Preparing a Bland Diet for a Dog Suffering from Diarrhea or Vomiting

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For the most part, dogs have amazing digestive systems. As hard as we all try, occasionally they eat something they’re not supposed to or deal with stomach bugs that leave them with the need to evacuate their stomachs, generally through diarrhea or vomiting.

So how do you prepare food for a dog that has been suffering from diarrhea and/or vomiting? In this article you will find the most common instructions for preparing a bland diet for your dog. They don’t require much from you except boiled lean meat (such as chicken, hamburger or turkey) and boiled white rice.

The home treatment of dog diarrhea or vomiting with a bland diet is not a cure-all for dog problems. Serious bouts that mix both diarrhea and vomiting or have accompanying symptoms like fatigue or abdominal pain mean you should call your veterinarian.

For home treatment with a bland diet, most veterinarians recommend that you withhold food and water for a couple hours after vomiting or diarrhea. If there is no more trouble after that period of time, water can be started. Only offer small amounts at a time. If there is no vomiting or diarrhea of the water after 2 to 3 hours, then you can slowly begin a bland diet.

How to prepare a bland diet for your dog

A bland diet basically means mixing a boiled lean meat (chicken, hamburger or turkey) mixed 50/50 with boiled white rice. Do not use any additives such as butter, salt, garlic, or seasoning. This type of bland, easily digested diet is a nice rest for your dog’s intestinal track after a period of discomfort.

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 the quantity can be increased and the frequency increased. For example, instead of 2 Tbsp every 2 hours, you can gradually increase the amount to maybe a ½ cup then a cup every 3 or 4 hours. Generally, if this plan is working, you can feed this diet for 1 to 2 days then begin gradually mixing your pet’s normal food. Over a couple days, you can slowly decrease the bland diet and increase is regular food until he is back on his normal food.

It is important to note that while the bland diet helps your dog recover in the short term, it is not a nutritionally complete diet. If the diarrhea or vomiting doesn’t resolve, veterinary attention is essential. While a bland diet provides some needed calories and nutrients, the long term feeding of a homemade diet should only be done under the supervision of a veterinary nutritionist.

Serious bouts of canine vomiting and diarrhea

An occasional bout of vomiting is common in dogs; however, persistent, chronic vomiting is usually indicative of an underlying disease. Chronic vomiting often leads to decreased absorption of nutrients and subsequent weight loss. This is a more serious problem and you should definitely talk with your vet. 

Diarrhea is also common in dogs. But there is a difference between the occasional bout of loose stools and a more chronic diarrhea problem.


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