Home Cooked Food for Canine Colitis or IBD

Home cooking for dogs with canine colitis or IBD will lead to longer, healthier lives. Without the right nutrition, your dog’s immune system won’t have the nutrition it needs to stay on top of the inflammatory bowel disease.

Best homemade dog food for dogs with ibd or colitis

“I have been cooking for my small dogs for about 4 years. I have a Chihuahua and a Chihuahua mix. I must say that I have never seen them as healthy as they are now. They are beautiful, happy, and energetic little dogs! Both of my dogs have had digestion problems since they were puppies, so I decided to cook for them to see if it would help them. It has helped tremendously!”

“I am by no means a vet, but after doing much research on the internet and talking with my vet and alternative health care providers, I was convinced that my dogs should be eating organic fruits and vegetables along with organic meat. The meat should be free range chicken or turkey with no hormones or steroids added.”

Best homemade diet for dogs with IBD or Colitis

For some dogs with IBD or Colitis, a homemade diet of raw meats, fruits and vegetables may be the ticket to improved health. If you are considering a homemade diet for your dog that has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or colitis, it is imperative that you speak with your vet before starting on this journey together.

Here are several options you can try:

  • Rice, sweet potatoes (no skin), and chicken breasts (very lean)
  • Rice, turkey, carrots, green beans, and pumpkin puree
  • Chicken, rice, green peas, carrots


For many dogs with IBD or colitis, a high-protein diet is an important factor in keeping the condition under control. Dogs with IBD or colitis often do well on homemade diets that use raw meat as their source of protein. Fresh raw meat should be free of growth hormones and antibiotics, and should not contain any preservatives.

The best meats are chicken, turkey, and fish because they are easy to digest. I would avoid beef (because it is more difficult for your dog to digest), pork, and lamb. The white breast meat of the chicken or turkey should be boiled, then cut into bite-size pieces. The meat should not have any skin or fat attached to it as this can cause inflammation of the intestinal tract.

Some commercial brands of dog food also contain high levels of protein, but these products are likely to include preservatives and other additives as well. It is recommended that you check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog any commercial brand of dog food for the first time.

Fruit and vegetable

Fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs include:

  • Apples (no core or seeds)
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli (cooked)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots (cooked)
  • Cauliflower (cooked)
  • Green beans (cooked)
  • Kale
  • Peas (cooked)
  • Pumpkin (cooked, no seeds or shell)

Boost your dog’s immune system by feeding broccoli, carrot, peas, sweet potato, pumpkin, bananas, apples, and blueberries. These foods are all high in essential nutrients that will support your dog’s gut health.

It may help to mince the meat you offer and dice fruits and veggies into small pieces to make digestion easier.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory agents, which means they can help to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Feeding your dog foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseed oil (but not cottonseed oil) or fish oils, specifically salmon oil and sardine oil are extremely helpful. You can give these oils to your pet mixed with canned food to help his body better tolerate them.


Eggs boost riboflavin and the shells are high in calcium. Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. They can help keep your dog’s coat shiny, and they are easy to digest.


You can also supplement your dog’s food with probiotics if his dog food is not already fortified with them. Probiotics block the pathogenic effect of other bacteria present in the gut. They also improve immune function, promote cell survival and stimulate protective responses of the bowel.

Probiotics help replenish the good bacteria in your dog’s digestive system. There are many varieties of probiotics, some better than others. Look for one that contains multiple strains of bacteria, as well as prebiotic fiber.


Plantain is another good food to supplement as it has an active component that reduces intestinal inflammation and mucosal tissue damage.

Plantain is a plant that is commonly used for medicinal purposes. It can be used to soothe stomach upset and aid digestion. It can also be used topically on cuts and bug bites to help them heal quickly.


Your veterinarian may suggest Chinese herbal remedies if they are certified in that area. Alternatively, they can suggest suitable home remedies that will not cause irritation to your dog’s bowel during digestion.

Recent evidence supports the beneficial effects of several herbs such as turmeric, clove and cinnamon oil. Turmeric contains a compound called Curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties, while cloves and cinnamon oil suppresses levels of chemicals and soluble mediators that affect inflammation.

The most important thing to remember is that natural remedies are not always supported by scientific data. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing natural remedies to your dog. You should also only give one at a time to ensure they do not cause any adverse reactions.

What is the best dog food to feed a dog with colitis?

When it comes to choosing a suitable food, wet is better as it is easier to break down and gentler on the digestive tract, however, many dried foods seem to be much better balanced in terms of nutrients and supplemented vitamins. Choose a dog food that does not contain any grains as they are quite difficult to digest.

1. Solid Gold Sunday Sunrise Lamb, Sweet Potato and Pea

Although this food is dry kibble, it is packed full of natural ingredients that support gut health. This holistic pet food – America’s first – includes two protein meats of Lamb and Ocean fish meal. Both are easy to digest and should not cause any IBD flare-ups. Additionally, the recipe includes sweet potato, carrot, blueberries, pea and salmon oil (among other ingredients) that are packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

2. Halo Holistic Chicken and Chicken Liver

Another dry food, Halo’s dog food is made from chicken meat and no chicken meal. Fresh chicken meat is much easier to digest than the dried chicken meal. The company never uses GMO fruits or vegetables and their ingredients are sustainably sourced. Having only one protein source means it is easy to track your dog’s IBD flare-ups.

3. Holistic Select Turkey and Lentils

This food is grain-free which is great for sensitive stomachs and avoids IBD flare-ups. Turkey is easy to digest and is just as nutritious as chicken. Holistic Select does not use any animal by-products, wheat, gluten, artificial colors or preservatives. The recipe contains flaxseed which provides beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and is fortified with prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy gut bacteria.

Is Rice OK for dogs with IBD?

“I have a boxer who is 5 years old and has had some bouts with IBD. I know that rice is not the best thing to give him but he loves it and it seems to help control his bowels. I always drain the grease off of the cooked meat and then mix in some rice and veggies. Is this ok for him?”

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to feed your dog with IBD rice and chicken or ground beef and rice. Remember that when we say rice we mean white rice only – brown rice is not recommended! White rice will be best for the digestive tract.

Acupuncture for IBD in dogs

Many dog owners have noted that acupuncture has resulted in a reduction of their dog’s IBD flare-ups and many vets recommend the treatment for their patients. Consult your veterinarian for a referral or search for local holistic veterinarians. They must be listed in a Holistic Veterinary association directory.

What foods trigger canine IBD?

Food intolerance is defined as an adverse reaction to food that does not involve an immunological mechanism (e.g., lactose intolerance). Food allergy, on the other hand, involves an immune-mediated response to a specific dietary antigen (the offending protein).

If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, the first step is to stop feeding all treats and table scraps and begin feeding a hypoallergenic diet. This means that you should feed only foods that are well-digested by most dogs, such as chicken and rice. Always choose a high-quality food that contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and has been tested by an independent lab for nutritional accuracy and safety before feeding it to your pet.

The best approach for determining if your dog has an allergic reaction to food involves dietary elimination and challenge trials. This method requires strict compliance from you and patience since these trials may take up to 3 months before you see any improvement. A properly conducted elimination diet trial consists of feeding a novel protein source and carbohydrate source for at least 2-4 weeks.

How do I know if my dog has IBD?

Symptoms of IBD include vomiting after eating and chronic diarrhea; this may include blood or mucus due to the swelling in the intestines. Loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, lethargy, and fever are also common symptoms.

If your dog’s veterinarian suspects IBD they will need to perform a biopsy. Other tests may include blood work, ultrasound, fecal examination, and radiographs.

Canine colitis or inflammatory bowel disease is a condition of the digestive system whereby inflammatory cells are present in the lining of the intestines. These changes inhibit the absorption of nutrients and the normal passage of food through the digestive tract.

The exact cause of IBD is not known, but experts speculate it could be due to allergies, bacteria, parasites, or a faulty immune system. It is important to note that IBD and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are two separate conditions. Although many of the symptoms are similar, IBS is caused by psychological stress rather than a physical abnormality.

Any dog can suffer from IBD, however, the breeds that seem particularly susceptible are German Shepherds, Wheaten Terriers, and Shar Peis.

Inflammatory Bowel/IBD In Dogs and Cats
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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

One Response

  1. I have a two week old Corgie that is bottle fed. She had severe diarrhea and then stopped passing stools completely. I was sure it was IBD. The breeder thought putting cayenne into her mouth to get her “stimulated” was a good idea. I believe it led to her digestion problems. Although too young for solids, I switched her to baby food and took away milk supplement. When I tried yogurt as a probiotic and put rice cereal into her meats, she stopped passing solids again. The day after she received steroids and antibiotic, she started bowel movements. The introduction of yogurt and rice cereal seemed to stop it again. I would like to know if anyone has had a baby like this. I will continue the chicken and turkey with nothing but veggies added if necessary.

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