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10 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

BVM BVS MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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fluffy dog eating dry kibble from elevated bowlFinding the right dog food for your dog can take time, and it’s extra challenging when your dog has a sensitive stomach. Pet food companies are all regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that they are safe to eat, are produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and are truthfully labeled.1 That said, there are high- and low-quality brands out there, and some use better, more digestible proteins than others. The FDA does investigate manufacturers to ensure that they are labeling their products accurately, but there is still a great deal of variety between brands.

As with all nutritional concerns, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before switching your dog to a new diet, though it’s still helpful to know what options are available. To help you with your search, we made a list of several notable types of dog food for sensitive stomachs. These reviews will give you all the information that you need to determine which foods might be good options for your dog.

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A Brief Glance at Our Favorites (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe
  • Convenient delivery system
  • Simple, limited ingredient list
  • Recipe is enriched with a nutrient blend
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food
  • Uses a single source of protein
  • Doesn’t contain legumes
  • Supports skin and coat health
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Uses easily digestible ingredients
  • Supports skin and coat health
  • Slow cooked to retain tasty flavors and important nutrients
  • Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy
  • Contains easily digestible ingredients
  • Formulated to nourish the skin and coat
  • Meets the standard of nutrition established by the AAFCO
  • Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+
  • Contains easily digestible ingredients
  • Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion
  • Omits eggs, animal by-product meals, and artificial flavors
  • The 10 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe — Best Overall

    The Farmer's Dog

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts
    Protein content: 49%
    Fat content: 32%
    Calories: 295 kcal/half a pound

    The Farmer’s Dog is a well-known subscription dog food service that conveniently delivers fresh meals for your dog straight to your door. All its dog food recipes are made with natural whole foods and gently cooked at low temperatures in human-grade food facilities. They’re formulated with veterinarian consultation to ensure your dog is getting all the daily nutrients they need.

    The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe has a simple ingredient list and only contains one source of meat. It also includes The Farmer’s Dog’s nutrient blend that contains all essential nutrients and makes the food a complete and well-balanced meal. It isn’t formulated for sensitive dogs specifically, but with its low number of easily digestible ingredients and one meat source, it may be just what your dog needs.  The only downside to The Farmer’s Dog is that it’s not sold in stores. So, you have to be on top of your meal deliveries to avoid running out of food. However, the food itself is safe and balanced, making it the best overall dog food for sensitive stomachs.

    Pros
    • Convenient delivery system
    • Simple, limited ingredient list
    • Recipe is enriched with a nutrient blend
    Cons
    • Food isn’t sold in stores
    • Not formulated for sensitive stomachs specifically

    2. Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach With Lamb Protein Dry Dog Food — Best Value

    Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach With Lamb Protein Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, oatmeal, pearled barley, ground rice
    Protein content: 23%
    Fat content: 13%
    Calories: 360 kcal/cup

    Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach With Lamb Protein Dry Dog Food is the best dog food for sensitive stomachs for the money because it’s a decent budget-friendly meal for dogs that doesn’t make significant sacrifices to quality. This particular recipe uses a single protein source—in this case, lamb, which is a novel meat for some dogs. Due to there only being one protein source, it is an ideal choice for dogs that have allergies to more common meats found in dog food. The recipe is also free of legumes, which may be linked to heart issues in dogs when they’re used as one of the main ingredients.

    This recipe contains a blend of ancient grains that are rich in fiber and support healthy digestion. It also includes natural sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support skin and coat health.

    While most dogs enjoy the flavor, it’s worth noting that there can be inconsistencies with the texture. Some bags of this dog food have been reported to contain very crumbly kibbles, so it’s important to be extra careful when scooping the kibble out of the bag.

    Pros
    • Uses a single source of protein
    • Doesn’t contain legumes
    • Supports skin and coat health
    Cons
    • Kibble can be crumbly

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew Canned Dog Food — Premium Choice

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew Canned Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken broth, turkey, carrots, pork liver, rice
    Protein content: 20% (dry matter basis)
    Fat content: 13.6% (dry matter basis)
    Calories: 253 kcal/can

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew Canned Dog Food is a reliable premium choice. Although it may cost more than your average dog food, it has a formula developed through scientific research and veterinary consultations.

    This dog food contains easily digestible ingredients that are known to be gentle on the stomach. It also contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to improve and support skin and coat health. Each batch of food is slow cooked to retain flavors, and dogs will enjoy eating this savory turkey dish. If you’re looking to save on costs, you can mix this food with the dry food version, which is a little less expensive than the wet food version.

    Just keep in mind that though this recipe is labeled as a turkey dish, it does contain chicken, which is a common food allergen for canines. So, while it’s a viable option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, it’s not suitable for those with a food allergy to chicken.

    Pros
    • Uses easily digestible ingredients
    • Supports skin and coat health
    • Slow cooked to retain tasty flavors and important nutrients
    Cons
    • Contains chicken (common food allergen)

    4. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy

    Main ingredients: Rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, beet pulp, wheat
    Protein content: 27%
    Fat content: 20%
    Calories: 426 kcal/cup

    Correct food and nutrition are essential to healthy growth and development in puppies, so it’s important to find a palatable meal for them to eat at this lifestage. The recommended protein requirement for healthy puppy growth is 22-32% on a dry matter basis.

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy has a gentle formula that’s also packed with nutrients that puppies need to grow. It is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth, including the growth of large dogs (over 70 lb. as adults). This is vital when selecting a puppy food, especially since the amount of calcium within the food of large and giant breed puppies needs to be strictly controlled.

    This recipe contains highly digestible proteins, balanced fibers, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also formulated to be high in energy for growing puppies with gastrointestinal sensitivities and has selected prebiotics to help feed and develop a healthy gut microbiome.

    Since this dog food is specifically formulated for puppies, you’ll notice that the kibble size is smaller than standard. The downside is that this is a prescription food, so you’ll need to ask your vet for a prescription to buy it online.

    Pros
    • Contains easily digestible ingredients
    • Formulated to nourish the skin and coat
    • Meets the standard of nutrition established by the AAFCO
    Cons
    • Kibble size may be too small for some dogs
    • Veterinary prescription diet
    • Cost

    5. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon and Rice Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Salmon, rice, barley, canola meal, fish meal
    Protein content: 29%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 401 kcal/cup

    Nutrition continues to play a vital role as dogs age into seniorhood. The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Dry Dog Food is a popular option for older dogs with sensitive stomachs. Salmon is the first ingredient, and it’s supplemented with rice and oatmeal, which are both easily digestible ingredients. It contains sunflower oil, which is another excellent source of omega fatty acids and is commonly used to nourish the skin and coat. The recipe also includes natural prebiotic fiber and antioxidants to support healthy digestion.

    Another reason we recommend this dog food is that it’s free of common ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest. It doesn’t contain any eggs, animal byproduct meal, or artificial flavors. So, even though it’s a bit more expensive than your typical dog food, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth and purchasing high-quality dog food.

    Pros
    • Contains easily digestible ingredients
    • Prebiotic fiber supports healthy digestion
    • Omits eggs, animal by-product meals, and artificial flavors
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive

    6. Wurina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Dry Dog Food

    Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Oatmeal Formula Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal, peas, ground rice
    Protein content: 21%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 406 kcal/cup

    Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Oatmeal Formula Dry Dog Food uses a relatively uncommon protein source. It’s specifically formulated for dogs with food allergies and doesn’t contain any other type of meat, making it a viable option for dogs that are allergic to beef or chicken.

    As a limited-ingredient dog food, the recipe omits filler ingredients and doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It’s also free of meat by-products, dairy, and eggs. However, it does list peas as one of its main ingredients, which may possibly be linked to non-genetic heart issues. Make sure to consult your veterinarian beforehand, especially if your dog’s breed is susceptible to heart issues, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Pros
    • Lamb is the single source of animal protein (good for dogs with food allergies)
    • Doesn’t contain filler ingredients
    Cons
    • Peas are one of the main ingredients

    7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, brown rice, brewers rice, oat groats
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 340 kcal/cup

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food supports healthy digestion by using natural ingredients that are gentle on the stomach. It contains healthy portions of fiber that aid in digestion and help improve stool quality. It also contains vitamin E to support the immune system and omega fatty acids to nourish the skin.

    The formula was created specifically with dogs with food sensitivities in mind. It doesn’t contain any animal meats that are common food allergens for canines. While the formula looks great on paper, one common issue is that picky dogs don’t seem to like it. Fortunately, Natural Balance creates several other limited-ingredient recipes that use other types of meat, including beef, chicken, duck, and lamb. So, you might have better luck with those formulas. 

    Pros
    • Specifically formulated for food sensitivities
    • Limited protein source
    • Fiber aids in healthy digestion
    Cons
    • Not popular with picky eaters

    8. The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

    The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, organic quinoa, dehydrated sweet potatoes, dehydrated spinach, dried parsley
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 516 kcal/cup

    The Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food allows you to control the consistency of your dog’s food. It’s a great option for picky eaters because you can determine how dry or wet their meals are by how much water you add. You can also add it as a meal topper to your dog’s regular meals.

    This dog food has a simple ingredient list that only contains six nutritious natural ingredients, including organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, and spinach. It’s also formulated for all life stages, so you can continue to feed it to your dog throughout their lifetime.

    As with many dehydrated dog foods, this recipe is at higher risk of becoming powdery, which leads to gloopy dog food. So, it’s important to mix it well before scooping it out of the box to prevent all the finer pieces from settling to the bottom.

    Pros
    • Only contains six ingredients
    • Can control the consistency of the food
    • Recognized by the AAFCO as meeting the nutritional needs of dogs of all life stages, including dogs over 70 lbs. (adult size)
    Cons
    • Can become gloopy

    9. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Hills Digestive Care Prescription Diet, Low Fat

    Main ingredients: Broken rice, chicken and turkey meal, maize gluten meal, animal fat
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 5-9%
    Calories: 300 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food is formulated for dogs with complex gastrointestinal conditions, including pancreatitis, malabsorptive disorders, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in adult dogs. It contains easily digestible ingredients and ActivBiome+ prebiotic blend (Dried beet pulp, flaxseed, ground pecan shell, dried citrus pulp, dried cranberries), which has been developed by Hill’s to rapidly activate the microbiome and help with digestion.

    It is on the pricey side, though, and you need a prescription to order it online.

    Pros
    • Actively helps improve digestion
    • Highly digestible and low in fat, which is necessary for some conditions
    • Promotes a healthy immune system
    Cons
    • Veterinary prescription diet
    • Costly

    10. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal High-Fiber Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal High-Fiber Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, pea fiber, chicken fat, wheat
    Protein content: 21%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 290 kcal/cup

    Royal Canin is a well-known dog food brand, but there’s no denying that its dog food is often more expensive than its competitors. The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal High-Fiber Dry Dog Food is no exception. However, if you’ve been struggling to find safe food for your sensitive dog, you may want to look into this recipe.

    This dog food is a veterinary diet, which means you’ll need a prescription to purchase it. It contains a high amount of fiber to help with digestion and improve stool health and quality. The recipe uses highly digestible proteins and has a prebiotic blend to improve the gut biome. It also has a wet food version that you can mix with dry food to support healthy hydration. So, if you’re at your wit’s end and haven’t found a good option for your dog, it may help to speak with your veterinarian to see if this prescription diet would be appropriate.

    Pros
    • High-fiber diet helps with digestion
    • Uses highly digestible proteins
    • Prebiotic blend improves gut biome
    Cons
    • Relatively expensive
    • Veterinary prescription needed

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    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    Shopping for dog food for sensitive stomachs can get overwhelming due to all the different options. However, by paying attention to a few key factors, you can narrow down your search fairly quickly. Here are the things to keep in mind when looking for dog food for sensitive stomachs.

    woman feeding her dog at home
    Image Credit: ORION PRODUCTION, Shutterstock

    Easily Digestible Ingredients

    Start making notes of natural foods that are easy for dogs to digest. Common ingredients that are gentle on the stomach include canned pumpkin, white rice, plain chicken, and bone broth.

    Dogs with sensitive stomachs may have a difficult time digesting certain natural ingredients. It’s best to steer clear of beans and lentils because they can cause flatulence. It’s also important to pay attention to how much fiber your dog consumes. While fiber can help with digestion, too much can lead to gassiness, bloating, and diarrhea.

    Limited-Ingredient Recipes

    If your dog has a lot of food sensitivities, you may want to look into limited-ingredient diets. A good limited-ingredient diet will contain fewer than 10 ingredients, and these will ideally be natural whole foods. Since grain allergies are rare in dogs, you don’t necessarily have to opt for a grain-free diet.

    Beware of low-quality dog food that claims to have a limited-ingredient formula. Since limited-ingredient dog foods don’t have strict regulations, the label is often used as a marketing tactic. Therefore, make sure to check the ingredient list to ensure that it actually has fewer than 10 ingredients and is free of artificial flavors and ambiguous ingredients. The most important thing to look out for is that a limited number of protein sources is used—ideally, only one.

    labrador puppy eating from metal bowl
    Image Credit: manushot, Shutterstock

    Novel Meat

    Novel protein is often recommended for dogs that are allergic to meats commonly found in dog food. Dogs can get food allergies to foods that they’ve already eaten in the past. These commonly include beef, chicken, and turkey. Therefore, trying new types of meat can be easier on a dog’s stomach. Novel proteins used in dog food include duck, venison, rabbit, and fish.

    Digestion Aid

    Many dog foods for sensitive stomachs include ingredients that aid digestion. Along with containing a healthy amount of fiber, these types of dog food may also contain prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms in the gut that help with breaking down food, creating nutrients and vitamins, and strengthening immunity. Both can help aid with digestion and improve your dog’s overall gut health.

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    Conclusion

    According to these reviews, The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe is the best dog food for sensitive stomachs because it uses high-quality, natural ingredients and has a limited ingredient list. Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach With Lamb Protein Dry Dog Food is our budget-friendly pick because it doesn’t significantly sacrifice quality.

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Tender Turkey & Rice Stew Canned Dog Food is a worthwhile premium option due to its veterinarian-formulated recipe. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy is a good choice for puppies due to its gentle formula and balanced formulation, and we recommend Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Dry Dog for older dogs because it’s easily digestible and rich in nutrients that are necessary for senior dogs.


    Featured Image Credit: sophiecat, Shutterstock

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