Nutrition and diet
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.
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.
- ▪️ How to grade your dog’s food and rated brands: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com
- ▪️ Compare your favorite pet food!
Pet Nutrition Alliance. Dare to ask … we did. Pet Nutrition Alliance website. http://petnutritionalliance.org/site/pnatool/dare-to-ask-we-did Published 2019. Accessed Sep 25, 2020.
- ▪️ Selecting the best commercial foods: http://www.dogaware.com/diet/commercial.html#select
▪️ Dog food labels 101. Learn what the ingredients mean: http://www.dogfoodproject.com
- ▪️ This site rates dog foods available, both kibble and canned: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com
More on diets
Confer with your vet before changing prescription diets for dogs with health issues such as heart, liver, allergies, etc.
A list specializing in proper nutrition in a diversity of diets whether commercial, home-cooked or raw. Support for healthy dogs and those with disorders such as liver, skin, heart, etc.
K9Kitchen or on K9Kitchen on Facebook
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
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Videos and tips to get more out of your vet’s hands-on expressing lesson. How to express for poop, too!
At the end of crate rest, you and your vet can better assess if a wheelchair is needed.