how to feed a dog with vestibular disease

Mariah Brown

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Mariah Brown

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how to feed a dog with vestibular disease

Welcome, dog owners, to our comprehensive guide on how to feed a dog with vestibular disease. If you’ve landed on this article, you may be seeking information and guidance on how to provide the best nutrition and care for your furry friend who is experiencing vestibular disease. We understand the importance of supporting your dog’s health during this challenging time. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of feeding a dog with vestibular disease, providing you with expert tips and practical advice to ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are met. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Vestibular Disease

What is Vestibular Disease?

Vestibular disease, also known as canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome, is a condition that affects a dog’s balance and coordination. It can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, disorientation, and difficulty walking. While it can be distressing to witness your dog experiencing these symptoms, the good news is that most cases of vestibular disease resolve on their own within a few weeks. However, during this time, it’s crucial to provide your dog with the right nutrition and care to support their recovery.

The Importance of Proper Nutrition

When a dog is diagnosed with vestibular disease, it’s essential to maintain their overall health and support their recovery through a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in promoting healing, boosting the immune system, and providing necessary nutrients to help your dog regain their strength. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when feeding a dog with vestibular disease:

  • Provide easily digestible food: During the initial stages of vestibular disease, your dog’s digestive system may be sensitive. Opt for easily digestible food to minimize gastrointestinal distress and ensure that essential nutrients are absorbed by the body.
  • Choose high-quality protein: Protein is essential for muscle repair and recovery. Opt for high-quality protein sources such as lean meats or high-protein dog food to aid your dog’s healing process.
  • Incorporate healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can have anti-inflammatory properties and support your dog’s overall health. Consider incorporating foods rich in omega-3s, such as salmon or flaxseed oil, into their diet.
  • Keep them hydrated: Proper hydration is crucial for dogs, especially when they are dealing with vestibular disease. Ensure that fresh water is readily available for your dog at all times.
  • Consult with your veterinarian: Every dog is unique, and their nutritional needs may vary. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to create a personalized feeding plan tailored to your dog’s specific condition and requirements.

Creating a Nutritional Plan for Your Dog

1. Rethinking Your Dog’s Meal Schedule

When a dog is experiencing vestibular disease, their appetite may be affected. It’s important to be flexible with their meal schedule and adapt to their changing needs. If your dog is struggling to eat large meals, consider offering smaller, frequent meals throughout the day. This can help ensure they receive the necessary nutrients while accommodating their reduced appetite.

2. Choosing the Right Food

Selecting the right type of food for your dog can make a significant difference in their overall well-being during vestibular disease recovery. Consider the following options:

  • Premium dog food: Opt for high-quality, premium dog food brands that prioritize real, whole ingredients and avoid artificial additives and fillers.
  • Prescription diet: In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet formulated specifically for dogs with vestibular disease. These diets are designed to provide optimal nutrition and support healing.
  • Homemade diet: If you prefer preparing your dog’s meals at home, consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure you meet all their nutritional requirements. Homemade diets can be more time-consuming and require careful attention to balance the necessary nutrients.

3. Introducing Supplements

In addition to a balanced diet, certain supplements can support your dog’s recovery during vestibular disease. Consult with your veterinarian before introducing any supplements, as they can recommend the appropriate ones based on your dog’s specific needs. Common supplements that may be beneficial include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: As mentioned earlier, omega-3 fatty acids can have anti-inflammatory properties and support overall health.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics can promote a healthy gut microbiome and aid in digestion, which can be beneficial if your dog experiences any gastrointestinal issues during vestibular disease.
  • Pet-specific multivitamins: A good-quality multivitamin designed for dogs can ensure they receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

A Sample Nutritional Plan

While every dog’s nutritional needs may vary, here’s a sample nutritional plan that you can consider for a dog with vestibular disease:

Meal Food Portion Size Additional Notes
Breakfast High-quality dog food (wet or dry) 1/2 cup or 1 can Adjust portion size based on your dog’s appetite. Monitor hydration.
Lunch Boiled chicken breast 1/4 cup or 1 small breast Options: lean ground turkey, whitefish, or sweet potato. Avoid seasonings and spices.
Dinner Prescription diet approved by your veterinarian Follow veterinarian’s instructions A prescription diet may have specific feeding instructions based on your dog’s condition.
Snacks/Treats Soft, easily chewable treats As recommended by your veterinarian Ensure treats are appropriate for your dog’s health condition.
Water Fresh water Available at all times Monitor hydration and provide fresh water regularly.


1. Can I feed my dog the same food they were eating before vestibular disease?

It’s advisable to switch your dog to easily digestible, nutritious food during vestibular disease. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food options for your dog’s condition.

2. Should I add any specific supplements to my dog’s diet during vestibular disease?

Adding supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, or pet-specific multivitamins can be beneficial. It’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the supplements are appropriate for your dog’s specific needs.

3. My dog’s appetite has decreased. What should I do?

If your dog’s appetite has decreased, try offering smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. You can also try warming their food slightly or adding appetizing toppers to entice them.

4. Can I feed my dog homemade meals during vestibular disease?

Homemade meals can be an option, but it’s important to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure you meet all your dog’s nutritional requirements. Homemade diets must be properly balanced.

5. Are there any foods that I should avoid feeding my dog with vestibular disease?

Avoid feeding your dog foods that are high in fat, spices, or seasonings. These can potentially upset their stomach and worsen their condition. Stick to bland, easily digestible foods.

6. How frequently should I feed my dog with vestibular disease?

Consider offering smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Aim for at least three to four meals daily, adjusting portion sizes based on your dog’s appetite.

7. Can water intake affect my dog’s vestibular disease recovery?

Adequate hydration is crucial for your dog’s overall health. Ensure fresh water is readily available at all times, and monitor their water intake to ensure they stay properly hydrated.

8. Should I consult with my veterinarian before changing my dog’s diet?

Absolutely. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise on your dog’s specific condition and nutritional needs. They can guide you in choosing the right food and supplements to support your dog’s recovery.

9. Can vestibular disease affect my dog’s weight?

Vestibular disease may lead to a temporary decrease in appetite, which can result in weight loss. Monitoring your dog’s weight and ensuring they receive adequate nutrition is essential during this time.

10. How long does it take for a dog to recover from vestibular disease?

The recovery time for dogs with vestibular disease varies. In most cases, symptoms improve within a few days to a few weeks. However, it’s crucial to provide continuous support, including proper nutrition, throughout the recovery period.


We hope this comprehensive guide on how to feed a dog with vestibular disease has provided you with valuable insights and practical tips for supporting your furry friend’s recovery. Remember to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice tailored to your dog’s unique needs. By ensuring a well-balanced diet, incorporating appropriate supplements, and monitoring your dog’s condition, you can contribute to their overall well-being and help them on their journey to recovery. Wishing you and your furry companion a swift and successful recovery!

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