By Sherry L. Granader
Why A Bland Diet?
Many times, diarrhea is the motivator behind feeding your pet a bland diet. Typically, your veterinarian will recommend a meal of white rice and boiled hamburger for a few days because it gives their intestinal tract time to heal while still providing plenty of nutrients and calories.
This works fine as long as your pet doesn’t have abdominal pain, vomiting and weakness. However, if your pet’s diarrhea does not resolve itself on its own, then it is time for a visit to your veterinarian. Otherwise, other health concerns for your pet can be at stake.
A diet of homemade food can be deficient in calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus that are required for growing dogs and other pets. Other deficiencies include iron, copper, sodium, choline, vitamin A, folic acid, taurine and linoleic acid. Sometimes supplementing with calcium carbonate, vitamin D and other nutrients are needed as well as a special formula of food.
In other words, feeding your dog or pet a bland diet such as rice and hamburger may work for a few days, but that is it. A nutritionally incomplete diet combined with diarrhea not being resolved can lead to disastrous results. Your veterinarian should always be consulted when a long-term feeding plan at home is required.
6 Tips for putting your pet on a bland diet
• Do not add butter or seasoning to the rice
• Cottage cheese is another option to add to the hamburger
• A boiled egg chopped and added to hamburger also works well
• Always start with small amounts of food
• Feed your pet 4-5 times during the day
• Gradually increase the amount of food at each feeding
Once your dog or pet’s stool is solid again, slowly put your dog back on a normal eating routine. Mix a little of the normal pet food with the bland food and gradually increase the normal food until they are eating normally. When it comes to human medications, dogs tolerate Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate and Imodium AD, however you must know your dog’s weight. However, you should always consult your veterinarian first before giving your dog any medication.
Reviewed and approved by Dr. David L. Roberts, DVM