Occasional indigestion or even vomiting is as ordinary for dogs as it is for humans. However, when your dog seems to be exceptionally prone to vomiting and diarrhea, then you may be dealing with a more serious issue. Your dog may have a sensitive stomach, which makes it imperative to find the best dog food for sensitive stomachs.
Your dog may have a sensitive stomach if you notice symptoms like loose stools, excessive gassiness and occasional vomiting. Usually, this means that your pup has difficulty digesting certain foods. This makes her digestive system work overtime, and the results can be unpleasant for both of you. If you suspect that your dog has a sensitive stomach, then it may make sense to consult your veterinarian. It’s important to rule out other, more serious, health conditions that may be causing your dog to have these symptoms. Plus, your veterinarian can make helpful suggestions about which foods might be causing your dog to be extra gassy or vomit more than is normal. Even better, he or she can provide recommendations regarding dietary guidelines that can help your pup be as healthy as she can be.
If your veterinarian doesn’t believe that your dog’s symptoms are caused by inflammatory bowel disease, a food allergy or other medical concern, then it’s time to simplify your dog’s diet. Going back to the basics is one of the best ways to guard against the symptoms of a sensitive stomach. This usually means cutting out table scraps. If your dog is really accustomed to receiving table scraps as treats, then this will be difficult for both of you. However, it’s in your pooch’s best interest for you to remain firm. Most dogs figure out that table scraps are off the menu within just a few days of having this particular treat withheld.
You may also have to limit or change the treats you give your dog. Choose a single, highly digestible treat to give her as rewards rather than offering her a variety of different treats throughout the day. Many of the manufacturers of the foods listed here offer treats that fall within the guidelines of a limited ingredient diet. Alternatively, some pet parents have had a great outcome when they use their dog’s regular food as their treat. If your dog loves her kibble, it’s no hardship to have a couple of extra pieces as a reward for good behavior.
Limit unknown food
It’s also essential that you make certain that your dog isn’t getting into anything she shouldn’t. Most frequently, this means securing the garbage so your dog can’t possibly go looking through it for an illicit treat. However, your pup may also be looking for inappropriate snacks in the yard or on the floor in your house. Keep an eye on her and make sure to clean up spills and other messes quickly before she decides to take care of it herself. Remember that dogs experience the world through their mouths, and it is largely up to you to limit these explorations.
Of course, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to switch your dog’s food. Sometimes, the most affordable dog foods don’t have much in the way of high-quality ingredients. They are loaded with fat, which is extremely hard for your dog’s digestive system to handle. Dogs are much better equipped to break down proteins and carbohydrates, so the new food you choose should be much heavier with respect to proteins and carbs than it is with regard to fat. Food that contains about 15 percent fat is typically ideal. With a fat content of greater than 15 percent, most dogs will have difficulty with indigestion and gassiness.
Look for fiber
It may also be helpful to look for a food that contains plenty of fiber. Look for sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber to get the best effect. Your dog needs this fiber in order to have optimum digestive functioning just like you do, so keep this in mind when choosing her food. Ingredients like leafy greens, root vegetables and fibrous fruits are good sources of fiber for your pup. Also like humans, dogs need a complex mix of vitamins and minerals. Many of these, especially antioxidants, are known to aid the digestive process. Look for beta carotene and selenium in addition to vitamins A, C and E to make certain that your dog is getting everything she needs.
Some dogs experience digestive issues as a result of the way they eat. Specifically, they have a tendency to wolf down meals, sometimes without even chewing. This is especially hard on their digestive system. Whichever dog food for sensitive stomachs you choose, try serving your dog several small meals instead of one or two large ones if they have a tendency to eat very quickly. This change, combined with an easy-to-digest food, can make all the difference in the world.
While all of the dog foods for sensitive stomachs listed below are good choices, it’s generally not a good idea to switch your dog’s diet all at once. If your dog’s stomach is already sensitive, then you’ll probably only irritate it all the more if you take away the familiar food and switch it out for something new, no matter how beneficial that new food may be. With each meal, serve a little less of the old food with a small amount of the new food. Gradually, you’ll be serving half of the old and half of the new until you’re serving a majority of the new and a diminishing portion of the old. This gradual introduction is much easier on your dog’s system and less likely to cause even more gassiness, indigestion, and vomiting.
As you choose a better food for your dog, try to eliminate ingredients like corn and soy. These are merely cheap fillers that don’t add any nutritional value. Also, look for a food that is simple, meaning that it has a relatively short list of ingredients. Granted, most ingredient lists on commercial dog foods are quite long. However, you’ll likely see quite a difference in the list of ingredients in your dog’s current food and the ones that are suggested here. As long as the ingredient list on the new food is shorter, it’s probably a safer bet for your dog’s sensitive tummy.
1. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet for Dogs Salmon & Potato
Wellness is noted as a quality dog food brand in general, so this formula is an excellent place to start. Salmon is the first ingredient listed on the label, and that’s good news for people who are concerned about their pup getting quality protein in every bite. You won’t find gluten, grains or wheat in this formula. Since all of these ingredients are considered low quality and non-essential for dogs, you can rest assured that your dog will probably be able to process this food easily. Some dogs that are irritated by artificial preservatives, colors or flavors will appreciate that none of these items are found in this formula. Plus, Wellness puts in plenty of probiotics and prebiotics to ensure that this recipe is perfectly digestible for even the most sensitive stomachs. This food may also be a good choice if your dog has dry skin issues. It’s got plenty of flaxseed, which can really turn around troubling skin irritation. With a fat content of about 12 percent, this formula may be exactly what the dog with a sensitive stomach needs.
2. Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea Adult Dog Formula Made With Fresh Salmon
What sets this Canidae formula apart from the others on this list is the concentration of bacteria and fermented foods in the ingredients. These items are enormously beneficial to your dog’s digestive system. They are particularly necessary if your dog’s sensitive stomach has been acting up a lot. This may mean that the helpful natural flora in your dog’s tummy may be diminished. Fortunately, this food helps to address this deficiency. Grain-free carbohydrates and quality sources of protein are other reasons to choose Canidae. This particular formula has just eight key ingredients, so this is the perfect way to simplify your pooch’s diet. Antioxidants give your dog’s immune system a boost while probiotics help to ensure easy digestibility. This formula has both Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which can significantly improve the health and appearance of your dog’s skin and coat.
3. AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Dog Food
With an absence of corn, wheat and other grains, this food is a winner for dogs who have sensitive stomachs. Its fat content is also relatively low at about 13 percent, another huge plus. What fat there is comes from quality sources like herring meal and flaxseed, so you can rest assured that your dog is getting the fat she needs to maintain a healthy skin and coat. The protein source, chicken meal, is excellent, and the carbohydrates come from whole brown rice. Plus, there are no artificial colors, which many vets recommend for dogs with sensitive stomachs. As with all AvoDerm recipes, this formula includes avocado, an ingredient known to promote a healthy skin and coat.
4.Nutro Max Natural Chicken & Rice Recipe
It’s not uncommon for puppies to struggle with sensitive tummies. Their digestive system is still developing, and that can mean bad news at mealtime. What makes this puppy food particularly attractive is that it contains plenty of the essential fatty acids that growing dogs need. DHA is also present to ensure solid brain development. Free-range chickens provide the main protein. What’s not included are questionable ingredients like corn, chicken by-product meal, rye and sorghum. Like other sensitive stomach formulas, you won’t find any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. You’ll love how healthy her skin and coat become within a few weeks of starting this food. Some pet parents have even noticed less shedding after switching to Nutro Max. When your puppy turns one year old, you can switch her to another Nutro Max formula made for adults, which will probably help to prevent the upset that can sometimes happen when you have to introduce a new food.
5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food Turkey & Potato Recipe
This dog food’s short ingredient list makes it a winner. Turkey is the main source of protein, and you won’t find soy, wheat or corn anywhere. Plus, there is plenty of good fiber to help promote regularity. The fiber comes from pumpkin and pea fiber, both of which aid with digestibility. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids come from fish oil and flaxseed, supporting a healthy skin and coat. If your dog doesn’t love turkey, alternative formulas rely on duck, salmon and lamb. All varieties feature proprietary Blue LifeSource Bits, an exclusive blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The presence of beneficial antioxidants is likely to help your pup’s immune system, as do the vitamins and minerals. LifeSource Bits are cold formed, meaning that they are exposed to a minimum of heat so that they retain more of their nutritional value. Many pet parents have noticed a welcome change in their dog’s digestive habits and health as a result of a switch to this food.
6. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Dry Dog Food
This outstanding product promises complete, balanced nutrition for dogs of all ages. In fact, the company touts it as the perfect food to feed your pup at all stages of her life. With a high-quality protein source like venison, you can rest assured that your picky pup might just fall in love with this formula. You’ll love it too when you read the list of ingredients. Venison is considered a premium protein source. Dogs whose digestive systems just don’t seem to be able to handle more traditional protein like beef or chicken may thrive on it. All carbohydrate sources are grain free, and many dogs do very well with most of their carbs coming from sweet potatoes. With just 10 percent fat, this may be the perfect food for your pet. Plus, you’ll love that there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
7. Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredients Dry Dog Food – Lamb and Whole Brown Rice Formula Small Bites
One of the big plusses with this formula is the small size of the kibble. If you’re having a hard time getting your dog to slow down at meal time, these small bits of dog food will still be easier to digest. Also, what’s in the kibble is highly recommended. The major protein source is lamb, and the fiber mainly comes from beet pulp, an ingredient that is often suggested by veterinarians for dogs with sensitive stomachs. This product is also designed to improve the health and appearance of your dog’s skin and coat with linoleic acid while B vitamins, antioxidants and zinc give a much-needed boost to her immune system. What’s missing from the list of ingredients are unnecessary things like soy protein, wheat, corn and corn gluten. With just about 14 percent fat content, this food is just right for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Having stomach sensitivity is worrisome for you and your precious pup. The constant indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea may be preventing her from getting the essential nutrition she needs to thrive. Fortunately, there are several different dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs on the market today. If you suspect that your dog has a sensitive stomach and you want to try a new food, be patient with the process. Dogs with sensitive digestive systems will not deal well with a sudden food switch, even if that food has limited ingredients and should be beneficial. Remember to change her food gradually and to watch her closely for signs of improvement.
Also, be mindful of the fact that while all of these foods could be good for your pup, it’s likely that the first one you try may not be the right one. There may be a bit of trial and error before you pinpoint precisely what your dog’s negative digestive reaction is caused by. Some dog’s just can’t tolerate any kind of potato. In these cases, it may make sense to seek a food that contains rice as the major source of carbohydrate. Perhaps more surprisingly for many pet parents, some dogs are very sensitive about the kind of protein they eat. Beef or even chicken may not be a good protein source for them. However, they may do very well with venison or lamb.
When your beloved pooch no longer has such distressing digestive issues, the two of you can get back to enjoying life. You have the satisfaction of knowing that she is getting the nutrition she needs to have healthy bones, joints and internal organs. At the same time, you may note changes in her behavior, such as being more playful and energetic. Many pet parents also notice that their beloved pups are able to climb stairs or take longer walks than they have in years. Dry skin problems have a tendency to disappear, and your dog’s coat just might look healthier and shinier than it ever did before. Finding the best dog food for sensitive stomachs is a genuinely worthwhile endeavor as it improves your dog’s lifestyle and yours as well.