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A bland diet for dogs is a home-remedy recommended for dogs of all ages, and it’s meant to help dogs who are experiencing signs of stomach problems. This diet is also called “bland” because it does not have any seasonings or spices added. Many spices are too hot and spicy for an already upset intestinal tract.

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.

The two most common signs of gastrointestinal (GI) trouble are vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually short lived and can be caused by many things. Eating too quickly, eating spoiled food, or even an innocent change in diet can upset the GI tract.

On the other hand, causes of vomiting and diarrhea may be more serious. Your pooch may be suffering from a viral or bacterial infections, Pancreatitis, kidney disease, by eating something toxic or from an intestinal blockage caused by eating rocks, tree bark, mulch, paper towels, toys, or something else.

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.

Foods That Suit a Bland Diet For Dogs

The American Kennel Club suggests these five meal ideas that are intended for dogs with mild stomach upset, nausea, constipation, and/or diarrhea. These ideas include easy-to-find ingredients such as;

  • Chicken and Rice: Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts and rice.
  • Shredded Chicken: Plain, unseasoned, boiled, shredded chicken is easy to digest and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids, making it a great snack for dogs feeling under the weather.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is high in fiber, which helps regulate canine digestive systems. Cooked, peeled, unsalted, and unseasoned pumpkin.
  • Bone Broth: Bone broth is a very mild, liquid meal that sits easily in upset canine stomachs. It is also a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavor to dry food and encourage dogs with reduced appetites to eat.
  • Baby Food: Baby food is very easy to swallow and digest and is a great way to give oral medications. Veterinarians recommend feeding Stage II meat-based baby foods like chicken, lamb, and turkey, as long as the baby food does not contain any garlic or onion powder.

How to Cook a Bland Diet for Dogs

The protein should be boiled or cooked without any added butter, oil, or spices. If you are opting to use canned meat, ensure that it’s packed in water and rinse it thoroughly before using. Vegetables, if used, should be blanched and not fed raw. To blanch them, bring a pot of water to a boil, cook the vegetables in the boiling water for 1-5 minutes, then immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water.

If home cooking is not feasible for you, whether due to time or expense, there are commercially available bland diets that your veterinarian can prescribe your dog.

When Not to Try a Bland Diet For Dogs

You shouldn’t try a bland diet if you’re not sure what your dog ingested and what could have triggered the digestive upset. There are chances your dog may have ingested something potentially toxic.

Also, you shouldn’t be trying a bland dog diet if your dog has severe symptoms such as continuous vomiting, continuous liquid diarrhea, lethargy, bloody or tarry stools, lack of appetite, fever and other worrisome symptoms that should warrant a vet visit.

There are many other serious conditions that warrant a vet visit. Please use extreme caution and common sense when trying to treat at home. Time is of the essence in some cases, so don’t make the mistake of regretting a choice that could turn out risky. When in doubt, go to the vet.


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