How to Prepare a Bland Diet for Dogs?

How to Prepare a Bland Diet for Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Dogs love eating, and they have the uncanny ability to digest just about anything you give them to eat. However, dogs can react to some foods and end up with the gastrointestinal upset. They can even catch a disease that will affect their digestion and cause vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.

If that happens, and to be honest, this often happens with dogs, your vet will recommend you give your dog a bland diet. However, many inexperienced dog owners don’t really know what a bland diet means. If you want to know more about bland diets for dogs, stick with us, and we will help you learn what you need to know about them.

bulldog puppy

What is a bland diet for dogs?

A bland diet for dogs refers to preparing food that will soothe and benefit the dog’s digestion. This type of diet is easy to digest, and your dog’s digestive issues will pass sooner. Preparing a bland diet for dogs is a trick most experienced dog owners know. They will have ingredients they need to prepare it and keep them at the ready for moments like this. A bland diet is a vague term that doesn’t really say much. However, you should know that it consists of a single lean protein source and a single starch source. Here are a few ingredients you can use;

Protein sources

The most essential ingredient in a healthy dog diet is protein. While dogs aren’t strict carnivores like cats, they need animal protein to be the main ingredient in their diet. You must use a protein source that will be very easy on the dog’s stomach. Some of the most popular lean single protein sources are;

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef

Starch source

Starch is the second thing that has to be included in a bland diet for your dog. Since gastrointestinal issues can drain your dog’s energy, starch will help your dog replenish it. It will convert to glucose, which can be a great energy source. It will also absorb fluids and thicken the dog’s stool. The most popular starch sources for a bland diet are;

  • White rice
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato

rice closeup

How to prepare a bland diet?

The preparation process is crucial. Your dog could benefit from it, but you can cause them additional problems if you prepare it incorrectly. Here are the ingredients you will need and the exact preparation process for a bland diet for dogs;


  • 1 ½ cups of white rice
  • 14 oz of chicken breast


  1. Place the rice in a cooking pot and cover it with water.
  2. Turn on the stove and bring the pot to boiling. When the water starts boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Keep the lid on the pot.
  3. Take the chicken breast and trim as much fat as you can. Cut it into smaller, easy-to-swallow pieces.
  4. Fill a second pot with water and heat it until it boils. When you reach the boiling point, add the chicken. Boil it for 5 - 10 minutes.
  5. If there is any fat on your protein source, it should rise up. After you’re done boiling the meat, put it through a colander.
  6. Mix the finished ingredients in one pot. Allow it to cool, and you can serve the first portion.

chicken breast

As you can see, there is no need to add any kind of seasoning to your dog’s food. Dogs don’t need spices; they are reserved for us. If you keep the bland diet in the fridge, you can feed it to your dog for the next 4 or 5 days. The ideal ratio between protein and starch should be anywhere from 50-50 to 65-35 in favor of starch. 

You can read more about preparing chicken for your dog here - How to boil chicken for your dog?

Feeding instructions for a bland diet

You’re preparing a bland diet for your dog because they’re not feeling well. Besides preparing a bland diet for your dog, the best thing you can do is to divide it into smaller meals. If your healthy dog usually eats 2 times a day, prepare them smaller bland diet meals and divide them into 4 servings.

The smaller amount of food will be easier to process. The stomach will not get strained as it does when your dog eats their usual portion. You will also ensure your dog keeps the food down. Smaller meals are better for dogs with gastrointestinal issues.

When should you start giving a bland diet to your dog?

If you’re switching your dog’s food, it usually takes a bit of time for them to adjust to their new kibble. It is generally recommended dog owners gradually do the switch through 7 - 10 days. However, you can completely switch the kibble with the bland diet. There is no adjustment period necessary. Start feeding your dog a bland diet as soon as you notice they’re experiencing digestive issues.

cavalier feeling bad

How long can dogs stay on this diet?

Your dog’s gastrointestinal situation should start improving within 2 - 3 days. After you notice their stool is getting back to normal and they aren’t vomiting, you can start switching your dog back to their regular kibble. However, allow them an adjustment period. Start by mixing 50% bland diet and 50% their usual kibble. Give them that mix for the next 1 - 2 days and your dog should be as good as new.

VET TIP: Dogs have delicate digestion, especially puppies and senior dogs. If you tried giving your dog a bland diet, but the situation is not improving (your dog continues vomiting and has diarrhea), call your vet. Your dog might have an underlying condition that needs to be resolved in order for digestive issues to stop.

World Dog Finder team

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