Bland Diet

If your pet is suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhea, or other related gastrointestinal problems, an important component of the treatment therapy is diet.  You may have to alter the diet for several days or more, depending on the problem and recovery time.  The following is a general guide to bland diet care; your veterinarian’s instructions may vary somewhat.

If your pet has vomited, it is important to let its stomach “rest” for a period of time to allow the stomach to settle.  If the pet is given more food or water too soon, it could, and often does, trigger more vomiting, worsening the problem.  Wait at least 4-6 hours before giving a small amount of water (unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian).  Repeat the water hourly in small amounts for the next 4-6 hours.  If the pet is keeping the water down, you may begin feeding a small amount (1/4 of your pet’s normal meal size) of bland food.  If vomiting recurs, remove all food and water again.

The best non-prescription bland diet for cats and dogs is rice with plain chicken or turkey.  You can use either chopped boiled chicken or turkey, or baby food of that kind.  The meat should be unseasoned.  You can also try chicken broth or soup with rice.  If your pet already gets a quality canned food based on chicken and rice (Iams, etc.) let your vet know; perhaps this will not be satisfactory.  Seafood-based diets are not considered bland and should not be used.

Give this bland diet in small amounts 3-4 times a day for the next 2-3 days.  If there is no further vomiting, begin to gradually mix your pet’s regular food into this diet over the next 2 days.  Give all medications as prescribed.  Should problems develop, or if you have further questions, please contact your veterinarian.

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