Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach And Diarrhea

Does your dog leave small and smelly ‘surprises’ on the floor more frequently than normal? If yes, it may indicate an upset stomach. 

Yes, dogs, like humans, sometimes have sensitive stomachs that can develop digestive problems with some foods.

The best remedy is to change his diet and start feeding him the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea.

Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach And Diarrhea
Credit: review4youse

This is essential because canines are not walking trash cans to be fed whatever you like. The best food for sensitive stomachs not only stops diarrhea but also offers various other benefits.

They are nutritionally balanced with ingredients providing the necessary nutrients and minerals your pet needs without compromising on taste or stomach problems.

Regular consumption helps prevent inflammatory bowel diseases and allergic reactions towards some foods. 

Some common allergic reactions include itching, gassiness, diarrhea, and vomiting.

There are many cases where dogs become inactive because of digestive and bowel movement problems.

They become afraid to play because of the fear of leaving ‘accidents’ when least expected.

The right food can help prevent digestive problems and make him want to get up and move around and even play as usual.

You will be happy to know that some of the best dog foods for sensitive stomach and diarrhea contain prebiotics. 

They help regulate your pet’s digestion by restoring intestinal flora and improving digestion.

This reduces any pain or discomfort, and even any food sensitivities your pet may be suffering from.

Last but not least, dog foods for sensitive stomachs generally are enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They are essential in giving your pet a shiny coat of fur and healthy skin.

So you see, there are many reasons to switch to feeding your pet the best food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea, especially if he has a weak digestive system or food sensitivities.

5 best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs

Here are some reviews of the most popular and best dog food options to help you make your choice.

01

Canidae All Life Stages Dog Dry Food

There’s nothing that makes life easier for a multiple-dog household than dog food that’s safe and formulated for canines of all ages, sizes, and breeds. 

This is exactly what Canidae offers through their All Life stages dry dog food and is a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This lamb and rice meal is formulated specifically to meet the nutritional needs of dogs of all ages and breeds. 

You just have to decide or consult your vet about the amount of food to feed your respective dogs.

The food is nutritionally dense with prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. It doesn’t even contain any unnecessary fillers like soy, corn or wheat.

It is hygienically made in a newly opened state of the art US facility, using good quality ingredients, but with limited grains. 

To make things better, it’s also attractively priced on Amazon, giving canine lovers all the more reason to buy it.

Why We Like It
Suitable for puppies, adults and senior dogs. With product line includes 4 types of meat meal, which helps deliver different nutrients and provide a taste that dogs will love.
Free of unnecessary fillers (like soy, corn or wheat), keeps good grains in their diet!
With Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids to help support beautiful skin and coat. Also contains dried fermentation products to aid digestion.
Price friendly than most other products that use premium quality dog foods.
Features
  • Calorie content: 3,600 kcal/kg or 468 kcal/cup
  • Min protein: 24%
  • Min fat: 14.50%
  • Max fiber: 4%
  • Max moisture: 10%
With Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and probiotics
Added probiotics to help support healthy digestion, antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system.

Lamb meal, brown rice, cracked pearled barley, rice bran, peas, millet, canola oil, lamb, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil, choline chloride, salt, potassium chloride, sun-cured alfalfa, inulin (from chicory root), lecithin, sage extract, cranberries, beta-carotene, rosemary extract, sunflower oil, yucca schidigera extract, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols (a preservative), papaya, pineapple. Contains a source of live naturally occurring microorganisms.

Our Rating: 4.5/5.0
4.5/5

02

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Are you looking for a canine food formula that is not only soft on your pet’s sensitive stomach but also helps give your pet soft skin? If yes, your search may just have ended here.

Hill’s Science Diet has an adult dry dog food formula containing prebiotic fiber that is helpful in supporting and balancing your grown-up dog’s gut microbiome.

Its special formulation is easily digested by senior pets to facilitate maximum nutrient absorption along with easy stool pick-up. It is the vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids in it that contribute to your dog’s lustrous coat and healthy skin.

This canine food formula is made in the USA using natural, trustworthy global ingredients. There are no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or chicken by-products used in its manufacture.

The food is the product of the combined effort and research conducted by more than 220 veterinarians, technicians, food scientists, and Ph.D. nutritionists. 

It is specifically formulated to meet your pet’s nutritional needs and body sensitivity levels.

Hill’s Foods not only feeds your pet but they also do their bit for society. Their Food, Shelter & Love program feeds more than 100,000 homeless pets every day of the year.

Why We Like It
Uses prebiotic fiber to fuel gut bacteria and support a balanced microbiome.
Formulated to be highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption & easier stool pick-up
Made with natural ingredients also provides an excellent source of vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids to nourish your dog's skin, and help maintain a healthy, shiny coat
Made in USA
Features
  • Calories per serving: 366 Kcal per cup
  • Crude protein minimum: 23.6%
  • Crude fat minimum: 15.2%
  • Fiber maximum: 1.6%
  • Carbohydrate: 54%
  • Top five ingredients: Chicken, Brewers rice, whole grain sorghum, cracked pearled barley, pea protein
    Contains: Calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, Vitamins C and E, omega-3, omega-6
    Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
    Our Rating: 4.5/5.0
    4.5/5

    03

    Purina Pro Plan Focus

    Purina Pro Plan provides food for sensitive stomachs in different breed size-specific formulas. There’s a Toy and Small breed canine formula in the form of nutrient-dense kibble and 

    Large and Giant Breed formulas perfect for the nutritional needs of bigger pets.

    Its main ingredient is real chicken, lamb or salmon along with easily digested rice and oatmeal. 

    It is formulated with important nutrients like omega fatty acids and zinc required to support your canine’s lifestyle and life stage.

    The product does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, poultry by-products or even fillers like corn, soy or wheat. It does contain antioxidants to help maintain your pet’s optimal body immunity. 

    It also has prebiotic fiber that plays a role in promoting your dog’s digestive health and overall well-being.

    Purina Pro Plan is available in various flavors and formulas. There are also Weight Management formulas with an optimal protein-to-fat ratio that’s perfect for overweight or less active dogs.

    Its Puppy Food formula is meant for the increased needs of a growing dog. It contains DHA that provides for brain and vision development, and antioxidants for improved body immunity.

    The Adult Formula contains nutrients to meet a senior dog’s specific needs along with vitamin A and the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid for healthy skin and coat.

    Why We Like It
    Real salmon is the #1 ingredient
    Free of unnecessary fillers (like soy, corn or wheat), keeps good grains in their diet!
    Contains prebiotic fiber that promotes digestive health to support your dog's total well-being.
    No artificial colors or flavors. No poultry by-product meal
    Features
    • Amount of calories: 429 per cup
    • Fat content: 16%
    • Protein content: 26%
    • Max fiber: 4%
    • Max moisture: 12%
    With Glucosamine, minerals, linoleic acid, vitamins.
    2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
    Salmon, Barley, Ground Rice, Canola Meal, Oat Meal, Fish Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salmon Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Chicory Root Inulin, Salt, Fish Oil, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1),
    Our Rating: 4.5/5.0
    4.5/5

    04

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Dry Dog

    With Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diets Grain-free dog food at home, you know there’s a low chance of feeding your pet food that may trigger food sensitivities. 

    Natural Balance’s food formula is both complete and balanced to meet the nutritional needs of all adult dog breeds.

    This is because this canine food contains only one animal protein source like beef and just two carbohydrate sources. 

    In fact, it’s formulated with 32% protein, making it the highest crude protein level in premium dog food brands.

    It contains 52% beef ingredients and healthy fats to provide your dog with the necessary protein and fatty acids for healthy muscles, coat and skin. 

    It’s devoid of any grains, fillers, potatoes and chicken ingredients.

    Natural Balance is so committed to serving your pet the best food for sensitive stomachs that each batch of their food and treats has to undergo 9 safety tests.

    This assures the best ingredients are used in manufacturing the food. The test results are then displayed on their website to let you know your pet is safe eating their food.

    Why We Like It
    Real beef is the #1 ingredient. Great for dogs with food sensitivities.
    True L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diet – helps your dog avoid ingredients commonly associated with food sensitivities
    No grains, potatoes, fillers or chicken ingredients
    32% Protein – the highest crude protein level among leading Limited Ingredient dog food brands
    Features
    • Calorie: 325 kcal/cup
    • Crude Protein: 32% Min
    • Crude fat: 14% Min
    • Max Fiber: 4.5%
    • Max Moisture: 10%
    Grain Free Formula
    Does not contain any artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or anonymous meat ingredients.
    Infused with Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids
    Beef, Pea Protein, Beef Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Menhaden Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
    Our Rating: 4.3/5.0
    4.3/5

    05

    AvoDerm Naturally Dry and Wet Dog Food

    Avocado may be the last thing that comes to mind when looking for the best dog food for sensitive stomach. 

    However, it’s the nutritional content and the healthy oils the fruit contains that renders it helpful for canines with sensitive stomachs.

    Its nutrients are better absorbed by the body, which in turn reduces the possibilities of indigestion and stomach upset in your pet. 

    Avocados have always been known as a superfood and now AvoDerm lets you treat your pet to its health benefits too.

    This ingredient is what makes AvoDerm’s Natural Dog Foods a good contender for the most trusted food for canines with sensitive digestive systems. 

    The meal not only is comprised of avocado but also has chicken meal, rice, and oatmeal.

    It’s collectively safe and gentle on your dog’s tummy while providing sufficient proteins to support the building and maintenance of his body tissues. 

    Its 2 strains of healthy beneficial bacteria help improve gastrointestinal absorption. This is the process that helps control the gastrointestinal symptoms of sensitive stomachs in canines.

    Why We Like It
    Protein rich adult dog food: Specially crafted for adult dogs, large or small breed, provides a wholesome savory taste that adult dogs will love.
    All Natural Ingredients: Wheat Free, Corn Free And Soy Free. No By-Products Meals, No Artificial Flavors, Colors Or Preservatives
    Main ingredient: Chicken Meal
    Contains Vital Nutrients & Vitamins: Supports Healthy Immune Systems For A Strong Happy Dog
    Features
    • Number of kilocalories: 360 per cup
    • Min Protein: 23%
    • Min Fat: 13%
    • Max Fiber: 4%
    • Max moisture: 10%
    With whole brown and white rice, avocado, oatmeal & flaxseed
    Essential fatty acids & 2 strains of probiotics to help support healthy digestion, antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system.
    Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Rice Bran, Avocado, Dried Tomato Pomace, Flax Seed (Source of Omega 3), Natural Flavor, Alfalfa Meal, Herring Meal, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Kelp Meal, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate), Avocado Oil, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Pineapple Stem (Source of Bromelain), Papain, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product.
    Our Rating: 4.4/5.0
    4.4/5

    Do you know why dogs have sensitive stomachs?

    There are various causes of stomach sensitivity in canines. Though you may not know upfront what your pet’s trigger is, you can keep watch to find out what exactly upsets your pet’s stomach.

    Sometimes trial and error may not give you the answers to the trigger of stomach problems. This is why it is better to prevent stomach disorders by feeding your pet something his body accepts and easily digests.

    The four common triggers for stomach sensitivity are:

    • Inability to digest some food proteins or fats
    • It’s common for sensitive dogs to not be able to digest specific protein sources or excessive quantities of fat. The best thing to do in these cases is to feed them easily digested proteins like chicken or lamb and to avoid feeding him table scraps and high-fat foods.
    • Sometimes your pet may suffer from digestive problems after eating something new and unknown. In this case, feeding him some rice or other simple foods can help resolve the problem.
    • An allergy to some food proteins
    • Food allergies don’t always cause skin or even ear-related symptoms. It can also cause digestive problems wherein it is best treated through an elimination-challenge diet.
    • This involves removing all the common allergens from your pet’s diet until the problem is resolved. You then slowly reintroduce each allergen individually, and test reactions to identify the true allergen.
    • Emotional distress
    • Not many know that acute and chronic stress and anxiety can also lead to canine digestive problems. This is why maintaining a record of your dog’s experiences, meals and eliminations help identify the causal factor. It helps give him a cozy den to retreat to after meals.
    • Inability to digest treat ingredients
    • It’s not just the food. Sometimes treats also contain ingredients that hamper your pet’s digestive system. Even feeding him too many treats can overwhelm his body.
    • This is why it’s better to avoid treats when looking for a solution to his sensitive stomach problems. When you do start giving him treats, start with hypoallergenic variants.

    How to switch a sensitive pup’s food

    Any transition between dog foods should be done in a slow and gradual manner, especially with dogs having sensitive stomachs. 

    Abrupt dietary changes only lead to additional unnecessary problems.

    According to veterinarians, the best way to change foods is by feeding your pet a meal of about 80-90% of old food, and only 10-20% of new food.

    You then slowly increase the new food percentage to about 30-40% the next day with only about 60-70% of the old food. 

    Keep increasing the new food amount and reducing the old food amount until you are feeding your dog 100% new food. [This usually takes about 5-7 days to implement.]

    Dogs don’t always suffer from gastrointestinal problems upon changing foods. Some may make the transition in foods without any hassles. 

    It’s in these cases that you can speed up the process of switching foods. You are the best judge to decide based on your pet’s reaction and acceptance of the new food.

    How to identify the best foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs

    It’s not easy to generalize the best dog foods for canines that don’t digest food well. There are various triggers and ingredients that lead to digestive problems in dogs and some dogs suffer differently from others.

    There are a few traits that help you know which foods are better, and easily digested by these dogs like:

    • Foods with Limited ingredients

    Dog foods containing more ingredients are more likely to end up upsetting your pet’s digestive system. 

    While your pet needs variety for a nutritionally balanced diet, it’s better to limit the number of ingredients to reduce the number of possible additives.

    It’s better to feed canines with sensitive stomachs limited ingredient formulas or hypoallergenic dog foods comprised of limited ingredients.

    • Easily digestible foods

    Most pets easily digest brown rice, lamb, chicken, and potatoes rather well. Though there are a few exceptions, canine foods containing these ingredients are a safe choice.

    • Contains no grains or only easily-digestible grains

    While most dogs can easily digest wheat, corn, and other grains, it’s not so easy for those having sensitive stomachs. This is why most canine owners feed their pets grain-free diets.

    Research proves there’s a connection between grain-free meals and the increased number of canine DCM cases. 

    This means it’s better to consult your vet to decide if it’s better to feed your canine something grain-free or something containing easily-digestible whole grains like oats and brown rice.

    • Bland formula

    Though formulas containing unique protein sources and several fruits and vegetables seem to be a palatable option for pets, it’s not. 

    The best gastrointestinal canine foods are mostly bland formulas comprised mainly of basic meats and rice.

    • The right ingredients and supplements

    The right dog food formulas contain ingredients that help the digestive process. 

    Examples are canine-friendly probiotics or yogurt that keeps your pet’s stomach working properly or high-fiber ingredients like pumpkin that firm stools.

    Upset stomach symptoms

    Canines, especially some breeds, suffer from gas because of bacterial fermentation triggered by the byproduct flatus. 

    It’s usually diets with fermentable fibers and some carbohydrates that trigger the problem. While flatulence is natural, too much indicates a doggie problem.

    Your pet’s temperature is a defining indicator of an upset stomach. A rectal thermometer can help give you accurate measurements. 

    While the average body temperature is 101.5 degrees, rush your pet to the vet immediately if there’s anything higher than 102.

    Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is known for bloody stools, but its cause is unknown. There are speculations that food changes or bacterial infection may trigger the condition. 

    Generally, differences in an otherwise active, healthy canine are usually a symptom.

    Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach And Diarrhea
    Credit: goldengirlnalaa

    Your pet can’t tell you something is wrong. It’s left to you to notice through behavioral changes. Pain or sickness will usually make him withdrawn and less interactive with the family. 

    Fatigue also indicates digestive disorders, so take him to the vet if you notice any behavioral changes.

    This is a clear indicator of canine digestive problems. It attacks frequently and each bout can last a few days, leading to dehydration. 

    The runny stools can’t be missed, which is why you should treat him as soon as you notice them.

    Gastroenteritis or an inflamed stomach and intestines that can lead to vomiting. It usually occurs when your dog eats a foreign material or eats something new or different.

    Canines suffering from gastroenteritis will have vomiting and diarrhea. There’s no need to worry much about it because it’s just a temporary shift in bowel bacteria.

    Tips for changing your dog’s food

    Fasting

    Fasting puts your pet in constant need of food where he tends to neglect his regular diet. 

    Hunger makes, and helps him easily switch to another food. Not only does fasting help him change his diet, but it also:

    • Improves his body immune system
    • Balances bacterial activity in the body
    • Increases macrophage activities
    Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach And Diarrhea

    Hydrating

    Keep your furry pet hydrated when changing foods by providing him with lots of water. 

    Keep track of the amount of water he drinks and take him to the vet if he stops drinking, or starts drinking lots of water. It may indicate a complex digestive disorder.

    Something special after fasting

    Make sure you return to your pet’s previous diet once the fasting period is over. It’s okay to feed him commercial food, as long as it’s nutritious and gentle on the stomach. In short, avoid anything spicy, fatty or with red meat.

    Small food portions

    Introduce the new food gradually, and in small portions. Keep track of his condition, and note any behavioral changes. If there are no digestive problems, feed him another small amount of food after a few hours and gradually increase the pace until you reach a regular feeding schedule.

    Patience

    Don’t think you can switch foods immediately. This is an ongoing process requiring lots of patience and time. Remember, both you and your dog are trying out something new for the first time.

    There may be some hiccups in the process. You have to be ready for it. With time and trial and error, you will soon find the right nutrition for your pet.

    Supplements

    You not only have to change your pet’s diet but will also have to start giving him supplements like probiotics or some other medications.

    Consult with your vet to determine which the best supplements are. Don’t make the mistake of feeding him human probiotics because it only worsens things.

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