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The 7 Best Dog Foods For Sensitive Stomachs

It's upsetting to see your dog, no matter their age, suffer from stomach problems. When this occurs, it is critical to locate the best dog food.

This BestForPets (bestforpets.org) study will show you our top picks for the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs.

These foods are carefully created to encourage healthy digestion and combat stomach disorders that might occur in our pets.

Read on to find out which ones we think are the best for your dog.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Best for Puppies: Dry Dog Food Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Puppy Food with Probiotics, Salmon & Rice Formula

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  • Bag weight: 24 pounds
  • Puppy stage of life
  • Type of food: dry

Purina Pro Plan's Salmon & Rice Formula Puppy Food is an excellent choice for new puppies with sensitive stomachs or skin.

This kibble is made with easily digestible salmon and rice and fortified with probiotics to promote safe digestion. The fish oil in this formula is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit skin and coat health.

Additionally, the inclusion of sunflower oil, an omega-6 source, promotes healthy cognitive development and vision in young puppies.

This puppy food is also fortified with prebiotics, which aid in digestion by nourishing specific intestinal bacteria.

Notably, this complete and balanced kibble lacks artificial flavors and colors, making it a safe and healthy choice for your puppy.

The only drawback is its price, which is higher than some other options on the market. However, given its ability to aid in digestion and provide complete and balanced nutrition, the price is reasonable.

This Purina Pro Plan puppy food is fortified with live probiotics for digestive and immune health. It is made with salmon, rice, sunflower oil, and other essential minerals to promote strong bones and teeth in your puppy.

Additionally, the prebiotic fiber in this formula helps nourish specific intestinal bacteria to aid in digestion. Overall, this formula is ideal for puppies with sensitive stomachs and skin.

Pros

Uses easily digestible fish and rice

Designed to aid with skin problems.

Aids in the development of the puppy’s eyesight and brain

 

Cons

Expensive


Science Diet by Hill’s Chicken Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs and Skin

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe

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  • Bag weight: 30 pounds
  • Adult life stage
  • Type of food: dry

Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food is another excellent option for dogs with sensitive intestines.

This veterinarian-recommended formula contains prebiotic fiber to promote healthy gut flora and promote regular bowel movements.

The primary ingredient and source of protein in this formula is raw chicken, making it an optimal choice for dogs with sensitive intestines.

It also contains other beneficial ingredients, including omega-6 fatty acids, to promote healthy skin and coat.

One issue we discovered with this dog food is the inclusion of beet purée, which may not be appealing to all dogs.

While most dogs will enjoy the high chicken content, some may detect the beet flavor, so it may be wise to purchase smaller portions initially, especially for picky eaters.

This adult dry dog food is formulated to be highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption and easier stool pick-up.

Additionally, it is packed with vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to help your grown dog achieve a lustrous coat and healthy skin.

Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients you can trust, this dog food promotes digestive health and nourishes your dog’s skin and coat.

Pros

The major source of protein is genuine chicken.

Prebiotic fiber is included in the recipe.

Promotes skin and coat health

Cons

Beet pulp is used in the recipe.


Sensitive Stomach Salmon & Vegetable Dry Dog Food Solid Gold Leaping Waters

Solid Gold Leaping Waters - Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

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  • Bag weight: 22 pounds
  • Adult life stage
  • Type of food: dry

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food is a highly recommended option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This dog food is made with fresh, cold-water salmon, tapioca, lentils, and chickpeas, and is fortified with a blend of 20 essential nutrients derived from a single protein source.

This formula is highly digestible and promotes intestinal health, while also strengthening your dog’s immune system.

It is grain- and gluten-free, making it an attractive choice for dogs with grain and gluten sensitivities. The omega-3s and omega-6s in this formula also improve your dog’s skin and coat health.

However, one potential issue with this dog food is the size of the kibble, which may be too large for small-breed dogs. It is important to exercise caution if you have a small dog.

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food includes a proprietary blend of live probiotics to support digestive function, balanced gut flora, healthy bacteria, and immune support for dogs.

Additionally, it features a pure blend of 20 superfoods that are high in vitamins and nutrients to nourish and care for the wellness of any small, medium, or large-sized pet breed.

This healthy kibble offers mouthwatering flavors dogs crave and also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from salmon fish oil.

This formula is free of artificial dyes or additives, BHA, BHT, Carrageenan, and is made in the USA.

Solid Gold’s Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food offers holistic pet nutrition, nourishing your dog’s digestive and immune system while promoting healthy skin and coat.

Pros

Made with 20 superfoods

Fresh salmon is the sole protein source.

Gluten-free and grain-free

Cons

Size of kibble

A little pricey


Canned Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken & Barley Entree Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Senior Adult 7+

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  • 24 13-ounce cans
  • Adult life stage
  • Type of food: Wet food

Hill's Science Diet 7+ Dog Food is an excellent option for senior dogs suffering from digestive issues.

This formula is specifically designed for senior canines and contains high-quality protein to aid in gaining and maintaining muscle mass.

In addition to essential vitamins and minerals, this wet dog food also features omega-6 fatty acids, vegetable fibers, and a unique combination of antioxidants that promote healthy digestion and immunity in senior dogs.

This diet is ideal for maintaining weight and increasing lean muscle mass in senior dogs that may be slowing down.

However, one significant issue we discovered was the lack of moisture in the canned dog food. The texture may not be suitable for all canines, so it is important to keep this in mind when preparing this cuisine for a picky eater.

Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Dog Food is made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients that senior dogs enjoy.

It also supports your mature dog’s immunity with clinically proven antioxidants and vitamin C, and uses a balanced set of minerals to promote healthy bones and a healthy heart in older dogs.

This wet dog food is made with natural ingredients and is proudly made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients that you can trust.

Overall, Hill’s Science Diet 7+ Dog Food is an excellent choice for senior dogs suffering from digestive issues, providing them with the necessary nutrients and support for healthy digestion and immunity.

Pros

Designed for senior dogs

Maintains body weight and muscular mass.

Improves digestion and immunological health.

Cons

The food is really dry.


Dry Dog Food Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains & Chicken

Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food with Wholesome Grains

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  • Bag weight: 24 pounds
  • Adult life stage
  • Type of food: dry

CORE Digestive Health Wellness dog food is an excellent choice for dogs with digestive issues.

This dry food is enriched with probiotics, prebiotic fibers, and digestive enzymes, making it easy to digest and promoting a healthy digestive tract.

It is also rich in essential nutrients and superfoods like pumpkin and papaya, which support your dog’s overall health and well-being.

In addition, it contains high-quality protein sources, including chicken and chicken meal, and wholesome grains from brown rice, which help optimize nutrient absorption and support high digestibility, making it an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

The inclusion of probiotics and prebiotic fibers in this dog food supports a healthy microbiome, which is essential for strong immunity and overall health.

Additionally, it contains protein and omega fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat, keeping your dog’s coat soft and shiny.

Furthermore, CORE Digestive Health Wellness dog food is made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, ensuring that your dog receives the best possible nutrition.

Each recipe is crafted with wholesome, non-GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits.

Overall, CORE Digestive Health Wellness dog food is a great choice for dogs with digestive issues, promoting healthy digestion and overall wellness.

Pros

It contains all of the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy lifestyle.

The major protein sources are chicken and chicken meals.

Improves immunity and energy

Cons

Kibble has a pungent odor.


Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Dry Dog Food for Puppy

Nulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient All Breed Dog Food

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  • Bag weight: 24 pounds
  • Puppy stage of life
  • Type of food: dry

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon Dry Dog Food is a premium product that offers a balanced and nutritious meal option for dogs of all ages.

This high-quality dog food uses fresh salmon as a single-source protein, making it an excellent choice for dogs with sensitivities or allergies to common protein sources such as chicken or beef.

The grain-free formula of this dog food is designed to be easy to digest and promotes optimal nutrient absorption, which is beneficial for dogs with digestive issues.

Additionally, this dog food contains probiotics that support a healthy gut microbiome and help boost the immune system.

With 74% animal-based protein, Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon Dry Dog Food is a great option for dogs that require a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

The inclusion of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in this dog food also helps promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

This premium dog food is manufactured in the USA, ensuring that it meets the highest quality standards.

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon Dry Dog Food is free from common filler ingredients such as corn and tapioca and does not contain any artificial colors or preservatives.

It’s important to note that the cost of this dog food may be prohibitive for some pet owners on a tight budget. Additionally, the kibble size may be too large for smaller dog breeds.

Overall, Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Salmon Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for dogs with sensitivities or allergies and for those that require a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.

It’s a premium dog food option that provides a nutritious and balanced meal for dogs of all ages.

Pros

Contains genuine salmon.

Formula without grains

Excellent for skin allergies

Cons

Hefty portions

Expensive


Adult Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Small Breed

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care

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  • Bag weight: 11 pounds
  • Adult life stage
  • Type of food: dry

Blue Buffalo Basics is a premium dog food designed specifically for small breed dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This highly nutritious blend is made with real turkey as its primary source of protein, and it’s enriched with brown rice, potatoes, and pumpkin to support healthy digestion and energy levels in smaller dogs.

This limited ingredient dog food is completely free from chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs, making it an excellent option for dogs with food sensitivities.

Its small bite kibble and balance of carbohydrates and protein are tailored to meet small breed dogs’ specific nutritional needs.

What sets Blue Buffalo Basics apart is its unique blend of antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits, precisely crafted by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs, and a healthy oxidative balance.

This natural dog food is made with the finest, high-quality ingredients, enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals, and contains no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Each package of Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food contains 11lbs of premium dog food, perfect for small breed dogs weighing under 11 pounds.

However, it’s important to note that only 4- and 11-pound containers are available for purchase, which may not be cost-effective for households with multiple small breed dogs.

Before administering this food to your canine companion, it’s crucial to determine their recommended portion size based on their age, weight, and activity level.

Overall, Blue Buffalo Basics is an excellent choice for pet owners who want to provide their small breed dogs with a highly nutritious and delicious dog food that supports their digestive health and overall wellbeing.

Pros

The major source of protein is actual turkey.

Encourages healthy digestion and energy levels

Cons

Only 4 and 11-pound packages are available.

How to Choose the Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you should always consult your veterinarian to ascertain whether a specific constituent causes any adverse reactions.

After identifying what to avoid or prioritize, check the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Nutritional Adequacy Statement on the dog food label.

Then, select the appropriate life stage (puppy, adult, senior) to ensure that your dog receives the necessary nutrients. It’s important to connect these steps to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are met.

Ingredients

A nutritious, balanced diet for your dog must contain protein, lipids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water, according to the AAFCO.

The source of these nutrients, such as chicken for protein, beet pulp for fiber, and oats for carbohydrates, are just examples and not an exhaustive list.

However, the constituents that make up your dog’s diet may be the cause of his discomfort.

Stage of Life

Knowing the right life stage of the food you feed your dog aids in providing them with the nourishment they require at their age.

Keep your dog’s age in mind before selecting any brand of dog food, sensitive stomach or not, as a puppy’s requirements are not the same as those of an elderly dog.

Adult and elderly dogs require maintenance dog food formulas, while puppies require formulas specifically designed to assist their bodies and brains in developing properly.

Remember to choose a dog food formula that matches your dog’s life stage to ensure they receive the appropriate nutrients.

Probiotics

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain strains of beneficial microorganisms, which can promote digestive health in dogs.

If your dog is prescribed antibiotics for a troubled stomach, your veterinarian may recommend adding a probiotic supplement or food containing probiotics to help restore normal digestive function.

By introducing beneficial microorganisms into your dog’s digestive system, probiotics can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and support overall digestive health.

It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and provide your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet to help keep their digestive system healthy and functioning properly.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are substances that stimulate the growth of probiotic microorganisms. They are typically high in fiber, and when they enter the large intestine, they begin to degrade.

This degradation process provides nourishment for the beneficial bacteria from the probiotics, which in turn helps to promote healthy digestion.

By incorporating prebiotics into your dog’s diet, you can help to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and support their overall digestive health.

Dry Food or Wet Food

Wet food contains more water, which helps to hydrate your dog. However, some canines may prefer dry food when their stomach is upset.

Regardless of the type of food you choose, it is essential to ensure that your dog is receiving the necessary nutrients from their diet.

When selecting food for a dog with a sensitive stomach, you can choose between moist or dry food, depending on their digestive requirements.

It’s important to observe your dog’s response to the food and make adjustments as needed to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition to support their overall health.

Price

Whether we like it or not, the cost of dog food influences our purchasing decisions. However, when it comes to finding food for dogs with delicate stomachs, the price may be higher.

Through our experience trying numerous products, we’ve learned that most specially-formulated foods for sensitive stomachs come with a higher price tag.

If you want to do what’s best for your four-legged pet, be prepared to pay a little bit extra. While the cost may be a consideration, providing your dog with the right nutrition is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

FAQs

1. What is best to feed a dog with a sensitive stomach?

When a dog experiences acute digestive problems, transitioning to a bland diet may be the most effective way to resolve the issue.

Plain, boiled chicken and rice are generally well-tolerated and can be a good option for this diet. In addition, small quantities of canned pumpkin may aid in the treatment of gastroenteritis.

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet and treatment plan for your dog’s specific needs.

2. What dog food is best for digestive problems?

Canines with digestive problems may benefit from consuming white meats such as poultry, turkey, and fish due to their low fat content.

These meats are an excellent source of lean and easily digestible protein, which can support digestive health. Incorporating these protein sources into a dog’s diet may help alleviate digestive issues.

3. Is beef or chicken better for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Yes, depending on the individual dog’s digestive system, both beef and chicken can be appropriate protein sources for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Observe your dog’s reaction to diverse protein sources and adjust their diet accordingly.

In general, easily digestible proteins such as chicken and lamb are recommended, while high-fat dog foods and table scraps should be avoided.

4. Is fresh food better for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Optional. Fresh food may be a suitable option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, depending on their digestive system and nutritional requirements.

While some dogs may thrive on a raw food diet, others may require a different type of diet.

5. What food is easiest on a dog’s stomach?

Chicken and rice are two of the most common ingredients in commercial dog foods, as they are very easy for dogs to digest.

This mixture can provide protein and carbohydrates for your dog’s recovery. Sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins and fiber that dogs need, are considered a treat by most dogs.

6. Is rice good for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Yes, rice is occasionally included in commercial dog foods, and many pet owners give white rice to their sick dogs.

White rice is a good choice for dogs with upset stomachs because it is easy to digest, quick to prepare, and low in fiber.

7. How do I know if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

The classic symptoms of a sensitive stomach in dogs include intermittent loose stools or diarrhea, vomiting (you can tell your dog is ill if he stops eating or licks his lips and swallows frequently), and excessive gas.

There may also be blood in the feces, and your pet may regurgitate.

8. Is salmon dog food good for sensitive stomach?

Optional. Salmon-based dog food may be a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs due to its easily digestible protein and lighter nature.

However, it’s important to observe your dog’s reaction to the food and consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog’s unique needs and health conditions.

Conclusion

If your dog has gastrointestinal problems, this review should help you pick the best one for them. Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food is our overall recommendation for the finest dog food for sensitive stomachs.

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food is our recommendation for the greatest value.

This meal provides your dog with high-quality, easy-to-digest food at a reasonable price. These two dog diets are undoubtedly our top picks for keeping our dogs healthy.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes our evaluations and guide assist you in finding the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs.

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Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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