The 14 Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Best-Dog-Food-for-Sensitive-Stomach

Does your furball have a sensitive stomach?

If so, finding the right dog food can be challenging.

Now, the first thing you should do if you encounter any stomach issues in your canine is to seek professional help. Your vet will first establish that there’s no serious underpinning medical condition triggering stomach problems.

Assuming your pup gets a clean bill of health, it could be a food allergy or a food intolerance causing his stomach to play up. In this case, switching up his food could solve the problem.

And that’s where we come in. We understand that comparing dog foods can be time-consuming and pretty tedious, doubly so if you have no idea what you’re looking for. Luckily, we do!

Today, then, we’ll be reviewing all the best dog foods for sensitive stomach issues. We’ll highlight the main ingredients and core purpose of each food, allowing you to readily compare them like-for-like.

Before that, though, how can you tell if your dog is suffering from a sensitive stomach?

Well, while all dogs are different, you can expect to notice any of the following signs if your mutt has a sensitive stomach:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Gurgling noises
  • Drop in activity levels

When you’re looking at dog food for sensitive stomach problems, 3 types of food work best:

  • Limited ingredient dog food: These dog food have fewer ingredients than regular formulas. This is especially useful if you’re trying to determine what ingredient is provoking stomach sensitivity. This type of food usually contains a single source of novel protein, limited ingredients, and low to moderate levels of fat. Most of the protein should be sourced from meat. You’ll typically find probiotics to aid digestion. Avoid limited ingredients formulas with artificial colorings and additives. Also bypass foods with too many cheap fillers
  • Prescription GI dog food: This type of dog food is purpose-made for dogs afflicted with digestive issues. They contain ingredients that encourage healthy digestion.
  • Hypoallergenic dog food: Hypoallergenic dog food is made using proteins that have been fractured into blocks of amino acids. This process minimizes any allergies your dog will experience, with the ingredients sliding down undetected by his immune system

If you’ve discovered that your dog has a sensitive stomach and you need to switch his food, don’t rush into this. Ensure that the transition goes smoothly and reduce any chance of gastric upset.

You should start off by introducing perhaps a quarter-bowl of new food with his existing food. Increase the ratio gradually until he is eating all-new food by the end of the week.

OK, with that framework in place, you should be ready to browse the best dog foods intended for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

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The 14 Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

1. Our #1 Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hill's-Science-Diet-Dry-Dog-Food,-Adult,-Sensitive-Stomach

  • Type: Dry formula with prebiotic fiber
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken, brewer’s rice, chicken meal
  • Best for: Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $$$

First up and our overall favorite dog food for sensitive stomach issues, Hill’s Science Diet is a vet-backed formula you can rely on. What makes it so good?

Well, the formula is specifically designed to address problems faced by dogs with sensitive stomachs, so you’ll get a tailored solution. The key selling point is the prebiotic fiber that encourages good and balanced gut health in Rover.

The food is very easy for your dog to digest, and should improve the consistency of his poop, making it easier to scoop up for disposal.

As an inbuilt bonus, the formula is rich in fatty acids and also contains vitamin E. Together, this will help improve Fido’s coat and skin as he grows.

Made in the USA from premium ingredients and recommended by veterinarians the world over, this food is well worth trying out if your dog suffers from stomach problems.

Things We Like

  • Vet-backed nutrition
  • Supports balanced gut microbiome
  • Loaded with fatty acids

Things We Dislike

  • Can trigger diarrhea in some dogs

2. Budget Pick: Purina ONE SmartBlend Dog Food

Purina-ONE-SmartBlend-Natural-Sensitive-Systems

  • Type: Dry pellets
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Salmon, rice flour, barley
  • Best for: Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $

If you’re hunting for some dog food that’s designed for sensitive stomachs without blowing the budget, consider this pack of ONE SmartBlend from household brand Purina.

Leading off real salmon as the first ingredient, you’ll be giving your dog protein from a premium source. Salmon not only provides the right type of protein, but it’s also super-simple for your pooch to digest.

The kibble is laced with vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids, both ideal for promoting great skin and coat health. The only drawback is that the pieces of kibble are pretty small.

Backed by vets and widely considered one of the best suppliers of quality dog food, your dog would thank you if he could.

If you don’t like the idea of this dry formula, the food is also available in wet form. Remember, though, wet food has up to 80% moisture content, leaving much less available for nutrients.

Overall, you should find dogs of most breeds and life stages tolerate this food well, even with stomach sensitivities.

Things We Like

  • Real salmon as first ingredient
  • Promotes skin and coat health
  • Impeccable brand heritage

Things We Dislike

  • Kibble is quite small

3. Best for Adult Dogs: Diamond CARE Adult Dry Dog Food

Diamond-Care-Sensitive-Stomach-Formula-Adult-Grain-Free-Dry-Dog-Food

  • Type: Dry formula with probiotics
  • Design: All life stages
  • First 3 ingredients: Potatoes, egg product, potato protein
  • Best for: All dogs, especially those with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $$

Diamond CARE serves up an all-natural formula ideal for a range of different situations from weight management through to this food designed for pups with sensitive stomachs.

This is dry food that’s grain-free, perfect for sensitivities. Also, the levels of vitamin E are calibrated for optimum immune system health.

There’s a decent quantity of protein that’s not sourced from chicken. The food is super-digestible, so pups with sensitive stomachs won’t struggle more than necessary.

You get no corn, wheat, or soy in this formula. You won’t be plagued with a battery of artificial colors and preservatives either, so you’ll be feeding Fido a taste of the wild at home without inflaming his stomach.

This is a family-owned firm based in the USA, allowing you to buy with total confidence, knowing the needs of your furball are fully catered for.

Things We Like

  • Contains plenty of carbs
  • Grain-free for sensitive stomachs
  • Made in the USA

Things We Dislike

  • Choice of ingredients could be improved

4. Best for Senior Dogs: Hill’s Science Wet Dog Food

Hill's-Science-Diet-Wet-Dog-Food

  • Type: Wet food
  • Design: Senior
  • First 3 ingredients: Water, beef, barley
  • Best for: For senior dogs
  • Price: $$$

Hill’s is a highly reputable brand producing first-class dog food for special use cases. This formula is specifically designed for senior dogs aged 7+.

This is wet food, perfect if your older dog wants something easy to slip down, especially if he has stomach issues.

Protein comes from a premium source in this beef-laden food your pooch should find delicious as well as healthy.

Vitamin E along with Omega fatty acids ensures that your older dog’s skin and coat remain shiny and lustrous as he ages.

Antioxidants in this food are tailor-made for supporting the immune systems of aging hounds.

The only real complaints we could find among a sea of positive user testimony concern the pork by-products in this recipe. If this is something that bothers you, we’d advise checking out some of the other dog foods on our shortlist.

If you want a dog food that’s made in the US, packed with natural ingredients, and designed with the needs of elderly dogs with sensitive stomachs in mind, Hill’s hits another homer with this wet food.

Things We Like

  • Loaded with premium protein
  • Antioxidants ideal for older dogs
  • Supports healthy coat and skin

Things We Dislike

  • Contains pork by-products

5. Best for Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food

Purina-Pro-Plan-Sensitive-Skin-&-Stomach,-High-Protein-Adult-Dry-Dog-Food

  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Salmon, rice, barley
  • Best for: Adult dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs
  • Price: $$$

What do you get from the inimitable Purina’s Pro Plan, then? Well, this food is expressly designed with the demands of puppies uppermost. If you have a baby furball, you’ll need to give him a protein-rich and nutrient dense food to properly support his growth stage and fuel his development. You get that and more from Purina.

Protein is derived from salmon, the first ingredient in this nutritional powerhouse of a formula. This is at high levels to meet the needs of active small breeds.

This is a bumper 30-pound bag giving you ample supplies, even if you need to pay for the privilege. This food isn’t cheap, but you wouldn’t give your baby cheap food, so why consider doing the same with your puppy?

The live probiotics encourage gut health and immune health.

High in fat and dripping with calories, this is one of the most effective puppy foods you’ll find, and it’s ideal for soothing sensitive stomachs. What’s not to love?

Things We Like

  • High in protein content
  • Guaranteed live probiotics
  • Ideal for small breeds

Things We Dislike

  • High in fat and calories

6. Canidae Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE-All-Life-Stages-Lamb-Meal-&-Rice-Formula-Dry-Dog-Food

  • Type: Dry formula with lamb meal and rice
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, barley
  • Best for: All life stages
  • Price: $$

Canidae is a household name in this vertical with just cause. They provide an array of thoughtfully selected formulas catering for different needs and different breeds. This is one of the more generic dry dog foods in the line, giving you the flexibility of feeding all ages and sizes of dog.

This is a small 5-pound bag, so makes a smart choice if you want to test whether your pup will enjoy the food or not. Buying a huge bumper pack sight unseen is always a gamble. Once you’re confident your mutt enjoys this food, you can buy packs up to 44 pounds.

The food is crammed with nutrients and contains no corn, no soy, and no cheap fillers.

Coat and skin health is attended to with the antioxidants and fatty acids you would expect in a food designed for dogs with digestive issues.

Things We Like

  • Versatile food for all ages and breeds
  • Rich in fatty acids
  • Wide choice of sizes available

Things We Dislike

  • Excessive amount of ground meal

7. Solid Gold Grain-Free Dog Food

Solid-Gold-Leaping-Waters-with-Cold-Water-Salmon-&-Vegetable-Recipe

  • Type: Dry grain-free formula
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, chickpeas
  • Best for: All dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $

Solid Gold serves up a formula that’s free of grains and pitched firmly at dogs suffering from stomach and digestive problems. How does it shape up, then?

The food doesn’t contain any chicken, an ingredient that frequently inflames stomach issues. Instead, protein comes from salmon, the first ingredient.

Beyond this, there are more than 20 superfoods piled into this formula. The balanced blend of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals supports your dog’s immune system, gut health, and overall health, while fueling him with the energy to keep playing all day long.

Prebiotics and probiotics ensure that the food slides down easily without creating any sensitivities in your dog’s stomach.

Backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying this affordable but remarkably effective dry dog food.

Things We Like

  • Chicken-free formula
  • Easily digestible
  • 100 satisfaction guarantee

Things We Dislike

  • New formula removed some key ingredients

8. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canned Dog Food

Royal-Canin-Veterinary-Diet-Gastrointestinal-Low-Fat-Canned-Dog-Food

  • Type: Wet food
  • Design: All life stages
  • First 3 ingredients: Pork-by-products, pork liver, brewer’s rice
  • Best for: All dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $$$

If you like the idea of feeding your dog wet food but you’re sick and tired of constantly buying cans at the store, invest in this pack of 24 cans from Royal Canin instead.

We would flag your attention to the primary ingredient of this food being pork by-product. This doesn’t get things off to a strong start, and it’s enough for many dog owners to turn their nose up at this food. If this is problematic for you or Rover, explore some of the other foods on our shortlist. If not, what else do you get for your money?

This formula offers you an alternative to feeding your dog a bland diet to counter GI issues. While this can be an effective strategy, at the same time your dog could be missing out on vital nutrients. Here, you’ll get the goodness without any ingredients liable to agitate your furball’s stomach.

Overall, you’ll encourage sound gut health and stools by feeding Fido this tasty wet food. All that remains is to see whether he likes it.

Things We Like

  • Blended dietary fibers
  • Fish oils soothe digestive tract
  • Low fat formula

Things We Dislike

  • Quality of ingredients is questionable

9. Natural Balance LID Food

Natural-Balance-L.I.D.-Limited-Ingredient-Diets-Dry-Dog-Food,-Grain-Free

  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Beef, pea protein, peas
  • Best for: All life stages
  • Price: $$

Foods with limited ingredients can be a great workaround if your pup is suffering from stomach sensitivities. The fewer the ingredients, the less chance of causing a reaction.

The primary ingredient here is real beef. This meets your dog’s protein needs head-on and from a premium source, and without the chicken that could irritate his stomach. At 32% protein content, this is the highest level in-class.

Despite this elevated protein content, this formula is still nicely balanced throughout.

There are no grains and no cheap fillers, so you’ll be giving Rover everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t.

Although most customers report their dogs being happy with this food, there are several complaints about routine price hikes.

Overall, this is arguably the best limited ingredient dog food out there, so why not grab yourself a bag for your fur baby?

Things We Like

  • Real beef as first ingredient
  • No grains and no fillers
  • Very high levels of protein

Things We Dislike

  • Price keeps increasing

10. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Blue-Buffalo-Basics-Limited-Ingredient-Diet,-Natural-Adult-Small-Breed-Dry-Dog-Food

  • Type: Dry formula with LifeSource Bits
  • Design: Baby
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned turkey, oatmeal, turkey meal
  • Best for: Adult small breeds
  • Price: $$$

Blue Buffalo is one of the best-known and most popular brands out there when it comes to dog food.

With this Basics Limited Ingredients formula, you’re getting food that’s designed with the needs of your pooch uppermost.

Turkey is the first ingredient, meaning you sidestep the chicken that could inflame Rover’s stomach while still harnessing protein from a premium source.

This food works best with small breeds. You’ll be giving your teacup breed all the nutrients he needs without ever overloading his gut.

The LifeSource Bits are not to all dog’s liking, but these pieces are packed with antioxidants that strengthen and protect your pup’s immune system.

As with all the best dog food, what’s not included is just as relevant as the actual ingredients. Here, you’ll get no cheap fillers, no artificial colors and preservatives. There’s nothing but lip-smacking goodness here.

Things We Like

  • Turkey as primary ingredient
  • Single animal protein
  • Limited ingredients

Things We Dislike

  • Lacking in fiber

11. NaturVet Advanced Probiotic Dog Food

NaturVet-Advanced-Probiotics-and-Enzymes-Supplement,-Plus-Vet-Strength-PB6-Probiotic

  • Type: Soft chews
  • Design: All life stages
  • First 3 ingredients: Brewer’s yeast, glycerin, dried potato
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $

NaturVet delivers a probiotic dog food that’s perfect for dogs plagued with sensitive stomachs. How does it solve this problem, then?

The key selling point here is that the food comes as soft chews. If this sounds like something your dog would lap up not turn his nose up at, read on.

Everything about this formula targets gut health. The chews will help maximize the nutrients your hound absorbs while also delivering the good bacteria his gut requires.

Made in the USA and formulated with vet backing, the food comes with a no-quibbles satisfaction guarantee. If your dog doesn’t like the food or you are in any way unhappy with it, return it for a no-questions refund. We wish more manufacturers took this approach with dog food.

Your dog should find these chews tasty into the bargain, so you’ll be giving him a treat as well as an overload of goodness while catering to his sensitive stomach.

Things We Like

  • Packed with probiotics and enzymes
  • Vet-formulated
  • Made in the USA

Things We Dislike

  • Not all dogs will chew these

12. Nulo Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Nulo-Freestyle-Limited+-Puppy-Grain-Free-Turkey-Recipe-Dry-Dog-Food

  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: Adult
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chick peas
  • Best for: Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $

Limited ingredient formulas can be a great way to keep your dog full and satisfied while minimizing the number of ingredients that could trigger gut issues.

Protein comes from a single source (deboned turkey), giving your dog 30% protein content without relying on chicken to provide the protein.

As well as leaving out the chicken, you won’t get any corn, soy, wheat, or cheap fillers either. This is an allergy-friendly formula all the way.

Aside from a few gripes about weak quality control, this is overall one of the best dog foods for sensitive stomach you can find. Will your pooch like it, though?

Things We Like

  • Multiple bag sizes available
  • Protein from a single source
  • Allergy-friendly formula

Things We Dislike

  • Poor quality control

13. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Dog Food

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

  • Type: Dry formula
  • Design: All life stages
  • First 3 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, potatoes
  • Best for: All dogs
  • Price: $$$

As we edge to the end of our sensitive stomach dog food reviews, we have a great option from Wellness.

This is another limited ingredient formula which reduces the chance of stomach sensitivities.

With protein coming from a single premium source – deboned turkey – you’ll allow your dog to get a taste of nature without paying the price when he digests it.

The formula will encourage smooth overall immune functioning, and the fatty acids alongside balanced vitamins will give that same smoothness to Rover’s coat and skin.

This food is made in a facility that produces grains, but the formula itself is grain-free.

Prebiotics in this food are ideal for digestive health, and you’ll also be loading your dog’s gut up with beneficial probiotics.

For a tasty and highly effective dog food that avoids inflaming sensitive stomachs, you can’t go wrong with Wellness.

Things We Like

  • Limited ingredient formula
  • Supports healthy immune system
  • Encourages whole body health

Things We Dislike

  • Made in facility that processes grains

14. Instinct Raw Boost Dog Food

Instinct-Raw-Boost-Gut-Health-Grain-Free-Recipe-with-Real-Chicken

  • Type: Dry formula with grain-free kibble
  • Design: Gut health
  • First 3 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas
  • Best for: Adult dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Price: $$$

Instinct Raw Boost delivers something different: dry kibble that’s complemented by raw ingredients to give your dog a taste of the wild. The raw food is freeze-dried, so you get a formula that’s packed with goodness rather than moisture.

The grain-free kibble is high in protein with cage-free chicken as the primary ingredient.

This formula is designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition for all breeds and life stages, giving you one of the most versatile options on our shortlist.

What a food for dogs with sensitive stomachs doesn’t contain is just as important as what it does contain. Here, there is no potato, no corn, wheat, or soy. There’s no artificial coloring or preservatives in the formula either, so you should minimize any stomach issues even if your dog has been struggling in that area.

To harness the power of raw ingredients in the convenient form of dry dog food, Instinct Raw Boost is well worth a place on your shortlist.

Things We Like

  • Freeze-dried raw food
  • Grain-free for gut health
  • Kibble boosted with raw ingredients

Things We Dislike

  • Some concerns about quality control

FAQs

1) What triggers food allergies in dogs?

10% of all allergies in dogs are linked to food. This can be due to the fat content or the protein content. Sometimes, allergies can be triggered by specific ingredients that your dog won’t tolerate well.

2) How can I determine if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

The best option is to consult with your vet first so you can get some professional input if you suspect your dog is suffering from a sensitive stomach.

3) If my dog’s poop is runny, is this is a sign that he’s intolerant of his food?

Yes. That said, runny poop can also indicate a bacterial infection or a parasitic infection. If you notice this issue, take your dog to the vet for a thorough examination.

4) Will cutting out food items from my pup’s diet help?

This is an option that can be effective, especially if you’ve been feeding Fido scraps from the table.

5) What ingredients should be avoided for dogs with a sensitive stomach?

Corn gluten, wheat, grain meals, rendered fat, and meat by-products are all common culprits.

6) Do I need to change my dog’s diet if he has a sensitive stomach?

Food is the most likely reason for canine stomach sensitivities. Changing his diet could yield dividends.

7) Can I feed raw food to my dog if he has a sensitive stomach?

Kibble should be your first option, but it’s not the only option if your pooch has stomach sensitivities. You can still feed your dog raw food, but you’ll need to consult your vet and make any transition slowly and patiently.

8) What are limited ingredient dog foods?

A limited ingredient dog food (LID) contains far fewer ingredients than a regular formula. This makes it much easier for you to isolate and identify ingredients that could be inflaming your canine’s stomach problems.

9) Is it wise to feed a limited ingredient diet to my dog if he has a sensitive stomach?

Yes. This is arguably your quickest route to determining which ingredients are causing problems for your pooch when it comes to digesting his food. If you want to rapidly control this situation and get your dog back to peak health, try an LID food first.

10) My dog is vomiting now I have changed his diet. What does this mean?

It means you should visit the vet at your earliest opportunity. If your pup starts vomiting suddenly and regularly, it could be more than just a sensitive stomach. Pop to the vets ASAP.

11) What are the most common culprits for canine allergens?

Some types in indigestible protein will cause stomach problems for dogs. Too much fat content often triggers allergies, while insufficient fiber content does the same thing. Formulas deficient in vitamins and minerals can create problems for canines. In general, low-quality ingredients are much more likely to cause allergies than those derived from premium sources.

12) What symptoms should I watch out for to alert me to issues with my dog’s digestion?

Early warning signs of stomach insensitivity are gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. If you notice that your dog is bloated, this is another common marker of stomach issues. Look out for behavioral signs like paw biting or obsessive licking. Sometimes, allergies affect the skin. If your dog has hives, a skin rash, or seems to be continuously itching and scratching, this could suggest stomach sensitivities. In all cases, seek advice from your vet.


Conclusion

We very much hope today’s breakdown of the best dog food for sensitive stomach has left you with no shortage of options up your sleeve.

Make sure you first consult with your vet to check that no health condition is causing the sensitivity. With that taken care of, changing foods may be all you need to do to restore Rover’s gut health.

By choosing any of the foods we review today, you’ll know precisely what you’re getting for your money. You’ll also have an easily referenceable list of all the main ingredients.

Take a moment to bookmark our blog before you head off and be sure to pop back soon!

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