Like us humans, owners pay extra attention to their dog’s diet when the furkid is feeling under the weather. It could be a simple flu or something more drastic such as chronic diseases. A bland diet allows the dog to go light on its digestion and also improves the absorption of nutrients. Some vets also recommend a “bland diet” which will soothe and settle their digestive systems until normal appetite, digestion and bowel movements are restored.
However, not all dogs can shift from a regular diet to a bland one. A sudden change may even cause more problems to their heath. So here are some tips to ease your dog into a bland diet.
Treat them with a snack
If your dog is refusing a bland diet, you may want to cultivate the habit of associating the diet with the snack your dog loves. Dog behaviourist Chris Onthank has a coffee tin method that trains the dog to approach his bowl with much anticipation every meal time. Get a coffee can and fill it with a handful of her favourite snack. Shake the coffee can repeatedly as she approaches the empty food bowl from 15 feet away. Drop a biscuit in the food bowl with the bland food when she is there. Once your dog is used to the diet, you can slowly remove the snacks.
Choosing the right ingredients
A bland diet consists of foods that are easy to digest but yet contain ingredients that help restore a solid stool. You can include boiled lean meat such as chicken or beef and a starch such as cooked white rice or sweet potato. To prepare a bland diet, use ground meat or whole meat chopped into small bites. Boil the meat until cooked, then drain. Prepare the white rice and meat together. Do not add any oils or seasonings to the mixture. Be sure to cool to room temperature before feeding. You can also add boiled vegetables for added nutrients. Other ingredients to consider include yogurt that can reestablish healthy gut flora and pumpkin to firm up stool after diarrhea.
Take note of water and food intake
If your dog is having a bland diet because of a bad stomach, you may wish to withhold food and water for 2-3 hours after the diarrhea to let their systems calm down. After the problems ceased, water and food can be started in small amounts.
Take note of the portion
The initial amount given should be no more than one or two bites. Wait for one hour after offering the small bite and observe if there is any vomiting. If you dog appears to be fine, give another small amount of food and small amount of water. Repeat this process while gradually increasing the amounts of food and water.
Going back to normal diet
After 4 to 6 days of bland diet, you may consider to switch back to her regular food. Start the process by reintroducing your dog’s normal diet into the bland diet. Reduce the amount of bland diet on a daily basis and increase the amount of regular dog food. You should restrict any table scraps and bones until 1 week has passed without signs of diarrhea. You should always visit a vet if the problem persists.