Food For Dogs with Sensitive Stomach: Symptoms, Solutions and Recipes

Canine diets can be just as complex as human ones, especially so when they suddenly develop a sensitive stomach.

The ancestor to our pups, the wolf, were often in feast and famine mode. This evolved their stomachs the ability to stretch to enormous sizes, which is why a dog will devour as much food as possible given half a chance!

But it's these two facts that need to be highlighted to understand the dog's digestive system:

  1. Dogs don't have large digestive tracts like us, which is why it's so vital to feed them digestible dog food that helps with intestinal health.
  1. Dogs stomachs are much more acidic than ours and keep food in their stomach longer, between 4 to 12 hours. These two factors allow their stomachs to break down food like meat and bones into something much more digestible.

In short, it is a more delicate digestive system.

So what can be done to aid digestion and alleviate a dogs stomach sensitivity? Tackling food sensitivities by the process of elimination is one, and ensuring they're eating the right type of proteins come be another.

But with so many ingredients in dog's food today, what are you supposed to be making sure they eat and what to avoid?

Digestive health is super important to your dogs quality of life - not just to avoid stomach sensibilities but to their development as well. 

Read on to learn the facts, what to look out for, best types of food and our top 3 homemade recipes to alleviate a dogs sensitive stomach.

Table of Contents:

How Do You Know if Your Dog has a Sensitive Stomach?

5 Things to Consider when Buying Food for Dogs with Very Sensitive Stomachs

What is the Easiest Type of Protein for a Dog to Digest?

What is the Best Protein for a Dog with a Sensitive Stomach?

Top 3 Homemade Foods for Dogs with a Sensitive Stomach

How do you know if your dog has a sensitive stomach?

In most cases it’s a roll of the dice if a pooch is born with a sensitive stomach.

But some breeds are more prone to stomach sensitivities.

The main six most likely to have a sensitive stomach are: Great Dane, Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepard, Irish Sette, Shar Pei and Miniature Schnauzer.

These 6 dog breed types are more likely to have sensitive stomachs

That said, all breeds and mixed breeds can be prone to a sensitive stomach, and sensitive stomachs can also occur at any time of a dog’s life. Always be sure to take them to the vet to check if there’s an underlying cause.

Roughly 10% of veterinary visits are the result of a gastrointestinal disease. Diarrhea being the most common symptom.

Symptoms of Sensitive Stomach:

·      Loss of Appetite

·      Loose Stools

·      Vomiting

·      Hypersalivation: excessive salivating

·      Diarrhoea with or without blood in stool

·      Frequent Swallowing

·      Nausea

·      Excessive gas

·      Decreased mobility, especially after eating

All dog breeds can develop sensitive stomach; consult a vet.

5 Things to Consider when Buying Dog Foods for Dogs with Very Sensitive Stomachs (And Help with Digestive Health)

1.   Small Ingredients List 📝

Always opt for foods with a smaller list of ingredients. The fewer the ingredients, the easier it will be on your dog’s stomach.

2.   High Quality Animal Based Protein 🍗

Check to make sure that the proteins are animal based, such as chicken, turkey, beef or lamb.

3.   Single Proteins 1️⃣

Not only should they be high quality, but the dog food should ideally have a single protein as part of the ingredients.

4.   Contain Probiotics ✅

These will help promote a healthy digestive tract, which minimizes the symptoms of a sensitive stomach.

5.   Free from Fillers and Preservatives ⚠️

Try to avoid any chemical sounding name in the ingredients list as well as filler ingredients like soy, wheat and corn.

What can you feed a dog with a sensitive stomach?

These are most common options for dogs with troubled stomachs:

Cooked chicken breast, a bit of brown rice

Liver and oil

Canning of tuna and a variety of fish

Canned pumpkins

Sweet potatoes

Bonsai bronchi

Is dry food better for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Fussy dogs generally prefer wet food, but it very much depends on what he's eating now. You don't want to switch his eating habits too abruptly causing more stomach issues.

That said, there are more important factors to consider:

What is the Easiest Protein for Dogs to Digest?

Protein is very important when it comes to canine nutrition and it can also be one of the biggest causes of upset for a dog's sensitive stomach.

Often when a dog is having problems with their stomach, it is recommended that you switch up the type of protein they are being given.

For example, if the food contains a high amount of chicken, then switch to a lamb or beef-based food.

With dog food, many kibbles use plant-based proteins. While these can be excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, plant-based proteins are very difficult for dogs to digest and this can lead to more upset stomachs. Try to avoid dog foods that are rich in plant-based proteins.

Instead, choose proteins that are offered through by-product proteins.

These are the organs of the main animal in the food. It does not contain any hair, hide or hooves, and is rich in amino acids. They also break down easily and dogs can digest them quickly without a lot of stomach upset.

What is the Best Protein for Dogs with a Sensitive Stomach?

As already mentioned, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, you want to stick to a by-product protein but also include some meat as well.

Avoid plant-based proteins and stick to more natural ingredients, with fewer items in the ingredient list and the protein list. Choose a simple, single protein instead of a protein blend.

If you are looking for meats that are considered to be easier for dogs with sensitive stomachs to digest, many dog owners have found both bison and kangaroo digest easily with very little stomach upset.

While there are plenty of foods out there, a natural food can be the best care you can give your dog with a sensitive stomach. Make sure that you choose the right ingredients and keep your recipes simple.

Our Top 3 Best Homemade Dog Foods for a Sensitive Stomach

Now we know some of the best natural foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs, let’s look at the best homemade dog foods for sensitive stomachs.

Homemade dog foods are excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs because you can avoid fillers and preservatives in the food – plus, you can limit ingredients and really work with your dog to determine the best homemade dog food for your dog.

But before we get to them, consider these 5 points before buying ingredients for any homemade recipe:

1.   Avoid Pre-packaged Foods

Anything that is packaged will most likely be full of preservatives. You want to try to keep as many ingredients fresh or as natural as possible.

2.   Use High Quality Proteins

Don’t use frozen or freeze-dried meats or proteins. Instead, go for actual cuts of meat.

3.   Avoid Plant-Based Proteins

As mentioned, they can be hard on a dogs stomach. You can add some small amounts,  but make sure the majority is animal protein.

4.   Keep Ingredients Limited

This is important in trying to determine what foods upset your dog’s stomach.

5.   Keep Ingredients Simple

Avoid a lot of additives and spices. Dogs don’t need these ingredients and are happy with the taste of meat alone. Secondly, some spices might cause more stomach upset.

#1: Chicken Stew ~

Simple recipe soothes upset stomachs with few ingredients, dog-friendly.

This recipe is often a go to when you are trying to alleviate stomach and digestive upset. It has only a few ingredients and can even be taken right back to a simple two or three ingredient dish. Dogs usually love it and, even with an upset stomach, they will eat it up!

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast

1 ½ cups of whole grain rice

¼ cup of canned pumpkin

¼ cup of yoguart, plain

¼ cup of low sodium chicken brother

Directions:

1.   In a large pot, boil the skinless, boneless chicken breast in water until it is completely cooked.

2.   Shred the chicken but don’t remove the water.

3.   While the chicken is cooking, cook the rice according to the package.

4.   Mix the rice and chicken together.

5.   Fold the canned pumpkin and yogurt.

6.   Stir in the chicken brother and mix well.

Allow to cool completely before giving to your dog. Feed this to your dog for 24 or 28 hours or until the symptoms go away.

#2: Chicken and Rice ~

Chicken and rice meal aids in upset stomach recovery, simplifying reintroduction.

Though similar to the last recipe, it has even fewer ingredients. Often when a dog has an upset stomach or diarrhoea, this is a great way to help reverse it. Feeding a simple meal of just chicken and rice can help reset everything and give you a fresh start to reintroduce foods.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs of chicken breast

2 cups of whole grain rice

1 ½ cups of low sodium chicken broth

4 ½ cups of water

Directions:

1.   In a large pot, add the boneless, skinless chicken breast, rice, water and chicken broth together.

2.   Mix well.

3.   Cook on medium heat until you have a hard boil.

4.   Once boiling, cover and reduce heat.

5.   Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked.

6.   Shred chicken if necessary.

Cool completely and serve to your dog for 24 to 48 hours. This should not be considered a staple meal; however, you can add vegetables and other ingredients to it and offer it as good natural dog food when necessary.

#3: Liver and Oil

High-protein option for soothing an upset dog's stomach, providing nutrition.

An excellent source of protein, you can offer this food to your dog when his stomach is upset. It will give him a boost of vitamins and minerals as well as soothe his stomach. It is a very limited ingredient dog food that will help his stomach settle.

 

Ingredients:

1lb of liver (beef is best)

4 cups of water

1 tbsp of corn oil

Directions:

1.   In a pot, add water.

2.   While the water is heating, chop the liver and then add to the hot water.

3.   Cook for about 20 minutes until the liver is cooked through.

4.   Remove from the heat and cool completely.

5.   Stir in the corn oil.

Feed to pup, water and all, once it is fully cooled. Again, this isn’t a complete diet, but it will help settle your dog’s sensitive stomach.

Don’t have the time or budget for homemade recipes?

Check out our Vet Approved: Top 5 Brand Dog Foods for Dog’s with Sensitive Stomachs

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