7 Ways to Help A Dog Not Eating After Surgery
Is your dog not eating after surgery? Dogs often suffer from nausea and lack of appetite after a surgical procedure. Recovery after surgery is a stressful time and can be hard enough for you and your dog even without this issue. In our previous post "How to Care for a Dog After Surgery" we gave you tips on overall post-surgery care for your dog. Today we'll elaborate on feeding guidelines, and our best tips on how to get your dog to eat. Note, though we've lined up these tips for post-surgery, they can actually be used anytime your dog is suffering from loss of appetite.
Nutrition is one the most important components in the surgery recovery process. After all, nutrients are what nourish the body and support the rebuilding, immunity, and recovery that are taking place. Follow these tips to make sure that your dog is properly fed when recovering from surgery.
HOW TO GET A DOG TO EAT AFTER SURGERY
Watch the video below for 7 great tips to encourage your dog to eat after surgery. Make sure you rule out anything serious or any potential complications.
Day 1: If your dog had a general anesthetic procedure on the same day that he is returning home, wait until the effects of anesthesia has passed and your dog has regained coordination to begin feeding. When your dog is ready to eat, offer him a small meal. Give him a small portion initially and space out the rest of the meal over the rest of the day.
- Day 2: Your dog can resume having his regular amount of food and water.
- 0-2 months: If your dog had bone surgery, and to promote bone healing, exercise for your dog will be extremely limited (you can read more about that on our blog here). With limited exercise, weight gain is expected, therefore the feeding amount will need to be reduced. Talk to your veterinarian for the proper amount to feed your dog post orthopedic surgery.
WHY IS MY DOG NOT EATING AFTER SURGERY? COMMON REASONS FOR LOSS OF APPETITE IN DOGS
Most dogs will lose interest in eating food immediately after surgery - particularly if their usual food is dry kibble. In fact, for the first few hours, it is not recommended to feed your dog since they may choke due to their nausea.
You should wait to feed your dog until the effects of anesthesia have worn off. How quickly this happens depends on the dog. Therefore, if your dog won't eat after surgery it's not necessarily a reason to be alarmed.
DOG NOT EATING AFTER SURGERY: WHEN TO VISIT THE VET
If your dog continues to vomit or diarrhea begins 24 hours after returning home due to drinking or eating, contact your veterinarian right away.
If your dog has not had surgery and you're having trouble getting your dog to eat, check out our blog Loss of Appetite in Dogs: 7 Tips to Get a Dog to Eat.
For other tips on post surgery care for dogs, read our blogs: