The Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs
Dogs are notorious for eating inappropriate foods. This can sometimes make them throw up or have other stomach problems. If this happens a lot, it might mean your dog has a sensitive stomach.
5 Best Dog Foods
Here are the five best dog foods that we recommend for dogs with sensitive stomachs:
1. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS
Purina's Pro Plan comes in five different food formulas. FOCUS is made specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The main ingredient in this food is salmon, an easily digestible protein.
The food does not have corn, soy, or wheat in it. Instead, carbohydrates come from rice and oatmeal, which are gentle on your dog's digestive system. Fish helps keep joints healthy. There is also a salmon option as well as a lamb option.
2. Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach Dog Food
Hill's Science offers a range of dog food formulas suitable for adult dogs with sensitive stomachs. This specific formula is designed for most adult dogs. Still, slight variations are available for small dogs, older dogs, and other breeds.
This dog food is balanced and has antioxidants. Vitamin C. Vitamin E. Brewer's Rice and Chicken Meal are the top two ingredients. Omega-6 fatty acids help keep your dog's coat healthy and shiny.
3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Sensitive Systems Formula
The SmartBlend Sensitive Systems formula is designed for people with sensitive stomachs. It doesn't have any fillers, so you know every ingredient is there for a reason.
Salmon is a good source of nutrients that can help keep your heart and stomach healthy. It also contains glucosamine, which can help keep your joints pain-free.
Dogs love the taste of crunchy kibble because it helps clean their teeth by removing plaque and other buildups.
4. IAMS Proactive Grain Free Dog Food
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you might want to try a diet without grains. IAMS Proactive Grain-Free food is a good option because it doesn't have any grains and also doesn't have corn, wheat, or soy.
What's in it? The first ingredient is chicken, followed by peas and oatmeal. It also has a lot of vitamins and other nutrients. A blend of fiber and natural prebiotics helps improve digestion and soothe stomach pains.
5. Royal Canin Nutrition Mini Dry Dog Food
This dry food from Royal Canin is designed to support the digestive health function of dogs that weigh 25 pounds or less. The compact size and chewability of the kibble help your dog keep healthy teeth. The food is highly digestible and contains chicken and brewer's rice, which helps improve stool consistency while reducing constipation.
The Royal Canin food is delicious. We don't know that personally, but the company says that they have made it with picky eaters in mind. Dogs with sensitive stomachs often lose their appetite, so tasty food is definitely a plus.
Buying Guide: Selecting the Finest Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Knowing what to look for when selecting dog food for sensitive stomachs is essential for making the best option for your dog. During our reviews, we considered several variables. Ingredients should be one of the first things you examine before feeding your dog a portion of certain dog food. They were among the most essential factors we analyzed. The life stage is yet another. We also considered price and product size while determining which dog foods to include. Let's examine each of these characteristics so you know what to look for when purchasing your pet's next type of dog food.
Good, nutritious components are essential for raising a happy and healthy dog. Always be aware of what you are placing in your dog's bowl. A healthy amount of protein as the primary ingredient, additional omega-3s and omega-6s, probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals are essential components of a balanced diet for your dog. Once these primary ingredients are accounted for, you may look for grain-free choices and other healthful nutrients, such as pumpkin or oats.
Knowing the appropriate life stage of the food, you feed your dog allows you to supply them with the appropriate nourishment for their age. A puppy has different demands than an older dog. Before selecting any brand of dog food, sensitive stomachs or not, you should consider your dog's age. Adult and elderly dogs require a dog food formula designed for maintenance. In contrast, puppies require a dog food formula designed to aid in developing their bodies and brains.
Whether we admit it or not, the price of dog food influences our decision to purchase it. However, the cost of dog food tailored for dogs with sensitive stomachs will be more expensive. When comparing different brands, we noticed that most specially-formulated foods are pricey. Be prepared to invest a bit more if you want to provide the greatest care for your pet with a sensitive stomach.
Product size should also be considered when selecting dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Depending on the size of your dog, they may require more food than other dogs. Consider this when shopping for dog food to meet their digestive demands. To keep your dog healthy, it is essential to have food available. Suppose the meal in question is only available in small portions. In that case, you may need to maintain a larger food supply than usual.
The Indications of a Sensitive Stomach
Generally, dogs with sensitive stomachs present a similar set of symptoms. However, while each dog is unique, some dogs experience some symptoms more often than others. Nevertheless, if your dog exhibits any of the following signs, she may have a sensitive stomach:
- Vomiting – While the occasional episode of vomiting is typical (dogs have a "eat first, barf later" philosophy). Frequent bouts of vomiting generally signal that your dog has a sensitive stomach or a significant health condition.
- Diarrhea – Loose or watery feces are another symptom that occasionally affects all dogs. Still, their recurrence suggests a sensitive stomach or a more severe condition.
- Gas – If your dog often engages in chemical warfare, she probably has a sensitive stomach (and, let's be honest, so do you). Gas-x can help alleviate symptoms, but you should ideally fix your dog's gastrointestinal difficulties at their cause.
- Lack of appetite - Does your tiny eating machine refuse food? Stomach sensitivity is frequently indicated by a chronic lack of appetite. Your veterinarian may recommend modifying your dog's food to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients and energy.
- Weight Loss - If your dog is allergic to particular foods, he may not enjoy eating them. It is typical for pets with digestive difficulties and stomach allergies to lose weight.
Ingredients to Avoid
Knowing the signs makes it simpler to determine if your dog has a sensitive stomach. When picking the proper nourishment for your pet, you should be cautious and pay close attention to the contents.
Here is a list of things that can disturb the sensitive stomach of your dog:
Milk and other dairy products are commonly enjoyed by dogs, but not all can digest them. Some individuals may develop acute intestinal distress with vomiting, diarrhea, and gas.
It doesn't matter how much your dog like dairy products if he has lactose intolerance. Additionally, avoid items that list dairy as a primary ingredient.
Fruits are a nutritious snack for both humans and dogs. However, dogs with sensitive stomachs may struggle to digest fruits with high sugar content. The sugar might aggravate stomach irritation and create digestive issues.
The maximum fruit content for kibbles and blends should not exceed 10 percent.
Most dog foods made for dogs with sensitive stomachs do not include gluten. They do not contain grains such as wheat, spelled, rye, or barley, which could significantly contribute to your pet's digestive issues. Most dog owners prefer gluten- and grain-free dog food to avoid various inflammatory health conditions linked to the components.
Why Do Dogs Have Sensitive Stomachs?
Your dog's sensitive stomach could be caused by several factors, and you'll need to undertake some detective work to establish which ones are the most problematic. You should study the things that regularly upset dogs' stomachs as much as possible. Still, some trial and error will also be necessary.
However, it may be impossible to definitively pinpoint the source of your dog's digestive problems. In such circumstances, you will simply need to choose a dog food that your dog can readily digest.
Four of the most common causes of gastrointestinal sensitivity in dogs are:
1. Some of the Proteins and Fats in Your Dog's Food Are Indigestible to Him.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs may be unable to digest certain protein sources or excessive amounts of fat. So choose readily digestible proteins such as chicken and lamb and avoid high-fat dog meals and table scraps.
Suppose your dog's digestive difficulties result from eating something uncommon (something he isn't frequently fed). In that case, his upset stomach can be soothed with rice or other simple meals.
2. Some Proteins in Your Dog's Diet Trigger an Allergic Reaction.
Food allergies typically produce skin or ear symptoms but can also cause gastrointestinal distress.
Typically, food allergies are treated with an elimination-challenge diet. This entails removing all common allergens from your dog's diet until the problem is addressed and assessing her reaction when each allergy is reintroduced individually.
3. Your Dog Is Unable to Digest the Treats' Ingredients.
Like their diet, dog treats may contain substances that disrupt the digestive function of your pet.
Additionally, giving your dog too many treats can cause her body to get overloaded. While attempting to treat your dog's sensitive stomach, avoid giving him goodies. When you are ready to reintroduce treats, consider hypoallergenic options.
4. Your Dog Is Experiencing Emotional Turmoil.
Acute and persistent stress and worry can also cause your dog's digestive system to struggle. Keeping track of your dog's events, meals, and eliminations may help determine the cause. It may also be beneficial to offer your dog a cozy den to retreat to after meals.
Changing the Dog's Food for a Sensitive Dog
Slowly transferring your dog from one food to another is generally a good idea. Still, it is especially crucial for dogs with digestive issues. Changing this dog's diet abruptly is a recipe for extra issues, so be sure to do so gradually.
Most veterinarians advise beginning the transition by feeding your dog a bowl containing 80 to 90 percent of their old food and 10 to 20 percent of their new food. The following day, increase the percentage of new dog food to between 30 and 40 percent while decreasing the amount of old dog food to between 60 and 70 percent.
Continue this manner until your dog receives 100 percent of the new food; the entire procedure should take between 5 and 7 days.
Not all dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience gastrointestinal distress due to new dog food. And the diet may even yield favorable outcomes relatively rapidly. In such situations, it may be prudent to speed up the transition. You'll just have to use your best judgment.
Characteristics of Good Dog Foods for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
Because dogs might suffer from a sensitive stomach for various reasons and particular components affect some dogs differently. It can be challenging to generalize the best diets for dogs with poor digestion.
However, the majority of sensitive stomach dog diets that are easily digested are characterized by the following:
- The absence of grains (or easily digestible) — Some dogs can digest corn, wheat, and other grains without difficulty. In contrast, dogs with sensitive stomachs may have difficulty doing so. For this reason, many owners have been opting for grain-free meals. New research indicates that grain-free substitutes may have contributed to increased DCM occurrences in dogs. Considering this new research, grain-free dog food may not be the best option (we recommend discussing it with your veterinarian if you're concerned about your dog's risk for DCM); at the very least, choose easily digestible whole grains that are beneficial for dogs, such as brown rice, millet, and oats.
- A small number of components – The greater the number of ingredients in a portion of dog food, the greater the likelihood that one of them will cause an allergic reaction or general intolerance in your dog. To get a nutritionally balanced diet, your dog must ingest various foods. However, it is prudent to restrict the total number of ingredients and eliminate needless additions. Formulae labeled as restricted ingredient formulas or hypoallergenic dog diets are optimal, as they frequently contain a limited number of components.
- Comprised of easily digestible dog meals — There are always exceptions. Still, generally speaking, chicken, lamb, brown rice, and potatoes are healthy ingredients to look for in new dog food.
- Contains digestive-supporting substances and vitamins - Some dog diets contain probiotics or yogurt that assist keep your dog's stomach functioning normally. Others contain compounds such as pumpkin or high-fiber components to assist your dog's feces in becoming firmer.
- A dull composition- Even though many owners seek unusual protein sources and a variety of vegetables and fruits for their dog's kibble. His finest gastrointestinal dog foods are typically rather bland compared to other recipes. Meats and rice are the most prevalent ingredients in dog food formulated for dogs with stomach trouble.
What Should a Dog with an Upset Stomach Be Fed?
In our post on what to feed a dog with an upset stomach, we explore further feeding suggestions for your dog with a stomachache.
Suppose your dog is not responding well to his present dog food. In that case, you can offer him a homemade mixture of protein and carbohydrates consisting of one part protein to two parts carbohydrates. Just ensure that the dog chow is plain and palatable!
Stick to easily digestible protein sources, such as:
- Lean Ground Beef
For carbohydrates, do:
- Boiled Rice
- Boiled Potatoes
Still, need more canine digestion help? You can also try:
- Pumpkin. Pumpkin puree is an effective digestive treatment for dogs with upset stomachs. A dosage of pumpkin helps prevent diarrhea and thicken your dog's stools.
- Imodium. Some owners ask whether Imodium may be used to treat diarrhea in dogs. We've dedicated an entire essay to discussing Imodium for dogs. Unfortunately, the answer is quite complex; if your dog ingested a poisonous substance, is ill, or is a certain breed, Imodium is not a safe alternative. However, other canines are capable of handling it. In the end, it's best to visit your veterinarian!
Adding low-sodium chicken broth is another option to soften and enhance the flavor of your dog's kibble.
Regardless of the dog food you choose for your sensitive dog, make the switch gradually. With a little patience, a little experimentation, and a lot of love, you will undoubtedly discover the optimal method for keeping your dog's stomach filled.
Does your pet have an easily upset stomach? What steps do you take to alleviate his suffering? Have you discovered a nutritious dog food he can easily consume and digest? Tell us everything in the comments section below!
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
Fish meal is a high-quality protein source found in many dog foods. It has high digestibility and essential amino acid content. In adult dogs, the protein digestibility values of the three foods were 71.5 for lamb meal, 80.2 for poultry meal, and 87.0 for fish meal.
Commercial dog foods usually have beef or chicken as the main protein. These proteins are more likely to cause allergies in dogs than other types of protein. Lamb is a less common allergen, making it a good choice for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
Suppose your dog has problems with its stomach, like diarrhea or vomiting. In this scenario, you could try feeding them. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Canned Dog Food. This brand of dog food is also recommended by Dr. Singleton for dogs with digestive issues. This digestible wet food is a pleasant source of nutrients for dogs with digestive difficulties.
Usually, dogs vomit because they have eaten too much or too fast. It can also be a sign that they have a disease called Megaesophagus. You should talk to your veterinarian to find out what is causing your dog to vomit and how to fix the problem.
Dogs that require every calorie and nutrition will benefit from wet food. Wet, all-natural foods are preferable for dogs with sensitive stomachs and those who are prone to constipation.
As dogs get older, their stomachs can become more sensitive. This means that they may not be able to tolerate certain ingredients in their food as well as they used to. Unfortunately, many common kibbles and canned dog food brands have poor quality ingredients that can make digestion issues worse.
If your dog gets sick, the veterinarian might give it antibiotics to reduce bacterial infections. Suppose the dog has inflammation in its stomach tissue or experiences a lot of vomiting. In that case, the vet might prescribe short-term fasting and lots of fluid intake to ensure the dog stays hydrated.
Some dogs have a sensitive stomach as they age, and they might have problems with constipation or loose stools. The pet food industry tells people that they should give their dog higher-fiber food when the dog gets older. But this isn't always the best solution.
Vitamin E and Omega-6 are found naturally in chicken fat. This makes it a good choice for your pet, as they will find it palatable, and the smell will be more appealing.
Limited ingredient dog food is made to have fewer ingredients in it. This is so your dog isn't exposed to as many different things in their diet. This kind of food is used to test for and treat food allergies in dogs.