Dog Not Eating After Neutering [Why & What To Do]


Dog Not Eating After Neutering is one of the most common complaints from dog owners. If your dog doesn’t want to eat after neutering, it could be related to how the surgery was performed, or your dog’s age.

For dogs less than 6 months old, the most common cause of loss of appetite after neutering is surgery stress and pain. Surgery-related causes of decreased appetite in adult dogs can be quite variable; here are some common ones and what you can do about them…

Why Is This Happening?

Dog Not Eating After Neutering

The long-term effects of neutering on a dog are not known, but research shows that there can be some short-term side effects. The most common is a drop in the dog’s appetite.

This is usually temporary and goes away within one to two weeks. However, this may not be the case for all dogs. Some dogs have trouble eating after surgery, and it may take up to six weeks for them to get back to their normal eating habits. Your vet should give you an estimate of how long it will take your dog to feel better after surgery.

In the meantime, make sure he stays hydrated by giving him water throughout the day with meals and snacks. Offer foods like boiled chicken or white rice. Make sure they’re chopped into small pieces to avoid any choking hazards.

You might also consider getting a syringe and feeding him by hand until he gets his appetite back. If none of these things work, you might want to talk to your veterinarian about whether or not adjusting his medications would help boost his appetite.

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The Solution

Dog Not Eating After Neutering

Dogs can refuse to eat when they are in pain or have an upset stomach. If your dog is not eating after neutering, the first thing you should do is visit your vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions. In most cases, however, dogs refuse to eat because their stomach hurts or their smell has changed.

Take a trip to the pet store and pick up some food with a taste your dog likes, then feed your pup small meals at regular intervals.

To minimize odors, bathe your pup daily using a natural shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Rinse off the shampoo well so it doesn’t irritate his skin. If this doesn’t work, try mixing canned pumpkin into his meal (1/4 cup per 10 pounds of body weight) until he starts eating again.

One last trick is to give him bland foods like boiled chicken breast and plain rice for 3-5 days, followed by more flavorful choices again slowly.

And don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh water. Your pup may need six weeks or more before he feels better. But if you’re patient, things will get back to normal soon!

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When To Worry

The only time you should be worried about your dog not eating is if he has been lethargic, vomiting, or has diarrhea. If he falls into these categories then it’s a good idea to bring him to the vet. Otherwise, wait it out. Your dog might just need some time to adjust to the surgery.

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Let him eat when he wants and as much as he wants. Offer him his favorite snacks and treats. If your dog doesn’t want anything but water, that is fine too! Give him all the water he needs to keep up his hydration levels.

Keep an eye on how much he drinks, because if he isn’t drinking enough water, there is a risk for dehydration. Try giving your dog one of his old favorites to see if that tempts him back to food again.

A lot of dogs go through a change in appetite after being neutered because they are often in pain from their surgical procedure. It can take them several days for their appetite to return so patience will be key in this situation.

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Other Steps To Take If Your dog Is Not Eating After Neutering

Dog Not Eating After Neutering

If your dog is not eating after neutering, it’s important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If there are no medical reasons for the anorexia, then try offering a high calorie diet such as boiled chicken and rice or cooked pasta with meat sauce.

You should also make sure that fresh water is always available and that your dog has access to toys and exercise. Offer a variety of foods in different textures like canned food mixed in with dry kibble or scrambled eggs mixed into his regular food.

He may take awhile to adjust but eventually he will start eating again on his own when he feels better. Check back with your vet if this doesn’t happen within a few days.

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Your vet can prescribe appetite stimulants which can be added to your pet’s food. Other steps you can take include adding ginger to the food, increasing physical activity and seeking help from animal behaviorists if all else fails.


Neutering is a routine procedure that can be done as early as 8 weeks of age.

There’s usually no reason to be alarmed if your dog doesn’t eat for a day or two after the surgery. However, if your dog refuses to eat for more than three days, you should consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes an animal may have an infection and will need antibiotics to recover.

Other times, animals are in pain from the incision and their appetite may not return until they heal. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe medication and give advice on how long it may take before your pet starts eating again following neutering surgery.


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