The Best Dog Food For Dogs With A Sensitive Stomach

Having a dog struggle with digestion makes you wonder how to find the best dog food for dogs with a sensitive stomach. Does your dog throw up bile or undigested food? Does your dog have diarrhea?

PetMio Chief Food Scientist Kasra Farsad and PetMio Veterinary Advisory Panel member

Dr. Nobuki Stobaeus provide some guidance below. Read on to learn more about finding the best dog food for dogs with a sensitive stomach.

Look for the Symptoms…and Rule Everything Else Out

Unfortunately for us, our pets can’t tell us when something hurts or why. “There are numerous diseases that can mimic the signs of a sensitive stomach,” Dr. Stobaeus states,  “ranging from intestinal parasites, to foreign bodies, to endocrine diseases and more.”

Symptoms of an upset or sensitive stomach may include your dog throwing up, having trouble passing waste, or having diarrhea. All of these symptoms can, however, indicate something much worse.

“The best way to make sure your pet does have a sensitive stomach and not something else is to rule out these other causes by visiting your veterinarian,” Dr. Stobaeus advises. He recommends letting your veterinarian know what your pet has eaten for the past 3 months, how much, and how often. Also let them know what monthly heartworm and flea prevention your pup is using.

With this information and a few tests, your vet will be able to screen out other possibilities.

Different Causes of Sensitive Stomach

Once you and your vet have ruled out other possibilities and concluded your pet has a sensitive stomach, your job is not over. Now you both have to figure out why your pet has a sensitive stomach. Your pet could need a more frequent food schedule, have an immune disease, or be allergic to certain food ingredients.

One reason your pet might not be agreeing with their food is because you are feeding your pet once per day. Talk to your vet about how often you are feeding your pet. You may find that multiple, smaller meals are easier on your pet’s digestive system and help some of the problem.

Alternatively, your pet may have an inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis. In this case you and your vet may decide on a hypoallergenic diet. Dr. Stobaeus recommends pets with pancreatitis to stay on a low fat diet and away from human food to prevent the pancreas from flaring up. “Bland diets such as ones with minimal flavoring or sometimes boiled chicken and rice will cause less issues with the gastrointestinal tract since there is less for the body to react to.”

In addition, your pet might have an allergy to a certain food. Farsad recommends narrowing down ingredients in your pet’s diet to figure out if this is the case:

“A great start for limiting your pets diet is to change proteins, like from chicken to salmon, and wait to see if there is an improvement.  Once proteins have been ruled out, grains are the next ingredients to toggle by going to a grain-free diet.  It is also important to gradually transition new foods and diets to ensure there stomach has a chance to agree with the new ingredients. Once proteins and grains have been exhausted, it is important to consult your veterinarian for recommendations on higher level limited ingredient diets.”

The Best Dog Food for Dogs with a Sensitive Stomach: What to Look For and Avoid