5 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs Reviewed
Dogs suffer from many of the same ailments as we humans do such as abdominal pain. It’s fairly common for our canine pals to experience swelling in the stomach which will put them in a considerably irritable mood.
Although most dogs can chow down all sorts of things without fearing any consequences, some unlucky ones have very sensitive stomachs which cause excessive flatulence, intermittent loose stools, and occasional vomiting.
In order to lend these unfortunate dogs a helping hand, there are special types of dog foods available which have been specially-formulated to counteract stomach sensitivity. Join us as we review five of the best foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
5. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food Pork, Beef & Lamb
This kibble, brought to us by Whole Earth Farms, seems to resound well with canines suffering from sensitive stomachs. The product is cooked in the USA and includes a good mix of meat and vegetables, with absolutely no grains.
Whole Earth Farms has several other variants of dry dog food available including Chicken & Turkey along with Salmon & Whitefish. But this one seems to be the best of the lot for dogs with stomach ailments.
The grain-free recipe ensures easier digestibility. The Pork, Beef & Lamb variant eliminates poultry for the benefit of dogs with allergies to it – of which, there are many. The ingredients are all-natural and support decreased shedding, increased energy, stronger nails, and healthier skin.
The first ingredient is pork meal so you can be sure that it has plenty of easy-digest, high-quality protein. Some of the fruits and vegetables that are included are potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, alfalfa, and blueberries.
Salmon oil is rich in EPA and DHA type of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Additionally, this kibble has four different types of probiotics or good bacteria inserted to support healthy digestion. These are listed right on the label: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Casei, Enterococcus Faecium, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
The ingredients list no nitrates or meat by-products. This product can also be fed to dogs of all ages ranging from puppies to seniors. Available bag sizes include 4-lb, 12-lb, and 25-lb.
4. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Premium Dry Dog Food Pacific Stream Adult – Salmon
This dry dog food is produced by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc., which is a family-owned, privately held business. Taste of the Wild is a relatively new addition to the budding market of natural, grain-free dog food, but its many different variants make the brand a solid contender.
Taste of the Wild has seven different variants in total: Southwest Canyon, Pine Forest, Sierra Mountain, Wetlands, High Prairie, Appalachian Valley, and Pacific Stream. All variants are made in the USA and feature a different primary protein-source.
It’s been found that the Pacific Stream variant which uses Smoked Salmon as its primary ingredient is the best dog food for sensitive stomach and gas, out of the seven options. The fishy formula is rich in amino acids, lean protein, and plenty of added vitamins and minerals.
The proteins are highly digestible and full of fiber.
A supplementary portion of vegetables and fruits makes up a sizeable portion of the final product.
The absence of grain is a blessing for dogs with allergies or intolerance. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries provide plenty of nutritious value.
Omega fatty acids are plentiful in this product. Omega-3 is primarily sourced from salmon, salmon oil, and ocean fish meal, while Omega-6 is contained within plant sources.
Omega fatty acids are responsible for keeping a dog’s skin and coat healthy as well as to support overall wellness.
This product has added proprietary probiotics that survive and thrive in the GI tract of a dog’s digestive system which works well in counteracting a rumbly tummy. These included Lactobacillus Plantarum, Bacillus Subtilis, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Enterococcus Faecium, and Bifidobacterium Animalis.
The Pacific Stream variant is good for puppies, adults, and seniors. The available bag sizes are 5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb.
3. CANIDAE All Life Stages Dog Dry Food
When a dog begins to exhibit strange symptoms (vomiting, soft stools, etc.) after eating a new type of food, you may be witnessing food sensitivity. But the thing is, there may be a certain part of the food that is causing trouble and not the entire product itself.
Usually, the easiest way to identify a specific ingredient that your dog is sensitive or allergic to is to introduce it to a minimalist diet. CANIDAE All Life Stages is perfect for that.
It uses vet-formulated, premium ingredients consisting of only lamb meal and rice, with additional carbs in the form of barley, bran, and peas.
All Life Stages also contains cellulase and Enterococcus Faecium which is a good probiotic bacterium responsible for helping digestion and keeping your pooch’s tummy settled.
Cellulase works to quicken the digestion of cellulose which also means that stools will stay solid. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are good for your dog’s joints.
Canidae is a family-owned company and all its pet food products are produced in the USA. This dog food isn’t completely grain-free but it does lack soy, wheat, and corn additives.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids round out the list of health benefits that All Life Stages provides.
The product is also highly touted to be appropriate for all types of breed, age, and size of canine. This is beneficial for a variety of reasons, namely, for families that have multiple dogs.
Since the kibble is specially-formulated for every type of breed, there’s no need to have separate types of feed for your pets.
This versatile product is available in 5-lb, 15-lb, 30-lb, and 44-lb bags.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
Our first runner-up on this review of the best foods appropriate for dogs with sensitive stomachs is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin kibble. This feed is specifically formulated for dogs that are easily plagued by allergies or have frequent skin irritations.
The company employs more than 220 vets, food scientists, technicians, and Ph.D. nutritionists to develop the food using scientific methods.
Hill’s Science Diet is a brand of dog food which is marketed in the United Kingdom and has headquarters in Kansas, USA. It features a complete and nutritionally balanced list of high-quality ingredients with Brewer’s Rice being the primary ingredient and Chicken Meal being the second.
Other protein comes in the form of peas, while vegetables and fruits like carrots, apples, broccoli, and cranberries round off the selection nicely and aid the dog due to the presence of antioxidants which are proven to have many health benefits.
This product is rich in many vitamins including E and C, which support the immune system along with Omega fatty acids to give your dog’s coat a nice, glossy sheen.
Even dogs that were previously very picky eaters were able to become accustomed to Hill’s Science Diet very quickly after switching over. Many dog owners can attest to the fact that their pets seem to love the taste.
Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food is good for adult canines and is available in 4-lb, 15-lb, 15.5-lb, and 30-lb bags.
One last important piece of information for you to know about this product is that the company has a program which donates food to shelters across the United States using a portion of the proceeds from sales. With every purchase of a Science Diet product, you’re helping to feed over 100,000 homeless pets every day.
1. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
Purina is a company that’s been in business for over 90 years and has invested greatly in increasing the quality and standard of pet food. The brand was purchased by Nestle in the year 2000 and is still one of the most well-known providers of pet and cat food in the world.
Purina Pro Plan was launched in 1986 and was the first brand of pet food to use a new, innovative process which made it possible to use real meat as the number one ingredient in kibble.
This particular product was made specifically by Purina to cater to dogs that have sensitive skin and which have a hard time eating other types of dog food. The number one ingredient is real salmon which is an excellent protein source that’s fairly mild.
The Pro Plan series has plenty of other formulas which use different high-quality ingredients including Pro Plan Savor, Pro Plan Sport, Pro Plan Bright Mind, and Pro Plan Natural.
Pro Plan Focus is recommended for puppy or adult dogs that have sensitive stomachs and is good for all breeds.
Other ingredients which the Focus formula incorporates are rice, barley, and oats. Prebiotic fiber promotes digestive health and the product contains absolutely no corn, wheat, or soy.
Fish oil, which is rich in EPA, provides a source of Omega-3 fatty acids which help keep a dog’s joints healthy and strong. Antioxidants are plentiful. Omega-6 fatty acids and zinc nourish the skin and keep the coat glossy and revitalized.
Every bag of this dog food also contains various minerals (including calcium) and vitamins. Canola oil contains protein and is also listed on the label. Protein content is approximately 26% minimum while fat content is 16% minimum.
Pro Plan FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Adult Dry Food is only available in 30-lb bags.
A popular notion is that dogs can eat everything and anything but the kitchen sink. While it’s true to some extent that a dog’s stomach is far stronger than a human’s, there are still consequences to eating the wrong types of food!
A dog might have a condition which disallows it from eating dog food that uses a certain type of ingredient, or it might simply not like the taste associated with said food. Some types of food can be downright lethal to dogs.
Doctors say that dogs like to “explore” the world around them using their mouths. This is the reason why they tend to eat many different types of things, sometimes to their detriment.
To help empower you to make the right decisions in regards to feeding your pet with food that’s more easily digestible, here’s a short guide to follow when making purchases.
- Know Your Dog
Many dogs are allergic or intolerant towards certain types of food. Some canine allergies are triggered by grain products, wheat, soy or corn.
Others can’t stand poultry or red meat. Most dogs are fine with fish but in some rare cases, may dislike the taste.
If you suspect that your dog has a weak stomach, work first on identifying its dislikes and what to stay away from. The easiest way is to try the process of elimination. Introduce a new type of dog food into its diet, feed small portions, and observe how it reacts.
If you see an adverse effect, try another product which eliminates one or more of the ingredients that were present in the last one. Keep on doing this until you figure out what’s causing your dog to vomit or display allergy symptoms.
- Don’t Forget to Check the Label
Pet food manufacturing companies are required by law to put all the ingredients contained in their dog food right on the label. Reading labels on food products is always a good practice; whether you’re shopping for dog food or your own, as you’ll quickly be able to evaluate nutritional content at a glance.
Understanding what you read on the labels can be tricky, as these companies often use unfamiliar terms and technical jargon.
There also vague terms such as “ocean meal”, “by-product meal”, and “premium” which don’t exactly paint a clear picture of what you’re getting. Do some research on these terms to know what to look for and what to stay away from.
Check carefully if any dog food product has ingredients which you know your dog can’t eat. Avoid common allergy-causing materials such as corn, soy, and wheat.
Look for products that are high in protein, fiber, and fat. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential in a dog’s diet.
- The Truth About Animal By-Products
Speaking of animal by-products, these are some of the most controversial ingredients to be included in kibble and canned food. Opinions amongst dog food shoppers are currently divided – with many presenting the benefits while others downright loathe the idea of its inclusion in their pets’ food.
What are animal by-products? Simply put, they are the remains of a slaughtered animal after the parts intended for human consumption have been removed.
What remains is considered by many to be inedible and includes waste material such as feet, backs, livers, lungs, heads, brains, spleens, frames, kidneys, stomachs, intestines, blood, bones, organs, beaks, and even undeveloped eggs.
DOA or dead-on-arrival animals which have been declared inedible for humans are still being used for making pet food. The parts are usually subjected to a rendering process which breaks them down via boiling, removing the fat, and then baking the residue.
This results in a type of concentrated powder which is called “by-product meal”. Roadkill, dead zoo animals, and dying livestock are also used to make this type of meal.
Now, you may or may not agree with your dog consuming these products, but now that you know what they are, always check the label for “by-product meal” so that you’re at least aware.