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Our Top 5 Sensitive Stomach Foods Choices

This article focuses on sensitive stomach issues, symptoms, and remedies that involve special diets and special food considerations.

Dogs are a joyous animal full of curiosity and play. When their stomachs are upset or hurt, they become lethargic and lose that inner joy that makes dogs such a wonderful companion.

Fortunately, there are ways to bring back the “happy” to your dog. What to expect inside:

  • When to go to the vet: It is always recommended that sensitive stomach symptoms be diagnosed by a vet as many of those symptoms mimic more serious diseases such as cancer or intestinal tumors. When these ailments are the result of food, then smart pet owners learn to adjust the quality of their pooches diet to include higher-grade foods with fewer byproducts and fillers.
  • Key Definitions – such as that for food intolerance, food allergies, etc. This article helps to define what food intolerance is and how it differs from other similar conditions, such as food allergies. Expect deep information about what special dog foods do and why they can be a good choice for man’s best friend.
  • Examples – A great example of what to expect from this article is information about labels, including the definition of what “crude” means and how ingredients that are “crude” are not necessarily easy to digest. Another example would be why certain types or proteins are better for dogs than are others.
  • A Rich FAQ section – There is also a FAQ section that helps dog lovers discover answers to common questions such as what the symptoms of a sensitive stomach are and foods that may help alleviate those issues and foods that tend to cause sensitive stomach symptoms so that you can easily avoid products with those foods in them.

Because we all love our dogs, we review several brands of adult dog food and food for puppies too. Let’s get started.

Sensitive Stomach Dog Food Comparison

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dog food Intolerance Defined

Food intolerance in dogs is a physical restriction that prevents the dog from digesting food. Without digestion, the body does not benefit or absorb the nutrients in the food.

Food Intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. The response from the dog’s body is different when a food allergy is concerned. A food allergy reaction involves your dog’s immune system. A food intolerance is strictly a digestive issue.
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Those differences create different responses.
Food intolerance might cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal discomfort. Food allergies cause an allergic response such as itchy skin, hives, and even death. The Pardue Veterinary lab explains how to set up a food trial so that you can isolate and remove risky foods from your dog’s diet.

UNDERSTANDING SPECIAL DOG FOODS

Food for animals should contain a label that matches the Association of American Feed Control Office (AAFCO) standards. Food on the label is listed in descending order based on weight. Labels must present a guaranteed analysis of the food’s contents, which includes:

  • Crude Protein — Crude protein is not necessarily protein that is easy to digest. In fact, crude protein means many things such as shoe leather.
  • Crude fats — Crude fats are not necessarily healthy fats or even if the fats are digestible. A crude fat can be toxic such as motor oil.
  • Crude Fiber — Complex carbs that are difficult to digest or even toxic.
Sensitive stomach dog food is created using care. They balance healthy proteins with healthy fats and limit fiber. A dog’s body does not require complex carbs. when you see complex carbs they are fillers. Special dog foods provide the proper level of nutrients for your specific breed of dog.

Sensitive Stomach Dog Food FAQ

Symptoms Of Dog Sensitive Stomach

Vomiting: One of the biggest clues that your dog has a sensitive stomach is vomiting. Vomiting can be occasional or very frequent. Vomiting is also a symptom of many health disorders for both pups and adult dogs. Any episode of vomiting that pexels-photo-109131lasts more than a day or that occurs more than three times in a 24-hour period should warrant a visit to the vet.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is an indication that there is a digestive issue.

Gas: Excessive gas is also a clue that your dog’s stomach is upset.

Lethargy: Lethargy is a big clue. When your active dog does not want to play, run, or get up, they are lethargic. This can mean that their stomachs hurt, that their intestines are cramping and that they do not feel good.

If you run into any of these symptoms together, please seek the care of a vet.

Why Are Some Dogs so Sensitive?

There are a variety of reasons why some dogs are more sensitive to foods than others are. The breed of the dog is one example. Certain breeds such as Scottish Terriers are known to have more sensitivity to foods. Sometimes it is age.

Puppies and older dogs may also have more problems with new foods or even their regular foods. Like humans, dogs change as they age. A puppy who is sensitive to food may outgrow that issue as their body changes.

With older dogs, changes to their bodies and systems can cause them to become sensitive to certain foods.

What Does it Mean if Your Dog Throws up Undigested Food?

Regurgitation of undigested food is different from vomiting. Usually, when Puddles throws up what he just ate, it is food that has not made it all the way to his stomach. When dogs eat too fast, they impact their esophagus and then throw up that food. It is a common issue with all dogs and not normally a concern.

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine explains that some dogs develop a condition known as megaesophagus. This occurs when the muscles of the esophagus lose muscle tone. The result is almost a pocket where food stacks up. The esophagus is designed to constrict so that food is pushed into the stomach. When that does not happen, dogs regurgitate.

What To Give a Dog for an Upset Stomach?

Water is one of the best things to give a dog when it has a sensitive stomach.  Many dry foods have very little water or moisture in them and can cause stomach problems. If your dog vomits, then water helps them recover the lost fluid which helps keep them hydrated. Foods that hold water include winter squash and pumpkin and are perfect for dogs who are dehydrated.

Time is another thing that you can give your dog. Make sure that they are eating their food slowly and not scarfing it down. Make sure that you feed your dog at regular intervals as outlined on the food’s label. Megaesophagus becomes inflamed when food is consumed too quickly.

If the problem is chronic, consider talking with your vet about over-the-counter medications and how to dose them for your dog’s weight.

Does “Sensitive Stomach Dog Food” Blends of Dog Food Actually Work?

Some brands of sensitive stomach foods do work. Much of this depends on what is in the food and your dog’s reaction to it. Be sure to read the list of ingredients and not just the marketing on the front of the bag.

A healthy food will talk about real food like chicken breast and brown rice, rather than soybean meal or bone meal. You also want to read the label to make sure that “crude” ingredients are at safe levels and that there is nothing toxic in the food.
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Remember too, that when switching to a new food, to do so gradually. Every two –
three days, replace a quarter of the old food with new food over the course of a week. Do so until your dog is eating 100 percent of the new food. Transitioning helps their bodies get used to changes in their diet.

Diet for Sensitive Stomach?

Diets for dogs with sensitive stomachs tend to be bland. If you are opting to cook for your dog, the American Kennel Club suggests chicken and brown rice. The goal being to provide a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbs recommended for your breed of dog.

Also keep in mind that dogs are very much like humans in that some sources of protein are harder to digest than others. If puddle’s diet is primarily chicken, consider switching to another type of meat, such as beef. Also, be sure to check with your veterinarian. The nutritional needs of dogs change with age, the amount of exercise,  and other lifestyle habits.

For serious stomach issues, the vet may suggest a prescription diet, especially if Puddles does not adapt to either a high-quality commercial dog food or your homemade variety of foods. It is also a good idea to always check with a vet first, before changing your dog’s food simply to rule out other health problems.

What Is the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach and Skin

Because dogs are much like people, there is no magic formula for dog food that fits the problems of both a sensitive stomach and sensitive skin. These issues are best overcome by approaching them from the unique perspective of your dog.

Also, sensitive skin is a sign of a food allergy or food intolerance, which is different from having a sensitive stomach. In this case, an ingredient in regular dog food might be causing both their sensitive stomach and sensitive skin. If that is the case, then food allergy or intolerance testing can help identify a list of foods to avoid according to NutriScan.

Ingredients Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs Should Avoid

Many ingredients in commercial dog food are difficult to digest. Those vary from one dog to the next. A few of the top foods to avoid if your dog has food sensitivity issues are ingredients such as:

  • Meat byproducts including chicken byproducts and beef byproducts
  • Hard plant materials such as peanut shells or corn meal
  • Highly modified sugars such as corn syrup
  • High-fiber food additives such as wheat bran.
  • Dog snacks such as dog biscuits or rawhide chews should also be avoided. These products can be reintroduced later when food sensitivities are rectified.

When it comes to choosing your dog’s food, be sure to read the label carefully. Quality dog food labels list real foods rather than a long list of chemicals.

Ingredients that Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs Should Have

Because dogs are as unique as are humans, food sensitivities are usually unique. Diets for sensitive stomachs include more ingredients that are whole foods rather than highly processed foods. Consider adding the following to your dog’s diet:

  • Cooked brown rice or even oatmeal
  • Fresh, cooked chicken rather than chicken meal or chicken byproducts
  • Fresh vegetables, such as yams, sweet potato, and even pumpkin. Cooked, canned pumpkin that is unsweetened is also good. These foods add quality fiber to your dog’s diet which helps to absorb fats and excess water.
  • If your dog does not have a dairy allergy then consider introducing cottage cheese to their diet. Cottage cheese is a great source of easy to digest protein that is also bland. Both of those facts help dogs digest food better.

Best Meat for a Dog with a Sensitive Stomach?

Chicken is usually the first meat of choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, there are many meaty foods available. Dogs may also have a food intolerance to certain types of meat so consider the following meats as sensitive-stomach friendly:

  • Bison – easily digested and makes a great substitute for meat for dogs that do not tolerate beef or chicken.
  • Venison – also easily digestible and on par with bison.
  • Duck – a great substitute when your dog is sensitive to chicken-based protein. It is also one of the first ingredients that you find in sensitive-dog foods.
Consider switching proteins between the standards. Chicken and chicken byproduct are very standard in dog food. Try switching to beef or lamb-based food to see if the sensitivity is simply one type of protein versus another.

Is Venison Good for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs?

Yes. Venison is good for a couple of reasons. First, it is an easy protein to digest. It can also be a much cheaper form of meat than beef or specialty proteins such as Kangaroo. Venison is one type of protein that is great for dogs with chicken or beef allergies or intolerances.

Venison also makes a great choice for meats that are not commercially raised per Michigan State University.

Top 4 Best Dog Foods For Sensitive Stomach – Adult:

 

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Our Rating 4.6/5 Stars

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food is stocked with quality ingredients. It has a 4.6-star rating from reviewers on Amazon. The list of ingredients includes smoked salmon, fruits, and vegetables. It is available in a variety of protein types including bison plus venison, boar, lamb, salmon, wildfowl, and venison.

Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream Canine Formula with Smoked Salmon
  • A fish protein, grain-free formula with sweet potatoes provides highly digestible energy for your sensitive dog.
  • Made with real smoked salmon, this formula offers a taste sensation like no other.

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Pros:

  • First five ingredients are – Salmon, fish meal, sweet potato, potatoes, and canola oil.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and flavors to accommodate specific diets or to help dog owners avoid certain proteins.
  • 79 percent of Amazon reviews were five-star
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Product ingredients are not 100 percent made in the U.S.A.
  • Five percent of Amazon customers rates this product with only one-star
  • Top complaints include a variation in the size of the nuggets from Amazon versus those purchased locally.
  • Several complaints of mold found in the bags
  • Quality complaints seem to indicate a possible change in the food formula as many of those complaining claim to have used this product without incident for years and note recent purchases.

Overall, people and dogs love Taste of the Wild dog food. While there are very few complaints, those complaints are consistent.

 

Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Our Rating 4.6/5 Stars

Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has 4.6 stars from Amazon reviewers. Their grain-free dog food comes in turkey, duck, and lamb & Peas varieties. The smallest sized bag is 4.4 pounds, while the largest bag is 25.3 pounds.

The brand is specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs and is completely grain- and gluten-free. Expect a short list of only essential ingredients. No fillers and plenty of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

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Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Turkey Meal Formula Natural Dry Dog Food by Nature's Variety, 25.3 lb. Bag
  • Formulated for dogs with food sensitives - made with one animal protein source and no grain or gluten
  • Contains the fewest, most essential, easily digestible ingredients

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Pros

  • The first five ingredients are Turkey Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Canola oil and Turkey (Turkey Flavor)
  • 64 percent of Amazon reviewers rates this product with five stars
  • Multiple flavors available so dogs are never bored.
  • Grain- and gluten-free
  • Socially Responsible Company

Cons

  • Six percent of Amazon reviewers rated this product with just one star.
  • Company changes formula without informing pet owners with dire results. – Important because this is a food specially designed for pets with sensitive stomach issues.

 

Nutri Source Grain Free Seafood Select

Our Rating 4.6/5 Stars

Nutri Source Grain Free Seafood Select Dog Food uses high-quality natural foods as ingredients. It has a 4.6-star rating from reviewers on Amazon. The list of ingredients includes Chicken, chicken broth, lamb, ocean fish, pearl barley, brown rice, etc.

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Pros:

  • First five ingredients are – Salmon, menhaden fishmeal, peas, pea flour, and pea starch.
  • Comes flavors to accommodate specific diets or to help dog owners avoid certain proteins.
  • 92 percent of Amazon reviews were five-star
  • Grain-free
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons

  • One percent of Amazon customers rates this product with only one-star
  • Top complaints were that their dogs did not like the taste of it. Two complaints were that it caused yeast-allergies to flare up again.

Overall, people and dogs love Nutri Source Grain Free Seafood Select. What is really important about this product is the very low number of complaints. One, two, and three-star reviews on Amazon total only four percent of the total number of reviewers. Most people rated this product with five stars. Most five-star praises are in direct conflict with those rating the product with low-star ratings. Most reviewers have dogs who love the taste. No quality control issues were reported.

 

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Adult Dog Food

Our Rating 4.5/5 Stars

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Adult Dog Food uses quality healthy-focused and nutrient rich natural foods as ingredients. It has a 4.5-star rating from reviewers on Amazon. The list of ingredients includes California Avocado, brown rice, white rice, oatmeal, and chicken meal.

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AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food, 30-Pound
  • Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Healthy Skin & Coat: Made with omega rich California avocados and avocado oil

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Pros:

  • First five ingredients are – Chicken meal, ground whole brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, chicken fat.
  • Contains quality antioxidants
  • Helps to boost immune systems
  • 79 percent of Amazon reviews were five-star
  • Grain-free  and soy free
  • Created to the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages

Cons

  • Six percent of Amazon customers rates this product with only one-star
  • Top complaints were that their dogs did not like the taste of it. Other complaints include concerns over the list of ingredients and how they have increased over time. A few complaints center around dogs who have enjoyed the product but recently have become developed stomach sensitivities.

Overall, AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Adult Dog Food is well received by people and dogs. Most reviews point to cases where their dog has had severe sensitive stomach issues that resolved when they switched to the AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Adult Dog Food.

Best Puppy Food For Sensitive Stomach

 

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Puppy Food

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Puppy Food uses antioxidant-laden, nutrient rich natural foods as ingredients. It has a solid 4.1-star rating from reviewers on Amazon. The list of ingredients includes California Avocado, brown rice, white rice, oat bran, rice bran, and chicken meal.

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AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Dry Puppy Food, 15-Pound
  • Chicken & Rice Dry Puppy Food. Specially Formulated for Puppies. Made with DHA for Healthy Development
  • Healthy Skin & Coat: Made with omega rich California avocados and avocado oil

Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Pros:

  • First five ingredients are – Chicken meal, ground whole brown rice, ground whole white rice, chicken fat, and oat bran
  • Contains quality antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Immune system builder
  • 66 percent of Amazon reviews were five-star
  • Created to the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for puppies

Cons:

  • Four percent of Amazon customers rates this product with only one-star
  • Top complaints were loose stools and excess gas. Other complaints include concerns over the size of the nuggets for puppies. There were a few complaints about pups not liking the taste.

AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Formula Puppy FoodFood is well received by people and dogs. Most reviews point to cases where their pups went from normal digestion to gassy and loose stools. For most consumers, this puppy food is spot on the money and consumers rave about positive changes to their dog’s coat.

As you can see, a sensitive stomach is fairly common in dogs. The causes are as unique as the dogs are. The takeaway here is that sensitive stomach dog food helps to reduce the painful symptoms that dogs suffer from and helps to return your pooch to that joyful creature that you love. If you loved this article consider leaving a comment and sharing your story and following us on Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you.