How To Feed Your Dog A Bland Diet For Her Upset Stomach
Let’s help her feel better 🤒
Bland diets can help a person feel better when they have an upset stomach, and the same method can be used to help calm a dog's stomach.
We reached out to Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinarian at Stayyy, to find out more about a bland diet for dogs.
What is a bland diet for dogs?
Bland diets consist of food that’s low in fat, low in fiber and easy to digest.
“The best bland diets include a protein source and simple carbohydrates,” Dr. Sievert told The Dodo.
In most cases, the protein will be boiled, drained and sliced into small pieces, and the carbohydrate will be steamed, boiled or baked, and also sliced into small pieces.
When would you feed a bland diet to your pup?
The most common time you’d feed your pup a bland diet is when she has an upset stomach since it may help her feel better.
“Veterinarians frequently recommend bland diets for at least 1–3 days or until they feel better,” Dr. Sievert said.
Signs your dog has an upset stomach
Two of the most common signs of gastrointestinal trouble are vomiting and diarrhea.
“The symptoms can be caused by a wide variety of things, from eating too quickly to eating things they shouldn't,” Dr. Sievert said.
In general, bland diets can be used if your dog typically has normal stools and suddenly develops diarrhea (and the diarrhea hasn’t been persisting for more than three days).
Before starting your pup on a bland diet, it’s a good idea to check in with your veterinarian to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
When wouldn’t you feed a bland diet to your dog?
If your dog suffers from chronic diarrhea or vomiting, or if she suffers from food allergies or another underlying medical condition, then a bland diet isn’t for her.
“Some causes of diarrhea and vomiting may be more serious, such as intestinal blockage, viral or bacterial infections, kidney disease, or even cancer, which requires a medical diagnosis by a vet,” Dr. Sievert said.
Best bland foods to feed your dog
The best bland foods to feed your pup are similar to what you’d have yourself if you were suffering from an upset stomach.
Some of the most common protein sources you can feed your pup while on a bland diet include:
- Pork loin
- Lean ground beef
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Plain low-fat yogurt
If using meat, boil it (without seasonings, of course) and drain it before serving.
Some of the most common sources of simple carbs you can feed your pup on a bland diet include:
- White rice
- Sweet potato
- Cooked oatmeal
If using rice, sweet potato or pasta, just boil it like you would for yourself but without salt or oil, and feed it to your pup once it’s drained and cooled.
If using oatmeal, just add water instead of milk in case your pup can’t handle dairy.
How to feed your dog a bland diet
When getting your dog started on a bland diet, serve only a small amount of food at first.
You can start by feeding her 1–2 tablespoons of your bland mixture at a time to see if she tolerates it. If she does, you can increase how much you’re giving her up to one-fourth to one-half of a cup every four hours. (In general, it’s better to help your pup’s stomach rest by giving her multiple small meals per day rather than one or two huge meals.)
Once your dog stops showing signs of a stomach ache, it’s best to keep her on her bland diet for at least two more days. After that, you’ll want to transition her back to her regular food by slowly increasing the amount of regular food she’s eating and reducing the amount of bland food she’s eating. The transition period can usually take about five days.
Contact your veterinarian if you have any questions or want more specific measurements for your individual pup.
While a bland diet is just that — bland — it’s a useful tool to have when your pup’s suffering from a tummy ache to help her feel better as soon as possible.