One of the best diets for a dog with ulcers is the bland diet. The reason the bland diet works so well to ease the pain from an ulcer is because acidic foods irritate the ulcer. Foods such as rice and boiled chicken are less acidic than dry kibble.
There are few things more heartbreaking than having to see your precious fur baby in pain. It’s especially hard because your dog doesn’t understand what is going on or why he is in pain. As his owner, you hate to see him hurting, and want to get him back to feeling like himself as soon as possible.
Stomach ulcers can be excruciating, as anyone who has had them is likely to know. So you can imagine they’re not much fun for your dog, either. But don’t panic, there are many things you can do to help keep your companion comfortable while you seek vet care.
In this guide, we will cover why the bland diet is so beneficial to dogs with ulcers. Then we will go over how to recognize and prevent ulcers from happening again in the future.
What is a Good Diet for a Dog With an Ulcer?
Your dog should eat a bland diet until the ulcer is completely healed. Rice is an excellent staple to feed during the healing process.
You can mix in hamburger meat or boiled chicken in small portions. Your dog is likely to tolerate this food better than his regular diet. Boiled chicken and rice or boiled hamburger and rice is less acidic than dry dog food or other diets.
The bland food will not irritate the ulcer the way stronger tasting foods would. The more acidic the food, the harder it is on the digestive system.
Why Should I Feed my Dog a Bland Diet?
A bland diet will have a more balanced ph level and will help coat the lining of your dog’s stomach. Highly acidic foods eat away at the lining of the stomach, causing ulcers.
How Should I Prepare My Dog’s Bland Diet?
Most people feed rice and boiled chicken or boiled hamburger to their dog who has ulcers. If you need to feed your dog this way long term, it may be beneficial to have a rice maker. This way, you can start the rice at the beginning of the day and have it for all of his meals.
Make sure not to add butter or salt to the rice. It may not seem very palatable to you plain, but dairy and salt could further upset your dogs stomach.
If your dog doesn’t seem interested in the rice, you can soak it in the same water you boiled the hamburger or chicken. This will give the rice added flavor without making it more acidic.
Making the meat portion of your dog’s bland diet meal is simple. You only need to boil the chicken or hamburger in water for about 15 minutes.
Be sure the chicken is boneless, as chicken bones could further irritate the ulcer. Add the boiled meat to the rice and serve it to your dog. Feed your dog small meals more often throughout the day rather than one or two big meals. This will also be easier on his digestive system.
Recognizing An Ulcer
Now that you know what to feed your dog with an ulcer, let’s talk about how to recognize an ulcer and prevent another one from happening in the future.
Your dog will begin exhibiting signs of gastrointestinal distress if he has developed a stomach ulcer. Ulcer symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite. If your dog is having any of these symptoms, a stomach ulcer could be the cause.
Treating an Ulcer
If you suspect your dog has developed an ulcer, you will want to take him to your vet for an official diagnosis and treatment. Your vet may prescribe a specific diet to treat and prevent ulcers. Usually, this diet will be very bland.
Preventing an Ulcer
Keeping your dog hydrated is key to preventing ulcers. If your dog has enough water in his system, the food he eats is less likely to cause irritation.
Keeping human food out of your dog’s reach is another way to prevent ulcers. Some dogs are expert counter surfers, and keeping your food away from them takes a little extra diligence.
Keep food up high and in covered containers. Don’t leave food out for even a moment after meals. Clean everything up right away and make sure it’s safely out of your dog’s reach. Make sure visitors know not to feed the dog their leftovers.
If you have kids, it can be challenging to keep the kids from feeding the dog and keep them from going after the kids’ snacks. Consider putting your dog in a kennel or in another room during snack and meal times if the kids are too young to effectively keep the food away from the dog.
Human food is much too acidic for a dog with ulcers, and if he gets a hold of it, it will exacerbate the problem.
What Causes Ulcers in Dogs?
To prevent an ulcer from happening in the future, you first need to understand what’s causing them.
There are many reasons your dog may develop stomach ulcers. One of the primary reasons is dehydration. Dehydration, combined with highly acidic food can cause ulcers to develop. If you suspect your dog may have stomach ulcers, you will want him to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. Feeding a bland diet in the meantime will expedite his healing.
What Are Some Diseases That Cause Ulcers?
If your dog has an ulcer caused by dehydration or an acidic diet, then the cure will be straightforward. Get your dog out of the heat and hydrated and serve a bland diet until the ulcer is healed.
Unfortunately, ulcers are sometimes caused by more serious underlying conditions.
One of the primary causes of ulcers is the extended use of certain drugs, namely those referred to as NSAIDS and Corticosteroids. If your dog has been previously diagnosed with arthritis or another condition which requires long-term pain relief and/or steroids, you may need to ask your vet about switching the pain control for your dog.
Keep him on a bland diet until the medication has been altered and the ulcer has subsided.
Addison’s disease is prevalent in many breeds and can cause ulcers. This disease can be challenging to diagnose as it can come and go and present itself with different symptoms.
If your dog shakes on and off, has episodes of lethargy which come and go, or has frequent urination, diarrhea along with vomiting, and weight loss, he may be suffering from this disease.
Many of these same symptoms could be present if your dog has Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s disease is another that can predispose your dog to gastric ulcers, but it’s more common symptoms include lethargic behavior, weight loss, increase in urination, hair loss, and recurring skin infections.
Your vet will run some diagnostic tests to see if your dog’s ulcers are a side effect of one of these diseases. If so, you will need to keep your dog on a bland diet for the ulcers while pursuing treatment for the underlying disease causing them.
Kidney disease can also result in gastric ulcers. The primary indicator of this disease is a significant increase in urination. Usually, excessive thirst is also present.
A previously house-trained dog who is now frequently urinating in the house could be suffering from kidney disease. Ulcers can be a side effect of this disease.
There are actually several other underlying conditions and diseases that could cause your dogs ulcers, so it’s important to have a vet do diagnostic testing to figure out what is causing the ulcers, especially if they are recurring.
Once you know the reason for the ulcers, you can treat the ulcer at the same time as you’re treating the underlying cause of it. This promotes overall health and will help you prevent the ulcers from happening rather than treating them when they happen.
Diagnosing and treating the underlying problem will be your best chance of giving your dog a long life.
Can Stress Cause Ulcers?
In humans, it is understood that stress can be a cause of ulcers. In dogs, it’s less certain. It is a possibility, however, that stress is causing these ulcers.
Have you had a recent lifestyle change that could have caused your dog some level of stress? If so, you may want to consider making some changes to ease this source of stress from his life.
If your dog exhibits signs of anxiety along with the ulcers, you will want to talk with your vet about whether your dog has anxiety and if there are medications available that could help him.
Feed a Bland Diet While Figuring Out The Cause of The Ulcer
Feeding a bland diet while you figure out why your dog keeps getting ulcers is very important to help your furry friend feel better faster.
Ulcers are no fun for your dog or for you as the owner, but with the right treatment, a bland diet, and diagnostic testing, you can figure out the underlying cause, treat the ulcer, and get your dog back on track to feeling like himself again.
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