Most pets will experience at least one or two surgical or anesthetic procedures during their lives, and what they’re eating can have a big effect on how well they heal after surgery. A poor diet combined with excessive high-calorie treats can sabotage a pet’s recovery. Caring for your dog after surgery should include natural dog food to promote healing.

Preparing for your dog’s surgery

To keep pets in tip-top shape, I advise my clients to begin feeding their pet additional lean protein three to seven days before surgery. Free-range, organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken is an excellent choice, along with wild-caught salmon and tuna and organic eggs. For optimal benefits, continue for two to four weeks afterward.

Whenever a pet undergoes anesthesia, changes in the normal intestinal bacteria occur that can lead to cramping, decreased appetite, diarrhea or weight loss. To lessen these side effects, I routinely recommend administering a pet-specific probiotic 24 to 48 hours prior to surgery and continuing for three to seven days afterwards. Restoring bacterial balance may also speed healing and boost immune function.

Caring for your dog after surgery

After surgery, offer orange veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, which contain the restorative vitamins A and C. Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C and helpful antioxidants, and many dogs love the crunchy texture and vibrant flavor. Blueberries and broccoli can also supply your pet with much-needed nutritional ammo to combat infection and potential complications.

When your four-legged love has to go “under the knife,” whip up this nutritional wonder as a therapeutic treat!

It's simple.We have the most comprehensive pet insurance for cats & dogs.

Salmon Surgery Special

By Dr. Ernie Ward
I like this recipe for post-op patients because it’s easy to prepare, inexpensive and loaded with healthful omega-3 fatty acids and proteins.


  • 1 can wild-caught salmon (3 oz.)
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 large omega-3 eggs, scrambled
  • ½ cup green beans
Mix all ingredients together and feed twice daily for three to seven days after surgery. Ask your vet to calculate the exact number of calories to feed your pet based on age, medical condition and extent of surgery.

Calories: 417

Oct 15, 2015
Pet Health

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