Every pooch is different but certain breeds have their challenges when it comes to finding quality food. Because your dog might not react well to certain brands, you need to find the best dog food for sensitive stomachs. This way, you can ease their problems with digestion and they can keep the nutrition they need in their body.
These products still contain optimal protein content, and the ingredients tend to be sourced responsibly. However, there are still plenty of products that claim to be good for sensitive stomachs but they contain proteins that aren’t easily digested and other ingredients that should be avoided. To make this decision easier for you, we have created a list of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs.
- Editor’s Choice
Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food (Amazon) – Review
- Best Natural
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin (Amazon) – Review
- Best Wet Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food (Amazon) – Review
- Best Limited Ingredient Dry Fo
Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food Lamb & Oatmeal (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Senior Dogs
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Senior Dry Dog Food (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food
The fact that this product claims to be gentle on a dog’s digestive system means it is making all the right noises and this isn’t the only reason it is considered the best dog food for sensitive stomachs. It contains natural prebiotic fiber that enhances your dog’s wellbeing and has a protein content of 26% (salmon being the number one ingredient) which is often considered to be a good amount.
The salmon content means it has plenty of omega-3 and should be well tolerated by most dogs. There is no corn, soy, or wheat in the formula and there are loads of antioxidants to make sure your dog’s immune system gets the support it needs. There is no poultry by-product or artificial colors or flavors and it is known for being highly-digestible, something that will be music to the ears of many dog owners with struggling pooches. A lot of owners say it is the perfect dog food for those will allergies so clearly it is doing something right.
- Gentle on the digestive system
- Salmon is the number one ingredient
- No poultry by-products
- Lots of antioxidants
Best Natural: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin
This was a genuine contender for our top spot so the fact that it is number two should not detract from it being one of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs. The formula has been carefully thought out, with natural ingredients to make sure it doesn’t irritate. With added prebiotics, it has been made to support a balanced gut microbiome to help with digestion.
There are lots of vitamins packed into every bite and added omega-6 fatty acids to improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Because your dog will find it easier to digest, you’ll notice that their stools are easier to pick up, and it can also help a dog to put on weight after they have lost it through eating low-quality food or a product they struggle to digest.
- Natural ingredients
- Added prebiotoic fiber
- No artificial flavors or colors
- Chicken number one ingredient
- Can be a bit pricey for some
Best Wet Food: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food
With limited ingredients included, this wet food is going to be well tolerated by dogs with a sensitive stomach. You get 12 x 13 oz cans with every purchase and it contains well-tolerated chicken and sweet potato. It is also grain-free which can help to prevent inflammatory issues.
Because it is high in fiber, it is easier to digest and it contains no artificial colors or preservatives. What they get is balanced nutrition and a finely ground texture that is easy to stomach. Natural Balance conducts 9 safety tests on every batch to ensure the quality of their products is up to their high-standards which is one of the reasons behind this being such a popular dog food for sensitive stomachs.
- Limited ingredient formula
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- Easy to digest
- Protein content could be higher
Best Limited Ingredient Dry Fo: Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food Lamb & Oatmeal
This lamb and oatmeal combination isn’t one you will come across often but it is a limited ingredient dog food that is tailored towards those with sensitivities. Because there isn’t a long list of ingredients, it is perfect dog food for sentiive stomachs and the first ingredient is the single source lamb which is one of the easiest proteins to digest. The carbs Wellness has selected are also known for being easier to digest and only premium ingredients have made their way into the formula.
This is why there are no artificial colors or flavors, no wheat, soy, filler, or artificial additives. It contains chicory root, a natural prebiotic included supporting a healthy digestive system. The crude protein is around 21% which is fine if a little low but every ingredient is there on merit and combine to make it easier to digest.
- Single source lamb is number 1 ingredient
- Contains chicory root as a prebiotic
- Natural, limited ingredients
- Not grain-free
Best For Senior Dogs: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Senior Dry Dog Food
Although this is tailored towards seniors, it is made from limited ingredients and ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It is made with turkey as the first ingredient which is always a good sign and there is also the likes of peas and pumpkin which help to make it easy to digest for senior dogs or those with sensitivities. There are no poultry by-products and it is a natural formula to make irritations less likely.
The carbs they have included are all easily digested as is the fish oil that helps to support a healthy-looking coat and skin. With no wheat, corn, or soy in sight, our only gripe is that there could be a little more protein but otherwise, it is one of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs.
- Turkey is the first ingredient
- Easily to digest carbs
- No poultry by-products
- Could be a little more protein
Best Affordable: Whole Earth Farms Grain Free, Natural Dry Dog Food
Grain-free and natural, this is popular dog food for sensitive stomachs that should be well tolerated by those with allergies and stomach complaints. There is pork, beef, and lamb included so unless your dog has a negative reaction to these it should be fine. This is a good ingredient profile for any dog that does not tolerate poultry well and there are no animal by-products.
There are also no artificial colors, preservatives, or additives, and it is also available in different flavors so if your pooch prefers different proteins then there are others to choose from. They have also left out the usual bad suspects such as wheat, soy, and corn.
- Natural ingredients
- No animal by-products
- Cooked in America
- Multiple proteins might not be as well tolerated in some dogs
Every dog is different but it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that a stomach complaint is a common issue for dogs. This is more likely to occur in senior dogs but it is not unheard of for dogs of all ages to turn their nose up at certain foods or for it to make them unwell. This is why there is a range of dog foods for sensitive stomachs available.
The formula usually consists of natural ingredients and there are certain things to make sure the product does and does not contain for it to be a product worth trying with your pooch. To make this important purchase easier, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
This isn’t essential when trying to make sure your dog’s food is going to be well-tolerated, but it can help. Because grains can cause inflammation, they are not so kind on your dog’s digestive system. There are plenty of products available in the grain-free variety to help ease some of their discomforts.
Anything that can help with healthy digestion is going to be beneficial in dog food for sensitive stomachs so look for one that includes prebiotics. They help to maintain healthy bacteria levels in a dog’s gut which can improve digestion as well as prevent disease.
Single Source Protein
Not only should protein be the first and number one ingredient in dog food for sensitive stomach, but it should be from a single source. This increases the likelihood of a quality product. You need to be careful in the protein source as some dogs do not tolerate certain ingredients.
Limited ingredient dog foods are great because it reduces the likelihood of allergies and irritations. They are only going to be beneficial if the ingredients are high-quality though.
To support a healthy immune system, the dog food for sensitive stomachs that you choose should be full of antioxidants. This is especially important since a sensitive stomach can mean your dog has been lacking the nutrition they need and may be susceptible to illness.
Like humans, dogs require lots of fiber to support healthy digestion. Fiber is important for ensuring your dog does not have loose stools.
Some of the telltale signs are easy to identify and whilst you should keep an eye on your dog’s stool to make sure their food is not causing diarrhea, there are other signs.
Increased flatulence, vomiting, a lack of appetite, and an itchy rear can be a sign as well as any rashes or skin irritations. If they start to lack energy or enthusiasm for a walk when they would usually be excitable, or if they are turning their nose away from their food or water then you should consider calling your vet.
Many things can contribute to a dog having a sensitive stomach and there is more to it than particular breeds or old age, although these are two of the most common factors.
Some dogs can gulp anything and still be fine whilst others do not react so well to different ingredients. This can cause diarrhea among other discomforts which ensure they are not getting the nutrition they need.
Feeding your dog under the table should be avoided if you notice they have a sensitive stomach, any scraps of food that is not tailored for dogs can be detrimental to their regular eating pattern. One of the more common reasons is an allergy to certain ingredients.
It is difficult to pinpoint which one is responsible for your dog’s reaction but common complaints can be from some of the widely available protein sources such as beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pork or rabbit.
Otherwise, soy and wheat are not well tolerated by a lot of dogs although you can find many products that do not include any of this in their formula.
Even though there are lots of excellent dog foods for sensitive stomachs, there are other foods you can add that might be well tolerated. Something as simple as cooked chicken and rice, with nothing else, can help to ease an upset stomach.
Some of the common symptoms that show your dog is suffering from an aching stomach are that they are low on energy, they whimper or cry, they curl up, they have diarrhea, they shake, their abdomen is swollen, or they refuse their food.
These are just some of the common signs but if you suspect your dog is suffering, it can be a good idea to consult your vet.
It isn’t always easy switching your dog onto a new food as the unfamiliar scent and taste can be alien and a little off-putting. This is why it is recommended that you conceal some of the new food with their old ones. Over the next few days, increase the ratio gradually until after a week or two, you are using only the new food.
Your dog is unique so what they might tolerate well, another dog might struggle to digest and vice versa. However, there is one product that we found to contain lots of quality ingredients and is tailor-made for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food contains 26% protein, is highly digestible and contains no animal by-products, wheat, soy or anything else you wouldn’t want your pooch to eat.
It is also one of the more affordable dog foods for sensitive stomachs that seems to be well-tolerated by most dogs.