Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea in 2024: Gentle Diets for Sensitive Canines

Sensitive stomachs and diarrhea are common ailments in dogs, often causing discomfort and distress. Finding the right diet is crucial for these dogs, as the proper nutrition can significantly improve their digestive health and overall well-being.

Understanding Sensitive Stomachs and Diarrhea in Dogs

Sensitive stomachs in dogs can be attributed to various factors, including food intolerances, stress, dietary indiscretion, and underlying health issues. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Diarrhea, particularly, can be a sign of digestive upset and may range from mild to severe, depending on the underlying cause.

Key Nutritional Considerations

  • Easily Digestible Ingredients: Dogs with sensitive stomachs require foods that are easy to digest, such as lean meats, certain carbohydrates like rice, and low-fat formulations.
  • Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes: These supplements can help support a healthy gut flora, improving digestion and absorption.
  • Balanced Fiber Content: A moderate amount of fiber is beneficial for digestive health. It aids in bowel regularity and stool formation.

Reviewing Top Dog Food Brands for Sensitive Stomachs and Diarrhea

  1. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
    • Pros: Formulated for digestive and skin health, includes prebiotic fiber.
    • Cons: Contains grains, which may not suit all dogs.
    • Price: Approximately $60 for a 30-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available in pet stores and online.
  2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
    • Pros: Made with easily digestible ingredients like salmon and rice.
    • Cons: Some dogs may be allergic to fish.
    • Price: Around $50 for a 30-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Widely available in pet stores and online.
  3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low-Fat
    • Pros: Low fat, highly digestible, and includes prebiotics.
    • Cons: Prescription-only and may be more expensive.
    • Price: About $85 for a 28.6-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available through veterinarians and some online retailers.
  4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
    • Pros: Limited ingredient diet to minimize food sensitivities, including pumpkin and pea fiber.
    • Cons: Some formulas may include ingredients like potatoes, which can be problematic for some dogs.
    • Price: Approximately $60 for a 24-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Widely available in stores and online.
  5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
    • Pros: Minimal ingredients, grain-free options, no artificial colors or flavors.
    • Cons: Limited protein variety in some formulas.
    • Price: About $55 for a 26-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available in pet stores and online.

Special Dietary Adjustments

Limited Ingredient Diets (LIDs) are often beneficial for identifying and eliminating dietary irritants. Hydration is also crucial, especially for dogs with diarrhea, to prevent dehydration. Foods high in fat or certain proteins that are known allergens should be avoided.

Feeding Guidelines for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs and Diarrhea

Small, frequent meals can help reduce the burden on a sensitive digestive system. When introducing a new diet, it’s important to transition gradually over a week or more to avoid further upsetting the stomach.

Homemade Dog Food and Supplements

Homemade meals like boiled chicken and rice can be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Supplements such as probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes can also support digestive health.

FAQs About Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs and Diarrhea

  1. What ingredients should I avoid for a dog with a sensitive stomach?
    • Avoid high-fat foods, lactose-containing products, and complex proteins that can be hard to digest.
  2. Can a change in diet resolve my dog’s stomach issues?
    • While diet can significantly impact digestive health, it’s important to consult a vet to rule out other health issues.
  3. How long does it take for a new diet to improve my dog’s symptoms?
    • Some dogs show improvement within a few days, while others may need a few weeks.
  4. Is grain-free food recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs?
    • Grain-free food can be beneficial for dogs with specific grain allergies or sensitivities but is not universally required.
  5. Can I give my dog human food if they have a sensitive stomach?
    • It’s best to avoid human food, especially spicy, fatty, or rich foods, as these can exacerbate digestive issues.


The right dog food can make a significant difference in managing sensitive stomachs and diarrhea in dogs. Understanding their specific dietary needs and making informed choices about their food can help maintain their digestive health and overall quality of life.


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