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Worried about your puppy’s tummy troubles? Maybe they can’t enjoy their favorite treats all of the sudden – or perhaps they just aren’t acting like their normal hungry selves at dinner time.
If that’s the case for your pup, it may be time to consider a dog bland diet! While it may sound like a punishment, a bland dog diet can help your pup recover and feel their best after being ill, preventing other health problems.
In this post, we’re going to cover the benefits, background, top brands, and get some questions answered about this type of dog diet.
Introduction to Dog Bland Diets
A bland diet for dogs is a meal that consists of one type of protein and one type of carbohydrate. In case you’re wondering, proteins are foods such as beef or chicken. Carbohydrates include potatoes or rice.
Bland diets make it easier for your dog’s digestive system to do its job. They also improve your dog’s health when he has diarrhea or an upset stomach. Feeding a bland diet is especially useful if your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have – like food from the garbage can or table scraps too rich for him to digest properly.
What is a Dog Bland Diet?
A bland diet is a special diet designed to be easier to digest and promote healing in the gut. It’s often used to treat dogs with diarrhea and other GI problems, but it’s also useful for dogs on antibiotics or those who are stressed or have other health issues that can affect their digestion. The idea behind a bland diet is that it allows the body to focus on healing without having to worry about digesting food with strong flavors or textures.
The key to this?
A bland diet is a diet that is soft and highly digestible. These diets are low in fiber, fat, and protein and high in carbohydrates. They are usually composed of a single carbohydrate source and a single lean protein source. Since bland diets are low in fiber, stool production slows and defecation is less frequent.
A bland dog diet can help your dog handle a wide variety of health issues, including digestive issues, weight loss or gain, kidney issues, and senior dogs with sensitive stomachs!
Choosing a DIY dog bland diet, without extra nutritional fortification, may necessitate adding a supplement to your dog’s diet.
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- Hyaluronic acid
- Two types of glucosamine
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Benefits of Bland Dog Diet
There are plenty of benefits to implementing a bland dog diet, but we’ll focus on several key ones here.
The benefits of a bland dog diet include:
- Calming upset stomachs
- Providing balanced nutrition
- Controlling ingredient lists and avoiding allergens
- Helping to control weight
If you have an older dog or one with other health issues that require special attention from their veterinarian, it may be best to talk with them about what type of food would be appropriate for them before making your own decision on what brand or brand name to buy!
The primary benefit of feeding a bland dog diet is for canine digestive health.
If your dog has tummy troubles, feeding a bland diet can help them feel at ease and keep meals down. Most dogs experience tummy troubles at some point in their lives. It could be more simple colitis or inflammatory bowel disease like IBD, or something more serious like cancer.
Feeding a dog bland diet eases the symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and other stomach issues. If your pet has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease or another condition that causes chronic diarrhea or vomiting, then feeding them a bland diet can help control these symptoms.
The most common reasons for an intestinal upset are:
- Dietary indiscretion (eating something that upsets their system)
- Parasites (worms)
- Tumors in the intestine
- Bacteria overgrowth
- Food allergies
A bland dog food diet does not replace veterinary care. A bland diet is best for your dog when its symptoms are severe, accompanied by other worrying symptoms, or last longer than a day. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s symptoms if you think it needs a bland diet.
Controls Ingredient List
Another key benefit of dog bland diets is that they allow you to control exactly what your dog is eating, down to each ingredient.
Especially if you plan to make a homemade dog bland diet, you can ensure there are no fillers and other junk that your dog doesn’t need to be packed in there, and just wholesome, healthy ingredients.
By controlling what is in it, you can also avoid ingredients your dog is allergic to, which could be the source of their nausea and irritation.
Common dog food allergens that can be avoided through a dog bland diet include:
- Dairy products
Each time a pet eats food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens, and symptoms occur. This can be especially useful when used as part of an elimination diet. This is when you are trying to diagnose food allergies and sensitivities by removing ingredients one at a time from your dog’s diet.
Did you know that obesity is the most common preventable disease among dogs in North America? In general, 25-30% of dogs are overweight, and 40-45% of dogs aged 5-11 are obese.
Losing weight in dogs comes down to food and exercise, as it does for humans. And dog owners who want to control or reduce their dogs’ weight should pay the most attention to what is going into their pup’s bellies! Even if you feed your dog a healthy diet, keeping tabs on their calorie intake is important.
Many commercial dog foods are formulated with extra calories and fat to give your pup energy and keep them from getting bored with their food. However, these excess calories can lead to weight gain over time, especially if your dog isn’t active enough.
By feeding your dog a bland diet, you can control the number of calories consumed daily. A bland diet is made up of low-calorie foods that are easy for dogs to digest and won’t cause stomach problems or discomfort while they lose weight.
How Much Bland Diet to Feed Dog
The amount of bland diet, you feed your dog depends on several factors, including size, age, health, and breed.
In general, you should feed your dog a bland diet that consists of the following components in the quantities listed, as outlined in the chart below.
|Dog’s Weight||Protein Amount Dog Bland Diet||Carbohydrate Amount Dog Bland Diet||Vegetables Amount for Dog Bland Diet|
|20 pounds||1/3 – 1/2 of a cup||1/3 – 1/2 of a cup||1/3 of a cup|
|40 pounds||1/2 – 3/4 of a cup||1/2 – 3/4 of a cup||1/2 of a cup|
|60 pounds||3/4 – 1 of a cup||3/4 – 1 of a cup||3/4 of a cup|
|80 pounds||1.5 – 2 of a cup||1.5 – 2 of a cup||1.5 – 2 of a cup|
* It is important to note that bland diets, are not balanced nutrition and shouldn’t be fed long term without consulting your vet.
You should also keep in mind your dog’s age and life stage, as their metabolisms and needs change as they age. If your pet has a chronic condition or is receiving medications that cause nausea and vomiting, reduce the amount by half until they can tolerate food in their stomachs.
How Long to Feed Dog Bland Diet
The time frame depends on how quickly your pup’s stools start to firm up. For dogs experiencing tummy troubles, a bland diet should be fed for 4 -5 days with no treats or other food sources until stools are firm. For dogs seeking a long-term bland dog diet, consult your vet for the best options for your pup.
Regardless – never transition back to a regular diet rapidly. A slow transition back to the regular diet over 1 week is best! Start by adding 25% of the regular diet to 75% of the bland diet and feed that combination for two days. If stools continue to be firm, then continue substituting the regular diet in 25% increments and feeding the combination in 2-day time intervals until the diet is 100% regular diet.
Dog Bland Diet Recipe & Treats
The most common bland diet is boiled rice and boiled lean chicken breast, without skin and bones. You must ensure that the fat and fiber content are low, as well as offer minimal sugars and additives so no matter what you choose, ensure it meets the criteria.
If you can buy pre-made or store-bought bland dog diets and make a DIY version with your dog’s preferences in mind (such as adding some vegetables). Your vet can help guide your choice of what would be best for your dog’s health.
There are pros and cons to homemade and store-bought, packaged dog bland diets, as outlined in the tables below.
|Homemade Dog Bland Diet Food|
|Store-Bought Dog Bland Diet Food|
Best Bland Diet Dog Food Brands
While the saying goes, homemade is best made, sometimes it may not be possible for you for one reason or another to make bland diet dog food.
We’ve got the top three best bland diet dog food brands, so you don’t have to worry about doing your digging.
Brand #1: Go! Solutions
Via Pet Valu
Go! Solutions Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey, and Duck Adult Recipe Dog Food provide complete and balanced nutrition to help your dog stay healthy and fit. Your pet will enjoy 100% fresh chicken, turkey, trout, duck, and salmon, as well as premium quality chicken, turkey, salmon, duck, and herring meals.
For sensitive carnivores seeking a tasty formula, this is an ideal blend. Aside from fruits and vegetables, this bland diet of dog food contains antioxidants that support the immune system, as well as probiotics and prebiotic fiber that promote healthy gut bacteria and digestion.
Our favorite part? There’s zero:
- By-product meals
- Added growth hormones
- Artificial preservatives
Now that is perfect for a pup with a sensitive stomach!
* From $21.99 CAD (June 2021)
Brand #2: Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Digestion
Via Pet Valu
Hills Science Diet Perfect Digestion dry dog food contains an ingredient blend of prebiotics called ActivBiome+ Technology. This food supports the bacteria in each dog’s gut for optimal digestion and balanced nutrition that helps your dog feel its best, especially if it is feeling unwell.
The company claims the product results in “perfect poop” for your dog (regular and firm) in just seven days by promoting a balanced microbiome and ultimate digestive well-being. Salmon is the #1 ingredient in this product, along with whole grain oats and pumpkin. This is the perfect product for dogs who need a bland diet.
* From $27.99 CAD (June 2021)
Brand #3: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Via Pet Valu
With a name like Purina, you can trust that this product can help your pup handle a dog bland diet. The first ingredient in this formula and a primary source of protein is salmon, which is rich in nutrients. In addition to the prebiotic fiber, this dog food for sensitive stomachs has a highly digestible formula that helps feed the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines, helping to keep his digestion healthy. Rice and oat are ingredients in this blend that make it easy for your dog to digest carbs.
We also like that this product has no corn, wheat, or soy. It’s nice to know it doesn’t contain potential allergens and irritants for your pet’s troubled stomach.
* From $29.99 CAD (June 2021)
What Can I Feed My Dog on a Bland Diet?
Having a bland and easy-to-digest diet is one of the best ways to help your dog get better. A bland diet can be as simple as feeding your dog dry food, or it could involve getting creative with homemade recipes and more elaborate treats.
Here are some options for how you can feed your dog on a bland diet:
- Dry food with minimal, low fat, and sugar ingredients
- Wet food with basic grains and lean protein
- Homemade recipe with boiled chicken and rice
What if a Bland Diet Is Not Working for Dogs?
If you can’t get your dog to eat a bland diet, you can try a bland diet in the form of dog food. Several brands available on the market today have been specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs or who have had adverse reactions to certain foods. If your dog reacts poorly when you try to feed him something new, it might be better for him to stay on his current food until he is ready for change. Your vet may also be able to recommend some homemade recipes that are more likely to work well with your pet’s digestive system.
If all else fails, ask his vet for advice about what would be best for him based on what symptoms he has been displaying and how long those symptoms have been present. This will help them determine whether there could be anything else besides just a bad reaction from consuming certain ingredients (for example allergies).
What Is a Good Bland Diet for a Dog?
A bland diet for a dog is a diet that contains:
- Low Fat
- Low Sodium
- Low Sugar
- Low Fibre
- Easily Digestible
It can help to prevent your dog from developing an upset stomach and other digestive issues, such as diarrhea or vomiting.
These diets are also helpful in the treatment of these conditions. If your pet has already been diagnosed with a medical condition it’s best to consult your veterinarian before starting him or her on any kind of special diet.
The bland dog diet foods come in either dry kibble or canned form, so they are easy to store at home or take with you if you have multiple trips planned over the next few days (or even weeks). Most brands will also be explicitly labelled “bland” which should help make shopping easier if there’s something specific in mind!
You can also formulate your own homemade DIY dog bland diet, using plain proteins and starches, like boiled chicken and rice or boiled turkey and sweet potatoes. Always use caution when preparing your dog bland diet food, as you need to ensure not only the food contains safe and healthy ingredients, but also the way you prepare it avoids food-borne illnesses passing to your human family. Storing meat safely, wash all surfaces carefully when you’re done, and dispose of scraps and bones safely.
My Dog Won’t Eat Bland Diet – What to Do?
If you’re having trouble getting your dog to eat a bland diet, there are several things you can do:
- Try offering the bland diet in a different form. For example, if your dog is used to eating dry kibble but doesn’t like the bland dry kibble you’re offering, try switching it up and feeding them canned or fresh food instead.
- Try a different brand of dog food or treats than what you usually feed your pet. If one brand isn’t working for them anymore (for whatever reason), then maybe it’s time to switch things up! This could also help rule out any potential allergy-related issues that might be causing some dogs to not want their diets changed too drastically either way.
- Try making some homemade food to entice your pup with an appealing smell and texture if they have rejected the store-bought dog bland diet foods.
- Offer fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables as snacks. Fruits like papaya, blueberries, and mangoes are good for digestion, while vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes are great choices for digestion-friendly snacking.
We hope you found this article informative and helpful, whether you’re looking for answers about bland diets or just curious about what they are. We know that hearing your dog isn’t feeling well can be scary, but remember that a bland diet is usually an easy fix.
And another thing you can do to help support your dog’s health? Add in a dog supplement like TRI-ACTA for pets. Both TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A. are excellent choices that support joints and soft tissues in your dog’s body. This can be especially helpful for sick pups facing dog arthritis
TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets
Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.
If you have questions about using TRI-ACTA for pets, contact us or check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about pet supplementation.
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