Your Fifi has a finicky tummy and, perhaps temporarily, her normally delicious pup platter is just not going to cut it. Her gastric issues may reveal themselves from behind, or she may toss her doggy cookies up front. Either way, Fifi, your bland dinner is about to be served.
What It Is
A bland diet can be prescribed for either a short-term problem -- such as overindulgence on turkey day or if Fifi picks a prize out of the trash -- or for a long-term issue such as inflammatory bowel disease or urinary tract disorder. The problem with commercial dog foods is they are usually too fat, too rich or too salty for a dog whose GI or urinary tract is in distress. A rest from the regular diet is necessary, typically first with a 12- to 48-hour fast, followed by a bland diet that will not make the problem worse.
If you try to get your dog to eat her regular diet, her symptoms may worsen. She may become extremely dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea. She may suffer from other complications that can not only compromise her health, but may be life-threatening. After fasting, see if your pup's appetite is better, then offer a bland diet that will be therapeutic for her tummy or urinary tract issues.
There is no one universally preferred bland diet prescribed by veterinarians, but it is generally considered to be a highly-digestible, low-fat diet consisting of foods such as baby food, boiled hamburger, chicken, tofu, white rice or cottage cheese. The ratio is typically 1-to-4 ratio of meat to cottage cheese or boiled rice. Ideally, feed three small meals throughout the day. There are also many commercially prepared canned or dry, veterinarian-approved bland diets designed to alleviate GI or urinary tract problems that sustain your pet for a brief recuperative period or for a lifetime.
If your pooch is suffering from an upset tummy or a bout of diarrhea, try feeding her a bland diet on your own for a day or two to see if that alleviates the problem. Keep her on the diet until her poop or grumbling tummy is back to normal. GI problems are very common in dogs; you don't necessarily have to rush to the vet's office for simple tummy issues. Do take your pooch to the vet immediately if she has swallowed a foreign object, is vomiting or pooping blood, or is otherwise in pain.
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.