Best Dog Foods For Sensitive Stomachs & Vomiting
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- Best overall: Pupper Dog Food
- Best chicken formula: Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
- Best grain-free: Forza10 Legend Digestion Dry Grain Free Dog Food
- Best salmon formula: Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon
- Best duck formula: AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food
Just like humans, dogs can have sensitive stomachs, due to a variety of issues. If your dog throws up regularly, it may be time to change your approach to its diet.
Given the prevalence of sensitive stomachs among dogs, many dog food brands have developed formulas to address the issue. Find out what may be behind your dog’s sensitive stomach, then discover the best dog foods for your pup’s needs.
What can cause a dog to have a sensitive stomach?
A dog can develop a sensitive stomach due to a variety of factors, many of which can be attributed to their individual physiology, dietary habits, and overall health. Some common causes include:
Dietary Factors: Inappropriate or sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive upset. Introducing new foods too quickly or feeding low-quality or highly processed foods may trigger sensitivities.
Food Allergies or Intolerances: Dogs, like humans, can develop allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients in their food. Common allergens include proteins like beef, chicken, dairy, and grains.
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Conditions like gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can make a dog's stomach more sensitive to certain foods or environmental factors.
Stress and Anxiety: Dogs under stress or experiencing anxiety can have digestive disturbances. Changes in routine, new environments, separation anxiety, or other stressors can impact their stomachs.
Infections: Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections in the digestive tract can cause stomach upset and vomiting.
Eating Non-Food Items: Dogs that ingest non-food items, such as plants, trash, or foreign objects, may experience stomach irritation.
If your dog vomits regularly, it’s best to check in with your pet’s vet who can pinpoint the cause. It’s also advisable to choose a dog food that’s suited to dogs with sensitive stomachs. We’ve lined up the best options, below, some of which include omega-3 fatty acids in their formula.
The importance of Omega-3 fatty acids in promoting joint health is evident. A study from 20161, featured in the Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes, and Essential Fatty Acids journal, delved into the condition of dogs grappling with osteoarthritis, a common source of canine joint concerns. The dogs were subjected to either fish oil, a plentiful Omega-3 source, or an inactive oil alternative. Notably, the group that received fish oil demonstrated significant reductions in limb dysfunction and discomfort.
How we chose
The best dog foods for sensitive stomachs and vomiting share some common qualities. Here are some key aspects we looked for when creating this list:
Limited ingredients We favored dog foods with limited and easily digestible ingredients. This helps reduce the potential triggers for sensitivities or allergies that might be causing stomach issues.
High-quality protein source We chose dog foods with high-quality protein sources, like chicken, turkey, or fish
Overall quality We chose dog foods from brands that prioritize high-quality ingredients and are transparent about their sourcing and manufacturing processes.
Customer reviews We read through reviews of each product, looking for input from owners to dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The best dog foods for sensitive stomachs
Best overall: Pupper Dog Food
- Two size options
- Made with real chicken and turkey
- Limited customer reviews
Key Ingredients:Chickenchia seedsalmon oil
Cost per pound:$10
This chicken dog food includes nutritious ingredients you might emphasize in your own diet, like chia seeds, flaxseed, and blueberries. The brand also offers beef and chicken toppers that you can add to your dog’s current food, to enhance its taste or nutrient content.
Best chicken formula: Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
- No artificial ingredients
- Small bites only
Cost per pound:$6.11
Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food is formulated to support digestion, with a blend of prebiotic ingredients to support digestion. (Prebiotics are nondigestible fibers that can act as nourishment for beneficial bacteria in the gut.) The dog food also features bites that are extra small in size to allow for easy digestion. Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food is made with real chicken and oatmeal, and doesn’t contain artificial preservatives or flavors. Amazon reviewers have credited the dog food for solving their dogs’ digestive issues. “I did my own research and I came across this dog food & decided to give it a try,” one wrote. “I'm so happy I did!! Vomiting went away he's more active and playful, regular bowel movements as well.”
Best grain-free: Forza10 Legend Digestion Dry Grain Free Dog Food
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Made for all dog breeds
- No discounted subscription option
Key Ingredients:Anchovy mealsweet potatofish oil
Cost per pound:$5.43
The question of whether grain-inclusive or grain-free diets are better for dogs is a topic of ongoing debate. While some studies suggest that a grain-free diet could lead to heart issues from low levels of the amino acid taurine, others suggest grain-free diets don’t cause issues, provided they have the right balance of protein, starch, and fat. That said, some dogs may have sensitivities to grains that can lead to digestion problems or other issues. If that’s true of your pet, you can opt for this dog food from Forza10. It contains oregano and dandelion root, herbs traditionally used to support digestion.
Best salmon formula: Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon
- First ingredient is salmon
- Grain free not the best option for all dogs
Key Ingredients:Salmonchicken mealdried chicken
Cost per pound:$4.91
Lucy Pet is a brand that’s focused around foods that promote gut health in cats and dogs. This dog food from the brand is a grain-free option that’s fortified with taurine to support heart health. The formula includes a blend of fiber-rich ingredients like pumpkin and sea kelp, designed to promote a balanced gut. The dog food also provides omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the inclusion of wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
Best duck Formula: AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food
- Doesn’t contain animal by-products
- Contains single animal protein source
- Grain-free formula not suitable for all dogs
Key Ingredients:duckavocadoflax seed
Cost per pound:$5.67
Comparing our top picks
|Product||Cost||Price per pound||Size||Autoship option|
|Pupper Dog Food||$50.00||$10.00||5 lbs||TRUE|
|Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food||$22.49||$6.43||3.5 lbs||TRUE|
|Forza10 Legend Digestion Dry Grain Free Dog Food||$28.99||$5.80||5 lbs||TRUE|
|Lucy Pet Formulas for Life Salmon||$22.90||$4.89||4.68 lbs||TRUE|
|AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Duck Formula Dog Food||$22.67||$5.67||4 lbs||TRUE|
If your dog has a sensitive stomach and is prone to vomiting, changing its diet may help solve the issue. Your best bet is to look for dog foods that are specifically formulated for sensitive stomachs, with limited ingredients and high-quality protein sources. These are some of the best options to go with.