Like humans, dogs can suffer from sensitive stomachs. Although it might seem that they’re pretty hardy, they’re not a “walking-barking” garbage disposal.
A proper diet has a big impact on a dog’s health. In this article, we will help you understand what causes a dog to have a sensitive stomach, the symptoms, and possible solutions.
Many dog owners find it challenging to find the best dog food for sensitive stomach on the market.
Amongst hundreds of brands, we here at FeedFond have researched to identify the best brands to suit your furry best friend.
Hopefully, these sensitive stomach dog food will help your dog eat properly and stop throwing up within minutes of eating.
It will also reduce the accidental incontinence problems that you and your dog face when struggling with a sensitive stomach.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Choices for the Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach:
- What is “Sensitive Stomach In Dogs”?
- Signs of Diet-Related Problems In Dogs
- What to Look For When Buying the Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach Dogs?
- Switching To Sensitive Food Diet
- Top 5 Picks for the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs
- Other Serious Health Problems
Our Choices for the Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach:
Last update on 2018-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is “Sensitive Stomach In Dogs”?
Sensitive stomach in dogs can be defined as a condition where your dog has irritable and mostly negative reactions in the digestive system when subjected to a variety of diet because their body is not able to process it.
There is a common misconception that dogs can eat everything and anything. While it’s true that a dog’s stomach is stronger than that of a human, they can’t truly eat anything without any consequence; there are just some things that a dog absolutely cannot eat.
Some are just downright lethal for them.
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Before a sensitive stomach dog food, you have to identify what’s causing their upset stomach. According to The American Kennel Club, there are three primary symptoms:
- Loose stool
- Flatulence (gas)
- Occasional vomiting
Important: Take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible if they have severe diarrhea or vomiting—it’s a sign that there’s something seriously wrong with your dog.
In general, when your dog has a sensitive stomach, you’ll see similar but moderate versions of the above symptoms. You will also spot various other warning signs related to your dog’s diet.
Signs of Diet-Related Problems In Dogs
Dr. Patric Mahaney explained “Pica” as being something that occurs when dogs explore the world around them with their mouths. This means they eat from unattended plates, trash or other non-food items. In some cases of Pica, dogs may even eat sticks and grass. Vets think that Pica is a sign of nutritional deficiency.
Studies show that 1 out of 4 dogs display this behavior and vomit afterward; and, some dogs chew on grass or non-food items only out of curiosity and boredom.
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#2. Feeding Habits
Research shows that specific breeds have more stomach problems than others, usually due to their size. Good examples of such breeds would be Yorkies and Scottish Terriers. As the dog ages, they become more sensitive to things they eat.
Some dogs get flatulence when they gulp a lot of air while drinking or eating dry food quickly. Dry food expands in the stomach causing distress in dogs.
It is highly recommended to use elevated or slow feeders and regular exercise half an hour after meals.
#3. Food Intolerances
It’s natural that some dogs will be allergic and have an intolerance to certain kinds of food. Most common canine allergies are triggered by foods containing wheat, soy, and corn.
In the market, many manufacturers use these as their primary ingredients. It’s not always caused by those ingredients though; some dogs can get upset stomachs from animal protein sources.
The best way to know what is affecting your dog is to eliminate suspected foods one by one. Figuring out what ingredient is causing the food allergies will help you in selecting the best dog food for a sensitive stomach.
More Read: Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog
#4. Sensitive Skin
Concerned owners have also reported that a sensitive stomach causes itchy skin, rash, and even bleeding for their dogs. The signs of a sensitive skin is a sure sign of food allergies. It’s essential that you choose the right kind of food to relieve some of the sensitivities and alleviate some of the symptoms.
What to Look For When Buying the Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach Dogs?
#1. Complete & Balanced
When searching for a sensitive stomach dog food, AKC encourages dog owners to look for the phrase “Complete and Balanced” on the labels.
This means that the food includes all the essential nutrients required for your dog to grow up healthy. Getting all the essential nutrients in their body eliminates problems like Pica.
Some, however, prepare hypoallergenic home-cooked meals with plain chicken and brown rice. But again, remember that there could be things you put in a home-cooked meal that could also cause an allergic reaction.
#2. Analyze Food Labels
It’s a good practice to always read labels before buying any food for your dog, even if they don’t have a sensitive stomach. Labels allow you to evaluate various nutritional needs.
Go for foods that have desirable protein and fiber sources, and avoid common allergic materials like soy, corn, and wheat. You might not be lucky in finding the best choice for your dog on your first try, but don’t be discouraged. Keep trying!
Switching To Sensitive Food Diet
When you’ve found the right food for your dog, it’s essential that you don’t start on it immediately. Experts recommend a small transition period to get readjusted to the new food.
Mix a small amount (approximately 10%) of the new food with the old food (approximately 90%) on the first day. Increase by 10% of the new food the next day and you will see at the end of two-weeks, your dog will be completely transitioned to the new food.
Here are a few dietary tips that might come handy:
- Adding a small amount of canned pumpkin or yogurt mixed with your dog food will ease your dog’s digestion.
- There are probiotic supplements available that can be sprinkled over the dog food.
- Small breed dogs with small stomachs can be fed moistened dry food; this way, it will expand less when inside.
Top 5 Picks for the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs
#1 Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient – Sensitive Stomach Dog Food
Wellness Simple sensitive stomach dogs food is available in a few flavors such as duck and lamb with oatmeal and salmon and turkey with potato.
They are excellent alternatives to chicken and beef to help fight food allergies. They also contain prebiotics and probiotics and avoid preservatives, additives, and artificial color and flavors.
#2 Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach – Best Senior Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach
Hill’s Science Diet is very easy to digest and carries all the essential vitamins and minerals required by both small and regular sized breeds. This brand is the #1 choice for most veterinarians.
Their formula uses brown rice and chicken meal as the main ingredients. Other than that, they also contain pea proteins, carrots, apple, broccoli, and cranberries.
#3 Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Purina Pro Focus Sensitive uses salmon as their main ingredient—it’s excellent for sensitive stomachs.
It’s a much better choice than other brands that use grain as their main ingredient. They add a salmon meal, brewer’s rice, barley, and oats to essential vitamins and minerals, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
#4 NUTRO Natural Choice Limited Ingredients
NUTRO’s limited ingredient food is made up of lamb, lamb meal and brown rice. It’s less likely to provoke allergic reactions than the usual chicken and beef found in many brands.
NUTRO products have small-sized kibble and a smell that’s appealing to dogs. From large breed dogs like Setters and Doberman to small breeds, NUTRO satisfies every breed with their formula. They don’t use any added colors, preservatives or yeast by-products in their food.
#5 IAMS Sensitive Naturals Adult
IAMS’ Sensitive Naturals formula is designed for extreme cases of food allergies in dogs and puppies. Their main ingredient is ocean-sourced fish. The product is not grain-free, but it’s limited to sorghum, barley, and rice.
It also includes peas and beets, along with essential vitamins and minerals. So, rest assured, it’s a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomach and skin allergies.
Other Serious Health Problems
Sometimes, even after picking the right food, you will see problems with your dog’s health. It is a very bad sign and they can’t always be solved with sensitive stomach food alone. Contact your nearest animal hospital or a vet as your dog might be suffering from:
- Stomach virus or bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Parasites like whipworms, tapeworms or roundworms
- Pancreatitis from eating large amounts of table scraps or trash
- Intestinal or stomach disorders, stomach ulcers or gastrointestinal tumors
- Inflammatory bowel disorders (similar to humans)
Once that is done, we hope that you find our review on the best dog food for sensitive stomachs is of help to you.
But, please remember, if your dog is suffering from a sensitive stomach, you need to primarily consult a vet or pet expert to get properly informed instructions regarding the diet that your dog needs to follow.