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The 5 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

Dog Food Nutrition July 29, 2019
sensitive stomach dog food

The 5 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

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sensitive stomach dog food

The quality of your dog’s diet will determine its long-term health and wellness. If you choose a low-quality recipe, your dog won’t be healthy, and he’ll have a higher risk for developing problems such as sensitive stomach and diarrhea.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on dog food, but you should buy the highest quality product you can consistently afford.

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, the quality of the ingredients matters even more, and you also have to think about digestibility.

Keep reading to learn more about your dog’s basic nutritional needs and to receive some tips for picking the best dog food brand to meet those needs.

Quick Look At Our Top Picks For Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea:

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

Blue Buffalo Basics LID Lamb & Potato Recipe
  • Limited number of all-natural ingredients
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potato
  • Single source of premium animal protein
View Best Price

Best Affordable

Wag Grain-Free Lamb Recipe
  • Highly affordable and high in quality
  • Single source of novel animal protein
  • Grain-free digestible carbohydrates
View Best Price

Best for Puppies

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations Puppy Recipe
  • Limited number of high-quality ingredients
  • Real chicken as a lean source of protein
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates
View Best Price

Best for Seniors

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Senior Recipe
  • Real pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
View Best Price

Best for Allergies

Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe
  • Limited number of natural ingredients
  • Novel source of high-quality animal protein
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates and probiotics
View Best Price

You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea.

Understanding Sensitive Stomach in Dogs

Any dog has the potential to develop food allergies or sensitivities, though some breeds are more prone than others.

What frequently causes sensitive stomach in dogs is low-quality ingredients and ingredients that are hard to digest.

If you can remove these things from your dog’s food, you can avoid upsetting its stomach and triggering negative side effects like diarrhea.

Here are some things to look for in a dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea:

  • Natural Ingredients. To avoid triggering a negative reaction in your dog, look for a recipe made with high-quality natural ingredients.
  • Digestible Carbohydrates. Your dog has a limited ability to digest plant products anyway, so choosing digestible carbohydrates like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes is even more important.
  • Probiotics. In addition to making sure that your dog’s food contains digestible carbohydrates, you should also look for probiotics to help ensure regular digestion.
  • No Artificial Additives. Artificial additives like colors, dyes, and preservatives can trigger a negative reaction in your dog and cause upset stomach, so avoid all artificial additives.

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

All dogs require a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate in their diet.

Protein provides the foundation for healthy muscles while fat acts as a concentrated source of energy.

Both of these should come from animal sources to ensure digestibility and to make sure your dog can absorb the nutrients more efficiently.

Low-quality proteins and fats are more likely to upset your dog’s stomach.

Carbohydrates are a tricky issue for dog food because your dog has a limited ability to digest plant foods.

Whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, and legumes are generally considered digestible for dogs, though individual tolerance may vary.

Just make sure the carbs in your dog’s food come from quality sources and look for prebiotics and probiotics to help it digest them.

In addition to these basic nutrients, your dog also needs vitamins and minerals in its diet.

Natural sources like fresh fruits and vegetables are the best, though synthetic supplements can be used for balance.

You should also make sure that your dog’s diet is free from artificial additives.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea.

The Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, the quality and digestibility of its dog food matters greatly.

Choose a recipe made with wholesome natural ingredients including premium proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

You should also look for digestion-boosting supplements like prebiotic fibers and probiotics.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea that you should consider:

Best Overall: Blue Buffalo Basics LID Lamb & Potato Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 23% Min
  • Fat – 7% Min
  • Fiber – 11.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 228 kcal/cup

When it comes to dogs with sensitive stomach, you need a highly digestible recipe made from quality ingredients like this Blue Buffalo Basics LID Lamb & Potato Recipe. This formula features lamb as the first ingredient and a novel source of protein which reduces the risk for food allergies and sensitivities. You’ll also be glad to know that this recipe is both grain-free and chicken-free to further reduce that risk. It contains plenty of fiber for healthy digestion as well as probiotics and it is supplemented with glucosamine for healthy bones and joints.

Pros:

  • Limited number of all-natural ingredients
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates like potato
  • Single source of premium animal protein

Cons:

  • Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
  • May be too high in fiber for some dogs

Best Affordable: Wag Grain-Free Lamb Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 35% Min
  • Fat – 15% Min
  • Fiber – 5.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 346kcal/cup

If you don’t have a big budget to work with, this Wag Grain-Free Lamb Recipe could be a good choice. This recipe contains 35% protein with lamb as the first ingredient and it contains no added grain which means it is highly digestible for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It contains both fresh lamb and lamb meal as well as grain-free carbohydrates like lentils and peas. It is loaded with healthy fats from chicken fat and salmon oil with vitamin supplements and chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance. It also contains a blend of dietary fiber and probiotics to support healthy digestion.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable and high in quality
  • Single source of novel animal protein
  • Grain-free digestible carbohydrates

Cons:

  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)
  • May be a little too high in fiber for some dogs

Best for Puppies: Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations Puppy Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 520 kcal/cup

If you want to get your puppy off to a good start without worrying about sensitivities, try this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Foundations Puppy Recipe. Made with just 9 main ingredients, this recipe is easy to digest and has a low risk for triggering a negative reaction. It features fresh chicken as a lean source of protein with grain-free carbohydrates like lentils and peas. It also contains chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance and optimal nutrient absorption with probiotics for healthy digestion making one of the best puppy foods on the market today.

Pros:

  • Limited number of high-quality ingredients
  • Real chicken as a lean source of protein
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates

Cons:

  • Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Expensive to feed as a staple diet

Best for Seniors: Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Senior Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 23% Min
  • Fat – 13% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 298 kcal/cup

As your dog gets older, its risk for food allergies increases. This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Senior recipe is a great option because it has a low risk for triggering food allergies and it is a highly digestible formula. This recipe features real pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient with digestible carbohydrates like whole brown rice and whole grain oatmeal. It also contains plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with added fiber for digestion. It also contains chelated minerals which are bound to protein molecules to increase their absorption. For more info, click here to read our full guide on the best senior dog food

Pros:

  • Real pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

Cons:

  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)
  • Not a grain-free recipe, some dogs may be sensitive

Best for Allergies: Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 26% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 5.5% Max
  • Moisture– 11% Max
  • Caloric Content: 430 kcal/cup

If your dog suffers from food allergies and has a sensitive stomach, he may need a limited ingredient diet like this Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Turkey & Potato recipe. This formula features a limited number of wholesome natural ingredients including deboned turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, peas, and more. It is supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balance and it is highly digestible overall. It features a novel source of animal protein and it contains an ideal blend of healthy fats for skin and coat support.

Pros:

  • Limited number of natural ingredients
  • Novel source of high-quality animal protein
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates and probiotics

Cons:

  • Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?

The amount you feed your dog is determined by its age, weight, and activity level. Large breeds eat a higher volume of food than small breeds, but small breeds need a higher concentration of calories to sustain their fast metabolism.

Start with a high-quality dog food formulated for your dog’s breed size and refer to the feeding recommendations according to its age and body weight.

From there, divide the amount by the desired number of daily meals – three for small dogs and two for large breeds.

What About Food Addtional Allergies and Sensitivities?

If your dog has frequent diarrhea or other signs of a sensitive stomach, it could very well have food allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients.

The best way to identify the problem is to start feeding it a limited ingredient diet made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate – novel simply meals one that your dog hasn’t had before.

The signs of sensitivity should resolve within 8 to 12 weeks at which point you can start introducing common allergens one at a time until you identify the problem.

From there, simply feed your dog a recipe that doesn’t contain the allergen.

Final Remarks

If your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach or diarrhea, the digestibility and quality of its diet is very important.

Choose a recipe made with wholesome natural ingredients including premium proteins, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

You should also look for digestion-boosting supplements like prebiotic fibers and probiotics. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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