Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach (& Diarrhea): Top 4 Brands | 99PetCare
99PetCare > Dog Food Articles and Review (2020) > Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach (& Diarrhea): Top 4 Brands

Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach (& Diarrhea): Top 4 Brands

Best dog food for sensitive stomach and skin

Pukes. Farts. Watery stools.

The first time I tried to feed our dog peanut butter, I had about a dozen little messes to clean up, and most of them were under our bed. Gross. Hopefully, I can help you avoid having to spend the next couple of weeks on your hands and knees with a bottle of Lysol and a couple rolls of paper towels!

If you’ve been finding yourself smelling and cleaning up messes around the house a little too often, your dog might have a sensitive stomach. 

We'll get to what causes this condition later...

First things first. Let's help you switch to a dog food that is best for a sensitive stomach. Trust me, you and your dog will appreciate that diet change.

Quick Product Comparison: A Few Good Choices for Pups with Tummy Trouble

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Formula
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Formula
    Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Dry Food
    Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Dry Food
      Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Turkey Recipe
      Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Turkey Recipe
        AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice
        AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice
          Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free
          Victor Yukon River Salmon & Sweet Potato Grain-Free

            **Below, you'll find our expert's science-backed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Chewy.

            Check Out Our Reviews of a Few Tummy-Friendly Dog Foods

            When looking for the best dog food for sensitive stomach and skin, we’re looking for one that’s easy to digest and a couple of different things (which is what the following recommendations and reviews on based on).

            First, we’re looking for relatively few ingredients. That can sometimes be hard to find, especially in commercial dog foods, so we just want to make sure it’s reasonable and not a full-blown novel of a nutrition label.

            We also want to make sure the main ingredient is a good source of protein, and we want to avoid foods that contain excessive fat.

            With that in mind, here are just a few recommendations (just keep in mind there are plenty of good foods out there, and you can always make your own).

            Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

            If you’re looking for a dog food that’ll be easy on your pup’s stomach, this is a good place to start.

            In general, Wellness makes good dog food anyway, so at the very least, you’ll know the ingredients are good.

            In addition to having just a few ingredients, this dog food also avoids anything that might potentially be a food allergy: grain and soy. It also leaves other stuff that could cause stomach problems, like corn, dairy, preservatives and artificial colors.

            There are a bunch of different “flavors,” which really just means there’s a different primary protein.

            The only real downside to this formula is that it contains Canola oil, which isn’t our favorite ingredient in the world. Overall, though, it’s a good recipe and a good place to start.

            Nutro Wholesome Essentials

            Nutro's Limited Ingredient formula has a few things going for it that make it a safe bet for dogs showing symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

            Mostly, though, we like that the ingredients are good and the kibble size is small. If you’ve got a breed that loves to snarf, like, say, a pit bull, who sometimes swallows without chewing, large kibble sizes could be contributing to her tummy issues. The small kibble size solves that problem.

            Plus, it’s got plenty of good sources of protein (coming mostly from lamb), and it includes goods sources of fiber—namely, beet pulp.

            It doesn’t have a ton of fruits and veggies, so it’s probably not a food you want your dog to be eating indefinitely, but it’s good for when she catches a bug.

            Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient

            This is another brand we recommend quite a bit, and this is a good option if you’re finding little puppy messes around your house.

            There’s not many ingredients here at all, and the ones included are high-quality and sensible. There’s no wheat, corn, or soy, and the most of the protein comes from turkey.

            The limited ingredients here should help eliminated (or at least narrow down and isolate food sensitivities).

            Plus, there are plenty of good sources of antioxidants and fiber with help keep your dog regular and give a small boost to her immune system.

            Highly recommended.

            AvoDerm Dry Dog Food Formula

            We like this dog food from AvoDerm mostly because it’s a high-quality food that also has a relatively low-fat content, and reducing the fat in your dog’s food can help her digestion pretty significantly.

            Like most of the foods we’re recommending here, there’s no corn and no wheat. The main ingredient is a good protein (chicken meal), and the carbohydrates come from whole ground brown rice.

            Plus, there’s some good sources of fat (even though the fat content is low), which comes from flaxseed and herring meal.

            We do want to mention that there are a few controversial ingredients here, although they’re in small quantities: tomato pomace, alfalfa and avocado.

            victor select grain free yukon river canine

            We have included this top-grade dog food in this list because of its different formula. The Yukon River Canine recipe, as goes from its name, has fish meal and salmon as a source of protein. This is just perfect for dogs who have allergies for other meats.

            The other claimed ingredient is sweet potato which is good for sensitive stomach as well. Victor's Yukon River recipe is grain-free and has balanced nutritional combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and healthy carbohydrates.

            We'd like to admit that this food has pre- and probiotics in its formula, which will help your dog to solve tummy issues caused by digestion sensitivity. 

            If you're looking for more specialized dog food, check out this post on good low-fat foods. We also have a nice, big article on hypoallergenic dog food. And here's a good article on doggy dental health and one on canned dog food options and the best food for labradors.

            Symptoms to Watch Out For

            Most of the time, it should be pretty obvious if something is aggravating your pup’s sensitive stomach. Just in case, though, we wanted to give you a quick list of symptoms you should be on the lookout for.

            Occasional Loose Stools

            Loose could really mean anything. But mostly, anything that’s not a solid movement could be considered a loose stool, although, of course, some will be looser than others.

            Occasionally, this type of stool will also contain some blood. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about—unless there’s a really large volume of blood. In that case, call your vet immediately.

            Also, try not to freak out at the first sign of a loose stool. It may not mean anything. Dogs get diarrhea sometimes, and your first strategy should be “wait and see.” Just keep an eye on it for 24-48 hours and see if it improves. If it doesn’t, take some more action.

            Intermittent Vomiting

            If something’s bothering your dog’s stomach, odds are good that loose stools aren’t going to be the only symptom.

            Most dogs will also vomit. It’s important to note that they may not vomit as much as they pass a loose stool, though. And they may not even vomit every time they eat. It might just be every once in a while. This is usually the case when our pup has tummy trouble. She’ll keep about half her meals down.

            Gas, Gas & More Gas

            A sudden uptick in little doggy farts may also be a sign of stomach woes. Of course, every dog is different, but you should know by now how much gas is normal for your dog.

            If it seems like your dog’s body has all of a sudden opened its release valves, it may be time to adjust his or her diet. And this doesn’t go for farting only. It can also go for belching.

            Really, it doesn’t matter which end the gas is coming out of. If there’s a lot of it, pay attention, especially if it’s combined with other symptoms.

            Of course, some dogs are just gassier than others (*cough* our dog*cough*), so it’s important to judge your pup’s current level of flatulence against his or her normal gas levels.

            Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach And Skin

            What Should I Do?

            Simplify Her Diet

            If you think something’s bothering your dog’s tummy, the first thing you should do is cut all the extras out of her diet. And that means everything except for her normal dog food.

            No table scraps. No treats.

            You want to totally eliminate anything that could be causing her body to go a little haywire.

            If you’re in the habit of giving your dog treats (or if you’re training her, for example), the best course of action is usually to train her at meal time and use her regular dog food as treats/rewards. Trust me: she’s a dog. As long as she’s getting some kind of food when she’s a good dog, she’ll like it just fine.

            Take a Good Look at Her Food

            If you’ve eliminated everything else from her diet, and she’s still exhibiting the symptoms above while eating only her regular food, take a good look at her regular food.

            Read the label. The first thing you’ll want to look for is that it’s made with good, high-quality ingredients. The first ingredient should be protein, and the carbohydrates should come from a complex carbohydrate, like sweet potatoes.

            Some big, commercial brands of dog food stuff their food with fillers and low-quality ingredients (which is totally unethical if you ask me). So make sure you can recognize (or at least pronounce) the first dozen ingredients in your dog’s food.

            Take special care to avoid stuff like corn, soy and other low-quality ingredients.

            Then, check the fat content. All dogs need good sources of fat, but it’s still more difficult to digest than, say, protein. If your dog’s food has a bunch of fat, you might want to look for a lower-fat dog food.

            For optimal digestive health, look for a food with a moderate amount of fat—around 15%.

            Finally, make sure whatever food you’re feeding your pup has some good sources of fiber. Just like in humans, fiber helps keeps the ol’ plumbing regular. For dogs, good sources of fiber include stuff like leafy greens, fibrous fruits and root vegetables.

            If you take a good, long look at your dog’s food label, and you find some stuff you don’t like, try a better food that’ll be easier on her digestive system (like those below), and gradually change her food over the course of about a week.

            If Nothing Helps, Call Your Vet

            If you’ve tried to modify your dog’s diet, and it just doesn’t seem to help (or if her symptoms get worse), it’s probably time to visit the vet. Really, if you have any doubts at all, visit your vet. It can’t hurt, and my philosophy is always to be safe rather than sorry.

            More Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach

            Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach
            • Brand Name - Purina Pro Plan
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free, High-Protein, Weight Control
            • Main Ingredients - Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal, Fish Meal
            Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach
            • Brand Name - Hill's Science Diet
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion
            • Main Ingredients - Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
            Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic
            • Brand Name - Purina Pro Plan
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Water Sufficient For Processing, Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein
            Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach
            • Brand Name - Solid Gold
            • Lifestage - Adult, Puppy, Senior
            • Diet - Grain-Free, Gluten Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Sensitive Digestion
            • Main Ingredients - Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Chicken Fat
            Blackwood Salmon Meal & Brown Rice
            • Brand Name - Blackwood
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Millet, Canola Oil, Oat Groats
            Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula
            • Brand Name - Diamond
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Gluten Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Potatoes, Egg Product, Potato Protein, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat
            Olewo Digestive Health & Anti-Diarrhea Dehydrated
            • Brand Name - Olewo
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Vegetarian, Vegan, Sensitive Digestion, Pea-Free, Non-GMO, Natural, GMO-Free, Grain-Free, Human-Grade
            • Main Ingredients - Dehydrated Carrots
            Halo Whole Food Sensitive Stomach Powder
            • Brand Name - Halo
            • Lifestage - Adult, Senior, Puppy
            • Diet - Sensitive Stomach
            • Main Ingredients - Coconut, Sweet Potato, Organic Inulin, Anise, Turmeric Root Extract
            Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Duck Recipe
            • Brand Name - Nulo
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Gluten Free, High-Protein, Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Raw, Pea-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Duck, Duck Necks, Duck Heart, Duck Wings, Duck Liver
            Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal
            • Brand Name - Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, Weight Control, Veterinary Diet
            • Main Ingredients - Water Sufficient For Processing, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Brewers Rice Flour, Corn Grits
            Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient
            • Brand Name - Blue Buffalo
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
            • Main Ingredients - Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Pea Starch, Peas
            Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient
            • Brand Name - Natural Balance
            • Lifestage - Adult
            • Diet - Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
            VICTOR Select Beef Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
            • Brand Name - VICTOR
            • Lifestage - All Stages
            • Diet - Gluten Free, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free
            • Main Ingredients - Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal
            VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
            • Brand Name - VICTOR
            • Lifestage - Senior
            • Diet - Weight Control, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free
            • Main Ingredients - Beef Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat

            SAVE TO YOUR MEMOS!

            **Disclaimer: Our dog food reviews are based mostly on (1) our expertise and that of the experts with whom we consult and (2) the information provided by the manufacturers. We do test many dog foods (with our dog's help), but we can't test them all. As such, please remember the above recommendations are our opinions, and you should consult your vet before making changes to your dog's diet.

            Images credits: ,, Photo Stocks.


            Paul is an entrepreneur and marketer for the pet industry who works out of Chicago. He teaches people how to break free of the 9-to-5 grind by blogging for a living. Currently, Paul runs the 99PetCare along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.

            Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
            Rita - October 25, 2016

            I did not see Purina Pro Plan on the list of good dog food brands. Do you not recommend this brand?

            Melissa - June 17, 2017

            This although very explanatory, is confusing in that all these foods look great, and are explained to be great for PUPPIES but all of the foods pictured are for ADULT DOGS! I continue to have this problem. I can very easily find dry foods for sensitive stomachs however, they are ALL for adult dogs. I have gone to chain pets stores, ” mom and pop pet stores, local pet stores in my town online and even tried the grocery store!!! Is there something I’m missing?!?! Where can I find dry food for sensitive stomachs for PUPPPIES???

              PC Carrell - June 17, 2017

              Hello Melissa
              Visit this link
              Taste of The wild is a top brand for Sensitive products and they do have food for puppies



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