Top 10 Best Dog Food for a Sensitive Stomach in 2020

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Bowel problems are a common occurrence in both young and adult dogs although senior dogs are more susceptible. It is important to research the best food for dogs with sensitive stomachs to save on trips to the vet and to also uphold their welfare and quality of life.

Stomach upsets have a great impact on a dogs health. Such cases often lead to poor digestion and malabsorption of nutrients in the gut. In essence, the irritated gut finds ways of getting rid of the food either through vomiting or diarrhea.

This consequently leads to a weakened immune system, poor growth, and repair of body tissues and lack of energy to not only carry out body physiological processes but also any form of activity or exercise. Highly digestible foods rich in fiber and low in fats made from high-quality ingredients are essential.

1. Hill’S Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach

Hill'S Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food

Hills Science food is designed for dogs with both sensitive stomach and skin made from natural ingredients.

Key Features

  • Comes in three different sizes; 4 lbs, 15.5 lbs, and 30 lbs
  • Made from high-quality natural ingredients
  • Contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Contains Omega 6 fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Provides a complete balanced diet
  • Formulated for adult dogs only
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Promotes healthy growth of hair and skin
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Made in the USA
  • Formulated for adult dogs only

The ingredients chosen for this particular food are natural containing Vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids which help in healthy growth of the skin and fur.

The same ingredients are also high also contains antioxidants and Vitamin C which help in boosting immunity. It contains no artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives which art times can cause stomach irritation and predispose dogs to cancer.

The food should however be introduced slowly over a period of time to allow the gut to adjust.

Pros

  • Contains natural ingredients
  • It is easily digestible
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in Vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy growth of hair and skin
  • Contains antioxidants and vitamin C which helps to boost immunity
  • Contains no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Comes in different sizes
  • Contains highly digestible quality protein that helps to maintain lean muscle

Cons

  • The price is a bit on the higher side
  •  Formulated only for adult dogs
  • Large kibble size

Hills Science food helps to deal with skin and stomach sensitivities in adult dogs. It also helps boost overall immunity.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003MGAIDI

2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Purina Pro Plan Focus is a dog dry food formulated for those with sensitive skin and stomach. It is available for all breed sizes and available in salmon and rice flavor and lamb and oatmeal flavor.

Key Features

  • Specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin
  • Available for all breeds of dogs
  • Available in salmon and rice flavor and lamb and oatmeal flavor
  • Come in various sizes; 4lb, 5lb, 10lb, 24lb, 30lb and 33lb
  • Contains prebiotic fiber
  • Contains no corn, wheat or soy
  • Contains no poultry by-product ingredient
  • Contains omega 6 and 3 fatty acids and zinc

Prebiotic fiber aids in digestion by nourishing intestinal bacteria. Omega 6 fatty acids from sunflower oil and zinc are also essential for healthy growth of the skin and hair while omega3 fatty acids from fish oil promote joint health especially in adult and senior dogs.

It also contains easily digestible protein (lamb and salmon) which helps in the growth and repair of body tissues. Oatmeal is also a good source of easily digestible fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Pros

  • Prebiotic fiber aids in digestion
  • Salmon which is the first ingredient is a rich source of easily digestible protein which help in the growth and repair of body tissues
  • Good for dogs with soy, wheat and corn and poultry allergies
  • Contains no artificial colors and flavors

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • The fish smell can be a bit overwhelming

Purina Pro Plan Focus dry dog food helps to relieve skin conditions; stomach upsets as well as promote optimal joint health.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EY9KQ2Y

3. Royal Canin Health Nutrition Maxi Sensitive Digestion Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Health Nutrition

Royal Canin Maxi Nutrition is dry food for large breed dogs with sensitive stomachs. It also contains ingredients that support joint health, skin and hair.

Key Features

  • Formulated for adult large breed dogs over 15 months
  • Provides a full balanced diet
  • Support joint and bone health
  • Supports skin and hair health
  • Easily digestible
  • Comes in two sizes 6lb and 30lb
  • Good kibble size for large breed dog that encourage chewing

Royal Canin Maxi Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Food contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and essential fatty acids offering a full balanced diet.

It’s made from high quality and highly digestible proteins that help to maintain lean muscle especially in senior dogs. It also contains chondrotin and glucosamine hydrochloride which help in maintaining good bone and joint health.

In addition, it also contains omega 6 fatty acids derived from fish oils which help maintain good hair and skin health. Plenty of fiber helps to add bulk up food, therefore, reducing the occurrence of diarrhea and constipation.

Pros

  • Contains easily digestible proteins
  •  Contains fiber which assists in bowel movement
  • Helps maintain good joint and bone health
  • Helps maintain relieve skin sensitivities as well as maintain a healthy hair coat
  • The kibble size is specially formulated for large breed dogs to encourage chewing
  • Provides a balanced diet
  • Contains antioxidants and essential vitamins that help to boost immunity
  • Comes in 2 sizes

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Formulated for only large breed dogs
  • Contains wheat, soy and poultry by-products that may be allergic to some dogs

Overall Royal Canin Maxi Nutrition is a good pick for large breed dogs. It not only eases off stomach upsets but also supports joint, hair and skin health.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CKEE9NS

4. Canidae Grain Free Pure Wild

Canidae Grain Free Pure Wild

Canidae Grain Free contains real meat giving it the tastiest flavor as well as other easily digestible natural ingredients.

Key Features

  • Made from simple recipes with only 7 ingredients to foster easy digestion
  • Contains raw meat for extra flavor
  • Contains probiotics, minerals, and vitamins
  • Made from whole foods such as sweet potatoes, chickpeas etc
  • Contains valuable nutrients such as antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids
  • Contains 4% fiber

This brand of food contains only 7 ingredients derived from whole foods which foster easy digestion in the stomach. It is rich in omega 6 fatty acids which are essential for healthy skin and hair. It is also rich in probiotics which help to normalize healthy bacteria in the gut which help digestion.

Omega 3 fatty acids also contained in this all-natural food help to boost immunity as well as maintain healthy joints and bones.

Additionally it is rich in antioxidant which works synergistically with Omega 3 fatty acids for a strong immune system. The kibble size is of reasonable size to facilitate easy chewing. It is also grain-free.

Pros

  • Made with simple recipes from 7 ingredients derived natural whole foods
  • Contains meat as the first ingredient for a tasty flavor
  • Contains omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids
  • Contains antioxidants
  • It is easily digestible
  • High in probiotics and fiber
  • Good kibble size
  • Available in 4, 12 & 24 lb bags
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • For adult dogs only
  • Price is a bit on the high side

The ingredients in Canidae Grain Free are derived from natural whole foods which rich in valuable nutrients that not only aid in digestion but also cater for joint and skin health.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BI4ZITE

5. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

Blue Basics Limited Ingredient

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dog Food contains limited easily digestible ingredients that are good for the digestive system as well as promote healthy skin and boost the immune system.

Key Features

  • Deboned turkey as the first ingredient
  • Contains pumpkin and pea fiber
  • Contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
  • For adult dogs only
  • Packaging may vary
  • Comes in 3 sizes; 4lb, 11lb, and 24lb
  • Contains no grains, chicken by product meal, beef, wheat, soy, dairy and eggs
  • Contains no artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Contains glucosamine
  • Fortified with calcium and phorsphorus

Turkey which is the first ingredient provides high quality easily digestible protein. The omega 3 fatty acids help to boost immunity while Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E help in promoting a healthy hair coat as well as the skin.

Glucosamine, calcium, and phosphorus also included helps in joint and bone health. It’s also rich in fiber which aids in relieving diarrhea and constipation.

Pros

  • Easily digestible
  • Contains glucosamine, calcium and phosphorus which help support joint and bone health
  • Contains Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C which help to boost immunity
  • Contains Omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E which promote healthy growth of hair and skin
  • Contains no artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Contains fiber and pumpkin which helps to relieve constipation and diarrhea common in dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • Comes in a variety of sizes

Cons

  • Formulated for adult dogs only
  • Expensive

Blue Buffalo Basics promotes digestion, joint and bone health, skin, and hair and boosts immunity.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EXDOT4

6. Natural Choice Adult Limited Ingredient

Natural Choice Adult Limited Ingredient Diet

Natural Choice is a highly nutritious adult dry dog food with limited ingredients providing a fully balanced diet specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Key Features

  • Deboned lamb and whole brown rice as the key ingredients
  • Comes in two sizes; 5lb, 15lb and 30 lbs packs
  • Helps promote digestion
  • Contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and E
  • Formulated for adult dogs only
  • Contains Omega 6 essential fatty acids, zinc and vitamin B complex

Lamb offers high quality easily digestible protein that promotes the growth of lean muscle while brown fiber which helps relieve constipation and diarrhea as it promotes bowel movement in the gut. It is also a rich source of carbohydrates that are broken down into glucose which provides energy to run body physiological processes.

Antioxidants such as vitamin and Zinc help boost the immune system while Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E promote the growth of healthy skin and fur respectively. Vitamin B complex also contained in the food provides a myriad of benefits for your pets including stimulating appetite, nerve repair, promote digestion, growth of cells, eyesight and promote brain function among other things.

Pros

  • Rich source of fiber and easily digestible protein
  • Rich in Vitamin C, E and B
  • Contains Omega 6 essential fatty acids
  • Comes in two size packs
  • Contains limited ingredients perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Ingredients are non-GMO
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
  • Available for all dogs; puppy, adult, large and senior dogs

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

Natural Choice dog food is highly recommended due to the use of high quality, easily digestible and nutritious ingredients that promote digestion, immunity, cell growth, and healthy skin and a shiny glossy hair coat.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CI6K8EC

7. Blackwood Dry Dog Food

Blackwood Pet Food

Blackwood Dry Dog Food is formulated using premium all-natural ingredients suitable for all life stages in dogs.

Key Features

  • Lamb/chicken and brown rice as the first ingredients
  • Contains pre and probiotics
  • Provides a holistic and balanced diet
  • Suited for all dog life stages
  • Contains no wheat, soy or corn
  • Rich in flavor and easily digestible
  • Contains no additional flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids
  • Comes in a 5lb bag

Lamb/ chicken provide easily digestible protein that helps in the development of lean muscle. Brown rice is in rich in fiber which aids in bowel movements relieving case of indigestion, constipation and diarrhea.

It is also free from corn, wheat, soy and fillers which have been shown to trigger skin allergies in dogs. Omega 3 fatty acids found in the food help to boost immunity, promote joint health and healthy growth of skin and a lustrous glossy hair coat.

The pre and probiotics also help in digestion by maintaining healthy bacteria levels in the gut.

Pros

  • Contains high quality, easily digestible protein (chicken/lamb)
  • Contains 3% fiber
  • Rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids
  • Contains pre and probiotics
  • Provides a highly nutritious holistic balanced diet
  • Contains no fillers, wheat, corn or soy
  • Contains no additional flavors, colors and preservatives
  • Sourced from natural ingredients which are slow-cooked to maintain their flavor and nutritional value
  • Suitable for all dog life stages

Cons

  • Price mark is a bit on the higher side

Blackwood Dry Dog Food is highly recommended due to the selection of high quality slow-cooked ingredients that not only offer a balanced diet promotes digestion and immunity.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HK1MIIO

8. Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Iams Proactive Health Sensitive

Iams Proactive Health Sensitive is formulated for dogs with sensitive skin and stomach containing farm-grown chicken as the first ingredient and farm-grown vegetables.

Key Features

  • Available in three sizes; 4lb, 10.3 lb, and 19lb
  • Farm grown chicken as the 1st ingredient
  • Farm grown vegetables
  • Contains no corn, wheat or soy
  • No artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • No chicken by-product meal
  • Contains a balanced ratio of omega 6 and 3 essential fatty acids
  • Has crunchy kibbles

Chicken provides easily digestible high quality protein which helps in the growth of lean muscle while peas are a rich source of carbohydrates essential for energy metabolism.

Omega 6 fatty acids help to relieve skin allergies by promoting healthy growth of the skin and lustrous hair coat while omega 3 fatty acids help to boost immunity, prevent the occurrence of heart diseases and promote joint health.

It also contains no chicken by-product meals, fillers, soy and wheat which are known to cause skin allergies. The crunchy kibbles help in teeth cleaning preventing the occurrence of gum disease.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Farm grown chicken / salmon as the 1st ingredients
  • Contains a balanced ratio of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids
  • No fillers, wheat soy, artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Comes in various flavors
  • Rich in carbohydrates derived from farm-grown peas

Cons

  • Not available for small breed dogs
  • Large kibble size
  • Can cause flatulence

Not only is Iams Proactive food affordable, it contains easily digestible ingredients that are also nutritious, boost immunity, skin, and hair health and healthy joint and bone health.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078HD6Y4D

9. Wellness Simple Small Breed

Wellness Simple Small Breed

Wellness Simple Small Breed is limited ingredient dry dog food formulated for small breed dog providing a balanced diet and highly nutritious.

Key Features

  • Formulated for small breed dogs
  • Contains limited all natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains chondrotin and glucosamine
  • Grain-free and contains no meat by products
  • No dairy or eggs
  • No artificial flavors, preservatives and fillers
  • Contains natural pre and probiotics
  • Contains flax seeds a rich source of essential fatty acids
  • Salmon as the first ingredient
  • Contains potatoes which are a source of easily digestible carbohydrates
  • Comes in various sizes

Salmon provides an easily digestible high quality protein that helps in the growth and repair of lean muscle. It’s also rich in vitamin, minerals and omega fatty acids. Potatoes on the other provide a source of carbohydrates that is also easily digestible essential for energy metabolism.

Flax seeds provide Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help in healthy growth of skin and hair, joint and bone health and boost immunity. Pre and probiotics derived from chicory root help to maintain healthy bacteria in the gut which aid in digestion.

Pros

  • Formulated for small breed dogs
  • Contains salmon as the 1st ingredient a rich source of protein, omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals
  • Contains potatoes a rich source in easily digestible carbohydrates
  • Contains pre and probiotics
  • Contains no fillers, wheat, soy, dairy and eggs which are common sources of allergens and food intolerances

Cons

  • Available for only small breed dogs
  • Relatively expensive

Wellness Simple Small Breed food is derived from natural ingredients that promote digestion and prevent skin allergies as well.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V36WBIE

10. Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food

Holistic Natural Dry Dog Food is an all-natural food formulated for adult dogs from premium ingredients in dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Key Features

  • Lamb is the 1st ingredient
  • Contains pre and probiotics as well as live yoghurt cultures
  • Contains digestive enzymes
  • Contains natural fiber
  •  Contains natural ingredients especially fruits and veggies and antioxidant rich superfoods
  • Formulated for adult dogs only
  • Contains no meat or poultry by-products
  • Comes in three sizes; 4lb, 15lb and 30lb

Lamb is a rich source of high quality easily digestible protein which promotes growth and repair of muscle. Flax seeds also one of the ingredients is a superfood rich in antioxidant s such as Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which not only promote cell health but also joint health, boost immunity and skin and a lustrous haircoat.

The digestive enzymes promote digestion while pre and probiotics together with yoghurt live culture maintain good bacteria in the gut which promotes digestion. Fiber helps in bowel movement relieving diarrhea and constipation.

Pros

  • All ingredients are natural and premium providing a holistic and balanced diet
  •  Contains easily digestible proteins
  • Has potato-free carbohydrates that are also easily digestible
  • Contains antioxidants such as Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Contains no fillers, preservative and artificial colors and flavors

Cons

  • Formulated for adult dogs only

Holistic Natural Dry Dog Food is made from natural ingredients and enriched with live cultures and pre and probiotics and digestive enzymes work synergistically to promote digestion of food.

buy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003M5XJ6C

Why Do Dogs Get Sensitive Stomachs?

Diet

This ranges from their normal diet to treats, table scraps to garbage. Food high in fats take longer to digest compared to proteins which irritate the gut leading to indigestion. Dogs can also have food allergies and intolerances which can also lead to stomach upsets and vomiting e.g. milk. Commercial foods made from low-quality ingredients, fillers, preservatives, and artificial flavors are also causes of stomach upsets in dogs.

It’s always a good idea to interrogate the foods that your dog has access to in a bid to zero in on the cause and eliminate it. Highly digestible foods rich in fiber and low in fats come in handy when dealing with bowel problems.

A sudden change in diet can also cause digestive disturbances. A new diet should be introduced slowly over time to allow the gut to adjust slowly.

Stress

A change in environment, bringing in new pets at home, separation anxiety or nervousness can cause stress in a dog which may affect his digestive system leading to them having a sensitive stomach.

Eating too fast or exercise immediately after feeding can cause a dog to vomit and take in a lot of air which can lead to bloat and flatulence.

Underlying health conditions

Worms, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease syndrome, hemorrhagic gastritis, bacterial infections such as salmonellosis interfere with the stomach and intestinal lining leading to diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, and vomiting.

Toxins and medication

Poisonous substances such as organophosphates and long term use on non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to inflammation of the stomach.

Genetics

Some dogs are genetically predisposed to having sensitive stomachs. Dog breeds such as Great Dane, Yorkshire terrier, German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers among others are highly susceptible.

Signs and symptoms

• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Flatulence
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Excess salivation
• Nausea

Treatment Methods

Treatment of stomach upsets in dogs depends on the cause following physical and laboratory tests by your veterinarian. In the case of an underlying health condition treatment should be instituted as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the digestive tract. Medication to stop vomiting and nausea can also be administered at this point. Dewormers are also prescribed if identified as the culprit.

Diet forms a major part of management in such cases. A low fat, high protein bland diet goes a long way with an irritated gut as it is easily digestible. High fiber diets help to bulk up the stool relieving constipation and diarrhea.

Probiotics help to maintain healthy bacteria in the gut which help in digestion and fight of the bad bacteria. Dietary supplements also help to reinstate the gut back to its normal state.
When introducing a new diet, it is worthwhile to do so gradually over time to allow the stomach to adjust well to the new diet.

Bottom Line

Dogs with sensitive stomachs require foods made from easily digestible high-quality ingredients that foster digestion and have no potential of causing food intolerances or allergies such as fillers, wheat, corn soy, dairy and meat, and poultry by-product meals among others. It’s also wise to select foods that contain additional ingredients that are beneficial to your dog digestive systems such as fiber, pre and probiotics, live cultures and antioxidants.

Kibbles are preferred to wet foods as they not only clean teeth preventing gum diseases but keep away harmful bacteria and preservatives that can be harmful to your dog’s health. The above offers a variety of choices to choose depending on the lifestyle and health of your pet. It’s also wise to talk with your veterinarian on best food type for your pet especially if he or she has other health conditions that may be aggravated by the ingredients.

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