Has your dog had a bout of diarrhoea? Here is how to make your own recovery diet for your dog at home.
There are several helpful measures that may be taken at home
to help your dog through bouts of diarrhoea.
Your vet may recommend feeding a veterinary product, formulated
specifically for gastrointestinal conditions, a highly digestible wet dog food
which is not overly high in fat - ideally 4% max (as fed), or a few days of
home prepared food to allow the gut to rest.
Recipe for a home prepared recovery diet for
- Steam/bake 395g white fish.
Cook 158g rice or potato (cook half your potato with skins
on) until soft.
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Optional: add a quarter of a mashed banana and/or a dessert
spoonful of live yoghurt.
Mix well and allow ingredients to cool.
Portion into three or four small meals (184g or 138g
respectively) and serve.
quantities in this recipe are based on a 15kg dog (with a lower than ‘normal’
activity level due to feeling poorly).
It provides 686 calories per day or 124 kcals/100g.
For short-term feeding only (up to 5 days as the sole source
What should you feed a pet in recovery?
Plain steamed or baked white fish (which is very digestible
and lower in fat than oily fish such as sardines and salmon) and a small
quantity of well cooked, boiled, mashed potato (softened with the fish cooking
liquor not milk/butter) are usually well-tolerated (unless your dog is known or
suspected to be sensitive to either ingredient). Examples of white fish species
include haddock, whiting, pollock and cod. If your dog does not like or
tolerate fish, alternative protein sources may include skinless minced chicken or
turkey, scrambled egg, rabbit or venison.
Alternative carbohydrate sources may include well-cooked
rice or sweet potato. Well-cooked and
cooled rice and potato are both good sources of resistant starches. These feed
the friendly gut flora which then convert the starches into short-chain fatty
acids including a type called butyrate - the main fuel for the colonocyte cells
that line the gut. Butyrate helps them to function properly and reduces
inflammation within the large bowel.
Mashed banana is a great source of soluble fibre (especially
prebiotics) and potassium. (Dogs don’t mind sweet and savoury mixtures!) For
dogs who are not known to be lactose intolerant or allergic to casein (milk
protein) a little live natural yogurt may also be included to help reduce
acidity and soothe the digestive tract.
Treats and extras are usually best withheld whilst feeding a
make sure plenty of fresh drinking water is available. Resist the temptation to
restrict fluids for fear it will worsen the looseness. In actual fact, the
opposite applies, and this may reduce the risk of dehydration.
Once stools are well formed, your dog may be ready to
transition back to a regular diet.
The type of food and transition time will depend on severity
and cause of the looseness. A veterinary
diet or low residue, complete wet or fresh commercial product such as the Arden
Grange Partners Sensitive canned food is recommended for dogs requiring a
longer period on a recovery diet.
If returning to a dry food, kibble may be better digested
initially if it is fed soaked (providing the manufacturer deems it safe to do
so). The Arden Grange canine dry products can all be soaked, although as with
wet food, it is important to pick up and discard any uneaten food promptly to
avoid it attracting flies or drying out into an unpalatable, sticky consistency.
Browse our fact sheet library for a more in depth look at
the topic of digestive health:
Still need some advice? Investigate your pet’s unique requirements
with our registered Veterinary Nurse and holder of the Certificate in Canine
and Feline Veterinary Health Nutrition, Ness Bird.