Diet and nutrition


Nutrition and diet

Nutrition for the IVDD disc disease dog


After crate rest is complete a dog needs to have proper total nutrition for the body to rebuild, for the discs and spinal cord to heal and nerves to regenerate. Healing continues on for many weeks and months, it takes a lot of energy and nutrients.

During crate rest after surgery or with conventional treatment, diet changes are not recommended. During IVDD treatment, you do not want any confusion in figuring out if diarrhea/stomach issues are food related vs. a more serious medication related problem.

Commercial kibble

Find a dog food that has two animal proteins listed in the first 3 ingredients, preferably the first two, and that is preserved naturally with vitamin C or E (avoid chemicals BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin or propyl gallate). Look for specifically named meats such as chicken, chicken meal, turkey, turkey meal, lamb, lamb meal, eggs.

Avoid beef/chicken/turkey/lamb byproducts, generic meats such as meat meal, fish meal, poultry meal. Avoid any food that contains corn as a first ingredient (ground or otherwise).

Don’t choose a food based on supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and probiotics as generally they are not included in large enough doses to actually provide a therapeutic effect in kibble. Purchasing a stand-alone supplement product is likely to bring better results.

There are many good choices of kibble or canned food once you know what to look for, pick one that fits your pocketbook.

More on diets

Confer with your vet before changing prescription diets for dogs with health issues such as heart, liver, allergies, etc.

Good information regarding food and nutrition and home cooking:  Dogaware

Check out these:  Diet strategies from the Dodgers Digest article “Oveweight?” providing good tips for successfully reducing weight.

Red line shows an overweight dog

Other IVDD topics


This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the dog IVDD community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.

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