Best Dog Food for Dogs With Diarrhea (Senior, Adult and Puppy) — Reviewed and Ranked for 2022

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: September 11, 2022

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Key Points:

  • If your dog has diarrhea on a regular basis, see your vet first. Then, you will want to find a dog food to help ease the situation. Special recipes exist for puppies, adults, and seniors with sensitive stomachs.
  • Probiotics help promote a healthy gut. Look for dog food with probiotics.
  • Fats are essential to a dog’s diet for many reasons, but too much fat can cause issues. Look for a balance of 5-20% fat.
  • Certain ingredients are tough to digest, such as some proteins. Look for ingredients high in fiber that aid in digestion barley, fruits, sweet potatoes, and beans.
  • Avoid foods with artificial dyes and preservatives.

Does your dog suffer from diarrhea regularly? If so, you’ve likely been looking for something to help your poor pooch. There are several things that could be causing irritation in your dog’s bowels that eventually lead to diarrhea. 

Often times, a dog’s diarrhea is caused by eating something they shouldn’t, like spoiled food or something else in the garbage. If the issue persists longer than a couple days, however, there may be an underlying issue. One thing to be careful of is dehydration since diarrhea can cause it. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to schedule a trip to the vet to rule out things like allergies, intolerances or something even more serious. During this visit, you’ll be able to ask your vet about the best dog food for dogs with diarrhea. 

We’ve found the top four options on the market that stand out from the competition, and there is something for all ages of dogs — adults, puppies and seniors. Diarrhea can cause your pup pain, discomfort, and overall distress. We’ve put together a list of FAQs and a buyer’s guide, as well as product reviews, to help you figure out which dog foods are best for loose stool and diarrhea. 

  1. Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food
  2. Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Made of a formula of hydrolyzed proteins
    • Brewer's rice is the main ingredient — gentle yet filling
    • Beet pulp fiber helps bind poops and slow diarrhea
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. SIMPLY NOURISH Puppy Food
  4. SIMPLY NOURISH Puppy Food
    • Designed with puppies' digestive system in mind
    • Salmon is a key ingredient, which is gentle on stomachs
    • High in fiber to solidify bowel movements
    Check Amazon
  5. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  6. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
    • Designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • Chicken and rice base is appetizing and tasty
    • Grains like barley, rice and sorghum help bind bowel movements
    • Contains prebiotic fiber to help for solid stools
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care Wet Dog Food
  8. Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care Wet Dog Food
    • Main ingredient is water, to help with dehydration caused by diarrhea
    • Only available with a vet's prescription
    • Ingredients include rice and meat
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

If you’ve ever had a dog, you’re aware that dogs might suffer from gastrointestinal issues. Your veterinarian can give recommendations regarding how to help your dog feel better. 

Switching your dog’s diet might be the solution to his gastrointestinal problems, but you’ll want to figure out why he’s experiencing diarrhea. 

If your dog has a gluten allergy and eats wheat, the digestive tract could get irritated and result in diarrhea. Some of the most critical components to take into consideration when picking dog food are listed below.

Probiotics 

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in the gastrointestinal tract. Including these organisms in your furry friend’s diet can help with digestion. If the recipe contains probiotics, it should be marked with an expiration date to guarantee that the microorganisms are still alive. 

Fat Content

Essential fats are required in the diet of dogs for healthy skin and hair, as well as for vitality. Too much fat, on the other hand, can cause pancreatitis, a dangerous medical disease. Unless your dog is nursing, still developing, or particularly active, aim for a 5-20% fat level in the middle. 

​​Digestible Ingredients 

Look for chicken, potatoes, sheep, and grains among the components. Other proteins and carbs are more difficult to digest than these options.

Ingredients with high fiber content, squash or sweet potato, for example, are high-fiber foods that might help solidify feces. Fiber is divided into two types: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs moisture and can aid digestion by slowing it down. 

Soluble fiber may be found in oat bran, barley, certain fruits, and beans. Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that provides bulk to your diet. It has the ability to speed up the digestive process. Whole grains and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.

Preservatives 

You want a product with a small number of ingredients that is easy to digest. Artificial preservatives, dyes, and tastes should be avoided.

The Different Types of Dog Food for Dogs With Diarrhea: Pros and Cons Compared

How do you know if dry or soft food is best for your pooch? Let’s take a look at some of the most common benefits and disadvantages of both types.

Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Customers report firmer poopsBags don’t always reseal 
Kibbles slow down faster eatersSome types have high salt content 
Comes in bulk sizes 
May include probiotics

Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
Better flavor profileCan give dogs gas 
Works better for puppies or senior dogs
More affordable options 

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best

Our #1 choice has many healthy benefits our dogs love. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein boosts the immune system with vitamins and minerals. Brewer’s rice and beet pulp are gentle on tummies and give them a feeling of being full. We highly recommend Royal Canin for their premium ingredients.

Going with a vet-recommended option is always a safe bet. Our senior option is recommended by veterinarians for dogs with many GI problems. After dogs adjust to the new diet, they tend to do incredibly well, producing consistently solid stools. If you want your pup to try this brand, you will need it prescribed by your vet.

Opting for the Hill’s Science choice is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Each ingredient is mild, such as chicken, rice, and barley. Dogs seem to love the flavor. Prebiotics promote healthy tummies, and this food is full of them.

For puppies, our Simply Nourish Sweet Potato & Salmon Puppy Dog Food has rave reviews. It still has all the nutrients puppies need, such as high protein and fats, but it is mild on stomachs. Containing extra fiber than typical puppy food, it should have your puppy producing normal poops after she has adjusted to the new diet.

#1 Overall Best Dog Food for Dogs With Diarrhea: Royal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food

If we could only suggest one dog food to help Rover with diarrhea, Royal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food earns the top spot as overall best. While it’s not the most affordable option available, it’s known to work due to its incredible ingredients. 

Royal Canin is no stranger when it comes to making high-quality pet food. Their hydrolyzed protein formula is broken down into bite-size pieces, making it easy for dogs to eat without disrupting the immune system. 

The main ingredient is brewer’s rice, which helps your dog feel full all while being gentle on their tummy. There’s also a healthy amount of fiber from beet pulp that can aid in solid poops. Royal Canin doesn’t skimp out on essential vitamins and minerals either. 

If your pup has been struggling with digestive issues and you’re looking for a tasty option that he’ll enjoy, consider Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein. We do want to mention that it contains soy protein, which some dogs don’t take kindly to. 

Best Overall
Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Made of a formula of hydrolyzed proteins
  • Brewer's rice is the main ingredient — gentle yet filling
  • Beet pulp fiber helps bind poops and slow diarrhea
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best for Puppies: Simply Nourish Sweet Potato & Salmon Puppy Dog Food

Having a puppy is one of life’s biggest joys and it definitely comes with plenty of work. If your cute little puppy is having tummy troubles, try switching to Simply Nourish Sweet Potato & Salmon Puppy Dog Food.

One of the main ingredients is salmon. Salmon is not only gentle on dogs’ stomachs, it’s packed full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are fantastic for your pooch’s overall health. Plus, the protein can help build muscle and keep your pup full for longer. 

Simply Nourish Sweet Potato & Salmon Puppy Dog Food is extremely high in fiber to keep bowel movements solid and consistent. Something to keep in mind is that this dry food has quite a strong fish odor. This attracts your dogs to the food but may not be the most pleasant thing for you. 

Best for Puppies
SIMPLY NOURISH Puppy Food
  • Designed with puppies' digestive system in mind
  • Salmon is a key ingredient, which is gentle on stomachs
  • High in fiber to solidify bowel movements
Check Amazon

#3 Best for Adult Dogs: Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food

Another great option you can give adult dogs besides our overall favorite is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food. This popular brand made this kibble specifically for our four-legged friends with sensitive stomachs. 

It has a tasty chicken and rice base that canines prefer. All of the ingredients in this Hill’s Science kibble are easy to digest. There are plenty of grains such as barley, rice, and sorghum that help with bowel movements. 

Each mouthful contains a significant amount of prebiotic fiber, which should aid in the formation of solid stools in your dog. It also aids in the proper functioning of the digestive system. The usage of artificial flavors is the major concern we have with this dish. These aren’t necessary.

Best Overall for Adult Dogs
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Chicken and rice base is appetizing and tasty
  • Grains like barley, rice and sorghum help bind bowel movements
  • Contains prebiotic fiber to help for solid stools
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#4 Best for Senior Dogs: Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Canned Dog Food

We can’t forget about older dogs. Senior pups are known for having trouble when it comes to their bathroom habits. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Canned Dog Food is a great option if your old pooch is suffering from diarrhea. 

The main element is water, which is beneficial for animals who may be dehydrated as a result of persistent diarrhea. Despite the wetness, this is still a dry pâté, so you might have to add a little extra water. Then there’s rice and a selection of meats. Please remember that Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care is only available with a prescription from your veterinarian. 

Best for Senior Dogs
Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care Wet Dog Food
  • Main ingredient is water, to help with dehydration caused by diarrhea
  • Only available with a vet's prescription
  • Ingredients include rice and meat
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Summary of the Best Dog Food for Dogs with Diarrhea

Rank Best ForProduct1OverallRoyal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food2PuppiesSimply Nourish Sweet Potato & Salmon Puppy Dog Food3AdultsHill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food4SeniorsHill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Canned Dog Food

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

Best Dog Food for Dogs With Diarrhea (Senior, Adult and Puppy) — Reviewed and Ranked for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the difference between Prescription Diet Dog Food and Regular Dog Food? 

A prescribed diet is a diet that has been carefully developed to address a certain disease. These items can be ordered via your veterinarian, straight from the factory, at select specialist pet retailers, or online.

You’ll have to have a prescription from Rover’s doctor before you can buy the food from any of the providers. Some of these specialized diets are made for dogs that have food intolerances or sensitivities.

 

How can you tell if your dog's stomach is sensitive? 

A list of probable indicators of a sensitive stomach was covered previously. Your dog may have a sensitive stomach if he vomits, has soft stools or diarrhea, or appears uneasy after eating. Always consult your veterinarian to rule out any other possible causes.

 

Is it necessary to feed my dog a boring diet? 

It all relies on your puppy’s level of sensitivity. Try a restricted diet if Rover has trouble eating foods with a variety of different nutrients or if you can’t manage to get his diarrhea to go away. 

 

Is it true that boiling chicken and brown rice might assist with the symptoms? Yes, as long as your pet doesn’t have a food allergy to chicken or rice. Both the chicken and the rice are readily digested and stomach-friendly.

 

When it comes to food allergies, how long does it take for a dog to recover? 

Allergies are the immune system’s reaction to a trigger chemical. When a dog gets a food allergy, it is common for them to have it for the rest of their lives. However, allergic signs such as irritated skin, nausea, and diarrhea should subside within a few weeks of eliminating the problematic ingredient(s) from your dog’s diet. The time it takes to heal is based on the intensity of the symptoms.

 

What's the deal with my dog being so gassy unexpectedly? 

A sudden rise in gas is usually caused by a change in dog food, your dog eating something rotten, or a nutritional mishap such as ingesting rubbish. If dogs eat too much air with their meal, they might generate more gas.