Many dogs have sensitive stomachs. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may find your pup vomiting, having diarrhea, or gas. Some dogs may even start eating grass as it's soothing for upset tummies. There are many underlying causes of an upset stomach, from the relatively benign origin where they ate something wrong to the more concerning ones like ulcers, inflammation, or even cancer.
If your loved pet has a sensitive stomach, you're probably asking what the best dog food for sensitive stomachs is.
We're glad you asked! Here's how you can give the best quality of food to your dog with a sensitive stomach.
What Irritates Your Dog's Stomach?
Before getting into what the best dog food for sensitive stomachs is, it's essential to understand what, specifically, you should avoid in terms of food and how to isolate what is making your dog feel uncomfortable.
Finding the best dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs is a process of trial-and-error. Generally, the first step is to eliminate all treats and observe your dog's behavior. Also, make sure that they are not sneaking into the trash or some other poor food source that is making them sick. If your dog begins to feel better, that means there was an extra food item that made them sick (or were getting into something they shouldn't have!). You can fix that problem relatively quickly by removing the problematic food.
However, if your dog's stomach still has issues, you likely need to change their food to something less likely to make them upset.
What Is The Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs?
There are many dog food brands and varieties that work for sensitive stomachs. The following options are ones that you may wish to consider:
- Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin. The Science Diet brand usually receives top marks for being well-formulated for dogs. Their sensitive stomach food is no exception. Best for adult dogs, this food is highly digestible and includes ingredients that are unlikely to upset your dog's stomach.
- Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach. Diamond Care also receives top marks for producing easily-digestible formulas for dogs. This dog food has limited ingredients, which means that there is less in there that could upset your dog's stomach.
- Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach. This formula is also highly-digestible, with an elevated fat-to-protein ratio of 62%. This food is also somewhat unique in that it has fish (salmon) as its first ingredient.
Of course, there are undoubtedly other dog foods that are good for sensitive stomachs such as grain-free dog food and natural dog food. However, the three above are some of the best dry dog foods for sensitive stomachs.
Please note that you should not abruptly switch your dog's food. Your pet might not like the new diet, or the abrupt transition may hurt your dog's stomach, thereby adding to the problem you were trying to solve. Transition slowly. Put 80% old food and 20% new food in a bowl to start. Let your pup get used to that. Over the next 10-15 days, gradually increase the ratio of new to old until you're at 100% sensitive stomach food.
What Irritates Your Dog's Stomach?
When looking at foods that have nutritional content that soothes upset stomachs, you might be wondering what makes them different. What makes these foods different than conventional commercial foods?
Every dog is unique. Some dogs can eat nearly anything and everything without issue. For example, you might have a dog that can consume an old hamburger piece they find under the table and not feel a thing. Other dogs, however, are much more finicky. Any change in diet can cause them to feel pains and pressure in their stomach.
With that said, the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs contain ingredients that are less likely to cause issues. Moreover, they're different than conventional foods. Recall that one of the foods listed had the first ingredient of salmon. Traditional food is almost always chicken or beef, so even switching to a different protein source might provide relief for your dog. Sensitive stomach foods tend to be higher in fiber and low in fat. Too little fiber and too much fat, although the food might taste better, tend to hurt digestion. Sensitive stomach food reverses this to provide an easily digestible kibble.
It's also worth noting that the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs contain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for a happy, healthy dog. All conventional foods are nutritionally complete. However, if you feed traditional meals plus homemade snacks and treats, they might not be getting enough nutrients from the dog treats and eating too little dog food. By switching to a formula for sensitive stomachs, you can guarantee that your dog will receive the proper amount of nutrition every day!
Your Dog Doesn't Have To Suffer
If you notice any of the symptoms of a sensitive stomach in your dog, you should know that they are likely not feeling well. Fortunately, many dog foods on the market will minimize that irritation and maximize your dog's quality of life. Look for the best dog food for sensitive stomachs to give your four-legged friend some much-needed relief!