allergens can be caused by diet, and there are also inhalant allergies. Identify the allergen and eliminate it. For more tips on allergies, read: Avoid Allergies This Allergy Season.
- Support the Body with Nutrition
- Probiotics: Support healthy immune function via the gut, we believe probiotics to likely be the most important supplement for you pet. (Probiotic Miracle®)
- Fish Oil: The essential fatty acids in pure fish oil provide a wide range of wellness benefits including reduced inflammation, improved cardiovascular, brain, and neural health. For a complete list of benefits, read: Essential Nutrient Your Pet May Be Missing. (Celavin™)
- Nutrients: Supply antioxidant compounds, bioflavonoids, vitamins C and E, selenium, and sulfur-containing amino acids, which are needed to protect the body from the tremendous increase in free radicals that occurs during an inflammatory response. (Dermix™)
- Enzymes: A quality plant-sourced digestive and systemic enzyme relieves the body of stress caused by digestion and poor elimination. Helps to break down irritants like yeast, fungi, bacteria, and hard to digest foods. (Enzyme Miracle®)
The four nutritional supplements listed above are what we consider a “Must Have” for basic dog wellness as they support foundational immune and systemic health. By adding these supplements to your dog’s diet, you ensure more efficient bodily functions without any of the negative side effects that come from prednisone.
Product Snapshot: Nutritional Supplement “Must Haves”
Follow the link below for a list of must-haves when your dog is on prednisone, or to help avoid prednisone altogether:
- Allergies in Dogs
- Arthritis & Joint Issues
- Bad Dog Breath
- Bite Inhibition
- Crate Training
- Dehydrated Dog Food
- Dog Aging
- Dog Dental Health
- Dog Diarrhea
- Dog Dreams
- Dog Fleas
- Dog Sleep
- Dog Training
- Dog Urine
- Dog Vitamins
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
- Flea Control
- Food Allergy
- Food Intolerance
- Formula Focus
- Fussy Eater
- GI Disorders
- Grain-Free Diet
- Hair Loss
- Hot Spots
- House Training
- Household Pet Issues
- How Old Is My Dog?
- Immune System
- Insect Bites
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Joint and Ligament
- Kitten Health
- Liver Damage
- Loose Stool
- Obesity & Weight Control
- Paw Licking
- Pet Allergies
- Pet Nutrition Guides
- Picky eater dog or cat
- Prednisone for Dogs
- Puppy Behavior
- Puppy Health
- Raw Diet
- Senior Dogs
- Skin Issues
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
- Stool Eating
- Tear Staining
- Teeth & Gums
Tag Cloudafter antibiotics allergy antibiotics antioxidants arthritis Bladder coat cranberry diarrhea digestion digestive enzymes dog aging dog allergies Dog Dental Health dog vitamins Enzymes finicky fish oil fussy eater Gas GI disorder gut hot spots inflammation irritable bowel joint ligament loose stool miraclezyme omega-3 pancreatitis picky probiotics probiotics after antibiotics psychological skin issues skin problem socialization systemic enzymes Urinary Tract Infection UTI vomiting when to use probiotics yeast yellow stool