How to Care for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs

Some dogs just seem to have more delicate digestive systems than others. If yours frequently experiences vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or stomach pain, they likely have a sensitive stomach. Caring for these dogs requires some special considerations. With the right approach, you can help minimize their tummy troubles.

Signs of Sensitivity

It is important to recognize the signs that your dog’s stomach is sensitive or not tolerating their current diet well. Red flag symptoms include:

  • Frequent vomiting or regurgitation.
  • Chronic diarrhea or loose stools.
  • Excessive gas or flatulence.
  • Gurgling noises from the belly.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.

If you regularly notice any of these issues, make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out a more serious condition. They can determine if a sensitive stomach is the likely cause.

The Elimination Approach

One of the first lines of treatment for dogs with food sensitivities is an elimination diet. This involves removing common trigger foods from your pup’s meals to allow their system to reset.

Your vet may recommend feeding a novel protein source that your dog has never eaten before, such as duck, venison, or salmon. They will also suggest a carbohydrate your dog is unfamiliar with, like sweet potato or oatmeal.

Stick to this very bland, simple diet for at least 8-12 weeks. If your dog’s symptoms clear up, you can start carefully reintroducing other ingredients one-by-one to identify their particular triggers.

Dry Dog Food for Allergies

For dogs with confirmed food allergies, feeding a specialized dry kibble may provide relief. These recipes exclude common allergens like beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat.

The experts at Nextrition say that dry dog food for allergies features limited, novel protein and carb sources that are easy to digest. High-quality options contain zero artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives to minimize irritation.

Once you find a tolerable dry food, it is best to stick with that same recipe to avoid setting off a reaction. Abruptly switching can upset your pup’s stomach again.

The Importance of Moisture

Dogs with sensitive stomachs often do best on a moisture-rich diet that is easy to digest. Dry kibble alone may be too dehydrating and difficult to break down fully.

Adding moisture to your pup’s diet can come in the form of wet food toppers mixed into each meal. You can use bone broth, low-sodium chicken broth, or simply warm water. Canned 100% pumpkin puree provides hydration and fiber.

Slow Down Eating

Gulping down meals too quickly can cause digestive distress, like vomiting or painful bloating. To slow your pup’s pace, try using a puzzle feeder or snuffle mat dispenser. This forces them to hunt for each piece of kibble, rather than wolfing it all down at once.

You can also place a pet-safe object like an upside-down bowl or child’s toy in the center of the dish. This creates an obstacle that makes them eat around it more slowly.

Finding the Right Routine

Every dog’s individual needs and sensitivity levels are different. It may take some trial-and-error to pinpoint the ideal feeding schedule for yours.

Some dogs do better with smaller, more frequent meals broken into 3-4 portions per day. This places less stress on their system than consuming a large volume at once.

A regular, consistent meal routine can also help regulate digestion. Offer food around the same time each day rather than free feeding throughout the day.


With patience and your vet’s guidance, you can get your pup’s sensitive stomach back on track. Identifying their individual triggers allows you to craft the right diet plan to keep tummy issues at bay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *