Please help- best dry food for a dog with Acid Relux

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Please help- best dry food for a dog with Acid Relux

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  • #17699 Report Abuse


    My dog has been having a problem with Acid Reflux and was put on Prilosec and ID dog food for 2 weeks.. I was feeding her Natures Variety Instinct Limited Ingrediant, but since the acid reflux she can’t be on it because of the Higher Protein and Fat Content.. Any suggestions are appreciated..

    #17700 Report Abuse

    Hound Dog Mom

    I’ve always heard that dogs with acid reflux should eat 3 – 4 small meals per day, rather than one or two larger meals and that the food should be low in fiber. Wet foods (canned, dehydrated, raw, etc.) are preferable to dry for dogs with acid reflux – if you feed dry wet it prior to feeding. I’ve also heard that supplementation with probiotics, digestive enzymes and unfiltered apple cider vinegar can help.

    #17701 Report Abuse


    Thanks Hound Dog! I have been feeding her 3 small meals a day and with the medication its under control. Her two week course of meds ends this week and we’re hoping the reflux will end. I just don’t want to keep her on ID gastro food, its not the best quality food and can’t switch her back to her old food.. Need other food suggestions from anyone out there with dogs who also suffer with acid reflux.


    #17702 Report Abuse


    Acid reflux meds treat the symptoms without trying to solve the problem and sometimes that makes the problem worse. Your dog should be weaned off the prilosec over the course of a few days, not stopped abruptly. My dog had to be feed small meals a often as I could for a while. The thing that seemed to help the most was 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per cup of food and soaking the food. It seems counter-intuitive to add more acid to the dogs stomach when they appear to have an acid overload problem, but really the opposite is at work. High grain diets alter the normal pH of the stomach and the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach is acid sensitive so isn’t closing all the way. My dog was having problems with this as a 8- 10 week old pup, when we changed his diet to high protein and started adding the vinegar, he ceased to have problems with vomiting anymore, and hasn’t since. He is now 14 months old.

    #18007 Report Abuse


    I have a 14 year old who has acid reflux since she was 3. If the situation persists I encourage you to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist who can scope the dog to determine if the cause is due to a weakened sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus. There is a surgical procedure to correct the condition. I wish vets would have taken me seriously when I mentioned the acid reflux as it is now too late for her to have the surgery.

    As a raw feeder the journey we have taken has been against my belief in a high meat protein diet. Although fed 3-4 times per day there came a point were she could not tolerate the amount of meat needed to maintain weight without the severe reflux that was damaging her throat and mouth. Natures Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Turkey did not work. After several brands and combinations I learned chicken, turkey or fish were the easiest for her to digest. Those proteins in a high calorie grain inclusive formula have proven to be the best option. She is currently doing very well on Innova Turkey and Chicken which is 548 calories per cup. The food is moistened to the point the kibble is fully expanded. It is almost mush when stirred. The food is fed 3 times per day as close to 8 hours apart as possible to avoid placing undue pressure on the weakened sphincter muscle.

    I have also been adding Mercola probiotics and digestive enzymes. Neither has been added for the past 2 days and there is no difference.

    Since Misty’s condition is due to the weakened sphincter muscle, not acid production, Apple Cider Vinegar did not work for her.

    Before going to a primarily grain based diet as our situation requires try some of the 3 star grain free brands that would have lower protein and fat than Natures Variety Instinct. Some have 2 lb. packages which would allow you to try without investing in food that may not work. Donate any food that cannot be used to a shelter or local rescue.

    #82082 Report Abuse

    April Z

    My dog was diagnosed with acid reflux and esophagitis based on symptoms (was not scoped) I’ll spare the whole long story and give facts hopefully it will help someone
    Episodes of licking anything and everything along with it he had pica(eating anything)
    Weight loss

    Things that worked….
    Natural balance chicken and sweet potato dry split into three meals SOAKED for hours
    -canned I/D worked great but too expensive for 60lb dog
    Reglan (metocloprimide) hour before breakfast and dinner
    Pepcid with breakfast and dinner
    Twice a day sucralfate suspension on empty stomach

    Eight weeks of all that seemed to help. Was able to take away all meds but I continued to feed three soaked meals. I make sure dinner is early because sleeping shortly after the sphincter relaxes too much causing the reflux

    Hope that helps. Good luck….

    #82091 Report Abuse

    Jenn H

    There are different causes of GERD which can require different treatments/diets. If you can afford it I strongly suggest you get you get your dog scoped to find the actual cause. It could be megaesphogus like you assume or a hiatal hernia or a couple other things.
    In the mean time some things seem to work across the board. The low fat foods and 4-6 small meals. Avoid all grains, starchy vegs, legumes, refined sugar. Give pumpkin or squash instead. Raw, unpasteurized honey. No/low fat cottage cheese or kefir. Naturopath options like enzymes & probios.
    Some think it’s a good idea to feed from a raised bowl. I had a dog with very mild reflux who was fed from a raised bowl. He eventually died of bloat. Which I later found out that there can be (not always) a connection between reflux & bloat. No one has yet to figure out weather a raised bowl is good or bad for dogs, it is suggested to raise the bowl only a couple inches from the floor. Dogs are designed to eat standing up from the ground, but some need a very slightly elevated dish. (I tend to agree feeding dogs & horses with ground feeders. It is more natural.)

    I have a dog right now who has some GI issues as a result of a lot of antibiotic treatments. The longer she goes without a meal, the more likely she is to have a rumbling belly, nausea, discomfort, etc. Smaller meals throughout the day helped her a lot when she was really sick.

    #82092 Report Abuse

    Jenn H

    Oh a couple more things I forgot to mention…
    For some reason adding water to food can make GERD worse.
    And bone broth is another good thing to help the lining of the gut and the intestinal cells that promote healing.

    #94277 Report Abuse

    Suzanne F

    I used to feed raw, but now I feed canned only. For now it’s Wild Calling rotational diet Bison, alligator and rabbit. Wild calling is like 92% protein and no carbs. He eats sweet potato or yams and dehydrated pumpkin & cranberry by Diggin FirmUp on occasion. He’s not a fan of canned pumpkin. The doctor did a blood test to test for allergies and I did Dr Dods saliva test to test for food intolerances. He has many of both. Since I’ve made the changes he’s more willing to eat and less reflux. Also switch between Apple cider vinegar powder capsules and Zantac 150 mugs 2 times a day, ProPlan FortiFlora probiotics once a day. I feed him 3 times a day and a snack before bed. The empty stomach can make him throw up bile or or a white foam. Hope this helps. If you have any suggestions I’m all ears.

    #94587 Report Abuse

    Susan W

    This is usually due to a weight issue. Try withholding food for one to two days, and thereafter following a dietary regimen of low-fat, low-protein meals given in small, frequent feedings. Dietary fat and protein should be limited, as fat decreases the strength of the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, while protein stimulates the secretion of gastric acid. Recommended food choices would be VeRUS Opticoat or Adult maintenance.

    #94798 Report Abuse

    My rescue dog Barney was throwing up in the mornings and I took him to the vet a bunch of times. We tried the prescription diets they recommended but it didn’t help. In our case, I think it was the dry kibble causing the problem–it was a good brand Orijen, but maybe it didn’t agree with him. I was reading about acid reflux on this site and I switched him to a raw frozen diet. We ordered the Gastro ULC and Power Probiotic and followed the diet suggestion that the nutritionist gave us. Barney is eating Primal raw frozen rabbit with some Natural Balance canned fish/sweet potato. The vitamins did seem to help. He still has an occasional bad day, but nothing like before.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  steve johnson.
    #145675 Report Abuse

    Stefan A

    My dog is only 2 years old and I heard in the case of acid relux, no grains are allowed and only low fat food. I contacted my vet and he told me to try Antacid tablets – Sodium Bicarbonate by Rugby. He says I can put half of the tablet into the banana piece and try to give him. Any probiotics feedback?

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  Stefan A. Reason: typos
    #145678 Report Abuse


    Ask your vet about Pepcid (prn) for acid reflux.

    Re: “I heard in the case of acid relux, no grains are allowed and only low fat food”.

    Not sure about this, please confer with your vet.

    My friend’s dog has acid reflux/sensitive stomach issues and is doing well on Nutrisource chicken and rice (dry) as a base with a little boiled chicken mixed in and a little water added to the kibble.

    I would stop searching the internet for answers, if your regular vet hasn’t been helpful within a reasonable amount of time consider consulting a veterinary internal medicine specialist.
    First, see if you can work with your vet, additional testing may be indicated to get to the root of the problem, see what he recommends.

    PS: Consider a prescription food if your vet recommends it, at least till the dog is stable.

    #145679 Report Abuse

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