Veterinarians call stomach inflammation in dogs "gastritis." Often, this condition will cause vomiting and diarrhea for extended periods, which will also lead to weight loss and other negative health problems. Gastritis happens for a variety of reasons; however, treatment for this condition is simple: withhold food and water for 12 to 48 hours, then feed the dog a bland diet as directed by a veterinarian until the dog's stomach has healed.
Meat remains the single most important part of a dog's diet, especially if that dog is a growing puppy. When gastritis occurs, meat should not be totally removed from the dog's diet or he won't receive critical nutrients. Bland diets meant to aid in keeping the dog healthy while healing commences often contain several different kinds of meats. Boiled skinless white chicken is one option, as are boiled ground hamburger meat, chicken livers and turkey. Fatty meats are to be avoided, as they'll often worsen the accompanying diarrhea with gastritis.
Half of the diet required consists of proteins. If meats cannot be offered, for various reasons, other sources of bland protein can be substituted. These proteins must be easily digestible. Common substitutions include eggs, tofu and non-fat cottage cheese. Some dog food brands produce bland-diet foods for sensitive stomachs; however, consult a veterinarian before feeding them to a sick puppy.
The other half of a bland diet for dogs suffering gastritis is white rice. No spices or additives should go into the rice while it is boiled and prepared normally, nor afterward when mixed with the protein. White rice is easily digested and works to equalize the protein used. Only one form of carbohydrate, like rice, should be used along with one form of protein until the dog shows signs of recovery.
Yogurt may be added with the rice and protein to give some flavor to the food, if the dog seems able to hold the mixture down readily. Flavored yogurt may be upsetting; stick to plain yogurt at 1 to 2 teaspoons in the larger mixture of 1/2 cup protein and 1/2 cup rice. Other carbohydrate bases that can be used are cooked pasta and boiled plain potatoes. Boiled sweet potatoes, 2 to 4 teaspoons' worth, can be added for taste.
Dondi Ratliff is a certified secondary English teacher in Texas. Her articles typically cover topics regarding animals both wild and domesticated. Ratliff holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tarleton State University, a Master of Arts in teaching from Texas Woman's University, and a Master of Arts in English from Tarleton State University.