Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach Vomiting Feature Image

What’s The Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach? Reviews & Buyer’s 2020 Guide

Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach Vomiting Feature Image

Like us humans, our pets can experience sensitive stomachs. Worrying that your dog isn’t eating well is one of the most common concerns among dog owners. If you find that your dog is struggling to stop eating or isn’t eating the right amount, it’s time to consider other options. Switching to one of the best dog foods for a sensitive stomach can make a huge difference for your dog’s health and happiness.

Although the best dog food for sensitive stomach options are formulated to contain less of the ingredients dogs have trouble digesting, they can vary significantly. Make sure to choose a special meal for your dog with stomach problems.

With so many dog foods for sensitive stomach currently available on the market, you may find it hard to choose one for your pooch. If your pooch has sensitivities, our review of the best dog food for allergies will help you to make a good choice.

If you already know the cause of your dog’s sensitive stomach, then you already know what you need to look out for. If not, then keep reading as we’ll explain some of the most common causes and telltale signs of sensitivities in dogs later on. If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the best food for sensitive stomach, here are our top choices. 

PRODUCT / PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

Editors Choice is Purina Pro Plan Focus

1. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach - Salmon & Rice Formula

  • Contains real meat as its key ingredient
  • Comes in different dry food formulas for various dog breeds
  • Contains zinc, omega 3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Supports bones, joints, and mobility
  • Contains powerful antioxidants that help to boost the immune system
Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Skin

2. Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, Adult - Chicken Recipe

  • Contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to improve digestion
  • Contains powerful antioxidants that offer some amazing health benefits
  • Includes fruits and vegetables to enhance taste and provide a balanced meal
  • Contains vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids to improve coat health
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal

3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

  • Highly digestible and ideal for all dog breeds
  • Includes fish oil to minimize gastric problem
  • Includes proteins and prebiotics
  • Low-fat formula for dogs that struggle to digest fat

Our 10 Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

Now that you know the key features of our top 3 editor’s choice of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs, let’s take a look at all our recommended products in more details.

1. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach - Salmon & Rice Formula

Editors Choice is Purina Pro Plan Focus

If you’re looking for a limited ingredient dog food for sensitive stomachs that won’t break the bank, you should take a look at Purina Pro Plan FOCUS formula. For less than $40 for a 16 pounds bag, this product from Purina is one of the most affordable to help sensitive conditions currently available on the market.

The key ingredient is salmon. Most pups with food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities tolerate fish-based foods, and salmon is particularly easy to digest. Although this product is not grain-free, it contains no wheat or corn. Moreover, it has a very short ingredient list – a key feature of the best foods for dogs with allergies.

Please note that this food also contains fish meal. So if your dog doesn’t tolerate any kind of fish, make sure to choose another type of food in this review.

PROS

  • Salmon is the main ingredient
  • Contains no corn or wheat
  • Highly affordable

CONS

  • Include three types of grains
  • Contains unspecified types of fish

2. Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, Adult - Chicken Recipe

Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Skin

Hill’s is recognized for providing dogs with excellent dog foods. Luckily for dog owners, it also offers a unique formula for dogs with sensitivities. This recipe was created by more than 220 vets, nutritionists, and food scientists who are highly knowledgeable in canine health needs.

The ingredients are of great quality and easy to digest. The formula contains probiotics to help boost your pup’s digestive system. This allows your dog to absorb all the key nutrients he requires. It also contains omega 6 and 3 fatty acids, which help to give your dog’s coat a smooth and glossy look.

PROS

  • 100 percent natural ingredients
  • Includes sources of prebiotic fiber
  • Supports a healthy coat
  • 100% money back guarantee

CONS

  • The main ingredient is not animal-derived
  • Low protein content

3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal

Royal Canin gastrointestinal dog food is a low-fat recipe for dogs with sensitivities. Since pancreatitis is a major cause of tummy upsets, this low-fat formula will also address the underlying problem.

It consists of highly digestible proteins. The high carb content in this dog food for sensitive stomachs also ensures your pooch gets the energy he requires. In addition, this dog food also includes chelated minerals. This allows all the essential nutrients to be quickly absorbed by the pup’s digestive system.

PROS

  • Low fat diet
  • Vegetarian
  • Ideal for weight management
  • Low fiber content

CONS

  • Quite expensive
  • Might not be ideal for all dogs

4. Wellness Simple Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet - Turkey & Potato Formula

Wellness Simple Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diets

Fourth on the list of the best food for dogs with allergies is a well-known brand, Wellness. This company has come up with high quality, grain-free food that is specifically designed for canines with tummy conditions.

The key ingredients are ground rice and salmon. It is a limited ingredient dog meal that is made for any adult canine that is vulnerable to sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances to some foods.

Another great thing about this limited ingredient dog formula is that it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or fillers. So you can rest easy knowing that your furry friend is getting high quality food that is free of chemicals.

PROS

  • Limited ingredient formula
  • No filler or preservatives
  • No corn or wheat
  • Gluten free

CONS

  • Includes certain types of grains
  • The main ingredient is not animal proteins

5. Blue Buffalo Basics Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet - Turkey & Potato Recipe

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diets

This limited ingredient product is made from ingredients that have been carefully selected, so it can be a great choice for dogs with tummy conditions. It also includes antioxidants as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help to keep your dog’s coat and fur smooth and shiny.

This company is based in the United States and it makes premium quality foods featuring real meat, fruits, and vegetables. This includes deboned turkey as one of their main protein sources – along with potato protein, pea protein, and pumpkin as their fiber-rich carbs for a balanced protein meal.

PROS

  • Single source of animal protein
  • Improves oxidative balance
  • No beef or chicken
  • No corn
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Includes DHA

CONS

  • Not a limited ingredient product
  • May also inlcude certain types of grains

6. Iams Proactive Health Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Peas

Iams Proactive Health Grain Free Recipe With RealChicken Peas

This food from Iams Proactive Health is a mix of vegetables and fine protein sources such as real chicken meal and peas. It doesn’t contain corn, soy, or wheat, so it is ideal for dogs with grain sensitivities.

Moreover, it helps to minimize the buildup of plaque, which causes bad breath. This is because it comes in crunchy kibbles that help to brush your pup’s teeth with every bite.

PROS

  • Contains no preservatives
  • Includes beneficial supplements
  • Its key ingredient is animal protein
  • Minimizes the buildup of plaque

CONS

  • Protein content may be low for some pups

7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials - Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

Nutro Wholesome Essentials

Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a trusted brand, and people with sensitive pets are raving about this recipe. It includes a shortlist of essential ingredients to ensure a complete and well-balanced meal.

High-quality protein source is the first ingredient. It also contains antioxidants to help boost immunity; natural fibers to boost digestion, and omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to ensure a healthy and shiny coat.

PROS

  • Made in the USA
  • Does not contain any artificial ingredient
  • Real meal is the main source of protein
  • More affordable than most premium brands

CONS

  • May also contain imported ingredients

8. Purina One SmartBlend Sensitive Systems Formula for Adult Dogs

Purina One SmartBlend

This unique formula for dogs with sensitive stomachs is intended to relieve every dog’s digestive and gastrointestinal problems. The main ingredient is salmon, which provides your pooch with the protein that he needs to thrive.

The recipe is enriched with antioxidants that boost immunity. It also contains quality sources of glucosamine, which help to support the canine’s skeletal system.

PROS

  • Easily digestible
  • Crunchy kibble
  • 100% balanced and complete diet
  • Supports gums and teeth

CONS

  • Not grain-free

9. Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula for Adult Dogs

Diamond Care

This is another antioxidant-rich dog food that is made with highly digestible proteins, probiotics, and fiber to boost digestion. The product uses potato and egg protein that is easily digestible. It also contains prebiotic fiber, chicken fat, and probiotics to keep your pup’s gastrointestinal tract healthy.

This dog food has a balanced combination of vitamins, and omega fatty acids to help support the health and overall wellbeing of your pup. It contains no artificial colors or flavors. It is made in the United States and uses high quality ingredients.

PROS

  • Easy to digest protein
  • Contains probiotic sources
  • Owners say that their pups thrive on this food
  • It is highly effective for pups with food sensitivities
  • Supports a dog’s gastrointestinal system

CONS

  • Contains no source of animal protein

10. Nutro Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet - Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe

Nutro Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Nutro offers a 100 percent natural recipe for canines with digestive issues. It has a limited ingredient recipe, so your pup will be less exposed to questionable food items. The first ingredient is an authentic lamb from New Zealand and Australia.

It also includes brown rice, which is a major energy source. It is also highly digestible and helps to soothe your pup’s intestines. Moreover, it contains powerful antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which help to support the immune system.

PROS

  • Improves coat appearance
  • Includes zinc
  • No soy, corn or wheat
  • Gluten free

CONS

  • Not 100% grain-free

Brown mutt feeling uncomfortable due to tummy troubles

How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Sensitive Stomach?

So how can you know if your dog has a sensitive stomach? Well, pups with digestion issues will show some common signs and symptoms. The most common sign is, of course, upset tummy. While other common signs include:

  • Flatulence
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Loose stool
  • Reduced appetite

Those that show serious symptoms will certainly require immediate attention. These include fever, lethargy, dehydration, and inactivity.

Doggy waiting for the best limited ingredient sensitive stomach dog foods at the table

4 Causes Of Sensitive Stomach in Dogs

There are many different causes of a sensitive tummy in dogs, so you need to do your homework to know what is causing them discomfort. However, it’s important to note that it may be difficult or even impossible to conclusively determine the underlying issue. 

In such cases, it’s important to find foods that your pooch will digest easily. Here are a few reasons for tummy sensitivities in dogs:

  1. They cannot digest some of the fat or proteins in the food
  2. They are allergic to the proteins in the food
  3. They cannot digest some of the ingredients in the food
  4. They are emotionally distressed [1]

You should consult your veterinarian before transitioning to foods for dogs with stomach issues.

Golden retriever eating the best limited ingredient dry dog foods for sensitive condition

Important Features to Consider

To purchase foods for dogs with sensitivities, you should check the labels and ingredients first. Ingredient lists are sometimes confusing and manufacturers are not compelled to explain everything to you.

Here are some important features to consider when choosing food for sensitive stomach dog:

Grain-Free Food

Some pups are allergic to grains. They are sometimes unable to digest some ingredients, which leads to tummy issues. In such cases, you choose grain-free food. Grain-free food also helps to reduce your pup’s farting tendencies. It also helps to maintain the health of your pet’s coat.

Gluten-Free Food

Some dogs may be allergic to gluten, which means you should give them gluten-free food. And if your canine has a health issue like celiac disease, it’s important to choose gluten-free food.

No Soy Products

Some dogs tend to be allergic to soy. So read the product label carefully to ensure there is no soy in the ingredient lists. You can tell if the product contains soy if any of the following are mentioned:

  • Soy flour
  • Soy grits
  • Soy isoflavones
  • Soy protein
  • Soybean oil
  • Soybean germ meal

A sign of food sensitive bulldog breeds with GI

And if you find any of the following ingredients, chances are soy is present:

  • Vegetable Broth
  • Vegetable protein
  • Lecithin
  • Tofu
  • TSF
  • Natural flavoring
  • Guar gum

Highly Digestible Food

If your pup has sensitivities, make sure to choose food that contains highly digestible proteins and carbohydrates. Highly digestive food includes brewers rice, whole grains, oats, potatoes, chicken meal, and lamb meal.

100% Natural Ingredients

The best sensitive puppy food has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Opt for products containing all-natural ingredients and with a “Non-GMO” label.

A Short Ingredient List

The best foods have a short ingredient list. Limited ingredients food contains quality ingredients with all the correct amounts of nutrients. If your pup’s food has numerous ingredients, chances are one of the ingredients will be bad for them.

Complete and Balanced Diet

Opt for foods with the ‘completed and balanced’ label. This seal shows that the food contains the necessary ingredients in the right amounts for a healthy and well balanced diet.

Only Quality Ingredients

High quality dog foods contain real meat and fewer types of fillers. Low quality food can elevate the risk of upsetting your pet’s tummy.

The ingestion of dairy meals in pooches with stomach sensitivity problems may cause diarrhea

Ingredients to Avoid

Of course, individual dogs react differently to different ingredients. Here are some that you should avoid if your beloved pet has a sensitive stomach.

Grains – These include corn, wheat, and other cereals that are often included in dog foods. If your pup has a sensitive stomach, it’s important to avoid them.

Soy – As previously mentioned, it’s important to choose no soy foods for your pet. The presence of soy products in dog food can lead to diarrhea.

Selected Proteins – Your dog’s diet should also be rich in protein. However, some dogs may be unable to digest some proteins. Generally, lamb meal and chicken meal are good options for dogs with food sensitivities. You can also consider other sources of protein, including salmon and turkey.

Other ingredients that you should stay away from if your dog has a sensitive stomach include:

  • (Too much) fats and oils
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Garlic, onions, and chives
  • Raw meat, bones, and eggs
  • Salty snacks like popcorn, pretzels or chips

Digestibility in pumpkins could be one of the best food options for your little pal

4 Tips To Safely Transition Dog Food

Here are some helpful tips on how to safely make the switch to a different food product:

1. The Change Should Be Made Gradually

To allow your pooch to get used to the new food product. You should mix the new food with a larger amount of the present food first. You should keep the ration consistent for the next few days.

2. Decrease The Amounts

It’s best to reduce your pet’s portions to avoid problems like vomiting, loose stools, and weight gain. As always, you should follow the directions in the label or talk to your veterinarian first.

3. Measure Accurately

When serving food to your canine, make sure to measure properly. This will ensure that your canine companion is getting the correct amount and avoid overfeeding.

4. Use Digestion Aids

As previously mentioned, some ingredients are good for your pet’s digestive system. While changing your dog’s diet, use digestive aids. You can use food with probiotics or ingredients such as pumpkin and fiber sources to improve the absorption.

Experts recommend the following schedule when transitioning dogs to new food:

  • Day 1 and 2: Give your dog 80% of his old food with 20% new food
  • Day 3 and 4: Give your dog 60% of his old food with 40% new food
  • Day 5 and 6: Give your dog 40% of his old food with around 60% new food
  • Day 7, 8 and 9: Give your dog 20% of his old food with up to 80% new food
  • Day 10: Give your dog 100% new food

Consider the best sensitive stomach dog food with prescription diets for your little beagle

Frequently Asked Questions

Is grain free dog food better for sensitive stomach?

Yes, grain free dog food is better for sensitive stomachs because it has a higher protein and meat content, lower carbohydrates, and easily digestible fats than regular food with grains. Grain-free food is designed to aid puppies with sensitivities, food allergy, and obesity.

Is raw food good for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

No, raw food is not good for dogs with sensitive stomachs. A sensitive tummy implies that your pet’s immunity has already been compromised. Raw meats can be dangerous for your canine friend since they have a lot of bacteria. Cooking your dog’s food can help kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. You should avoid feeding any raw foods to your dog to protect them.

How to put weight on a dog with sensitive stomach?

To put weight on a dog with sensitive stomach, start by using natural and unsweetened foods to support their gut bacteria. Also, avoid overfeeding your puppy and space their feeding schedule while increasing the amount of food whenever your dog eats.

Dry food packing includes some excellent meal plans for pups, so you should try and follow them. If your pup is behind in putting on weight, then try mixing its food with wet dog food to help him catch up.

Conclusion

The number of foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs is ever-growing. This is great for dogs with sensitivities but bear in mind that different foods are created differently.

The above products are included in our review of the best dog food for sensitive stomach because of their high quality and highly digestible ingredients. Unlike many other sensitive digestion dog food brands currently available on the market, these foods have limited ingredients while maintaining their nutritional value.

If you decide to switch your little pal to any of the above foods, be sure to transition them gradually off their previous food to avoid upset stomachs.

Editors Choice is Purina Pro Plan Focus

Editor's Choice

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach - Salmon & Rice Formula

  • Contains real meat as its key ingredient
  • Comes in different dry food formulas for various dog breeds
  • Contains zinc, omega 3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Supports bones, joints, and mobility
  • Contains powerful antioxidants that help to boost the immune system