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Feeding Your Pet After Its Upset Stomach

I would love your suggestions about what to feed a dog who's recovering from a bout of upset stomach---no chronic conditions, just the occasionally bout of mild doggie dysentery.

Our vet has always recommended hamburger and rice, but do you have other mild, appealing ideas while the furry members of the family get back to normal?

For example: is yogurt contraindicated? It was recommended to prevent upset during a recent course of antibiotics Ben had over the summer.

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  1. Couple spoons plain yogurt on a saucer is good,so is the rice mixed with some plain poached
    skinless chicken breast or a plain scrambled egg, ie: no seasoning or S & P.

    1. I've known a lot of people who swear by cooked chicken breast and rice

      1 Reply
      1. re: redfish62

        Yes, cooked chicken breast always goes over the best. also scrambled egg with a few bits of cheddar cheese, white rice or a little chopped up pasta mixed with a protien. Sometimes he will eat a little cottage cheese with a little oil on the top. Canned tuna.

      2. Rice is my go to starter,with cooked chicken liver,ground beef or chicken,ground or not.In that order.Yogurt is a close second,egg,third,because my dogs and cats don't like them as much.

        1. Do you all cook the meats without oil/butter? I was told dry-scrambled hamburger (couple of teaspoons of water in fry pan to start the cooking) well drained. I think Ben would like chicken more.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pinehurst

            I use coconut oil, mostly because I use it for my own health reasons.
            With my dogs illness and meds he frequently had upsets, beef and pork was the hardest to digest. He ate it, but then headed out to eat grass right after.

            1. re: pinehurst

              Your description,the dry scramble method is pretty much what I do.If I use any extra fat it's usually butter,closest,easiest small amount for me.Also we have one dog,rescue greyhound,Sleek that loathes,won't eat ANYTHING with obvious vegetable oil or mayo.

            2. Our vet recommends cottage cheese and rice. About as much as he would get in dog food. At the other end of our street we have a dog breeder/trainer. His dogs go to the military, gov't, police, etc. Very high end dogs if you get what I'm telling you. Anyway, he too used rice and cottage cheese.

              Both feel at least 24 hours before food is also a good idea.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Davwud

                Hi Davwud. A friend of mine who had a Sheltie with digestive issues went through times when all the little guy would accept was the low fat cottage cheese. So I can absolutely see the logic in the cottage cheese/rice.

              2. Boiled ground chicken, rice in small quantities (a few tbsp) at a time - depending on the size of your pet, every few hours. Depending on severity of stomach upset, slowly introduce kibble with chicken/rice over a day or 2.

                1. my vet recommends plain, unsweetened yogurt -- and the pooch loves it, so it's a good thing all the way around. Usually has him sorted quickly, too.

                  We give it to him at any sign of upset tummy -- our frat-boy beast belches and farts with the best of them, so anything strong enough to make your eyes water or peel the wallpaper gets him a yogurt or two right away, as well as if he's had a loose stool.

                  ETA: It also seems to be a huge help in getting things back to normal after routine worm treatments, too.

                  1. 10 yo german shepherd with delicate digestion and occasional really loud stomach noises - can be heard in the next room - squeaks, rumbles, gurgles. He is very picky and won't eat the yogurt on his own so I pull open his croc jaws, put a large spoonful of plain yogurt in and quickly clamp the jaws shut. Def seems to help him tho.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ElsieB

                      Ben has this too! He will eat yogurt (prefers fruit of course), but will eat a spoon or two of plain in a pinch. I do know just what you mean about the noises.

                      1. re: beevod

                        He'd have to fight me for those chicharones.

                        These are timely responses. Last night our neighbor asked us to "babysit" her scottie while she attends an out-of-town funeral, and he's getting over a case of the poops. I'll try a little chicken and rice tonight and in the meantime, try a spoonful of cottage cheese/yog.

                        Knowing Ben, he'll want the same even though he's okay. He's a mooch.

                      2. Our lab will eat anything. That means it's hard to keep him regular.

                        He gets about 2T canned pumpkin twice a day and that has alleviated constipation and loose stool. Pumpkin is the miracle doggy tummy remedy as far as I'm concerned.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                          Yeeeeahhhh...let me tell you about what happens when the family lab discovers the jack o'lantern in the compost pile.....I had no idea that dogs would even eat it, let alone that it acts as a laxative.

                          Gawd, what a mess.

                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                            My lab will eat anything, too, and mine also gets a couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin twice a day when he's 'not exactly regular.' And Sunshine - I can't imagine that mess! Mine has eaten an entire cheesecake. He also ate an entire loaf of whole wheat bread with the wrapper. My vet had a good laugh at that one ... Needless to say, the wrapper didn't digest.

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              bless his big black hairy heart, he wouldn't come inside -- not only did it do a complete drain-and-flush on his system, but he was half-drowning in uncontrollable drooling. (bad enough it took a soap-and-hot-water scrub the next morning to wash it off the front steps)

                              Poor baby wouldn't come in until it stopped -- and since it was early November, he was cold and wet and miserable. Fortunately I wasn't working the next day, so I stayed up with him until the effects wore off enough that he'd come inside.

                              Scared the daylights out of us, though -- this intense physical reaction, and we didn't know why, so I set off into the backyard with a flashlight -- and found the half-eaten pumpkin dug out of the compost heap. I'm sure the neighbours thought I was bananas -- out in the yard way after dark with a garbage bag and a flashlight....and OF COURSE it was a Sunday night when the vet wasnt open....so off to the Internet I went, much relieved to find that it wasn't harmful...just unpleasant.

                              This year's pumpkin goes in the trash.

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Awwww....poor guy & poor you!

                                We have a friend whose lab ate her gardening gloves (she thought she had lost them). She made this discovery when they came out the other end nearly intact.

                            2. re: Janet from Richmond

                              I was also going to mentiont he pumpkin. Works for lots of problems. It helps get back to normal stool after doggy diarrhea. Can also be mixed with rice if you're not yet ready to add the chicken in. Little packets of probiotics (black packets, can't remember the name now) really help, too. My dog had lots of tummy troubles when I adopted him, so I'm more experienced at this than I want to be. Even though you will get pitiful looks, it helps to withhold food for a little while, then start back really slow and bland.

                              1. re: arashall

                                but be very careful with the quantity of pumpkin -- as I related upthread, too much pumpkin is roughly the equivalent of feeding them Drano.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Cooked pumpkin provides water-soluble fiber, like psyllium does. It absorbs a lot of water, which is why it works, in modest amounts, in cases of both constipation AND diarrhea.

                                  As for the OP, you follow your vet's advice. Period. If you are thinking about doing something else, you clear it with the vet first. Otherwise, if you make matters worse it's your own fault.

                            3. Boiled chicken and rice. Don't put anything into the pot or Crock pot except a chicken (or chicken parts) and water. You can save the stock for human soups. Don't give your dog rotisserie chicken--many are brined so they're super salty.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Erika L

                                Bruin is on a steady diet of chicken with his fish kibble. I have to be careful about rice because it can constipate him.

                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                  and we can't do more than a bite or two of fish at our house -- he loves it, but it comes back up within minutes if he's had too much.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    His 'fish' is (grain free) sweet potato and salmon kibble.

                              2. Folks...just a thanks to the chicken-and-rice recommenders. Ben ate half a pumpkin cheesecake (long story) the other night and was Mr Poopy Pants, etc. He's not a fan of hamburger and rice, but did take, and eat chicken and rice and he's back to his normal, devilish self. Thank you.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: pinehurst

                                  glad he's feeling better (and that you can put down that roll of paper towels...)

                                  Had a bout of nasty tummy at our house the other night -- came downstairs to feed the beast and found he'd been ill in the night (bless his heart, on the tile, right in front of the door - he tried!) -- but by the way he started in on his breakfast, he wasn't suffering much! No idea what he ate that didn't agree with him.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    I make chicken soup and pour it over rice. The soup is just chicken cooked in water. No salt or onions! The chicken is shredded and poured over the rice with plenty of broth. Our two rescues absolutely love this and it has been my go to dish when either has had dental surgery or upset stomach. Also, a couple of tablespoon of organic pumpkin works like a charm for constipation.

                                  2. re: pinehurst

                                    Holy mackerel, pumpkin does get the freight moving, Daisy---indeed...as in Ben's case the other night. But for sure, in moderation (as in, not eating a pumpkin cheesecake!), it's a boon.

                                    Sunshine, I too am bizarrely moved when Ben tries to make it out of the house/ is ill in the most discrete location he can think of. After that happens in the middle of the night, he typically comes to the bedroom and "noses" any part of my body that is uncovered---usually a foot or an arm, while bleating very softly. He's so contrite. I wish my nieces/nephews were so fastidious!

                                    Sunshine, your furry boy sounds like a sweetheart.

                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                      he is -- he's 105 pounds of hulking black Lab (the vet is quite certain he's pure-bred, probably of English breeds) -- he was half-starved and sick when we rescued him (they'd hauled him in off the streets in the middle of a snowy February - some bastard had abandoned him), and while he's got a neurotic streak (obsessed with stuffed animals) he's the sweetest, most loving animal I've ever been around.

                                      He's also a hardcore clown who will go out of his way to make you laugh.

                                    2. re: pinehurst

                                      Hopefully your vet has explained the danger of the painful and potentially fatal pancreatitis that can result from consuming excessive amounts of fat - as in cheesecake. The pumpkin in this case was not the issue. Dogs with pancreatitis require fasting, hospitalization, and fluid therapy.
                                      You are lucky he was not sicker than he was. This type of topic, and some of the inappropriate responses, exemplify why Chowhound is not the right venue for discussion of medical issues in either people or pets.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        Oh, absolutely. Ever since we got Mishka (first dog) many moons ago, we've been assiduously warned even about the dangers of fat---e.g. Thanksgiving, to keep turkey skin and other fattiness away from hounds. Ben was staying with a relative who was careless in feeding, to say the least....elderly, well meaning, and wrong.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          Nothing in appropriate about the responses to the original question which was what to feed a dog with an upset stomach, nothing chronic. Nobody said anything about pancreatitis.

                                      2. Boiled/poached white chicken not fat or skin with boiled rice no fat or seasoning. Can do hamburger but strain and rinse off the fat. Cottage cheese is good as a mix in too. Also divide food into smaller meals and feed 2-3 times a day. Plain mashed sweet potatoes also good.

                                        1. After my husky's surgery, the vet told us to feed Sparky poached chicken and rice, 2 parts chicken to 1 part rice, served warm. Sparky was on this diet for two weeks. I would buy either chicken tenders or boneless/skinless breasts (depending on what was on sale), enough for several days, poach the chicken, remove and tear up the chicken, add the rice to the broth and then add back the chicken after the rice was cooked. I would warm up each porttion before feeding Sparky. He never left a bite.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Vidute

                                            Rice and if they will eat it and can tolerate that, add the chicken breast.

                                          2. My hands-down vet-approved diet for occasional intestinal distress in my pooches has always been plain old cooked white rice - regular or instant. I don't add anything different to it except perhaps a tablespoon or two of their usual canned food. Adding anything really regular-diet-different isn't always wise. Can create more problems than the original one. Has worked for me during several decades of dog ownership.

                                            1. Our Bulldogs are on special diets, so they seldom get anything else.

                                              However, when tummies get upset, we broil chicken breasts, and mince with unseasoned rice. Sometimes, I think that they stick a paw down their throats, just to get the chicken and rice?

                                              Good luck,


                                              1. Hi Everyone with Furry Family Members!

                                                This is preaching to the choir, and I apologize....just a reminder to be careful with pets this time of year, especially with well-meaning visiting relatives who might be oblivious about "what not to do" in terms of feeding Fifi or Fido.

                                                A really good article is here--nothing you haven't heard:

                                                HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!