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9 Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

9 Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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puppies eating food from food bowlsWhile our puppies are growing, they must consume quality and nutritious puppy food. However, not all puppies transition into solid food easily. Their immune and digestive systems, in addition to their gut bacteria, are developing and getting used to the new food source.

It is common for puppies to face some challenges during this time. Some puppies are more sensitive than others and seem to have digestive issues far into their puppyhood. Luckily, there are puppy foods designed specifically for these sensitive dogs. Take a look at our reviews below for the best puppy food for sensitive stomachs. You should find something for just about every puppy.

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A Glance at Our Favorite Picks in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food Subscription Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Lamb as the first ingredient
  • Limited-ingredient recipe
  • High in veggies and fruits
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula
  • Salmon and fish meal as the first ingredients
  • Made in the United States
  • Whole grains included
  • Third place
    ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  • 85% animal ingredients
  • Quality ingredients throughout
  • Freeze-dried coated kibble
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food
  • Antioxidants included
  • DHA and omega fatty acids added
  • Free from corn, wheat, and soy
  • ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  • 60% animal ingredients
  • Chicken and turkey included
  • Probiotics added
  • The 9 Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    1. Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

    Ollie Lamb Dish With Cranberries

    Ingredients Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, kale, rice
    Protein 11%
    Fat 9%

    If your puppy has a sensitive stomach, we highly recommend the Ollie Lamb Fresh Recipe. This food is minimally processed and made with fresh ingredients. Therefore, it tends to be easier on your puppy’s stomach. Furthermore, because this food is fresh, it tends to be tastier. If your puppy is also picky, this can be a huge boon.

    The first ingredient is lamb, which isn’t a common allergen and is often very gentle on dogs’ stomachs. Furthermore, the organ meat from lambs is also included. These are extremely high in nutrients, which adds to the quality of this food.

    Cranberries, squash, chickpeas, and kale are also included. Rice provides extra carbohydrates, as well as potatoes. Overall, this food easily has all the nutrients your canine needs to thrive.

    This food is pretty high in protein. The moisture content isn’t as high as other fresh dog foods, so this option is more concentrated. Plus, it’s designed for dogs of any age and breed. Therefore, you can start your puppy on this food and not worry about switching them to adult food later.

    Pros
    • Lamb as the first ingredient
    • Limited-ingredient recipe
    • High in veggies and fruits
    • Designed for all life stages
    Cons
    • Only available online

    2. Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula – Budget Buy

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula

    Ingredients Salmon, Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
    Protein 24%
    Fat 12%

    Compared to other dog foods, Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula is quite inexpensive. It is a bit cheaper than most, even “budget” brands like Purina. However, it is still made with quality ingredients and may be exactly what a puppy with sensitive digestion needs.

    This formula is made in the United States using premium ingredients like salmon and fish meal. It is designed for dogs with sensitive digestion and allergies and includes very few ingredients. It is also completely chicken-free, making it a great option for those sensitive to chicken.

    The inclusion of salmon ensures that your puppy consumes the correct number of amino acids and omega fatty acids, like DHA, which are all essential for eye and brain development. Whole-grain brown rice is also included, which helps increase the fiber content of the food and further improves your puppy’s digestive health.

    Of course, all the vitamins and minerals that your canine needs are also included. With so many benefits of this food, it is easily the best budget puppy food for sensitive stomachs.

    Pros
    • Salmon and fish meal as the first ingredients
    • Made in the United States
    • Whole grains included
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Not grain-free

    3. ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    Ingredients Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Giblets, Flounder, Whole Mackerel
    Protein 38%
    Fat 20%

    If you are willing to spend more money on your puppy’s food, you may want to look at ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food. This food is made with some of the top ingredients around. For instance, chicken and turkey are the first two ingredients, but after that comes a wide range of other proteins, including flounder and eggs. Even organ meats are included in this dog food.

    Based on these quality ingredients, we can easily say this is one of the best puppy foods out there. However, it is also extremely expensive, largely because of the high-quality ingredients included. You’re getting what you pay for, but it is still a high price tag. The kibble is also coated in freeze-dried meat to boost flavor and hopefully entice picky dogs into eating.

    With all this said, the inclusion of so many different proteins can make this food inappropriate for some sensitive canines. There are a lot of potential allergens in the ingredient list.

    Pros
    • 85% animal ingredients
    • Quality ingredients throughout
    • Freeze-dried coated kibble
    • Organ meats included
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food

    Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food

    Ingredients Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Brown Rice
    Protein 26%
    Fat 15%

    With only turkey as the main protein, Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food is a good option for puppies that don’t do well on multiple-protein foods. However, do keep in mind that dogs allergic to chicken are usually also allergic to turkey, so this food still wouldn’t be a good option for those canines.

    This food includes DHA, which is necessary for proper brain development. It also includes a variety of other ingredients that your puppy needs, such as calcium and taurine. All of these ingredients go a long way to ensuring that your puppy develops properly. Antioxidants are also added to support immune health and prevent oxidative stress, which has been linked to many different diseases.

    Because this recipe is limited-ingredient, it is the perfect option for those with many food sensitivities. There isn’t much in this food, so there is less for your dog to react to. Furthermore, it is also free from corn, wheat, and soy.

    Pros
    • Antioxidants included
    • DHA and omega fatty acids added
    • Free from corn, wheat, and soy
    • Limited ingredient formula
    Cons
    • Company is known for lots of recalls
    • Expensive

    5. ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food

    Ingredients Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Green Peas, Whole Red Lentils
    Protein 31%
    Fat 19%

    ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food is also a good puppy food for sensitive digestion. It includes quality meat products as the first three ingredients to ensure your puppy receives the proper protein and fat content necessary for them to thrive and grow properly. Over 60% of this formula is some sort of animal ingredient.

    The other 40% includes veggies like peas, lentils, and pumpkin, as well as some fruits like apples, pears, and berries. While this food does include many different ingredients, most of them are natural and help increase the nutritional value of the food. Of course, this food also contains added vitamins and minerals to round out your puppy’s meal.

    Probiotics are included to support your puppy’s digestive system. This formula is also grain-free and made without adding corn, soy, or wheat. The kibble is even coated with freeze-dried chicken and turkey to help improve its overall flavor.

    Pros
    • 60% animal ingredients
    • Chicken and turkey included
    • Probiotics added
    • Grain-free
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Peas included as the fourth ingredient

    6. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe

    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe

    Ingredients Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes
    Protein 27%
    Fat 15%

    The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe is grain-free and includes salmon and ocean fish meal as the first two ingredients. Many canines with sensitive stomachs do great on fish-based dog food, so we highly recommend this one as an option. The inclusion of salmon means that the omega fatty acid content will be high, further helping your puppy develop.

    This company is particularly proud that they get all of their vitamins and minerals from real foods, unlike artificial laboratory sources like most brands. This formula also includes many probiotics, which may further help their digestive system. Plus, these probiotics may also help improve their immune system. Antioxidants are included, too, which prevents oxidative stress.

    This formula is made in the USA., and the brand is completely family-owned. It also only uses ingredients from top-quality sources, plus it is made without corn, wheat, or artificial ingredients.

    Pros
    • Salmon as the first ingredient
    • High in DHA
    • Probiotics added
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Peas included as the fourth ingredient
    • Very small kibble

    7. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach

    Ingredients Salmon, Rice, Barley, Fish Meal, Canola Meal
    Protein 28%
    Fat 18%

    Purina is a household name as far as pets are concerned. This company is one of the biggest pet food producers in the world, so it only makes sense that we would include its Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach on this list.

    While this brand is often pretty cheap, this formula is actually a bit more expensive than most on our list. It also doesn’t include the best ingredients. Salmon is included as the first ingredient, which is a quality option that is high in DHA. However, rice and barley are both also included high on the ingredient list—both of which are not necessary for any dog out there.

    Based on this information, this formula found its way closer to the bottom of the list. It isn’t bad—you just aren’t getting what you paid for. There are plenty of better options out there. That said, rice is one of the easiest ingredients on a dog’s stomach. Therefore, if your puppy is having difficulty eating anything, you may want to consider this formula.

    Pros
    • Salmon as the first ingredient
    • High in DHA
    • No artificial flavors or colors
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Rice and barley are high on the ingredient list

    8. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Ingredients Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Brown Rice
    Protein 28%
    Fat 17%

    The Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food claims to be a mix of superfoods that will help your puppy thrive. However, based on the ingredient list, this food is mostly chicken with grains. Some “superfoods” are later on the list, but these are included in very low amounts. In fact, there are 15 different superfoods that your dog might benefit from, but they are all much lower on the list.

    Chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients in this food. However, while this is typically a great protein, many dogs are also sensitive to it, so keep that in mind when searching for food for your puppy.

    On a good note, this formula doesn’t include preservatives, flavors, colors, or chicken by-product meal. All the grains utilized are whole grains, meaning they include quite a bit of fiber—which may be exactly what your sensitive puppy needs.

    Pros
    • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
    • Chicken as the first ingredient
    • Ingredients tested for quality
    Cons
    • Many grains included
    • Chicken is a sensitivity of many dogs

    9. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy Breed Puppy Food

    Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy Breed Puppy Food

    Ingredients Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Pea Protein
    Protein 30%
    Fat 18%

    Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy Breed Puppy Food is specifically designed for smaller puppies who have difficulty eating other foods. However, it is extremely expensive and not nearly high-quality enough to make the price worth it.

    Chicken is included as the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Both of these foods are high-protein and a good option for many dogs, though they are also a common sensitivity, which you’ll need to keep in mind. However, the rest of the formula includes ingredients like peas and pea protein, which might be linked with heart problems. While this formula is high in protein, much is from this concentrated pea protein—not a meat-based source.

    This formula is free from grains and gluten, which can sometimes upset a sensitive dog’s stomach. It also includes probiotics, which are always a good option for sensitive dogs.

    Pros
    • Formulated specifically for small breeds
    • Includes chicken as the first ingredient
    • Probiotics added
    Cons
    • Includes chicken (which sometimes causes problems with sensitive dogs)
    • Includes high amounts of peas and pea protein

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    Choosing the correct puppy food is vital for your dog’s health. Not only does the puppy food keep your dog in tip-top shape now, but it also ensures that your puppy grows into a healthy adult. If you choose low-quality puppy food, your puppy may not grow into all it could be.

    If your puppy has a sensitive stomach, you have to contend with an extra batch of worry. Not only do you have to choose high-quality food, but it also needs to be something your puppy can eat.

    In this section, we’ll help you swim through the sea of information surrounding puppy foods to help you figure out just the right food for your canine.

    Go Simple

    If your dog has a sensitive stomach, several potential causes exist. In many cases, your dog may simply be unable to digest certain ingredients, which causes the upset. In other cases, multiple ingredients combined together may cause the problem.

    Either way, the answer in both cases is to simplify and choose the simplest dog food that you can find. Fewer ingredients are typically easier on your dog’s stomach, and it makes it easier to avoid potentially problematic ingredients.

    Many brands make “limited ingredient diets” that are perfect for these dogs. They only include the bare necessity ingredients—usually meat and some sort of grain. If you’re having a hard time choosing puppy food, we recommend one of these options.

    dog eating_Daniel Piil~commonswiki_Wikimedia
    Image By: Daniel Piil~commonswiki, Wikimedia

    Single Proteins

    Despite what some marketing companies will tell you, dogs are typically sensitive to proteins. In fact, chicken is the most common, as it is also the most common protein found in dog foods. Even foods that don’t mention chicken on the front of the bag often mention chicken on the ingredient list. (So always be sure to check.)

    Choosing food with only one protein source makes it easier to avoid ingredients that your dog is sensitive to. Furthermore, some dogs are sensitive to multiple proteins at a time. Therefore, if you limit it to one protein, you may find that your dog digests their food just fine.

    Luckily, many of the foods we included in our reviews only include one protein. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about finding one—there are plenty on the market if you know where to look.

    Go Easy on the Carbs

    Many dog foods include a whole list of carbohydrates, such as both grains and veggies. While dogs can handle some carbohydrates just fine, others have problems with many carbohydrates at once—especially if they are all different kinds.

    Therefore, we recommend choosing foods that include few carbohydrates and only a couple of types. Avoid difficult-to-digest options, like corn. Instead, opt for veggies where possible.

    However, you may also want to go easy on peas, lentils, and potatoes, as these are potentially linked to health problems.

    Golden retriever puppies eating dog food
    Image By: jagdprinzessin, Pixabay

    Animal Fats

    Many companies with lower-quality foods will add artificial fats and plant-based fats to their foods to make them taste better. These are cheaper than animal fats, and they have a similar effect. However, many dogs have trouble digesting these fats, especially when they are included in high amounts.

    Therefore, look for brands that either don’t have any added fats or at least have animal fats when they are added. Salmon oil and chicken fat are both fine ingredients. However, you should avoid ingredients like canola oil.

    It isn’t that these are completely void of nutrition. They are just typically harsher on a dog’s stomach than other options.

    Fiber

    When you’re buying food for your sensitive puppy, you should be looking for high-fiber foods. Fiber is vital for a dog’s digestive system, so it is essential that they have a share of it. Many dogs that are experiencing digestive problems simply don’t have enough fiber.

    Many dog foods will list fiber on the back, which will let you know how much is included.

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    Conclusion

    For most puppies with sensitive stomachs, we recommend taking a look at Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food. This high-quality fresh food is completely grain-free and includes meats as the first few ingredients. Plus, the unusual lamb protein is unlikely to upset your puppy’s delicate stomach.

    If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula. This food only includes fish as the main protein and very few carbohydrates. It is also high in protein and inexpensive.

    We hope our in-depth reviews have helped you find the best puppy food for your pup with a sensitive stomach.

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