Dogs have a remarkable ability to digest just about anything. But, even with the greatest care, dogs will occasionally eat something that doesn’t agree. Or they can find themselves with an intestinal bug which brings on bouts of vomiting or diarrhea.
Related: Why is My Dog Vomiting?
For these infrequent occurrences, veterinarians generally recommend a “bland diet” which will soothe and settle their digestive systems until normal appetite, digestion and bowel movements are restored.
Preparing a Bland Diet
A bland diet consists of foods that are easy to digest, are soothing to the digestive system and contain ingredients that help restore a solid stool. For dogs, it generally involves a boiled lean meat such as chicken, hamburger or turkey; and a starch such as cooked white rice or sweet potato.
To prepare a bland diet, use ground meat or whole meat chopped into small bites. Boil the meat until cooked, then drain. Prepare the white rice and mix together in a 50/50 or 65/35 mix of rice to meat. Do not add any oils or seasonings to the mixture. Be sure to cool to room temperature before feeding.
Feeding the Bland Diet
When starting a bland diet for your dog, most veterinarians will recommend withholding food or water for 2-3 hours after they vomit or have diarrhea to let their systems settle down. If the problems stop, water can be started in small amounts. If the water doesn’t trigger more vomiting or diarrhea after another 2-3 hours, you can start feeding the bland diet.
Start with a very small amount, such as one tablespoon or a small meatball sized portion. If there is no vomiting after 2 hours, you can offer a little more. Gradually the quantity can be increased and the frequency increased. For example, instead of 2 tablespoons every 2 hours, you can gradually increase the amount to maybe a ½ cup then a cup every 3 or 4 hours.
You’ll want to continue with this diet for 2-3 days after the vomiting or diarrhea have stopped and your dog’s stool has returned to normal. Then start mixing in your dog’s normal food, a little more each day over 5 days until he is back on his normal food.
Related: Need a Bland Diet for Your Sick Dog?
A More Convenient Option
If you’re a busy pet parent and don’t have the time to cook a bland diet, or don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen, there is another option. Under the Weather® makes a freeze-dried bland diet product made with 100% human-grade meats and free of gluten, meat by-products or additives of any kind. The shelf-stable properties of its freeze-dried ingredients allow pet parents to keep this product on the shelf for the next time their dog requires a bland diet. No more cooking – just add boiling water!
Check out their website at: www.undertheweatherpet.com. They offer:
- Chicken & Rice
- Chicken & Rice with Pumpkin
- Bison & Oatmeal
A Short-Term Solution
Most dogs love eating a bland diet, and you might be tempted to keep them on this food for good. But it’s important to know that a bland diet is not a nutritionally complete diet. It does provide some of the calories and nutrients to help your dog recover, but your dog will need all the vitamins and nutrients he gets from his regular food. If you have the desire to keep your dog on a homemade diet long term, it should only be done under the supervision of a veterinary nutritionist.
Also, if the diarrhea or vomiting isn’t resolved with a bland diet, or if your dog also has symptoms like fatigue or abdominal pain, you should call your veterinarian.
This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather®, provider of bland diet products for dogs. These bland diet products offer a quick and convenient solution when dogs experience digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Ready to go in minutes – just add boiling water to rehydrate.
Our bland diet recipes are made with 100% human-grade meats – no meat by-products, antibiotic free and no hormones added! They are gluten free and have no chemicals or dyes. Sourced and manufactured in the U.S.A.
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