The Best Diet for Dogs with Gastroenteritis

Are you concerned about your pup’s health? Gastroenteritis affects dogs of all breeds, and the right diet can help make them feel better. Discover the best diet for your pup and make sure their tummy troubles don’t last!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Dogs With Gastroenteritis

  • ✅ A diet high in soluble fibre, such as rice and oatmeal, can help reduce the symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs. (American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ Avoid feeding your dog high-fat foods, as this can worsen the symptoms of gastroenteritis. (American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ Bland diets are recommended for short-term treatment of gastroenteritis in dogs. (VCA Animal Hospital)
  • ✅ Small meals fed several times a day can help reduce gastrointestinal distress associated with gastroenteritis in dogs. (VCA Animal Hospital)
  • ✅ Probiotics can be beneficial in treating gastroenteritis in dogs. (PetMD)


Gastroenteritis is one of the most common health issues in dogs. It occurs when the digestive system is inflamed, causing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as bacteria, virus or parasites.

When your dog is suffering from gastroenteritis, it’s important to provide them with the proper nutrition to get them back on track. Certain foods are known to help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery time from gastroenteritis. So what should you feed your dog if they’re suffering from this condition? With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which diet is best for your pet.

In this blog post we’ll explore some of the best diets for dogs with gastroenteritis, including their nutritional needs and other helpful tips for managing this condition. We’ll cover how different diets can benefit dogs with different symptoms and discuss which ones are most beneficial for a speedy recovery.

Causes of Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacterial or viral infections, dietary allergies, and even dietary indiscretion. It is important to identify the root cause of gastroenteritis in order to determine the best diet for your dog.

Let’s take a look at potential causes of this condition and how they can be addressed:

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial Infection is one of the most common causes of Gastroenteritis in dogs. Bacteria such as salmonella, campylobacter, and clostridium can cause this condition if ingested. Giardia, a single-celled parasite, can also be a culprit; and while coccidia is not necessarily infectious, it can cause severe gastrointestinal upset in dogs if it is ingested.

While the bacteria and parasites that cause gastroenteritis aren’t necessarily highly contagious or widespread in the environment, they can be spread through contact with other animals or through contaminated food or water sources. In some cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary to clear up infection from bacteria; however, symptoms may still remain even after successful treatment due to lingering inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. In such cases, dietary modification is often recommended for symptom management.

Viral Infection

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines caused by a variety of factors, including viral infection. Viruses that can cause gastroenteritis in dogs can be divided into two categories: enteric viruses and systemic viruses.

  • Enteric viruses are responsible for the majority of canine gastroenteritis cases and include parvovirus, coronavirus, rotavirus, and adenoviruses. These viruses typically infect the intestines directly, causing diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Systemic viruses are more general infections that may cause secondary effects in the gastrointestinal tract. Examples include distemper virus and canine influenza virus (CIV). These viruses don’t directly target the intestines but can cause inflammation or irritation in the small intestine due to their general effect on the body. Systemic viral infections often lead to more severe symptoms than those caused by enteric viruses.

Parasitic Infection

Parasitic Infection is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis in dogs. Parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Parasites can be contracted through contaminated food or water, contact with wild animals, or even contact with an infected pet.

In addition to causing vomiting and diarrhea in your pup, these parasites can also lead to anemia due to blood loss, poor nutrient absorption, weight loss, dehydration and other serious health problems.

To protect your pup from parasitic infection consult your veterinarian concerning appropriate preventative measures including:

  • Regular fecal examinations
  • Deworming schedule

Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the major causes of gastroenteritis in dogs. Primary food allergies occur when a pet’s immune system reacts to a protein or carbohydrate found in their food. Commonly, if a dog has an allergy to a certain ingredient, they will have similar reactions if exposed to that ingredient again. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and skin irritation due to inflammation of the intestinal tract.

To diagnose whether your pup is suffering from a food allergy, doctors may suggest bringing your pet for an elimination diet trial or testing for specific allergens. The best dietary treatment for dogs with gastroenteritis caused by allergies is a limited-ingredient diet that contains only novel proteins and carbohydrates.

It is important for owners to be aware of the ingredients their pet eats and monitor any changes in their pup’s health after switching foods or treats.

Symptoms of Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is a common digestive problem in dogs, often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs can include abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration.

Knowing these typical signs and symptoms can help you make an informed decision about the type of diet best for your pet.


Vomiting is a common symptom of gastroenteritis in dogs. It typically begins shortly after the onset of other symptoms and can be mild to severe. Common signs of vomiting may include drooling or foaming at the mouth, trembling, excessive salivation or panting, an arched back, and visible abdominal contractions. Vomiting may also occur during eating or drinking and may be accompanied by abdominal pain.

If your dog is vomitting frequently and suffering from other gastroenteritis symptoms such as diarrhea, lethargy, or lack of appetite it is important to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Diarrhea is a common symptom of gastroenteritis in dogs. It is characterized by the frequent passing of loose, watery stools and can occur suddenly or gradually. In some cases, the dog may also pass mucus or blood with the stool.

Diarrhea can accompany other symptoms of gastroenteritis such as vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and increased thirst or dehydration. It is important to consult a veterinarian if your pet develops any of these symptoms as they may indicate a more serious underlying condition. Additionally, dehydration can cause further health complications so providing your pet with fresh water and following any dietary restrictions prescribed by your vet are essential for managing your pet’s condition.

Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is a common symptom of gastroenteritis in dogs. Dogs with gastroenteritis may refuse to eat or seem to have no interest in food. They may also show signs like drooling and lip smacking, which indicates nausea and discomfort.

A dog’s appetite for food can be affected by the inflammation caused by gastroenteritis, as well as the underlying cause of the gastrointestinal upset. If your dog has lost its appetite, it is important to speak with your vet about it and get medical advice.

Your vet may recommend a change in diet or a special diet for dogs with gastroenteritis, such as one that contains a high amount of soluble fiber and digestible proteins, so as to help restore your pet’s normal digestion without making them feel uncomfortable.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the primary symptoms associated with canine gastroenteritis. It occurs due to lack of appetite, decreased ability to digest and absorb nutrients, and increased energy expenditure in assisting the digestive process. As a result, dogs with gastroenteritis often have an unkempt or gaunt appearance.

Additional symptoms that can be associated with weight loss are lethargy as well as refusal to eat or drink. If your dog is losing weight without having lost its appetite for food or water, it may be a cause for further investigation.

Blood tests may need to be taken to rule out any underlying conditions and establish the correct diagnosis and treatment plan:

  • Rule out any underlying conditions
  • Establish correct diagnosis
  • Develop treatment plan

Diet for Dogs with Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis can be a severe health issue for dogs and requires special dietary considerations to ensure a speedy and complete recovery. The best diet for dogs with gastroenteritis is one that is tailored specifically to the individual’s needs. It should be based on high-quality, easily digestible foods and should be supplemented with the necessary vitamins and minerals to ensure optimal health.

Let’s explore the diet requirements for dogs with gastroenteritis in more detail:

Low-Fat Diet

A low-fat diet is recommended for dogs with gastroenteritis, as higher fat intake can aggravate the gastrointestinal upset they are experiencing. This means avoiding foods that are high in fat, such as processed meats and cheeses and instead opting for lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and turkey.

Additionally, fiber-rich carbohydrates such as oats and brown rice can be included in a dog’s diet to help provide extra nutrition while still allowing their digestive system some rest. A low-fat diet also allows you to feed your dog small meals more often throughout the day instead of one big meal which may cause them discomfort due to their already sensitive stomachs.

Avoiding table scraps is also important because even healthy human foods like vegetables can be difficult for dogs to digest when they have gastroenteritis.

High-Fiber Diet

A high-fiber diet is the mainstay of treatment for dogs with gastroenteritis. Fiber helps maintain normal gut motility, boosts stool consistency and volume, and supports healthy bacteria in the gut. Sources of fiber that are recommended for dogs with gastroenteritis include pumpkin seeds, psyllium husks, oatmeal, barley, sweet potatoes and other veggies.

Probiotics are also often recommended in cases of gastroenteritis to help support a healthy intestinal flora. The overall aim is to maintain a diet that will keep your dog’s intestines working properly while reducing irritation due to the disease process.

If your dog has had ongoing problems related to eating too much fat or proteins it may be necessary to make changes to the diet such as:

  • Reducing fats or proteins
  • Increasing fiber sources

A veterinary nutritionist can help you make these changes if needed.

Bland Diet

A bland diet, also known as gastrointestinal (GI) diet or B.R.A.T. Diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast), is a dietary plan used to reduce inflammation in the intestines to help reduce the symptoms of gastrointestinal distress such as nausea and vomiting. For dogs with gastroenteritis, this diet is also an easily digestible source of nutrition that helps minimize their discomfort while providing fuel for their bodies.

Typically a bland diet for dogs would include:

  • Boiled white rice or potatoes
  • Boiled lean meat such as chicken or fish with no added fats, spices or sauces.

Have your vet check to ensure your dog isn’t allergic to any particular meats prior to feeding it a bland diet. Additionally, providing probiotic supplements can be beneficial to assist in restoring balance in the digestive tract and help with absorption of nutrients from food consumed on the bland diet.

Homemade Diet

A homemade diet tailored to your dog’s individual needs is the best diet for dogs with gastroenteritis. Typical recipes include lean meats such as chicken or lean hamburger, and a combination of brown rice and steamed vegetables. Home-cooked meals are prepared without added salt, fat or preservatives, allowing for better digestion of the ingredients. You can also adjust the recipe so that the food is easily digestible and low on dietary fiber content.

Adding some probiotics like Greek yogurt can further aid in digestion for your pet companion. Whenever possible, it’s best to use organic foods free from pesticides and hormones. The homemade diet should be cooked fresh daily and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days until it will need to be discarded or frozen for later feeding.


When it comes to dogs with gastroenteritis, the best diet is one that is high in easily digestible proteins, healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates. It’s essential to provide a diet that is balanced and complete with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for good health.

Feeding your dog a high-quality wet or dry diet that is appropriate for their age, life stage and size can help them get the nutrition they need. If you think your dog may benefit from a diet specific for sensitive stomachs or digestive issues such as gastroenteritis then consult your vet first before changing their food.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Dogs With Gastroenteritis

Q: What is Gastroenteritis in Dogs?

A: Gastroenteritis in dogs is a condition that causes inflammation and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacterial and viral infections, parasites, food allergies, environmental toxins, and other digestive issues.

Q: What are the symptoms of Gastroenteritis in Dogs?

A: Symptoms of gastroenteritis in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, dehydration, and abdominal pain.

Q: What is the best diet for dogs with Gastroenteritis?

A: The best diet for dogs with gastroenteritis is a bland, low-fat diet. This diet should include boiled chicken or white fish, boiled potatoes or rice, and boiled vegetables such as green beans or carrots. These foods should be blended together and served in small amounts multiple times a day. It is important to monitor your dog’s food intake and adjust the diet as necessary.

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