What Can I Give My Sick Dog Instead of Chicken and Rice? (Solved!)

As many dog owners have heard, chicken and rice can be a great option as food for dogs who are sick. This is because it is easy to digest and easy to keep down, while still providing the nutrients needed for your pooch. However, what if chicken and rice isn’t an option? Perhaps you don’t have any on hand, or your dog doesn’t like one of the ingredients.

What else can you feed to a sick dog? Well, there are a number of foods that can be good options when chicken and rice aren’t available. Potatoes, oats, plain yogurt, bone broth, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and many other foods can serve different purposes for your dog’s digestive health. 

But which are the best foods to feed a sick dog when chicken and rice aren’t an option? What does each food do when it comes to making your dog better? What food should you avoid when your dog is sick? Read on to find out more about what to feed sick dogs!


Potatoes are a great option for replacing rice when it comes to settling a sick dog’s stomach. This is because they are a similar starchy carbohydrate that is very easy for your dog to digest. Potatoes are bland enough to be inoffensive to your dog’s system, while still providing some much-needed nutrients and calories to keep your dog from going hungry while it’s sick. 


Oats, in the form of hard oats or oatmeal, can be a good choice for a bland food to feed to your dog as well. Just like potatoes, oats will provide the basics that your dog needs, such as calories and carbohydrates, while being very easy on your dog’s system. 

Oatmeal is especially good because it is soft and wet, so it will help hydrate your dog as well as being easy to swallow and digest. 

Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt, although it might not seem that bland, can be a great option for feeding your dog when it’s sick as well. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, it can make bland food like oats more attractive for your dog, coaxing it to eat. Secondly, some of the healthy bacteria in yogurt can help with your dog’s digestive system by providing what’s known as “gut flora.” 

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato might be a bit more attractive to your dog since it has some flavor and color to it. It also offers a good amount of nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals and is quite mild on the stomach. You’d be correct to say that in many ways, sweet potatoes are similar to regular potatoes, making them an equally good substitute when your dog is ill. 

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Pumpkin is another vegetable that can be a good stand-in when your pooch isn’t feeling well. After all, it’s important to get your dog the vitamins and minerals it needs, which mostly come in the form of veggies. 

Pumpkin is also quite fibrous, which can help solidify your dog’s stool after a bout of diarrhea. This will make your dog’s bowel movements far less painful, and be a good sign of a recovering digestive system.

Bone Broth

It’s important to keep your pup hydrated while it is sick as well. After all, when your dog is sick, it’s losing a lot of fluids. Sometimes, sick dogs would rather not drink water. Bone broth can be a great substitute. It tastes good to dogs and keeps them hydrated, all while giving them some solid nutrients. 


Your dog is going to need a source of protein while it’s sick. While chicken is unavailable, and things like beef and pork are only going to make things worse, what should you feed your dog to give it protein?

Eggs are a great option to get some protein into your dog in a bland, inoffensive dish. The best way to prepare them for this purpose is to hard boil them. They will be very easy for your dog to digest, provide a good amount of protein, and taste great as well. 

Quail (and other lean proteins) 

If you don’t want to feed your dog eggs, there are a number of other lean proteins that can work as substitutes for chicken. 

Although a bit expensive, quail is a great substitute for chicken for dogs. It is lean, healthy meat that your dog will love, and provides a good amount of protein as well as other nutrients. 

If you want to stay away from the meat while your dog is sick, proteins like beans and lentils can work. 

If you don’t mind giving your dog a little bit of meat, lean lamb and venison can also be an option, as long as they are quite low in fat! It should say how much fat content there is on the package. 

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How much food should you serve a sick dog?

It might seem like it’s not a good idea to feed your dog while it’s sick. After all, it’s probably coming out just as quickly as it’s going in. However, it’s quite important to keep your dog fed and hydrated while it’s sick, so continue feeding your dog regularly.

Perhaps feed it in smaller portions throughout the day though. A higher number of meals that are low-calorie, bland, and have good nutritional value should see your dog through the other side of its sickness. 

What to avoid serving to sick dogs

There are a number of foods you should avoid serving to sick dogs. Mostly, you’ll want to avoid any food that is high in sodium or fat, or that is toxic to dogs in the slightest. Things like pork and red meat are off-limits while your dog’s digestive system is acting up. 

Anything with too much flavor will probably upset your dog’s stomach. Try to avoid foods with any kind of oils, seasonings, or salt. Stick to lean proteins, bland carbs, and mild vegetables until your pooch is feeling better.