Written, with love, on: October 1, 2019
It doesn’t matter whether you have two legs or four — there’s nothing more unpleasant than an upset stomach.
Unfortunately, diarrhea is quite a common problem for our canine companions, and one that can cause a lot of discomfort and distress.
But if your poor pup is battling a case of the runs, you can speed up her recovery by paying careful attention to what she eats. Keep reading to find out which foods can help soothe and heal an upset stomach.
Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs
There are a wide range of reasons why our pups suffer from diarrhea, but the good news is that some of them are often relatively harmless.
For example, maybe your pup has found your secret stash of treats and over-indulged, or maybe they’ve gone through the trash and eaten something they shouldn’t. Transitioning to a new diet can also cause an upset stomach, while diets with low-quality ingredients can cause digestive issues in pups with sensitive stomachs.
And if your pup is going through a period of emotional stress, that could potentially be the cause of their tummy troubles.
But sometimes diarrhea can be much more alarming. Parasites, bacterial infections, poisonous substances and serious diseases can all cause doggy diarrhea.
So, if the diarrhea hangs around for more than 24 hours, or if your pup is showing other worrying symptoms, take her to the vet immediately. You should also ask your vet for advice if your pet is very young, very old, or has existing health problems.
And if you need more help working out whether your pup’s poop is healthy or not, check out our guide to dog poop.
Foods that Heal an Upset Stomach
When us humans are struck down by a stomach bug, we turn to plain, bland foods to help our stomachs recover. The same approach can also work wonders for our pups.
Many vets recommend withholding food for a little while, such as 6-12 hours, but making sure your pup has access to plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Then when your pup is ready to eat again, you can prepare a small meal using plain ingredients that are unlikely to cause any further upset to an already tender tummy. Options include:
- White rice
- Rice water (boil rice and then remove the grains)
- Boiled potatoes
- Boiled chicken (remove bones and skin)
- Canned pumpkin
- Cottage cheese
- Boiled egg
- Bone broth
The aim is to avoid rich ingredients and feed small portions of bland food regularly. This can form the basis of your pup’s diet until their stools get back to normal.
Heed’s founder, Rei, swears by a mixture of canned sweet potatoes, rice and chicken when her gorgeous pup has an upset tummy. Plenty of you reading this will probably have fed something similar to your pup to help them get back to full health after a bout of diarrhea — a mixture of boiled chicken and cooked rice or pasta is commonly recommended by vets.
When you’ve found the right ingredients that don’t upset your pup’s stomach, you can gradually increase the portion size at each meal and start introducing a small amount of their regular food.
With a patient and sensible approach, your pup’s tummy — and her stools — should soon be back to normal.
Avoiding Tummy Troubles
For longer-term management, and to help maintain good gut health, feed your pup a high-quality dog food that features prebiotics. Pups with sensitive stomachs may benefit significantly from switching to a high quality, digestion focused brand such as Heed Foods.
Jessica’s dog, Hank, battled stomach issues from when he was a puppy. Jessica thought Hank was allergic to chicken and all but gave up on expecting normal stools from him.
But after switching to Heed, Hank’s stomach issues improved in just two days. Jessica soon realized that her pup wasn’t actually allergic to chicken either, but had simply been having problems because he was given low-quality chicken in his previous diet.
Heed uses a carefully selected mix of prebiotics to help maintain the right balance of beneficial bacteria in your pup’s gut. Combined with our commitment to sourcing only the best ingredients, this means our blends are packed with nutritional value, ensuring a happy tummy and a healthy pup.