Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach 2019 – Top 10

Best Dog Food For A Sensitive Stomach

Is your dog experiencing any of the following symptoms?

    • Diarrhea
    • Loose stool
    • Occasional vomiting
    • Excessive flatulence
  • Bloating

These are all signs that your dog may have a sensitive stomach.

Some dogs, similar to humans, have unique food requirements needed to maintain proper digestive function and health.

This is why we have reviewed a list of the best dog food for sensitive stomach symptoms.

Note: If your dog experiences any of the above symptoms on a regular basis you should have your dog examined by a veterinarian. A vet can help determine if your dog has a more serious health issue.

Top 10 Sensitive Stomach Dog Foods

Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach Reviews

We have analyzed each of the following sensitive dog food brands and their ingredients to help detail how each one may be able to benefit your dog’s sensitive stomach.

1. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet 

This dog food gets the number one spot for good reason.

It provides all the nutrients your dog needs while excluding ingredients that are most likely to irritate your dog’s sensitive stomach.

This dog food is one of the best limited ingredient dry dog foods.

It has a higher natural meat protein content with only one animal protein and one vegetable source.

On top of that it’s also grain and gluten free and contains omegas and antioxidants.

What sets this dog food apart is that the kibble is coated in freeze dried raw ingredients.

Freeze drying raw ingredients allows them to maintain most of the nutrients that would be lost during the cooking process. More nutrients means less chance that your dog is missing what they need for optimum digestive health.

Out of all the dry dog foods that we’ve researched, Instinct had one of the highest meat protein contents on average.

The grain free recipe with turkey has 29% protein and 18% fat. Considering this is a limited ingredient dog food, it has above average protein and fat content.

This is great for your dog’s sensitive stomach because protein is the most easily digestible and essential nutrient for a dog. There is a good chance that your pup has been getting too many carbohydrates and not enough protein from their previous dog foods.

This food also contains montmorillonite clay, which is a natural source of minerals and has been reported to help dogs with digestion and diarrhea.

Pros

  • High natural protein content
  • Freeze dried raw ingredients
  • Limited ingredients
  • Grain and Gluten free

Cons

  • Some people have complained about recipe changes

2. Wellness CORE 

 This is one of the higher quality and more protein based dog foods you will come across.

By feeding your dog a high quality protein based dog food there is less chance that your dog’s sensitive stomach will be irritated.

A protein based diet is simply the most natural and easily digestible for your furry friend. As stated by Wellness, “CORE recipes are crafted based on the nutritional philosophy that dogs, based on their primal ancestry, thrive on a natural diet mainly comprised of meat.”

This dog food offers a great variety that includes: original turkey and chicken, ocean whitefish herring and salmon, wild game, reduced fat, puppy, and large breed and small breed.

It is grain free and contains no wheat, soy, corn or meat by-products. Also, glucosamine and chondroitin are two added supplements which are beneficial for your dog’s cartilage and joints.

Pros

  • High natural protein content
  • Wide variety of recipes
  • Grain, wheat, soy, and corn free
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin

Cons

  • May not be simple enough for some dogs with sensitive stomachs

3. Wellness Simple 

This food  is specifically formulated to be a sensitive stomach dog food. It manages to be one of the best limited ingredient dry dog foods, while still providing essential nutrients.

By feeding your dog limited ingredients you can more easily manage what your dog eats and potentially find which ingredients irritate your dog’s stomach.

Potatoes and oatmeal are used as primary carbohydrates. These contain soluble fibers that help digestion.

There are also prebiotic fiber and probiotics included to make the food more digestible.

It has 12% fat which is less than many other dog foods. While fats are essential, too much fat can be an irritant for your dog’s stomach.

Wellness Simple comes in several varieties: duck and oatmeal, lamb and oatmeal, salmon and potato, turkey and potato, as well as healthy weight salmon and peas.

This is beneficial if you feel changing your dog’s protein or carbohydrate source may reduce the irritation of their sensitive stomach.

This food is grain and gluten free, contains no soy, corn, and wheat. It also contains only named-meats and no meat by-products.

Pros

  • Limited ingredients
  • Beneficial Fiber
  • Less Fat
  • Grain and Gluten Free

Cons

  • No varieties for puppies or older dogs

4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet

The limited ingredient recipe has a single source of animal protein and easily digestible carbohydrates, without grain, corn or gluten ingredients.

We examined the real turkey and sweet potato recipe. Deboned turkey is the first ingredient. The second ingredient is turkey meal which actually has more nutritional value than plain turkey. .

The third and fourth ingredients are sweet potatoes and peas. These are easily digestible carbohydrates and great sources of soluble fiber that can aid in digestion.

Organic alfalfa is a notable and unique ingredient. It’s full of vitamins and nutrients but is more commonly used as livestock feed.

Sunflower oil is another notable ingredient that provides fat, vitamin E, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Pros

  • Single protein source
  • Limited ingredients
  • Simple and easily digestible carbohydrates
  • Organic Alfalfa

Cons

  • Difficult to know quality of turkey meal

5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain

Zero Grain is a dog food with vitamins and chelated minerals that doesn’t contain any grains, glutens, fillers or artificial ingredients.

This makes it a more friendly sensitive stomach dog food for your pet.

Turkey is the first ingredient. It’s an easily digestible protein that provides essential nutrients to help maintain healthy organs and lean muscle mass.

It’s a protein that has traditionally been less common in dog foods and is less likely to upset your dog’s sensitive stomach.

The second and third ingredients are turkey meal and chicken meal.

“Meals” are actually meat concentrates and contain more protein than the original protein source. As with any ingredient it’s the quality of the ingredients that go into the meal that’s the true concern.  

Dried peas are the fourth ingredient and are a great natural carbohydrate source that’s full of fiber and plant-based protein. They’re also naturally gluten free and easily digestible.

Chicken fat is a natural source of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help support your dog’s skin and coat.

Many people have left positive reviews of this dog food claiming that it has helped their dog’s sensitive stomach and allergies.

Pros

  • First three ingredients are animal proteins
  • Dried peas are a healthy carbohydrate source
  • Grain and gluten free

Cons

  • Dried plain beet pulp is in the first ten ingredients

6. NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS

What sets this brand apart is that it prides itself on using Non-GMO ingredients.

They use no meat by-products and no artificial colors or preservatives. There is also no corn, wheat, or soy protein.

This dog food features real salmon as the first main ingredient followed by a blend of whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

It contains whole brown rice and sweet potato which provide natural fiber to promote healthy digestion.

There are also essential antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, for a healthy immune system, in addition to other vitamins, minerals and nutrients. These dog foods include Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids which promote healthy skin and coat.

Pros

  • Non-GMO Ingredients
  • Easily digestible fiber
  • Antioxidants and Omegas
  • No corn, wheat, or soy protein
  • Many people have reported that it has helped their dog’s sensitive stomach

Cons

  • Not grain free

7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited-Ingredient

Some dogs may be sensitive to some of the ingredients used in traditional pet foods, in that case, less may be more.

 This is a healthy, limited-ingredient dog food formulated specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs while also maximizing the nutritional value that your dog will receive.

Blue Buffalo Basics offers a large selection of sensitive stomach dog foods.

Some of these include duck, lamb, turkey, and salmon. They are all grain free and also available in non grain free varieties. They are made without corn, wheat, dairy, soy or eggs.

Potato, pea fiber, pumpkin, and oatmeal are used as carbohydrate sources which contain soluble fiber that aid in digestion.

This dog food also contains no meat by-products and only a single protein source.

Within the dog food are pieces of kibble that are called Blue LifeSource Bits. Blue Buffalo states that they “are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists that support:

    • Immune system health
    • Life stage requirements
  • Healthy oxidative balance

Blue Buffalo also states, “LifeSource Bits are “cold-formed” to help retain the potency of their ingredients. This means that we minimize the amount of heat that LifeSource Bits are exposed to during the manufacturing process.”

Pros

  • Limited Ingredients
  • Large selection
  • Grain free
  • Easily Digestible Fiber
  • Contains no soy, corn, wheat, dairy, or eggs

Cons

  • Contains less protein and fat than many top brands.

8. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

Keeping track of what is in your dog’s diet is essential when dealing with a sensitive stomach.

This dog food offers a limited ingredient diet to systematically specify your dog’s protein and carbohydrate source.

Sweet potatoes are the first ingredient and the primary carbohydrate source. They are an easily digestible source of energy that contains potassium.

However, having a carbohydrate rather than a protein listed as the first ingredient can be of concern to some dog owners.

This dog food has a lower protein and fat percentage than other top dog foods. Protein and fat are essential, but lower amounts of  fat can be helpful for dog’s that have trouble digesting it.

Several customer reviews have reported that this food has helped with their dog’s sensitive stomach and food allergies.

Pros

  • Limited Ingredients
  • Easily digestible carbohydrate source
  • Low fat
  • Grain free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Cons

  • Protein’s not the first listed ingredient

9. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6

This is a limited ingredient dog food made with six main ingredients in addition to vitamins and chelated minerals.

It has no poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy and no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.

The first ingredient is Lamb meal which is sourced from New Zealand and Australia. It’s an easily digestible protein that contains B vitamins and essential amino acids.

Brown rice is the second ingredient. It’s a carbohydrate source containing B vitamins and fiber.

However, brown rice has insoluble fiber which stimulates and activates the digestive process. This may not be the best for a dog that already has issues with diarrhea.  

Ground rice, also known as rice flower, is the third ingredient and mostly a filler.

The fourth ingredient is dried plain beet pulp. This is a good source of soluble fiber and prebiotics, which both help maintain healthy digestion.

Natural chicken flavor and poultry fat are the fifth and sixth ingredients. Poultry fat has omega-6 fatty acid which is essential for life. However, “poultry fat” is a generic term and it is impossible to determine the quality of that ingredient.

There are mostly positive customer reviews for this sensitive stomach dog food. Many people report that their dogs love this food.

Pros

  • Limited ingredients
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • Gluten free
  • Positive reviews
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not grain free
  • Contains “poultry fat”
  • No variety

10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Most dog foods are not made with your dog’s sensitive stomach in mind. This dog food, however, is made for exactly that.

It provides balanced nutrition without artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which have a tendency to cause stomach irritation.

There is a blend of antioxidants with vitamin C and E to support your dog’s immune system.  There are also omega-6 fatty acids combined with vitamin E promote healthy skin and a glossy coat.  

It’s worth noting that brewers rice is the first ingredient as opposed to a protein.

The main meat protein source is also chicken meal. Chicken meal, being a meat concentrate, has more protein than fresh chicken.

Pros

  • Formulated for sensitive stomachs
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-6

Cons

  • Protein is not the first ingredient
  • No variety

What Causes A Sensitive Stomach?

Your dog’s symptoms and sensitive stomach are most likely caused from either an ingredient they are having  trouble digesting or a lack of certain nutrients in their diet.

The Problem May Be…

Proteins: your dog may be able to digest certain proteins, while others may upset their stomach. For example, switching your dog from a beef-based diet to a fish-based diet may help.

Too much fat in your dog’s diet is difficult to digest and may put excess strain on their digestive system.

Insoluble fibers, such as wheat or whole grains, stimulate the digestive process which may cause diarrhea or loose stools.

“Some dogs cannot handle a lot of variety in their diet or withstand ingredients that make their digestive systems work a little harder than normal.” – Dr. Jennifer Coates, PetMD

Your Dog May Be Lacking…

ProteinFatsCarbohydratesVitamins and Minerals

Proteins contain amino acids which are building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies. They are needed for your dog’s maintenance, growth, reproduction and repair.

Sources of protein include animal products and meats like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, fish, dairy, and eggs. These contain complete amino acids which are all that a dog requires.

There are also incomplete amino acids which come in the form of vegetables and grains.

Fats are your dog’s primary source of energy and contain more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates.

Fats are necessary for cell structure, production of certain hormones, brain and nerve tissues, as well as absorption and use of particular vitamins.

An essential fatty acid deficiency can cause skin problems and reduced growth. 

Some sources of fats are fish oils, sunflower oil, and chicken fat.

Carbohydrates are another main source of energy. Your dog’s body converts carbohydrates into glucose.

There is no minimum requirement for carbohydrates, however there’s a minimum glucose requirement needed for proper brain and critical organ function.

Fibers are a type of carbohydrate. Soluble fibers can help with diarrhea by absorbing excess fluid in the intestines.

Examples of soluble fibers are oats, barley, beans, citrus fruits, apples,beet pulp, and sweet potatoes.

Most vitamins cannot be created in the body and are essential to have in your dog’s diet. Minerals also cannot be created in the body and must be included in a diet.

As long as your dog’s food is labeled “complete and balanced” it should have all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Know What Your Dog is Eating

In order to determine what foods your dog’s digestive system does not tolerate you should carefully monitor what your dog is eating and be sure that they aren’t receiving table scraps, getting into the garbage, or sneaking into the doggy treat stash.

“If you suspect that your dog might have a sensitive stomach, the first thing to do is to simplify his diet. Cut out all the extras — no table scraps, limit yourself to giving just one type of highly digestible treat (or even better, use his regular food as a treat), and make sure he’s not getting into anything that he shouldn’t be (e.g., the garbage).” – Dr. Jennifer Coates, PetMD

Final Words: Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach

When it comes down to it, it’s difficult to see your dog suffer from a sensitive stomach.

It’s most likely something they are eating and can’t tolerate or something they are lacking in their diet. We hope that our list of the best dog food for sensitive stomach will help you find the perfect food to help your pup.

If you decide to try or have tried any of these dog foods with your dog we would love to hear from you in the comments.

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