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9 Best (Healthiest) Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs & Diarrhea

What you feed your dog is just as important as what you don’t, especially if they have a sensitive stomach or are diarrhea prone. Unfortunately, many dogs can be otherwise healthy but must deal with food sensitivities that lead to digestive issues, sore stomach, or diarrhea. Some dogs experience nausea and vomiting, some have diarrhea and/or bad gas. While these issues are not fun for man’s best friend, they aren’t exactly fun for the owner who must take them on frequent walks at all hours of the night (or smell them!) Fortunately, though, there are special sensitive stomach dog foods that you can purchase to help with these issues. Below we will explain some of the different types of food to choose from together with the key considerations you will take into mind. Let’s review some of the best dog foods for sensitive stomach and diarrhea prone dogs.

6 Key Considerations When Looking for a Sensitive Stomach Dog Food

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You can have the strongest, healthiest dog and still find yourself faced with the stress of mealtime. There is nothing worse than watching your little buddy suffer from an upset stomach. Of course, always consult your veterinarian before assuming anything. However, if it is a case of sensitivity, you need to be very careful about your dog’s diet. Feeding your pet the best sensitive stomach dog feed can cure this issue for good. There are so many foods on the market today and choosing the best one can be very daunting. This review will help to guide you to the best choice.  Choose wisely to help your dog be healthy and happy. Below are the 6 key considerations to look for:

  • Limited Ingredients – The more ingredients in your dog’s food, the more of a chance that the food will enhance the possibility of upsetting the dog’s stomach. Always make sure there are limited ingredients and avoid unnecessary additives.
  • Foods That Help with Digestion – Foods with probiotics are extremely helpful in aiding your dog’s digestive tract. Other ingredients such as pumpkin assist in firming up your pet’s stool. Higher quality foods are always more digestible than low-quality foods.
  • Avoid Grains – A dog with sensitive stomach issues will have trouble digesting grain foods. In most cases, chicken, lamb, brown rice, and vegetables are much better for the digestive tract than grains. Try to avoid grains whenever possible.
  • Mixed Ingredients – Look for foods that have a blend arrangement of protein sources with numerous vegetables and fruits to support your dog’s sensitive stomach. When looking for the best food, make sure that fruits and veggies are blended with the formula with the ingredients listed above.
  • Balanced Amount of Fiber – Fiber is good in limited amounts, but there are different types of fiber, and you should make sure that your dog’s sensitive stomach is receiving the correct types. Five percent or less is recommended, and it should consist of ingredients such as peas, flaxseed, beet pulp, and tomato pomace.
  • Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients – In addition to the other nutritional ingredients listed herein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are important to your dog’s overall health and sensitive stomach issues. Be sure to read the list of ingredients to ensure that they are added in.

Different Types of Foods for Dogs with Gastrointestinal Problems

Your veterinarian may want to prescribe special food for your dog. Sometimes it is necessary, but in most cases, it is not. Below are the different types you can look for. As with anything, there may be a small amount of trial and error when finding the right food. Our list of foods below are the best suggestions you will find on the market.

  • easy-to-digest dry food
  • gastrointestinal low-fat dry food
  • sensitive solutions
  • diet gastrointestinal support
  • restricted bland diet
  • prescription

Overall Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs and Diarrhea in 2019

Ollie Fresh Pet Food

Key Features:

  1. Key ingredients are sweet potatoes, peas, and rosemary.
  2. Specifically designed for your dog’s sensitive stomach, and safe enough for humans to eat!
  3. Minimal processing gently cooked whole foods to preserve nutrients.
  4. No artificial flavors or fillers.
  5. Four different recipes available delivered fresh to your door.

Overall Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs – Because nutrition is so important, this dog food makes the top of our list. Formulated with tons of proteins, peas and sweet potatoes, it is highly digestible and will provide your best buddy with the energy it needs to thrive. Complete and balanced, Ollie Fresh Pet Food will keep your pet satisfied, happy, full and feeling well.

This food is specifically geared towards providing the benefits needed for the diet nature intended, including energy, immune system support, nutrient absorption, balanced omegas and overall ingredients for better health. As a plus, it’s fantastic for sensitive stomachs.

  • Pros: Contains everything needed for a healthy digestive tract.
  • Cons: The website doesn’t list prices until you put all your information in.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. A grain-free formula with limited carbs and no artificial flavors or colors for sensitive stomachs.
  2. Includes sweet potatoes for digestive health.
  3. High-quality nutrition for overall good health.
  4. Includes Omega 3 fatty acid from flaxseeds for a healthy and shiny coat.
  5. Consists of only a single animal protein which is perfect for food sensitivities.

Most Popular Food for Sensitive Stomach Dog Food and Gas – At a great price, your dog will crave this food. Rich in flavor and grain-free nutrition, the proof is in the ingredients. Loaded with omega fatty acids and high-quality nutrition, you can’t go wrong when choosing Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Many dogs with sensitive stomachs have a hard time with grains, and if they eat a limited diet filled with sweet potato and fish, you will find they feel much better after consuming. This food is not only one of the top picks on our list, but also one that will promote your dog’s healthy lifestyle for many years to come.

  • Pros: You get to pick your protein.
  • Cons: None.

American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. This food contains limited ingredients with a single animal protein and is grain-free.
  2. Consists of high-quality deboned salmon for protein and important amino acids.
  3. It provides easily digestible carbs like sweet potatoes and peas.
  4. No corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
  5. It contains nourishing omega fatty acids to nurture your dog’s skin and coat, with omega-3 from flaxseed and omega-6 from sunflower oil.

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) – America Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food is a reputable brand name dog food. This dry food is packed with nutrition and is like a homestyle meal for man’s best friend. It is loaded high-quality salmon and amino acids, especially for sensitive stomachs. The lack of wheat, corn, and soy is a plus for those dogs who have sensitive stomachs or skin allergies.

  • Pros: Affordable, but high-quality.
  • Cons: This food is for adult dogs only.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Puppy Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. Puppy-sized kibble is shaped to promote the removal of tartar.
  2. Doesn’t contain any chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs
  3. It contains limited ingredients including turkey and potato to minimize food sensitivities.
  4. Rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  5. It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
  6. Good brand name food made with quality ingredients.

Best Sensitive Stomach Puppy Food – This limited ingredient formula is packed with nutrition for your growing puppy. It is loaded with high-quality ingredients for optimal growth at this stage in life. The single source of protein is turkey and the single source of carbohydrates is potatoes. Your puppy is bound to thrive on this food, and it is highly recommended for sensitive stomach puppies.

  • Pros: Limited ingredient, nutritional.
  • Cons: Made for puppies only.

5 More Top-Rated Dog Foods for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs & Diarrhea

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Limited Ingredient Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. The first ingredient listed is lamb meal for a healthy protein.
  2. Great for sensitive stomach pets because it doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, soy, preservatives or artificial coloring.
  3. It is natural with lots of added vitamins and minerals.
  4. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients.

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. Grain-free, no wheat, gluten or corn.
  2. Filled with whole foods for gentle digestion.
  3. The very first ingredient is salmon.
  4. Complete with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
  5. Limited ingredient – only 8 ingredients made especially for sensitive stomach dogs.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. No grains, wheat or gluten in this limited ingredient grain-free food.
  2. It contains pre and probiotics for digestion, antioxidants for immune support, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy coat and skin.
  3. It contains flaxseed to promote healthy skin.
  4. The first ingredient is salmon.
  5. Great for pets with food allergies or sensitivities due to its limited ingredients.

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Adult Large Breed Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. No wheat, soy, corn or gluten added.
  2. Limited ingredient (only 10) plus minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.
  3. The number one ingredient is lamb.
  4. It contains only non-GMO ingredients.
  5. No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
  6. Made in the USA.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Lamb & Chickpeas Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  1. It contains the finest sourced ingredients from trusted farmers.
  2. Poultry-free for dogs with sensitivities.
  3. It contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
  4. Proudly made in the USA.
  5. Grain-free, gluten-free and free of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
  6. The first ingredient is deboned lamb for a single source of animal protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should a Weimaraner eat dry or canned food? This is not a breed that is particularly prone to obesity. Therefore, you could feed them either dry or canned food. However, feeding a dog of this size, canned food can become quite expensive. Most people opt for dry food, but you could throw in a small bit of canned food with each meal or just now and then as a special treat.
  • How can I stop my dog’s diarrhea fast? The first thing you’ll want to do is stop feeding your dog for 1 day (24 hours). This will essentially allow your dog’s stomach to regenerate and rest. But always make sure that they have plenty of water during this period. Next, you’ll want to feed them a bland diet for the next 24 hours – plain cooked white rice. Feed them as many cups as they would normally have food. If they normally have 2 cups of food a day, feed them two cups of rice. After 24 hours of that, start mixed half rice and half food. By the end of day 3, the diarrhea should have stopped, and your dog’s stomach will feel better.
  • How long does food stay in a dog’s stomach? Depending upon how healthy the dog’s digestive tract is, a dog’s stomach is much different than a human. It can stay in the stomach much longer. If your dog is consuming proteins, vegetables, and grains, as opposed to all meat, it should leave the stomach approximately 12 hours later, as compared to a human at 4-5 hours.
  • How much rice do you give a dog with diarrhea? Feed your dog as many cups as they would normally have food. If they usually have 2 cups of food a day, feed them two cups of rice instead.
  • What can I feed my dog with gastrointestinal problems? The food that you feed your dog with gastrointestinal problems can have a significant impact on its GI tract. There are a few different nutritional approaches that you can take depending upon the diagnosis (what type of gastrointestinal problems your dog has). The very first thing you want to do, however, is rid them of sore stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Highly digestible foods are extremely important to your dog’s sensitive stomach. See our review of dog foods for this issue. Also, ensure that the dog is always well hydrated.
  • How do you know if your dog has digestive problems? Digestive problems are easy to recognize. The main symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. Other signs to look for are: loss of appetite, abdominal bloat, constipation (in some cases) and flatulence (out of the norm).
  • Why is my dog’s stomach so sensitive? Sensitive stomach in dogs can happen for many reasons including diet sensitivity, food allergy, food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. The first thing you want to do is rule out any underlying diseases such as parasites, toxicity from spoiled food, infectious agents, pancreatic disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Once those issues are all ruled out, it could be any of the above. The symptoms are as follows: diarrhea, reduced appetite, weight loss, vomiting, flatulence or increased frequency of defecation. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms and you have ruled out underlying diseases, the best thing to do is start feeding them sensitive stomach food as listed in our review.

Conclusion

When selecting the best dog foods for sensitive stomach and diarrhea, we adhere to the following criteria:

  • limited ingredients
  • foods that help with digestion
  • avoid grains
  • mixed ingredients
  • a balanced amount of fiber
  • vitamins, minerals and other nutrients

Sensitive stomach in dogs is more common than you may think. You must pay close attention to your dog’s nutritional needs to provide it with the health benefits that will give it a long, happy, fulfilling life. Therefore, our team has come up with the top 10 highest quality and most affordable dog foods for sensitive stomach and diarrhea.

In summary, let’s go through some of the most significant points to remember when taking care of your dog’s nutritional needs.

The most important things to look for when choosing your pet’s food:

  • A limited ingredient food, unless specifically told differently by your pet’s veterinarian.
  • Specially made foods that help with digestion.
  • Grain-free food with a balanced amount of fiber.
  • Quality food that contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

You always want to watch for:

  • Vitamins and Minerals – These help your dog stay healthy and function correctly. They will assist in helping your dog’s body to grow in the best way possible. Keep in mind that not all dog foods include vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you must be proactive with this important detail.
  • Carbohydrates – You may have heard that carbohydrates are only fillers/empty calories. This is not true. Carbs are good for your dog, providing them with much-needed energy, nutrients, and fiber. They also assist in keeping your dog’s brain functioning properly and keep their glucose level steady. The fiber will help to regulate their digestive system and keep them from feeling hungry all the time.
  • Fat – Fat is essential and provides energy to your pet. Fatty acids are essential for a healthy coat and skin and the development of their organs. Not to mention, they love the taste!
  • Protein – If your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, a single protein in their food is best. If they are puppies, pregnant or nursing, you may want to give them a bit more protein during these times for optimal health.
  • Prebiotics – This is the good bacteria that is needed for gastrointestinal health and digestion.
  • Probiotics – Living microorganisms that colonize the digestive system with good bacteria.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • artificial flavorings
  • BHT
  • BHA
  • Ethoxyquin

Keeping in mind all the nutritional needs mentioned above, your dog will live a long healthy life if you keep their bodies lean and provide them with a stage-appropriate balanced, nutritional diet and regular veterinary care.

Additional Tips

  • Introducing A New Food to Your Dog Correctly – When introducing a new diet to your dog, it is always recommended that you do it gradually. For instance, never stop the old diet altogether and start with the new. Instead, slowly add the new food into the old food, with a little more each day, for at least 7 to 10 days. On the 10th day, you can give your dog just the new food and take away the old. Because you don’t know yet exactly what your dog’s sensitivity is, eliminate all table scraps and treats during this time.
  • Protein Allergies – Although your dog needs to eat protein, more than ever nowadays dogs are becoming prone to protein allergies. Therefore, the foods in our review only contain a single protein. Be watchful of how much protein your dog is receiving in its diet. If you are finding that protein seems to be the culprit, research “hypoallergic” dog food.
  • Therapeutic Dietary Support  – A therapeutic diet contains highly digestible carbohydrates, such as white rice, potato or barley. You will also need to ensure that the dog’s diet is lactose and gluten-free with low to moderate levels of fat.
  • Ice Cubes or Ice Chips – When your dog has an upset stomach, you want to keep them well hydrated. However, if you put out a big bowl of water, they may gulp it down and get even sicker. It is best to keep ice cubes or ice chips out for them until their stomach is settled.
  • Bone Broth – Bone broth is one of the best things you can give to your pet. It will soothe and heal your dog’s stomach while keeping them hydrated. To make a bone broth, simmer a piece of meat on the bone with water and apple cider vinegar in a crockpot (preferably chicken). You will know it is ready when the meat falls off the bone. It usually takes a whole day to make. If you want to make it ahead of time (because we never know when our pets will get sick), you can trim the fat and freeze it. The best way to freeze it is in an ice cube tray and give it to your dog in ice cubes when they have an upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Yogurt and more… – Add a tablespoon of unsweetened, plain yogurt to your dog’s food. It will help soothe the stomach and replace healthy bacteria in the gut. It may also stimulate their appetite a bit. Other foods that are just as good as yogurt are – pumpkin, oatmeal, bananas, and sweet potato.
  • Pepto Bismol – Pepto Bismol tablets may be used (regular strength) (1/4 of a tablet per every 20 pounds every 6 to 8 hours). This should only be done for 1 to 2 days.
  • Potty Breaks – Be sure to give your dog many potty breaks during their sensitive stomach period. Don’t let them suffer any more than they must.
  • Change Water  – It is important to change your dog’s water frequently as it will get a buildup of bacteria if left sitting too long. Also, some dogs don’t take well to tap water. Try bottled water and see if it helps.
  • Human Food – We all love our pets so much and want to feed them table scraps and snacks. However, if your pet is suffering from a sensitive stomach, it is recommended that you stop feeding them table scraps. There are some foods that we eat that veterinarians recommend as good for your dog. Do your research before giving them any of your food and try to limit the amount you give.
  •  Dog Treats – Limit the amount of dog treat you are giving your pet also. While you want to reward them for good behavior (and just because they are cute), too many dog treats can be detrimental to your pet’s gut health.
  • Motion Sickness – Just as we get motion sickness, dogs are prone to it also. Being in a car too long, on a boat, etc. can make your dog nauseous. If traveling, be sure to make frequent stops and let their feet touch land. If your dog gets motion sickness even on a short ride, you can give them motion sickness pills such as Dramamine. It is always recommended, however, that you consult your vet before giving anything over the counter to your dog.

We hope you enjoyed our review and additional tips on the best sensitive stomach dog foods. Following these suggestions will increase your chances of having your beloved pet with you for many years to come and help them to be comfortable and happy.

 

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