Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

10-Second Take:

Our four-legged Dogs are just as prone to sensitive stomach issues as humans, they just can’t tell us about it. But with some simple adjustments—like feeding him the right dog food for sensitive stomachs, and maybe adding healthy supplements to his diet—your dog’s tummy can be as healthy as it was when he was a pup.

What we put in our best friends’ bodies affects them just as much as what we put into ours (if not more), especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The wrong dog food can lead to stomach sensitivity, occasional vomiting, loose stools, and even flatulence. 🙁

Read on for all the info you need to get him going again, and back to his optimal, playful self…

Normally, it seems like your dog can do anything. He can chase after a tennis ball faster than a cheetah and jump and catch anything—no matter how high or how far. Your dog can conquer any hiking trail, weather the toughest of conditions, and will always be at your side for any adventure. But as strong as he is, he seems to be at the mercy of one thing: an upset tummy. An upset stomach can strike down even the toughest of dogs. Don’t despair… You and Fido can be back out exploring the world and having fun soon!

How to Tell if Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Here are some common signs of a sensitive stomach your dog might exhibit:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Hypersalivation
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Flatulence

Having a sensitive stomach is a common condition that needs to be addressed if you want your furry best friend to be active and thrive.

What Causes Sensitive Stomachs in Dogs?

Some dogs are just born with sensitive stomachs while others aren’t. Some can develop them later when they get older. Some dogs, just like some people, can be sensitive to some food ingredients.

Sometimes, a sensitive stomach could be a sign of a more serious problem. Although the chances of anything serious would be low, a trip to the vet can rule out more serious issues and would put your mind at ease. Remember that dog food can get expensive, especially if you opt to experiment by switching out foods, hoping to find the right one for your dog’s stomach. For the long run, a trip to the vet might actually save you time and money. However, there is one veterinarian-recommended option you could try first… read on or skip down to the probiotics for dogs section below.

With the wide variety of reasons for sensitive stomach, there’s also a wide variety of dog foods that certain dogs can have trouble tolerating. Some dogs are sensitive to certain types of proteins. Other dogs may be needing more fiber or minerals, or maybe it contains too much of something, like fat.

What to Look For in Commercial Dog Foods When Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach

Protein Source

Some dogs just have trouble digesting certain proteins. For example, if your dog is on a beef based diet, try switching to chicken, lamb, or fish.

Fiber Source

Some dogs need some extra fiber in their diet. In commercial dog food, look out for inulin and psyllium, soluble fibers that act as gentle, bulk-forming laxatives.

Fat Content

Dog foods that are higher in fat are harder to digest than those high in protein or carbohydrates. If fats and oils are listed in the first four ingredients, this can mean that the fat content may be too high for your dog.

    What to look for on dog food packaging

    The tricky part with commercial dog food is that there is such a variety. And because different ingredients affect different dogs in different ways, it just makes it all the harder to really pinpoint the cause. However, there are common qualities that make certain dog foods easily digestible.

    • Less grain – some dogs have difficulty digesting wheat, corn, and other grains.
    • Limiting the number of ingredients – the higher the ingredient count, the higher the chances of having an ingredient that your dog’s stomach won’t agree with.
    • Easily digestible foods as one of the first ingredients – chicken, lamb, brown rice, and potatoes are easily digestible for the vast majority of dogs.
    • Some foods contain added probiotics or yogurt. Others can contain pumpkin or added fibers for better quality stools.

    Homemade Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    If most commercial dog foods still don’t sit right with your dog, you can opt for homemade food. Even if the primary food source is commercial dog food, it’s still very beneficial to mix it up with tasty homemade meals.

    Lean, Boiled Chicken or Turkey

    Not only are these tasty, but they are very high in protein with less fiber and fat.

    Canned Tuna

    Make sure it’s canned in water, not in oil. Avoid added seasoning.

    White Rice

    Cheap, bland, but nutritious, white rice is a good option for sensitive stomachs. Make sure it’s fully cooled before giving it to your pooch!

    Boiled Potatoes

    Like white rice, boiled potatoes is another bland but nutritious option for sensitive stomachs. However, it has higher vitamin content, making it a bit more ideal.


    With high levels of probiotics, yogurt is great for the digestive tract. Offer your dog the plain variety with no sugar, sweeteners or flavorings.

    Probiotics Health Treats for Dogs Can Help!

    Stomach sensitivity is one of the most common ailments for all types of dogs and can hinder your dog’s energy and activity. Adding probiotic health treats for dogs as supplements to store-bought or homemade food can be a work wonders for your dog’s sensitive stomach and overall health.

    Probiotics are natural “good bacteria” that aid digestion, as well as many other health benefits. By enhancing the digestive process, it facilitates the removal of harmful toxins.

    Whatever the specific reason is for stomach sensitivity (i.e., too much fat, not enough fiber, etc.), adding probiotics can be a healthy, efficient, and inexpensive way to help balance your dog’s gut health.

    TIP: Check out our article on the advantages and sources of Probiotics for Dogs for more on why dogs need them and what to look for.

    Adding probiotics can help with sensitive stomach issues
    Always be watchful of what your dog eats and be aware of the quality of his poo. With some exploration of what foods feel right and adding some health treats to his diet, you can help prevent stomach sensitivity from slowing him down and holding both of you back from enjoying activities together.

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