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Clark Animal Care Center

Treating Upset Stomach in Your Pet with a Bland Diet

Instructions for Vomiting and Diarrhea

  1. If your pet is vomiting:

    Withhold water for at least 12 hours.  DO NOT FEED your pet until he/she is able to keep water down without vomiting.  After 12 hours offer 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water every hour until thirst is satisfied.  If vomiting recurs, withhold water for another 6 hours and try again.

  2. If your pet has diarrhea (but is not vomiting):

    DO NOT WITHHOLD WATER, dehydration may occur.

  3. Food should not be given for at least 12-24 hours (12 hours for puppies, kittens and toy dogs) or until you are sure your pet is no longer vomiting and is keeping water down. Only “mild” food should initially be offered.  If vomiting continues at 24 hours your pet needs to be  examined by a doctor.


    Feed only 1-2 tablespoons of strained meat baby food every 4 to 6 hours until a normal stool is produced then GRADUALLY over 3 days switch back to his/her regular diet.  You should not feed baby food to your cat for more than 5 days because it is not a balanced diet.  If the problem doesn’t resolve you should call for an appointment.


    Depending on the size of your dog, feed only 2  tablespoons to 1 cup of “mild” food every 4 to 6 hours until a normal stool is produced then gradually switch back to his/her regular diet.  When slowly returning to your pet’s regular diet feed 3/4 bland food plus 1/4 regular  diet for 3 days, then 1/2 and 1/2 for 3 days, then 1/4 bland plus 3/4 regular diet for 3 days.

    “Mild” food would consist of:

    A mixture of equal parts boiled (white) rice, white potato or pasta noodles and any of the following proteins:

    • Strained meat baby food

    •  Boiled ground beef or ground turkey

    • Boiled chicken

    • Plain low fat yogurt

    • Cooked scrambled eggs

    • Low fat cottage cheese

    or you can purchase Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin GI Low Fat diets from us.

  4. Remember, your pet’s irritated gastrointestinal system must be rested from digestion and healed before it can be challenged with food again.  Withholding food for up to 24 hours and gradually starting on a mild diet will help most of the simple GI upsets.


    It is important that you call and have your pet examined if any of the following apply to him or her:

    • If vomiting and diarrhea persists for longer than 24 hours and/or your pet is not acting normally

    • Is very young (less than 6 months old)

    • Is old (more than 10 years old)

    • Has a pre-existing disease (especially kidney disease)

If you have any questions, please contact us at 585-377-1160.