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

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: January 10, 2023
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food for dogs with diarrhea is the Royal Canin Adult Dry Dog Food.
  • Seeing your veterinarian is the first step if your dog has diarrhea on a regular basis. Next, you’ll want to find a dog food that will help ease the situation. There are special recipes that are designed for puppies, adults, and seniors with sensitive stomachs.
  • In order to maintain a healthy gut, probiotics are recommended. You should look for dog food that contains probiotics. There are some ingredients that are difficult to digest, such as proteins. Ingredients such as grains, fruits, sweet potatoes, and beans that are high in fiber can improve digestion.
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs should avoid foods with artificial dyes and preservatives.

Do you have a dog who suffers from diarrhea on a regular basis? Then you’ve probably been searching for something to help your poor pooch. Your dog’s bowels may be irritated by a variety of things, which eventually cause diarrhea. 

In many cases, a dog’s diarrhea is caused by eating something they shouldn’t, such as spoiled food or garbage. The problem may, however, be rooted in an underlying issue if it persists beyond a couple of days. It is important to be careful of dehydration, which can be caused by diarrhea. Even so, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment with the vet to rule out allergies, intolerances, or something even more serious. It’s a good time to ask your vet about the best dog food for dogs with diarrhea during this visit. 

It’s easy to find something for every breed of dog, from puppies to seniors, with our four standout options. There is no doubt that diarrhea can cause your pup pain, discomfort, and overall distress. For loose stool and diarrhea, we’ve put together a list of FAQs, a buyer’s guide, and product reviews to help you choose the best food option.

  1. 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. Simply Nourish Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog 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. 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. Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care
    • The 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

Top Picks: The Best Dog Foods for Dogs With Diarrhea Today

#1. Best Overall: Royal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food

If we could only recommend one dog food to help with diarrhea, the Royal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food would be the best. Due to its incredible ingredients, it’s known to work, even though it’s not the most affordable option. This product contains a signature blend of prebiotics and antioxidants, which support your dog’s immune system’s natural defenses.

Royal Canin is no stranger when it comes to making high-quality pet food. Their hydrolyzed protein formula is broken down into bite-sized 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.

Pros and Cons of the Royal Canin Protein Adult Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This product contains a unique blend of prebiotics and antioxidants.The formula contains soy which may upset some dogs’ digestive systems.
The formula consists of fiber from beet pulp that helps encourage solid waste.
To encourage eating and minimize digestive upset, the hydrolyzed protein formula is made into bite-sized pieces.
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 Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

Try Simply Nourish Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food if your cute little puppy is having stomach troubles.

The joy of owning a puppy is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it’s not without its challenges. That’s why feeding your puppy a healthy diet is of the utmost importance. One of the main ingredients in this dog food is salmon. Salmon is not only gentle on dogs’ stomachs, but it’s also 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. 

The Simply Nourish dog food is extremely high in fiber to help 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.

Pros and Cons of the Simply Nourish Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
Puppies with sensitive stomachs may benefit from the salmon recipe.There is a distinctive fishy smell to the food.
Omega-3 fatty acids are included in the food to help promote a healthy immune system in dogs.
This dog food has a high fiber content to help maintain regular bowel movements.
Best for Puppies
Simply Nourish Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog 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 & Skin

As an alternative to our overall favorite, you can also try Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin for adult dogs. Designed specifically for our sensitive four-legged friends, this kibble is a popular brand that is available from many pet supply stores.

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. To support healthy skin and a lustrous coat, this dog food contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. There are also 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. There is no doubt that one of the biggest concerns that many reviewers had with this dish is the use of artificial flavors. Many note that these aren’t necessary to add to dog formulas.

Pros and Cons of the Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin

ProsCons
This dog food is specifically designed to help calm sensitive stomachs in dogs.Several reviewers expressed concern about the artificial flavors in this dish.
Prebiotic fiber in this dog food is great for supporting a balanced gut microbiome.
The formula contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids for shiny coats and healthy skin.
Best 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 i/d Digestive Care

Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care is a great option if your older pooch is suffering from diarrhea. 

We can’t ignore the needs of older dogs. There is a tendency for senior dogs to have issues with their toilet habits. The main component of this food is water, which is beneficial for animals that may be dehydrated as a result of persistent diarrhea. The ginger in this recipe helps soothe and calm your pup’s GI tract. There are also omega-3 fatty acids in the food to support GI recovery and skin and coat health

There may be a need to add a little more water to this dry pâté despite its wetness. Rice and meats are also included. It is important to note that Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care is only available with a prescription from your veterinarian. Due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D, Hill’s voluntarily recalled selected canned dog foods, including this product, on January 31, 2019. Since then, no recalls have been issued for this product.

Pros and Cons of the Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care

ProsCons
The formula is designed to rehydrate dogs who have diarrhea on a regular basis.This dog food can only be obtained with a veterinary prescription.
There is ginger in the formula to help soothe upset stomachs.
The formula is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to support the skin and a healthy coat.
Best for Senior Dogs
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care
  • The 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

What to Look For in the Best Dog Food for Dogs With Diarrhea

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that dogs sometimes suffer from digestive problems. In order to help your dog feel better, your veterinarian can make recommendations regarding what you can do to help them. It might be the case that switching your dog’s diet is the solution to his gastrointestinal problems, but you’ll also need to figure out why he’s experiencing diarrhea in the first place. For example, dogs suffering from gluten allergies who eat wheat may experience diarrhea if their digestive tracts are irritated. 

Four main considerations should be taken into account when choosing the best dog food for dogs with diarrhea:

  • Probiotics 
  • Fat content
  • Digestible ingredients 
  • Preservatives 

In the following paragraphs, we’ll delve deeper into these aspects:

Probiotics

The gastrointestinal tract contains beneficial microorganisms known as probiotics. You can help your furry friend’s digestion by including these organisms in his or her diet. To ensure that the microorganisms in the recipe are still alive, it should be marked with an expiration date.

Fat Content

For a dog’s skin and hair to remain healthy, as well as for their vitality, essential fats must be consumed in the diet. A diet high in fat, however, can lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous medical condition. As a general rule, aim for a mid-fat level of 5-20% unless your dog is nursing, still developing, or extremely active.

​​Digestible Ingredients

Among the ingredients that you should look for are chicken, potatoes, sheep, and grains. In comparison to these options, the digestion of other proteins and carbohydrates is more difficult.

Squash or sweet potatoes, for example, are high-fiber foods that can help solidify feces. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. As soluble fiber absorbs moisture, it slows digestion. You can find soluble fiber in oat bran, barley, certain fruits, and beans. The insoluble fiber in your diet adds bulk to your diet. Digestion is sped up by it. A good source of insoluble fiber is whole grains and vegetables.

Preservatives

Ideally, you should look for a product that contains only a few ingredients and is easy to digest. It is recommended that you avoid artificial preservatives, dyes, and flavors in your food.

The 2 Different Types of Dog Foods for Dogs With Diarrhea

What is the best type of food for your pooch? Does it matter whether it is dry or soft food? Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages that are associated with each of these types of food options:

  • Dry dog food — Customers report firmer poops. Kibbles slow down faster eaters. Comes in bulk sizes. May include probiotics. Bags don’t always reseal. Some types have high salt content. 
  • Wet dog food — Better flavor profile. Works better for puppies or senior dogs. More affordable options. Can give dogs gas.

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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

What is the difference between prescription diet dog food and regular dog food? 

Diets prescribed for specific diseases are diets that have been carefully developed. Your veterinarian can order these items, or you can order them right from the manufacturer, at select pet retailers, or online.

The food can only be purchased from these providers with a prescription from your dog’s doctor, however. 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? 

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

 

 

 

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 garbage. If dogs swallow too much air with their meal, they might also generate more gas.

 

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