Why You Shouldn&039t Feed Chicken and Rice to Your Pets!

Should I feed my pet chicken and rice when he has diarrhea?

It is well known to offer your pet a “bland” diet when he shows signs of gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. the idea behind this is simply to give your gut a “rest” and reduce the workload by eating easily digestible foods instead. Traditionally, the reference bland diet has been boiled chicken and rice.

Reading: Can rice cause diarrhea in dogs

At my veterinary animal hospital, we often see pets with acute gastrointestinal issues that are managed through dietary modifications. Nutrition is critical in managing gastrointestinal issues as well as the overall health and development of your pet. Although “chicken and rice” smells and tastes amazing, we have started to move away from a bland homemade diet and instead recommend that you try better alternatives first. Just because “chicken and rice” is common doesn’t mean it’s the best for your pet!

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Here are some of the pitfalls and reasons why you should look beyond the traditional bland “chicken and rice” diet:

1. is not complete and balanced nutrition and is not suitable for long term use or for growing pets simply feeding ‘chicken and rice’ is simply not a complete and balanced diet as it is lacking in certain nutrients , vitamins, amino acids and minerals. that are important to your pet’s health. if fed for more than three days or more, your pet may begin to have multiple nutritional deficiencies that can develop into serious health problems. We regularly see puppies and kittens for GI issues, as they often have more sensitive stomachs than adult pets as their immune systems continue to develop. Growing puppies and kittens have special nutritional requirements, and eating an unbalanced diet, even for a short time, can be detrimental to their health and development.

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2. low energy dense nutrition, inconvenient, increased risk of contamination a 10kg dog requires about 470 kilocalories a day, which is roughly equivalent to about 2 chicken breasts and 1.5 cups of rice. Many pets with GI issues often have poor appetites and are in a state of negative energy balance, making it difficult to ensure they eat enough to maintain their daily caloric intake. Although it may seem like a lot of food (which is already an added challenge to digest with an upset stomach), due to the low energy density of “chicken and rice,” you may still be underfeeding your pet. furthermore, the “chicken and rice” should be cooked fresh each time they are fed to reduce the risk of contamination. despite the daily effort to prepare ‘chicken rice’, as mentioned above, it is not even nutritionally complete and balanced!

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3. Does not replace lost electrolytes and vitamins Gastrointestinal issues often cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Besides falling short of meeting your pet’s daily maintenance requirements, a ‘chicken and rice’ diet does not contain additional electrolytes and vitamins to replenish any losses that may have occurred with vomiting and diarrhoea.

4. lacks prebiotics & Probiotics to Support the Gastrointestinal Microbiome Gastrointestinal problems are often caused by, or are the result of, an unbalanced gut microbiome. Compared to better alternative GI diets, a “chicken and rice” diet does little to correct these imbalances to support the GI system. Simply put, the gut microbiome is a dynamic population of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, that play a key role in the digestion, synthesis, and absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed and are often referred to as “good” bacteria. Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the “good” bacteria in the gut and allow them to thrive. the addition of prebiotics and probiotics can help restore any imbalances and promote a well-functioning gut microbiome.

at my veterinary animal hospital, an alternative to the ‘chicken and rice’ that we often recommend is the i/d (digestive care) range of hill’s prescription diet, as it is a nutritious energy-rich diet, complete and balanced, which is conveniently pre-manufactured and contains prebiotics and probiotics. It also exceeds the nutrition standards of the Association of American Food Control Officials (AAFCO) and also has a 100% money-back guarantee for quality, consistency and taste.

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