SHARE

Stomach upset in dogs is very common because there are many dogs with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. There is no single approach to treat sensitive stomach in dogs but in many cases, simply changing the diet will fix the problem.

Dog owners should expect some trial and error to find which dog food will agree with their pet's stomach. Vets found that a two-fold approach is most effective: the use of restricted, limited ingredient elimination diet and feeding a sensitive stomach dog food with novel ingredients to avoid irritants.

Picking the best sensitive stomach dog food brand for your pet must be done carefully. Usually, foods for a dog's upset stomach are made with less ingredients and novel protein sources (duck, venison, bison). In this article we'll discuss how to feed dogs with sensitive stomach and review top rated dog foods for upset stomachs.

How to Feed Dogs with Stomach Upset

If your dog is experiencing constantly upset stomach, you'll first need to figure out what's causing this. A dog's sensitive stomach is often inherited and cannot be “treated” but has to be managed instead with a change of diet.

Your veterinarian will be the best place to start to figure out the culprit, but research shows that often symptoms of sensitive stomach in dogs are triggered by a few specific ingredients (or even one single ingredient), and can be fixed simply by avoiding them.

Several studies observed that in majority of dogs with sensitive stomachs, it's the same few ingredients that are causing stomach upset: beef, wheat, dairy productslamb or chicken. Most sensitive stomach dog foods avoid these ingredients for this very reason.

After you've chosen a dog food brand without trigger-ingredients, you may or may not have success with it. Either way, employ the basics of the elimination diet. Similar to food allergies in dogs, research shows that elimination diet is the quickest and surest way to find which ingredients cause stomach upset in a dog so you can avoid them.

Another quantitative study with 251 dogs concluded that this type of careful approach to monitoring your dog's food intake with careful tracking of ingredients, and using novel protein sources is extremely effective to fixing the issue permanently.

How to Choose Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods

Choosing the Best Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomach

Food sensitivity in dogs isn't always that easy to notice. Symptoms usually include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loose stool
  • Excessive gas

After a consultation with a vet, once you know it's not a symptom of a medical condition but rather a food intolerance, start the switch (gradually) towards a sensitive stomach dog food brand that is least likely to agitate your dog's stomach.

The below dog food for upset stomach review contains recipes that have been specifically designed for sensitive stomach condition based on how many dogs, statistically, couldn't tolerate the ingredients in regular dog food brands, but did fine on these formulations.

Moreover, sensitive stomach dog foods will often also include things that sometimes dogs may be lacking: fiber, minerals and vitamins, probiotics and more. Certain ingredients could ease the symptoms of tummy upset in dogs.

Prepare for the transition.

You'll be switching to a new dog food gradually over the course of one week. As your pet adjusts to the new diet, they may still experience symptoms. After 1-2 weeks of eating new food, if none of the sensitive stomach symptoms went away, you need to try another formula. This may sound inconvenient, but every dog is different, thereby you'll have to employ trial and error to get the results.

Consider homemade recipes.

Another albeit more expensive and difficult approach for dogs with sensitive stomachs is to switch them onto a homemade diet. This way you can monitor exactly which ingredients your dog consumes. There are many good recipes for that, but this requires careful planning, and will usually cost more. Furthermore, not all vets agree that homemade dog food diets are good so discuss it with your own.

The below list of best sensitive stomach dog foods contains top vet recommended brands and those that majority of pet owners of dogs with upset stomachs found to be effective.

The Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food Brands

Wellness Complete Health Whitefish
by Wellness Natural Pet Food

Rating5 stars
Value: $1.7/lb
Type: For food sensitivities

Sale
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food,...
290 Reviews
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food,...
  • Complete Health: Complete And...
  • Healthy Weight Formula:...
  • All Natural: Contains Only...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The...

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 22.0% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.5% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 1.2% min
PHOSPHORUS 1.0% min
CALORIES 400 kcal/cup

Placing its sensitive stomach friendly ingredients aside, it's clear that Wellness dog food for sensitive stomach has the large number of pet owners whose dogs with upset stomach have responded the best to this formula. Therefore, while there are many other sensitive stomach dog food brands out there that on paper and based on ingredients should work, most dog owners report this formula to work for the largest number of dogs with sensitive stomachs. Hence, the first brand I would recommend you try if your dog has a sensitive stomach is this one from Wellness Natural Pet Foods.

Wellness sensitive stomach dog food was also added to our list and rankings of the most effective foods because on paper, it provides complete nutrition for dogs without causing reactions even to those with the most problematic sensitivity conditions. Only authentic and nutritious ingredients are used, carefully sourced and chosen to produce these tasteful, safe, and nutritious dog foods. The careful selection of food is important in achieving two things: the allergens and irritants are avoided; and the nutritional value of the food is not compromised.

This first rated brand contains no corn, soy, wheat, artificial components, or ingredients from China. It comes in a 30-lb bag, and is a proud product of the USA. Pet owners who have tried this dog food for their highly-sensitive pets, strongly advise other pet owners with the same plight to try this product first before spending so much on vet bills and medication.

Dogs that have been on Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato Natural Dry Dog Food have not only reduced their allergic episodes, they have also become healthier and more active, with much improved and more beautiful coats to boot. As a result, there are hundreds of pet owners in love with the brand and citing this formula as one of the best sensitive stomach options. Critical reviews dwell on the product being very expensive, and their dog not touching the food.

Dogs have preferences, too, and this just goes to show that not all effective food formulations are acceptable to all dogs, or their owners. Just remember that the same can be said for all sensitive stomach dog foods. Overall, this product comes highly recommended by most pet owners who have bought it. They even consider it a miracle food, especially in comparison with other kibbles that didn’t solve their pets’ problems.

PROS:

  • Contains no corn, soy, wheat, artificial components, or ingredients from China
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Offers complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs
CONS:

  • Expensive

 

CANIDAE Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
by CANIDAE

Rating4 half stars
Value: $2/lb
Type: For food sensitivities / all life stages / well-balanced

CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food,...
1,969 Reviews
CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food,...
  • OPTIMAL PROTEIN FOR ALL DOGS:...
  • CREATED WITHOUT ANY WHEAT,...
  • HEALTHPLUS SOLUTIONS IN EVERY...
  • FLAVORS & TYPES: With 5...
  • WE MAKE PET FOOD SIMPLE:...

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 24.0% min
CRUDE FAT 14.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALORIES 468 kcal/cup

With this all-stages food from CANIDAE, dogs with sensitive stomachs benefit from the following: high-quality meat for protein and other wholesome ingredients for a balanced and tasty meal; no filler, artificial ingredients, wheat, corn or soy, or allergic-triggering ingredients; live probiotic content to aid digestion; antioxidants to enhance the immune system; and omega 6 and omega 3 for a healthy skin and beautiful coat.

For the 2018 update, CANIDAE has been shown to be the second rated brand based on vets recommendations and response from pet owners. Sensitive puppies need not go through a difficult transition food because this same food will continue to be perfect for their condition until their adult and senior ages, and it's made in the USA. Pet owners who have recently discovered this product were excited to note that they have also rediscovered their brand new dog – from their previous dull, unhealthy and sensitive dog to their present healthy, active and beautifully-coated dog.

With such a complete transformation, they are one in saying that it’s like having a new dog. Those who were looking for appropriate dog food for sensitive stomachs and had been using CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food for Puppies, Adults and Seniors for around a decade say that their dogs never had issues with weight, allergies, lack of appetite or gastrointestinal conditions. They feel that it is reasonably priced and find no reason to change brands.

Some pet owners noted that his dog’s breath had a bad smell after being put on this food for a couple of weeks. But he thought that was a minor thing when he noticed that his dog stopped scratching and his coat started to improve from scraggly to shiny. This dog food is a great choice especially for those who own several dogs of different ages and nutritional requirements. This definitely spares pet parents from the headache of food planning for their pack, including dogs with food sensitivities. Even for this reason alone, this Canidae formulation is one of the best brands available to pet owners with this problem, and it appears that majority have found success with it.

PROS:

  • Contains live probiotic to aid digestion
  • Has antioxidants to enhance the immune system
  • Includes omega 3 and 6 for a healthy skin and coat
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Made in the U.S.A.
CONS:

  • Expensive

 

Hills’s Science Diet Adult Dog Sensitive Stomach
by Hill's Science Diet

Rating4 half stars
Value: $1.5/lb
Type: For food sensitivities / easy to digest

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive...
1,176 Reviews
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive...
  • This adult dry dog food...
  • A source of prebiotic fiber to...
  • This dog food is formulated to...
  • Packed with vitamin E and...
  • Made with natural ingredients

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 19.2% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
CALORIES 366 kcal/cup

Claiming the third spot on our list is this formulation based on ingredients that are easily digestible, balanced nutritionally and somewhat natural. Protein sources include chicken, lamb or salmon. Hill's Science is one of the most vet recommended dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomach (and as a brand in general). These blends from Hill's Science Diet have been carefully balanced with brewer’s rice, peas and grains, apples, carrots and other vegetables to ensure a completely nourishing food for adult dogs.

While there's some research showing how chicken may be an irritant, that is not true for all dogs and many pet owners have found this third sensitive stomach dog food recipe from Hill's Science to fix their dog's stomach upset issues. Preparations for puppies and elderly dogs are available as well, so dogs in different stages in life have access to the research and development that went into the production of this food brand. This dog food seemed to be the ultimate solution for most cases of skin irritation and excessive shedding, throwing up, loose stools, weight loss, flatulence and secondary infections in dogs with sensitive stomachs.

It's no secret that Hill's Science is the most vet recommended dog food brand out there, but when it comes to sensitive stomach dog food recipes, many pet owners seem to agree as well based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience. Going through the sensitive stomach dog food reviews, pet owners were very happy to find the Hill's Science recipe after trying other dog food sensitive stomach formulations, and that their dog liked to eat and that didn’t cause allergy symptoms and gastrointestinal irritations. A few dogs, though, developed allergies again after the reformulation of Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food that they were used to, and this has caused frustration to some customers.

Judging from the number of happy customers who rated this product high, it is definitely a must-try for dogs that are over-sensitive to food. Amazon carries this product, and it offers a refund if the dog won’t eat the food or if the food does not solve the sensitivity problem. Notification must be made within 30 days of purchase. There is also no need to return the product to get a refund.

PROS:

  • Made with ingredients that are easily digestible, balanced nutritionally and natural
  • Protein sources include chicken, lamb or salmon
  • Formulas for puppies and senior pets are also available
CONS:

  • A recent reformulation of the product isn't as good as previous one

 

Wellness Natural Limited Ingredient Dog Food
by Wellness Natural Pet Food

Rating4 half stars
Value: $3.1/lb
Type: For food sensitivities / limited ingredient

Sale
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited...
313 Reviews
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited...
  • Limited Ingredient Diet:...
  • Single Protein: Starts With A...
  • All Natural: Contains Only...
  • Made In Usa: Backed By The...
  • Subscribe & Save: Hassle Free...

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 25.0% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 11.0% max
CALORIES 446 kcal/cup

Unlike the first rated sensitive stomach formula from Wellness mentioned above, this one is limited ingredient but is also void of the most common irritants, and contains fish as its primary source of protein. Limited Ingredient dog food itself means this special pet food formula has a smaller number of ingredients that are made up for novel sources, so that sensitive dogs are spared from some irritants that could carry allergens and cause upset stomach. Several variants and sizes of Wellness Simple foods are available, meaning that even picky dogs should find something they like. The variants are duck and oatmeal, salmon and peas, lamb and oatmeal, salmon and potato, and turkey and potato. Each variant contains just a single protein, no gluten or wheat, and only natural ingredients.

Wellness' sensitive stomach dog food is made in the USA as the rest of their line of foods, and its ingredients are all sourced from the US as well. Many customers were hopeless about their dog’s condition when they tried this brand as a last resort. They’ve tried various diets and brands to no avail and were up to the ceiling with medical expenses, so trying another brand didn’t seem like much of a difficult decision. The fact that this dog food sensitive stomach formula was also less expensive than their previous brand made their shift to Wellness Simple a lot easier, too.

Going deeper into sensitive stomach dog food reviews to see what other pet owners thought, it appears that majority of owners with canines had problems with proteins from beef, chicken and lamb, but found that fish is where it's at. To their surprise, their dogs loved the food and showed less and less of their symptoms. Itching and patchy skin began to heal, and vomiting and diarrhea became less frequent until there were none. Some changes in the ingredients of one variant of Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food caused one pet owner to stop using the product, though.

His sickly pooch that had digestion issues was quite happy with the salmon/rice variant. Just when it seemed like the perfect solution to the dog’s sensitivities, the manufacturer changed the variant to salmon/potato which again wreaked havoc on the dog’s system. On the whole, customers were exceedingly satisfied with this fourth top rated food from Wellness.

PROS:

  • Several flavors to appeal to all dogs
  • Each flavor contains only one protein source
  • No gluten or wheat
  • Made with only natural ingredients
CONS:

  • The sensitive stomach dog food will not appeal to every pet

 

Blue Buffalo Blue Basic Adult Recipe
by Blue Buffalo

Rating4 half stars
Value: $2/lb
Type: For food sensitivities / limited ingredient

Sale
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain...
796 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain...
  • STARTS WITH REAL TURKEY: A...
  • LIMITED INGREDIENT DOG FOOD:...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This...
  • NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog...
  • Contains (1) 4lb bag of BLUE...

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 20.0% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 6.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 0.9% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.7% min
CALORIES 357 kcal/cup

As the final top rated option on the list is an alternative from Blue Buffalo, and technically – based on the formulation – should work great for a dog with upset stomach. It's vet recommended, and many pet owners have also reported this to work for their canines; however, as you'll see browsing some of the related sensitive stomach dog food reviews for this formula, some dogs simply did not enjoy the taste and sometimes refused to eat. Thus, it may become a gamble – if your canine loves the brand, then this could be great sensitive stomach dog food option. If not, you may want to look into Wellness brand or the few others listed below as alternatives.

As you've been told by your veterinarian or found out doing your own research online, dogs with a sensitive stomach need specially prepared foods that contain none of the usual irritants, and those can be labeled “limited ingredient” formulas. But not all limited ingredient formulas will be appropriate. This 24-lb preparation from Blue Buffalo is made for adult dogs with food sensitivities, and uses turkey as its main ingredient. All ingredients that go into the preparation of this product are sourced from the USA. While this is a limited-ingredient recipe, it is nutritionally complete for an adult dog.

A smaller pack of 11 pounds is also available for those who wish to give it a try first. This fifth ranked dog food brand also carries formulas for the different stages of life to fit most of all ages. Pet owners who have previously tried all sorts and brands of food for their sensitive dogs were happy to finally find one that their pet didn’t adversely react to, but on the whole, there appears to be some problems for certain dog owners.

I know this is another one of the most vet recommended dog food brands out there, as I've personally recommended it myself to dog owners with pets with stomach problems, but I decided to read what others have said. While some dog owners who purchased this Blue Buffalo found this to be one of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs they have tried to date, others did not see any changes. Those who fixed their problems with this recipe had their dogs used to have varied from skin irritations to bloody stools, so they had to narrow down the types of food that their dogs could take. As expected, this wasn’t easy, especially when it seemed that their dogs reacted to most types of meat and ingredients, including natural and organic components. They soon found that Blue Buffalo Blue Basic Adult Recipe was the only formulation that worked out of all they've tried.

That said, a few buyers decided that this was not the perfect food for their dog for various reasons. Some thought that this was rather pricey, while another said that it didn’t clear up his dog’s allergies. Overall, more customers felt that this is probably one of the best recipes there is, as it did benefit their pet's digestive tract and saved them from costly and frequent visits to the vet. They were confident that no unknown ingredients and contaminants would get into their dog’s meals. Their dogs that had been chronically unhealthy because of food issues now enjoy a healthy and active life without allergies.

PROS:

  • Formulated for adult dogs
  • Turkey is the main ingredient
  • All ingredients are sourced in the U.S.A.
  • Limited ingredient recipe
CONS:

  • This food will not be ideal for every dog
  • Expensive

Want to share this?

Top Rated Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods