What to feed a sick dog: 8 foods that help fur babies heal

Wondering what to feed a sick dog? Follow these tips and use these eight foods, chicken and rice, pumpkin, bone broth, and more, to help your dog heal.

Like humans, sick dogs must also eat nutritious and healthy meals to regain energy. The right food will also affect their overall well-being and health. But the question is, “what to feed a sick dog?” 

As a fur parent, it is essential that what you feed your sick dog will not worsen their condition. If you have second thoughts about the food you can prepare, you are in the right place.

Here is a list of food you can give your dog if they feel under the weather.

White rice and chicken


Two of the main ingredients found in dog foods are rice and chicken. They are perfect for dogs with upset stomachs.

This recipe requires skinless and boneless chicken breast and white rice. Although white rice has lower nutritional value than brown rice, its blandness makes it ideal for an upset stomach.

Avoid butter, oils, and added seasonings that can irritate a dog’s stomach making them feel even sicker. When your dog is sick, feed them rice and plain boiled chicken. Also, make sure to cook the chicken thoroughly. Better yet, shred or cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Sweet potato

Feeding your dog with sweet potatoes is a good idea for dealing with intestinal problems. But don’t serve sweet potatoes raw; they can upset your dog’s stomach or cause intestinal blockage.

Cook sweet potatoes thoroughly. You can also remove the skin or make sweet potato recipes like mashed potatoes for your sick fur baby. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and other essential vitamins that help make your dog feel better.


Pumpkin minimizes diarrhea and vomiting, settles an upset stomach, and helps dogs feel better.

Pumpkins can help treat diarrhea in dogs because it’s high in fiber. It soothes your dog’s stomach and solidifies its stool.

On the other hand, a pumpkin is considered a prebiotic, which naturally boosts the healthy bacteria in the stomach. Pumpkin minimizes diarrhea and vomiting, settles an upset stomach, and helps dogs feel better.

Be sure not to add too much pumpkin to your dog’s food. The increased fiber can cause constipation. So, starting with a small amount is best and increasing gradually. One more thing, you need to use a pumpkin without seeds or skin.

According to Nancy Lee, owner of the Cooky Mom website, you can feed your pooch butternut squash if pumpkin is unavailable. The squash can help if your dog has diarrhea.

But be sure to feed your pet in moderation because too much squash may worsen your dog’s condition.


There is a misconception that turkey is bad for dogs. But the truth is, this food is straightforward to digest. Moreover, it is usually fed to dogs with diarrhea and vomiting with white rice. Giving is safe if the turkey is boiled, baked, and cooked without spices and fats.

Do not give your dog cooked turkey bones, skin, or greasy drippings, as they can harm your dog’s health.

Bone broth

If you are looking for a bland diet for your sick dog, you can never go wrong with bone broth. Bone broth is a mild liquid meal that can soothe an upset stomach. It’s also a delicious and nutritious way to include flavor and moisture to dry food. It will encourage your pet to eat, especially if they have a reduced appetite.

Nevertheless, this food is straightforward to prepare. Fill a pot of bones with many joints, such as chicken legs or turkey or beef marrow bones. Then add water that is enough to cover the bones.

Cook on low for 20 to 24 hours. Also, when making bone broth, avoid adding black pepper to your dog’s food, as it can lead to problems like hemorrhoids and a burning sensation in the stomach.

Allow the bone broth to cool in the fridge for two to three hours so the fat hardens at the top. Remove the fat and keep the jelly-like broth in your refrigerator.

Then if you want to utilize the broth, microwave it to warm, but don’t let it get too hot because it can burn your dog’s mouth.

While bone broth is healthy, cooked bones are dangerous for your dog. So, ensure to eliminate all the bones from the broth before serving.

Baby food

Baby food can also be an excellent food for a sick dog. It will kickstart the dog’s appetite through its sense of smell. It is also easy to keep down and ingest.

You can grab a pouch or jar of this food at local supermarkets. However, it can kickstart your pet’s appetite since it has carbs and fats. It will also increase the possibility of your fur baby becoming a picky eater as soon as they feel better.

To ensure safety, choose baby food that doesn’t contain onions and garlic, as they can be very dangerous.

Wet food

One of the best ways to encourage sick dogs to eat when they have a reduced appetite is to give them wet food. Usually, this can have a more enticing smell to dogs, mainly if you heat the food in the microwave for a few seconds. Wet or canned food is readily available in the market.

While wet food is usually nutritional, it is most often advisable for pets to heal from dental pain or anxiety. Dogs can quickly and easily consume them. This will minimize discomfort and make eating easier for a nervous dog.


Fish has a noticeable odor, which is appetizing for dogs and can even encourage sick dogs to eat. But be sure to serve cooked fish since raw can harm them.

Consider boiling deboned fish and try to give them to your sick four-legged friend to increase their appetite. The food is also soft, making it ideal for those with teeth or jaw problems. Fish is also suitable for dogs who don’t want to eat because of depression and anxiety.

Last but not least, if your dog is experiencing an upset stomach, giving a small amount of this food can encourage their appetite. But be sure not to give too much, as it can upset the stomach further.

Can CBD help your sick dog?

CBD, or cannabidiol, became known as a promising organic remedy for sick dogs and other pets, with several potential advantages. CBD for pets has shown great potential in alleviating different symptoms and boosting the well-being of sick dogs. CBD treats can relieve pain and discomfort caused by conditions such as arthritis or cancer. Furthermore, CBD has anti-inflammatory effects that can aid in reducing inflammation and swelling in the body, promoting faster healing and improved mobility. Consult your veterinarian before incorporating CBD into a dog’s healthcare regimen. 

Understand what to feed a sick dog

Remember that no single food is better than all others when looking for something to feed a sick dog. It will always depend on your fur baby and why they are sick.

It’s essential to keep your dog healthy and happy, and hopefully, the foods mentioned here will help you prepare something to make your sick dog feel better.

Nancy Lee is a mother of two boys and the editor-in-chief at Cooky Mom, a foodie blog aiming to help moms prepare and enjoy exquisite meals. She’s also a food blogger who focuses on food that people can eat and safe meals for dogs.

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