Dog Food for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs

If you dog has a sensitive stomach, finding the right food for him can be difficult. Some digestive issues in dogs can be controlled with a simple food change, while others may need a visit to the veterinarian for a diagnosis.

If you are facing a food intolerance or allergy, a diet change can be a simple solution. Make sure you choose dog food that does not contain ingredients that will irritate his stomach further or cause an allergic reaction. Here are a few tips and tricks to help find the best dog food for sensitive stomachs for your pet.

Before we get into the big retail brands of dog food, it’s important to share with you the best overall brand for dog food:  HungryBark.com.

We find that their approach to wellness, overall health, digestion, joint pain, coat, and more, is second to none.  We urge you to read their story and learn how you can enter in your dog’s needs on their custom “Pup Quiz”, and instantly receive a recommendation as to which dog food blend will be best for your dog.

No matter what size dog you have, or what your dog’s needs are, the best overall brand is HungryBark. While they are a boutique company that sells direct to consumer, their family-style corporate operation and very hands-on approach is the most refreshing in the industry.

Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomach Reviews

Ollie Dog Food

Featuring high-quality dog food that uses fresh vegetables and fruit, the Ollie Dog Food is human-grade, so it is good enough for a dog’s human to eat too. This food can be customized based on your pet’s allergies, activity level, and age.

Ollie Dog Food does not include preservatives, wheat, soy, corn, or any artificial ingredients. There is also very little processing when this food is made. It is all done in small batches at a low heat to help preserve the food’s nutrients.

Offering several recipes, Ollie Dog food allows to choose your food based on the proteins your dog prefers. Recipes can include lamb, chicken, beef, and turkey. All meat is sourced from Australia and the United States.

Features:

  • High-quality food with no preservatives, fillers, wheat, artificial ingredients, soy, or corn
  • It contains fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Meat sourced from Australia and the United States
  • Cooked in small batches with little processing
  • Money-back guarantee if your dog does not like it

Pros:

  • It has a great money-back guarantee, so it’s worth trying
  • This is a high-quality food that won’t irritate your dog’s stomach
  • It does not use fillers or preservatives

Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient

With all ingredients sourced from the United States, Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient dog food is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This is a more affordable brand than others on the market, which makes the transition to Wellness Simple easier on your wallet as well.

With this food, you get several flavors to choose from, but they all feature only one protein source. After eating Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient, dos will show fewer symptoms and have less diarrhea and vomiting. It will also help heal patchy and itching skin as well.

Features:

  • This food comes in several different flavors
  • It doesn’t contain wheat or gluten
  • It features a single protein source in each flavor
  • This food is more affordable than many other brands
  • It is great for dogs with a sensitive stomach and skin allergies

Pros:

  • It comes in several flavors, so you have a variety to choose from
  • There is only one protein source in each variety
  • It only uses natural ingredients and does not contain wheat or gluten

Cons:

  • It isn’t helpful for every dog’s stomach

Heed Foods

This prebiotic dog food will help to improve your pet’s stomach health. With a formula that is designed by experts, Heed Foods is good is easy to digest using a combination of nutrient-rich ingredients and prebiotics. You can also purchase customized freeze-dried toppers which you can mix and match for added novelty and variety.

There are two recipes that Heed Foods offers. There is a chicken recipe that is grain-inclusive using grains that include oat groats, brown rice and pearled barley, and a salmon recipe that is grain-free.

The main ingredients of Heed Foods are whole meat and meat meal. Along with the stomach boosting prebiotics, this high-quality dog food is made with 31 percent protein composition and does not include protein fillers like soy and pea protein.

Features:

  • There is a grain-free and grain inclusive option depending on your needs
  • It doesn’t include fillers like soy and pea protein
  • It contains prebiotics and nutrient-rich ingredients
  • You can purchase freeze-dried toppers for variety

Pros:

  • Owners have noticed an improvement in their dog’s stool after switching to this food
  • Either recipe has tons of protein and no mysterious ingredients
  • It contains prebiotics, which is great for your dog’s stomach

Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side

CANIDAE Dog Food

Made with premium ingredients, Canidae Dog Food doesn’t use a lot of those ingredients that can cause problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Created by veterinarians, this is easy to digest food that does not contain wheat, soy, or corn. The primary contents of its carbohydrates are bran, brown rice, and barley.

Helping your dog’s stomach work as it should, this food is fortified using probiotics. Perfect for dogs at any life stage, Canidae Dog food gets rid of the old tradition of transitioning to different foods as your dog ages. Including both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, this dog food will also help promote a good coat and support healthy joints.

Features:

  • It supports healthy joints and a good coat
  • This is a great food for sensitive stomachs that does not include wheat, soy, or corn
  • It uses high-quality ingredients like lamb and sunflower oil
  • You can use this food for any aged dog
  • It features Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids

Pros:

  • This is one of the highest quality dog foods on the market
  • It uses easy to digest carbohydrates and good sources of fat
  • Dogs like the taste and have improved stomachs after starting on this food

Cons:

  • It doesn’t work well on every dog’s stomach
  • This dog food uses some ingredients that don’t have a great percentage of protein composition

Natural Balanced LID Beef

Made with premium ingredients, Natural Balanced LID Beef is composed of 52 percent protein. Its first ingredient is beef, and it avoids those ingredients that can cause problems for dogs with sensitive stomachs. With its high fiber content, this dog food helps to support healthy digestion and is a great choice for a dog that can’t digest animal proteins like chicken easily.

Containing no fillers, grains, or chicken ingredients, Natural Balanced LID Beef has most of its carbohydrate contents come from chickpeas and peas. It also doesn’t include wheat, corn, soy, colors, and artificial flavors. With fewer ingredients, you have fewer ingredients that can upset your pet’s stomach.

Features:

  • Beef is the main source of protein
  • It doesn’t include chicken, grains, or fillers
  • It only has a few ingredients making it less likely to upset a dog’s stomach
  • It has a high fiber content

Pros:

  • This is a great choice for a dog that doesn’t process other animal proteins well
  • It has a high amount of beef in it
  • It does not contain fillers or artificial flavors

Cons:

  • Beef meal is the second ingredient

Nulo Freestyle Limited

GMO and grain-free, Nulo Freestyle Limited is made especially for dogs that have digestion issues. Using a single-animal protein source, this dog food uses deboned turkey and turkey meal as well as sweet potatoes and chickpeas. It does not use soy, eggs, corn, or wheat, so it’s a safe choice for dogs that have these common dog allergies.

Using less animal protein sources means that there is less likelihood that your dog’s stomach will be upset. This is also a good choice if you are trying an allergy elimination diet for your dog. Plus, Nulo Freestyle Limited has GanebenBC30 that helps to improve stomach health.

Featuring 30 percent crude protein, Nula also includes vital nutrients to give you dog a diet that is suitable for either an adult dog or puppy. Low in carbs, this dog food does not use tapioca or potatoes, but substitutes sweet potatoes and chickpeas. It also avoids using pea protein, peas, preservatives, and artificial colors.

Features:

  • It does not contain artificial colors or preservatives
  • This is a good choice if you are trying an elimination diet
  • It is safe for dogs that have common dog allergies
  • It uses a single-animal protein source

Pros:

  • It uses single animals source protein
  • This is a great choice for those eliminating allergens from a dog’s diet
  • It is low in carbs
  • It does not use artificial colors, preservatives, soy, wheat, eggs, or corn

Cons:

  • None

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited-Ingredient Dog Food

Formulated to provide a nutritious and balanced diet, Blue Buffalo Basics uses a limited amount of ingredients. This helps to prevent many of the issues that dogs suffer from when they have food allergies and sensitivities. Blue Buffalo Basics contains brown rice, oatmeal, and potatoes that are easy to digest if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

Featuring real salmon, Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Dog Food is a dog that is formulated for the well-being and health of your dog. It adds pumpkin to help aid with digestion and also includes both Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids to help improve your pet’s skin and coat. It does not contain preservatives, artificial flavors, eggs, beef, chicken, dairy, soy, wheat, or corn.

Features:

  • It contains ingredients easy for a dog with a sensitive stomach
  • There is a single-animal protein source
  • Pumpkin is added to aid with digestion
  • It includes Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for improved skin and coats
  • It does not include preservatives, artificial flavors, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, beef, or chicken

Pros:

  • This is a highly rated food
  • This food can help a dog have better stomach health and improve their coats
  • It can help to firm up your dog’s stools, which is great if they have a lot of diarrhea issues

Cons:

  • It does not include probiotics
  • It doesn’t help some dog’s sensitive stomach issues

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dog Food

Providing easy digestion, this dog food offers a complete and balanced nutritional diet. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dog Food features several high-value additives that ensure that your dog’s stomach can handle it without any issues. This dog food is a good source of prebiotic fiber that will support a balanced stomach microbiome in your adult dog.

Hill’s Science Diet helps to promote digestive health and also nourishes your dog’s skin. It is formulated for optimal nutrient absorption. This is a highly digestible dog food that is packed with Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E to give you dog healthy skin and a glossy coat.

Features:

  • It is fortified with amino acids, minerals, and vitamins to promote digestive function
  • This food contains antioxidants, which are clinically proven to have health benefits
  • It includes several fruits and vegetables to help improve the flavor and balance the food’s nutrition
  • There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Pros:

  • This food helps to alleviate issues with dog’s sensitive stomachs
  • It also helps to eliminate skin problems for some dogs
  • Dogs love the flavor, even pretty picky pets

Cons:

  • The primary protein source is chicken meal
  • It contains soybean oil and pea protein, which is a controversial ingredient for some people

Nutro Grain-Free Dog Food

Featuring a limited-ingredient diet, the Nutro Grain-Free Dog Good was created to be easy on a dog’s digestive tract. By minimizing possible food sensitivities, this bland dog food is easy for dogs to digest and uses sweet potato and lamb as its primary ingredients.

Offering large and small breed variations, the Nutro Grain-Free Dog food allows you to choose the best fit for your dog’s size and specific needs. Made with ten key ingredients or less, this dog food includes minerals, vitamins, and natural flavors. This is grain-free food that avoids ingredients that cause common food allergies and stomach issues.

Features:

  • Lamb is the main ingredient
  • It features a single-source animal protein
  • This food contains non-GMO ingredients and digestible proteins including lentils, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes
  • It does not contain grains, gluten, soy, corn, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors

Pros:

  • It has limited ingredients and no unnecessary additives
  • This is a great food for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • This food is something that most dogs can digest pretty well

Cons:

  • It’s on the expensive side

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach

Easy to digest and nutritionally balanced, Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach uses rice and real salmon that won’t upset your pet’s stomach. This is an affordable product that features real salmon as its first ingredient.

This stomach-friendly food uses prebiotic fiber that helps to promote digestive health as well as support your pet’s overall well-being. This product does not contain soy, corn, or wheat, which helps to guarantee its digestibility. It also does not use artificial flavors and dyes, but is formulated with antioxidants that help to ensure the right immune function for your dog.

Features:

  • The first ingredient is real salmon
  • It does not contain soy, wheat, or corn
  • This food does not contain artificial flavors or dyes
  • It is made with antioxidants that promote proper immune function

Pros:

  • It is really affordable when compared to other foods on the market
  • It helps to eliminate stomach issues for dogs
  • It does not contain artificial dyes or flavors

Cons:

  • It has a fishy smell to it
  • This food contains a few sub-standard ingredients

Considerations When Choosing Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

What to Do If Your Dog Has an Upset Stomach

Dogs with a sensitive stomach are actually more common than people think. This is a condition that will develop gradually with different dogs suffering from different symptoms. There are a few common signs that will let you know if your dog is suffering from a sensitive stomach, which can help you determine what foods are disagreeing with them and which food is better for their overall care. Here are a few tips on what to do if your dog has an upset Stomach.

Gas

Gas can be pretty normal for some dogs. However, if you have a dog that is suddenly experiencing excessive gassiness, you could be seeing a sign of a problem. Gas can often be attributed to an improper diet, so it may be a good idea to change the food that he is eating.

Vomiting

The biggest sign of stomach sensitivity is vomiting. Different ingredients can disagree with each breed and stomach intolerance and sensitivity may increase if a dog has repeated exposure to these ingredients. If you don’t catch it in time, it can lead to different disorders.

Remember that vomiting in a dog is a sign of something seriously wrong. It can be helpful to enrich your dog’s diet with digestive enzymes and probiotic-rich ingredients. If the problem persists, you will want to talk to your dog’s veterinarian about the issue.

Diarrhea

The next most common system is diarrhea. If you are occasionally seeing a runny stool, that’s not that big of an issue. But if it’s a regular occurrence, it can become a life-threatening situation, and you need to make sure that your dog doesn’t get severely dehydrated by delaying vital medical attention.

Lack of appetite

When your dog refuses to eat, that can be a sign of a stomach issue. If you see your dog refusing to eat, that can be a big red flag. Talk to your vet and see how you can adjust your dog’s diet to give him the nutrition and energy he needs.

Weight Loss

Another important sign to look for is weight loss. If your pet has a food sensitivity, he may not like eating it. This is another important sign of tummy sensitivity and digestive issues.

Ingredients You Want to Avoid

After you learn what signs to look for, it can be easier to figure out if your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach. At this point, you can start to pay attention to the ingredients he is eating and also look for food that will give him the right nutrition for his overall health. Here are some of the ingredients that can cause your dog to suffer from a sensitive stomach.

Dairy

While many dogs love milk and various dairy products, they all can’t digest them. A dog can experience intestinal distress through gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have a dog that is lactose intolerant, do not give them any dairy product, no matter how much they love them. Also, avoid foods that have dairy as a main ingredient.

Fruits

While fruits can be a healthy choice for a dog, they do have a high sugar content that can be hard for some dogs to digest, especially if they have a sensitive stomach. Sugar can also irritate their stomachs and also cause a digestive disorder. As a rule of thumb, try to find a dog food that has a fruit percentage of less than 10 percent.

Gluten

Typically, you will find dog food that is designed for sensitive stomachs is gluten-free. This type of dog food will not use barley, rye, spelt, or wheat since they can contribute to digestive issues. Owners also look for dog food that is grain or gluten-free to help prevent various inflammatory health issues that are associated with these ingredients.

What Kind of Dog Food is Best for Sensitive Stomachs

Since different dogs show their food intolerance or allergies differently, it can be hard to figure out what kind of dog food is best for sensitive stomachs. Here are a few tips to help you decide how to help your dog and his digestive issues.

Fewer Ingredients

With a limited ingredient recipe, you have less opportunity for an ingredient to upset your dog’s stomach. This allows you to be more cautious about what you are feeding him while also providing a complete and balanced diet that you won’t need to supplement.

Easy to Digest Ingredients

When choosing dog food, look for ingredients that are easy to digest like potatoes, chicken, rice, lamb, and sweet potato that are also healthy. Some formulas also include minerals and vitamins that can help to support sensitive stomachs.

Grain-Free

Whole grains can be super tasty for your dog, it isn’t always the best option for them, especially if they have a sensitive stomach. Look for brands that use high-quality proteins as their main ingredients that also stay away from grains. Corn and wheat are the most common triggers for dogs with sensitive stomachs that are not easy to digest and can cause more issues for your dog over time.

Balanced Nutrition

Look for food that has a balanced and complete nutrition recipe. With a balanced formula, you get hand-picked ingredients that also provide important nutrients for dogs with sensitive stomachs that are important for their overall health.

Probiotics

Important for your dog’s diet, probiotics help to stimulate a dog’s digestive system and can make digestion smoother. You need to pick a dog that uses probiotics for maximum benefit. Make sure to talk with your dog’s vet for recommendations for an additional probiotic supplement to give more support.

Smooth Transitions

Some dogs absolutely love the dog food they are currently eating, so it can be hard to make a food switch. It can take some patience and time, but with a gradual switch, you should see positive results. Remember that there are lots of yummy dog food choices on the market made especially for dogs with a sensitive stomach, you just need to find the right one for your dog.

FAQs Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

How can I tell if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

A sensitive stomach can often lead to digestive problems, so, as your dog struggles to digest the food he is eating, he may show signs of gastrointestinal symptoms. If you think he may have signs of a sensitive stomach, make sure to take him to his veterinarian to get a diagnosis before making any decisions on your own.

What can cause a dog to have food allergies?

The reason why a dog has a food allergy can be one of many reasons. It can be the result of fat content or protein that is in the food, or it can be due to their stomachs not tolerating certain ingredients well or at all.

Do you have to change your dog’s diet if he suffers from a sensitive stomach?

The main reason your dog may have a sensitive stomach is food. Your dog may have a food intolerance and changing the food that they eat is the best way to figure out what is a trigger.

What ingredients do I need to avoid in my dog’s food if he has a sensitive stomach?

Typical ingredients that can cause stomach issues in dogs includes rendered fat, meat by-products, grain meals, corn, and wheat.

Can you find a dog food with specific diet options if your dog has a sensitive stomach?

Several brands have developed diets specifically for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Always read the label of any food you buy for your dog to avoid choosing one that has ingredients that will make your dog sick.

Can my dog eat raw food if he has a sensitive stomach?

Regular dog food is best for a dog with a sensitive stomach, but you can still add some raw food to his diet. Just make sure you do so gradually and slowly. And, if the condition becomes more serious, make sure to take him to a veterinarian.

What do I do if I change my dog’s diet and he continues to throw up?

Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. When your dog vomits frequently, it can be more than a sensitive stomach, so it’s important to get your dog examined before continuing with the new diet.

What is a limited ingredient dog food?

This type of food contains fewer ingredients and fewer components than regular dog food. With this type of formula, you can easily identify allergens allowing you to avoid them in your dog’s food in the future.

Is a diet of limited ingredients a better option for a dog with a sensitive stomach?

With a limited ingredient diet, you can catch which ingredient is causing your dog distress, which can help you get him feeling better faster. So, it is definitely recommended for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It helps you catch the culprit faster and helps you get the situation under control.

What are common allergens for dogs?

Some of the most common allergies include:

  • Includes proteins that are undigestible
  • Not enough fiber
  • Fat content is too high
  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
  • Low grade or quality ingredients

How do you deal with a dog that has a food intolerance?

The first thing you need to do is change your dog’s diet. Next, check with your veterinarian for a food recommendation or medication that can help. Finally, increase your dog’s intake of probiotics through the addition of bananas, pumpkin, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes along with unsweetened, plain yogurt.

What signs should I look for if a dog suffers from a sensitive stomach?

Along with bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and gas, other symptoms of a sensitive stomach caused by food including paw biting, obsessive licking, skin rashes, hives, and itching.

What are some of the easiest food to digest for a dog that has a sensitive stomach?

Dog food that includes white rice, eggs, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and lean meat is easy for a dog to digest. Keep in mind that some dogs also have an intolerance to eggs and chicken. Make sure your dog avoids these food options is he does have an intolerance.

How can you tell if your dog has a food allergy?

Vomiting and diarrhea aren’t always a sign of dietary sensitivity. Other presentations include wheezing, sneezing, coughing, flatulence, ear problems, and itchy skin.

What proteins are best for a dog that has a sensitive stomach and allergies?

You will find that all proteins are not necessarily good for your dog. Some of them are easier to digest like beef, lamb, and chicken.

Is a sign of food intolerance in a dog loose stool?

Definitely a major sign of food intolerance, loose stool can also be a sign of bacterial infection or parasites. Make sure you get this type of symptom checked out by a veterinarian.

If I eliminate extra ingredients from my dog’s diet will it help?

If you eliminate any extra food in your dog’s diet, you can help figure out which foods are causing an issue in a dog’s diet. These foods can include human food, table scraps, and other treats that your dog may enjoy.

Can a dog’s food intolerance by caused by emotional distress?

Similar to humans, dogs can respond to stress with anxiousness. Both stress and anxiety can contribute a lot to a dog’s upset stomach.

Whichever dog food that you end up choosing, just make sure you make the switch gradually allowing your dog’s sensitive stomach to adjust slowly. All you will need is a little patience, and before you know it, you will have found the best food for your dog that he loves to eat and can also easily digest.

Tim Schmidt

About 

Tim is a Florida based Entrepreneur and Author. When he's not busy chasing around his 14 year old, he's caring for Snoop and Cookie. This blog is his outlet to help dumb down the often demanding journey of caring for dogs and help others.