What’s the Right Canine Epilepsy Diet?

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If you feed some table food as treats, avoid foods with excessive sodium such as processed meats and cheeses if your dog is taking bromide medication.

Can You Feed Dogs with Epilepsy Raw Meat Diets?

Raw meat diets are controversial. There are no known scientifically studied and documented benefits of feeding a raw meat diet to dogs with epilepsy.

In general, there are pros and cons of feeding a raw meat diet to dogs. Some pet owners and veterinarians are proponents of a raw meat diet and others are passionate about the claims. Read more – The Raw Meat Diet Debate. This raw meat debate has nothing to do with canine epilepsy but on the controversy over feeding raw meats.  There are no known specific benefits of feeding dogs with epilepsy a raw meat diet.

The Best Food to Feed Dogs with Epilepsy

Food recommendations for dogs with epilepsy include:

  • Quality food. The best food to feed dogs with epilepsy is a good quality food that conforms to AAFCO* standards. This indicates the manufacturer is following the national consensus recommendations for dog foods. Check the label (see footnote below).
  • Add MCT. Add a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) in the form of coconut oil at a dose of a ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
  • Canned or Dry. You can feed your epileptic dog either canned or dry food. The choice of canned, semi-moist or dry food is an individual one, but if your dog is more than 30 pounds, dry food is preferred as the base diet for its greater caloric density (more calories per volume of food). There are a number of excellent dog food manufacturers.
  • Avoid obesity. It is important to feed to maintain your dog at an ideal weight and avoid obesity.
  • Avoid excessive salt. This is especially true if your dog is taking bromide medication.
  • Provide plenty of fresh clean water at all times.

For more information about the best recommendations for feeding your dog – go to Nutrition in Dogs.

* The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an organization that publishes regulations for nutritional adequacy of “complete and balanced” dog and cat foods. Your pet’s food should conform to minimal AAFCO standards. Diets that fulfill the AAFCO regulations will state on the label: “formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for…(a given life stage).

Additional Articles of Interest:

References:

  • Patterson E, Munana K, Kirk C, et al. Results of ketogenic food trial for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. J Vet Int Med 2005;19.
  • Podell M. Antiepileptic drug therapy and monitoring. Top Companion Anim Med 2013;28:59–66.
  • Danial NN, Hartman AL, Stafstrom CE, et al. How does the ketogenic diet work? Four potential mechanisms J Child Neurol 2013;28:1027–1033.
  • Kelley SA, Hartman AL. Metabolic treatments for intractable epilepsy. Semin Pediatr Neurol 2011;18:179–185.
  • Pan Y, Larson B, Araujo JC, et al. Dietary supplementation with median chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs. Br J Nutr 2010;103:1746–1754.

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