What to feed a dog with a digestive upset

What to feed a dog with an upset stomach

This past weekend a friend and I decided to fly to North Carolina for a photographic journey driving along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. The trip was absolutely amazing in every way–great company, photography, spectacular mountains, beautiful gardens right off the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and some of the most beautiful State parks made this short trip one of the best weekends ever. Since I left my dog Duke with my responsible cousin Peter, I spent the weekend enjoying the trip and the company rather than worrying. Peter had pets of his own and when he volunteered to watch Duke, I quickly accepted.

Monday was a workday for me and I followed my usual routine of walking Duke, giving him breakfast, and a half hour later I walked him again. This Monday was different, however, and as soon as I walked into the house that afternoon I realized by the smell of the place that Duke had done something that he had never done before in the fours years that I’ve had him. Turning the corner into the living room I noticed a trail of diarrhea from the living room all the way into the bedroom. This was not what I wanted to see after a long day at work. I cleaned up, gave Duke his dinner, and got on the computer to wind down a bit before bed. That night my sleep was interrupted at least four times by Duke asking to go outside to relieve himself.

At 9:00 am the following morning I called my cousin Peter to ask him if he had kept Duke on his regular diet. “Sure, I gave him his food but I also gave him some treats” he continued, “I gave him some of the leftover pizza that was in the fridge, and I also gave him one or two of those elephant ear cookies that you have in the cabinet.” I knew right then what happened to poor Duke’s stomach; he was simply not used to eating junk food. I explained to Pete that it usually is best not to give Duke that kind of food because he has a sensitive stomach and thanked him again for dog sitting over the weekend.

So what should you feed a dog that has an upset stomach? The first and best thing to do is to avoid giving your dog an upset stomach from the start. Peter, I hope you’re reading this: don’t give your dog old pizza and other “people food” especially if your dog is not used that kind of diet. In order to help your dog recover from an upset stomach, it is generally best to keep the food over the next few days as bland as possible.  Here are some suggestions:

Boil some chicken breasts real well until you’re absolutely sure that they are fully cooked. Cut up a little bit and put it on top of a little plain white rice. Do not overfeed during this period of recovery. In the evening, a little white rice can be given with some plain, unsweetened yogurt (never the one with fruits in it). The next morning, a little bit more of the boiled chicken may be given with some carbohydrates such as a small potato. The potato should also be boiled very well prior to feeding. A potato can also be given with a little plain yogurt in the evening. Although I have never tried this with any of my dogs, some people find success with giving mild unseasoned baby food with rice or even a little baby food alone. After the dog’s stomach has stabilized, it’s usually time to return to feeding the regular diet. Remember, however, not to overfeed, especially during this time of recovery.

It is also important to note that if your dog has diarrhea or is throwing up for more than two days, or if you notice other symptoms along with the upset stomach, that it is extremely important to take the pet to the veterinarian. Symptoms of upset stomach can also be caused by a variety of other illnesses that require early detection and proper treatment by a veterinarian. Early detection and treatment can prevent a more serious condition from occurring that can potentially be life threatening.

Developing a good relationship with your pet’s veterinarian is one of the best ways to keep your pet healthy and happy. Additionally, if you have any medication questions please feel free to call one of the 1800PetMeds pharmacists who will be happy to answer those for you.

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