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What Not to Feed a Dog that has Seizures

Updated: Mar 14

What Not to Feed a Dog that has Seizures

Managing epilepsy in dogs involves careful attention to their diet to effectively manage their condition. Alongside medications and veterinary care, dietary choices play a significant role in supporting your furry friend's health and minimizing seizures. Certain foods can exacerbate epilepsy symptoms, including those high in carbohydrates and addiditives. Meanwhile, the ketogenic diet offers potential benefits. Let's delve into what not to feed dogs with epilepsy, considering the effects of carbohydrates, and exploring the advantages of a ketogenic diet.

Understanding Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy manifests as recurring seizures of varying severity and frequency, often with an unclear underlying cause. Management typically involves a combination of medication, lifestyle adjustments, and sometimes dietary modifications. Read more about diagnosing canine epilepsy here.


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Foods to Avoid Giving your Epileptic Dog

When caring for a dog with epilepsy, it's crucial to avoid certain foods that may worsen their condition and to support their general health through dietary interventions. There are certain foods that may increase seizure frequency in dogs with epilepsy. If you can't identify what is triggering seizure episodes, it's best to avoid any of the additives/ foods on the following list.

  1. Artificial Sweeteners: Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products, can be toxic to dogs and may lower their seizure threshold. Check ingredient labels carefully and avoid feeding your dog anything containing xylitol.

  2. Artificial Preservatives: Avoid dog foods containing artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, as these additives may contribute to inflammation and potential seizure triggers in dogs with epilepsy. Opt for natural preservatives or fresh foods whenever possible to support your dog's overall health and well-being.

  3. High-Sodium Foods: Excessive sodium intake can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which may trigger seizures in dogs with epilepsy. Limit your dog's consumption of salty snacks, processed meats, and other high-sodium foods.

  4. Certain Fruits and Vegetables: While many fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs, some can be problematic for those with epilepsy. Avoid feeding your dog grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and avocados, as these can be toxic and potentially trigger seizures.

  5. High Carbohydrate Foods: Diets high in carbohydrates can lead to blood sugar imbalances, potentially triggering seizures in dogs with epilepsy. Limit grains, potatoes, and other carb-heavy foods.

The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet, high in fat and low in carbohydrates, has shown promise in reducing seizures in some dogs with epilepsy. By shifting the body's energy source from carbohydrates to fats, this diet can alter brain metabolism and potentially reduce seizure frequency. However, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on a ketogenic diet, as it requires careful monitoring and may not be suitable for all dogs. If you want to learn more about the ketogenic diet - read our feeding guide here.


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Conclusion - Feeding a Dog with Seizures

Managing epilepsy in dogs requires a holistic approach that includes medication, veterinary care, and attention to diet. By avoiding foods that can trigger seizures, such as those high in carbohydrates and considering the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet, you can support your dog's overall health and well-being. Always collaborate closely with your veterinarian to develop a tailored management plan for your furry companion.

Every dog is unique, so pay close attention to their response to different foods and treatments, and adjust accordingly with guidance from your veterinarian.

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