11 Best Dog Food Brands For A Sensitive Stomach in 2024

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You may need the best dog food for a sensitive stomach if your dog has allergies or sensitivities to several ingredients. However, selecting the right type of food for your canine companion can be a challenging task, and it becomes even harder if you need to avoid allergens like chicken, beef, or grains. Even if you have a careful understanding of your dog’s needs and dietary preferences, it may still be difficult to settle on the perfect food brand.

So, we’ve compiled a list of the best food for dogs with sensitive stomachs to help you narrow down your search. Yet, you should always look closely at the ingredient list before purchasing the food to ensure it doesn’t include anything your dog is allergic to. Once you’ve found a new food to try, do a slow transition to prevent any digestive issues.

However, if your dog regularly has tummy problems, talk to your vet before switching their food to rule out serious health problems first. It’s better to be safe than sorry with your furry friend’s health.

Senior Pug with Kibble

Buyer’s Guide: Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Choosing the right dog food for a pet with a sensitive stomach can be challenging. So, below are some key factors to consider when looking for a new food brand.


If you have a dog with allergies, ingredients are extra important. Make sure the food you choose doesn’t include anything your dog is sensitive to. For the best results, look for limited ingredient diets that avoid common allergens. That way, you can reduce the risk of allergic reactions even if you don’t know exactly what your dog is allergic to.


Of course, your dog should enjoy the food they’re eating. Look for an allergy-friendly diet that’s also your dog’s preferred flavor. Most limited ingredient formulas have several protein options, and many of them are less common proteins to cater to sensitive dogs. Choose a single-source animal protein to ensure your sensitive pup only eats meat that’s safe for them.


Since your dog will likely be eating the same food every day, it should provide plenty of benefits. Quality dog food can be good for the joints, skin, coat, heart, and immune system. Most importantly, the food should help with digestive health to ensure your dog’s sensitive stomach can handle it.


Dog food comes in a wide range of prices, and a higher price often means better quality ingredients. However, dog food is a product you’ll buy consistently, so you’ll need to make sure it fits your budget.

Sensitive dog with food bowl

Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

A Pup Above Fresh Dog Food
  • Cooked sous-vide
  • Four fresh food recipes
  • Human-grade ingredients benefit sensitive tummies
  • Good for joints and digestion
  • Vet-approved

Fresh dog food can be a great option for some sensitive dogs because it uses a short ingredient list of fresh ingredients. A Pup Above Fresh Dog Food is a brand dedicated to providing a quality diet for dogs, taking a unique approach to the preparation and sourcing of its ingredients. Each recipe is cooked sous-vide, a method that includes sealing the food in airtight bags and cooking it in water at a precise temperature. This technique not only retains more nutrients than traditional cooking methods but also ensures that the food is thoroughly cooked, enhancing its safety.

A Pup Above offers a variety of recipes that sensitive dogs may love. Their “Porky’s Luau” option, for instance, features grain-free, gluten-free food that caters to dogs with sensitive stomachs. Also, this brand emphasizes the use of responsibly-sourced ingredients, ensuring a sustainable choice for environmentally-conscious pet parents. However, if a dog isn’t used to eating fresh food, you’ll want to do an extra slow transition to avoid tummy problems.

Get 50% off your first A Pup Above order with the code TRYNOW

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food
  • Air-dried to naturally preserve the meat
  • Mirrors a whole-prey, nutrient-dense diet
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High in protein and grain-free
  • Variety of formulas available

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food is a premium pet food product with ingredients sourced from New Zealand. This food is air-dried, a method that naturally preserves the meat without needing artificial preservatives. It allows the food to retain most of its nutrients and flavors, resulting in a highly palatable, nutrient-rich meal for your pet.

The ingredients include free-range meat, seafood, organs, and bone, all from ethical, local farms in New Zealand. With a recipe that’s grain-free and high in protein, ZIWI Peak is designed to mirror a whole-prey, nutrient-dense diet that dogs would encounter in the wild. This makes it a particularly good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or those that require a diet low in carbohydrates. Plus, there are several recipes to choose from so you can avoid certain protein sources if needed.

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
  • Limited ingredient dog food
  • Avoids common allergens
  • Good for digestion
  • Real animal meat is the first ingredient
  • Variety of formulas available

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food is designed specifically for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. The brand adheres to a philosophy of using a smaller, more precise list of ingredients to minimize the chance of a sensitive dog reacting adversely. Each recipe starts with a premium source of animal protein (such as lamb, salmon, or duck) and is followed by carefully selected carbohydrates, ensuring the food is nutritious as well as easily digestible.

This dog food is grain-free and avoids common allergens like chicken, beef, dairy, and soy proteins. Additionally, Nutro maintains a commitment to using non-GMO ingredients and excludes artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, contributing to the overall quality and wholesomeness of its food. By providing a balance of high-quality protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, this brand aims to support your dog’s overall health while catering to their specific dietary needs.

Zignature Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
  • Brand focuses on limited ingredient formulas
  • Single-source animal protein
  • Avoids common allergens like grains, corn, chicken, and eggs
  • Good for digestion, skin, coat, and immune health
  • Lots of formulas available

Zignature is a dog food company that focuses on limited ingredient formulas designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The food has a minimalistic approach to cater to dogs with dietary sensitivities or those who benefit from a simpler diet. Each of Zignature’s recipes revolves around a single source of animal protein, such as turkey, trout, or lamb. Then, a handful of wholesome, hypoallergenic ingredients complement the meat.

The food is grain-free, gluten-free, and chicken-free (as chicken is a common allergen), reducing the risk of upsetting sensitive pups. Also, the brand avoids using common fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. The company’s emphasis on high-quality, limited ingredients provides your dog with a balanced diet that closely mimics what their ancestors would have eaten in the wild. This leads to better digestion, healthier skin and coat, and a robust immune system.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Includes only one animal protein and one type of vegetable
  • Avoids lots of common allergens
  • Easy to digest
  • Three formulas available

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet dog food is specifically crafted for pets with food sensitivities and allergies. The food’s key feature is its focus on minimalism, spotlighting a single animal protein source and one vegetable in each of its recipes, such as lamb and peas. Thus, these formulas reduce potential allergenic ingredients. This approach not only simplifies the ingredient list but also provides easy-to-digest, nutritious meals for your pet.

Furthermore, the recipes don’t contain grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors. Therefore, dogs are unlikely to have allergic reactions to this food. Instinct helps your pet thrive by offering quality nutrition while limiting the likelihood of an adverse food reaction.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet with Healthy Grains
  • Limited ingredient formula with grains
  • Each formula has a single source of animal protein
  • Only nine key ingredients
  • Good for digestion, skin, coat, and joints

As the name implies, this Merrick food has limited ingredients to ensure that there isn’t anything harmful for sensitive dogs. Each formula has a single animal protein source (either salmon or chicken). This one has healthy grains, but there’s also a grain-free limited ingredient option for dogs with grain allergies. 

Each recipe only has nine key ingredients so you’ll know exactly what’s going into your dog’s tummy. It’s crafted to support digestion to reduce the risk of stomach issues for dogs. Plus, the food includes omega fatty acids to benefit the skin and coat and glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Limited ingredient formula
  • Single-source animal protein
  • Easily digestible and palatable
  • Good for the heart, skin, coat, joints, and immune system
  • Several recipes available

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food is designed to support dogs with sensitive stomachs and those prone to allergies. As the name implies, the brand’s approach is to limit the number of ingredients in each recipe, thus minimizing the risk of triggering adverse reactions. Each recipe features a single source of high-quality animal protein, such as duck or fish, paired with select, easily digestible carbohydrates.

This simplicity doesn’t compromise nutritional value because each diet is balanced to meet your pet’s needs. The recipes exclude grains and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, further reducing potential allergens. Their commitment to scientific balance and taste ensures your pet gets the nutrients they need in a form that’s both palatable and easily digestible.

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dog Food
  • Short and straightforward ingredient list
  • Single source of animal protein
  • Avoids unnecessary carbohydrates
  • Good for digestion, skin, coat, heart, and joints
  • Variety of formulas available

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dog Food is a high-quality choice tailored for dogs with food sensitivities, allergies, or dietary restrictions. The main philosophy behind this product is to keep the ingredient list short and straightforward, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions. Each of the recipes features a single source of high-quality animal protein (such as salmon or duck) and a minimal number of carefully chosen, natural, and easily digestible carbohydrates.

The recipes are free from grains, gluten, and artificial additives, further lessening the likelihood of causing digestive upset or allergic reactions. Despite the simplicity of the ingredients, these diets remain nutritionally complete and balanced, ensuring that dogs receive all the vital nutrients they need for their well-being. As a result, the food can benefit your dog’s digestion, skin, coat, heart, joints, and immune system.

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
  • Single animal protein source
  • Good for the digestive and immune systems
  • Avoids common allergens like chicken, beef, and dairy
  • Contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Two formulas available

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Skin & Stomach Care dog food is tailored for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. This special formula revolves around a single animal protein source of either turkey or salmon, along with easily digestible carbohydrates, thereby minimizing the chance of food sensitivities. The food also includes pumpkin and pea fiber, known to support healthy digestion.

As a part of Blue Buffalo’s commitment to holistic health, the food incorporates the company’s exclusive blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, known as LifeSource Bits. This blend boosts your pet’s immune system and overall health. These recipes avoid using common allergens such as chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs, and they exclude artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Nature′s Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Only includes necessary ingredients
  • Real animal protein is always the first ingredient
  • Good for immune health and digestion
  • Available in several flavors

With Nature’s Recipe formulas, every ingredient counts. So, you won’t have to worry about unnecessary ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, or by-products that could harm sensitive pups. The food also avoids artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. The pictured flavor is salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin, but there are also lamb and chicken options for dogs who are sensitive to fish.

Real animal protein is always the first ingredient in this food. Plus, the pumpkin and sweet potato provide fiber to keep your pup’s digestive and immune systems. The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients help with maintenance for dogs of all ages and breeds.

Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Dry Dog Food
  • Focuses on highly digestible ingredients
  • Good for skin and coat health
  • Vet-recommended
  • Avoids artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Company supports shelter dogs

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food is a vet-recommended formula for dogs with digestive sensitivities and skin issues. This diet includes high-quality, easily digestible ingredients, with chicken meal and barley as the primary sources of protein. The specific blend of nutrients not only aids in optimal nutrient absorption but also promotes healthy gut flora, supporting overall digestive health.

Additionally, the formula includes a precise balance of Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, aiming to nourish your dog’s skin and promote a lustrous coat. This dog food is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, reducing the risk of adverse reactions. Plus, the company donates a lot of money to help dogs in need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs?

Sensitive stomachs in dogs can be caused by multiple factors. Often, it may be due to food allergies or intolerances, dietary indiscretion (like eating something they shouldn’t), changes in diet, or consuming food too quickly. Additionally, underlying medical conditions such as gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders, or certain medications could also contribute to a dog’s sensitive stomach.

How Do I Know if My Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach?

Signs that your dog might have a sensitive stomach can include recurrent digestive upset, such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive gas, or changes in appetite. Inconsistent stool quality, weight loss, and general discomfort or restlessness after eating may also indicate a sensitivity. Before looking for new dog food, talk to your vet about these symptoms to rule out underlying health concerns.

How Do I Transition a Sensitive Dog to New Food?

Transitioning a sensitive dog to new food should be done gradually to avoid worsening their stomach issues. Start by mixing a small portion of the new food with their current food, then for 7-10 days, gradually increase the amount of the new food while decreasing the old. This slow transition helps acclimate your dog’s digestive system to the new diet and minimize potential digestive discomfort.

Are Certain Dog Breeds Prone to Having a Sensitive Stomach?

While any dog breed can have a sensitive stomach, certain breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Irish Setters, and German Shepherds are known to be more susceptible to food sensitivities and digestive issues. This may be due to genetic factors, breed-specific dietary needs, or predispositions to certain gastrointestinal conditions. Always consider your breed’s specific nutritional needs and consult with a vet for personalized advice.

What is a Limited Ingredient Diet?

Limited ingredient dog food is a type of pet food that’s made with a minimal number of ingredients. It typically features a single source of animal protein and a restricted selection of easily digestible carbohydrates. This type of food is often recommended for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities.

Is Grain-Free Food Good for Dogs?

Grain-free food can be a good choice for dogs with specific dietary needs or allergies to common grains such as wheat, corn, or soy. However, it’s important to note that not all grains are bad for dogs, and many can provide valuable nutrients. If you’re unsure if your dog is sensitive to grains, talk to your vet.

Related: Top 13 Dog Food Brands Without Recalls

Beagle eating dog food

Final Thoughts

The most suitable food for your pet will depend on their unique needs and reactions to certain foods. So, look for dog food recipes that are made specifically for sensitive stomachs, and most importantly, avoid foods with ingredients your dog is allergic to.

It’s best to slowly transition your dog to a new diet and observe their reactions closely. If unusual symptoms occur, it’s a good idea to consult a veterinarian to diagnose any potential underlying issues. The options listed above can serve as an excellent starting point in your quest to find the best food for your dog with a sensitive stomach.

iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

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