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How can I get my dog to eat after surgery? Top Tricks


After your dog has surgery, it’s totally normal for them to not feel like eating much. It could be because they’re in pain, feeling uncomfortable, or dealing with the aftereffects of anesthesia. Usually, dogs get back to wanting food in a few days, but sometimes it might take a bit longer. It’s important to figure out why your dog isn’t eating and learn how you can help them start eating normally again. Let’s check out some common reasons and ways to get your them back on track with their usual eating habits after dog surgery.

get my dog to eat

Why Isn’t My Dog Eating After Surgery?

There are several reasons why your dog might not feel like eating after surgery. It could be because of the medicine they took, the stress from the procedure, or issues and infections at the surgery site. Other things causing discomfort might include:

  • Anesthesia
  • Swelling
  • Acid Reflux
  • Pain Meds or Antibiotics

Usually, your dog’s appetite will come back about 24 hours after the surgery. But if two days pass and they’re still not interested in food, it’s crucial to get in touch with your vet right away. They can check for infections or any hidden problems affecting your pet’s appetite.


How to feed a dog after surgery? Veterinary tips

It’s pretty normal for dogs to lose interest in food after an injury, especially if they had to take sedatives or anesthesia. They might even go a whole day without wanting to eat, but after that, it’s important to make sure they’re getting the right nutrition.

Here are a few things you can do to make their food more appealing:

  1. Dogs really enjoy meat, so try adding some cooked lean meat like chicken or turkey to their usual meal. It not only grabs their attention but also helps with their recovery.
  2. Warming up your dog’s dinner will make it smell more delicious, tempting your dog to give it a try.
  3. If your dog has trouble chewing, adding some warm water to their dry food can soften it, making it easier for them to eat.


How to Encourage Your Dog to Eat After Surgery?

If your dog is not eating after a procedure, there are a few things you can do to encourage them:

Offer a Variety of Food: Your dog might not be in the mood for their regular meals. Try giving them different types of food like wet food, homemade meals, or even small treats to tempt them.

Make Food More Tempting: Add some pet-friendly sauce to your dog’s food to make it more appealing. Things like low-sodium chicken broth or cottage cheese can add moisture and flavor, making it easier for your dog to swallow.

Hand-Feed: Some dogs prefer to eat when they’re hand-fed. It makes them feel more comfortable, and you have control over how much and how fast they eat. Plus, it’s a good way to bond with your dog and show them affection.

Try Food Puzzles: Food puzzles can make mealtime more enjoyable for your dog. They have to work a bit to get their food, which stimulates their mind and prevents boredom and stress.

See the Vet: If your dog still won’t eat after 48 hours, it’s time to consult your vet. They can do a physical exam and suggest additional tests to find out what’s going on. They might recommend syringe-feeding if necessary.

Consider Medication: Your vet might prescribe medication to make your dog more comfortable or even recommend an appetite stimulant to help them regain their appetite. Always follow the vet’s instructions on how and when to give medication.


What should I feed my dog after surgery?

Wondering what to feed your dog after surgery? Well, the key is to follow your vet’s advice. Here’s a simple breakdown of nutrients your dog needs, and some good food options:


Importance: Critical for skin, hair, and tissue repair.

Sources: Opt for protein-rich foods like chicken or turkey.


Significance: Essential for joint and cartilage health.

Consideration for seniors: Aging dogs may have reduced glucosamine production, potentially extending the recovery period and affecting post-surgery appetite.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Healing Properties: Found in sources such as Salmon and Sardines, omega-3s aid in reducing inflammation and supporting cognitive functions.


Fats and Carbohydrates:

Fats’ Role: Vital for cell growth.

Carbs’ Role: Provide necessary energy.

Sources: Consider incorporating chicken thigh, pork loins, corn grits, white rice, and eggs.

Combining these nutrient-rich elements not only accelerates the recovery process but also enhances the palatability of the meals, encouraging post-surgery dietary compliance. Always adhere to the guidance provided by your veterinarian for a seamless and successful recovery journey for your canine companion.


What to Do If your Dog Vomits After Surgery?

So, your pup is feeling a bit queasy after surgery. It happens – blame it on the anesthesia or a grumbly tummy. The problem is, this might mess with their appetite and slow down the healing process.

Now, it’s usually not a major crisis, but it could signal some issues like infection or complications. That’s why keeping a close watch on your furry buddy and sticking to your vet’s advice is key.

Here’s the lowdown on calming your dog’s upset stomach:

Check the Puke Scene: Take a peek at what your dog tossed up. If there’s anything weird, like blood or strange objects, get on the phone with your vet pronto.

Stay Hydrated: Give your dog tiny sips of water or ice chips every so often. It keeps them hydrated and might put a stop to the vomiting.

Plain Food Fix: Introduce some boiled chicken and rice into your dog’s menu. When their stomach is doing somersaults, simple eats are easier on them than the regular dog food.

Keep an Eye Out: Keep tabs on your dog’s behavior and check for any red flags like more puking, weakness, laziness, a fever, or signs of pain. If things seem off, dial up your vet without delay.


Sum Up

After your dog has surgery, they might not feel like eating much, but it’s crucial to get them back on track as soon as possible. If your furry friend hasn’t eaten for more than 48 hours post-surgery or is showing signs of trouble like tiredness or vomiting, reach out to your vet without delay. There could be an issue or a reaction that needs immediate attention.

Remember, recovery takes time, so be patient with your pup. Give our shared tips a shot to encourage your dog to eat again, and don’t forget to heed the advice of our vet at the top-notch animal clinic in North York. They’re there to guide you through the process and ensure your dog’s smooth recovery.


Frequently Asked Questions regarding to eat dog after surgery

What should I do if my dog refuses to eat two days after surgery?

If your dog hasn’t eaten for over 48 hours post-surgery, consult your vet for guidance.


Can I offer human food to encourage my dog to eat after surgery?

Check with your vet before introducing new foods; some human foods may be harmful to dogs.


Is vomiting normal after dog surgery, and when should I be concerned?

Monitor post-surgery vomiting; contact your vet if you observe blood or unusual objects.


How soon should my dog’s appetite return after surgery?

Typically within 24 hours, but consult your vet if there’s no interest in food after 48 hours.


Can food puzzles help my dog eat after surgery?

Yes, they can stimulate your dog’s mind, but consult your vet if eating issues persist.

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