8 Best Dog Foods for Loose Stool & Diarrhea

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

Does your dog struggle with frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stool? If so, you understand just how trying this can be. While there can certainly be many reasons for this, one of the most common a sensitivity to something in your dog’s current diet.

If you are looking for the best dog food for loose stool and diarrhea, there are many options to consider. To help you narrow down the field, we’ve come up with this guide. In addition to product reviews, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs and a Buyer’s Guide to help you determine what the best dog foods for loose stool and diarrhea are.

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Loose Stool and Diarrhea

Top ProductsRatingsTop Ingredients
1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Wet Food3.8Water Sufficient For Processing, Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein
2. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free with Turkey4.8Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Pea Starch, Peas
3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach4.6Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
4. Royal Canin Low Fat Dry Dog Food4.8Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat, Barley, Natural Flavors
5. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach4.7Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas
6. Purina Smart Blend Sensitive Systems4.4Salmon (Source of Glucosamine), Rice Flour, Pearled Barley, Oat Meal, Corn Gluten Meal,
7. Purina Pro Plan for Sensitive Skin and Stomachs4.4Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient with Salmon4.7Deboned Salmon, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Starch, Salmon Meal (Source of Glucosamine)

1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Wet Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water Sufficient For Processing, 2. Salmon, 3. Rice, 4. Fish, 5. Potato Protein

If you have an older dog suffering from diarrhea, it is extremely important to find food that agrees with ham and has the nutrition it needs. That is where this wet food from Purina can be helpful. It contains plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that will keep your dog happy and healthy. It also has plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates that don’t upset the digestive tract. Even though all dogs may benefit from this wet food, it is particularly helpful for dogs with dental problems. 


2. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free with Turkey

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Turkey Meal (Source of Glucosamine), 4. Pea Starch, 5. Peas

A limited ingredient diet can be helpful for dogs suffering from diarrhea. That is why this recipe from Blue Buffalo has become so popular. Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular names when it comes to dog food. This recipe is grain-free, and grain is a common source of allergies and stomach upset. Furthermore, the protein comes from turkey, which is a lean protein source. This recipe places less stress on your dog’s digestive system, which helps to alleviate tummy trouble. 


3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley

This chicken recipe from Hill’s Science helps dogs with sensitive stomachs. Even though this option can be a bit more expensive than some of the other choices, it also many ingredients to help dogs dealing with diarrhea. With access to plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, you should be able to address diarrhea in your dog with this relatively straightforward formula. If your dog also has skin issues, this formula may be able to help him or her as well. 


4. Royal Canin Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Wheat, 4. Barley, 5. Natural Flavors

Diets that are high in fat can also lead to GI issues, including diarrhea. If that is the case, your veterinarian may recommend that you switch to low-fat dog food, such as this one from Royal Canin. Because this dog food is relatively low and oil and fats, it may be exactly what your dog needs to solidify its stool. It also has plenty of omega fatty acids to help soothe your dog’s irritated GI tract. 


5. Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Lentils, 5. Peas

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, then you may want to take a closer look at this option from Solid Gold. This formula contains plenty of healthy nutrients, including salmon, chicken, lentils, peas, and chickpea. With close to two dozen superfoods, this formula is still easy for your dog to digest. It also contains plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can help you protect your dog’s fur coat. 


6. Purina Smart Blend Sensitive Systems

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon (Source of Glucosamine), 2. Rice Flour, 3. Pearled Barley, 4. Oat Meal, 5. Corn Gluten Meal

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to take a closer look at this Smart Blend option from Purina. It contains easily digestible ingredients, including salmon, barley, rice, oats, and animal fat. Your dog will also get a nice blend of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to complete the nutrients required to remain healthy. 


7. Purina Pro Plan for Sensitive Skin and Stomachs

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to take a closer look at this Smart Blend option from Purina. It contains easily digestible ingredients, including salmon, barley, rice, oats, and animal fat. Your dog will also get a nice blend of vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to complete the nutrients required to remain healthy. 


8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient with Salmon

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Peas, 3. Potatoes, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Salmon Meal (Source of Glucosamine)

You need to make sure your dog has access to plenty of healthy protein if you are looking for a way to deal with loose stool and diarrhea. That is where this Blue Buffalo recipe with salmon can be helpful. Salmon is an important source of protein and carbohydrates. Furthermore, this recipe has a relatively short ingredient list. With fewer ingredients, this recipe is less likely to contain something to upset your dog’s system. Consider going with this dog food adoption. 


9. Hill’s Science Chicken and Rice for Sensitive Stomachs

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Broth, 2. Chicken, 3. Turkey Giblets, 4. Green Beans, 5. Carrots

You might also want to look at this chicken & rice formula for sensitive stomachs from Hill’s Science. Particularly if you have a senior dog at home, this could be a great option for him or her because it is wet food, which means that if your dog has dental issues, they will still be able to eat this food. It is a bland diet, which is great for dogs recovering from diarrhea. This formula also contains plenty of fiber and antioxidants to keep your dogs healthy. 


10. Royal Canin Canned Low Fat Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water Sufficient For Processing, 2. Pork By-Products, 3. Pork Liver, 4. Brewers Rice Flour, 5. Corn Grits

If your dog has tummy problems, you should look at this GI dog food from Royal Canin. It provides your dog with plenty of tasty nutrition that can address appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and a variety of other GI issues.


11. Solid Gold Holistic Blend

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Oatmeal, 2. Pearled Barley, 3. Peas, 4. Ocean Fish Meal, 5. Dried Eggs

You might also want to take a closer look at this dog food option from Solid Gold. This formula contains a lot of complex carbohydrates and fiber, including barley and oatmeal. It also has fish meal, providing your dog with plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Even though this dog food option is a bit expensive, it could help your dog’s stomach calm down. 


12. Blackwood Salmon Meal and Brown Rice

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Millet, 4. Oat Groats, 5. Ground Grain Sorghum

If your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may want to take a look at this choice from Blackwood, a great option if you’re on a tight budget. It also has plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are critical for helping your dog recover. Finally, it also contains complex carbohydrates that can help your dog’s GI tract heal.


13. Solid Gold Sensitive Stomach with Venison and Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Venison, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Chickpeas

Your dog may have a sensitive stomach due to an allergic reaction. If that is the case, you should take a closer look at this choice from Solid Gold. It contains unique ingredients, such as venison, that are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog. Furthermore, it also has plenty of pumpkin and potatoes. 

14. Purina Pro Plan Vet Diet FortiFlora

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Animal Digest, 2. Enterococcus Faecium, 3. L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), 4. Brewers Dried Yeast, 5. Vitamin E Supplement

If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, then you need to make sure you give his or her digestive tract a chance to recharge. That is where this FortiFlora recipe from Purina can be helpful. It uses probiotics that can help your dog’s gastrointestinal tract recharge. It is important to provide digestive tract flora with plenty of healthy ingredients. GI flora plays an important role in helping your dog absorb nutrients from his or her food. 


15. Hill’s Science Diet Mini and Small Breed

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Yellow Peas, 5. Cracked Pearled Barley

Hill’s Science is a great option if your dog has a sensitive gut. This specific formula is for miniature and small breed dogs with trouble with kibble meant for larger dogs. It also has a nice antioxidant blend along with a wide variety of vegetable fibers and omega fatty acids. Therefore, this dog food should have everything your dog needs to recover from diarrhea.


16. Royal Canin GI Dog Treats

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Wheat, 4. Barley, 5. Natural Flavors

If your dog is having tummy issues, then you may want to take a closer look at these delicious GI dog treats from Royal Canin. They are for dogs with GI problems. These treats are relatively high in carbs and calories, so you need to use them sparingly. Still, these specific dog treats may be what your dog needs to settle its stomach. 


17. Purina Pro Plan Probiotics for Puppies

Top 5 Products: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Poultry By-Product Meal, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols

If you have a puppy at home, you know that it needs plenty of healthy food as well. You need to make sure your puppy has access to probiotics that can help solve the problem of loose stool. This Purina Pro Plan shredded blend and rice formula for puppies contains plenty of probiotics that can help your dog grow up big and strong. Even though this food is a bit more expensive than some of the other choices, it can help you resolve digestive issues in your puppy.


18. Zesty Paws Probiotic Bites

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Pumpkin: 800 mg, 2. Papaya: 200 mg, 3.Total Microbial Count (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Brevis, Lactobacillus Fermentum, Lactococcus Lactis): 2.5 Billion CFU, 4. GanedenBC30 (Bacillus Coagulans GB!-30, 6086): 500 Million CFU, 5. Pea Flour

You might also want to take a look at these probiotic bites for dogs looking to recover from diarrhea. These dog supplements from Zesty Paws help improve the health of your dog’s digestive tract. Think about giving your dog a few of these probiotic supplements to see if they help prevent diarrhea from happening in the future. 


19. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient with Turkey and Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine)

If you notice your dog is suffering from diarrhea regularly, you may need to go with a limited ingredient diet. The goal is to try to keep the ingredient list as short as possible. That way, there are fewer potential ingredients to which your dog may have an allergic reaction. That is where this recipe from Blue Buffalo can be helpful. It contains an easily digestible lean protein in the form of a turkey. In addition, potato is a relatively bland, east to digest ingredient as well. 


Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Dog Foods for Loose Stool and Diarrhea

A few of the most common questions people have about the best dog foods for loose stool and diarrhea include:

1. What is the definition of loose stool or diarrhea in dogs? 

If you find a puddle of liquid beneath the solid stool or a completely liquid stool means your dog has diarrhea, and it is something that you need to address as quickly as possible.

2. If there is blood in my dog’s stool, is that an emergency? 

If you only see a couple of specks here and there, this may not be a big issue. However, if you see clear droplets of blood, you should immediately consult with your veterinarian.   

3. How long will it take my dog to become dehydrated if it has diarrhea? 

It depends on how bad the diarrhea is. In some situations, your dog could become dehydrated in as little as a few hours. In general, if your dog has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, this is something you need to address as quickly as possible.

4. Is diarrhea always a sign of a stomach infection? 

If your dog has diarrhea, there is a good chance it has a bacterial or viral infection. On the other hand, there are other potential causes of diarrhea as well.

5. Can stress lead to diarrhea? 

Yes, if your dog is stressed out, it can certainly develop diarrhea. Diarrhea is a natural reaction to stress. Therefore, if you have a massive change in your environment, keep an eye on your dog. 

6. Do I always need to take my dog to the vet if it has diarrhea? 

If you notice just one or two episodes of loose stool, this is not necessarily a reason to go to the vet. On the other hand, if diarrhea continues for several hours, you need to go to the vet before your dog gets dehydrated.

7. How do I know if my dog has inflammatory bowel disease? 

If you noticed blood in your dog’s stool, this is a sign that it may be suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, which a trained veterinarian should address.

8. Can an allergic reaction lead to diarrhea in a dog? 

Yes, an allergic reaction can cause your dog to have diarrhea. There are plenty of possible reasons why your dog may suffer an allergic reaction. Grain is the most common culprit; however, there are others. 

9. What types of substances could lead to an allergic reaction in a dog? 

Even though grain is the most common reason why a dog may develop an allergic reaction, corn, peanuts, and soy can also lead to an allergic reaction. 

10. Is diarrhea a medical emergency? 

Diarrhea is not always a medical emergency; however, diarrhea should be addressed quickly. If you notice that your dog is lethargic, bloated, or if you see blood in the stool, this is a sign that you are dealing with an emergency. 

11. How do I know if my dog has a fever? 

If you don’t already know how to take your dog’s temperature, ask your veterinarian to show you how at the next office visit.

12. If I switch my dog’s food too quickly, can this lead to diarrhea? 

Yes, switching your dog’s food too quickly can lead to a stress reaction. That is why you need to change your dog’s food gradually. That way, you know you are not stressing the GI tract of your dog.

13. Can diarrhea lead to nutritional deficiencies? 

Yes, if your dog develops diarrhea, it can develop nutritional deficiencies. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea, its GI tract cannot absorb nutrients properly. 

14. Do I need to give my dog plenty of water when it is dealing with diarrhea? 

Yes, diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration in as little as a few hours. Therefore, you need to make sure you keep your dog hydrated by providing it with plenty of water. 

15. Is it possible for my dog to drink too much water? 

Yes, your dog can drink too much water if it is dealing with dehydration. Drinking too much water can unbalance the electrolytes. Therefore, you may need to add extra electrolytes to your dog’s water. 

16. Is it possible for my dog to start vomiting at the same time as it has diarrhea?

Yes, your dog can vomit at the same time it has diarrhea, which can hasten the onset of dehydration. Therefore, you need to address this with a medical professional. 

17. Is dog diarrhea contagious?

Diarrhea can be contagious in dogs. If you have other dogs that are present, you may want to separate them. If there is an infection causing diarrhea, it could spread to other dogs and cats in the house.

18. Can diarrhea lead to weight loss?

Yes, however, any weight lost due to diarrhea will probably be water weight easily regained.

19. Do I need to switch my dog’s food if it has diarrhea?

You may need to switch your dog’s food to something more agreeable, which you can speak with your veterinarian about. Some vets may recommend that you go back to your dog’s regular diet. 

20. Can a dog have diarrhea more than once? 

Yes, diarrhea is not that unusual in dogs. Just because your dog has diarrhea one time doesn’t mean that it will not come back in the future. Therefore, you need to figure out what caused diarrhea so you can stay away from it in the future. 


A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Dog Foods for Loose Stool and Diarrhea

If you are an experienced dog owner, you understand that dogs will have digestive issues. When stomach upset happens, you want to find a way to make your dog feel better. Your veterinarian can provide you with recommendations on things you can do to help your dog feel better. 

Switching to a different dog food may be the solution to your dog’s bouts of upset, but first, it’s important to know why your dog is experiencing diarrhea. Some dogs will have diarrhea in reaction to something they have eaten. For example, if your dog is allergic to gluten and eats wheat, this could lead to inflammation in the digestive tract. The ultimate result could be diarrhea. 

In other cases, a dog may develop diarrhea due to an infection of some sort. Some dogs may develop viral gastroenteritis. Other dogs may develop a bacterial infection that leads to diarrhea. It is also possible for dogs to react to stress, leading to diarrhea. For example, if you move, your dog will have to adjust to a new environment, which can be a stressful experience for them. The result is diarrhea. 

So, why do dogs even have diarrhea in the first place? Diarrhea is one of the best ways for the body to rid itself of toxins. If your dog has an infection, it may develop diarrhea as a way for the body to purge pathogens from its system. Diarrhea can cause your dog to become dehydrated, which is why you should take your dog to see the veterinarian if it has severe diarrhea. 

In most cases, diarrhea is relatively minor. If you keep your dog hydrated, it should be fine. On the other hand, there are other signs that diarrhea could be more dangerous. A few examples include:

  • If you notice that your dog is having high spiking fevers along with diarrhea, this could be a sign of a potentially serious infection.
  • If you find that your dog is lethargic, this could be a sign of severe dehydration and must be addressed quickly. You may need to go to an emergency veterinarian. 
  • If you notice that your dog also appears bloated along with diarrhea, there could be a serious gastrointestinal issue present. In this case, you need to go to the veterinarian right away. 
  • If you notice a lot of blood in the stool, this could signify a gastrointestinal hemorrhage somewhere, a veterinary emergency.

These are signs that we could be dealing with something more serious. The first thing you need to do if you notice these symptoms is to go to the veterinarian. Particularly if your dog has severe diarrhea for more than 24 hours, it could be severely dehydrated.

If your dog only has a single episode of diarrhea, you may not have to do anything. On the other hand, your veterinarian may recommend that you switch your dog’s food if your dog continues to have diarrhea. This is particularly important if you noticed it still appears to be getting looser and looser. If you are getting ready to switch your dog’s food, what do you need to do? There are several important points to keep in mind. These include: 

  • You may want your dog to fast for 12 to 24 hours. If you feed your dog while it still has diarrhea, diarrhea will simply push the food right out of its system before it can absorb those nutrients. Furthermore, if you place more stress on the GI system by switching your dog’s food, this could make the problem worse. 
  • When you are getting ready to switch your dog’s food, you also need to make sure it is well-hydrated, keeping in mind that diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration. Because your dog will probably be tired, you may need to encourage your dog to drink. If you find that your dog is drinking a lot of water at a rapid pace, you may need to add electrolytes to water to prevent metabolic issues. Talk to your vet for more information on this. 
  • Once the fasting period is done, you should be able to switch your dog’s food to something else. At first, you may want to mix the two foods. If you try to switch your dog completely, it may get frustrating. Therefore, you should consider changing your dog’s food gradually by mixing the two foods until your dog is only eating new food. 

So, how was switching your dog’s food to something else going to help your dog if it is suffering from diarrhea? Though medication helps, the quality of the food is essential to the well-being of your dog. This is important during and after episodes of diarrhea. Even though dogs look like they will eat just about anything, they cannot do that. There are plenty of things that are toxic to dogs. You also need to make sure your dog is getting the right nutrition. If you do not pick the right food for your dog, you may end up making diarrhea worse

Furthermore, a lot of dogs have sensitive stomachs. Therefore, they may naturally have loose stool. For this reason, you need to think carefully about the food you give your dog. If you pick the right food for your dog, you should be able to solve problems related to diarrhea and loose stool. 

A few added advantages of feeding your dog food that can directly address loose stool include: 

  • You can prevent dehydration from becoming a more serious issue. Chronic, prolonged diarrhea can lead to a massive amount of fluid loss that could lead to serious health problems.
  • The right dog food can also prevent inflammatory bowel disease. After an episode of diarrhea, your dog’s GI tract is going to be vulnerable. You need to avoid the development of chronic gastrointestinal issues by picking the right dog food.
  • By picking the right dog food, you can also prevent the development of allergic reactions. Even though grain is a common culprit in allergies, there are other potential food allergens. That is why you need to pick the right food for your dog if it has diarrhea.
  • Finally, if you pick the right dog food for your dog, you also provide him or her with proper nutrition. You make it easier for your dog to absorb necessary nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fats. 

These are just a few of the many reasons why you need to make sure you give your dog the right dog food to address loose stool and diarrhea. Of course, you do want to think about the size of the kibble and the food price. Fortunately, the right dog food does not necessarily have to break the bank. You can talk to your veterinarian to see if there are any discounts available. Or, you can also pay a visit to your local pet store and speak to a specialist who is there. If you take the time to do your due diligence, you should find a dog food that can help you solve recurrent bouts of diarrhea. Then, you should notice your dog is happier, healthier, and has more energy. These are just a few of the many options available to you if you are looking for dog food to help you solve loose stool.