Just like humans, dogs can suffer from tummy troubles on occasion. For some dogs, the problem is worse than others, and as such they may benefit from the best dog food for sensitive stomachs.
It’s important to speak to your vet before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet, and bear in mind that different dogs will have different sensitivities, so all the foods listed here might not necessarily be the perfect choice for your dog.
With that in mind, there are a few things to consider when picking the best dog food for your pet.
First of all, you might want to think about whether your dog needs to switch to a sensitive food option permanently, or only to get back to their normal rhythm following an upset tummy. Options for both are available.
Also consider your dog’s age. If it’s a puppy, stomach sensitivity may be the result of your pooch developing and growing, while older dogs can also suffer from similar problems. Breed type and size are worth acknowledging, too, since some foods are specifically formulated to meet those kinds of needs.
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Would your dog prefer dry or wet food, or a combination of both? The vast majority of sensitive foods are dry foods, but if you have a fussy pup who finds it easier to handle softer, wet food then it’s worth looking at such options.
Lastly, there’s the issue of budget. As with almost every dog product, food for sensitive stomachs is available at a variety of price points. While value for money is important, this doesn’t necessarily equate to the cheapest – especially if a more expensive option leaves you with a healthier, happier dog.
Best dog food for sensitive stomachs: At a glance
How to choose the best dog food for sensitive stomachs
What type of sensitive dog food should I buy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the best dog food. It might even come down to trying a few different options and seeing which settles with your dog the best. If your pooch is suffering from an unsettled stomach, speak to a vet to come up with a feeding plan – for example, they might advise that you gradually switch between brands, or recommend a specific type of product.
Can I give my dog human food?
Yes, with some caveats. There are multiple human foods that are dangerous for dogs, including chocolate, onions and grapes. It’s always best to check via a web search whether something is likely to be poisonous before offering it to your pet. It’s also likely that feeding your dog human food won’t provide them with the balanced nutrition they need. That said, when your dog is recovering from an upset tummy, it can be beneficial to give them something simple such as plain boiled rice and plain chicken until the situation improves.
Do dogs have allergies?
Lots of dogs have allergies – and unfortunately, allergens can be common in dog-food ingredients. For example, some dogs are allergic to specific kinds of grain, and since some products change the grains used depending on availability at the time of production, you might find that they react differently to a food with which they’ve previously been fine. This is the reason that most dog food recipes are either grain-free, or use only a named, specified type of grain. Dogs can also be allergic to certain meats, such as chicken or beef. If you think your dog might be suffering from an allergy, talk to your vet.
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Do puppies need special food?
Puppies are developing and, as such, it’s wise to feed them a food that’s been formulated specifically for puppies. You might find that your puppy has a particularly sensitive tummy, especially when they first join you in your home. If this is the case, a sensitive puppy food can be a good way to mitigate the problem. You should also be mindful to feed puppies smaller meals more often than you might feed an adult dog – overloading their small stomachs can cause problems.
Should I buy wet or dry sensitive dog food?
On the whole, this might be very much up to you and your dog’s preference. Dry food is certainly less “messy” than dry food, and as such, some owners prefer it. It’s also easier to measure out and weigh. That said, wet food, being softer in consistency, can be easier and quicker to digest. Again, it’s worth speaking to a vet for some advice if you’re not sure.
The best dog food for sensitive stomachs in 2022
1. Eukanuba Daily Care Dry Dog Food Sensitive Digestion: The best dog food for sensitive stomachs for everyday use
Price: £34 (12kg) | Buy now from Amazon
Created specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs, Eukanuba’s daily care food includes probiotics to help support healthy digestion.
While it isn’t grain-free, it doesn’t contain wheat or gluten, while other ingredients are easy to digest. In addition, it also includes natural sources of omega 6 and 3 for a healthy coat and skin, as well as calcium to support and maintain strong bones. Even the kibble shape has been designed to be of benefit for teeth; Its hardness helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Suitable for adult dogs of all sizes and breeds, this is a great all-rounder for most dogs with sensitive tummies.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5): Dried chicken and turkey, rice, maize, sorghum, pork fat; Dog age: adult; Other flavors: No; Grain-free?: No; Form: dry
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2. Royal Canin Dog Food Sensitivity Control: The best dog food for sensitive stomachs after illness
Price: £38 (12 x 420g) | Buy now from Amazon
If your dog is recovering from a gastric upset, or perhaps you’re not sure what might be causing an issue in the first place, then this food from Royal Canin is worth having in your cupboard ready to go when you need it.
By using a limited number of protein sources, it reduces the risk of food allergies. It’s available in either duck or chicken, so should your dog be allergic to one ingredient or the other, you can try swapping to hopefully get a better result. It’s a wet food, so you should also find that it passes through your dog’s system quickly and easily, and will be helpful if your pooch is suffering issues with chewing or swallowing.
It’s unlikely you’d use this product as your everyday food, and it’s advised that you speak to your vet before feeding it to your pet.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5): Chicken meat, chicken liver, rice, fish oil, sunflower oil; Dog age: adult; Other Flavors: Duck; Grain-free?: No; Form: Wet
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3. Burns Pet Nutrition Hypoallergenic Complete Dry Dog Food: The best hypoallergenic dog food for sensitive stomachs
Price: £38 (12kg) | Buy now from Amazon
By using just a single source of protein and combining it with an easily digestible carbohydrate (there’s potato, maize or rice to choose from), Burns’ food is designed to not only be ideal for sensitive tummies, but good as an everyday food option, too. Other ingredients include those rich in minerals, such as seaweed, for a balanced diet.
This range comprises a choice of flavours, so it’s perfect for fussy eaters, as well as for those dogs suffering from a specific allergy to, say, chicken – you can simply switch to one of the other options.
Burns also ticks a lot of other boxes: the brand is involved in community projects; it uses recyclable packaging; and has been awarded Ethical Accreditation by the independent Ethical Company Organization for its work in the areas of animal welfare, charity work and environmental initiatives.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5): brown rice, duck meal, oats, peas, duck fat; Dog age: Adult/Senior; Other flavors: Pork & Potato, Fish & Wholegrain Maize, Chicken & Wholegrain Maize; Grain-free?: No; Form: dry
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4. Alpha Sensitive Complete Dry Dog Food: The best-value dog food for sensitive stomachs
Price: £23 (15kg) | Buy now from Amazon
Combining proteins with a range of vitamins and minerals, this Alpha food has been formulated with sensitive tummies in mind. It’s a low-cost option for those on a budget and, as such, it may not be suitable for all types of sensitivities – for example, it mixes proteins and includes grains (although it is wheat- and gluten-free). It’s certainly worth checking the ingredients for any known allergens for your dog.
As a general all-round food, however, it’s suitable for all types and breeds of dogs from adult age onwards, and lots of people report that it’s worked well for their dog’s digestion. It’s a dry food in kibble form, with advice to soak it in water for pets who may struggle with hard foods as a result of sensitive teeth and gums.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5): Maize, oats, beef meat meal, rice, poultry meat meal; Dog age: adult; Other Flavors: No; Grain-free?: No; Form: dry
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5. Barking Heads Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Puppy Days: The best dog food for puppies with sensitive stomachs
Price: £37 (6kg) | Buy now from Amazon
Specifically formulated to suit the needs of a growing puppy, this sensitive food mix is made with natural chicken and salmon. It’s designed to support teeth and bones, as well as aiding brain development.
Alongside the meat components, you’ll find a combination of vegetables and herbs also providing a good range of nutrients. It’s grain-free, too, something that’s often suggested you should avoid for dogs with poorly tummies.
Once they’re old enough, and if you find they get particularly well with it, you can progress your pup onto adult food from Barking Heads, which offers a broader range of flavors and types.
Key features – Ingredients: Salmon, chicken, egg, sweet potato, potato; Dog age: puppy; Other Flavors: No; Grain-free?: Yes; Form: dry
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6. James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Senior Dog Food Duck and Rice: The best food for older dogs with sensitive stomachs
Price: £46 (15kg) | Buy now from Amazon
Specifically designed to be gentle and easily digestible, this recipe has been formulated with older dogs in mind.
Available in two flavors, both use a single source of protein to be gentler on tummies. It includes other wholesome ingredients, and although it isn’t grain-free, the grains are specified so you can at least know exactly the type that’s included. James Wellbeloved never uses certain ingredients in its food, including dairy, eggs, soya, beef, wheat or artificial ingredients.
The company also promises not to use cheap bulking ingredients in its food, which explains why it comes in at the higher end of the cost spectrum; but if your dog gets on well with it, it could be considered money well spent.
This is dry food, which can be tough for some seniors suffering dental problems. If this is the case, you can add water to make the kibble a little softer and easier to chew.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5): Rice, organic oats, duck meat meal, whole linseed, duck gravy; Dog age: Senior; Other Flavors: Fish and Rice, Turkey and Rice, Lamb and Rice; Grain-free?: No; Form: dry
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7. Scrumbles Natural Wet Dog Food Multipack – The best wet dog food for sensitive stomachs
Price: £10 (6 x 395g) | Buy now from Amazon
If you have a pooch with a sensitive tum that prefers wet food (or a combination of wet and dry), then this formula from Scrumbles is ideal.
Specifically designed to be gut-friendly, each pouch contains a single source of protein and slippery elm, which is said to aid digestion. In addition, you’ll find no added sugar, salt, derivatives, fillers or artificial ingredients. This is also a grain-free recipe, for those with concerns about grains.
Despite all of that, it’s a reasonably good-value proposition, especially if you have a smaller dog for whom the pouch will last at least a couple of meals. There are three different flavors in the box, which will keep your pup from becoming bored.
Key features – Ingredients (top 5) Chicken flavor: 70% fresh chicken, 5% carrots, 2% green beans, Slippery Elm, Vitamins & Minerals; Dog age: All; Flavors: Chicken, Turkey, Salmon; Grain-free?: Yes; Form: Wet
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