While our puppies are growing, it is vital that they consume quality and nutritious puppy food. However, not all puppies transition into solid food easily. Their immune and digestive systems, in addition to their gut bacteria, are developing and getting used to the new food source.
It is common for puppies to face some challenges during this time. Some puppies are more sensitive than others and seem to have digestive issues far into their puppyhood. Luckily, there are puppy foods designed specifically for these sensitive dogs. Take a look at our reviews below for the best puppy food for sensitive stomachs. You should find something for just about every puppy.
A Glance at Our Favorite Picks in 2023
|Best Overall||Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 50%|
|Budget Buy||Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula||
|ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food||
|Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food||
|ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food||
The 9 Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
1. Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall
|Ingredients||Lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, kale, rice|
If your puppy has a sensitive stomach, we highly recommend the Ollie Lamb Fresh Recipe. This food is minimally processed and made with fresh ingredients. Therefore, it tends to be a bit easier on your puppy’s stomach. Furthermore, because this food is fresh, it tends to be a bit tastier. If your puppy is also picky, this can be a huge boon.
The very first ingredient is lamb, which isn’t a common allergen and is often very gentle on dogs’ stomachs. Furthermore, the organ meat from lambs is also included. These are extremely high in nutrients, which adds to the quality of this food.
Cranberries, squash, chickpeas, and kale are also included. Rice provides extra carbohydrates, as well as potatoes. Overall, this food easily has all of the nutrients that your canine needs to thrive.
This food is pretty high in protein. The moisture content isn’t as high as other fresh dog foods, which means that this option is more concentrated. Plus, it is designed for dogs of any age and breed. Therefore, you can start your puppy on this food and not worry about switching them to adult food later.
2. Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula – Budget Buy
|Ingredients||Salmon, Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran|
Compared to other dog foods, Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula is quite inexpensive. It is a bit cheaper than most, even “budget” brands like Purina. However, it is still made with quality ingredients and may be exactly what a puppy with sensitive digestion needs.
This formula is made in the United States using premium ingredients like salmon and fish meal. It is designed for dogs with sensitive digestion and allergies, so it includes very few ingredients. It is also completely chicken-free, which makes it a great option for those that are sensitive to chicken.
The inclusion of salmon ensures that your puppy consumes the correct number of amino acids and omega fatty acids, like DHA, which are all essential for eye and brain development. Whole-grain brown rice is also included, which helps increase the fiber content of the food and further improve your puppy’s digestive health.
Of course, all the vitamins and minerals that your canine needs are also included. With so many benefits of this food, it is easily the best budget puppy food for sensitive stomachs.
3. ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
|Ingredients||Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Giblets, Flounder, Whole Mackerel|
If you are willing to spend more money on your puppy’s food, you may want to take a look at ORIJEN Puppy Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food. This food is made with some of the top ingredients around. For instance, chicken and turkey are both the first two ingredients, but after that comes a wide range of other proteins, including flounder and eggs. Even organ meats are included in this dog food.
Based on all of these quality ingredients, we can easily say that this is one of the best puppy foods out there. However, it is also extremely expensive, largely because of the high amount of quality ingredients included. You’re getting what you pay for, but it is still a high price tag.
The kibble is also coated in freeze-dried meat to provide a flavor boost and hopefully entice picky dogs into eating.
With all this said, the inclusion of so many different proteins can make this food inappropriate for some sensitive canines. There are a lot of potential allergens in the ingredient list.
4. Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food
|Ingredients||Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Brown Rice|
With only turkey as the main protein, Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Puppy Food is a good option for puppies that don’t do well on multiple-protein foods. However, do keep in mind that dogs that are allergic to chicken are usually also allergic to turkey, so this food still wouldn’t be a good option for those canines.
This food includes DHA, which is necessary for proper brain development. It also includes a variety of other ingredients that your puppy needs, such as calcium, and taurine. All of these ingredients go a long way to ensuring that your puppy develops properly.
Antioxidants are also added to support immune health and prevent oxidative stress, which has been linked to many different diseases.
Because this recipe is limited-ingredient, it is the perfect option for those with lots of food sensitivities. There isn’t much in this food, so there is less for your dog to have a reaction to. Furthermore, it is also free from corn, wheat, and soy.
5. ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
|Ingredients||Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Green Peas, Whole Red Lentils|
ACANA Puppy Recipe Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food is also a good puppy food for sensitive digestion. It includes quality meat products as the first three ingredients to ensure that your puppy is receiving the proper protein and fat content necessary for them to thrive and grow properly. In fact, over 60% of this formula is some sort of animal ingredient.
The other 40% includes veggies like peas, lentils, and pumpkin as well as some fruits like apple, pears and berries. While this food does include a lot of different ingredients, most of them are natural and help increase the nutritional value of the food.
Of course, this food also contains added vitamins and minerals to round out your puppy’s meal.
Probiotics are included to support your puppy’s digestive system. This formula is also grain-free and is made without adding any corn, soy, or wheat. The kibble is even coated with freeze-dried chicken and turkey to help improve its overall flavor.
6. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe
|Ingredients||Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes|
The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe is grain-free and includes salmon and ocean fish meal as the first two ingredients. Many canines with sensitive stomachs do great on fish-based dog food, so we highly recommend this one as an option. The inclusion of salmon means that the omega fatty acid content will be high, further helping your puppy develop.
This company is particularly proud that they get all of their vitamins and minerals from real foods, as opposed to artificial laboratory sources like most brands. This formula also includes a high number of probiotics, which may further help their digestive system. Plus, these probiotics may also help improve their immune system.
Antioxidants are included too, which prevents oxidative stress.
This formula is made in the USA., and the brand is completely family-owned. It also only uses ingredients from top-quality sources, plus, it is made without corn, wheat, or artificial ingredients.
7. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach
|Ingredients||Salmon, Rice, Barley, Fish Meal, Canola Meal|
Purina is a household name as far as pets are concerned. This company is one of the biggest pet food producers in the world, so it only makes sense that we would include its Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach on this list.
While this brand is often pretty cheap, this formula is actually a bit more expensive than most on our list. It also doesn’t include the best ingredients. Salmon is included as the first ingredient, which is a quality option that is high in DHA However, rice and barley are both also included high on the ingredient list—both of which are not necessary for any dog out there.
Based on this information, this formula found its way closer to the bottom of the list. It isn’t bad—you just aren’t getting what you paid for. There are plenty of better options out there.
With that said, rice is about one of the easiest ingredients on a dog’s stomach. Therefore, if your puppy is really having a hard time eating anything, you may want to consider this formula.
8. Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food
|Ingredients||Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Brown Rice|
The Nutro Ultra Puppy Dry Dog Food claims to be a mix of superfoods that will help your puppy thrive. However, based on the ingredient list, it seems that this food is mostly chicken with grains. There are some “superfoods” later on the list, but these are included in very low amounts. In fact, there are 15 different superfoods that your dog might benefit from, but they are all much lower on the list.
Chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients in this food. However, while this is typically a great protein, many dogs are also sensitive to it, so keep that in mind when searching for food for your puppy.
On a good note, this formula doesn’t include any preservatives, flavors, colors, or chicken by-product meal. All the grains utilized are whole grains, which means that they include quite a bit of fiber—which may be exactly what your sensitive puppy needs.
9. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy Breed Puppy Food
|Ingredients||Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Pea Protein|
Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy Breed Puppy Food is specifically designed for smaller puppies who have a hard time eating other foods. However, it is extremely expensive, and it is not nearly high-quality enough to make the price worth it.
Chicken is included as the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Both of these foods are high-protein and a good option for many dogs, though they are also a common sensitivity, which you’ll need to keep in mind.
However, the rest of the formula includes ingredients like peas and pea protein, which might be linked with heart problems. While this formula is high in protein, much of it is from this concentrated pea protein—not a meat-based source.
This formula is free from grains and gluten, which can sometimes upset a sensitive dog’s stomach. It also includes probiotics, which are always a good option for sensitive dogs.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Puppy Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
Choosing the correct puppy food is vital for your dog’s health. Not only does the puppy food keep your dog in tip-top shape now, but it also ensures that your puppy grows into a healthy adult. If you choose low-quality puppy food, your puppy may not grow into all that it could be.
If your puppy has a sensitive stomach, there is an extra batch of worry you have to contend with. Not only do you have to choose high-quality food, but it also needs to be something that your puppy can eat.
In this section, we’ll help you swim through the sea of information surrounding puppy foods to help you figure out just the right food for your canine.
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, there are several potential causes behind it. In many cases, your dog may simply be unable to digest certain ingredients, which causes the upset. In other cases, multiple ingredients combined together may cause the problem.
Either way, the answer in both cases is to simplify and choose the simplest dog food that you can find. Fewer ingredients are typically easier on your dog’s stomach, and it makes it easier to avoid potentially problematic ingredients.
Many brands make “limited ingredient diets” that are perfect for these dogs. They only include the bare necessity ingredients—usually meat and some sort of grain. If you’re having a hard time choosing puppy food, we recommend one of these options.
Despite what some marketing companies will tell you, dogs are typically sensitive to proteins. In fact, chicken is the most common, as it is also the most common protein found in dog foods. Even foods that don’t mention chicken on the front of the bag often mention chicken on the ingredient list. (So always be sure to check.)
Choosing food with only one protein source makes it easier to avoid ingredients that your dog is sensitive to. Furthermore, some dogs are sensitive to multiple proteins at a time. Therefore, if you limit it to one protein, you may find that your dog digests their food just fine.
Luckily, many of the foods we included in our reviews only include one protein. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about finding one—there are plenty on the market if you know where to look.
Go Easy on the Carbs
Many dog foods include a whole list of carbohydrates, such as both grains and veggies. While dogs can handle some carbohydrates just fine, others have problems with many carbohydrates at once—especially if they are all different kinds.
Therefore, we recommend choosing foods that include few carbohydrates and only a couple of types. Avoid difficult-to-digest options, like corn. Instead, opt for veggies where possible.
However, you may also want to go easy on peas, lentils, and potatoes, as these are potentially linked to health problems too.
Many companies with lower-quality foods will add artificial fats and plant-based fats to their foods to make them taste better. These are cheaper than animal fats, and they have a similar effect. However, many dogs have trouble digesting these fats, especially when they are included in high amounts.
Therefore, look for brands that either don’t have any added fats or at least have animal fats when they are added. Salmon oil and chicken fat are both fine ingredients. However, you should avoid ingredients like canola oil.
It isn’t that these are completely void of nutrition. They are just typically harsher on a dog’s stomach than other options.
When you’re buying food for your sensitive puppy, you should be looking for high-fiber foods. Fiber is vital for a dog’s digestive system, so it is essential that they have a share of it. Many dogs that are experiencing digestive problems simply don’t have enough fiber.
Many dog foods will list fiber on the back, which will let you know how much is included.
For most puppies with sensitive stomachs, we recommend taking a look at Ollie Lamb Fresh Dog Food. This high-quality fresh food is completely grain-free and includes meats as the first few ingredients. Plus, the unusual lamb protein is unlikely to upset your puppy’s delicate stomach.
If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Brown Rice Puppy Formula. This food only includes fish as the main protein and very few carbohydrates. It is also high in protein and inexpensive.
We hope our in-depth reviews have helped you find the best puppy food for your pup with a sensitive stomach.
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