In this article I am going to help you by defining canine epilepsy, listing some common causes and how changing their diet can help greatly. I have experienced canine epilepsy firsthand.

Definition and causes of epilepsy

Epilepsy is generally defined as a neurological disorder which causes seizures or abnormal sensations or behaviors. While there are several things that can cause or bring on epileptic seizures, some of the most common deal with genetics, trauma or injury to the head, brain tumor or stroke and nutritional deficiencies. The average life expectancy for a dog with an unknown cause, or idiopathic, seizure is about nine years. For a dog with a known intracranial disease is approximately six years. The first seizure, although it may be shocking, isn’t always cause for concern, however, after the second seizure, the dog should be brought to a veterinarian for a check up. Be sure to give as detailed information as you can to the vet.

Grand Mal Seizure

This is the most common type of seizure known to occur. A Grand Mal Seizure usually acts in three phases. They are:

  • Pre-ictal phase – the symptoms are usually hiding, crying, and restlessness. This stage can last anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple hours.
  • Ictal phase – this is the actual seizure itself. It is characterized by temporary loss of conscienceness, uncontrollable twitching and often times, loss of bladder control with urination and defecation possible. In my experience, this can last for up to approximately five minutes, but can vary in length.
  • Post seizure phase – this consists of a short period of disorientation which can last anywhere from a matter of minutes up to an hour or two. My dog usually only experienced this for 10-30 minutes at the most.

Note: When a human is having a seizure, it is usually recommended to put a hand, wallet or like object in their mouth to keep them from swallowing their tongue. You do not have to do this with a dog as they are not likely to swallow their tongue. Definitely do not put your hand in their mouth as they will, more than likely, bite you unknowingly.

Breeds more prone to epilepsy

While seizures can affect any part of the brain and in any breed of dog, there are some breeds that are more prone to epilepsy than others. They are:

  • German Shepherd
  • Keeshund
  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • Poodle
  • Irish Setter
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky
  • Golden and Labrador Retriever
  • Cocker Spaniel

Diet tips for canine epilepsy

Once your dog has gone into several seizures, as mine had, there are treatments through medications and even brain surgery, which can be very costly, and may not be 100% effective. I mentioned earlier that one of the causes could be from nutritional deficiencies. These could be deficiencies such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and also processed foods. One of the best is the BARF diet. This is the Biologically Approved Raw Food diet. Where raw meats are concerned, you want to be careful. Make sure you get high quality meats from a butcher, not those we normally buy in a supermarket as they normally have to be cooked first to eliminate certain toxins before even we can eat them.

Taurine is a good supplement for them. It is a non-essential amino acid that helps to regulate their metabolism, calms their nervous system and aids digestion. The nervous system is important as it affects the brain. Taurine can be found in good quality meats. As for fruits and vegetables, apples (without seeds) are good along with pears, grapefruit and oranges. Fresh vegetables would include broccoli, spinach, celery and carrots. You want to avoid anything with onion, garlic, salts and sugars. Read the label if you’re just sticking to store bought foods. Avoid artificial flavors and colors, soy products and corn. Also, try to avoid a lot of dairy products, as they don’t digest them as well as humans. Avoid complex carbohydrates as they can cause hyperglycemia, which is too much sugar going to the brain, similar to humans and could cause diabetes.


I hope that I have given you some more insight into canine epilepsy, the causes and some dietary tips to, not only help prevent, but also to help in the treatment process in the beginning stages of the disease. As I mentioned, I have firsthand knowledge of this with my dog, who later had to be put down. I wouldn’t want anybody to go the grief I went through when that happened. She was indeed my best friend growing up. If you have any comment or questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to address them.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or replace a veterinarian’s medical advice or treatment.

13 Replies to “Canine Epilepsy Diet-Can It Help Your Best Friend?”

  1. Hello there 

    I’m so sorry for your loose. I’m glad I stumbled upon this post, this is actually my first time of reading about canine epilepsy although I don’t really have a dog yet but I’m looking forward to getting one soon. I’ll do well to share this message with dog owners so they can be highlighted about the epilepsy and to watch out for it. 

    1. Yes, unfortunately, it hit close to home, but many years ago. I just had to inform people about this and also have an article on canine cancer as well, you may want to read. Not want to, but it may help you when you get your dog. I also have many other articles on different stages in a dog’s life and different breeds of dogs. I really appreciate your comments dearly. Thanks so much:)

  2. Hi Joseph – First, I am so sorry that you had to put your dog down.  It has been a while since I have owned a dog but I know how attached we become to them and losing them is a terrible loss.  This post is helpful in that it informs us that diet is as important to our best friend as it is to us.  Thanks for this opportunity.

    1. Thank you very much for reading it and commenting. Really appreciate it.  I have another article on canine cancer and a few others on nutrition in general if you’re interested, or for family and friends.

  3. Helooo o we there, a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and educating article on the topic titled; canine epilepsy diet. I for sure knew that humans experience epilepsy but I never knew dogs could also experience epilepsy.. this is really interesting indeed. Anyways now I can boost of having a concrete knowledge about epilepsy for dogs. That’s really a nice tips for canine epilepsy, I think it will really help. Thanks

    1. Thank you reading the article and your very kind comments. This one brought back memories, but I had to share the information with people who are unaware of this very serious issue. Thanks again and keep watching for my next one.

  4. helloodear, thans alot for sharing such concised and amazing content with us all, these article is great and gives great information , it really has been very usefull i really do fancy it alot,,your choice of words and writing skills amazing, i really do fancy these post alot thanks i already saved these post so as much as to come back for future reference, i already saved these post so as to come back for future reference, you surely are a life saver dear

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting on the article. People need to be aware of this and other issues if they have a dog or are thinking of getting one. I have one article on canine caner and the others are basically on nutritional information for those same people. Thanks again and keep watching my site for more to come and thanks for saving this one.

  5. Thanks for such an informative post. It sounds like such a terrifying ordeal having to watch a seizure of a love pet, or even a friend/family member for that matter. The dietary tips are something I think every pet owner should consider, along with a healthy diet. Dogs shouldn’t be used as a trash can for your leftovers, they needs some proper dog food too!

    1. Thank you so much! And you’re absolutely right, dogs shouldn’t be used for leftovers. They have and need their own specific diet in general and especially if they’re dealing with and type of disease. I really appreciate your comments and look forward to reviewing your other posts as well. Thank you dear.

  6. Your headline really intrigued me!! I never would’ve though to correlate canine epilepsy and diet. As a dog sitting, I feel like this is important information for me to know! That way, I know what is appropriate or not to feed a dog. Thankfully, I do not have any issues, but thanks to your article, I know how to watch eating habits to ensure they are getting the best diet possible to live a long healthy life!

  7. So one of my Pekingese has epilepsy. It started when he was 10 months old, and it took about 6 months to get him on the right medication, during which time, he had multiple fits, and a severe allergic reaction to “lethal” which is one of the dog epilepsy tablets. He was partially paralysed due to this, and had to go for physio and acupuncture, but I am glad to report that he was able to walk again after 3 months, and is now on a human epileptic table, called “Kepra. It was an incredibly stressful time, so it is great to find sites where people can comment and share their experience and/or knowledge this subject.

    1. First off, thank you very much for commenting. I’m glad he is able to walk normal again. As I said, I wrote that article because of my big girl growing up and I wasn’t even home when this happened. I was stationed down in Georgia and got a letter from my mother which made it worse with the distance. We can share some thoughts and ideas as we go along, this would be great!! Thank you again for commenting dear 🙂

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