Top 10 Best Wet Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Here’s a problem lots of dog owners face. Your dog doesn’t particularly enjoy dry dog food (kibble). You don’t have the freezer space or desire to feed a raw dog food diet.
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You prefer the convenience and availability of wet dog food and your dog enjoys wet food (canned / tinned dog food) but….your dog’s sensitive stomach is not always in agreement.
How to solve the problem of feeding a dog with a sensitive stomach on a wet food diet?
Fortunately, that’s just the question we’re going to answer for you in our guide to the best wet foods for dogs with a sensitive stomach.
We’ve previously covered the pros and cons of wet food vs dry food, so this guide is aimed squarely at anyone who wants to feed their dog on a wet food diet and is aware that their dog has issues with food sensitivity.
The 10 Best Canned & Wet Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Purina Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potato — Best Value
|Protein Type:||Cod, Chicken, Turkey, Salmon|
If your pup is completely done with grains, the Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potato food is a delicious alternative. With carbs coming from sweet potatoes instead of a traditional grain like corn, rice, or soy, this food is a great grain-free option. With a lower price point than many of the alternatives here, it’s also the best value option for a sensitive stomach. This food comes with a specially formulated mix of vitamins and minerals to keep your pup’s stomach happy, including prebiotic fibers that aid in digestion. Salmon and cod also bring natural omega fatty acids.
One drawback of this food is the inclusion of several different protein sources, including common allergens like chicken.
Nom Nom Turkey Fare Fresh Dog Food – Best Overall
|First Ingredient:||Ground turkey|
|Life stage:||All life stages|
Our top pick for best overall food for dogs with sensitive stomachs goes to Nom Nom Turkey Fare. This food is top-notch in terms of quality. You really cannot beat the benefits of this fresh food that is crafted by NomNom’s team of board-certified veterinary nutritionists.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs need an easily digestible, high-quality food that offers a proper balance of nutrients, and you can find that all with NomNom Turkey Fare. This recipe is made with turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, and spinach. You don’t have to worry about any questionable ingredients or use of fillers or any by-products with Nom Nom, just take a look at the nutrition label to ease your mind.
You can expect Nom Nom Turkey Fare to exceed your expectations and leave your dog much more excited for mealtime. Owners not only note the improvement they’ve seen in their dog’s health once starting NomN om, they also say how easy it is to get their pooch to eat it—it’s tasty!
The only downside to NomNom Turkey Fare is the expense. This is typical with fresh foods though, as higher-quality food products tend to come with higher price tags. Of course, with any fresh food, you need to take extra care with storage by either placing it in the refrigerator or freezer upon arrival. This food can last up to 8 days when refrigerated and up to 6 months frozen.
Hill’s Prescription Digestive Care
|First Ingredient:||Pork Liver|
|Protein Type:||Pork, Chicken, Egg Whites|
|Grains:||Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed|
If you’ve tried everything else, then Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care food is another great option. Its specially formulated food is a great premium option for gastrointestinal issues. Its digestive formula includes prebiotics, omega fatty acids, and small amounts of ginger, all of which aid digestion. It also includes proprietary ActiveBiome ingredients that promote a healthy gut flora by regulating healthy bacteria.
Because of the special formulation of this canned food, it requires vet authorization to use, making it a bit trickier to buy. It is also a more expensive option. While this food is a great option for most sensitive gastrointestinal problems, it’s also not the most allergy-friendly, with several common allergens including chicken, egg whites, and cornstarch.
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach
|First Ingredient:||Chicken Broth|
|Protein Type:||Chicken, Turkey|
The Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Turkey & Rice meal is a great choice for canines that need a little extra pampering. This canned food contains a hearty stew-type meal that is slow-cooked to make the meat extra tender and soft for sensitive stomachs. The chicken and turkey stew is supplemented with rice, carrots, and peas to meet all your pup’s nutritional needs. The reviews for this product are overwhelmingly positive, with many reviewers saying that it worked like magic.
One drawback of this meal is the grain content, which can irritate some dogs. It also contains two different protein sources, turkey and chicken, both of which are common allergens.
Canidae Pure All-Stages Grain-Free Lamb Recipe
Your dog might be allergic to fish and fowl and even beef, but have you tried lamb? Canidae’s Pure All-Stages Grain-Free Lamb Recipe is a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs and lots of allergies. It has a limited list of only a few ingredients (other than vitamins and minerals) that keep the food simple and allergy-friendly. This simple formulation is also easy to digest for most dogs.
One drawback of the pared-down ingredient list is a lack of added omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and other additives that can aid digestion.
Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Salmon & Rice
|Protein Type:||Salmon, Fish|
The Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Salmon & Rice meal is a great alternative for dogs who can’t eat poultry, with a fish-based entrée that will keep your dog fed and happy. This food has salmon as its first ingredient, a great sign that the food is light on fillers, and it is missing common fillers like corn and soy. This canned food is high in omega fatty acids, which can help with digestion, skin issues, and a host of other issues.
It does contain rice, which some dogs are allergic to. Another potential ingredient worry is the unspecified “fish” in the ingredients list. Although reviews show that dogs generally like this meal, owners do point out one last drawback—a strong fishy smell that can nauseate humans.
Nature’s Recipe Easy-to-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley
|Grains:||Soybean Meal, Rice, Barley|
Nature’s Recipe Easy-to-Digest Chicken is a good ground food option with plenty of vitamins and minerals. With at least 8% crude protein and 5% crude fat, this food has all the nutrients to keep your dog happy. The barley is among the easier grains for dogs to digest, although it also contains soy, chicken, and rice, other common allergens. Unlike many dog foods, it has only one meat source, chicken, which can make it a safer choice for allergy-prone dogs. Overall, this is a great option for dogs with gastrointestinal issues and no allergies.
Dave’s Pet Food Bland Restricted Diet Chicken & Rice
Another great option is the Dave’s Pet Food Bland Restricted Diet Chicken & Rice food. This food has a simple recipe with only chicken products, rice products, and a few other key vitamin and mineral ingredients. The “bland” formulation also means that it is a less smelly product than many canned dog foods, and many picky dogs found their dream food here.
One drawback of this type of food is that chicken is one of the most common dog allergens and rice, like all grains, is another allergy source.
Natural Balance Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula
|First Ingredient:||Sweet Potatoes|
If your dog likes to live on the wild side, you might be interested in Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food. With a unique venison protein source, this can be a great choice for dogs with allergies to more common meats. This meal is also grain-free, with sweet potatoes and potatoes replacing the grains in traditional dog foods. The limited ingredient list, with only a few food sources plus some vitamins and minerals, can also help with allergens.
This food source does have some drawbacks, though. For one thing, it doesn’t have all the digestive aids like omega fatty acids or prebiotics that can help sensitive stomachs along. Another drawback is that venison isn’t the first ingredient, sweet potatoes are.
Merrick Lil’Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Plate
|Protein Type:||Chicken, Turkey, Egg Whites|
Another great puppy option, the Merrick Lil’Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Plate is made for sensitive puppy tummies. With a delicious chicken-turkey blend to tempt puppies and a grain-free formulation that keeps fillers out of food, this is a great option for many puppies. A high-veggie formulation including peas, apples, and red peppers replaces traditional grains in this food. Although some sensitive puppies might have allergies to the protein sources, it’s a great food for many others. One drawback to this food is the packaging design, which is convenient but high in plastics.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Canned & Wet Dog Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Types of Stomach Sensitivities
- There are two main reasons your dog might be having stomach issues. The first is an allergy. Dogs can have allergies to any food ingredient, but protein and grain sources are the biggest culprits. This includes common protein sources like chicken and common grain fillers including corn, soy, and rice. Experimentation can help you determine what your dog is allergic to and what the best alternative foods are.
- The second reason your dog might have a sensitive stomach is a gastrointestinal issue. There are many gastrointestinal issues that can affect dogs, but in all cases, the end result is that dogs struggle to digest any food. Moving to softer and blander foods can help with some gastrointestinal issues (that’s one reason why rice is a common grain in stomach-sensitive dog foods) and certain compounds can help aid digestion. This can include prebiotic fibers, omega fatty acids, ginger, and other ingredients. In some cases, a vet might recommend prescription dog foods for especially picky eaters.
Signs of a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs
There are many signs of a sensitive stomach, and it varies from dog to dog. The most common sign is vomiting or diarrhea. Other dogs might experience appetite loss, gas, bloating, or signs of being in pain. If you think your dog is having stomach issues, you can talk to a vet to help you figure out the cause of your dog’s sensitivity.
Transitioning to a New Food
It might be counterintuitive, but if your dog has a sensitive stomach, you don’t want to switch to better food right away. A sudden change in diet, even a positive one, can shock your dog’s digestive system and lead to stomach issues. Instead, diet changes should happen gradually. You might start by giving your dog an 80/20 mix of old and new food for a few days, and then a 50/50 mix, and so on until you’ve removed the old food from your dog’s diet completely. Gradual food changes can help your dog’s stomach adjust to the new food without hiccups.
After looking through our reviews, we hope you have a handle on some of the best options for canned dog foods if your dog has a sensitive stomach. We found the Nom Nom Turkey Fare to be the best overall dog food for sensitive stomachs, with Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potatoes coming in as the best value option. And if your puppy needs sensitive food, we loved the Canidae Grain-Free Chicken Recipe.