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A Smart Diet for Dogs with Parvovirus

Dog eating in a bowl

Your dog is home from the animal hospital after being treated for Parvovirus.  Now what? Your dog will most likely have a loss of appetite and require special care for recovery.  When this happens, it can be very hard for your pet to keep any food down. After a trip to the animal hospital, your vet will likely discharge your dog with strict diet instructions to follow.  


Once your dog has finished the prescribed antibiotics, his appetite may come back in full force after not eating for so long.  He may seem to scarf down food as soon as you offer it to him, however it is very important not to allow your dog to overeat. Overeating can result in more vomiting and diarrhea.  Start by feeding smaller meals, and slowly increase the amount of food as time goes on. If your dog does start to get sick after eating, reduce meal size.

Healthy Dog FOod

It is extremely important to stick to the diet recommended by your veterinarian.  If you feed your dog based on the recommended diet, he has a much better chance of surviving the disease and recovering quickly.  Often, a home cooked diet of chicken and white rice is prescribed, and it is important that your dog’s food is easily digestible. If your dog is having a hard time eating, it may be helpful to blend the ingredients.  Do not feed your dog leftover scraps of your own food while he is recovering. Even if your dog absolutely loves to eat pieces of your lunch every day, it is important to refrain from spoiling him until he is fully recovered.  If your dog is still vomiting while on a special diet, contact your vet immediately for further instructions.


Think about what you would want to eat if you had an upset stomach.  Stick to bland foods and start out with small meals. If you were to eat a large meal right after vomiting, it would probably make you feel really sick again and the food might come right back up.  The same principles go for your pet.

Again, always follow the instructions from your veterinarian.  A Parvovirus diagnosis can be a very scary situation, but if you follow a treatment plan, your dog has a high chance of surviving Parvo. 

This article is not meant to be used as a replacement for professional veterinary advice. For any questions on Parvo, consult with your veterinarian.  

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