The Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food for 2022: Reviewed and Ranked

Updated: March 27, 2022

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It’s true that some dogs have strong stomachs and can eat just about anything. You might find them rummaging through the trash, and you may quickly scold them for being naughty. The next day, however, they’re completely fine. Their stools don’t change, they don’t get bloated, and they don’t experience any negative effects from some of the foods they eat that they shouldn’t be touching. Just like with humans, every dog’s body is different. Some dogs are born with an inherited sensitive tummy while others may develop sensitivity as they age. For these types of dogs, they must be provided with dog food made specifically for their sensitive stomachs. These types of foods typically have a limited ingredient recipe made specifically for dogs that need a little extra tender, loving care.

Before switching up your pup’s food, you should know whether the sensitive stomach issue is chronic or whether it’s signaling something more severe. Having a professional opinion about your dog, especially when it comes from a vet that knows your pup’s medical history, is a great way to start caring for your pet’s uncomfortable tummy. When your vet rules out any severe illnesses, you can begin to consider which type of sensitive stomach dog food is best for your pup. Your dog may have an intolerance for certain ingredients, or he may be dealing with an ulcer, parasites, or a bacterial imbalance. No matter what type of gastrointestinal issue your dog is dealing with, you can help your pup by making changes to his dog food. A simple change like this can make him a lot more comfortable.

Below, we’ve identified the best overall dog food for pups with sensitive stomachs; however, there may be other considerations when it comes to your unique pup. Small breeds have a different set of nutritional requirements than large breed dogs, for instance. Additionally, puppies require more robust nutrition for their growing bodies than senior dogs, who may need a softer texture and a lower caloric intake. Some dogs are stubborn and won’t take to a new dry food, so introducing wet food may be your best option when getting him to switch over. Whatever your dog needs, we’ve got you covered with plenty of options.

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Sensitive Stomach Dog Food

  1. Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  2. 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
  3. Bundle: Purina Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach + Focus Classic Salmon & Rice Canned
  4. Bundle: Purina Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach  + Focus Classic Salmon & Rice Canned
    • Perfect for small breeds
    • Contains real salmon as the first ingredient
    • Makes a real difference to coat and skin health
    • The classic entrée is incredibly alluring for dogs
    Check Chewy
  5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal
  6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal
    • Contains probiotics
    • A blend of dietary fiber supports healthy digestion
    • Contains omega-3 fatty acids and EPA and DHA from fish oil
    • Added antioxidants support his immune system
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Cold Water Salmon & Vegetable
  8. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Cold Water Salmon & Vegetable
    • Grain-free and gluten-free
    • Contains a single source of protein - cold water salmon
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Added probiotics for optimal digestive and gut health
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
  10. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
    • Perfect for puppies of all breeds
    • Salmon is the first ingredient
    • Zero artificial flavors or colors
    • Helps to nourish your puppy's brain and vision development
    Check Chewy
  11. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
  12. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
    • The ideal choice for aging dogs
    • Real turkey is the single animal protein
    • Contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
    • Developed with the help of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 Best Overall: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken

The best overall sensitive stomach dog food is by Hill’s Science Diet. This recipe is formulated for adult dogs, no matter the breed size, and contains ingredients that nourish your pup from the inside out. It is made with real chicken as a first ingredient and contains prebiotic fiber to support a balanced microbiome for healthy digestion. This formula also delivers a generous amount of vitamin E and omega-six fatty acids. This helps to improve your dog’s skin and coat. Science Diet is backed by decades of cutting-edge research, and their pup-approved formulas have long been customer favorites.

The prebiotic fiber in this formula is crafted with beet pulp and is highly digestible to support optimal nutrient absorption. Along with the vitamin E and omega-six fatty acids, this recipe includes additional natural ingredients plus added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s recommended by veterinarians for dogs with sensitive tummies and it provides your pup with the nutrition he needs for a lifetime of health and happiness. This dog food doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It’s made in the USA with global ingredients you can trust.

Our testers have found that this dog food is the perfect help for dogs with allergies. Switching over a 12-year-old Labrador was seamless. This poor pup was initially licking his paws excessively, but that behavior quickly stopped after the full transition to this formula. In our experience, we found that many veterinarians have recommended this specific recipe, and adult dogs of different ages not only take to the taste easily, but pet parents also see improvements immediately. The prebiotic support helps to support healthy digestion and absorption of the other beneficial ingredients and being that it’s well rounded and accepted by dogs of all sizes, we had to highlight this dog food as number one on the list.

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

#2 Best Budget-Friendly Small Breed: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Switching over to a sensitive stomach dog food can be expensive. This is especially true if you are purchasing prescription food. However, even if you’re on a budget, you can switch your dog over to a food that helps ease his tummy while being easy on your bank account. This bundle by Purina Pro Plan is perfect for small breeds and includes both dry dog food and a salmon and rice entrée. It’s a high-protein recipe that’s perfect for small breeds under 20 pounds. It also features real salmon as the first ingredient along with omega-six fatty acids to help support your dog’s healthy skin and coat.

This is a complete recipe that helps keep your dog on a balanced diet, especially if he suffers from an upset stomach or allergies. Just because your dog is on a special diet doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy the texture, aroma, and flavors he craves. The classic entrée is packed with nutrient-rich salmon and rice and is incredibly alluring for dogs. In our experience, we’ve found that this formula doesn’t just settle well in small breed dogs’ stomachs, it also makes a massive difference in coat and skin health. If you’ve been noticing dull fur on your pup, get ready because this food will restore a lustrous coat that your pup will love showing off.

For some testers, they found that their dogs weren’t fans of the flavor. If your dog is more into meaty flavors like beef and chicken, he may not take to the salmon recipe. However, if your dog is a fan of salmon flavors, he’ll benefit from this formula. Incorporating the wet food with the dry food can also help better transition your pup since he’ll be able to enjoy two different textures and flavor profiles. Sometimes, combining two types of food is the way to go, especially for picky small breeds, and we love that Purina Pro Plan has created this budget-friendly formula that meets multiple needs at once.

Best Budget-Friendly
Bundle: Purina Small Breed Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach + Focus Classic Salmon & Rice Canned
  • Perfect for small breeds
  • Contains real salmon as the first ingredient
  • Makes a real difference to coat and skin health
  • The classic entrée is incredibly alluring for dogs
Check Chewy

#3 Best Wet Dog Food: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat

Wet food is often more palatable than dry food and when switching over your adult pup, it can help to serve soft, aromatic food to keep him engaged and aid with meeting his nutritional requirements. This Royal Canin gastrointestinal low-fat canned dog food is made to be both alluring and digestible. It contains probiotics to help maintain the balance of good bacteria in your pup’s gut. Plus, it has a blend of dietary fiber that supports healthy digestion for optimal stool quality. No more messes to clean up (or odors that offend every nose within a square mile!).

The recipe includes omega-3 fatty acids and EPA and DHA from fish oil—all to help soothe and nourish his gastrointestinal tract. There is a precise blend of antioxidants included, to support his immune system as well. Keep in mind that this is a veterinary exclusive wet dog food for dogs with either a long or short-term digestive issue. You need authorization from your vet to purchase this item but once you have it, you can speed up purchasing by uploading a scan or a photo of the authorization for the vendor. Once that’s taken care of, you and your pup are good to go!

Best Wet Dog Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal
  • Contains probiotics
  • A blend of dietary fiber supports healthy digestion
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids and EPA and DHA from fish oil
  • Added antioxidants support his immune system
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#4 Best Dry Dog Food: Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Grain-Free

This grain-free and gluten-free formula by Solid Gold is made specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s a chicken-free formula that’s easy to digest and contains a single source of protein (cold water salmon) and probiotics. It’s also scientifically designed to promote a healthy coat. It’s packed with ample nutrients like omega six and three fatty acids to improve your dog’s skin. This holistic blend was designed to be nutrient-rich for dogs that like to be active. The formula is ideal for giving your dog the energy he needs to continue with his active lifestyle. The protective probiotics in this formula are combined with fiber-rich prebiotics so that they can remain alive and viable until they are consumed and absorbed by your pet’s tummy. These added ingredients help your dog achieve optimal digestive and gut health.

It’s not always easy finding a high-quality dog food that’s also gentle on your wallet. However, this Solid Gold formula is one of the best dry dog food recipes we found. Our testers noted that the sheen of fish oil is visible on the kibble when you feed it. That was one of the primary reasons they decided to switch over to this kibble so that their dogs could have it regularly. They noted that the previous food they were providing their dog with required 4 1/2 cups of kibble while this brand and formula only require 2 1/2 cups of kibble. That massive difference in the amount of nutrition they get per bite blew us all away. Now, a nine-year-old Border Collie and an eight-month-old German Shepherd puppy both get to enjoy the helpful nutrients of this dog-approved recipe.

Best Dry Dog Food
Solid Gold Leaping Waters Cold Water Salmon & Vegetable
  • Grain-free and gluten-free
  • Contains a single source of protein - cold water salmon
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Added probiotics for optimal digestive and gut health
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#5 Best for Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice

No matter if you have a small breed dog or a large breed dog, this puppy stage dry dog food is perfect for little ones that need something easier to digest. This recipe contains 100% complete and balanced nutrition with salmon listed as the first ingredient. It also includes rice, which is gentle on your puppy’s sensitive digestive system. Along with ingredients that help to protect your dog’s digestive process, omega-six fatty acids are also included from sunflower oil to support his healthy skin and coat. DHA from omega-rich fish oil helps to nourish his brain and vision development while antioxidants help to support his developing immune system. All of this with zero artificial flavors or colors! Puppies need a solid head start to ensure they develop well. Purina Pro Plan delivers advanced nutrition, so your puppy grows strong and healthy as he matures.

When testing this product with Golden Retrievers, we noticed they experienced less itching and irritation and had significantly less bloated tummies and gas bubbles. There was one downside though. Golden Retriever puppies had a hard time transitioning to this dog food but once that transition was made, their bellies were 100% better. Plus, we noticed healthier coats and overall happier pups. Other testers found that even though they purchased the dog food for only one of their dogs, their other dogs took to it as well. They had to separate the puppy food from the adult dogs (and even their cats!) but once they did, they were able to ensure the product went to the pup it was intended for.

Best for Puppies
Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
  • Perfect for puppies of all breeds
  • Salmon is the first ingredient
  • Zero artificial flavors or colors
  • Helps to nourish your puppy's brain and vision development
Check Chewy

#6 Best for Senior Dogs: Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Natural Adult

Senior dogs have a different need for nutrients. With this formula, you can provide them with a limited ingredient diet that doesn’t contain chicken, beef, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or eggs. This makes it the ideal choice for aging dogs that have sensitivities to different food ingredients. Instead of any of those ingredients, this formula starts with real turkey as a single animal protein source alongside potatoes, peas, and pumpkin to gently support your dog’s digestive system. Along with these gentle ingredients, this formula includes a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These “life source bits” are carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to keep supporting your dog’s immune system and healthy oxidative balance as he ages.

Our testers noted that after switching a Labrador over to this recipe, he began eating again and enjoying better quality sleep. His owners had grown concerned after he started waking up whining at five in the morning and stopped enjoying his previous food. Now, they’re happy to report that he is back to his old bouncy, and happy self. Although this food is more expensive than the one they were previously using, they are very happy to have made the switch. We also noticed that this food is ideal for dogs with food allergies because when a hybrid Yorkie was switched over to this formula, her itchy symptoms subsided. We also appreciate that the crunchy texture helps to support dental health while delivering great nutrition for sensitive pups.

Best for Senior Dogs
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
  • The ideal choice for aging dogs
  • Real turkey is the single animal protein
  • Contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Developed with the help of holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Dog food for sensitive pups has similarities across the board like reduced ingredients and single protein sources but they are all designed differently. The single protein source may come from fish or chicken and supporting ingredients may or may not include probiotics. When deciding on the best food for your pup, consider the following:

Limited Ingredients

The most important consideration when selecting dog food for your pup with a sensitive tummy is the ingredients list. Always make sure that it contains a single protein source listed as the very first ingredient. This could be turkey, chicken, beef, or salmon. If your dog has an allergy to any one of those protein sources, make sure that you’re leaning toward a product that eliminates that proteins source and any byproducts or meals related to it. Pups with sensitive stomachs need a limited ingredient diet, so their digestive system can work well without being overloaded. Additionally, it’s helpful to provide your pup with this type of dog food because it removes many of the common allergens that may activate itchiness, irritation, or gastrointestinal upset in your pup.

Palatability

Palatability is another crucial factor. The fact is, if your dog doesn’t take to the new, limited ingredient dog food, he’s not going to enjoy any relief from his symptoms. Some dogs are harder to transition than others, and you may want to consider employing a wet food recipe to help with the transition process (like with the bundle Purina Pro Plan offers). Know ahead of time what flavors your dog prefers and try to stick with dog food that incorporates that specific protein source as the first ingredient. Anything that tastes familiar will be easier for your dog to transition over to. Be patient during this process as well. To increase the chances of your dog accepting the new dog food, you should transition him slowly over seven to 10 days.

Price

Prescription foods and even those that don’t require a veterinarian’s approval are typically more expensive than regular diets usually fed to dogs. These specialty foods do come at a higher cost but ultimately, they save you on future vet bills. Consider your budget and select a dog food that doesn’t break the bank. Remember, we included the Purina Pro Plan budget-friendly option in this list so you can have that on hand should you need it.

The Different Types of Sensitive Stomach Dog Food: Pros and Cons Compared

Dry Dog Food: crunchy texture and affordable option with a variety of protein-centered flavors.

PROSCONS
AffordabilityN/A
Supports dental health 
Multiple recipes available 

Wet Dog Food: highly palatable though often more expensive than dry dog food.

PROSCONS
Dog-approved flavorsUsually more expensive than dry dog food
Easy on teeth 
Easier transition due to high palatability 

Dog Food for Puppies: perfectly formulated for the nutritional needs of growing dogs.

PROSCONS
Perfected nutritional supportN/A
Smaller kibble size 
Appropriate for different breed sizes 

Dog Food for Senior Dogs: gentle on senior dogs’ sensitive tummies with nutrients to support bone and joint health.

PROSCONS
Specially formulated for aging dogsN/A
Ultra-limited ingredients 
Excludes common allergens 

Verified Review: User Experience

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe, the best overall on this list was chosen because it makes believers out of skeptics. One tester shared her experience, noting “I was one of the worst offenders for being 100% against my dogs eating Hill’s Science Diet. I was told that it contained lots of toxic chemicals and was only pushed on consumers by vets because they were paid by Hill’s to push the product. My opinion has since changed since using this product. I have three boxers. One is in perfect health, the other suffers from terrible skin allergies, and the last has a very sensitive stomach due to a stomach flip he had surgery for when his previous owners fed him a sock with food on it to try and kill him — because of this, he has terrible farts… Since I’ve been using this product (close to a month now), my allergy dog no longer scratches herself all day and my little tooter dog no longer farts. I am literally amazed…  I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am we tried this food.”

Wet food is another favorite. The Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Wet Dog Food is well-loved by several dog owners. One tester shares the following: “My dog has been on this food for quite a while. She has had pancreatitis twice and was put on this food after the second instance. It works well for her. She likes the food and is excited to eat it. She does a little backward prance while I am preparing the food and putting it down for her. I usually get it from my vet. But, on occasion, they have had it not show up on their regular delivery truck. So, I order from Chewy.” Although many of the comments from relieved dog owners center around the product themselves, they also mention the support they feel when dealing with customer service centers from both Chewy and Amazon.

Products For This Review:

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food for 2022: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What food should I feed my dog with a sensitive stomach?

Many sensitive stomach dog foods include mild ingredients in their recipes, like chicken and rice. Some may include a different kind of protein like salmon alongside the rice. These ingredients are used because they settle well even into the most sensitive tummies. You may also notice additional ingredients in limited recipes like pumpkin, barley, oats, and eggs. Each of these ingredients provides optimal nutrition while being easy on your pup’s stomach.

What can I feed my dog with gastrointestinal problems?

For a quick fix, a switch over to a much blander recipe is the way to go. Often, chicken and rice are ingredients well-tolerated even when your pup is going through it. Pumpkin is another helpful ingredient to help settle unhappy tummies. Look for recipes that contain these soothing ingredients, whether in wet or dry food.

Is grain-free better for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Dogs are natural carnivores and grains can affect your pup’s digestive process. Ingredients like wheat and corn can be difficult for pups with sensitive tummies to digest. Dog food formulated for pups with sensitive digestion usually include grain-free ingredients or incorporates grains easy to digest, like oats, rice, or whole grains.

What dog food is easy on a dog’s stomach?

Several! But be mindful of your dog’s specific allergies. For instance, if your dog has developed an allergic reaction to chicken, even though that’s typically an easily digestible food, it won’t be appropriate food for his tummy. Consider other protein sources like turkey or salmon if this is the case. Ultimately, the best dog food for your dog is personalized. When you understand his individual needs, you can provide him with the right type of dog food to ease his tummy troubles.

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

The most important skill you can employ is patience. Dogs with sensitive tummies need a little bit more careful attention than those with robust tummies. That means customizing the transition based on everything you know about your beloved pet. Slow transitions are best. Incorporate a little bit of the new food with a little bit of the old food to start. Within a few days, you should be at a 50/50 ratio. Once your pup is into the new food, you can reduce the amount of old food. This process is dependent on your pup and your relationship with him. You will know when the time is right to switch over completely.

How to support a dog with a sensitive stomach?

Aside from switching over to a sensitive stomach dog food, you can also take other actions to help support your pup’s health. For example, if he likes to snack on scraps even though he gets sick, make sure you are making trash and other leftovers inaccessible. That might mean taking out the trash every evening to ensure your dog doesn’t have access while you’re sleeping. Changes could also mean helping your dog eat more slowly. A good sensitive stomach food has limited ingredients, which typically tends to positively impact the overall gastrointestinal health of your dog. There are many little actions you can take, like reducing the number of treats you give your pet, and ultimately, changing over to dog food that is made specifically for sensitive stomachs.