Just as with us, every now and then dogs experience some tummy upset. Although most veterinarians will recommend withholding food if your dog is vomiting, for diarrhea many suggest a bland diet for dogs, often of chicken and rice. It’s super easy, fast–and inexpensive–to make chicken and rice for dogs.
Just as mom’s chicken soup can help us, a bland diet of chicken and rice can help your dog get back on his paws.
You probably already have everything you need to get started!
What Kind of Chicken Should I Buy?
The easiest way to make rice and chicken for dogs is to purchase boneless, skinless chicken breast. You can purchase whole breasts or unbreaded chicken breast tenders (which will cook a little faster).
Chicken breast is leaner than other cuts of chicken; when your dog has tummy troubles, you’ll want to reduce the fat in his diet.
What Kind of Rice Should I Buy?
To make chicken and rice for your dog, you’ll want to purchase white rice. White rice is easy for your dog to digest.
Brown rice is more difficult for your dog to digest so you don’t want to use it in this bland diet to help calm your dog’s stomach.
How to Boil Chicken for Dogs
If your veterinarian recommends a bland diet for your dog, chicken and rice is easy to make:
- To prepare a chicken and rice dish for your dog, first boil the chicken. We use chicken breast because it’s lean. Although chicken thighs are less expensive, the meat contains more fat which your dog doesn’t need at a time when he’s having tummy troubles.
- If you need to use a different cut besides the chicken breast, you’ll want to refrigerate the chicken after boiling and skim off the fat that will collect on the top of the chicken broth.
- Skinless, boneless breasts are easiest to use; if you don’t use deboned breasts, be sure that you have removed ALL bones from the chicken before serving or you’ll have a choking hazard.
- If you use chicken breasts with the skin, remove and discard the skin before cooking to avoid the extra fat.
- Once the chicken has cooked completely, remove it from the broth set it aside while you prepare the rice.
How to Add Rice to Make Chicken and Rice for Dogs
- Cook the rice in the broth formed by boiling the chicken.
- White rice is best for dog’s with tummy troubles (brown rice has more fiber which can be harder on your dog’s stomach).
- How much rice should you cook? Your goal is 2 parts cooked rice for one part cooked chicken.
- While the rice is cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken (and remember: throw away all bones, if there are any.)
- When the rice has cooked (and I always overcook the rice, to make it easier for our dogs to digest), remove it from the heat.
- Allow the rice and the chicken to cool completely before serving the mixture to your dog.
How to Serve Chicken and Rice When Your Dog is Sick
- Start with a small amount of cooled rice, chicken,and broth. Reserve the remaining chicken broth (when you’re dog’s feeling like his old self again, he’ll love it frozen as a cool treat!)
- Remember: you’ll want about two parts of rice for one part of chicken.
- Depending on your dog’s appetite and tummy troubles, you’ll want to serve small meals, maybe feeding four or five very small meals throughout the day rather than just his typical breakfast and dinner.
How to Store Homemade Chicken & Rice
As with other homemade foods and homemade dog treats, this dish has no preservatives–so you’ll want to refrigerate the chicken and rice as soon as it’s cooled.
Cooked chicken and rice lasts three to four days when refrigerated. If you want to make a big batch, however, it’s easy to freeze and thaw as you needed.
Once cooled, spoon the chicken and rice into an air-tight container. I like to put it into zippered bags, squeezing out the extra air. This saves room in the freezer, too!
To defrost the frozen chicken and rice, place the zippered bag in your refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight. In a hurry? Drop the zippered bag into a bowl of cool water to thaw.
How to transition your dog back to his regular dog food
As your dog’s bowel movements return to normal, you’ll transition your dog off chicken and rice and back to his regular diet.
Just as if you were transitioning him to a new diet, you’ll want to replace about 20% of his meal with the “new” food (in this case, his old food he enjoyed before tummy troubles.)
Every day, assuming all is well with his bowel movements, change out an additional 20% of the chicken and rice for his typical food:
- On Day 1 of returning to his old diet, you’ll feed 80% chicken and rice and 20% traditional diet.
- On Day 2, serve 60% chicken and rice, and 40% traditional diet.
- Continue the gradual transition until he has returned to his old food.
If you continue to see bowel problems, give your veterinarian a call!
Chicken and rice makes an easy way to provide your dog with a bland diet, helping your best friend feel like himself as soon as possible!
How to Make an Easy Chicken and Rice Mixture for Your Dog to Enjoy Anytime
The above recipe is for dogs who are having tummy troubles, cooking the chicken separate from the rice.
However, if your dog isn’t having digestive issues but you’d just like to make chicken and rice as a nice treat (I give Tiki a bit before bedtime so she doesn’t have morning nausea, a common issue in senior dogs) here’s an even easier recipe to follow!
Pour one pound of dry white rice into a large stockpot.
Add 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to stockpot then fill pot about half full of water.
Bring the chicken and rice mixture to a boil then reduce heat and cook until chicken is completely done and water has been absorbed (you’ll want the rice a little overdone.)
Remove from heat and cool then shred the chicken; return chicken to the stockpot and store in the refrigerator for three days or freeze.
Looking for more recipes for cooking for your dog? Download one of our free dog treat cookbooks!
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Sunday 19th of February 2023
Dogs cannot easily digest rice. Sweet potato is a better choice.
Wednesday 3rd of May 2023
@Sandra, You don’t know what the hell you are talking about, dog most certainly can digest rice that is why it is recommended because it is easy on their stomachs. You should keep your misinformation to yourself.
Sunday 12th of February 2023
Is it okay to add a little salt so it will be more palatable to the dog? She's a Maltese and very picky with what she eats. Thank you
Friday 26th of May 2023
@Janice Jackson, salt doesnt make food more appealing to dogs, fat (animal fat, not butter or oil) will- so more meat will do the job!
Friday 17th of February 2023
I generally don't add any salt when I make anything for our dogs but there are things you can add to make the chicken and rice more palatable. I think the best way is to cook the rice in chicken broth to create a stronger-tasting chicken and rice. Again, you'll want to either make your own broth or purchase low-sodium (which will have a little salt in it) broth.
Sunday 22nd of January 2023
Just wondering if I could use instant rice for this recipe?
Thursday 29th of April 2021
How long does it take for my dog to have a bowel movement when eating chicken and rice?
Saturday 3rd of April 2021
Thanks for this information. Just what I needed today. It's weird, every dog I see is the most beautiful dog I have ever seen.