If your puppy has a sensitive stomach, you may find that a particular, or sometimes a number of foods, can cause gas, bloating, vomiting, or loose stools. The right diet may be what your puppy needs to return to normal digestive health. Highly digestible proteins and fats, complemented by the calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, and antioxidants puppies need for healthy growth may correct digestive problems in weeks, or even days.
Many puppy foods claim to be formulated for digestive health, but we took a closer look at the leading brands to find the eight brands of the best puppy food for sensitive stomachs. We have thoroughly researched our recommended brands, and we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy No Corn. Wheat or Soy Dry Dog Food, Chicken Recipe is the classic chicken and brown diet for dogs with sensitive stomachs in a crunchy, tasty dry dog food form.
Chicken is a great source of protein most puppies love. Brown rice has bran that feeds the probiotic bacteria that can settle its stomach. Leaving out corn, wheat, and soy reduces the risk of gas formation. This product also has oats and barley for bulk, so your puppy won’t get constipated.
Chicken meat, chicken fat, chicken liver, and egg for tasty complete protein. Science Diet also added calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones and cartilage. These nutrients are very important for avoiding hip dysplasia.
This product also has the vitamin E and antioxidants that appear in Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food. You could use the puppy product to feed your older dogs, too.
There is just one problem with this product: The individual pieces of dry dog food are coated with beet pulp as a natural food coloring. Some dogs just don’t like beets.
A note on ingredient lists
Don’t be distracted by the long, long list of ingredients on the side of the package. Dog food manufacturers have to avoid making any product that their competitors may have patented. To avoid lawsuits, they use a selection of ingredients in amounts that nobody else could ever recreate. When a dog food label lists cranberries and carrots after the B vitamin riboflavin, like this product does, it just means they used tiny amounts, even less than the weight of the vitamin supplement. The main ingredients in this product are chicken, brown rice, and oats.
2. Best Budget Puppy Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Purina ONE +Plus Skin & Coat Formula Dry Dog Food
Purina ONE +Plus Skin & Coat Formula Dry Dog Food is a great choice for puppies that may have already developed allergies to meat. It gets its protein from salmon, which very rarely triggers food allergies in dogs. It contains meat fat, but fat doesn’t contain the proteins that can trigger digestive allergies.
This puppy food also has rice, barley, and oats, which are far less likely to cause tummy troubles than the more common corn, wheat, and soy. The fiber in oats helps your dog feel full on less food, giving her digestive tract a chance to rebalance itself. All three of these grains are a great source of omega-6 essential fatty acids, which stimulate your puppy’s immune system and help maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat.
This product is also supplemented with calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone and joint growth. Like Hill’s Science Diet Puppy No Corn. Wheat or Soy Dry Dog Food, Chicken Recipe, it can also be fed to older dogs.
3. Best Superfoods Blend for Puppies with Sensitive Stomachs: Solid Gold Leaping Waters
If you suspect your puppy is sensitive to corn, wheat, and soy, and might be sensitive to rice, barley, and oats, too, give Solid Gold Leaping Waters a try. It is a blend of salmon, chickpeas, lentils, tapioca, chicken fat, and 20 superfoods.
What kinds of superfoods? Solid Gold Leaping Waters contains small amounts of carrots, pumpkin, and blueberries. These superfoods have more to do with skin and eye health than with settling an upset stomach, but they also feed the friendly, probiotic bacteria released in every bite. Cold-water salmon provides omega-3 essential fatty acids that slow down the process of inflammation, and the chickpeas and lentils provide omega-6 essential fatty acids that help maintain unbroken skin and a healthy coat.
Solid Gold has been making natural dog foods for over 40 years. They are a highly respected brand. However, many pet parents find their products to be priced out of reach.
4. Best Puppy Food for Diarrhea: Royal Canin Gastrointestinal
Veterinarians often prescribe Royal Canin Gastrointestinal as the best puppy for diarrhea as a complication of chronic gastrointestinal issues.
When the vet diagnoses pancreatitis in a puppy, the prescription is a lower-fat diet. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal contains enough fat to give your puppy steady energy, but not so much as to overwhelm the ability of the pancreas to excrete digestive juices/
When the vet diagnoses gastroenteritis, the prescription is a highly digestible protein to give the stomach a chance to recover. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal provides the protein dogs enjoy eating in a form that does not require a lot of stomach acid to digest.
Fiber relieves both diarrhea and constipation. Fiber both slows down the passage of runny stools and speeds up the passage of dry stools. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal provides the fiber puppies need to get over either diarrhea or constipation.’
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal is only available with a veterinarian’s prescription. But you will have a chance to enter the prescription number and your vet’s name when you order it online.
5. Best Dry Puppy Food for Puppies with Sensitive Stomachs: Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach
There are a lot of advantages to feeding your puppy kibble instead of wet puppy food. Dry kibble is easier to keep fresh once you open the container. It has a crunch puppies love to make. It is easier for puppies with short snouts, like pugs and bulldogs, to eat from their bowl. It is easy to store.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach is a blend of easily digested salmon and brown rice. Puppies with digestive problems are almost always sensitive to wheat, corn, and soy. This product has none of those common problem ingredients. Although full-blown allergies don’t usually occur in dogs until early adulthood, the biggest problem foods for canine skin and digestive allergies are chicken, beef, and horse. These ingredients (certainly not horse meat!) do not appear in Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach also contains live probiotic, friendly bacteria to help calm your puppy’s stomach. Lactobacillus bacteria multiply in the large intestine and eventually form a protective barrier that keeps toxins inside the gut away from the lining of the stomach. They also release fatty acids like butyric acid from the fiber in the brown rice to feed the lining of your puppy’s intestines. These fatty acids aren’t in the food itself; they have to be released by probiotic bacteria.
The rice bran in this product contains omega-6 essential fatty acids that help your puppy’s skin clear out regions of inflammation, leaving healthy skin and a healthy coat behind.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food Sensitive Skin & Stomach is expensive, but it is sometimes on sale. Check often to get the best price.
6. Best Puppy Food for Sensitive Stomachs in Large Breed Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Large Breed Formula Dog Food
Is there a Great Dane in your life? How about a Beauceron, a bloodhound, a bull mastiff, a Dogue de Bordeaux, a Great Pyrenees, an Irish wolfhound, a Leonberger, a Newfoundland, or a St. Bernard?
Some breeds become huge when they are still puppies. When these adorable dogs develop tummy trouble, the best puppy food is a highly digestible product called Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Large Breed Formula Dog Food.
This dry dog food’s number-one ingredient is salmon. It also contains barley, oats, rice, fish oil, and chicken fat.
Salmon is the main source of protein in Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Large Breed Formula Dog Food. It has exactly the right amino acids for steady growth, plus the omega-3 essential fatty acids that help your puppy’s body regulate inflammation. It’s tasty, but it won’t set off any food sensitivities in the overwhelming majority of dogs.
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Large Breed Formula Dog Food also contains prebiotic fiber that feeds the probiotic bacteria that help calm your puppy’s lower digestive tract. Whether you are looking for the best puppy food for diarrhea or the best puppy food for constipation, this product fits the bill.
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Large Breed Formula Dog Food is free of soy and wheat, as well as artificial ingredients.
7. Best Test Food for Puppies with Sensitive Stomachs: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Food
If you suspect some food is giving your puppy a tummy ache, and you can’t guess what it is, try Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Food.
The protein in Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Food is turkey, just turkey. You don’t have to worry about tracking down which meat could be causing your puppy to have digestive problems. Of course, there are rare dogs who are allergic to turkey, but it is far more common for a dog to have problems with chicken or red meat than with turkey.
This product also contains peas, potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and pumpkin. They provide the bulk your puppy needs for normal bowel movement. It has added calcium and phosphorus for growing bones and joints, but you may want to give your puppy a calcium-rich puppy treat like Milk Bones just to make sure.
8. Best Nutritional Supplement for Puppies with Sensitive Stomachs: NaturVet Advanced Probiotics & Enzymes
Sometimes probiotics or digestive enzymes are the fastest way to treat tummy troubles in puppies—and they are a lot less expensive than a special puppy food.
NaturVet Advanced Probiotics & Enzymes contains the probiotic bacteria that line your puppy’s lower GI tract to prevent toxins from crossing the lining. It also contains digestive enzymes that help your puppy digest both protein and fat.
Pancreatitis and gastroenteritis can be subclinical. That means that your puppy isn’t so sick as to be diagnosed with a disease, but needs some extra help for healthy digestion. This product can be exactly what you need to add to your puppy’s treatment plan to get great results from the special diet you give your young dog.