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

If you’re caring for a dog who recently suffered a stroke, the most important thing to remember is that there’s no way of knowing how severe the stroke was or how much damage was done.


Depending on your dog’s symptoms and other factors, it might be possible to ease them back into their regular diet within days, while some dogs may need to be fed only soft foods indefinitely.

Here’s what you need to know about why your dog isn’t eating after stroke and what you can do to get him back to normal nutrition as soon as possible.

Reasons Why Your Dog May Not Be Eating After a Stroke

Dog Not Eating After Stroke

One reason why a dog may not be eating is that they are experiencing nausea after a stroke. Dogs have a sense of smell that’s 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger than humans, so the smell of their food can make them nauseous.

If this is the case for your pup, try feeding him or her small portions of bland foods like boiled eggs and rice.

Foods with strong scents such as onions and garlic should also be avoided because they can make dogs feel sick. Soft, mushy foods are easier to digest and won’t irritate the stomach lining in the same way as other types of food.

Don’t worry if you’re worried about your dog getting enough protein – meat contains lots of essential amino acids needed by animals for growth and maintenance of body tissues, making it an excellent source for protein. You can also try adding canned pumpkin or sweet potatoes to help thicken up your dog’s diet.

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These veggies contain lots of vitamin A which will help aid in digestion. You’ll need to speak with your vet before giving your dog any medication, but there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments that can help alleviate symptoms of nausea and acid reflux. Your vet might recommend trying Pepcid AC tablets (20 mg per tablet) or Ranitidine Hydrochloride tablets (150 mg).

Things You Can Do to Encourage Your Dog to Eat

Dog Not Eating After Stroke

The first thing you should do is make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water. If your dog is drinking, this can be a sign that he or she doesn’t want to eat.

You might also try offering water and food at different times of the day. Dogs often feel more like eating in the morning and evening than they do when it’s time for dinner, so you might have better luck with an earlier or later feeding.

Some dogs need something extra added to their food to help them get back on track. You can give them supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin which will provide joint support. These supplements are available over-the-counter at most pet stores and vets’ offices.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

If your dog hasn’t eaten for at least twenty-four hours and is exhibiting other symptoms, such as lethargy or weakness, it’s time to seek veterinary help. Make sure you call ahead to let the vet know that you’re on your way and why.

They will be able to provide instructions for what to do once you arrive. The most common reason a dog won’t eat after a stroke is because they have an upset stomach from medication. Usually this lasts only a few days, but in some cases it can take up to two weeks for appetite to return. Keep offering small amounts of food over a longer period of time instead of larger meals with less frequency.

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There are also medications available to stimulate appetite in dogs that have been prescribed by a veterinarian. These are either given orally or through injection, depending on your dog’s condition. As always, make sure you consult with your vet before administering any kind of medicine to your pet.

How to Prevent Future Strokes in Dogs

Dog Not Eating After Stroke

Preventing future strokes in dogs is a daunting task. There are many ways to prevent them, however, and the most important thing is that you act quickly. The following are some things you can do to help prevent strokes in your dog:

  • Keep their weight under control.
  • Make sure they have good quality food.
  • Give them plenty of water, especially on hot days when they’re more likely to overheat. * Exercise them regularly.
  • Spend time with them – play games with them or just petting and talking to them.

They need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise! If your dog has had a stroke it’s imperative that you keep up this routine even more than before.

Also make sure they eat at least two small meals per day instead of one large meal so their blood sugar levels remain steady.

With these steps, you will be able to decrease the likelihood of another stroke for your pup! Remember though, no matter what precautions you take, nothing is guaranteed. So if your pup does experience another stroke there’s no shame in seeking veterinary care right away!


There are many reasons why a dog might not eat after stroke, and it is important to have your pup examined by a vet.

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If you suspect that your dog has had a stroke, please call your vet or emergency animal hospital immediately. While there may be no outward symptoms, the results of an x-ray will show if there has been damage to the brain stem.

Your pet may also need a blood test to measure enzyme levels in their blood as well as a full physical exam.
A stethoscope may be used to listen for heart murmurs or any other abnormalities with their lungs. Once diagnosed, your pet may need fluid therapy or other treatments including dietary supplements and medications like those for nausea.


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