Hi Roseann, I have never had the experience where I've needed to do the bland diet, but like you wanted to look it up and learn about it before it's needed. I knew that the bland diet is used when an animal has an upset tummy, diarrhea or vomiting, and is used to help rest the stomach and gastric system while the animal is sick.
BLAND DIET FEEDING INSTRUCTIONS
A bland diet is a diet that is soft and highly digestible. It is low in fiber, fat and protein and is high in carbohydrates. Bland diets are generally composed of a single carbohydrate source and a single lean protein source. The most common bland diet is boiled rice and boiled lean chicken breast, without skin and bones. Since bland diets are low in fiber, stool production slows and defecation is less frequent. Bland diets are fed to rest the gastric system and to help promote normal stool formation. Animals that are physically sick should not be fed bland diets as a method of treatment.
PRIOR TO FEEDING A BLAND DIET
Pets should be fasted for 12 to 24 hours. Young animals should not be fasted for more than 12 hours. Fasting will allow the intestinal system to relax and minimize acid secretions that may irritate and inflame the intestinal lining. During the fast small amounts of water or ice chips may be provided. Never fast a sick animal, it may cause disease progression and death.
BASIC BOILDED RICE AND CHICKEN BLAND DIET RECIPE
CARBOHYDRATE SOURCE: Boiled white rice
LEAN PROTEIN SOURCE: Chicken breast, no skin and bones
BOILED RICE: 1 part white rice with 3 parts water boiled for 20 – 25 minutes or until the rice is easily crushed.
BOILDED CHICKEN: De-fat chicken breast and boil in water for 10 – 15 minutes or until the chicken meat is easily pulled apart and cooked all way through.
MIXING INSTRUCTIONS: Finely chop the lean protein and mix 2 cups carbohydrate source and 1⁄2 cup lean protein source.
STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Bland diets can be premade and stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 48 hours. The bland diet can be cooked in a batch and frozen in feeding sized portions to minimize preparation time. Thaw and warm the frozen diet prior to feeding.
PERMITTED LEAN PROTEIN SUBSTITUTIONS
Pork loin, egg whites, low fat cottage cheese. 7% low fat hamburger, plain low fat yogurt.
PERMITTED CARBOHYDRATE SUBSTITUTIONS
Boiled potatoes, boiled spaghetti, Minute rice.
PERMITTED COMMERCIAL BLAND DIETS
Science Prescription Diet I/D, Eukanuba Veterinary Diet Low Residue, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Intestinal HE.
Estimate 25% of your animal’s diet and feed that amount of the bland diet every 6 – 8 hours. Smaller animals will require less and larger animals will require more adhering to the same carbohydrate to lean protein source ratio. The bland diet should be fed for 4 -5 days with no treats or other food sources until stools are firm.
TRANSITION BACK TO A NORMAL DIET
Never transition back to a regular diet rapidly. Transition back to the regular diet over a 1 week period. Start by adding 25% of the regular diet to 75% of the bland diet and feed that combination for 2 days. If stools continue to be firm then continue substituting the regular diet in 25% increments and feeding the combination in 2 day time intervals until the diet is 100% regular diet. Minimize treats for 1 week after moving the diet back to 100% regular diet.
Please look at the “Is your dog vomiting and/or having diarrhea?” handout first so you know what to look for and if your dog should be seen by a veterinarian ASAP. In any case, be sure to call your vet at the first opportunity and follow their advice!
Major tips for dogs who can benefit from this bland diet
Give their digestive system a rest by not feeding anything for 24 hours (6 hours for pups <4 months). On the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day, feed only the bland diet at he amounts listed below. On day 5, 6, and 7 add an equal amount of your dog’s regular food to the listed amount of bland diet. On day 8 feed regular food.
If your dog is not improving within 2-3 days, gets worse over the next 24 hours, or gets back to normal but the problem recurs after he/she is back on regular food, call your veterinarian for an appointment. Bring a stool sample with you – use a plastic spoon and scoop some up, then put spoon and stool in a ziplock bag.
This is not a balanced or complete diet. It should not be fed for more than a week or two at a time.
Recipe for Canine Bland Diet (makes about 5 cups – recipe can be doubled for large dogs)
1 cup raw white long-grain rice (not brown or minute rice)
½ pound hamburger or ground chicken or ground turkey OR 1 cup 2% or less-fat cottage cheese
6 cups water
Boil rice, meat, and water. Turn to low and cover. Simmer 25 minutes, turn off and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes (it should be mushy). If you use cottage cheese, add it at the end of the process. Keep refrigerated.
Directions for Feeding Canine Bland Diet (this is less food than usual for most dogs)
Dogs under 5# should get one heaping teaspoonful, 2 times per day
Dogs 5-10# should get one level tablespoonful, 2 times per day
Dogs 10-15# should get one heaping tablespoonful, 2 times per day
Dogs 15-25# should get a level 1/2 cup, 2 times per day
Dogs 25-40# should get a level 2/3 cup, 2 times per day
Dogs 40-60# should get 3/4 cup, 2 times per day
Dogs 60-90# should get one cup, 2 times per day
Dogs over 90# should get 1 and 1/2 cups, 2 times per day