Step 1: Identify the Problem
If your dog suddenly becomes ill, the first step is to identify whether your pet could have potentially ingested something poisonous. Many human foods are not safe for dogs, including chocolate, grapes, raisins, xylitol, and macadamia nuts. Household plants can also cause vomiting, as well as household supplies, such as antifreeze.
In addition to foods, dogs can experience gastrointestinal distress in response to any foreign body that is present in the stomach or intestines. For instance, swallowing portions of a chew toy or bone can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Finally, stress, overexcitement, illness, and parasites are other common factors.
Step 2: Feed the Bland Diet
If your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea does not go away after a few hours and does not appear to require immediate attention (such as poisoning), the next step is to withhold food for 12-24 hours to allow the dog’s digestive system to calm down. After this period, the bland diet can be fed.
The bland diet consists of 1 cup boiled white rice, 1 boiled chicken breast, and ¼ cup canned pumpkin, cottage cheese, or plain yogurt. This diet is highly digestible and provides the necessary macronutrients for short-term use.
Feed your dog the bland diet in a portion size that is approximately 25% of his or her daily dry food intake every 6 – 8 hours. The bland diet should be continued for 3 – 5 days, or until diarrhea is gone.
After your dog’s symptoms have improved, gradually transition your pet back to normal food.