Guide to Feeding your Dog a Bland Diet

Guide to Feeding your Dog a Bland Diet

Health & Safety

When you think about it, your dog has a pretty amazing digestive system considering what they occasionally eat without your knowledge. Dogs are very good at tracking down a nasty smell and if they find anything that's rotting away, the chances are they will eat it only to suffer an upset stomach once you bring them home. Clearing up after a dog that has been sick or suffered a bout of diarrhoea is never the nicest of things, but it has to be done!

Why should I give my dog a bland diet?

Most of the time, it's best to only feed your dog a bland diet to help their digestive systems get back on track and it's always a good idea to discuss things with a vet first before you change their diet even if they are being sick or have the runs because they may well recommend a certain diet to go along with a treatment. With this said, the chances are your vet would suggest only giving your dog a very bland diet to help them through this delicate period. Below are a few suggestions of how to cope with the situation and how to prepare bland food for your dog when they are suffering from a bad case of diarrhoea and being sick all of the time.

Withholding Food and Water

Most of the time when a dog suffers from diarrhoea or are vomiting, a vet would recommend that you don't feed them any food for the next two house after they first started showing any signs of being unwell. The vet might also recommend that you don't let your dog drink any water for the same amount of time. If they seem better after a couple of hours, you can offer them some fresh, clean water to drink, but only if their stomachs have settled down. You can also offer them small amounts of bland food, but you should only do this if the vomiting and diarrhoea have subsided altogether.

What does a Bland Diet Consist of ?

Basically, a bland diet means preparing some sort of lean meat whether it's chicken, turkey or other and to simply boil the meat before mixing it with some plain boiled rice. This needs to be in a ratio of 50% boiled meat with 50% boiled rice. It's really important not to add any salt, butter or other type of seasoning to the food because if you do, it would end up being too rich for your dog to digest easily. The result would be more vomiting and diarrhoea. The key to feeding a bland diet to a dog when they are vomiting or suffering a bout of diarrhoea, is to give their digestive systems a break so it can get back on track as quickly as possible.

It's a good idea to give a very small amount of the bland food to begin with and ideally this needs to be just a tablespoon of food to make sure they don't start being sick again. If after a couple of hours, your dog appears to be okay, you can then offer them a little more of the bland food you've prepared for them every two hours or so. If all is well, you can increase the amount you give them to a cupful and progressively increase this to half a cup full if all is well.

How long should I give my dog a bland diet?

You should feed your dog bland diet for 2 days at a minimum. It's important to keep on feeding a bland diet to your dog for the next couple of days before slowly and gradually mixing in a little of their normal food with it. Eventually, by increasing the amount of normal food you typically feed your dog to the prepared food, they will be back on their normal diet and their bout of vomiting and diarrhoea should have ended altogether.

A Bland Diet is Only Temporary

It's very important to bear in mind that bland diets should only be fed to a dog short-term and that it is not the sort of diet that would be suitable to feed them long-term because it simply does not contain all the nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy and fit. It's also essential that any change of diet should only be made under the guidance of a vet or canine nutritionist. If a dog's symptoms do not improve even when they are being fed a bland diet, you need to get your pet back along to the vet so they can be thoroughly examined so the vet can establish what is wrong with them and then recommend a treatment.


Dogs are often sick from time to time and they will occasionally have loose poo which is nothing to get very worried about. However, if your dog continues to be sick and have diarrhoea for a longer period of time, then it's time to get them along to the vet for a check-up because something more serious could be going on. Most vets recommend feeding a dog a bland diet for a couple of days or so which will help a dog's digestive system get back on track as quickly as possible because the blander the food is, the easier it is for a dog to digest it.



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