Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Senior Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 [Vet Approved Reviews]

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Senior Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs in 2024 [Vet Approved Reviews]

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.

Learn more »

senior dog eating canned food on a saucerIf you are in search of the right food for your senior pal that suffers from a sensitive stomach, it can be challenging to narrow down the choices. Foods that are geared toward dogs with sensitive stomachs aren’t always a one-size-fits-all solution. Each dog will have their own needs and it can be difficult to find what works.

In addition to stomach sensitivities, senior dogs tend to have different nutritional requirements compared to younger dogs. There are not a lot of foods out there that are specific to both seniors and stomach sensitivities but don’t worry, there is hope. Not all senior dogs will require a senior formula and may function just fine on food suited for all life stages.

We’ve narrowed down some of the best food choices for seniors with sensitive stomachs so that you don’t have to. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s specific nutritional needs before making changes to its diet.

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

divider-pawA Glance at Our Top Picks (2024 Update)

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Nom Nom Turkey Fare Fresh Dog Food Nom Nom Turkey Fare Fresh Dog Food
  • High quality and nutricious fresh food
  • No harmful chemicals, dyes, additives, or fillers
  • Easily digestible
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • Inexpensive
  • Salmon is the number one ingredient
  • Added taurine for heart health
  • Third place
    Spot & Tango Spot & Tango
  • Premium quality food with limited ingredients
  • Different options for protein sources for versatility between dogs
  • Made from human-grade meats
  • Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Canned Food Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Canned Food
  • Different ingredient varieties are available
  • Also available in a dry kibble
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or by-product meals
  • Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains
  • Contains probiotic and prebiotic fibers
  • Great for dogs of all ages
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • The 10 Best Senior Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

    1. Nom Nom Turkey Fare Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

    Nom-Nom-Turkey-Fare

    Food Type: Fresh
    Lifestage: Any
    Caloric Content: 1,479 kcal/kg or 201 kcal/cup ME

    Our top pick for best overall food for senior dogs with sensitive stomachs goes to Nom Nom Turkey Fare. You cannot beat the quality of Nom Nom or the benefits of this freshly made food.  An additional perk? Nom Nom has a team of PhDs and Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists who are behind the formulation of their dog foods.

    Those who suffer from sensitive stomachs need easily digestible, high-quality food that offers an ideal nutritional balance. This particular recipe is made with turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, and spinach, but they do offer other choices, including Chicken Cuisine, Beef Mash, and Pork Potluck if your dog needs a different source of protein.

    Nom Nom is great for finicky eaters, as it’s rare that any dog will turn down this delicious freshly made food. It is ideal for dogs of any age and is very easy for seniors to chew. This food is expensive but can be used as an addition to dry kibble to help relieve the pressure on the wallet.

    You are getting exceptional quality for the price, but remember to keep in mind that with any freshly made food, you need to make room in the refrigerator or freezer upon arrival. This food can last up to 8 days when refrigerated and up to 6 months frozen.

    Pros
    • Premium freshly made food that is great for picky eaters
    • Can be a full meal or added to kibble
    • No harmful chemicals, dyes, additives, or fillers
    Cons
    • Pricer than store-bought kibble

    2. Wholesome Sensitive Skin & Stomach – Budget Buy

    New Project Wholesomes Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Salmon Protein Dry Dog Food

    Food Type: Dry Kibble
    Lifestage: Adult
    Caloric Content: 3,485 kcal/kg or 355 kcal/cup

    Wholesome Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a great choice if you are on a budget and looking for the best value for the money. Salmon is the number one ingredient with additional ancient grains to help support digestion. This recipe is free from peas, lentils, and legumes and even contains taurine for supporting heart health.

    Other dog owners did say that it helped alleviate gas and even recurring skin conditions that had occurred with other foods. The biggest complaint was that some finicky dogs refused to even try the food. This company has had issues with recalls in the past, but they were prompt and upfront with the issues.

    Overall, this is a good option for those looking for less expensive food.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Salmon is the number one ingredient
    • Added taurine for heart health
    Cons
    • Some dogs refused to eat it
    • Not as high-quality as competitors
    • The company has had a few recalls in the past

    3. Spot & Tango Unkibble Freeze Dried Dog FoodSpot and Tango Unkibble Cod & Salmon Dog Food

    Food Type: Dry kibble with freeze-dried coating
    Lifestage: Fresh or shelf-stable “Unkibble”
    Caloric Content: 4,131 kcal/kg

    Spot & Tango get our 3rd spot choice for the best senior dog food for sensitive stomachs. Spot and Tango have different food types available to fit your individual needs. It has three UnKibble recipes, which are shelf-stable foods, and three fresh recipes.

    All the UnKibble recipes are made with fresh, whole ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, fillers, or additives.  It is called Unkibble because, unlike regular dry kibble, is not extruded and contains no meat meals or powdered mystery substances. It is created by using a special drying process to maintain nutritional quality.

    All Spot and Tango recipes are balanced for nutrition for any life stage and are designed with AAFCO’s nutritional standards and developed by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. Unkibble features the option of Duck & Salmon, Beef & Barley, and Chicken & Brown Rice, while the fresh recipes include Turkey & Red Quinoa, Beef & Millet, and Lamb & Brown Rice. This gives you some versatility in main protein choices for your sensitive-stomached companion.

    Ingredients are sourced from local farms and human food suppliers, so you can rest assured that the meat is human-grade. Spot and Tango is expensive compared to competitors, but the quality is top-notch. You can try a risk-free trial and get a refund if your dog doesn’t like the food. A downside to Spot and Tango is that delivery is only once per month in most locations across the United States.

    Pros
    • Premium quality food with limited ingredients
    • Different options for protein sources for versatility between dogs
    • Made from human-grade meats
    Cons
    • Delivery option is only one time per month in most locations in the US
    • More expensive compared to competitors

    4. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Canned Food

    Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Canned Dog Food

    Food Type: Canned
    Lifestage: All
    Caloric Content: 1,325 kcal/kg or 469 kcal/can

    Sometimes seniors need great quality canned food for ease of chewing and extra hydration. If you are in the market for canned food that works for your sensitive-stomached senior, Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient canned food is a great option.

    This natural, canned wet food is crafted with a single source of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates. The goal of this formula is to maintain excellent digestive health and energy levels. This food is full of all-natural ingredients and added vitamins and minerals for your dog’s overall health and wellness. It is also free of any meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives.

    Wellness has a team of veterinarians and nutritionists who carefully craft their formulas to suit the needs of any dog. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient is also available in dry kibble, so it is still an option for those looking for dry food. The canned food can be fed as a full meal or as a supplement to the dry kibble. Wellness can seem a bit pricey, but it does have excellent quality and reviews that stand behind it.

    Pros
    • Different ingredient varieties are available
    • Also available in a dry kibble
    • No artificial colors, preservatives, or by-product meals
    • Easily digestible
    Cons
    • Pricier than some competitors

    5. Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains

    Wellness CORE Digestive Health Dry Dog Food

    Food Type: Dry
    Lifestage: Any
    Caloric Content: 3,627 kcal/kg or 395 kcal/cup

    Wellness CORE Digestive Health was created specifically for gut health. There are 100 million CFUs of beneficial microorganisms per pound of this dry kibble for the support of a healthy microbiome. Naturally sourced prebiotic fiber is in place for intestinal health and optimal energy levels.

    This formula contains digestive enzymes and superfoods like pumpkin and papaya to add extra benefits for overall digestive health and function. Made without any corn, wheat, and soy, this food also contains a balanced blend of essential vitamins and minerals and omega fatty acids for added immune system support.

    This formula is highly digestive and ideal for dogs of any age. Other than some picky eaters not wanting to try the food, it gets wonderful reviews and is recommended by many owners with dogs that suffer from sensitive stomachs and issues with digestion.

    Pros
    • Contains probiotic and prebiotic fibers for optimal digestion
    • Great for dogs of all ages
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Some picky eaters may refuse to try it

    6. GO! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Salmon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    GO SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Salmon

    Food Type: Dry Kibble
    Lifestage: All
    Caloric Content: 4,084 kcal/kg or 449 kcal/cup

    GO! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Salmon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is designed to help support dogs that suffer from food allergies and sensitivities. This dry kibble is ideal for dogs of all ages and uses minimal ingredients to help ensure those sensitives are kept at bay. GO! has a team of veterinary nutritionists behind each food to ensure proper formulation.

    This recipe is free from grains, gluten, chicken, potatoes, wheat, corn, and soy and is also made without any artificial preservatives or by-product meals. De-boned salmon is the number one ingredient in this formula, making it a great source of omega-3 fatty acids for skin, coat, and cognitive health.

    This food comes highly regarded among owners with dogs that suffer from sensitive stomachs and other sensitivities. Some owners raved about how much it helped their dogs. The biggest complaint about this food was the fish smell, which is expected with a salmon formula. It does have slightly higher calories per cup than some other foods so keep an eye out for those seniors that need a more restricted caloric intake.

    Pros
    • Free of grains, gluten, chicken, potatoes, wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, and by-products
    • Limited ingredients with de-boned salmon as the first ingredient on the list
    • Crafted by pet nutritionists
    Cons
    • Higher calorie
    • Smells like fish

    7. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    Food Type: Dry kibble
    Lifestage: Adult
    Caloric Content: 4,049 kcal/kg or 467 kcal/cup

    Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach is a high-protein dry food for adult dogs and is formulated for those with sensitive skin and stomachs. There are some different flavor varieties, but this particular food contains salmon as the first ingredient and is made to be highly digestible with added rice and oatmeal.

    This is a dry kibble that contains live probiotics and prebiotic fiber to help with digestive and immune health. The included omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are in place for optimum skin, coat, joint, and overall mobility health. You can also get this food in canned form, so it’s great for those who need a more palatable option.

    This food is made without any corn, wheat, or soy and comes highly reviewed among many, but it is important to note that some owners mentioned that their dogs experienced gastrointestinal issues after eating Pro Plan. It is also higher in calories per cup than some competitors, which is something to consider if your senior is overweight.

    Pros
    • Contains live probiotics and prebiotic fiber
    • Salmon is the first ingredient
    • Comes in the canned variety
    Cons
    • Slightly higher in calories than others
    • Caused digestive issues in some dogs

    8. Solid Gold Young at Heart Senior

    Solid Gold Young at Heart Senior

    Food Type: Dry Kibble
    Lifestage: Puppy
    Caloric Content: 3,285 kcal/kg or 325 kcal/cup

    Solid Gold Young at Heart Senior is a grain-free, gluten-free recipe that has real chicken as the first ingredient and is formulated with a balance of fat, calorie, and protein levels to keep your dog satiated and prevent extra weight gain. This formula contains highly digestible protein for sensitive stomachs, antioxidant-rich spinach, and a blend of 20 different superfoods.

    The additional probiotic support is in place for gut health and this food is made in the United States without any fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grain, gluten, carrageenan, or artificial preservatives. The biggest complaint among owners was that some dogs didn’t like the taste of the food. Overall, Solid Gold’s holistic formula for seniors gets high ratings among senior dog owners.

    Pros
    • Crafted specifically for seniors
    • Additional probiotic support for overall gut health
    • Made without fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grains, gluten, carrageenan, or artificial preservatives
    Cons
    • Some dogs didn’t like the taste

    9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Sensitive Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Food Type: Dry kibble with tender shreds
    Lifestage: Puppy
    Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken Recipe is a dry kibble specifically designed for adult dogs that experience sensitive stomach and skin issues.  Real chicken is the number one ingredient in this formula, and it contains prebiotic fiber to properly support a balanced microbiome for digestive health.

    This particular recipe is rich in vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. Hills advises there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives but this only applies to dry kibble, not canned food. Hill’s has been in the business for over 70 years and does get good veterinary recommendations overall.

    There were some complaints that dogs suffered from upset stomachs and loose stools when switching to the formula, meaning it had the opposite effect for those looking for a gentler formula. Other dogs turned their noses up to the food and refused to eat it.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible with prebiotic fiber
    • Veterinarian-recommended
    • Comes in canned varieties
    Cons
    • Some experienced upset stomachs and excessive gas
    • Some dogs don’t like the taste

    10. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior

    Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior

    Food Type: Dry kibble
    Lifestage: Senior
    Caloric Content: 3,462 kcal/kg or 348 kcal/cup

    Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Senior is made with high-quality limited ingredients, but it is last on our list due to its low protein content. This is not ideal for all senior dogs, but it’s also great for those with sensitive stomachs, thanks to the limited ingredients.

    Real turkey is the number one ingredient and is typically digested well by seniors and those with sensitivities. The formula also includes high-quality potatoes, peas, and pumpkin for additional digestive support. Blue Buffalo made this food to have proper nutrient balance specific to our beloved seniors as it also contains added taurine, glucosamine, and chondroitin to support joint health, mobility, and heart health.

    This recipe does not contain any chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs, which have all been linked to sensitivities. The blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the formula was picked by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to ensure overall health and nutritional balance. Let’s not forget about the omega fatty acids that are included for skin, coat, and brain health.

    This all-natural food doesn’t come with an extremely high price tag but still offers high quality for the cost. This is a well-reviewed food that is great for all sizes and breeds.

    Pros
    • Highly digestible with a proper balance of vitamins and minerals
    • Great value for the money
    • Formulated for seniors with sensitivities
    Cons
    • Low in protein content
    • Some dogs wouldn’t eat the food

    divider-dog

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Buy the Best Senior Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

    When your dog reaches senior status, which can vary by breed and size, you may be concerned with their dietary needs as an older dog. In addition to that, if they have already been suffering from a more sensitive stomach, you’re going to want the best food possible to meet all of their changing needs but also be gentle on their digestive system.

    senior terrier dog
    Image By: Pixabay

    Senior Dog Diet Considerations

    Older dogs are less active and have a slower metabolic rate, causing their energy requirements to decrease. Because of these changes, it is much easier for them to become obese, so it’s best to ensure their food is formulated for their age and activity level.

    You do not necessarily have to switch to a senior formula because your pup recently became a senior. While plenty of senior formulas are on the market, some are geared toward all life stages. It’s best to check with your veterinarian to ensure you are taking the best route. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the National Research Council have not determined any official dietary requirements for aging dogs, partly because seniors’ health needs vary greatly.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    Calories

    As mentioned, seniors can be prone to obesity due to their decrease in activity and slower metabolic rate, which is why most senior foods are formulated with below-average calories. If your senior dog is not obese and has maintained a healthy weight, you may not need to make any changes. On the other hand, if your older dog is on the overweight side, it may be beneficial to opt for lower-calorie food. This needs to be discussed with the veterinarian to ensure that your dog’s needs will be met.

    Dog food in a container with scoop
    Image By: APN Photography, Shutterstock

    Protein

    Healthy seniors need more protein to maintain lean muscle and keep fueled.  Older dogs tend to lose a lot of muscle mass, which is very detrimental to their mobility. Make sure your food choice is rich in protein and offers a good balance of nutrients.

    Organ Health

    Senior dogs are at a higher risk of health conditions such as kidney and heart disease. Too much phosphorus and high protein levels can be problematic for those with kidney issues, and excessive sodium can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure.

    In addition, your dog could suffer from or be prone to other genetic health conditions in their older age so you will need to speak with your veterinarian about the most balanced dietary options specific to your dog’s needs. This is the best way to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep their diet healthy and their nutrition well-balanced.

    Hydration and Palatability

    Senior dogs can dehydrate more easily than adult dogs. In addition, their old age can cause a decline in dental health, and while it is very important to maintain their dental health with regular veterinary care, they may end up requiring a more palatable food choice. Some may need to switch to high-quality fresh or canned foods for both ease of chewing and extra hydration.

    dog eating wet food
    Image By: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

    Seniors With Sensitive Stomachs

    Although there are plenty of foods on the market for dogs with sensitive stomachs, not many are geared toward seniors. Unless you recently adopted a senior dog, you likely know what already works best for your dog’s sensitivities and should check with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes. If they are doing well on their current food, you may not have to make any changes at all.

    If you recently adopted a senior dog with a sensitive stomach, the first course of action would be to get a veterinary exam to diagnose the reason for the sensitivity properly. Once you have determined the root cause, you can feed an appropriate food.

    For Sensitive Stomachs:

    • Look for foods with added prebiotics and probiotics for digestive health.
    • Avoid any formulas with lengthy lists of ingredients and opt for a more limited ingredient formula.
    • Check the nutrition label for caloric content and the guaranteed analysis to ensure a proper balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.
    • Avoid foods that contain unnecessary fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

    divider-pawFinal Verdict

    Nom Nom Turkey Fare formula is a great overall choice that offers high-quality freshly made food. It has a soft consistency that protects your senior’s sensitive teeth while adding hydration. This is a recipe based on limited and natural ingredients good for those with food sensitivities, covering all your needs at once.

    Wholesome Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a good option for those on a budget. This inexpensive food features a salmon meal as the number one ingredient, which is a very common protein choice for sensitive tummies.

    Spot and Tango will offer you a more personalized approach with premium quality food options. The food is formulated by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to meet all your dog’s dietary needs.

    Remember to work with your veterinarian when changing your dog’s diet. You must understand the root cause of their sensitive stomachs to provide the best diet. Also make sure to tailor your choices to your dog’s specific needs, especially as they get up there in age.


    Featured Image Credit: Pommer Irina, Shutterstock

    Get Dogster in your inbox!

    Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
    Dogster Editors Choice Badge
    Shopping Cart

    Pangolia

    © Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.