What to Feed a Sick & Vomiting Dog

Chicken with rice is anything but bland to your dog.
i the dog licks lips image by Sergejs Nescereckis from Fotolia.com

Your dog probably never thought you’d allow him to eat hamburger or chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s all part of remedying an upset stomach. Before he gets the goodies, though, he has to go without food altogether for a bit, or his vomiting may worsen.

Main Ingredients

Hamburger, chicken and tofu will have your dog licking his lips and, hopefully, not seeing pieces of his dinner come back up. All three must be boiled, because boiling removes the fat that frying and baking do not. And fat, while tasty to your dog, is not good if he’s already sick. Ninety percent lean hamburger works best, while chicken needs to be without skin, bone and fat. Rice or cottage cheese makes up the bulk of your dog’s tummy-calming meal. The rice, like the meat or tofu, must be boiled. The University of Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine suggests adding one part meat or tofu to four parts cottage cheese or rice.


When your dog suddenly vomits, he’s probably more inclined to try to sleep it off than stuff his face with more food. If he is in the mood to eat, his food may induce vomiting. Fasting your dog for 24 hours once he vomits prevents more of a mess and allows your pup’s stomach to calm down. After 24 hours, his vomit should have subsided. At that time, you can begin feeding him his bland but tasty meals.

Gradual Feeding

After fasting for 24 hours, your pup could probably down an entire bowl of food within a few minutes. Feeding him a small amount at first and then increasing that amount each day prevents him from stuffing himself to the brim and vomiting again. Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests feeding your dog his bland diet three to six times a day. The amount of food you should give your dog depends mostly on his size. Feeding an adult German shepherd 2 cups of bland food on the first day will be fine, but feeding that same amount to a Yorkshire terrier is too much. After about two days, begin mixing in your dog’s regular food with the bland food diet until he’s off the bland meals completely.


If your dog continues to vomit after 24 hours, or he experiences severe vomiting within those first 24 hours, take a trip down to your vet. Your dog may have something other than an upset stomach, and a few bland meals won’t help. Never withhold water from your dog unless specifically instructed to do so by your vet. Your dog may have a condition you’re not aware of, and withholding water can cause major problems. If your dog throws up blood, has a stiff stomach, experiences skin discoloration or any other abnormal symptoms, take him to your vet immediately.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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