10 Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea (2020)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Being a pet parent is filled with happy things like cuddles, licks, having a running buddy, and being greeted with wild tail wags and excited yaps when you get home from work. 

It can also, however, be full of stray dog hairs, chewed shoes, vet visits, and perhaps dog owners’ worst pup-related incident: doggy diarrhea. 

We’ll be checking out the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea in this review.

Product Name
Best For Dogs With Allergies
Best Budget Option
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison Recipe, 26 Pounds
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Very good fat count for dogs prone to sensitive stomach diarrhea
Premium quality ingredient list
Low-fat formula, and lower in Omegas too
Pro 2
Contains L-carnitine for energy and metabolism regulation
Variety of flavours allows avoidance of common allergens
Higher than normal fiber content (8%)
Best Overall For Most Dogs
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison Recipe, 26 Pounds
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Pro 1
Very good fat count for dogs prone to sensitive stomach diarrhea
Pro 2
Contains L-carnitine for energy and metabolism regulation
Custom Button
Best For Dogs With Allergies
Product Name
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Premium quality ingredient list
Pro 2
Variety of flavours allows avoidance of common allergens
Custom Button
-
Best Budget Option
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Low-fat formula, and lower in Omegas too
Pro 2
Higher than normal fiber content (8%)
Custom Button
Sources researched
18
Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
16
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

10 Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach and Diarrhea

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Dog Food, Turkey, Venison & Brown Rice Flavour 

Best For Most Dogs With Sensitive Stomach

Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison Recipe, 26 Pounds
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Overall Rating91%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients90%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content95%
Other Added Nutrients92%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Very good fat count
  • Decent protein count for most dogs 
  • Contains L-carnitine for energy and metabolism regulation 
  • Natural prebiotics assist with digestion 

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain glucosamine 
  • Fat count may be too little for active dogs   

This dog food from Rachael Ray’s Nutrish range is a great choice for dogs of all ages, sizes, and life stages who need a lower fat count and a decent fiber count. Dogs with sensitive tummies that are prone to diarrhea will benefit from the mix of nutrients.

The protein sits at 26% which is super for most dogs who are moderately active. The fat count is between 8 and 11%, which is great if your pup needs less fat in his or her diet for diarrhea-related reasons. It also contains L-carnitine, which helps with metabolism and energy regulation. 

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Additional Supplements 

L-carnitine converts fatty acids into energy that can be used to power your pooch through his or her day. It’s a useful supplement to have in a dog food that’s lower in fat, as it helps make the most of what fat it does contain. 

The downside is that it doesn’t contain glucosamine or chondroitin. It also could be too low in fat if your pup is quite active.

Acana Singles Range Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient Food

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Apple, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating90%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients95%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content85%
Other Added Nutrients90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Premium quality ingredient list 
  • Variety of flavors allows avoidance of common allergens 
  • Contain DHA and EPA
  • Contains glucosamine & chondroitin 

CONS

  • Slightly higher fat count than preferred 
  • Somewhat pricey 

A limited ingredient diet dog food is highly useful for easing stomach problems. The idea is that problem ingredients can be avoided, so dogs with sensitive stomachs would definitely benefit from limited ingredient food.

This range from Acana is amazing. First, they contain a single protein source and a few carefully selected vegetables, plus vitamins and minerals. Secondly, the flavor variety is impressive, making this the best dog food with limited ingredients.

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Flavor Variety 

Limited ingredient dog foods often come with one big flaw – no flavor variety. This one, though, stands out in that it presents five different flavors – each one packed with great nutrition while still being limited enough to significantly reduce food allergies and sensitive stomach.

Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money

Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
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Overall Rating90%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients90%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content90%
Other Added Nutrients90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Low-fat formula
  • Higher than normal fiber content (8%) 
  • Added joint supplements & L-carnitine 
  • Very affordable 

CONS

  • Low in protein 
  • May be too low in fat for active dogs 

This falls under our best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea not only for its high-quality ingredient list and great nutrient values, but also for its fantastic price. It’s perfect for budget-conscious (but still quality-conscious) dog owners. 

It’s super low in fat, though, so we recommend this only as a temporary measure until your pup’s stomach eases up.

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Better For Less Active Dogs 

Although the lower fat count is super for helping to firm up loose stools, it can be a little too low to sustain the average dog’s energy levels. If your pup is highly active, you may need to add a few high-fat treats into their daily calorie intake to give them a little energy boost. 

If your dog is less active, this dog food should be perfect to keep their energy levels where they should be. It also contains L-carnitine which helps to regulate energy levels and metabolism. 

American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food 

Best For Puppies With A Sensitive Stomach

American Journey Lamb

Check Price on Chewy.com
Overall Rating92%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients95%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content90%
Other Added Nutrients95%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Lower fat and higher in fiber
  • High in protein, good calcium/phosphorus level
  • Contains DHA
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin 

CONS

  • Not suitable for puppies who are sensitive to poultry as it contains chicken meal

You may be keen to feed your puppy the best dog food that reduces the possibility of diarrhea and sensitive stomachs from the start. You’ll find that in this offering from American Journey. 

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Fulfills Puppies’ Nutritional Requirements 

The fat and fiber counts (12% and 5%) are great for helping to firm up a puppy’s poop and prevent diarrhea. The protein remains high (30%), which means their muscles will develop nicely, along with developing healthy bones with a perfect calcium/phosphorus count. 

You’ll also find DHA and glucosamine & chondroitin, making this a very well-rounded dog food to be feeding a growing pup. 

Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Wet Dog Food 

Best Wet Food For Sensitive Stomachs

Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Wet Dog Food Real Beef Dinner - (12) 12.7 oz. Cans
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Overall Rating88.75%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients90%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content95%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Lower in fat and higher in fiber than most wet dog foods 
  • Contains chelated minerals for easier digestion 
  • Grain-free and high in protein 
  • 96% real beef 

CONS

  • Contains no veggies or fruits 

The key to this dog food being good for sensitive stomachs is the fact that it’s lower in fat (3,5%) and higher in fiber (3%) than most other wet or canned dog foods out there and contains 96% protein.

Wet dog foods usually contain plenty of moisture, which is also helpful to rehydrate your pooch if they’ve been suffering from diarrhea. 

American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 

Runner-Up Option

American Journey Salmon

Check Price on Chewy.com
Overall Rating88%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients95%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content90%
Other Added Nutrients80%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • One of the more affordable options 
  • Lower in fat and higher in fiber than some 
  • Contains DHA
  • Various recipes to avoid problem ingredients

CONS

  • No other useful supplements

This dog food is one of the more affordable options, and yet still retains all the good stuff that the higher-priced ones have. You’ll find a variety of recipes available from American Journey, which is great if your pup gets bored, has a favorite, or has problem ingredients they need to avoid. 

There are also chelated minerals to help the digestive process along, nice levels of Omega fatty acids which up the fat count slightly (but still remain within a decent number to help prevent or improve diarrhea and sensitive stomach), and a dose of DHA.

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Good Fat & Fiber Content 

The salmon recipe avoids the most common dog food allergens – chicken, beef, and potato. This alone should go a long way towards settling a sensitive stomach. 

The lowered fat count in this dry dog food can be helpful to firm up your dog’s poop. The count sits at 12%, and the Omega fatty acids are also fairly moderate. The fiber comes in at 6%, which is higher than many, if only slightly.

Tylee’s Human-Grade Dog Food 

Best Fresh Food Option

Tylees-Human-Grade-Beef-Recipe-Frozen-Dog-Food

Check Price on Chewy.com
Overall Rating87%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients95%
High Fiber Content90%
Moderate Fat Content90%
Other Added Nutrients80%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Human-grade ingredient list 
  • High in fiber, moderate in fat 
  • Various flavors
  • Minimally processed

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain any added supplements 
  • Slightly pricey  

If your pup has been suffering from diarrhea due to food sensitivities, you may want to consider feeding him or her a fresh food diet. Although most of the higher-quality dog foods are minimally processed, fresh food can eliminate food allergies and sensitivities that may still be lurking.

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Minimally Processed

This food is minimally processed, meaning that each bite is packed full of more nutrition than you’re likely to find in a processed kibble.

There are a good few different flavors available, so it won’t be a problem for your pooch to avoid ingredients that don’t agree with them. If they need anything extra, like joint supplements, you’ll need to get those separately, though. 

Solid Gold Holistique Blendz For Adult & Mature Dogs 

Best For Less-Active Seniors With Sensitive Stomachs

Solid Gold - Holistique Blendz with Oatmeal, Pearled Barley & Ocean Fish Meal - Holistic Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food for Adult & Senior Dogs - 28.5lb Bag
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Overall Rating86%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients85%
High Fiber Content80%
Moderate Fat Content95%
Other Added Nutrients85%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Good grains and vegetables for fiber 
  • Fat content is perfect for less active dogs
  • Avoids common allergens
  • Contains DHA to keep aging brains agile 

CONS

  • The animal protein source only appears as ingredient number three 
  • Slightly on the expensive side 

If your senior dog is still quite active, you can keep feeding him or her a high-quality adult dog food. Seniors who are less active, though, will need something like this kibble.

It avoids all the most common allergens, which is helpful for older pups. It’s a tiny bit low in fiber, but it’s also very low in fat.

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Perfect Nutrients For Less Active Seniors 

When your pup starts to slow down, they naturally need less fat in their diet. If they happen to have a sensitive stomach, the lowered fat count in this dog food is even more helpful. 

The protein level is slightly less too. 18% protein is the minimum recommended by AAFCO, so it will be quite adequate for your older guy or girl to maintain their muscle mass. 

The addition of DHA is great for older dogs to keep their brains on the go. The only thing you may need to do is get a separate glucosamine supplement.

Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Best For Active Dogs

Overall Rating85%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients95%
High Fiber Content80%
Moderate Fat Content85%
Other Added Nutrients85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • High in protein with a moderate fat count
  • Various recipes available
  • All-natural ingredient list 
  • Good level of glucosamine & chondroitin 

CONS

  • A more expensive option than some other dog foods 
  • All recipes contain potato, which may not agree with all dogs 

For dogs who are quite active, the protein and fat numbers on these recipes are super. The fiber is a little low on some recipes, but that should be balanced out by the fat count. 

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High Protein, Various Recipes 

With upwards of 30% protein and a fat count in the high teens, each recipe here is geared towards an active, energetic dog. 

Wellness Simple Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food 

Best Grain-Free Option

Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Salmon and Potato Recipe, 24-Pound Bag
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Overall Rating84%
High Quality, All-Natural Ingredients85%
High Fiber Content85%
Moderate Fat Content90%
Other Added Nutrients80%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Lower fat count than many others
  • Retains a high protein count
  • Fewer ingredients, less chance of sensitivities 
  • Moderate Omega levels 

CONS

  • No added supplements 

Some dogs just don’t react well to any type of grains. This dog food is free of any type of grain and is also a limited ingredient diet. 

It’s got a medium protein count of 25%, and a lower fat count of 12%. The Omegas are also on the lower side, which is super as it doesn’t bring the fat content up too high. 

It does contain potatoes, which some tummies may not like, but it’s free from chicken, beef, and those pesky grains. 

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Good Nutrients, No Added Supplements 

Although this recipe is perfect for just about any dog with sensitive stomachs, it’s quite a simple, base recipe. There’s no variation in flavors, and no supplements have been added. 

If your pup needs joint-fortifying supplements, help with metabolism, or added vitamins and minerals, you will need to buy separate supplements for them.


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – All-Natural Ingredient List

Many commercial dog foods are made with cheap, low-quality “filler” ingredients that are actually not the easiest to digest. 

The best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea should have a high-quality, properly identified animal protein source as the first ingredient, followed by healthy carbs in the form of fruits and vegetables. Gluten-free grains are also great, and actually provide a good dose of fiber.

Avoid corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It’s also best to avoid dairy products, as they tend to be hard to digest. 

Criteria 2 – High Fiber Content

Fiber is something that most pet parents don’t pay much attention to. It’s found in plant ingredients, so fruits and vegetables and healthy grains like brown rice will be an important part of the dog food you choose. You’ll want a dog food that doesn’t dip below 5% fiber on the guaranteed analysis list.

Criteria 3 – Moderate Fat Content

Although it’s accepted that fat is the most easily accessible energy source for pups and it also aids in digestion, too much of it can take digestion too far and actually cause diarrhea. 

Go with dog foods that contain 15% fat maximum. Very active dogs may be used to quite a bit more than this, but if they’re a chronic diarrhea sufferer then lowering that number may help. 

Criteria 4 – Other Added Nutrients

Even if a dog food is specified as being a sensitive stomach formula, it should have extra things added to it to boost the immune system, digestion, or things that are specific to breeds or ages. 

You’ll want to see probiotics, prebiotics, moderate Omegas, and chelated minerals. Some breeds will need glucosamine and chondroitin and puppies will need DHA and EPA. Including these in your dog’s diet will boost their immune system.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

We believe that a large part of keeping dogs happy is making sure their parents are happy too. This criteria is to make sure that dog owners have options to suit every budget.

Our Best Value For Money option is just as high-quality as the rest of the foods on this list. We’ve rated each dog food on its price, and been honest when we think a food is a little pricey. 


Questions & Answers

What could cause a sensitive stomach and diarrhea in dogs? 

The most common cause of sensitive stomachs is food intolerance. There’s a difference between food allergies and food intolerances, and intolerances are to blame for tummy issues. The easiest way to get rid of the problem is to switch to a new food containing different ingredients.

Diarrhea is a result of a digestion problem. This could be due to a lack of fiber or a too-high fat content in your dog’s food. Other things that may also be contributing include stress, reactions to medication, intestinal parasites, infection, or inflammatory diseases.

What are some signs and symptoms that indicate my dog has a sensitive stomach? 

Dogs with sensitive stomachs or sensitive skin may be reluctant to eat their food, might display signs of discomfort after eating, and may suffer from either constipation or diarrhea on a fairly regular basis. Their coat and skin may be dry and dull, indicating that nutrients aren’t being absorbed effectively due to food sensitivities. 

What should I look for in the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea? 

First and foremost, you should be checking out the quality of the ingredients of your dog’s food. All-natural, whole food ingredients are the best options, with no corn, wheat, or soy, or artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

The fiber content should be more than 5%, and made up of fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes or pumpkin, or healthy grains like brown rice (although a high-quality animal protein source should be first on the ingredient list). The fat content should be moderate – a high fat count can make diarrhea worse. Remember to check out both the crude fat content and the Omegas.

Apart from that, the best dog food for sensitive stomach and diarrhea should contain any other supplements that are appropriate for your own pup. Glucosamine and chondroitin, DHA, EPA, and L-carnitine will be helpful.