Just like their owners, dogs can have difficulty with digestion, and require specialized diets. These diets do not have to be complicated or expensive, but do need to be well thought out and take some extra time to prepare. A chicken, rice and pumpkin diet can help dogs who are experiencing stomach upset like diarrhea or IBS.
Chicken, Rice and Pumpkin Recipe for Dogs
A simple, nutritious and healing menu for your dog is chicken, rice and pumpkin.
1/2 cup cooked and cut up chicken
1/2 cup cooked white rice
2 – 4 T. canned pumpkin
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons plain yogurt or milk kefir
A great way to prepare your rice is with the broth from the chicken as long as it is sodium-free (no salt added). This will add flavor and nutrition to your rice.
If you prepare a large amount of chicken and rice, you can freeze the cooked food and then thaw what you need each day.
How Much Chicken and Rice Should I Feed My Dog?
At first, feed the same amount of homemade dog food as you fed store bought food. Increase or decrease the amount you give if you find your dog is gaining or losing weight. As soon as your dog's digestive issues get better, start to add a little of his kibble to each serving, gradually increasing it while decreasing the chicken and rice amount.
How to Cook a Chicken for your Dog
Use a whole chicken from the store. Boneless and skinless chicken will have less nutrients, so just buy a whole chicken.
Put the chicken into a large pot and cover the chicken with water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow the chicken to simmer for an hour or until it is completely done. (No pink left in the meat.)
Remove chicken from the pot and place in a large bowl or on a cookie sheet. Allow the chicken to cool to a comfortable temperature.
Remove chicken skin and meat from the bones. Return the bones and skin to your pot and simmer the bones for 12 – 24 hours. (You can do this in a crock pot to avoid the risk of the pot boiling dry.)
Cut chicken up and freeze chicken pieces.
After your broth has simmered, strain out the bones and skin and discard. Use this broth to make rice. (You can add salt and seasonings and have some for yourself – it is full of nutrients!)
Your broth will have a layer of fat that will rise to the top as it cools. If your dog is recovering from sickness, you will want to remove the fat (it can be skimmed from the top.) Otherwise, you can leave the fat in the broth as some fat is needed in a dog’s diet. (10-15%)
How to Cook Rice for Your Dog
Put 3 cups of white rice and 6 cups of your hot broth (or hot water if you didn’t make the broth) into a casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in your oven at 375 for 40 minutes. Allow to cool. Freeze in 1 cup portions.
Now you have completed the time consuming portion of your dog food preparation and can mix your chicken, rice and pumpkin together.
In the recipe above, your dog will be getting a quality protein (chicken), easy to digest carbohydrate (rice) healing minerals (chicken bone broth), vitamins and fiber (pumpkin) and probiotics (yogurt, if you include it.) You may need to increase or decrease the amount of pumpkin. While pumpkin has a balancing effect on the bowel, it will not affect every dog the same way. (It is a cure for diarrhea and for constipation!)
Even with the excellent food value of the chicken-rice-pumpkin recipe, it will not quite meet all of you dog’s nutritional needs. If you find this recipe suits your dog and you wish to use it longer than two weeks, you will need to supplement your dog’s diet with the following:
Necessary Supplements for the Chicken-Rice-Pumpkin Diet
Calcium – Unless you are feeding your dog raw bones, you will need to add about 1 gram of calcium (1,000 mg) of calcium to each pound of your dog’s food. You can do this with a supplement of you can use ½ teaspoon of crushed eggshell. (1/2 teaspoon crushed eggshell is about 1,000 mg.)
Fish Oil (for the omega 3 fatty acids)
Cod liver oil (for the vitamins A and D)
Kelp (for the Iodine)
You will need to figure out the dosages for the above and any other supplements if you wish to use this long term. Keep in mind that too much cod liver oil can give too much A and D (fat soluble) vitamins. You should be able to find pet supplements in local pet stores or large grocery stores with a substantial pet section. The supplements should give directions for how much to give based on your pet's body weight. You may also wish to consult with your vet to see if any additional supplements are needed for your dog's particular situation and breed.
What Causes Dogs to have Digestion Problems?
Many dog foods available on the market today are of poor quality. In the short term, dogs seem to do well on them, but in the long term, many dogs will end up with a variety of health problems, including digestive problems. Like people, some dogs seem to have a “delicate stomach” no matter how hard you work to give them a good diet! Following sickness, especially sickness that includes vomiting or diarrhea, a dog may need a gentle diet for a time while his gut readjusts to food. Dogs also develop IBS as they age. so finding the right food to feed them will help.
We have a dog that started to develop digestive issues at around age 10. He was eventually diagnosed with IBS. We successfully used the chicken, rice and pumpkin diet to settle his stomach after one grain-free brand of kibble started to cause diarrhea. After much testing of various dog food brands without success, including a raw food and freeze-dried raw food diets, we finally found that a homemade diet of brown rice and lamb with added supplements was the best food for him in his sensitive elder years. Adding a teaspoon of canned or dried pumpkin to his food has helped his digestion immensely as well.
Have you tried the chicken-rice-pumpkin diet for your dog? Please send us some feedback!
About the Author: Deirdre Layne
Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created EarthClinic.com in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.