Tummy troubles are common in dogs. Sometimes pet parents don't even realize there is a serious problem until their dog begins to lose weight. Most of the time digestive troubles can be solved by switching your pet's diet. Feeding your canine companion the best sensitive stomach dog foods may help, but you'll need to consult your veterinarian first.
Dog food intolerance is a type of sensitivity that is often confused with allergies. Allergies will often cause very noticeable issues in dogs, like rashes or hair loss.
Food sensitivity isn't always as easy to notice. Symptoms include:
- Loose Stool
- Excessive gas
There are many different reasons why your dog may be experiencing upset stomach. Sometimes, dogs have inherently sensitive stomachs, and picking the best sensitive stomach dog food for them will require some research.
“If you think that your dog’s current diet could be playing a role in his tummy troubles, switch to a different food that meets the criteria listed above. Of course, you still need to make sure that your dog is getting the balanced nutrition he or she needs” – Dr. Jennifer Coates via PetMD
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 5 Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods
- 2 10 Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food Brands as Alternatives
Veterinarians agree that there is no single approach to treating sensitive stomachs in dogs. A variety of methods, trial and error must be employed to find out what works best for your specific canine. But starting with specifically formulated dog foods that are best for dogs with sensitive stomachs is a good way to start. Another thing you can try is put your dog on a homemade diet for upset stomach.
If you decide to go with commercial dog foods, then make your choices carefully. Usually, the best sensitive stomach dog foods are made with top-quality ingredients so they cost a little more. They typically use a small number of ingredients that include high quality novel protein sources like duck, venison or bison, as many dogs are sensitive to common protein sources like chicken and beef. The best sensitive stomach dog foods are also usually grain-free.
|Dog Food Brand||Price||Quality||Rating|
|Blue Buffalo Blue Basic Adult Recipe||$$$||A||4.3/5|
|Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient||$$||A-||4.4/5|
|Hills’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach||$$||A+||4.6/5|
|Wellness Complete Health Whitefish||$$||B+||4.4/5|
|CANIDAE Life Stages Dry Dog Food||$$||A||4.5/5|
* Click on the dog food brand for more information, prices and nutrition. Alternatively, scroll down below to read our overview.
In the below list of best sensitive stomach dog food brands, we've picked five top dog food options that most vets and owners will choose and that will work for majority of dogs with upset stomachs. However, if none of the five choices fit your pooch, you can also take a look at the alternatives listed down below.
Top 5 Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods
Dogs with a sensitive stomach need specially prepared foods that contain none of the usual irritants. 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 brand also carries formulas for the different stages of life. 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.
Dog owners who purchased this product noted that the sensitive reactions that 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. 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 one of the best sensitive stomach dog foods.
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 sensitive stomach dog foods there is, because 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.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “So, in searching for a dog food with limited ingredients, and a company that sources ingredients from the USA, I ran across Blue Buffalo brand. I read the ingredients which did not include “natural flavors” or anything else that I thought might be a problem. One of the ingredients is blueberries, and I figured they dropped in a few berries and mashed it all in with the rest of the food so they could include it on their ingredient list. Imagine my surprise and complete delight when I saw dried blueberries as part of the kibble!..”
This special dog food limits its ingredients so that sensitive dogs are spared from some ingredients that could carry allergens and irritants. 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.
This product is made in the USA 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. That it was also less expensive than their previous brand made their shift to Wellness Simple a lot easier, too.
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 product and agree that it is one of the best sensitive stomach dog foods.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “Understanding not all skin issues are alike, this food seems to have solved our issues. My labradoodle developed a skin irritation that turned into a nasty infection in late november. She was on Wellness Super 5 and salmon oil…”
Claiming the third spot on our list of the best sensitive stomach dog foods is this formulation based on ingredients that are easily digestible, balanced nutritionally and natural. Protein sources include chicken, lamb or salmon. 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.
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.
Dog parents were very happy to find a food formulation 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.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “This product really hit the spot for a couple of reasons. First, I live in Florida and my Lab gets “hot spots”off and on all summer long. Each trip to the vet is a couple hundred dollars because they give me only enough medicine for one round of treatment so the next month or so I am back again…”
This dog food from Wellness adds to our list of the best sensitive stomach dog foods because 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 product 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. 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 of the best 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.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “…I have done extensive research on canine and feline nutrition and I highly recommend, if you are going to feed commercial food, Welless, California Naturals or Innova. For a great complete meal, I give my dogs all one of those dry foods mixed with a little bit of canned from the same brands, water for hydration, a touch of a good quality essential oil (such as olive, flax, etc.)…”
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.
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 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.
A buyer 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 sensitive stomach dog foods available to pet owners.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “It's been about a month since we started our 12-year old dog on this food. He had really gone downhill the last 6 months, with arthritis – so we couldn't exercise him much and he started gaining weight and becoming very listless. Our daughter is a Vet Tech in another State, and told us the dog food our vet recommended was high in protein and was adding weight (and our dog didn't like to eat the food)…”
10 Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food Brands as Alternatives
The above list with five options usually fits most dog owners with pets who have tummy issues. These sensitive stomach dog food brands have been tried and reviewed by many and found to work best. However, not all of these dog foods may fit your particular canine, so if you were unable to find what you were looking for, try some of these alternatives below.
- AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice
- NATURAL CHOICE Limited Ingredient Diet
- NUTRO MAX Puppy Food Natural
- Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food Adult Sensitive
- Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive
- IAMS Sensitive Naturals Adult Ocean Fish and Rice
- NUTRO Adult Venison Meal Whole Brown Rice
- Purina Pro Plan Wet Dog Food Stomach
- IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Ground Dinner
- Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free
Did you try any of these fifteen sensitive stomach dog food brands with your pooch? How did they work for your dog: were you able to fix all his tummy issues? Please share your experiences with other pet owners in the comments below!