Sensitive Stomach? Here Are the Best Dog Food Brands for Your Pup
Few things are less fun for your pup than digestive issues. If you own a dog that has a sensitive stomach, you’ll need to both understand the underlying issue and find a potential solution.
Often the right solution is in the diet. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the best dog foods for a sensitive stomach, both wet (canned) and dry.
Dry dog food is practical because it’s easy to store and you can buy more at once. But you still need the right products for your pup, so here are some options:
The protein comes from dried eggs, making it highly digestible. It’s also low in fat and comes with relatively few ingredients.
It’s single-protein, and its ingredients are limited to minimize allergens. Plus, it includes probiotic support to help with digestion.
This food is designed specifically for sensitive adult dog bellies. A fat-to-protein ratio of 61% is excellent, and it’s high in fiber to help with digestion.
This has a 5% fat content percentage, making it the lowest on this list. The formula also has prebiotic ingredients to maximize digestion.
Dry food for your pup comes with a few crucial advantages. It’s less expensive, and you can buy more at once, thanks to large bags that are easily resealable. But even beyond the brand, you need to make sure that you get the product and process just right.
Part of that is the storage solution. If you don’t want to keep it in the bag, make sure you find resealable canisters. Wash or wipe them out each time new food goes in to prevent harmful particles from building up.
With the help of a vet, you might know what causes adverse reactions in your dog’s belly. Make sure the ingredients of the dry dog food you pick don’t make it worse. That way, you can focus your attention on food that will actually help your puppy.
Generally speaking, when it comes to ingredients, less is more. When you compare dog foods for sensitive stomachs with their regular alternatives, you’ll notice that the ingredient list tends to be shorter. You should also make sure that you know exactly what each ingredient means so that you can stay away from vague or misleading claims and supplements.
Generally speaking, you’re looking for four main nutrients in your puppy chow: protein, fiber, fat, and ash. Make sure they’re present, ideally in that order, before you buy the product.
Every bag of dry dog food comes with instructions on the right portions for dogs, generally by weight or size. Follow it closely so you can minimize digestive issues for your dog in the process of changing out their food.
Canned food is wetter than dry food because of added ingredients. Whether it’s better than dry food depends entirely on your puppy’s preference.
Its low fat content is a great start, and the nutrients in the ingredients (which are limited) are specifically designed to ease digestion.
Purina is among the best brands for sensitive dog bellies. This product offers high levels of fatty acids and a formula specifically designed for easy digestion.
This product is formulated without grains, specifically to ease digestion. Your dog’s stomach will also appreciate the healthy mix of vitamins and minerals.
Again, the lack of grains helps with digestion, but this option also shines because of its healthy mix of carbohydrates.
The best canned dog food is not piecemeal. In one can, it should include all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins your puppy needs. Otherwise, the diet gets too complicated, leading to potential digestive problems. Also, make sure you only feed the right dosage by following the directions on the can.
In the best case scenario, you know exactly what’s ailing your puppy. In that case, you’ll understand what ingredients you need to avoid. Maybe a fatty diet is not a good idea — choose your wet dog food accordingly.
Speaking of ingredients, that label is the most important part of the product when you’re making a decision. Ingredients listed first are present the most, so be sure you know what’s in the tin and how it might affect your puppy’s belly.
If your dog already has a sensitive stomach, don’t exacerbate it by changing their entire diet all at once. Any change in diet can make those issues worse. Instead, start by keeping the old food in the mix (but at smaller portions), slowly introducing the new food in the process.
Over time, shift the proportions so that eventually, your pup is eating its new wet food. That way, you’ll also be able to tell if the new option actually makes things better or worse.
If you have a small dog that doesn’t eat a whole tin, or if you’re just introducing the new food, don’t leave parts of it in its original container. Instead, get an airtight canister to store the rest in, ideally in your fridge, to avoid bacteria build-up.
Before you pick a food, you need to chat with your vet. It’s your best way of finding out the underlying cause, which might require treatments that go far beyond the food. However, if there is no major problem, changing up the diet can help.
Most dog owners find out about their dog’s sensitive stomach in one of three ways: their puppy is sick, they have diarrhea, or they pass gas too frequently. If it happens once or twice, that’s OK. But if it becomes a frequent issue, you need to take action.
Take note of what exactly is wrong. That’s important information your vet will want to know. They might be the first to recommend to you what type of dog food can help.
Some dog breeds are more likely to have a sensitive belly than others. They might just have that problem from birth. Some research can help you find out if your dog is among them, and you’ll find literature about what food is good for that breed. If it develops later in life, there is likely another cause.
A few of the reasons most likely to cause your dog’s sensitive stomach include:
Some pups’ bellies are just less likely to agree with a type of protein (like beef) or mixes of protein from multiple sources.
As with humans, it can lead to digestive issues.
A lack of fiber might lead to internal issues in dogs, just as it does for humans.
Cheap dog food might have vague or undefined replacements of common ingredients that cost less to produce. But they can harm your dog’s stomach.
It’s easy to overlook the nutrition value (or lack thereof) in puppy treats. Make sure you consider it just as you would regular dog food for your digestive issues.
Whichever food you pick, don’t make the switch immediately. Instead, slowly reduce their food intake on the previous product while you bring the new one into the diet.
Seeing your dog feeling unwell is never good. Fortunately, the right dog food for sensitive stomachs can make a world of difference. The variables are plentiful, but this guide can help you find the options that ultimately have the best chance of seeing them back to full health.