The 14 Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

In today’s guide, I’ve covered all of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs.

I use a 40-point inspection checklist for all of the products I review on my blog and analyze factors such as ingredients, consumer reviews, brand reputation, and more.

I’ve also recently added an excellent guide on the best way to switch dog food for those of you considering making a change.

So, let’s dive in.

The Best Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs

So, here are my top dog foods for sensitive stomachs, see the remaining picks later in the post.

Top ProductsWhat We Like About This Food…
1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog FoodExpertly crafted for sensitive canines, an excellent blend of ingredients, nutrition powerhouse
2. CANIDAE All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog FoodNutritionally-dense formula, easy to digest, free of allergens
3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog FoodDesigned for canines with a sensitive stomach, low fat content, contains probiotics
4. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog FoodGrain-free recipe, contains rich and wholesome ingredients, suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog FoodSuitable for dogs with sensitive stomach and skin, made with natural ingredients, highly digestible

1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Salmon, 2. Barley, 3. Ground Rice, 4. Canola Meal, 5. Oatmeal

Packed with nutrients extracted from the healthiest blend of ingredients, Pro Plan Focus is everything your sensitive canine friend needs to thrive. This expertly crafted, highly digestible recipe is a nutrition powerhouse, which nourishes your dog’s sensitive digestive system without compromising the delicious flavor. This offering from Purina is my top choice for the best dog food for sensitive stomachs.

2. CANIDAE All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Lamb Meal, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Cracked Pearled Barley, 4. Rice Bran, 5. Peas

The nutritionally dense formula has lamb-meal as the primary ingredient, helping your dog to digest the food easily and enjoy the meal. Rich in a trio of antioxidants, probiotics, and essential omega fatty acid, this delicious dry food for your dog is also free of common allergens like soy, corn, and wheat.

3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Wheat, 4. Barley, 5. Dried Plain Beet Pulp

This dry kibble formula by Royal Canin is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs, especially dogs who have trouble digesting fats. If your dog frequently throws up after eating, this recipe contains probiotics to help establish good gut bacteria, keeping them healthier and happier.

4. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Egg Product, 5. Lentils

The natural grain-free recipe by the Taste of the Wild contains real lamb and other wholesome ingredients like potatoes, peas, and chicory root to nourish your dog without upsetting his stomach. A trustworthy formula with balanced and complete nutrition and a flavorful feast for your friend.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

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

Hill’s “sensitive stomach & skin” is, without any doubt one of the best dry food blends by Hill’s Science Diet for dogs with sensitive stomach and skin. The recipe includes precise nutrition and carefully picked ingredients to ensure that the formula does not cause any skin allergies or stomach problems to sensitive dogs. Let your precious pooch thrive by serving food that perfectly meets their nutrition requirements without causing tummy troubles. This offering from Hill’s is one of the best dog foods for sensitive stomachs on the market.

6. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Corn Starch, 2. Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, 3. Powdered Cellulose, 4. Soybean Oil, 5. Calcium Carbonate

Loaded with essential omegas, antioxidants, and hydrolyzed protein, Hill’s Prescription Diet can offer instant improvement in your dog’s sensitivities and provides optimal health benefits. Specially crafted for sensitive tummies, this recipe provides for your dog’s healthy coat and skin.

7. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato Recipe Senior Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Oatmeal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

The Blue Buffalo’s limited ingredient diet for sensitive stomachs not only helps improve your hound’s digestion, but offers essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and natural levels of DHA for healthy cognitive function and an overall stronger immune system. If your dog’s sensitive stomach is intolerant of poultry, corn, eggs, dairy, wheat, or soy, this is the perfect pick for you!

8. American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Deboned Duck, 2. Duck Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Pea Starch

Serve your dog’s sensitive tummy with wholesome nutrition packed in this grain-free dry kibble. The limited ingredient diet includes premium options such as grain-free duck and sweet potatoes to offer easily digestible carbohydrates. This high-quality kibble is a great addition to your sensitive dog’s diet.

9. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Chicken, 2. Whole Brown Rice, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Split Peas, 5. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

Nourish your dog’s sensitive stomach with nutrient-dense food prepared from high-quality ingredients. The dry food blend is not only free of GMOs but also eliminates soy, wheat, and corn to avoid common irritants. The recipe includes a wholesome variety of whole grains to help your little darling maintain a healthy digestive system.

10. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1.Salmon, 2. Potatoes, 3. Peas, 4. Ground Flaxseed, 5. Tomato Pomace

Wellness has a reputation of using their expertise not only to craft the recipe but handpick the ingredient to ensure they offer the best that’s out there in the market for your dog. And when it comes to preparing a special diet for a dog with a sensitive gut, Wellness has yet again proved that they are the best. This high-quality kibble prepared with limited ingredients is a great pick for feeding your sensitive dog.

11. Zignature Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Turkey, 2. Chickpeas, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid)

Zignature offers this specially formulated recipe with turkey and a variety of carefully selected ingredients, allowing your dog to enjoy a delicious meal without any digestive problems. The high-quality protein comes from the farm-raised turkey while the recipe eliminates corn, wheat, potatoes, and soy, which are considered troublesome ingredients for dogs with a sensitive stomach. This nutrient-packed meal is ideal for your beloved pet!

12. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

The poultry-free recipe has real lamb as the first ingredient and, therefore, offers high-quality animal protein to your dog. Also, the grain-free formula is gluten-free. This recipe also provides your dog with important minerals, vitamins, and amino acids to help them overcome digestive sensitivities.

13. Nulo Freestyle Limited + Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Puppy & Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid)

The recipe includes GanedenBC30 probiotic that not only supports immunity but also helps maintain a healthy gut for your sensitive dog. Based on a single animal protein, which is turkey, and other premium-quality meat sources to make digestion easy and helps maintain lean muscle. The blend is low in carb content and is also free from tapioca and potatoes to avoid allergies and sensitivities in dogs.

14. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Potatoes, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Dehydrated Potatoes

The deliciously flavored wet food by Natural balance features complex carbs and premium-quality protein to make digestion easier. The additional nutrients provide energy that enables your sensitive dog to stay active and healthy throughout the day. Based on the limited ingredient diet, the recipe enjoys recommendations from animal nutritionists and vets.

15. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Classic Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entree Canned Dog Food

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

Fill your four-legged fur buddy’s bowl with the goodness of nutrition and flavor offered by Purina Pro Plan. This wet food is specifically designed for canines with skin and stomach sensitivities and therefore includes the best quality allergen-free ingredients to ensure that your dog gets only the safest food option. The best part: it is lip-smacking delicious!

Buyer’s Guide

Dogs normally have hearty appetites with stomachs to match. But this doesn’t mean that some of them don’t have sensitive tummies. Having a sensitive stomach is not uncommon in dogs. Even the strongest can fall prey to this troublesome condition.

These digestive problems may not be emergencies, but of course, it isn’t good to see your little darling suffer from digestive issues. If your dog is frequently showing signs that their food is not agreeing with them, then it may be time to switch to food made with the sensitive tummy in mind.

In this section, we will explore this subject in detail to help you pick the right food for your sensitive dog.

Signs and Symptoms of Sensitive Stomach in Dogs

Sensitive stomach in dogs is more common than you think. Also, it is a condition that grows gradually over time. Every dog is different, as are their symptoms. However, there are some common signs that should alert you right away. Regardless of the cause, dogs with sensitive stomachs should be fed with care. Continuing to give them foods that disagree with them may cause uncomfortable and undesirable symptoms, which include:


Flatulence is normal to a certain extent. But if your dog is experiencing sudden or excessive gassiness, this could indicate a problem. Often, this is due to improper diet.


Vomiting is the number one sign of stomach sensitivities caused by food. As much as your dog loves to eat, not every ingredient may agree with every breed. Stomach sensitivity and intolerance can increase with repeated exposure to the ingredients causing the upset. If not changed in time, this could lead to various disorders.

Vomiting is serious. It is time to enrich your dog’s nutrition with probiotic-rich ingredients and digestive enzymes. For persistent problems, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Diarrhea is the next most common symptom of a sensitive tummy. A runny stool may not seem like a big issue if it occurs once. But if it happens regularly, it could lead to a life-threatening situation. Do not let your canine get severely dehydrated by delaying medical attention.

Lack of appetite

Is your little munching machine refusing food? A persistent lack of appetite can be a major sign of stomach sensitivity. Your vet may recommend adjusting your dog’s diet so they get the energy and nutrition they need.

Weight Loss

If your dog is sensitive to certain types of foods, he might not enjoy eating it. Weight loss is common in pets with digestive issues and tummy sensitivities.

Ingredients to Avoid

Now that you know the symptoms, it’s easier to identify whether your dog has a sensitive stomach. You should be cautious about what you pick when it comes to selecting the right nutrition for your pet, paying special attention to the ingredients.

Here’s a list of things that can upset your canine’s sensitive stomach:


Dogs are usually very fond of milk and other dairy products, but not all dogs can digest them. Some may experience acute intestinal distress in the form of vomiting, diarrhea, and gas.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, avoid giving any dairy, regardless of how much they love it. Also, steer clear of foods with dairy as a major ingredient on the label.


Fruits can be a healthy snack for both dogs and humans alike. However, fruits that are rich in sugar content can be a struggle to digest for dogs with sensitive tummies. The sugar can further irritate the stomach and cause digestive disorders.

For kibbles and blends, the percentage of fruits should not exceed more than 10%.


Most dog foods designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs are gluten-free. They do not include grains such as wheat, spelt, rye, or barley, which could be major contributors to causing digestive problems with your pet. Most dog owners prefer gluten- and grain-free food option to avoid various inflammatory health issues associated with the ingredients.

What to Feed a Dog with a Sensitive Stomach

Here comes the most important question!

Food intolerance may restrict you from feeding many of the popular options available out there. Here are a few things you must look for in dog food for dogs with gut sensitivities.

Fewer Ingredients

Limited Ingredient Diets are often the first choice among owners of sensitive dogs. Fewer ingredients have less of a chance of upsetting your pet’s tummy, and you can be more cautious of what you are feeding your little one. Also, these diets are balanced and complete, so you don’t have to worry about supplementing their food.

Easily Digestible Ingredients

The options we have listed in this article targets dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestive tract issues and are therefore formulated to promote easy and healthy digestion. When you pick a diet, make sure it is easy to digest and contain ingredients that naturally support digestion like sweet potato, lamb, rice, chicken, and potatoes.

It is also wise to pick a formula that features additional vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that support a sensitive stomach.

No Grains

As much as your dog loves eating food with grains, it isn’t the best option when it comes to their sensitive stomachs.

Pick brands where the manufacturers prefer high-quality proteins instead of grains. Wheat and corn are two common ingredients that could trigger food intolerance in canines. These are indigestible carbohydrates that could cause further issues for your beloved hound.

Complete and Balanced Diet 

Pick a food labeled as complete and balanced in nutrition. A balanced composition does not only guarantees hand-picked ingredients for sensitive dogs but also provides all essential nutrients that are important for your pet’s health maintenance.

Probiotic Enriched

Probiotics are crucial for a dog’s diet. These help with stimulating the digestive system and aids with smooth digestion. The diet you pick must include probiotics for maximum benefit. Your dog’s vet may also recommend an additional probiotic supplement for additional support.

Guarantee a Smooth Switch

If your dog is in love with his current food, switching their diet can be challenging. However, you can achieve great results with time and patience. The change should be gradual. Also, there are tons of delicious food choices specially crafted for sensitive pooches. The good flavor makes the transition easier. Here is a complete guide on how to make the switch.

These tips will help you pick the right food and ensure your pooch’s happy and long life!


How do I find out if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

Sensitive stomachs often lead to digestion problems. Your poor pooch might struggle to digest food every time they eat and may experience several gastrointestinal symptoms. It is best to get your dog examined by a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis before concluding on your own.

What causes food allergies in dogs?

According to WebMD, 10% of all allergy cases in canines relate to food. The cause, however, is multi-faceted and can be due to the protein or fat content of the food, or certain ingredients that their stomachs don’t tolerate well.

Is it necessary to change a dog’s diet if he has a sensitive stomach?

Food is the number one reason why your dog has sensitive-stomach symptoms. Your pooch could be intolerant to certain ingredients, and changing their diet is one of the best ways to find out early about the triggers.

What ingredients should I avoid in a dog’s diet with a sensitive stomach?

Some common red-flag ingredients include wheat and corn gluten, grain meals, meat by-products, and rendered fat.

Are there specific diet options available for my dog with a sensitive stomach?

You can find a variety of expertly crafted food under different brands. There’s a specific selection for dogs with a sensitive stomach, like the ones mentioned in this article. Read the labels before you choose to avoid picking the one with the wrong ingredients.

Can I give raw food to my dog with a sensitive stomach?

While feeding kibble is the preferable option, you can still feed raw food to your pet with a sensitive stomach, provided you keep the transition slow and gradual. If the condition is serious, it is important to consult a veterinarian first.

What should I do if my dog keeps throwing up after changing the diet?

Visit a vet as soon as possible. Frequent vomiting can be more than just a sensitive stomach. A proper examination is necessary before you continue.

What is a limited ingredient dog food?

As the name suggests, a limited ingredient diet – also called L.I.D – contains fewer ingredients and components. This formulation makes it easier to identify any allergens so you can steer clear of those options.

Is a limited ingredient diet a good option to feed my dog with a sensitive stomach?

Limited ingredient diets are a recommended food option for canines with a sensitive stomach. It helps you catch the culprit faster and helps you get the situation under control.

What are the most common allergens for canines?

Some common culprits are:

  • Types of undigestible proteins
  • Insufficient levels of fiber
  • Too much fat content
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency
  • Low quality or grade of an ingredient

How do I deal with food intolerance in my dog?

Changing your dog’s diet is the first step. Second, by consulting a vet for recommendations related to food and over-the-counter medication. Also, increase the daily intake of probiotics by adding unsweetened, plain yogurt to your dog’s diet along with sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pumpkin, and bananas.

What symptoms to watch out for to find out if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

In addition to the most common symptoms like gas, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating, other signs of a sensitive caused by food intolerance include itching, hives, skin rash, obsessive licking, and paw biting.

What’s the easiest food for a dog with a sensitive stomach to digest?

Kibble with ingredients such as lean meat, pumpkin, sweet potato, eggs, and white rice is easier for dogs to digest. Some dogs have intolerance towards chicken and eggs. If that’s your dog, avoid food options with these ingredients.

How can I tell if my dog is allergic to his food?

Signs of dietary sensitivity do not always appear in diarrhea and vomiting. Sometimes, the problem may present itself through itchy skin, chronic ear problems, flatulence, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.

What protein is best for dogs with allergies and a sensitive stomach?

Not all proteins may be suitable for your pooch. Some proteins have better digestibility, such as protein from chicken, lamb, and beef.

Is runny poop a sign that my dog could be intolerant to his food?

It is indeed one of the major signs of food intolerance. However, runny poop can also be a sign of parasitic or bacterial infection. It is best to get these symptoms checked for a thorough diagnosis.

Will eliminating extra food items from my dog’s diet help?

Eliminating all extra food is a great way to find out if a certain food is an issue in your dog’s diet. Extra food includes table scraps, human food, or any additional treat your dog enjoys nibbling on.

Can emotional distress cause food intolerance in a dog?

Dogs respond to stress like humans do, with feelings of anxiousness. Anxiety and stress can majorly contribute to an upset stomach in dogs.

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