Among the many ailments that befall dogs is the stomach sensitivities that emanate from various conditions such as food allergy, food intolerance to an even more serious underlying health concern.
It is important to initially consult your veterinarian for a clinical examination to determine the precise cause of stomach sensitivity, determine the food ingredients she needs to avoid, the best food to switch to and how to do introduce the new food efficiently.
When choosing the best dog food for sensitive stomach, consider an all-natural, limited-ingredient diet with a single or two animal-based protein source and few carbs. Also, look out for beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants and probiotics.
Here are the top dog food specially formulated for stomach sensitivity and diarrhea.
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Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach- Product Reviews
1. Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus dog food is a specially formulated food for canines with sensitive stomachs and food allergies.
The grain-free diet (ideal for dogs with stomach sensitivities) is crafted with fresh all-natural ingredients that make simple yet well-balanced food for your pooch.
It comprises of high-quality protein (to support lean muscle mass and healthy heart) and low carbohydrates.
What’s more, this dog food features limited ingredients cutting off the potentialities of possible food allergies or sensitivities.
The Nulo Freestyle dog food is served with a single animal-based protein source that is either turkey or salmon, eliminating possible food allergens.
The Nulo dog food also features GanedenBC30, a patented probiotic that not only improves the digestive health but also the immune system of your furry friend for improved food absorption.
Other beneficial ingredients include non-GMO canola oil, Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for nourished healthy skin and coat, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E for enhanced cellular health.
This dog food steers away from traditional food ingredients that may cause possible food allergens. For instance, wheat, soy, eggs, chicken, corn, white potato, peas, pea protein, and tapioca.
In addition, it does not feature artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
- Deboned Turkey
- Turkey Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
- Canola Oil
Nulo Freestyle Limited Ingredient Dog food is available in different sizes and recipes for all life stages and breeds.
2. Natural Balance LID Grain-Free Dog Food
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) is made with fewer ingredients to reduce the chances of your canine having an upset stomach.
It features beef as the principal and sole animal ingredient hence a great choice for canines that have digestive issues with chicken, lamb and other animal proteins.
The single animal protein source is supplemented with few carbohydrates mainly chickpeas and peas.
This limited ingredient diet is also grain-free, does not contain artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Also, it does not feature chicken, corn, wheat, and soy.
Natural Balance LID features high fiber to boost healthy digestion.
- Pea protein
- Beef Meal
3. Wellness Natural LID Dog Food Lamb & Oatmeal
If you are looking for a complete wellness diet for your furry friend with a sensitive stomach then you need to consider the Wellness Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food.
This dog diet is formulated with fewer ingredients hence a perfect formula for canines with stomach sensitivities, food allergy, and intolerance.
What’s more, the diet is crafted with a single source protein, that is, real lamb. It is then supplemented with easily digestible carbohydrates that include ground rice and millet, for well-balanced nutrition.
It features probiotics and prebiotics for ease of digestion as well as flaxseed for nourished healthy skin.
Notably, this food diet is formulated using all-natural ingredients. It does not contain gluten, corn, meat by-products, soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
- Lamb Meal
- Ground Rice
Wellness Natural Limited Ingredient dog formula is proudly made in the USA.
4. Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Diet
Another great food option for your sensitive dog is the Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Diet.
Being a limited ingredient diet, the formula is carefully crafted with few essential ingredients that meet the nutritional needs of your adult pup hence a perfect diet for dogs with a sensitive stomach.
Its primary ingredient is the real salmon that is also the sole animal protein. The diet is blended with easily digestible carbohydrates specifically peas, potatoes and pumpkin that smoothens digestion.
The formula also comprises a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Featuring all the finest natural ingredients, the formula does not contain wheat, gluten, soy, chicken, by-product meals, eggs, dairy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
- Deboned Salmon
- Brown Rice
- Salmon Meal (Source of Glucosamine)
Blue Buffalo Basics Diet is proudly manufactured in the USA using carefully selected and refined ingredients.
5. Canidae Premium Dry Dog Food
If you are looking for a dog formula that caters to dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, then Canidae Premium Dry Dog food is the most suitable formula.
Whether it is a Pitbull, a Chihuahua, a puppy to a senior dog, this formula fits all of them.
This premium dog food provides your pooch with optimal nutrition thanks to its great ingredients. It is formulated with lamb meal and rice as the main ingredients. Remember, these two ingredients are easy on your dog’s digestive system.
Your dog’s digestive system is further enhanced by the presence of probiotics in this formula.
Canidae premium dog food is also packed with antioxidants that promote healthy immune system in your dog. In addition, the formula comprises omega -3 and Omega- 6 fatty acids for enhancing and nourishing your canine’s skin.
What’s more, this formula does not feature wheat, corn or soy.
- Lamb meal
- Brown Rice
- Cracked Pearled Barley
- Rice Bran
Canidae All Life Stages dog food is made in Texas, USA and is available in five different varieties to suit your dog’s needs.
6. Nutro Limited Ingredient Adult Diet Dog Food
Nutro Limited Ingredient diet is one of the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea. Its primary ingredients; lamb and sweet potato are easy on your dog’s digestive system as they are easily digestible.
This diet features 10 utmost key ingredients coupled with vitamins, minerals, natural flavors among other nutrients.
Notably, this Nutro limited ingredient diet does not feature ingredients that are prone to causing food sensitivities among canines. For instance, grains, dairy protein, corn, wheat, and soy.
In addition, it does not comprise artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.
Nutro dog food tastes great not to mention that it nourishes your dog’s sensitive skin, fur, and coat.
- Deboned Lamb
- Lamb Meal
- Dried Potatoes
- Dried Sweet Potato
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet is proudly made in the USA and crafted with non-GMO ingredients.
7. Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach & Skin.
Hill’s Science Diet for Sensitive Stomach and Skin has wowed many pet owners as the best dog food that meets the nutritional needs of sensitive stomachs among canines.
The formula features a perfect blend of natural ingredients that offer your pup a complete, and well-balanced nutrition.
It comprises of brewers rice that is easy to digest and contains less protein as opposed to animal proteins) as the primary ingredient.
It also features chicken meal as the secondary source of protein, Vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids to nourish your dog’s skin and coat.
Also, it features vegetables and fruits as well as antioxidants.
What’s more, the diet allows for easy digestion and optimal absorption thanks to its easily digestible ingredients.
The digestive health is further improved by the presence of prebiotic fiber that enhances a balanced microbiome and development of bacteria in the gut.
- Brewers Rice
- Chicken Meal
- Whole Grain Sorghum
- Cracked Pearled Barley
- Pea Protein
Reasons Why Pooches Suffer from Stomach Sensitivity
Every dog is individualistic and what triggers stomach sensitivity in one, may not in another.
There are many causes of stomach sensitivity and upset among dogs ranging from food allergies, digestion and absorption issues, and diseases, etc.
Establishing the underlying cause of your canine’s stomach sensitivity can be quite difficult; it might take a trial and error process.
Let’s have a look at some of the common causes of stomach sensitivity:
1. Being allergic to particular food components
Some canines can be allergic to dairy products such as milk or cheese leading to poor digestion and/or absorption. The end result is stomach upsets, diarrhea, and excretion of these dairy products as a whole in faces.
Also, your dog could be allergic to certain types of fruits or fruit-related products. Such dogs are likely to suffer from diarrhea and stomach upsets due to poor digestion and/or absorption of the particular type of fruit.
2. Food intolerance
It is the most common cause of stomach sensitivity in some dogs that commonly occurs due to poor digestion and/or absorption of certain food products majorly protein sources as well as fat.
The insensitivity arises due to the nutrient composition of the diet that makes it difficult to digest, especially for the proteins.
Some of the most common dog food that could trigger stomach upset include:
Determining the underlying nutrient component that triggers stomach upsets in your furry friend is vital in finding a lasting solution to her stomach sensitivity.
Also, look out for easily digestible protein sources such as chicken.
3. Changes in the immune system functioning
Intestinal infections can interfere with the good bacteria that produce enzymes aiding food digestion. This can lead to minimum production of digestion-friendly substances thus affecting the normal food digestion and absorption.
The end result is likely to be stomach upsets and diarrhea.
4. Poor digestion of dog treats
Certain dog food treats may contain ingredients that are not easily digestible.
Conversely, perhaps you may have served your canine with large amounts of treat than her tiny digestive system can handle.
Both cases can cause poor digestion and absorption of the treat, leading to stomach upsets and diarrhea.
Other causes include:
- Offering your pooch human food.
- Household habits. For instance, taking leftover food,
- Diseases such as cancer.
Symptoms of a Sensitive Stomach
Most dogs with sensitive stomachs exhibit particular symptoms. However, note that some dogs will display more of these symptoms than others. While the most common symptom is stomach upset, other symptoms include:
- Diarrhea/loose, watery stool
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain/Discomfort
- Skin rashes
Note that some of these symptoms could manifest a bigger underlying health concern. Therefore, it is advisable to visit your veterinarian for a full physical examination and treatment.
Ingredients of Dog Food that can Trigger Stomach Sensitivity
1. Dairy products
Dog food that contains dairy products tends to cause stomach sensitivity most especially due to the absence of lactase; an enzyme that aids the complete digestion of whole milk. The lactose intolerance is especially common in elderly dogs.
Gluten is commonly found in cereals such as wheat, corn, and soy. Digestion and/or absorption of gluten can prove difficult in some dogs leading to intolerance. In such a case, always stick to gluten-free dog food as her diet.
3. Fruits and fruit-related products
Fruits are broken down into fructose molecules during digestion. Due to the absence of some carrier molecules in the dog’s intestines, the absorption of fructose can become quite difficult.
Consequently, leaving high amounts of fructose in the small intestines that often cause diarrhea and stomach upsets.
Characteristics of Great Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
1. A limited number of ingredients
While your furry friend needs a well–balanced diet for optimal growth, having too many ingredients may be detrimental to the digestive system leading to stomach upsets and diarrhea.
Therefore, choose for her high quality dog food that contains limited ingredients preferably hypoallergenic dog food.
Remember, the more the ingredients the higher the chances that one of the ingredients might affect her sensitive stomach.
2. Grain-free/Easily digestible grains
Since glutens found in some cereals such as wheat, corn, and soya may cause stomach upsets in some dogs, having a grain-free diet would be ideal.
However, some reports have linked grain-free dog foods to the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). This is caused especially by dog food containing legumes in their diet such as peas as well as legume seeds.
Therefore, instead of choosing a grain-free diet for your canine, you may opt for easily digestible grains for your dog’s food.
3. Food containing ingredients that aids digestion
Choose a dog food that contains substances such as probiotics that enhances the digestion and absorption process.
In particular, the lactobacillus species is a good bacteria that enhance the production of the lactase enzyme to aid in the digestion of lactose.
Therefore, probiotics substances reduce the incidence of stomach upsets.
Also, the high-fiber ingredients in the dog’s food aid the digestion, absorption, and bowel movement.
3. Lowest protein diet
Generally, proteins not only take longer to digest and absorb into the body but it also takes great work.
With limited protein intake, the digestive system will be able to work more efficiently reducing the incidence of stomach upsets and diarrhea.
Hence, look-out for a dog food comprising of limited protein content
4. Easily digestible food
Dog food containing easily digestible components, that is, both carbohydrates and proteins reduces the chances of your canine suffering from stomach upsets.
Some of the dog food ingredients that are easily digestible by dogs include brown rice, potatoes, chicken, and lamb.
5. Bland composition
Unlike the average dog food formula that might comprise of proteins, fruits, and vegetables, the best dog food for sensitive stomach should contain fewer ingredients.
Preferably one or two easily digestible protein and rice is an ideal composition to minimize stomach upsets.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my dog’s stomach hurts?
Be on the look-out for some of the common symptoms such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, flatulence, weight loss, etc.
Do dogs digest food differently from humans?
Yes, their digestive tract is quite different. For instance, food that is not completely digested can stay in the stomach for longer; up to eight hours. For human beings, partially digested food settle in the stomach for even half an hour before proceeding to the intestines.
Why is my pooch pooping undigested food?
There is a myriad of possible causes ranging from food allergies, food intolerance, dehydration, eating low fiber foods, stress, infections, etc.
Managing canine’s stomach sensitivities and diarrhea can be quite difficult especially if you have not established the underlying cause of sensitivity. The worst scenario is when the presenting symptoms mirror a different health condition.
Working with your veterinarian to determine the precise cause of food sensitivity in your pooch is a crucial step towards finding a lasting solution.
Importantly, find the best dog food for sensitive stomach that features beneficial ingredients that enhance her digestive, absorption and immune systems.
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