Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Puppy with a Sensitive Stomach Being Comforted by Her Owner

Finding the best food for a dog with a sensitive stomach can be tricky. That’s because even though some digestive problems can be controlled with a simple change in diet…

Others can be caused by something far more serious… which would require professional help for proper diagnosis.

Once your vet has ruled out a serious medical condition, you may wish to see if your dog’s digestive issues may be caused by either a food allergy… or a food intolerance… and if your pet might benefit from a simple change in diet.

On this page… we’ll share with you The Dog Food Advisor’s 10 best foods for a dog with a sensitive stomach… and we’ll answer the 7 most frequently asked questions about feeding dogs with food-related digestive issues.


Dog Food Advisor's Editor's Choice Seal for Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
for February 2020

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s top 10 best dog foods for sensitive stomach for February 2020.


Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food

Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula for Adult Dogs

Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach is one of 4 dry recipes included in our review of the Diamond Care product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Potatoes, egg product, potato protein, tomato pomace, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $$

Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach derives the bulk of its animal protein from highly digestible dried egg. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 14% fat and 50% estimated carbs… with a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

A complete and balanced, limited ingredient recipe… safe for daily, long-term feeding.

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Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin Adult Dog Food

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin is one of 3 sensitivity recipes included in our review of the Hill’s Science Diet Adult product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, barley, sorghum, brown rice)
  • Design: High digestibility
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $
  • See all 3 available recipes

This Science Diet formula derives the lion’s share of its meat protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 16% fat and 50% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

A balanced option that includes prebiotic fiber to encourage the growth of natural gut bacteria and help regulate stools. Recommended by veterinarians.

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Purina Pro Plan Focus Dry Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach

Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice is one of 3 sensitive skin and stomach recipes included in our review of the Purina Pro Plan Focus product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, barley, ground rice, canola meal, oat meal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (barley, rice, oats)
  • Design: High digestibility
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adults dogs
  • Price: $
  • See all 3 available sensitivity recipes

This Purina Pro Plan recipe acquires the main portion of its animal protein from fresh salmon. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 18% fat and 44% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

A highly digestible, single-protein formula recommended by breeders and veterinarians alike… with favorable ratings from verified users, too.

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Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Veterinary Diet

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Kibble

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal is one of 5 dry digestive recipes included in our review of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Gastrointestinal product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, barley, natural flavors
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, wheat, barley), prescription diet
  • Design: Prescription diet, high digestibility, low fat
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $$$
  • See all 5 available digestive recipes

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal gets the bulk of its meat protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 22% protein, 5% fat and 65% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 23%.

A highly digestible, low-fat formula that’s ideal for treating a wide array of canine digestive disorders. Recommended by veterinarians.

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Wellness Simple Ingredient Dog Food

Wellness Simple Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Wellness Simple Ingredient Turkey and Potato is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Wellness Simple Ingredient product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, potatoes, peas, dried ground potatoes
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient, high digestibility
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $$

This Wellness recipe derives the major part of its meat protein from fresh turkey and turkey meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 14% fat and 49% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

With no grains, gluten or wheat, this limited ingredient diet makes an affordable option for both skin and stomach sensitivities. Highly recommended.

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Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Salmon Formula

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy and Adult Dry Recipe

Nulo Sensitive Digestion is one of 3 limited ingredient recipes included in our review of the Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, chickpeas, chickpea flour, canola oil
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Life stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Puppies and adults
  • Price: $$$
  • See all 3 available limited plus recipes

This Nulo Freestyle formula takes the greatest share of its meat protein from fresh salmon and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 20% fat and 39% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Boasts a single source of animal protein… which helps eliminate a number of potential allergens, like chicken, eggs or peas. Highly recommended.

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Hills Prescription Diet I/D Wet Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Digestive Care Wet Dog Food

Hill’s Prescription I/D Digestive Care with Turkey is one of 5 wet recipes included in our review of the Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Water, turkey, pork liver, rice, modified rice starch
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (rice, corn)
  • Design: Prescription diet, high digestibility
  • Life stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Puppies and adults
  • Price: $$$
  • See all 5 digestive care recipes

This Hill’s prescription formula of its meat protein from fresh turkey. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 15% fat and 51% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

A professional veterinary design with a long-term, proven history. Highly recommended.

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Go Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Salmon Formula

Go! Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Diet

Go! Sensitivity and Shine Salmon is one of 7 dry recipes included in our review of the Go! Sensitivities product line.

Created as a limited ingredient option with no by-product meals, wheat, corn or soy. The addition of probiotics also promotes digestive health, while omega 3’s help maintain a healthy skin and coat.

  • First 5 ingredients: De-boned salmon, salmon meal, tapioca, peas, lentils
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Life stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Puppies and adults
  • Price: $$
  • See all 7 available recipes

This Go! limited ingredient formula gets the lion’s share of its animal protein from fresh salmon and salmon meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 13% fat and 52% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

This is a great option for dogs with both skin and stomach sensitivities. Highly recommended.

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Instinct Raw Boost Sensitive Gut

Instinct Raw Boost Gut Health Dry Dog Food

Raw Boost Gut Health is one of 15 dry recipes included in our review of the Instinct Raw Boost product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, tapioca, canola oil
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: High digestibility
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $$$

This Instinct product acquires the major part of its meat protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 34% protein, 1% fat and 57% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 3%.

A highly digestible formula containing no corn, wheat or soy. Highly recommended.

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Canidae Grain-Free Pure Lamb and Pea dry kibble

Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food

Canidae Pure Lamb and Pea is one of 11 limited ingredient recipes included in our review of the Canidae Grain-Free Pure product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Design: Limited ingredient
  • Life stage: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult dogs
  • Price: $$$
  • See all 11 available recipes

This Canidae formula gets most of its animal protein from both lamb and poultry meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat and 36% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

A popular, limited ingredient diet that’s free of gluten, grain, wheat and soy. Highly recommended.

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How can I tell if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

Some of the most common signs your dog may be suffering from a sensitive stomach include one or more of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas or bloating
  • Decrease in activity
  • Gurgling noises
  • Signs of abdominal pain

In the following video, Dr. Al Townshend, staff veterinarian at Wellpet, discusses the signs of food allergy or ingredient intolerance in dogs… and how the right diet can help control a sensitive stomach.


What type of dog food is best for a sensitive stomach?

There are 3 types of food that may help a dog with a food-related digestive problem:

  • Limited ingredient dog food
  • Hypoallergenic dog food
  • Prescription GI dog food

What is a limited ingredient dog food?

Limited ingredient diets are dog foods that contain fewer components… which can help you pin down the specific ingredient to which your pet may be sensitive.
The best limited ingredient dog foods typically contain:

  • Single novel protein
  • Limited number of ingredients
  • Most protein sourced from meat
  • Low to moderate fat
  • Probiotics (to aid digestion)

What should I avoid in a limited ingredient dog food?

Avoid feeding any limited ingredient recipe that contains any of the following low quality items:

  • Excessive fillers (soybean hulls, wheat mill run, corn bran, etc.)
  • Artificial flavors
  • Coloring agents
  • Controversial preservatives
  • Chemical additives

What is hypoallergenic dog food?

Hypoallergenic dog foods are made by using proteins that have been chemically “split” into their basic amino acid building blocks.

That way, the offending ingredient becomes virtually “invisible” to your dog’s immune system… so your dog is less likely to have an allergic reaction to the food.


What are prescription GI dog foods?

Prescription GI (gastrointestinal) dog foods are special purpose diets made for dogs suffering from digestive problems. These recipes typically include similar limited ingredient or hypoallergenic designs.

However, in addition, they also include ingredients specifically designed to support healthy digestion.


How do I safely transition to a new food if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, be patient. Don’t rush the transitioning process. Take your time to minimize the chance of GI upset.

Start with about 20-25% of the “new” food and 75-80% of the “old” food. Then, slowly increase that amount to a full 100% over the next 7 to 10 day period.

A Final Word

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However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

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