Just like every human, every dog will experience diarrhea sometime in their lives. The cause can be due to dietary indiscretion of human food or rotting, dead wildlife to internal organ problems to serious viral diseases.
Although a diet change can help dogs with diarrhea, it is not a substitute for veterinary care. A dog with diarrhea that is also depressed, inactive, or not eating should be seen by your veterinarian. A dog with diarrhea that is still active, eats well, and acts as if nothing is wrong may be a candidate for dietary management. A big key to helping your dog’s diarrhea is diet- a bland diet!
What is a bland diet?
A bland diet, with readily digested and absorbed ingredients, will improve stool quality and reduce the mess for you. A bland diet should contain low-fat protein and white rice. Boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast or light tuna canned in water are very lean, highly digestible proteins. White rice has very little fiber, so it is generally readily absorbed with the meat. This diet is so digestible that some dogs produce no stool while on the diet.
How much do I feed?
Mix (1.5oz chicken breast after cooking/5lbs of body weight OR 1.75oz of tuna after draining water/5lbs of body weight) with 2oz of cooked white rice/5lbsof body weight.
Divide mixture into 2 or 3 meals per day. Feed this diet until stool quality is back to normal or diarrhea is completely resolved with little or no stool.
If diarrhea resolves, you can slowly transition your dog back to her regular food. If diarrhea does not respond then your dog probably has a condition that needs the attention of your veterinarian.
Caution: A bland diet is NOT a BALANCED DIET and should be used as a temporary diet only. Adding vegetables or other ingredients, including dog food, will not make this recipe complete for optimum nutrition. Homemade diets need precise amounts of ingredients that include a complete vitamin/mineral source and the right essential fatty acids. Check out our Hearthstone Homemade EZ meal planner for a balanced homemade meal plan!
Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. In addition to co-founding a national campaign to help fight dog obesity, he developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.