How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A Food Allergy Or Just A Food Intolerance
Unfortunately theres not a definitive test that can determine if your dog has a food allergy. Many of the symptoms overlap with food intolerance or with other ailments. In general, a food intolerance only involves tummy upset, whereas an allergy will also cause skin issues.
The good news is that both can be effectively treated with the right dog food. As with all concerns though, its best to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis before you take any steps for treatment.
Home Cooked Meals For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs
Some dogs benefit from bland meals prepared at home. A simple dinner of cooked chicken and rice, without any seasoning, might help settle an upset stomach and diarrhea. These days, an increasing number of dog owners are turning to homemade diets for all of their dogs meals. This can be an excellent option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, as long as owners make sure they meet all of their pets nutritional needs. An easy way to do this is to check with your veterinarian to make sure the foods you are feeding your dog contain appropriate amounts of necessary nutrients. Another option is to use a website like balance IT®, created by Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist Sean J. Delaney, DVM, MS, DACVN, to help vets and owners balance the nutrition in their pets homemade meals.
Back To Dietary Basics
Some dogs digestive tracts simply cant handle a lot of variety or foods made with ingredients that cause the digestive system to work a little harder than usual. First, youll want to simplify your dogs diet by reducing or eliminating the extras table scraps, treats and access to garbage and other delicacies when outdoors. Then, youll want to scrutinize your dogs current food in terms of digestibility , fat content and fiber as well as ingredients. Depending on what you learn about the food youre currently feeding, you may need to consider switching your furry friend to a food formulated specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs, such as Diamond CARE Sensitive Stomach Formula for Dogs
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Overall Winner: Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach
You wont find extensive ingredient lists or unwanted fillers in Raised Right recipes. This family-owned, human-grade dog food company creates limited ingredient recipes that are veterinarian-formulated to be high in protein, low in carbs, and great for sensitive stomachs. In fact, because the company uses no high-carb fillers, like potato, rice, oats, yam, pasta, barley, parsnips, corn, or wheat fillers, most Raised Right recipes have less than 2 percent carbs.
Best of all, the ingredients in Raised Right recipes are truly limited for easier digestibility. All of their adult dog recipes have 10 ingredients or less, with some having as few as just 7 or 8 ingredients. And the company was even able to formulate their adult dog recipes to meet AAFCOs requirements for a complete & balanced diet without having to add any synthetic vitamins or mineralsjust simple, nutritious whole foods.
- Recipes formulated by veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker and pet food formulation expert Steve Brown
- Offers limited ingredient recipes that are high in protein and low in carbs
- Most of their recipes have less than 2% carbs because they dont use any high-carb fillers like potato, rice, oats, yam, pasta, barley, parsnips, corn, or wheat
- Each recipe is made with human-grade ingredients in a USDA-inspected facility
- Strict laboratory testing with every batch cooked
- Choose from custom meal plans or sample boxes to try first
Things to Consider
You Always Want To Watch For:
- Vitamins and Minerals These help your dog stay healthy and function correctly. They will assist in helping your dogs body to grow in the best way possible. Keep in mind that not all dog foods include vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you must be proactive with this important detail.
- Carbohydrates You may have heard that carbohydrates are only fillers/empty calories. This is not true. Carbs are good for your dog, providing them with much-needed energy, nutrients, and fiber. They also assist in keeping your dogs brain functioning properly and keep their glucose level steady. The fiber will help to regulate their digestive system and keep them from feeling hungry all the time.
- Fat Fat is essential and provides energy to your pet. Fatty acids are essential for a healthy coat and skin and the development of their organs. Not to mention, they love the taste!
- Protein If your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, a single protein in their food is best. If they are puppies, pregnant or nursing, you may want to give them a bit more protein during these times for optimal health.
- Prebiotics This is the good bacteria that is needed for gastrointestinal health and digestion.
- Probiotics Living microorganisms that colonize the digestive system with good bacteria.
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Natural Balance Lid Grain
Best For Allergies
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Sunflower Oil
- Life Stage: Adult
- Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
- Caloric content : 3,450 kcal
Natural Balances Salmon & Sweet Potato dog food provides the benefit of being both limited in ingredients and having a recipe made entirely from digestion-friendly foods for sensitive dogs. This list of foods includes real salmon, sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, and other wholesome ingredients that aid in muscle nourishment and make your dog more energetic.
In addition to this, the dog food is completely free from grains, peas, lentils, corn, and wheat so your dog can fully digest and absorb nutrients. Also, Natural Balances dog foods are manufactured exclusively in the USA to ensure the highest-quality end product.
Analysis: Protein 24%, Fat 10%, Fiber 4.5%, Moisture 10%
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Potatoes, 2. Egg Product, 3. Potato Protein, 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Chicken Fat
- Life Stage: Adult
- Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large breeds
- Caloric content : 3,615 kcal
Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula is the ultimate dog food for canines with an extremely fragile digestive system. It contains a very limited selection of ingredients and even exchanges meat for egg protein for extra sensitive dogs. The recipe is completely free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy, so even the most sensitive dogs can enjoy and fully digest a tasty meal.
Sensitive Stomach Dog Food: What To Look For
Although there are plenty of sensitive stomach dog food formulas on the market these days, there are still certain factors youll want to keep in mind when selecting your dogs new diet:
Look for added probiotics.I recommend looking for foods with added probiotics to help encourage healthy gut bacteria, which will decrease stomach sensitivities, suggests Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian with Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. Probiotics contain non pathogenic bacteria, which increase the ratio of normal to pathogenic intestinal microbes. Increasing the number of good microbes in the intestines helps to decrease the risk of a sensitive stomach.
Seek out a formula that has inulin. Burch also suggests looking for diets that have inulin present in their formulation. Inulin is a prebiotic soluble fiber. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. These complex carbohydrates will also decrease the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Avoid recipes with long ingredient lists. Choose nourishing foods that provide an ideal balance of protein, fats, carbs, and dietary fibers, and avoid those with fillers or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives where possible.
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Veterinary Prescription Diets For Dogs
Not every sensitive stomach can be resolved by a commercial diet or even a homemade diet. Your vet might recommend a prescription diet if switching non-prescription diets does not resolve your dogs sensitive stomach. There is no one food that works best for all dogs with sensitive stomachs, just like there is no one food that works best for people with sensitive stomachs. Finding the best food for your dog takes time and patience, and what cured your friends dogs upset tummy might not do the trick for your pooch. Dont get discouraged. With a little trial and error, you can find a diet that works for your dog, or you can always consult with a veterinary nutritionist and develop a plan custom-tailored to your dogs needs.
About Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Recipe
This grain-free formulation from Diamond Care is packed with essential nutrients for your pup . Its also formulated with easily digestible proteins and a fiber blend to support digestive health.
Solid Gold Grain-Free & Gluten-Free for Sensitive Stomachs
This grain-free recipe is made with cold water salmon, making it packed with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
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Types Of Stomach Sensitivities In Dogs
There are two main reasons that dogs have stomach problems
- Allergies: Dogs food allergies dont always come with an upset stomach. They can have many of the other common symptoms of food allergies that people have, including itching, skin lesions, or chronic ear infections. If your dog has an upset stomach along with skin issues, a food allergy is probably the culprit. Its important to note that allergies and intolerances arent the same things. Allergies cause a reaction from your dogs immune system. Food intolerances lead to digestive upset, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and general discomfort. There are two approaches to addressing food allergies with a dogs diet:
- The protein source in your dogs food is the most likely source of allergic reaction or intolerance. Providing a novel protein source, like venison, rabbit, or even fish, can often alleviate symptoms.
- Hydrolyzed proteins Prescription diets often use hydrolyzed proteins that are broken down to avoid recognition by your dogs immune system.
Best Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dog Food
|Meets AAFCO Standards?||Yes|
Hills is well-respected for its high quality and science-approved formulaand the skin/food sensitivities formula is no exception. Clinically proven nutrition to help avoid adverse reactions to food, this option promises to help control any gastrointestinal issues.
- Features highly hydrolyzed animal protein and a single purified carbohydrate source
- Includes antioxidants for optimal health benefits
- Enriched with essential fatty acids
- Taste is very similar to a more traditional dog food
- Available in both dry kibble and wet food
- No gluten, soy protein, lactose, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
Things to Consider
- This pet food requires authorization from your veterinarian
Sample buyer review: I have been feeding this food for several years now. It came recommended by my vet because Roxie, my Border Collie mix, was severely sick with intestinal infections. It had been going on for a few years. We did not know what else to do. We could not risk prolonging her infections by testing out other dog foods. It has been perfect for her. I recommend this food.
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Blue Buffalo Basics Duck & Potato
Image courtesy Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo Basics Duck & Potato Formula is made with duck as the first ingredient, followed by potatoes. This formula is grain-free and designed for dogs with sensitivities.
It also contains a blend of fruits and vegetables to provide your dog with the nutrients they need. This formula is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Best For Large Dogs: Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken Large Breed
To support the overall health of your big dog and make sure that they dont get gassy or have an upset stomach after meals, opt for a formula that is optimized to nurture their digestive health in addition to everything else. Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken offers complete and balanced nutrition for dogs over 15 months and 55 pounds, with special emphasis put on known issues of big breeds such as joint health. In addition to being packed with protein, chondroitin, and glucosamine, this dry food formula also has a sneaky secret- a natural probiotic and fiber blend that is tailored to the needs of active dogs and promotes easier digestion. This way, you can rest assured that your pets dietary needs are met- without worrying about upset tummies anymore.
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Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food
The veterinary favorite
What we love: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat dog food has ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids to soothe your pups tummy, as well as prebiotics to support a healthy gut. This food is also fiber-rich to encourage healthy digestion. As pets can be sensitive to sudden diet changes, this special dog food requires vet authorization for purchase.
What customer reviews say: 98% of customers recommend this particular dog food, noting that it helps regulate their dogs movement and improves gas. Some reviewers even said it helped their pups lose weight.
First five ingredients: Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, barley, and natural flavors.
Is Dog Food Formulated For Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs Healthy For My Pet
If your dog has stomach problems, it could help to move them to a diet specifically formulated for sensitive stomachs. These diets are designed to get tummy issues under control.
Those dogs that have demonstrated gastrointestinal signs or recurring gastrointestinal signs can benefit from dog food formulated for sensitive stomachs, says Richardson.
Just keep in mind that if your dog has more severe GI issues, they might need a vet-prescribed diet to feel their best. This is especially important if your dogs sensitive stomach issues are a result of allergies.
An important distinction exists between dogs with a sensitive stomach and those with true food allergies. Those with food allergies require a specially formulated diet that is either completely hypoallergenic or what we call a novel protein source, such as duck or rabbit, that the dogs immune system does not react to, says Richardson. Over the counter diets that claim to be hypoallergenic or novel protein do not have the same quality control as veterinary prescription diets where there is absolutely no cross-contamination during the manufacturing of the diets.
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What Causes Sensitive Stomachs
Pomeranian under a blanket
Every dog is different so while you may have previously owned a four-legged friend who could handle a range of different foods, other dogs may be susceptible to subtle changes in their diet which can lead to a sensitive stomach.
PetMD outline on their website that dogs can have different tolerance levels.
Some dogs have guts of steel and can eat almost anything they find in the yard or on a walk with no ill effects. However, not every dog is so lucky. Many tend to be more sensitive than this.
Just like their pet owners, some dogs could be sensitive to certain types of food. For example, my familys dog was particularly sensitive to greasy foods such as bacon, sausages and black pudding that would find their way from the plate to my dogs mouth on a Saturday morning.
If youre guilty of feeding your dog scraps from the table and youre worried your dog is suffering from a sensitive stomach, you should stop this habit immediately. If your pups are scavengers like my Alaskan Klee Kai, youll need to keep a keen eye on your pets when theyre outside to make sure they dont eat discarded food left on the pavement.
Your pup could be sensitive to a certain protein in their kibble or wet food that is triggering their spells of sensitivity. Alternatively, your dogs tummy upset could signal that your furry friend isnt getting sufficient fibre, vitamins or minerals in their diet.
Soft Dry Dog Food Faqs
Soft dry dog food is a relatively new product on the market, and so it is natural for you to have some questions about this kind of food. Heres answering some frequently asked questions that most pet parents have.
Is there soft kibble dog food?
There is a wide range of soft kibbles available in dog food. They are neither hard and dry nor of wet gravy but soft, juicy, and chewy. They are ideal for puppies and senior dogs for it is easy to consume, hassle-free, and less messy.
Should you moisten dry dog food?
Moistened dry dog food is very suitable for pups, old dogs, or dogs with dental problems. This food is easy to chew and is palatable. By adding some amount of water or any other prescribed liquid, the food gets softened and is easy to eat. Moistening dry food for a dog also depends on the food choices of the dog. Some dogs are very picky and fussy about the type, form, and flavor of the food they are served. So, depending on their preferences, one must decide on whether to moisten dry food or not.
Is soft dog food good for old dogs?
As a dog grows old, they tend to develop sensitive and weak teeth. Replacing their dry food with soft, wet, and moistened food can help them in easing out their eating process. Thus, grinding on hard and dry food can become difficult and painful for them. One can also add some amount of fruits, vegetables, and canned food to their diet to fill in their nutrition requirements.
What is moist dog food?Should I mix wet and dry dog food?
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Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Turkey Grain
Single-protein kibble thats GMO-free
Single animal protein formula perfect for dogs with digestion issues. A great option for allergy elimination diets.
About: Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Turkey is a GMO-free, grain-free diet catered specifically for dogs with digestion issues. Featuring a single-animal protein source and no eggs, corn, wheat, or soy, its a great sensitive stomach dog food choice for owners who want to avoid common canine allergens.
- Turkey as single animal protein source fewer animal protein sources mean fewer chances that something will upset your pups tummy .
- 30% crude protein, plus essential nutrients for a diet suitable for both pups and adults.
- Contains GanebenBC30 that aid in gut health.
- Low carb, with chickpeas and sweet potatoes but no potatoes or tapioca.
- No chicken, eggs, peas, pea protein, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives.
- Made in the USA.
We love seeing two single-animal protein sources as the first ingredients, making it a great choice for owners trying to avoid allergens to aid in their pups healthy digestion.
There isnt a ton of feedback or reviews on this dry dog food, so its difficult to get an objective view on what owners think.
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil …,