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The essentials

  • Speak to your vet first — While some foods are fine for most dogs, others may not benefit from a bland dog diet.
  • Plain and simple is best — When helping your dog with an upset stomach, sticking to the basics can make a big difference.
  • It’s pretty easy to get what you need — Many staples of a bland food diet are available in the grocery store’s vegetable aisle, so helping your dog’s upset stomach shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

When your dog shows signs of an upset stomach — like vomiting or diarrhea — your veterinarian may recommend a bland diet. Your pup’s typical wet or dry food may be too rich for their upset belly to handle. To help your dog’s digestive tract heal, vets may suggest switching your pup to more digestible foods.

Before you feed your dog

Bland diets consist of plain, easily digested foods with no added flavor, seasoning, or fats. The most popular choices include lean proteins, like chicken and ground beef, white rice, pumpkin, bone broth, and even baby food.

When it comes to ground beef, choose leaner packages and boil the meat. Skim as much of the greasy fat off the top and discard it before adding it to your dog’s diet. Turkey may contribute to digestive upset in many dogs, so we don’t recommend using it.

Before starting your dog on a bland diet, it’s best to contact your vet to discuss whether you should withhold food and water for 12 hours or not.

Nine foods to feed your dog with an upset stomach

  1. Baby food. That’s right, these pureed meals in a can are a great alternative for when your dog has an upset stomach. Go for ones that are meat-based and don’t contain garlic or onions.
  2. Oatmeal. This fibrous and nutrient-dense meal can help settle your dog’s troubled tummy. Due to its high fiber content, too much oatmeal can cause vomiting and diarrhea, so take it slow when first giving it to your dog.
  3. Vegetables. Peeled and cooked sweet potatoes, greens beans, and zucchini are safe and nutritious to give your dog when they have an upset stomach.
  4. Scrambled eggs. Eggs are a great source of nutrients and protein for dogs. Whipping up some scrambled eggs with no added ingredients is another safe meal option to help your doggie’s stomach.
  5. Rice. Cooked white rice is an excellent option for healthy dogs with an upset stomach. It helps reduce diarrhea and provides carbs for your dog. Due to its high glycemic index, owners with diabetic dogs should speak to their vet before feeding white rice.
  6. Chicken. Boiled, unseasoned chicken is safe for dogs, although it’s also one of the biggest allergens for dogs. If you feed your dog chicken, be sure to remove all bones prior to feeding!
  7. Plain pasta. While some vets are comfortable feeding your dog plain, unseasoned pasta, others aren’t. Pasta, even white pasta, is made of wheat — another common allergen. Before giving your dog pasta, speak with your vet.
  8. Cottage cheese. Low in sodium, lactose, and fat, cottage cheese is a safe choice for pups! Cottage cheese makes a great treat for dogs with an upset stomach and gain weight.
  9. Cooked egg whites. Egg whites are a good source of protein and calcium for your dog. While giving your dog raw eggs increases their risk of salmonella and E. coli, you can scramble the egg white and give it to them as a tasty treat.

I personally don't recommend pork meats of any variety and have seen many pancreatitis cases with ingestion. I would stick to white meat chicken or the boiled hamburger to control the fat and greases the dog might indulge in that can contribute to the digestive problems.

Dr. Bruce Armstrong

betterpet DVM

Two bland dog food recipes

Once you’ve come up with a plan of action with your vet, the next step is making a bland diet meal for your dog. Below are some of the most popular bland diet recipes you can make to help your dog feel better.

Chicken, cottage cheese, and rice


  •  ⅓ cup Cottage cheese
  •  ⅓ cup Skinless and boneless chicken breast
  •  ⅓ cup White rice

How to prepare:

  1. Set oven to 400°F
  2. Place chicken in a baking dish and bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until cooked.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, follow the instructions on the white rice packaging to prepare
  4. Shred the chicken once it’s done cooking and cooled. 

👉 You can also boil the chicken if you’d prefer that method over baking.

Making chicken and rice for your dog is a popular and easy bland meal to help ease digestion troubles. Why are these two foods the most recommended bland diet choice? Not only are these ingredients commonly found in commercial dog foods, but plain, skinless chicken and white rice are both digestible foods that are easy for upset stomachs to keep down.

With this recipe, the cottage cheese, white rice, and chicken should all be balanced and fed in small quantities every few hours. If your dog doesn’t get sick, slowly increase the amount of food and decrease how often you feed them.

Pumpkin or sweet potatoes


How to prepare: 

  1. If using canned pumpkin or sweet potato, scoop the recommended amount into your dog’s regular dry food, and mix together before serving.
  2. If using Native Pet’s Pumpkin Powder, scoop the recommended amount depending on your dog’s weight with water and mix to create a puree. Once the puree is ready, mix it with your dog’s regular kibble and it’s ready to eat

Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are great options when your dog is experiencing diarrhea. Since they’re high in fiber and filled with nutrients, they can help get your dog’s stomach back on track. Our vet does recommend being sparing with it, though. Pumpkin acts as fiber and can give your dog diarrhea. 

Depending on your dog’s size, you can mix a scoop or two of pureed canned pumpkin or sweet potato with your dog’s regular dry food. You can also use Native Pet’s Pumpkin Powder, which is made with pumpkin, pumpkin seed, and apple powders. Their pumpkin powder can be easily stored for up to 2 years in your cupboard, helping to produce less waste.

👉 Never use pumpkin pie filling as it may contain the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

When to take your dog to the vet

Some signs are more severe and need vet attention immediately. Dr. Irish emphasized, “Any dog who is experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea for more than 24 hours should contact their regular vet or a veterinary emergency hospital as soon as possible.”

Call your vet if your dog shows the following symptoms:

Frequently asked questions

Are scrambled eggs considered bland food for dogs?

Yes, scrambled eggs are an acceptable bland food choice as long as they’re plain and not cooked with butter or other dairy products. Extra ingredients can make upset stomachs worse.

Is pumpkin a bland food for dogs?

Yes, pumpkin is considered a bland food for dogs. Since it has high fiber content, pumpkin can help relieve your pet of constipation and/or prevent diarrhea. There are many ways you can prepare the pumpkin for your dog, including making it fresh or using canned or powdered options. If buying canned pumpkin, make sure it is 100% pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.

How long does it take for a bland diet to work on a dog?

This depends on what’s causing your dog’s upset stomach. It’s best to talk with your vet to come up with a plan for how long to keep your dog on a bland diet, as it’s best not to do it for an extended period due to a lack of essential nutrients.

How do I transition my dog from chicken and rice back to dog food?

Once your dog’s stomach seems to have settled (usually after 2 to 3 regular bowel movements or two to three days after no vomiting), you can start reintroducing their regular food. Do it slowly over a few days.