with sensitive stomachs need to eat foods that are easy for them to digest, but it can be difficult for pet parents to distinguish between foods that are made for dogs with sensitive stomachs and those that aren’t.
There is no one-size-fits-all diet for dogs with stomach issues. Each pet has their own needs, so even if another breed seems to thrive on the same diet, your pet may not. It all depends on the dog, but a change in diet may help your dog if it's having digestive issues. Here are some tips on what to feed your pet if he or she has a sensitive stomach.
How to Check If Your Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach
Digestive issues are common in dogs. If your pet has a sensitive stomach, you may notice occasional vomiting, loose stools, or flatulence which can be caused by a variety of factors. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea or both, poor appetite, difficulty maintaining weight, and low energy.
If any of the previous symptoms appears to be severe, bring your dog to a veterinarian promptly. Vomiting and diarrhea are signs of many serious illnesses, and even excessive flatulence can be a sign of a disease or a condition that requires veterinary attention.
Reasons Why Your Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach
There are many reasons behind a dog’s digestive issues including dietary and underlying health problems. Foods that cause indigestion typically have too much fat, insufficient fiber, or a type of protein that does not agree with the dog's digestive system.
Many dogs suffer from food allergies, most commonly to chicken, beef, and eggs. Allergies occur when your dog’s immune system reacts to a normally harmless food. Food allergies can range from mild to severe, and symptoms can vary from digestive irregularities to other systems, such as respiratory issues.
Dogs can have food intolerances, too. Food intolerances are more common than allergies and can arise from any ingredient in a diet, whereas food allergies are often triggered by just a few ingredients. Food intolerances, unlike allergies, typically only affect the digestive system.
What To Feed Dog With a Sensitive Stomach
So, what should you feed a dog with a sensitive stomach?
- Make sure you choose high-quality dog food. Don’t just buy the first food you find in the store - some brands might make foods that include ingredients that are unsuitable for your pet.
- Try A Pup Above's high-quality, freshly cooked dog food. A fresh and balanced diet often alleviates the symptoms of an upset stomach, like itchy ears and skin. Fresh, whole food is easier to digest, good for your dog's skin and coat, and is more flavorful than processed foods. The best dog food indeed that you may find! A Pup Above offers four recipes grounded in research and a sound knowledge of holistic nutrition, and each recipe is made from fresh human-grade ingredients that include essential vitamins and minerals.
- Consider a dog food that is specially formulated for sensitive stomachs. You may want to try foods marked “for dogs with sensitive stomachs” or “hypoallergenic”. Special diets for sensitive stomachs typically have essential nutrients like extra fiber and a moderate amount of fat to help firm up loose stools. Your vet may be able to recommend a prescription formula that works optimally for your dog’s specific needs.
- Reduce fat but add fiber to your dog's diet. The best dog foods for sensitive stomachs have reduced fat content and can help reduce inflammation. Fiber can help, too. The fiber in some foods moves food through the digestive tract more quickly and helps the dog's body absorb nutrients. It also provides nutrients to the good bacteria in the dog's intestines, which improves gut health.
- Include probiotics in your pet’s diet. Probiotics are healthy and friendly bacteria that can help keep the intestines healthy, balanced, and well. Probiotics can impact the dog's gut health positively and help improve signs linked to various causes of GI problems.
What Dog Foods to Avoid
It is equally important to consider what foods to not give to your dog. In general, you want to create consistency in your dog’s diet and moderation in all ingredients, but in addition:
- Avoid high-fat food. It's never a good idea to feed your dog bacon, fatty pieces of meat, poultry skin, or any other high-fat human foods. These don't settle well in delicate stomachs, and they can contribute to pancreatitis, a life-threatening inflammatory condition of the pancreas.
- Avoid giving them table food. Table scraps can throw off the balance of your pet's diet, resulting in stomach upset. Don't give scraps from the table, and be careful to keep even small amounts of leftovers out of reach.