Top 10 Best Dog Foods For Loose Stools

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Top 10 Best Dog Foods For Loose Stools

While it is certainly alarming, and not to mention potentially messy, all dogs will at some point experience loose stools during their lifetime. Loose stools can stem from a variety of causes and can depend on the age of the dog, although there are many other factors.

When your fur baby experiences these unpleasant symptoms, it is important not to overreact, but at the same time, it is important to find out the cause as there are potentially serious causes.

By and large, a change in dry dog food will often eliminate loose stools, as a frequent cause is a mild allergy to ingredients in their current diet. This could stem from their main meal, snacks, but also from any sneaky scavenging which often results in sneaky looks and sometimes smelly results. Thus, we created a list of the Best Dry Dog Foods for Loose Stools.

Bearing in mind that the ingredients of dry dog food may lead to loose stools, various manufacturers have created minimal ingredient dog food that reduces the number of different food products, therefore eliminating potential digestive issues. Furthermore, these manufacturers make sure to use only quality ingredients to only provide the best dry dog food for loose stools to our furry friends.

That being said, there are a number of choices from which you can choose to select the best meal and a number of flavors. Limited ingredient dry dog food will certainly help to get rid of your dog’s loose stool.

The 10 Best Dog Foods For Loose Stools

Blackwood Lamb Meal And Brown Rice Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Blackwood Lamb Meal And Brown Rice Sensitive Skin And Stomach
Main ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, millet
Protein content: 24.5%
Fat content: 14%
Calories: 432 kcal/cup

For those who prefer food cooked in small batches, try Blackwood Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Sensitive Skin and Stomach. This food is made with ingredients gentle on your dog’s stomach. It also contains a boost of probiotics, which may help control loose stool. While the company advertises itself as using “all-natural and super-premium” lamb for this food, those terms are not regulated and don’t necessarily mean the food is of higher quality.

That being said, most users were pleased with this food and found that it did help their dogs’ stool and sensitive stomachs. However, it does contain some chicken ingredients, making it inappropriate for dogs with sensitivities to that protein source.

  • Does contain chicken products
  • Gentle on the stomach ingredients
  • Boosted with probiotics
  • Cooked in small batches

Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Oatmeal – Best Value

Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Oatmeal, Barley, And Ocean Fish
Main ingredients: Oatmeal, pearled barley, peas, ocean fish meal
Protein content: 18%
Fat content: 6%
Calories: 340 kcal/cup

Our choice of the best dog food for loose stool for the money is Solid Gold Holistique Blendz Oatmeal, Barley, and Ocean Fish formula. This diet is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and contains probiotics, which help maintain digestive health. Probiotics are also useful in correcting loose stool. Solid Gold is lower in protein than many other foods, which can be beneficial to dogs with some health conditions.

Dogs who are not accustomed to fish-based foods may not like the taste of this diet. In addition, Solid Gold lists peas as one of its main ingredients. Peas and other legumes are being investigated to determine if they are linked to heart issues in pets.

  • Some dogs may not like the taste
  • Contains peas
  • Contains probiotics which may help with loose stools
  • Designed to be gentle on the digestive tract
  • A low protein diet

Ollie Fresh Beef Dog Food – Best Overall

Ollie fresh dog food beef recipe

Main ingredients: Beef, peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots
Protein content: 12%
Fat content: 10%
Calories: 339 kcal/cup

Our pick for the best overall dog food for loose stool is Ollie’s Fresh Beef Dog Food. This premium option contains high-quality, gently cooked beef, along with sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots. Most dogs seem to enjoy the taste of this food, which was developed with input from veterinarians and nutritionists and can help limit loose stools.

It does require a subscription for purchase and is a higher-priced food option.

This food is packed full of nutrition, including minimal fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals. It’s also highly convenient and easy to serve. We think this is the best option if your dog has loose stool.

  • Requires a subscription
  • More expensive than dry food
  • Low in fiber and highly digestible
  • Developed by nutritionists and veterinarians
  • Most dogs like the taste
  • Convenient fresh food

Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein
Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat
Protein content: 19.5%
Fat content: 17.5%
Calories: 332 kcal/cup

For dogs whose loose stool is the result of food sensitivities, the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein diet may be the right choice. Because protein sources are commonly the cause of food sensitivities, Royal Canin HP features proteins that are already broken down small enough to escape the attention of the dog’s immune system. If it can’t recognize the protein it’s allergic to, the dog’s body shouldn’t react negatively, with symptoms including loose stool and skin problems. The diet also contains prebiotics and a balance of fiber to further support the dog’s digestive system.

Royal Canin HP requires a prescription and is one of the more expensive diets on our list. Owners report that it generally works as intended but picky eaters may not care for the taste.

  • Picky eaters may not like the taste
  • Expensive
  • Requires a prescription
  • Features pre-broken down proteins to avoid allergic reactions
  • Also contains prebiotics and fiber for digestive support

Hill’s Prescription Diet I/D Digestive Care – Vet’s Choice

Hill’s Prescription Diet ID Digestive Care Low Fat
Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal, chicken meal
Protein content: 26%
Fat content: 5%
Calories: 300 kcal/cup

Hill’s Prescription I/D Digestive Care Low Fat is one of the most commonly recommended and prescribed veterinary diets for dogs with a variety of digestive issues, including loose stool. This diet is extremely low in fat, making it a good choice for dogs with chronic pancreatitis, a condition that causes diarrhea, among other symptoms. Hill’s I/D Low Fat is made with extra digestible protein sources and contains ingredients that actively help regulate and maintain the good bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract. Prebiotic fiber also helps keep stool formed.

This food even contains ginger, long used in human health for its stomach-soothing properties. Hill’s I/D does require a prescription and some users report their dogs had trouble eating the large, hard kibble.

  • Requires a prescription
  • Kibble is too large and hard for some dogs
  • Low fat, suitable for medical conditions like pancreatitis
  • Highly digestible
  • Actively regulates gut bacteria

Purina ProPlan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach – Best for Puppies

Purina ProPlan Puppy Sensitive Skin And Stomach
Main ingredients: Salmon, rice, barley
Protein content: 28%
Fat content: 18%
Calories: 428 kcal/cup

Loose stool is a common concern for puppies, although the diet is only one of many possible causes (some of them serious) for diarrhea in puppies. If your vet determines that your baby dog could benefit from a diet change, however, consider Purina ProPlan Puppy Sensitive Skin and Stomach. This diet features all the nutrition your pup needs for healthy growth and development, including fatty acids, antioxidants, and high protein content. It also contains some extras that may help soothe loose stools, including prebiotic fiber and live probiotics. Salmon, rice, and barley are gentle on the stomach and the food contains no artificial colors or flavors.

Users gave this food generally positive reviews, although some noted it has a strong fishy scent and picky eaters did not always enjoy the taste.

  • Strong fish scent
  • Picky eaters may not like the taste
  • Complete nutrition for growing puppies
  • Gentle ingredients for sensitive stomachs
  • Pre and probiotics added for gut health

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Turkey & Rice Stew

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach And Skin Turkey And Rice Stew
Main ingredients: Chicken broth, turkey, carrots
Protein content: 2.8%
Fat content: 1.9%
Calories: 253 kcal/can

For dogs who need a canned food option to help their loose stool, consider Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin Turkey and Rice. This diet is made with easy-to-digest ingredients, supplemented with fatty acids and vitamin E. The soft texture is ideal for older dogs or pups with dental issues. Users appreciate the enticing smell and taste of this diet, including the recognizable carrot pieces. They also found that this diet was not only gentle on the stomach but helped their dogs’ coats look great as well!

Some purchasers of this food did report issues with the consistency of cans. In addition, canned food is not as cost-effective as dry for owners on a budget.

  • Canned food is more expensive than dry overall
  • Some concerns with consistency
  • Soft texture for older dogs or those with dental problems
  • Easy to digest ingredients
  • Also beneficial for skin and coat health

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin And Stomach Care Turkey & Potato

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin And Stomach Care Turkey And Potato
Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, potatoes, turkey meal
Protein content: 20%
Fat content: 12%
Calories: 352 kcal/cup

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin and Stomach Care Turkey and Potato diet is made without some of the most common ingredients that trigger food sensitivities in dogs, including chicken. If you suspect your dog’s loose stool may be related to an undiagnosed food allergy, this diet could be an option for you. Made with limited ingredients, this diet contains antioxidants to support overall immune health. Blue Buffalo Basics does contain peas, which are being studied for a possible link to heart issues. While many owners prefer to feed a grain-free diet like this one, not all dogs actually need to avoid grains so it’s best to consult your vet.

Most users gave this diet good reviews although some noted their dogs did not enjoy the taste, as well as some inconsistency in quality between bags.

  • Contains peas
  • Some inconsistencies in quality
  • Made without some ingredients that trigger food allergies
  • Contains antioxidants

Purina One Natural Sensitive Stomach Skin & Coat Formula

Purina One Natural Sensitive Stomach Skin And Coat Formula
Main ingredients: Salmon, rice flour, pearled barley
Protein content: 26%
Fat content: 16%
Calories: 438 kcal/cup

A more economical version of the ProPlan Sensitive Stomach, this Purina diet features similar easily digestible salmon, rice and barley ingredients. While these qualities can help with loose stool, this diet also contains features that support other systems as well. Added glucosamine benefits the dog’s joint health while a high protein content keeps muscles strong. It also contains fatty acids and vitamin E for skin and coat health.

This food does contain chicken products, so it’s not suitable for dogs who need a limited ingredient diet. Users generally found this to be a good value diet, with some complaints about the fishy smell and concerns about the presence of chicken.

  • Fishy smell
  • Does contain chicken
  • Cost-effective
  • Benefits the digestive system with features for other systems as well

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Duck And Potato Canned Food

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Main ingredients: Duck, duck broth, potatoes
Protein content: 5%
Fat content: 4%
Calories: 420 kcal/can

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Duck And Potato canned food feature a novel or unusual protein source, making it a good option for dogs whose loose stool may be caused by food sensitivities. This diet offers an over-the-counter alternative to similar prescription foods. Both protein and carbohydrate sources are easily digestible, another bonus for dogs with loose stool.

As mentioned in the description of the previous grain-free diet, this type of food is not appropriate for all dogs so check with your veterinarian before trying Natural Balance Duck and Potato. Users reported some quality control issues with this diet, including inconsistent smell and color between batches.

  • Some quality control issues
  • Features a novel protein source
  • Limited ingredients
  • Easily digestible

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food For Loose Stools

Before you pick out dog food for your pup with loose stools, there are a few things you should know and consider.

What Foods Is Your Dog Sensitive To?

If your vet diagnoses your dog with a specific allergy, it’s fairly easy to read an ingredient list and purchase food without that allergen. Dogs with IBD may simply need to eat any diet with an unfamiliar protein or carb source, or one such as the Royal Canin HP that has pre-broken down proteins. And as we already mentioned, a dog with pancreatitis may need to avoid fatty diets. Knowing the specifics of what your dog can and cannot eat will help guide your food choice.

Why Is Your Dog Having Loose Stools?

This is first because it’s the most important point and will impact your decision directly. Loose stool is a non-specific symptom that can have many different causes, not just what your dog is eating. For example, intestinal parasites or an infectious disease such as parvovirus could all cause loose stools. It doesn’t matter how many times you change your dog’s food if you don’t treat those conditions first!

On the other hand, food allergies, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are all examples of medical conditions that cause loose stool that typically require a special diet. As tempting as it may be to save some money and skip a trip to the vet when your dog has loose stool, try to get a diagnosis before you pick your dog food.

Food Trials Require Patience And Consistency

To diagnose food allergies or other conditions, many vets ask you to perform a food trial, switching your dog to an allergy-friendly diet and feeding that exclusively for at least 8 weeks. If you find that the food switch does improve your dog’s loose stool symptoms, you’ll likely be asked to continue it. You must be consistent with feeding only your dog’s special diet to avoid flare-ups and setbacks.

If you aren’t prepared to be persistent and patient with your dog’s new diet, be honest with your veterinarian and try to find another solution. Many of the diets on our list had user reviews that complained about how the special food wasn’t “working,” only to describe in the next sentence all the unapproved mix-ins and additions they were also feeding their dog!

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.

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.

Can diarrhea lead to weight loss?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Final Thoughts

As our top overall pick, Ollie’s Fresh Beef Dog Food offers high digestibility and an appealing taste. Our best dog food for loose stools for the money, Solid Gold Holistique Blendz, is an affordable diet with added probiotics for gut health. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein diet relies on science and research to offer a specialized protein source, small enough to evade the immune system. For the youngest dogs with loose stool, Purina ProPlan Puppy Sensitive stomach gives your puppy all the nutrition they need in a gentle, easy-to-digest formula. Our vet’s choice, Hill’s Science Diet I/D Low Fat combines minimal fat content with gut health bacteria regulation to help ease loose stools. Hopefully, these reviews of the top 10 dog foods for loose stool have educated you regarding all your options as you try to help your dog firm up their poop

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.