A number of things can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. It could something he ate, or a virus or bacterial infection. Any time your dog has digestive problems, you should check with your veterinarian first. Most vets will suggest that you begin feeding your Sammy a bland diet. Ground chicken is an inexpensive and low fat protein that is the foundation of a bland diet.
The basic recipe for a bland dog diet is mixing 50 percent boiled ground chicken with 50 percent cooked white rice. You can brown the ground chicken in a frying pan instead of boiling it, but put the chicken in a wire strainer and rinse the fat off before adding it to the cooked white rice. Do not season the rice or chicken with anything, risking upsetting your dog’s digestive system even more.
One to 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt added to the basic recipe will help restore good bacteria to your dog’s gut. Or add 2 tablespoons of pure pumpkin – not pie mix. Pumpkin calms the upset stomach and helps with diarrhea. Other options include reducing the ground chicken to one-third and increasing the cooked white rice to two-thirds. Next add 1 to 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt and 1 to 2 teaspoons of mashed boiled sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes combat diarrhea just like pumpkin does. If your dog needs more protein, another variation is mixing one pound browned and rinsed ground chicken with two scrambled eggs and 1 cup of cooked rice.
Sometimes Sammy needs a bland diet but with more liquid. Chicken soup soothes dogs’ digestive upsets just like it does for humans. Brown and rinse one pound of ground chicken. Add one large scrubbed and chopped carrot, and one large peeled and diced potato. Add only enough water to cover the ingredients. Cook the soup on the stove for two hours or put it in a slow cooker for six hours. When the soup is done, leave it as it is or mash it with a potato masher for a finer consistency. So you don’t burn Sammy’s mouth, allow the soup to cool completely before feeding.
Dr. Jon Rappaport recommends gradually refeeding to give your dog’s system time to heal. Don’t let him drink or eat anything for a couple of hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Offer him small drinks of water over two or three hours. Then you can give a tablespoon of ground chicken soup or a small-meatball-size portion of one of the chicken and rice recipes. Sammy can have another tablespoon or meatball in two hours. If he does well with that, you can slowly increase the amount you offer and decrease the time in between servings. Once Sammy can tolerate a half cup to a full cup of bland diet every three to four hours, maintain feeding this way for a day or two. When you feel he is ready to return to his regular diet, reintroduce his dog food by adding small quantities of dog food to the bland diet. Increase the amount of dog food while reducing the ground chicken and rice diet over a period of several days. Otherwise you risk triggering another digestive upset.
Based in Las Vegas, Sandy Vigil has been a writer and educator since 1980. She taught high school and middle school English and drama for 11 years. Vigil holds a Master of Science in teaching from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary English education from the University of Central Oklahoma.