BLAND DIET and TEMPTING YOUR PET TO EAT by Dr. Katie Marrie, DVM

Some of our patients may experience a mild upset stomach after their spay & neuter surgeries. This occurs for a variety of reasons including stress, anesthesia, or a reaction to their pain medicine.  When your pet is experiencing an upset stomach he/she may not feel like eating, but it is extremely important to encourage him/her to eat.  You should never let your pet go more than 24 hours without eating.  If your pet is refusing to eat or experiencing an upset stomach and vomiting, cease pain medication and follow these simple instructions to tempt them to eat a bland diet to get them back on track.  If your pet is not eating and it has been 24 hours, please call us at (310)574-5555 or (562)225-6864 after-hours and/or bring your pet in to see our veterinarian.

Tempting a pet to eat: Canned food is a great food to start with as it is palatable and has high moisture content.  If your pet refuses to eat pet food, try pouring chicken broth or canned tuna ‘juice’ over the food. Additionally, you can try tempting him/her with boiled chicken (no bones), boiled hamburger and/or white rice.  Another trick is to warm the food up a bit. If you use the microwave be sure to stir the food well after heating and to test the temperature with your finger. You can also use chicken baby food to temp eating. Place a small amount on your pets nose or inside the cheek. If your pet still will not eat, you may need to take him/her to a full service veterinarian for a nutritional supplement.  If you have more than one pet, separate them during feeding to ensure that each pet is eating.

Bland Diet: The initial amount of food should be no more than one or two bites. A bland diet consists of combination of boiled chicken or boiled hamburger meat and white rice in equal portions along with nonfat cottage cheese and plain yogurt. Wait about one hour after offering the small bite. If there is no vomiting give another small amount of food and small amount of water. Repeat this process while gradually increasing the amounts of food and water.  Feed this diet until all gastrointestinal symptoms disappear (i.e. vomiting and diarrhea). Gradually re-introduce your pet’s normal diet. You should plan to mix in small amounts of regular food –increasing in amount each day – over a week. If you have more than one pet, separate them during feeding to ensure that each pet is eating and adhering to the diet. If your pet’s symptoms do not resolve within 24 hours, please consult your local veterinarian.
Thanks for following and sharing these great tips!
Dr. Katie Marrie, DVM