GI Upset And Bland Diets

If your pet is diagnosed with vomiting and/or diarrhea, your vet may recommend a bland diet. There are two options we suggest for a bland diet: “do-it-yourself” cooking or purchasing a bland diet prescription product. 


You can make a bland diet yourself at home by cooking unseasoned meat and unseasoned white rice. For the meat, you may use unseasoned chicken breast or unseasoned ground meat depending on your pet’s preference. Cool completely before feeding. See below for additional feeding instructions.  


If your schedule or comfortability doesn’t allow for cooking a bland diet at home, then we offer an alternative option. We provide prescription fully-balanced diet options which are designed to have no seasonings or additives so that it can be digested well and go easy on your pet’s stomach. This is available as a dry kibble or a wet pate formula. We keep both types in stock at the Vet. Any containers that you do not open can be returned. We highly recommend keeping some of this on hand at home to be prepared in case GI upset occurs in the future. See below for additional feeding instructions.


Whether you try cooking a bland diet yourself or purchasing a diet, we recommend the following feeding instructions.

Give the bland diet in small portions over a period of time. We suggest starting with one quarter ( ¼ ) of the normal volume of food.

Think of it this way: when we aren’t feeling well we don’t eat a full steak dinner, we snack on crackers or have a small amount of soup until we feel better. It’s the same premise for pets. 

Make sure you will be home to observe your pet after eating and keep note of the status of the symptoms (better/same/worse). If there is no GI upset for about 30 mins, then you can give a little bit more food. Even though these diets are bland, you still don’t want your pet to eat too much and overwhelm their stomachs. 


If a bland diet does not improve your pet’s symptoms after 24-48 hours, then we would recommend coming to the hospital for an exam so your Vet can assess the situation and prescribe medications as needed. 

If your Vet does prescribe medications, we want to help you understand more about what they may be and how they can help your pet. 

Ondansetron is typically prescribed to treat nausea and acid reflux. The most common example would be car sickness when traveling. 

Famotidine and Omeprazole are antacids used as a GI-protectant. We will also prescribe one of these if your pet is on other medications whose side effects may cause an upset stomach. 

Metronidazole is an antibiotic and most commonly used to treat diarrhea or parasites.

Proviable is a probiotic that can be easily mixed in with food. It is typically prescribed to help GI upset if a pet is on long-term antibiotics, going through diet changes, or when showing signs of diarrhea. 

If you have any questions about GI upset symptoms or treatment for your pet, please give our office a call and a member of our team would be happy to help discuss your options and come up with the best plan for your pet.  


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