What should I feed my dog in recovery?

Written by Zoe Russell, BSc (Hons)  

Nutrition Officer, Skinner’s

After a dog has undergone surgery or been through a bout of illness, it’s important we support their recovery in any way we can.

This often means managing their level of exercise, their time spent resting, as well as administering any medication or post-op care where appropriate. In many cases, we can also provide dietary support to further our dogs on their way to recovery.

How to support a dog’s recovery with their diet

When recovering, your dog may benefit from smaller, lighter meals. The involves splitting their daily intake into smaller, more frequent portions, using the approach of “little and often”. During this time, it’s also especially important to keep an eye on their weight and condition, so you are in a good position to make any portion adjustments sooner rather than later.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to be a little off their food after a bout of illness or surgery, perhaps because they are feeling uncomfortable or even nauseous if they’ve been under anesthesia. At this stage it’s important to give them time and space to eat, as it can be quite a stressful time for them; remaining patient can be key to their recovery. However, if you are concerned that they aren’t eating, then you must seek veterinary support as soon as possible.

Feeding a dog after they have been spayed or neutered

Once they have been spayed or neutered, their energy demands will often decrease. Therefore, after the procedure, we would suggest reducing their daily feed intake by approximately 10%.

Post-surgery, dogs can also be predisposed to weight gain, so it’s important to closely monitor their weight and condition. If you would like more information about how spaying and neutering may impact your dog’s diet, take a look at our blog.

What should I feed my dog after surgery?

Unless your vet has recommended a specific diet, wet food can be a good choice while your dog is recovering. This is because wet diets are often highly palatable and easy to eat, which can be beneficial if your dog is a little off their food. Wet diets are also highly digestible and can provide a source of protein to support muscle repair, as well as fat for energy during the recovery process.

Furthermore, some dogs may not be drinking enough water post-surgery or during their recovery. One of the benefits of wet diets is that they have a higher moisture content compared to dry diets (around 70% in our wet diets compared to around 10% in our dry diets), so can help keep dogs hydrated. However, it is important they also have access to a source of fresh clean water, as diet alone cannot be relied on to keep them fully hydrated.

Speaking to your vet

Of course, every dog is different and if your vet has prescribed a specific diet or particular feeding regime for your dog, then we would suggest following their advice in the first instance. Unfortunately, we don’t make any prescription diets at present, but if your vet is happy for your dog to stay on a main-stream diet, then we would be happy to assist in-line with their advice.

Contact us

If you need any more information about our diets, then please contact our nutrition team at

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Our products are available to buy online but we would love you to support one of our loyal stockists up and down the country!

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