Nutrition Urgent Care

Soothing Stomachs: A Guide To Bland Diet For Dogs (Printable Recipe Included)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on bland diets for dogs! If you’re a pet parent who’s ever experienced the distress of seeing your furry friend suffer from digestive upset, you know how concerning it can be. Fortunately, bland diets offer a gentle and effective solution to help your dog feel better fast.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about bland diets for dogs, from understanding what they are and why they’re necessary to learning how to prepare them at home.

Whether your dog is experiencing occasional tummy troubles or facing a more persistent digestive issue, this guide will empower you with the knowledge and tools to provide them with the relief they need.

So, grab a cup of tea (or your dog’s favorite treat!), and let’s dive into the world of bland diets and how they can make a difference in your dog’s well-being.

What Is A Bland Diet For Dogs?

A bland diet for dogs is like comfort food for humans—it’s gentle, soothing, and easy on the stomach. Essentially, it’s a simple meal plan consisting of easily digestible foods that are less likely to upset your furry friend’s tummy.

Think of it as a temporary reset button for your dog’s digestive system, providing relief during times of gastrointestinal distress.

Purpose Of Feeding A Bland Diet To Dogs

The main goal of feeding a bland diet to dogs is to help calm their upset stomachs and alleviate symptoms of digestive upset.

Whether your dog is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or general gastrointestinal discomfort, a bland diet can offer relief by providing easily digestible nutrients that won’t further irritate their sensitive stomach.

Comparison To A Regular Diet

Contrary to a regular diet, which may include a variety of ingredients and flavors, a bland diet is intentionally simplified and gentle.

While a regular diet might feature several types of protein, vegetables and fillers , a bland diet opts for plain and easy-to-digest options, such as boiled chicken and white rice.

It’s like swapping a gourmet meal for a simple, comforting bowl of chicken soup—both nourishing, but one is easier on the digestive system during times of need.

What Goes Into A Bland Diet For Dogs?

  1. Lean Protein Sources: Opt for boiled chicken, lean ground turkey, or easily digestible white fish. Scrambled eggs can also be used (no butter or seasoning).
  2. Simple Carbohydrates: White rice, boiled white or sweet potatoes, or oatmeal provide gentle energy.
  3. Calming Probiotic: A small amount of plain, unsweetened yogurt or cottage cheese can aid digestion.

What Ingredients To Avoid

Rich & Fatty Foods 

These can irritate your dog’s stomach further. Examples include pork, beef and anything fried or cooked in oil.

Spices & Seasonings

Keep things plain to avoid digestive upset.

Most Dairy Products

Except for a bit of plain yogurt and cottage cheese, dairy can be hard to digest.

Anything Irritating

Avoid ingredients like onions, garlic, or grapes that are toxic to dogs.

Tips On Preparing & Serving Bland Diet Meals

Ensure all ingredients are fully cooked to avoid bacterial contamination.

Remove excess fat from meat to make it easier to digest.

Provide smaller portions more often to avoid overwhelming your dog’s gut.

Pet eating bland diet for dogs from a bowl

Bland Diet Portions For Your Pup’s Upset Tummy

Worried about how much bland food to feed your dog with a sensitive stomach? We’ve got you covered! This guide breaks down portion sizes based on your dog’s weight and offers tips for adjusting as needed.

Key Points

Portion Size by Weight:

  • Small Dogs (up to 20 lbs): 1-1.5 cups daily (4-5 meals)
  • Medium Dogs (20-50 lbs): 2-3 cups daily (3-4 meals)
  • Large Dogs (over 50 lbs): 3-4.5 cups daily (2-3 meals)

Frequent Small Meals: Split the daily amount into 4-6 meals to ease digestion.

Monitor and Adjust: Watch your dog’s response. Feeling hungry? Increase a bit. Discomfort? Reduce portions.

Ingredient Allergies: If allergies arise, try alternative protein sources or consult your vet.

Remember: This is a general guideline. Always prioritize your vet’s advice and adjust portions based on your dog’s individual needs.

If your dog turns out to be allergic to chicken or other ingredients in the diet, switch it up with alternative protein sources or add-ons. 

No Time To Cook? 

Below is a list of canned prescription diets that are bland and easily digestible for your pup:

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal

Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d (regular formula and low-fat)

Hill’s Gastrointestinal Biome

Purina Pro Plan EN Gastroenteric Formula

Easing Your Dog Onto A Bland Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide

A bland diet can be a lifesaver for a dog with an upset stomach. Here’s how to make the switch smoothly:

1. Gentle Introduction: Don’t swap all at once! Over several days, gradually mix a small amount of bland food with your dog’s regular diet. Slowly increase the bland food portion each day.

2. Bland Diet Duration: Typically, bland diets are offered for a few days to a week, but this depends on your dog. Keep them on it until their tummy troubles subside.

3. Reintroducing Regular Food: Once your pup feels better, slowly add their regular food back in small amounts, watching for any signs of digestive upset. This transition may take a few days as well.

Important Note: Always consult your veterinarian before starting a bland diet, especially if your dog’s symptoms are severe or persistent. They can advise on the best course of action for your furry friend.

bowl of white potatoes bland diet for dogs

Keeping An Eye On Your Pup’s Progress 

As your dog eats the bland diet, monitor their response closely. Here are some good signs:

Reduced Vomiting: Less puking is a great sign things are calming down!

Firmer Stools: Solid stools are a good indicator of a healthy digestive system.

Appetite on the Rise: If your pup is interested in food again, that’s a positive step!

Overall perkier pup? More energy and playful behavior is a good sign!

When To See The Vet

If your dog isn’t improving after a few days on the bland diet, or if their condition worsens, err on the side of caution and call your vet. Here are some additional red flags to watch for:

The Bottom Line On Bland Diets For Dogs

Bland diets can be a gentle and effective way to help your dog recover from digestive upset.

But remember:

Talk to your veterinarian first! They can advise on the best course of treatment.

Bland diets are for short-term use only. Don’t keep your dog on it long-term.

Be A Proactive Pet Parent!

If you think your dog might have a tummy ache, don’t wait! Reach out to your veterinarian for personalized advice. They can help your furry friend get back on their feet (and leash) in no time!

Bland Diet For Dogs Recipe

We’re excited to share a homemade bland diet recipe for dogs, crafted to aid pet owners in managing digestive issues or transitioning their pups to new diets. This simple yet nourishing recipe is designed to be gentle on your dog’s stomach while providing essential nutrients.

By offering this homemade recipe, we aim to empower pet owners with a cost-effective and easily accessible solution for supporting your dog’s digestive health.

Whether your canine companion is experiencing gastrointestinal upset or simply needs a gentle meal, this bland diet offers a comforting and nutritious option for their well-being.



Dr. Georgina Ushi is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer. She received her Doctorate from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. She currently works in the Tampa Bay area, providing compassionate care to dogs and cats. Alongside her clinical work, Dr. Ushi consults for pet well-being brands and writes health articles for her blog, Pet Health Love. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge to educate and inspire fellow pet owners. Dr. Ushi’s professional interests include emergency and critical care, wildlife medicine, nutrition, and hospice and palliative care.

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