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Dogs can get sensitive stomachs just like humans. Some of the causes may include ulcers, food intolerance or allergies, bacterial imbalances, and even tumours.
Whatever the cause of your dog’s sensitive stomach, it may be necessary to feed it dry dog food that has been specially formulated for sensitive stomachs as opposed to just any standard dog food. Otherwise, you could just make the condition worse.
Fortunately, there are many excellent options out there that provide an optimal balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and various nutrients. But the sheer number of options may be overwhelming, so how do you narrow them down to the best picks?
Don’t worry — this article is just what you need. We’ll review and compare our picks for the best dry dog foods for sensitive stomachs across several different brands.
All of these foods have shown great results for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Our Top Dry Dog Food Picks For Sensitive Stomachs
Based on our own testing, research, and experience, here are our top selections:
- Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Dry Dog Food
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Digestive Health Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly Adult Dry Dog Food
- Solid Gold MMillennia Beef & Brown Rice With Peas Dry Dog Food
There are two main reasons why this particular formula of Purina Pro Plan dog food is at the top of our list. For one, it’s very popular among dog owners.
Second, Purina is one of the best, most reputable dog food brands out there. Their premium Pro Plan foods are considered the “trusted food of champions”.
This recipe is formulated specifically for gentle nourishment of sensitive stomachs and skin. It contains real salmon and rice, although a lamb and oat meal formula is available as well. These ingredients are easily digestible.
The dog food, which is made in the USA:
- promotes immune and digestive health through fortified live probiotics
- contains omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy skin & coat
- contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colours, artificial flavours, or poultry by-product meal
The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach dog food used to be known as FOCUS.
While we feature the adult food here, there are also formulas available for puppies, seniors, large breeds and small breeds. This particular food dry dog food can be purchased in 5, 16 and 30 pound bags.
This food works very nicely with dogs who have a hard time tolerating other kinds of dog food. We find that it does wonders for the digestive system as well as the skin, and many veterinarians use it for their own dogs.
Hill’s Science Diet is another one of our top recommended dog food brands, and it’s also the #1 recommended brand of U.S. veterinarians.
This is their formula for sensitive stomachs & skin, containing chicken and barley as the main ingredients. Other ingredients include yellow peas, brown rice, brewers rice, and whole grain sorghum.
This dry dog food promotes optimal digestive health, with optimal nutrient absorption and cleaner stools. Other benefits include:
- prebiotic fiber that supports a balanced microbiome and fuels bacteria in the gut
- vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids that nourish skin and promote a healthy, shiny coat
- easy digestion and gentle on the stomach
This Hill’s Science Diet formula is made in the USA with trusted, natural ingredients. It’s available in 4, 15.5, 24 and 30 pound bags.
So many dog owners have amazing results with this food, and many veterinarians will indeed recommend it to their clients. It has been tested using AAFCO procedures.
Maybe the Purina Pro Plan sensitive stomach recipe above is a little too pricey for you. In that case, you may be interested in Purina ONE SmartBlend.
This veterinarian-recommended dry dog food is formulated with probiotics to support digestive wellness. It is made with natural ingredients and fortified with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
The #1 ingredient in this easily digestible recipe is real chicken, and the other main ingredient is rice. The food consists of crunchy kibble and meaty morsels that are rich in protein.
Other benefits of this formula include:
- immune system support from an antioxidant blend with vitamins E and A as well as selenium and zinc
- skin and coat nourishment from omega-6 fatty acids
- no artificial preservatives, flavours or fillers
This is a well-balanced, nutritious dry dog food that is priced very affordably. It can be purchased in 8, 16.5, and 31.1 pound bags.
Many dog owners find that Purina ONE Digestive Health works just as well, if not better, than more expensive formulas. Dogs with sensitive stomachs tend to react extremely well to it.
Many Blue Buffalo dog food recipes tend to be a little hard on dogs with certain sensitivities. Fortunately, they have developed a formula specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs called True Solutions Blissful Belly, and it has been received very well by dog owners.
Blue Buffalo dry dog food contains ingredients recommended by the majority of veterinarians. Their formulas are created by PhD animal nutritionists and vets.
The True Solutions Blissful Belly food features real chicken as the main source of protein, along with brown rice, oatmeal and potatoes. The recipe is highly digestible and gentle on the stomach, helping to maintain healthy stool.
As with other dry dog food from True Buffalo, True Solutions Blissful Belly contains proprietary LifeSource Bits. These contain a carefully selected blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals designed to support the health of your dog’s immune system and promote a healthy oxidative balance.
Other benefits of this food are:
- prebiotic fiber to support the digestive system
- omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for skin nourishment and a shiny coat
- vitamin C and E to support the health of the immune system
This formula contains no soy, corn, wheat, preservatives, artificial flavours, or by-product meal. It’s available in 4, 11, and 24 pound bags. Read all the positive reviews of this dog food from customers here.
Most people have heard of the well-known brands like Purina, Hill’s Science Diet and Blue Buffalo. They are great brands, but there are others out there as well. Solid Gold is one of them.
Solid Gold uses non-GMO whole grains and US-sourced beef in their recipes. They use the whole of the food, which includes the rind, skin, juice and pulp, for maximum nutritional value.
Their MMillennia formula is made from fish meal rich in omegas, along with beef, pearled barley, peas, brown rice and white rice. This holistic formula is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The Solid Gold MMillennia dry dog food contains:
- prebiotics to feed good bacteria
- living probiotics to support the digestive and immune systems
- omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and salmon oil for skin & coat nourishment as well as cognitive and heart health
- a blend of 20 nutritious superfoods
This food is formulated to promote gut health, which is important since the gut impacts the entire body. There is no added sugar, artificial colours or preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.
This recipe is potato-free, and one bag weighs 28.5 pounds.
We find that MMillennia food does a great job of preventing loose stools and bad gas in dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s also priced very well in terms of dollars per pound.
We get that if your dog has a sensitive stomach, feeding it properly can be a challenge.
In this buying guide, we’ll cover what causes a dog’s stomach to be sensitive and then offer some tips on picking the best food for them.
What are sensitive stomachs in dogs?
A dog’s stomach is considered sensitive when does not tolerate certain foods or ingredients well, resulting in gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs should eat food that contains easily digestible and non-allergenic protein sources and other components.
Why does my dog have a sensitive stomach?
Dogs can develop sensitive stomachs for several reasons, namely allergies to ingredients in a food or to something that the dog has eaten or drunk. Eating foreign objects may also lead to stomach issues.
Suppose your dog is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. In that case, you should take it to your veterinarian so they can figure out if anything your dog ingested could cause a sensitive stomach and if there is any health problem that can be treated.
How To Find The Right Dry Dog Food For A Sensitive Stomach
Even if your dog has a very healthy, balanced diet, it can still develop digestive issues at some point. When this happens, you may find yourself looking for dry dog food that is nutritious and good for sensitive stomachs in dogs.
It’s not easy to make sense of all the information on pet food labels. But fortunately, here are a few tips that you can use to find the ideal food for your dog:
1. Go grain-free.
Grains are one of the most common sources of allergies in dogs; they also contribute to weight gain.
When you look for dry dog food for sensitive stomachs, check out the ingredients list carefully and make sure there aren’t any grains it it.
2. Look for healthy protein sources.
Avoid labels that list corn and soy as the main ingredients. Ingredients such as chicken, lamb, and fish are good choices because they provide protein without exposing your dog to ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction.
3. Don’t forget about supplements.
If you choose to give your dog supplements, make sure they don’t contain fillers, and always go for those approved by a veterinarian or trusted organization.
4. Avoid added sugars.
Dogs should not eat foods that are high in sugar. The same applies to dry dog food.
Some brands may claim to be the best dry dog food for sensitive stomachs, but in reality, they contain too much sugar. When shopping around for the ideal dog food, check out what is included in it and make sure there aren’t any added sugars.
5. Look for quality ingredients.
The best dry dog foods are made with high-quality ingredients that offer all necessary nutrients without exposing your dog to common allergens and sources of inflammation. Look for brands that use local, grass-fed and organic ingredients when available.
How To Prepare Your Dog’s Meal With A New Type Of Diet
Dogs with sensitive stomachs need more of the good and less of the bad. This includes not only what you feed them but also how you prepare their food.
You can’t just transfer your dog to a new food without taking some additional measures. Here are a few tips that will help ease this transition:
1. Start slowly.
Introduce new food gradually. For a week, start with 25% new food and 75% old food. Keep increasing the proportion of new food until you are only feeding your dog the new diet. This way, it will be much easier for their body to adjust.
2. Keep it bland.
When you change your dog’s diet, start out by serving it bland. This means you should prepare the food without adding any seasonings or sauces. You can add a little bit of salt and pepper if you want to, but that’s about it.
3. Stay consistent.
This ties in with the first point. During the transition from one diet to another, you should see it through from beginning to end without reverting back to the old diet. This way, your dog will have a chance to adjust without getting a shock to the system.
4. Keep a log.
If something doesn’t seem right after changing your dog’s food, keep a record of everything they eat and how their stool looks. You can keep track of this by taking photos of your dog’s bowel movements and noting the time, consistency, and any other details that you find relevant.
Your dog is a member of your family, and it’s essential to do what you can to provide them with the best diet possible.
There are many different types of dog food on the market, but not all foods are created equally, and certainly not all are ideal for sensitive stomachs. When making a selection, keep in mind that some ingredients may aggravate a sensitive stomach while others will help promote wellness.
Be sure to check out the label before making any decisions about what kind of food you should feed your dog.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, the most important thing to do when looking for a dry dog food is to look for a quality formula with positive customer reviews that is specifically labelled as being for sensitive stomachs. While the tips we gave in the buying guide above are great, you don’t necessarily have to adhere to all of them.
An added bonus is being able to find a particular customer review where the owner of a dog with a sensitive stomach has had great results.
It is always worth it when your dog is as happy and healthy as it can possibly be, and the food it eats is a big contributor to that. We’ve given you the information you need to make a decision; now it’s up to you to go the rest of the way.
As we alluded to above, it can also be very beneficial to look at the customer reviews for various dog foods to make sure they’re not causing bad reactions in other dogs. This can help you a great deal in the decision-making process.
Thanks for reading this guide. Which dry dog food are you interested in for your dog? Do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below.