A bland diet is the go-to remedy for your upset tummy, so why not Buddy's? If your puppy's experiencing some diarrhea or vomiting, he's probably just going through a short bout of gastric unhappiness. Feeding him some chicken and rice can be just what the doctor ordered.
Off His Feed
Sometimes your belly rumbles for no apparent good reason, making you feel lousy for a while before it runs its course in a day or two. Like you, your puppy may experience a short bout of stomach upset. Buddy may have picked up a little flu bug or snacked on something that irritated his tummy. If he's new to your house, the change in environment may be causing him a little stress as well as a bumpy belly. Parasites, such as Coccidia, also can be the culprit, and require veterinary treatment.
Chicken and Rice is Nice
Chicken and rice is a great way to soothe your pup's tummy. It supplies him energy and is easy on his gastrointestinal tract, giving him a chance to recover from whatever is ailing him. The correct ratio of chicken to rice is 1-to-2 -- so Buddy's meal may be 1/3 cup boiled chicken to 2/3 cup cooked rice. When you're preparing his special supper, make sure the chicken is boneless and skinless -- fat may irritate his belly. Talk to your vet to determine how much is appropriate for Buddy, based on his age, size and condition.
Beyond Chicken and Rice
The 1-to-2 ratio of meat to grain holds no matter what ingredients you choose to use. Buddy may prefer cooked oatmeal and turkey, for example. You also can add a tablespoon of plain, nonfat yogurt to his meal and a couple tablespoons of boiled sweet potato. Nonfat cottage cheese and plain, canned pumpkin are other options. Cottage cheese and yogurt provide minerals, protein and vitamins, while pumpkin and sweet potato do a good job of firming up stool. Nutri-Cal, available from your vet, will provide your pooch additional nutrition and perhaps a little boost of energy. Adult dogs can fast for 24 hours before starting a bland diet, however a puppy younger than 8 months shouldn't fast. If Buddy has diarrhea, feed him small amounts of bland food through the day and then rest his tummy for 12 hours.
Time for the Vet
Calming Buddy's belly is important, but keeping him from dehydrating is critical. A few runny poops is normal, however, if his diarrhea doesn't clear up in a couple of days, it's time to pay a visit to the vet. Other signs of concern include lethargy, persistent vomiting, large amounts of blood in the stool and a fever. Watch to see if Buddy shows sign of abdominal pain or bloating, and check his hydration by lifting the skin on his neck; if it drops down instantly, his hydration is fine. If it "tents," he's dehydrated and may need fluids.
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