For a lot of dog owners, the possibility of a dog having a sensitive stomach is something new to them. However, there is a lot of research available to show that some dogs have sensitive stomachs. The main symptoms of this condition include vomiting, watery stools, and flatulence after eating. If you are reading this, then the chances are that your dog has been diagnosed with the problem. If you have noticed the symptoms on your dog, you need to visit the vet first to rule out any other serious condition first. When it comes to finding the best dog food for sensitive stomachs, there are (fortunately) a number of options available. In this article, we will review the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs, with a guide on how to pick the right ones.
The Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
It is best to set the ball rolling with Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin And Stomach Adult Dry And Wet Dog Food as it is also our pick for the best choice. First of all, it is available in five different recipes to choose from. But this rice and salmon formula is considered one of the best formulas by most of its users. Just as its name suggests, it is a specially formulated sensitive stomach dog food. It also comes with the single animal protein – a feature that is considered a novelty by many. Unlike other formulas – especially dry kibbles – Purina Pro Plan FOCUS contains lower amounts of protein to make it suitable for sensitive stomachs. Also, it comes with some prebiotics that aid in proper digestion.
Available in different recipes
Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
Contains no artificial ingredient
Contains barley and ground rice
- BrandPurina Pro Plan
- Weight30.5 pounds
CANIDAE makes it onto our list with the CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food. When it comes to sensitive dog food, this product has also proven very reliable. Whether you are looking for the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach or a sensitive stomach puppy food, CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food easily fits in. Its main protein source is lamb meal with the inclusion of whole grains such as millet, rice, and barley. Thus, it offers a formula that is easily digestible by any dog no matter what age and what condition it suffers from. It also features cellulose, which is essential for easy digestion.
Available in four different sizes to choose from
Created without wheat, corn, or soy
Lamb meal and rice formula
Fortified with omega 6 and 3 fatty acids
- Weight30 pounds
Moving on, we have Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs. This dog food is specially formulated as a sensitive digestion dog food, just as its name suggests. Unlike most other formulas, Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food features brewers rice as its main ingredient supported by chicken meal. This combination is supposed to help dogs with sensitive stomachs easily digest their meals without issues. Thus, although it might not supply very high amounts of protein when it comes to nutrients, it will give your dog’s stomach much less to do when it comes to digestion.
Available in different sizes
Features brewers rice as the main ingredient and chicken meal as the secondary ingredient
Packed with vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid
Made with all-natural ingredients
- BrandHill’s Science Diet
- Weight30.4 pounds
Up next, we have the Natural Balance L.I.D (Limited Ingredient Diets) Wet Dog Food making it onto our list. If you are looking for one of the ideal wet dog food for sensitive stomachs, most people will recommend Natural Balance L.I.D (Limited Ingredient Diets) Wet Dog Food if you have the money to spend. But, despite the fact that it is a bit pricey, it offers a healthy amount of digestible natural protein source which your dog will need. Also, it comes with a good blend of healthy starch (from sweet potato) and chicken, solely dedicated to helping your dog with sensitive stomach eat healthily and digest food with no complications.
Chicken and sweet potato formula
Rich in fiber for easy digestion
Weighs 12 to 13 ounces
- BrandNatural Balance
- Weight12.6 pounds
It is time to introduce our pick for the best price, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food. Unlike the previous entry on our list, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food is very affordable, and yet does not compromise on quality. One main feature of this special formula is that it comes with no poultry ingredient as part of the company’s company to eliminate all poultry products for dogs with sensitive skin and stomach. Instead, this formula contains pork, beef, and lamb. Another deliberate omission is for all grains. Thus, this is a poultry-free as well as a grain-free formula. However, there is just enough quality protein sourced from pork, beef, and lamb. These ingredients have been proven to be more tolerable on sensitive stomachs,
Pork, beef, and lamb formula
Contains sweet potatoes and peas
Features four strains of beneficial bacteria
- BrandWhole Earth Farms
- Weight4.2 pounds
The next entry onto our list is the NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food. If you are looking for the best puppy food for sensitive stomach, then NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food has got you covered. Unlike the other brands reviewed so far, NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Puppy Dry Dog Food focuses on the puppies of all breeds. Thus, you will not want to purchase this for your adult dog. It features five pounds of a special formulation made of farm-raised chicken as its number one ingredient. It also comes with brown rice and sweet potato in an all-natural formulation that is designed to be suitable for your puppy with a sensitive stomach. It is also fortified with omega 3 fatty acids with essential vitamins and minerals.
Specially formulated for puppies with sensitive stomachs
Fortified with omega 3 fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals
Features farm-raised chicken as its main ingredient
Also contains brown rice and sweet potato
- BrandRoyal Canin
- Weight15.3 pounds
Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Sensitive Systems, Limited Ingredient Formulas Adult Dog Food is next on our list. Although the name should tell you basically everything you need to know about this product, there is still a lot to mention. First, it is available in two different recipes, both specially-formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. These are the salmon recipe and the new chicken with probiotics recipe. This special formula is also available in four different sizes to choose from. Plus, it comes with a unique blend of essential nutrients and antioxidants to help ensure that your dog has a strong immune system. The formula also comes with natural sources of glucosamine to help support joint health.
Features salmon as the main recipe
Another formula features chicken with probiotics
Contains natural sources of glucosamine
Features antioxidants to help boost the immune system
- BrandPurina ONE
- Weight31.4 pounds
Our next entry is the AvoDerm Natural Dry And Wet Dog Food. This specially formulated dog food for sensitive stomachs is also our premium pick. Avocadoes may not be the first ingredient to spring into your mind when you are considering healthy recipes for your sensitive dog. However, AvoDerm Natural Dry And Wet Dog Food mix it with a healthy blend of its main ingredient – chicken. Avocados also contain healthy oils that can be absorbed in your dog’s digestive system. This special blend of chicken meal, avocado, rice oatmeal does not only provide your sensitive dog with all the essential nutrients it needs but also goes very easily on its digestive system. Plus, this product has racked up a lot of positive reviews by its users.
Contains essential nutrients and vitamins
Contains no potato or peas
Contains two strains of probiotics
- Weight30.7 pounds
Royal Canin Care Nutrition, Small Digestive Care Dry Dog Food is next on our list. If you are familiar with this brand, you may be surprised that it is only now showing up on our list. Royal Canin Care Nutrition Small, Digestive Care Dry Dog Food, is available in two sizes to choose from – three and a half pounds as well as 17 pounds. This specially formulated dog food for sensitive stomachs comes with a unique blend of highly-digestible protein, dietary fibers, and probiotics, all designed to ensure that the sensitive stomach of your dog receives the right kind of nutritional combination to aid digestion.
Available in two sizes to choose from
An optimal blend of highly-digestible proteins and dietary fiber
Contains essential probiotics
Supports healthy digestion
- BrandRoyal Canin
- Weight3.6 pounds
And, last but definitely not least, we have the Wellness Simple Natural Grain-Free Wet Canned Limited Ingredient Dog Food. This limited ingredient formula features an ideal blend of potatoes, turkey, and flaxseeds specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Despite its turkey content, it has low enough amounts of protein to ensure that your dog does not have digestive issues. Also, it comes in 12.5 ounces of weight per can, and each pack comes with 12 cans. Because turkey is the only source of protein available in this formula, it makes digestion very easy. The formula contains no gluten, no wheat, and no fillers. It also contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or additives as it is an all-natural formula.
Limited ingredient formula
Single protein source – turkey
Weighs 12.5 ounces per can in a pack of pack 12 cans
- Weight10.9 pounds
Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach Buying Guide & FAQ
What Causes Sensitive Stomachs In Dogs?
There are several factors responsible for sensitive stomachs in dogs. These include:
- When there is an irritation in the inner walls of the digestive tract
- Sensitive stomachs can also be the result of indigestion issues
- It can also occur when there is an inability of the digestive system to absorb essential nutrients from food
- When food is not properly transited from the mouth through the gut
- Sudden changes in the normal flora of the intestine also lead to sensitive stomachs
As much as the above conditions will lead to sensitive stomachs in dogs, there are some events that trigger the above conditions. These are gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, food intolerance in general, and inability to absorb fructose.
What To Look For In Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs
There are some things to look for when shopping for dog food for sensitive stomachs.
- Nutritional balance: To be certain that the brand you are picking offers your dog all the needed nutrients despite its limited ingredient formulation, pay attention to the label. If it reads “complete and balanced,” then it probably contains all the essential nutrients for your dog.
- Nutritional volume: Next, still on the label of the product, pay attention to the ingredients, and take into consideration the protein content. Sensitive stomachs may have problems digesting a high protein amount. Thus it is best to stay away from those and stick to limited ingredient formulas.
- Other ingredients: As mentioned earlier, ingredients such as gluten may cause a lot of problems for your dog with a sensitive stomach. Thus, avoid those. Also, avoid formulas that contain artificial ingredients.
Ingredients In Dog Food That Cause Upset Stomachs In Dogs
It is absolutely vital to be aware of the kind of ingredients that cause upset stomachs in dogs.
- Dairy products: Because sensitive stomachs cannot break down lactose, you have to avoid any dog food that contains any dairy product.
- Fruits: We have also mentioned earlier that the presence of fructose can lead to a trigger of stomach upset in sensitive stomachs. Fructose can be found in fruits.
- Gluten: Gluten can be found mostly in cereals, grains, and grass-based foods as a type of protein. As mentioned earlier, gluten is bad for dogs with a sensitive stomach.
Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach FAQ:
Q: How do I find out if my dog has a sensitive stomach?
A: It is important to note that all the symptoms of a sensitive stomach in dogs can also be symptoms of other conditions as well. Thus, the best way to be certain that your dog actually suffers from a sensitive stomach is to have a medical examination conducted by a veterinarian. On your part as a dog owner, there are some symptoms to look out for to indicate that your dog needs immediate veterinary attention.
- Watery stool after eating
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight
- Discomfort in the stomach and abdomen
- Poor body condition
Immediately you observe these symptoms; you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will conduct a series on examinations based on the information you provide and will confirm or otherwise if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
Q: What type of dog food is best for a sensitive stomach?
A: In order to ensure that you purchase the right dog food for your dog with stomach upset, be sure that you opt for the following:
- Lower protein content: Studies have shown that reducing the amount of protein in your dog’s food makes it easier to digest.
- Single protein options: As a result of the need for lower amounts of protein, always purchase dog food that is made with only one source of protein.
- Digestible fiber, proteins, and carbs: There are some protein sources that are very difficult to digest. Thus, always be sure that the label indicates digestible protein as well as digestible carbs. Fiber plays a huge part in supporting a healthy digestive system.
Q: How do I safely transition to new food if my dog has a sensitive stomach?
A: The first thing to do is to find the right dog food for your dog. Once that is done, start feeding only small quantities, to begin with. The best way to do it is to add only about 15 percent of the new food to about 85 percent of the old food. Continue to increase the percentage of new food slowly as you decrease that of the old food. Make sure that you do this over a period of approximately 10 days. You can also consult your vet for some recommendations.
Our Top Pick
As mentioned earlier, our top pick is the Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin And Stomach Adult Dry And Wet Dog Food. Here is a quick recap of its features. First of all, it is a single protein formula, which is salmon. It contains no corn, wheat, soy, and no artificial ingredients. It also contains barley and ground rice. It contains prebiotic fiber and antioxidants, and 16 percent minimum fat content.