As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, I find myself reaching for comfort foods more often. I’m not sure how affected dogs are by the changing weather, but at this time of year I sometimes have the urge to feed my dog some kind of dog comfort food, especially when she isn’t feeling well.
Boiled chicken and rice—although it may not sound very exciting—is the dog equivalent to the age-old, human remedy of chicken soup. It is bland enough for most dogs with sensitive stomachs or with digestion issues, and yet enticing enough for picky eaters.
Whenever my dog wasn’t feeling well or was having trouble eating dog food (that’s when I knew something was wrong; my dog loved to eat!), my vet would recommend feeding her boiled chicken and rice, either on its own or mixed in with her food, until she was feeling better or regained her appetite. Two different friends of mine have dogs that are very picky eaters and have never had big appetites (both are Poodles, a breed known to be more prone to stomach sensitivity or decreased appetite), and chicken and rice is always their go-to for getting their dogs to start eating again. This dish is also fast and easy to make, and can be saved in the fridge or freezer for later. As always, if your dog has any underlying issues or specific dietary conditions, or has a diminished appetite for a significant amount of time, check with your veterinarian.
1 cup white rice (uncooked)*
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Water
1. Put the specified amounts of rice and water in a pot and allow to cook as recommended by the manufacturer.
2. While the rice cooks, place chicken breasts in another pot and fill with enough water to submerge completely. Cover pot.
3. Boil chicken on high heat for about 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through.
4. Remove chicken from water and use a fork to shred into bite-sized pieces.
5. Mix chicken in uniformly with cooked rice. 6. Allow food to cool completely before serving; excess can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
This dish can be mixed in with your dog’s regular food, or can be served occasionally as a meal on its own. Remember to take your dog’s size/weight into account when preparing a serving size. *Consult cooking instructions on the package of rice for cooking time and amounts of rice and water. However, do not add anything other than water to the rice. Typically, the ratio of water to rice is 2:1, yielding the amount of the water and rice together.
This recipe was reviewed by a veterinarian. It is intended as a treat or snack and should only be a small percentage of your pet’s daily food. If your pet has any health issues or if you have any concerns, consult your pet’s veterinarian before offering this food item.
Photos and Story by: Jen R. Duncan