[Best] Natural Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomach

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LAST UPDATED: March 13th, 2020 (originally posted on JULY 17, 2019)

When it comes to dog food, not every dog food is created equally. In fact, every dog food can offer a challenge for individual dogs. With more dogs suffering from sensitive stomachs, more and more dog owners are looking for alternatives when it comes to dog food.

We all want to make sure that we are feeding the best natural food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, with all the information out there, it can be confusing in regards to what we should feed our dogs and the best natural foods for them. 

This guide is for you and it covers information about the ingredients that you should be looking for, some important tips to keep in mind when choosing the natural dog food for longer life and a healthy stomach, as well as some handpicked homemade recipes.

What’s in Natural Foods for Dogs with Very Sensitive Stomachs

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[Infographic] Top Things to Know Natural Foods for Sensitive Stomach

If your dog has a very sensitive stomach, then you may be wondering how to help him feel better as quickly as you can. While you may need to speak with your veterinarian, one of the first lines of defense is to choose a dog food that won’t upset his stomach.

And that is really what we will be focusing on here…natural foods for dogs with very sensitive stomachs. Of course, it isn’t always as easy as choosing a dog food and it is important to look at the ingredients before you make your selection.

best natural foods sensitive stomach
Fewer ingredients and high quality, animal-based proteins are always a good choice

Here are a few tips on choosing those ingredients:

  1. Small ingredient lists. Always choose foods with small ingredients lists. The fewer ingredients, the easier it will be on your dog’s stomach.

2. High Quality, animal-based proteins. Check to make sure that the proteins are animal based such as chicken, turkey, beef or lamb.

3. Single proteins. Not only should they be high quality, but the dog food should have a single protein. In addition, the primary protein should be broken down into tiny fragments for easier digestion.

4.Contains probiotics. These will help promote a healthy digestive tract, which minimizes the symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

5. Free from fillers and preservatives. Avoid any chemical sounding name in the ingredients list as well as filler ingredients such as soy, wheat and corn.

ingredients foods sensitive stomach

 How do you know if your dog has a sensitive stomach?

Although we’ve looked at all the differences in a natural dog food for sensitive stomachs, it is important to know whether or not your dog has a sensitive stomach. It should be mentioned that some dogs are born with a more sensitive stomach. In addition, some breeds are prone to sensitive stomachs. Some breeds that are prone to sensitive stomachs are:

breeds sensitive stomach
Some breeds suffer more from sensitive stomach
  • Great Dane
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • German Shepherd
  • Irish Setter
  • Shar Pei
  • Miniature Schnauzer
breeds suffering sensitive stomach

However, all breeds, and mixed breeds, can be prone to a sensitive stomach. Morever, a sensitive stomach can occur at any time of a dog’s life and may be an indication that there is another health problem occurring. If your dog develops a sensitive stomach later in life, be sure to have him checked for an underlying cause.

With that said, a good indicator that your dog has a sensitive stomach are the following symptoms:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Soft Stool
  • Vomiting
  • Hypersalivation: excessive salivating
  • Diarrhea with or without blood in the stool
  • Frequent swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Excessive gas
  • Decreased mobility, especially after eating.
symptoms sensitive stomach

If you see any of these symptoms, discuss options with your veterinarian.

upset stomach vet

What is the easiest protein for dogs to digest?

Protein is a very important word when it comes to canine nutrition and it can also be one of the biggest causes of upset for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Often, when a dog is having problems with their stomach, it is recommended that you switch up the type of protein they are being given. For example, if the food contains a high amount of chicken, then switch to a lamb or beef-based food.

protein dog stomach

With dog food, many kibbles use plant-based proteins. While these can be excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, plant-based proteins are very difficult for dogs to digest and this can lead to more upset stomachs. Try to avoid dog foods that are rich in plant-based proteins.

Instead, choose proteins that are offered through by-product proteins. These are the organs of the main animal in the food. It does not contain any hair, hide or hooves, and is rich in amino acids. They also break down easily and dogs can digest them quickly without a lot of stomach upset.

avoid plant kibbles 1
It’s better to avoid plant-based kibblles as they are not digestive

What is the best protein for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

As I’ve already mentioned, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, you want to stick to a by-product protein but also include some meat as well. Avoid plant-based proteins and stick to more natural ingredients, with fewer items in the ingredient list and the protein list. Choose a simple, single protein instead of a protein blend.

Avoid plant-based proteins and stick to more natural ingredients, with fewer items in the ingredient list and the protein list.

If you are looking for meats that are considered to be easier for dogs with sensitive stomachs to digest, many dog owners have found both bison and kangaroo digest easily with very little stomach upset.

While there are plenty of foods out there, a natural food is often the best care you can give your dog with a sensitive stomach. Make sure that you choose the right ingredients and keep your recipes simple.

healthy treats dog

3 of the Best Homemade Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

Now that we know some of the best natural foods for dogs with very sensitive stomachs, it is time to look at the best homemade dog foods for sensitive stomachs. Homemade dog foods are excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs because you can avoid fillers and preservatives in the food. In addition, you can limit ingredients and really work with your dog to determine the best homemade dog food for your dog.

homemade food sensitive stomach
Tips for homemade food for canines with sensitive stomach

Before we look at some of those great recipes, it is important to remember a few points when it comes to creating a homemade dog food.

  1. Avoid prepackaged foods. Anything that is packaged is full of preservatives. You want to try to keep as many ingredients fresh or as natural as possible.
  2. Use high quality proteins. Don’t use frozen or freeze-dried meats or proteins. Instead, go for actual cuts of meat.
  3. Avoid a lot of plant-based proteins. These can be very hard on a dog’s stomach. You can add some small amount of vegetables but make sure you use a majority of animal proteins.
  4. Keep ingredients limited. This is very important when you are trying to determine what foods upset your dog’s sensitive stomach.
  5. Keep ingredients simple. Avoid a lot of additives and spices. For one reason, dogs don’t need these ingredients and are happy with the taste of meat alone. For the second, some spices can lead to more stomach upset.

We have the points in place, now let’s look at these three excellent recipes that are some of the best homemade dog foods for sensitive stomachs.

Best Homemade Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs Recipe #1: Chicken Stew

This recipe is often a go to when you are trying to alleviate stomach and digestive upset. It has only a few ingredients and can even be taken right back to a simple two or three ingredient dish. Dogs usually love it and, even with an upset stomach, they will eat it up.

ingredients stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 ½ cups of whole grain rice
  • ¼ cup of canned pumpkin
  • ¼ cup of yogurt, plain
  • ¼ cup of low sodium chicken brother
chicken stew

Directions:

  • In a large pot, boil the skinless, boneless chicken breast in water until it is completely cooked.
  • Shred the chicken but don’t remove the water.
  • While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice according to the package.
  • Mix the rice and chicken together.
  • Fold in the canned pumpkin and yogurt.
  • Stir in the chicken broth and mix well.

Allow to cool completely before giving to your dog. Feed this to your dog for 24 to 48 hours or until the symptoms of his sensitive stomach go away.

Best Homemade Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs Recipe #2: Chicken and Rice

As mentioned, this is similar to the last recipe, however, it has even fewer ingredients. Often, when a dog has an upset stomach or diarrhea, this is a great way to help reverse it. Feeding a simple meal of just chicken and rice can help reset everything and give you a fresh start to reintroduce foods.

ingredients rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½lbs of chicken breast
  • 2 cups of whole grain rice
  • 1 ½ cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ½ cups of water

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the boneless, skinless chicken breast, rice, water and chicken broth together.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Cook on medium heat until you have a hard boil.
  4. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat.
  5. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked.
  6. Shred chicken if necessary.

Cool completely and serve to your dog for 24 to 48 hours. This should not be considered a staple meal; however, you can add vegetables and other ingredients to it and offer it as a good natural dog food for sensitive stomachs. 

Best Homemade Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs Recipe #3: Liver and Oil

liver oil

An excellent source of protein, you can offer this food to your dog when his stomach is upset. It will give him a boost of vitamins and minerals as well as soothe his stomach. It is a very limited ingredient dog food that will help his stomach settle.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of liver (you can use any type of liver but beef is best)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp of corn oil

Directions:

  • In a pot, add water.
  • While the water is heating, chop the liver and then add to the hot water.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes until the liver is cooked through.
  • Remove from the heat and cool completely.
  • Stir in the corn oil.

Feed to your dog, water and all, once it is fully cooled. Again, this isn’t a complete diet, but it will help settle your dog’s upset stomach.


Dog Food with Natural Ingredients for Sensitive Stomach

There are some great dog foods such as Weruva Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages, Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions – 6 lb and Natural Instincts. All have simple ingredient lists and are focused on natural ingredients that aren’t hard on your dog’s stomach.

Dog Treats:

Choose natural dog treats with no more than 5 ingredients for sensitive stomach.

comida natural guia

Again, we look at three amazing treats later but try to find treats that are limited to no more than 5 ingredients. Some great natural dog treats include: Earth Animal No-Hide Chk Chw 4 Inches, Loyal Paws Dog Jerky Treats and Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried.



Supplements:

Finally, we recommend trying a few supplements if you can’t find a dog food or treat that helps his stomach. A good probiotic is a great place to start but you can also use Animal Essentials Ocean Omega Supreme Dog Supplement, which has been proven to help with digestion problems.


What is the best dog food for dogs with digestive problems?

Happy puppy and healthy diet for stomach issues
Happy puppy and healthy diet for stomach issues

Often, it can be difficult to really decide on what is the best dog food for dogs with digestive problems when we are looking at the different dog products on the market.

Some rely on natural ingredients, others on processed but the majority are focused on high quality proteins and ingredients.

When push came to shove, however, one dog food stood out from the rest when it came to reviews. Ollie is considered to be the best dog food for dogs with digestive problems and I highly recommend it.


OK, to break it down easily as to why it is the best, it’s important to consider these points:

  • Customized to the individual dog. This is the biggest selling point because it isn’t a catch all food for all dogs. When you go to purchase the food, you put in information about your dog including his age, activity level and even any allergies that you know of.
  • Human grade: Another bonus point for Ollie is that the food is human grade, which means even people could eat it.
  • No fillers or preservatives: We’ve mentioned this before and Ollie delivers. The food is free of preservatives and chemicals and does not contain corn, soy or wheat.
  • Offer a variety of proteins: Again, they offer a variety of proteins and they are generally just one protein in each dog food formula. You can choose from turkey, beef, lamb and chicken.

However, it is important to note that Ollie has a few cons to it:

  • Not cost effective: Ollie is a very expensive brand and may not be a long-term option for every dog owner.
  • Not easily available: Although you order the food online, it is primarily offered in the United States and there are very few options to order it if you live outside of the USA.
  • Small batches: Ollie is made in small batches, so you will have to reorder frequently, especially if you have a larger dog that eats larger meals.

Still, even with the cons, Ollie is an excellent way to feed your dog without having to pull out your own cookbook. And it has been deemed the best dog food for dogs with digestive problems.

What is the second-best dog food for digestive problems?

natural food sensitive dog health

Carefully select the food for dogs with sensitive stomach and look for digestive ingredients

Canidae Life Stages

If you are not up to personalizing the dog food or looking for something that is available in a greater area, then the next best dog food for digestive problems is Canidae Life Stages. In fact, for most dog food reviews, Canidae Life is often thought of as the best dog food since you can buy it in most stores and even in some veterinarian offices. I’d buy it from Amazon, though, as there are different packages and sometimes quite good deals.

Some points that make Canidae Life Stages an excellent option are:

  1. Veterinarian formulated. This was not just made by a dog food company but was formulated by veterinarians with a focus on the sensitive stomach.
  2. Free from fillers. Like Ollie, Canidae Life Stages is free from fillers such as corn, wheat and soy. However, they do use brown rice, bran and barely which can affect some dogs with sensitive stomachs so be aware of those ingredients when you feed this food.
  3. Full of fatty acids and pro-biotics. The probiotics help with keeping your dog’s digestive system healthy and the fatty acids are perfect for joint and bones, which is also great for senior dogs.
  4. Developed for all life stages. No matter what age your dog is, this food will meet his needs. This is a pro, especially if you have multiple dogs, since you don’t have to purchase multiple dog foods and you can stick with the same one throughout your dog’s life.
  5. Expiry dates are often expired indeed. Canidae Life Stages has been plagued by stores and online retailers keeping the dog food on the shelf well beyond the expiry date, so it is very important to watch expiry dates when purchasing. In addition, it has a short shelf life, so you need to make sure of expiry dates if buying in large quantities.
  6. Expensive. Like many high-quality dog foods, Canidae Life Stages is on the higher end of the price range. This means that it might not be a viable option for long term feeding.
  7. Some questionable ingredients. While Canidae Life Stages is full of excellent foods, some of the ingredients are controversial and should be considered before giving this food to your dog. Still, even with the cons, Canidae Life stages is excellent for any dog with sensitive stomach problems. 

Conclusion: Canidae Life stages is excellent for any dog with sensitive stomach problems. 



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