When it comes to choosing a sensitive stomach dog foods, there are plenty of options to pick from. What is most appropriate for your dog, however, may not be the best choice for someone else’s, which is why today we’re looking at 40 best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs brands and what they entail.
When Your Dog Needs a “Sensitive Stomach” Dog Food
- Excessive gas
- Anal gland problems
- Occasional vomiting
- Occasionally loose stools
- Consistent nausea
- No or very poor appetite
Any one of these, or a combination of these symptoms could be the sign your pooch has a sensitive stomach and his current food doesn’t agree with them. The problem itself could be a very quick dog’s gastrointestinal tract issue fix, but it could also be a lifelong issue.
Some veterinarians may immediately suggest a prescription dog food diet, but remember that you don’t necessarily have to go that route right away. Prescription diets are more expensive, but for dogs with mild symptoms, over-the-counter food could be just as good. That’s why you should get a second and even third opinion.
Other than the mention symptoms, sensitive stomach dog foods can also benefit canines with a few specific health conditions. Most commonly treated diseases in dogs using sensitive stomach foods include:
- Bacterial overgrowth
- Antibiotic-responsive diarrhea
- Digestive enzyme deficiency
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Only after you’ve discussed the condition with your vet and have attempted dietary adjustments which didn’t help the cause, you may look into prescription dog food diet. However, in majority of cases with my clients, most pets will do well on over-the-counter brands, so here’s five vet recommended sensitive stomach dog food brands to try:
How to Pick the Right Sensitive Stomach Food Brand
Myself and most other veterinarians will always recommend a quality commercial dog food brand for dogs with sensitive stomachs over anything else, simply because there are trusted companies that spend millions to scientifically research and test their foods specifically for these health conditions.
Picking one of these brands is easy since most of them are very similar in the way they’re formulated. These diets usually considered to be “limited ingredient” and with a novel protein source such as venison, fish, kangaroo or bison (because protein is typically the main culprit in stomach sensitivity issues). Any of the below mentioned best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs brands is likely to be a good fit for your pooch.
However, another option is homemade meals. While sometimes this route is better than buying commercial foods (particularly for dogs with obvious food allergies and food intolerance issues), it’s also trickier for the pet owner. If you choose to prepare food for your dog yourself, do it carefully and only after consulting with a vet and/or canine nutritionist. I recommend the following resources to help make healthier meals:
You can also take a look at some already balanced homemade sensitive stomach dog food recipes written by others and make any necessary adjustments yourself. For example, Samantha’s this recipe and this one, as well as this list of recipes here is a good start.
How to Switch from Previous Brand to New Dog Food
After you’ve decided to go with a homemade diet, or have chosen one of the below mentioned best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs brand, the process of switching to a new diet is extremely important to do carefully and slowly. Here’s how to do it.
- Day 1 and 2: mix 10% new food with 90% old food
- Day 3 and 4: mix 20-30% new food with 70-80% old food
- Day 5 and 6: mix 50% of new food with 50% of old food
- Day 7 and 8: mix 70% of new food with 30% of old food
- Day 9: mix 90% of new food with 10% of old food
- Day 10: complete switch to new sensitive stomach dog food diet
During these 10 days, pay close attention to how your pup reacts to their new diet. Look out for any of previously observed symptoms (incl. those mentioned above) as well as any new symptoms. Are they going away? Staying the same? Getting worse? Ideally, by the 10th day you should start seeing the symptoms decrease. If not, consult with a veterinarian and pick a new dog food brand, and repeat the same switching process.
Best Dog Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
Royal Canin Maxi Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Food
Royal Canin is often favored and trusted by veterinarians but they’re also more expensive. This formula specifically is a more affordable sensitive digestion dry dog food option. You will find this food in at least one of those big name pet stores and you don’t have to buy it in smaller bags which can be a real pain if you have giant breed dogs! This formula is made specifically with large dogs in mind and it supports digestive health by providing high-quality protein sources. This is a good middle of the road formula for large breed dogs with sensitive digestive systems.
Diamond CARE Dog Food Sensitive Stomach
Diamond CARE dog food for sensitive stomach dogs is an antioxidant-rich food made with no grains, extra fiber to aid in digestion, canine probiotics, and easily digestible proteins. We like that this formula is formulated with healthy digestion and a healthy immune system in mind because very often a poor immune system can lead to poor digestion. This is a Diamond brand food, however, so we always advise that you keep a close eye on current recall status when feeding a food that has previously been recalled.
AvoDerm Natural Dog Food for Rotational Feeding
AvoDerm Natural Food Intolerance and Sensitivities Duck formula isn’t just formulated for dogs with a delicate stomach, but it’s also beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat due to the inclusion of avocados! A grain-free food, this kibble stands out because it provides comprehensive holistic support for your dog’s bodily systems. We also love that this one is commercially available and affordable!
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
If you’re less of a fan of AvoDerm and more of a fan of Purina, then Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach lamb and oatmeal formula is a good go to and it’s easily one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs out there. Available in local pet stores and megastores, this is a corn-free, wheat-free, soy-free option with natural prebiotic fiber that supports overall digestive health. As with Iams, this isn’t our first choice for a sensitive stomach formula food, but it is a solid middle of the road option.
Solid Gold Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food
Many pet owners are fans of Solid Gold and their Holistique Blendz Oatmeal and Ocean Fish recipe is a single meat protein source kibble for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Ocean fish meal is not just a good option as an alternate protein source, but it’s also great for dogs with skin health problems due to the omega fatty acid content. What we really love about this food is that it’s made in the USA and backed by the Solid Gold 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Food
Made with organic whole grains, we like this Honest Kitchen limited ingredient food for many reasons including the fact that it’s a food that contains healthy grains. Most sensitive stomach dog foods are completely grain-free, but that’s not always necessary for every dog. That said, this is a human grade (yay!) dehydrated food which some pet parents aren’t comfortable with, but we say if you’re willing to give it a try, you’re going to love the results you see from feeding Honest Kitchen’s line of foods. Plus, did we mention that Honest Kitchen never uses 4D meats?
Nutro Ultra Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Nutro Ultra Grain Free Duck formula is marketed as a premium ingredient food rather than a sensitive stomach formula; however, it is formulated for digestive health. With duck, lentil, and pear, this food is a grain free and GMO-free food, but what we like most about this recipe is that it brings a unique flavor to the table. If your sensitive stomach pup is a picky eater, give this formula a try!
Addiction Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food Venison & Fig
Addiction brand foods are known for being notoriously pricey, but they are also known for saving many pet parents with dogs who do not tolerate traditional proteins. Their food line contains more exotic protein selections like possum, venison, and kangaroo which are less likely to trigger problems for dogs with digestive concerns due to protein intolerances. We like their venison and fig formula because it’s a lower fat content food that is also well tolerated by dogs who don’t do well with fattier foods either.
Country Vet Naturals Grain Free Probiotic Dry Dog Food
Country Vet Naturals is a newer brand, but pet parents with sensitive stomach dogs are raving about their grain-free probiotic chicken formula. Made with AMAFERM for improved digestive health, this is a food that has been formulated specifically for digestibility. We love that this food includes prebiotics, probiotics, but we also love the inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin as well as taurine which are beneficial for your dog’s skin, hair, and muscular health.
Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Formula
Another one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs is from a trusted pet food company Brothers, and specifically their lamb meal, and egg formula is also grain free, potato free, and GMO-free. Made with human grade lamb, this is a better option than Brothers Complete turkey formula if your dog experiences a lot of trouble with diarrhea or gas. This is a great high-quality food which we recommend for all sensitive-stomach pet parents, but it is quite pricey so keep that in mind.
Grandma Lucy’s Simple Remedy Freeze-Dried Meal
The first food choice on our list is unique in that it’s not a fulltime diet, but rather a meal replacement for those days when chicken and rice is necessary to settle your dog’s stomach. Grandma Lucy’s is a reputable freeze-dried dog food brand and this solution to the bland chicken and rice diet makes feeding your sensitive stomach pup easier no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We recommend keeping a couple of bags on hand for emergencies!
Annamaet Grain Free Lean Dry Dog Food
Annamaet is a dog food brand that many pet owners aren’t familiar with, but their quality is outstanding, and their reputation is just as good. Their grain-free lean dog food is a good option for dogs with a sensitive digestive system due to concerns like pancreatitis or a simple intolerance to fattier food choices. This is a chicken based formula, however, so keep that in mind if your dog has trouble with poultry!
WholeHearted Healthy Benefits Easy Digestion Dog Food
WholeHearted is a PetCo exclusive brand of food and their healthy digestion is a little unusual, but for some sensitive pups, unusual is a good thing. Although this food does contain chicken fat and fish oil, the main protein source is egg which may be ideal for your dog if they have trouble digesting various types of traditional proteins. We don’t recommend feeding this food option if your dog is able to eat protein because, to be honest, we’re not certain what a long-term diet of egg would do to anyone, but if you are out of proteins to try, give this one a shot.
Solid Gold Sensitive Stomach Leaping Waters Food
Made with vegetables and cold-water salmon, this is one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs – it’s a holistic food that has no grains and no chicken meal, no gluten, and no potatoes which are common triggers for dogs with sensitive digestion. We love this food not only because it comes from a food brand that we trust, but also because it incorporates omega fatty acids and superfoods, both of which can be beneficial to dogs with a gastrointestinal imbalance. Plus, this is a food you can pick up in at least one of your local pet food stores without having to order online.
I and love and you Dog Food Lamb and Sweet Potatoes
Another somewhat obscure dog food brand to many pet parents, “I and love and you” dog food targets dogs with unique nutritional needs with many of their food varieties. This lamb and sweet potato formula is poultry free, potato free, grain-free, and protein-rich. This food choice is also supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics which, if you’re a sensitive stomach dog parent you already know, is exceptionally beneficial to overall digestive health. This is a pricey food, but in our opinion, it’s worth it.
Addiction Grain Free Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Apple
Another one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs from Addiction, this pick is for you pet parents who just can’t bring yourselves to feed a non-kibble diet. Made with kangaroo and apple, this is a low cholesterol and low-fat food without all the extra fillers making it a great choice for dogs with pancreatitis, digestive sensitivities, and other chronic health concerns. As we mentioned above, Addiction is a pricey food and it can be difficult to find their dry dog food formulas locally, but if you can afford them, we highly recommend them for all dogs!
Wishbone Pet Foods Pasture Natural Dry Dog Food
Wishbone is an offshoot of Addiction pet foods that offers similar benefits to the Addiction brand but at a more affordable price point because they use traditional instead of exotic proteins. These formulas aren’t ideal for protein sensitive dogs, but they are still rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that are added for digestive health. We like that Wishbone foods are made in small batches (always a plus!) but they are still currently quite difficult to find locally so their food does need to be ordered online at the moment.
Arden Grange Sensitive with Fish Adult Dog Food
If you’ve tried many of the U.S. made best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs kibble varieties and are looking for something different, Arden Grange UK dog food is a good place to start. A naturally hypoallergenic food, this formula is made with ocean whitefish and potato and we recommend it for dogs with skin issues as well as a sensitive digestion system. The only drawbacks we’ve found with this food is that a) it’s impossible to find locally and has to be ordered online and b) because it’s a UK based food, all of your nutritional information is based on kg.
Addiction Pet Foods NutriRx Allergy HS Diet
Addiction pet food’s specialty dehydrated NutriRX food uses hydrolyzed proteins combined with easy to digest carbohydrates to create a sensitive-safe food option. With no grain, fillers, wheat, soy, steroids, artificial hormones, or artificial colors or flavors we imagined this food would taste similar to rice cakes for humans, but dogs seem to love it. We have to warn you though, that this is another difficult to get hold of food option and will have to be ordered online (when it’s available that is, because it sells out quickly!)
Burgess Sensitive Hypoallergenic Dog Food
Burgess Sensitive is a pricey British hypoallergenic dog food, but it is ideal for many allergy-prone pups. This formula is also supplemented with prebiotics to help your dog’s sensitive digestive system along. We love that Burgess is a British family owned company owned by a family of dog lovers, but our favorite thing (the thing we just can’t get over) is that this is a dairy free, egg free, beef free food option!
Vitalin Sensitive Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food
A natural sensitive stomach dog food option from a British owned company, Vitalin is made with British-sourced produce. This is one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs coming from the U.K. Using lamb as the main protein source, this is a gentle on the stomach formula that is also supplemented with botanicals and prebiotics that soothe the stomach. We love that Vitalin embraces holistic nutrition when formulating their foods and that they support local farms. The one thing we don’t like, however, is the price point, but this is a food imported from the U.K.
Portland Pet Food Company Dog Meal
We have to admit to being real fans of Portland Pet Food meal pouches. Their foods are pricey particularly if you have large dogs, but their meals are based on home cooking without your having to cook and that’s always a plus! If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach and can’t tolerate the thought of raw food and just don’t have time to cook, this fully cooked, gluten free and wheat free food pouch is a palatable option that’s also made in the USA!
Blackwood Pet Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula
Blackwood special diet for sensitive skin isn’t just beneficial for dogs with sensitive skin, but it’s also beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This is a slow cooked food that’s really easy for your dog to digest and it’s also pretty affordable and available in at least one of those big-name pet stores! It’s important to know, however, that this formula does contain chicken, so if your dog has chicken sensitivities, this isn’t the best option for you!
American Natural Premium Sensitive Care Pet Food
Formulated for sensitive skin and sensitive stomachs, this is a low-fat food option with limited ingredients. We love that this food choice is so easily digestible, but we do have some reservations about the ingredients which rely heavily on oatmeal, oat flour, potato, and brown rice. We decided to include it on our list, however, after it came highly recommended by a handful of pet parents of extremely sensitive pups. This wouldn’t be our first sensitive food choice, but depending on your needs it may be right for you.
Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food
If you’re having trouble affording some of the premium best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs brands mentioned above or just can’t find them locally, we recommend sticking with Nature’s Recipe Easy to Digest Chicken Meal, Rice, and Barley food. Available commercially in most pet food stores, this is a prebiotic supplemented food with no corn, wheat, beef, or artificial colors or flavors. What we love most about this option, however, is just how affordable it is!
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Selected Protein Adult PR is one of the more expensive foods on our list, but a number of pet parents of sensitive stomach dogs rave about their experience with this food so we had to include it. Made with potato and rabbit protein, this is a food that’s much less likely to cause protein reactions in dogs with allergies and is much easier on the digestive system. We also love that this is a kibble that utilizes chelated minerals that are designed for optimal absorption by the digestive system.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food
If you’ve been around here for a while you’ll know that we often refer to a certain Labrador with every allergy and ailment under the sun. If there’s one thing that this Labrador taught us about sensitive stomach formula foods it’s “the stinkier the better” and bison definitely qualifies as stinky! Although it has the odor appeal that dogs love, bison is an exotic protein that is much better tolerated by dogs with frequent digestive issues. As an added benefit, you can get this food at your local big name pet store so you don’t have to worry about running out!
Nulo Puppy & Adult Freestyle Limited Dry Dog Food
So far, none of our sensitive stomach formula food recommendations are formulated with puppies in mind, but this choice changes that. Nulo Puppy and Adult Small Breed Freestyle Limited Plus is one of the best puppy food for puppies with sensitive stomachs, their turkey based formula is a high protein and low carb food choice made with allergies in mind. With no chicken, potato, soy, corn, wheat, eggs, peas, or tapioca, this is one of the most allergy-friendly puppy food options we’ve seen in a while. Plus, as with many sensitive stomach foods, this is a probiotic-supplemented formula.
Nulo Small Breed Freestyle All Natural Limited Ingredient
This Nulo allergy sensitive digestive and immune health food formula carries the same benefits as the Nulo sensitive digestive and immune health food option we mentioned above, however, it is poultry free. Rather than relying on turkey, this food uses salmon as the main protein source which is beneficial for skin and coat health and less likely than turkey to trigger protein allergies.
Forza10 Sensitive Digestion Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Forza10 is a sensitive digestion dry dog food that many pet parents aren’t yet familiar with, but their formula is one that many sensitive-stomach pet parents swear by despite the hefty price tag. Made with wild-caught anchovy, our favorite thing about this food is that it was made under the Integrated Nutritional Program, a program that has the most advanced information in animal nutrition available to it. This is a pricey and hard to find food choice, but if you have the budget, we highly recommend it.
Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach Food
We generally don’t recommend some specific dog food manufacturers simply because of their reputation of having number of fillers they use in their foods and the fact that many of them outsource ingredients. That said, if you’re looking for one of the most affordable best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs varieties with no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors, we recommend looking into Iams ProActive Sensitive Skin and Stomach. It’s a gentle chicken-based formula with a large majority of pet parents being happy with the results of feeding it.
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
Another brand of dog food that you are going to find in most big box pet stores is Nutro and their Limited Ingredient Diet lamb formula is a good choice for the slightly higher low budget range. We love that this line of foods always has 10 key ingredients or less, and it never includes corn, wheat, soy, or dairy protein. Made with non-GMO ingredients and relying on lamb, this is our favorite variety in this food line when it comes to being gentle on the tummy and not increasing gas!
Blackwood Special Diet
Another sensitive skin and sensitive digestion formula from Blackwood, this is an easy to digest food that relies on lamb rather than salmon as a protein source. Made in small batches, this is a made in the USA food fortified with prebiotics and probiotics and a great choice for dogs with all kinds of sensitivities.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein
Sometimes dogs with a sensitive stomach simply can’t tolerate specific ingredients and while beef is sometimes one of those ingredients, for some dogs it’s the only protein they can tolerate. If your dog falls into this category and has a higher protein requirement, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Beef formula is a 32% protein formula worth trying. We love that this food is made with no chicken at all as well as no grain or potatoes.
Iams Sensitive Naturals Adult Ocean Fish and Rice Recipe
Although this is another Iams produced food formula, the Sensitive Naturals Adult Dog Ocean Fish and Rice food is not your traditional mass-produced Iams formula. Made with easy to digest ingredients and with a wealth of antioxidants and vitamins included for a healthy immune system, our favorite thing about this food is that it’s widely available and has a limited ingredient content.
Dave’s Pet Food Delicate Dinner ETD
Dave’s Pet Food is a well-known food brand among pet parents of dogs with stomach upset and gastrointestinal concerns. Their ETD or “easy to digest” chicken meal, rice, and oatmeal formula is designed for dogs with a need for a bland diet. You’ll also find probiotics in this formula and no beef or dairy which are all plusses for our intestinally-challenged pups. This can be a difficult food brand to locate, however, so it’s important that you order ahead when needed!
Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Formula
As I’ve mentioned above, Brothers Complete is a brand of dog food that provides a number of formulas for dogs with special dietary needs. Their turkey meal and egg formula is made with human grade proteins and is GMO-free which is something we LOVE! Additionally, you won’t find potatoes or grains in this food choice and over 90% of the protein in the food comes directly from animal proteins. If you’re looking for the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs brand that pet parents rave about, this is it.
Precise Canine Sensicare Dry Food for Pets
Precise lamb meal and rice formula isn’t for your seniors with digestive concerns, but it is a good option for your moderately active adult dogs with sensitive stomachs. Made in the U.S., this formula is supplemented with probiotics and has no corn, wheat, dairy, or grain sorghum. This isn’t our top choice for sensitive-stomach pups as it doesn’t have one of the “cleanest” ingredients lists out there, but it is an easily available food choice if you are in a pinch and need a stop-gap sensitive food formula.
Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient – Salmon Recipe
Go! Sensitivity and Shine Limited Ingredient salmon recipe food is a sensitive food formula that you can pick up at a number of local stores making it easy to restock when needed. Their salmon formula is made without potatoes, wheat, corn, or soy and has no grain or gluten content. We love that this is a single fish protein food too in addition to the fact that it’s made in Canada!
Canine Caviar Pet Foods Inc. Open Meadow
Canine Caviar has become more affordable over the years and that’s something we are thankful for because their formulas can be very beneficial for some sensitive stomach dogs. Their Open Meadow Alkaline Entrée is made with absolutely no by-products as well as no glutens or GMO’s. It’s one of the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs that’s still affordable. Perhaps what we love most about this formula, however, is that it uses just one protein source – lamb, and one complex carbohydrate source – millet.