Some dogs will eat anything that will fit in their mouths and it doesn’t always go well for them. Occasional digestive upset is normal for a dog, but when you start to notice the symptoms occurring more frequently it could be a sign of a problem. It is not uncommon for dogs to develop sensitive stomachs or skin allergies. Some pets even become allergic to certain dog food ingredients.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, don’t assume that you have to start feeding him a homemade diet. While that is certainly your choice to make, you should consider all of your options and choose the one that you’ll be able to maintain for the long-term because dietary stability is important for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Keep reading to learn more about this issue and how to find a commercial dog food product to feed your dog.
- 1 Symptoms of Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
- 2 What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?
- 3 Best Dog Foods For Sensitive Stomachs
- 4 The Best Puppy Food For Sensitive Stomachs
- 5 The Best Canned Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs
Symptoms of Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
The term “sensitive stomach” is pretty vague and generic. Depending which veterinarian you ask, you might receive several different definitions. However, dogs with sensitive stomachs generally show symptoms like vomiting, loose stools, and frequent gas. Let’s take a closer look at each of these symptoms.
When your dog gets into something he shouldn’t, whether it’s something dead he found in the yard or some fatty table scraps he grabbed from the counter, vomiting is his body’s way of getting rid of the offending substance.
When vomiting becomes frequent or if it is paired with additional symptoms like lethargy or diarrhea, it may be a sign of sensitive stomach. Loose stools on their own, or other changes in bowel movements, can also be a symptom.
Many dogs experience occasional flatulence and it is often related to their diet. Sometimes, however, your dog may experience gas if he eats too quickly or if he has some kind of gastrointestinal disorder.
If you notice that your dog’s gas develops shortly after he eats a meal and that it happens fairly consistently, it may be a sign of sensitive stomach.
What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?
For many dogs with sensitive stomachs, it isn’t always a problem with a specific ingredient. More commonly, it is a matter of inconsistency – if your dog’s diet is frequently changing, it could trigger digestive upset.
There are also certain ingredients used in pet foods that can make your dog’s digestive system work a little harder than it’s used to – things like corn, wheat, and soy ingredients, for example. Similarly, it could be that he is sensitive (or allergic) to a particular ingredient.
To determine whether a sensitive stomach is your dog’s problem, start by simplifying his diet. Cut out all treats and table scraps for a week or two and then see how he’s doing. If your dog’s problems have mostly resolved, it is likely that the variability in his diet was to blame for his sensitivity.
If you cut out treats and table scraps but your dog still exhibits symptoms, it is likely to be a problem with one (or more) of the ingredients in his food.
Your next step is to switch him to a product made with a unique source of protein and carbohydrate that he hasn’t had before – ideally, one made with a limited number of ingredients to limit the risk for digestive problems.
You should also make sure that all of the ingredients are of high quality because fillers and artificial additives are more difficult to digest. Look for a formula rich in protein, moderate in fat, and supplemented with digestible carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Best Dog Foods For Sensitive Stomachs
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food
If you suspect that your dog’s digestive problems are caused by an ingredient in his food, you might consider switching to a formula that features novel proteins like venison, duck, or lamb. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Food comes in several different formulas, so you can choose the one that doesn’t contain whatever your dog is sensitive too. These recipes are packed with protein and free from artificial additives, so you can feel good about whichever recipe you choose.
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Adult Dry Food
The Blue Buffalo Basics line of products is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. Each recipe features a limited number of ingredients with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate to maintain high digestibility. Each recipe contains a single source of high-quality animal protein with supplements to ensure nutritional balance.
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Food
Merrick’s Limited Ingredient Diet line of products contains five protein options (chicken, duck, lamb, salmon, and turkey) as well as grain-free, gluten-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility. Each recipe features a single source of animal protein with a balance of omega fatty acids and beneficial supplements. Plus, all of Merrick’s products are made in the USA with all-natural ingredients.
The Best Puppy Food For Sensitive Stomachs
Choosing a dog food formula can be tricky because you want to strike the right balance of protein and fat to support energy as well as growth and development, but you don’t want to go overboard on calories and put your puppy at risk for obesity or overgrowth. When you throw a sensitive stomach into the mix, things get even more complicated.
Fortunately for you, we’ve already done the hard work to bring you our recommendations for the best puppy foods for sensitive stomachs:
Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations LID
The Canidae company is known for producing high-quality pet foods and this Grain-Free PURE Foundations LID formula is no exception. Made with fresh chicken, this recipe contains just 9 key ingredients plus beneficial supplements to make it gentle on your puppy’s digestion. It contains 30% protein and 12% fat which exceeds your puppy’s minimum nutritional needs without going too high in fat content that you have to worry about digestive upset.
Holistic Select Grain-Free Puppy Health Dry Food
The Holistic Select company believes in the power of natural ingredients to nourish your puppy’s body from the inside out. This particular recipe is grain-free which greatly reduces the risk for digestive upset and it is made with only the highest quality ingredients to ensure digestibility. It contains optimal levels of protein and fat to support growth and development and it is free from corn, wheat, soy, and artificial additives. It also comes in a large- and giant-breed formula.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula
If your puppy has a sensitivity to specific ingredients, you need a brand that offers a wide variety of recipes – Natural Balance is that brand. Their Limited Ingredient Diets are made with a select number of high-quality ingredients, many of which are unique which makes them less likely to trigger food allergies and sensitivities. They are all made with a single source of high-quality protein and supplemented with limited (highly digestible) carbohydrates.
The Best Canned Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs
Some dogs with sensitive stomachs tolerate canned food better than kibble. If you choose to feed your dog canned food, know that it is just as important that you take your time to select a high-quality product as it is if you were feeding a dry food product.
To give you a place to start your search, here are a few recommended canned dog foods for sensitive stomachs:
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Food
The Wellness company is known for producing a wide variety of products for a wide variety of needs. Their Simple line of pet foods is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. These recipes are made with high-quality, easily digestible ingredients like turkey, duck, lamb, oatmeal, and potato. They are all-natural and free from gluten, grains, and artificial additives. Plus, the wet food formula is rich in moisture to make it even easier to digest.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Canned Food
Though Natural Balance offers many different products, some of their most popular are their Limited Ingredient Diets. These recipes are perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs because they are made with a lower number of primary ingredients than the typical dog food and they feature novel ingredients like duck, buffalo, and sweet potato. There are several canned food recipes to choose from, so pick one made with ingredients your dog hasn’t had before.
Nature’s Recipe Easy To Digest Stew
As you can guess from the name, Nature’s Recipe uses wholesome natural ingredients in their formulas and this particular line of products is designed for easy digestibility. Choose from high-quality proteins like chicken and lamb with digestible carbohydrates like rice, barley, peas, and carrots. These canned food recipes are gentle on your dog’s digestion but still provide for his nutritional needs.