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Best Dog Food for Digestive Problems [IBD]

best dog food for digestive problems ibd

Lots of dogs have food intolerances. Some have illnesses or food allergies that cause several other digestion issues.

When your pet has digestion issues, picking a good dog food for him can be challenging since they have special dietary considerations. This review will highlight the best dog food for digestive problems.

So many factors cause poor digestion. The dog may have an intolerance to certain foods or a food allergy. Sometimes, a chronic illness can trigger digestion issues.

Puppies and senior dogs have a more sensitive digestive system. Some types of food can worsen the issues. What are some of the best dog foods for digestive problems?

Top 5 Best Dog Food for Digestive Problems

1. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food

The Hill brand develops dog food based on the specific needs of the dog breeds. The brand also formulates recipes for sensitive skin and stomach.

This particular formula is created from high-quality ingredients such as Omega -6 fatty acids. This ingredient helps promote a healthy dog coat with antioxidants to cater for sensitive stomachs. Vitamin E and C help improve immunity.

Also, the Hill Science Diet dog food is nutritionally balanced. It contains simple ingredients that your dog can digest easily, and this may make it ideal for pets that have digestion problems.

It comes in different varieties for all types of small breeds like Chihuahuas, Shih Tzu and Deer head chihuahuas. Large breeds such as the Goberian can eat this food as well. The formula comes in canned or dry food to meet the needs of your dog.

This dog may be ideal for dogs with allergies and may clear up their digestion issues in weeks of use. It is free from fillers as only real ingredients were used. This makes it filling and prevents overindulging.

Main features

  • Ideal for small and large breeds
  • Comes in dry and wet food
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Contains omega 6 fatty acids

2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food

The Purina Pro Plan Focus dog food is made with natural and simple ingredients that can solve sensitivity issues without causing discomfort.

Its main ingredient is salmon and this protein is ideal for a healthy diet. It also contains omega 6 fatty acids for a shinier coat and oatmeal which provides fiber needed to digest food.

The formula offers a satisfying and tasty meal for dogs with digestive problems. It may be ideal for picky dogs too. It is also ideal for pets with sensitive skin because of its omega 6 fatty acids content.

Main features

  • Salmon is the main ingredient
  • Contains oatmeal
  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin as well

3. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Dog Food

The Blue Buffalo Basics formula is a grain-free formula which supports healthy intestinal function. This is why it may be ideal for a dog with digestive problems.

It is made with pumpkin, turkey protein as well as pea fiber. It also has the healthy carb requirements from its oatmeal, potatoes and brown rice content.

This formula does not contain any harmful ingredient that could harm your pet. The ingredients are free from preservatives, animal by-products, additives or colorants.

It also contains a decent blend of fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients what have been selected specially to promote digestive function.

Since it has limited ingredients, it may work better for dogs with stomach sensitivities and a digestive problem.

The ingredients are easy to digest and the dog’s body uses it for energy. The fresh ingredients give it a vivid flavor profile for even picky dogs.

Main features

  • Grain free
  • Contains fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Free from harmful ingredients
  • Contains proteins and healthy carbs

4. CANIDAE All Life Stages

One good way to get rid of food sensitivities is to begin by removing some ingredients from the dog’s diet until you find the root of the problem.

The Canidae All Life Stages dog food comes in two varieties to suit your dog’s taste. It has chicken meal and rice and lamb meal and rice varieties.

Both made with a sole animal protein. This makes it a good food for digestive problems because multiple ingredients in dog food can worsen stomach problems.

The formula is composed of 23% protein, 4% fiber, 12.5% fat and 10% moisture.

The dry food can be consumed by dogs of all ages as the name implies. This makes it ideal for families with multiple dogs of different ages and sizes.

It does not contain wheat, soy or corn. Also, it has chondroitin and glucosamine that can help strengthen your dog’s joint.

The food is versatile as it works on clearing digestive issues and gives the skin a shinier coat. For all-round dog food, this formula may come in handy.

Main features

  • Comes in two varieties
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • All round formula

5. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dog Food

When it comes to choosing the best dog food for digestive problems, Whole Earth Farms may be an ideal choice.

It contains a blend of top quality nutrients that promote healthy nutrition and ensure a balanced diet.

It is mainly a protein filled food made from multiple protein sources such as beef, pork and lamb meat.

Foods rich in protein are good for digestive issues as carbs may aggravate the problem.

Whole Earth Farms formula does not contain soy, wheat, corn, or by-products.

It comes in 5 different variations to meet the needs of your pet. It has chicken and turkey, pork, beef and lamb, salmon and white fish, chicken and turkey and duck.

All ingredients are protein rich to support healthy digestion while also providing a shiny coat and strong nails. The features make it more affordable than some others in the category.

Main features

  • Comes in 5 different varieties
  • Free from ingredients that irritate the stomach
  • Grain free
  • Poultry-free

What to Consider before Buying Good Dog Food

If your dog has digestive issues, you need to be extra cautious when picking food. Here are some things to consider before getting dog food:

Fewer ingredients:

Food chosen for dogs with sensitive stomachs, in general, must be balanced and complete.

This means that it has to contain only a limited number of ingredients.

The reason is that diets containing high amounts of ingredients may upset the pet’s stomach. The best option is meals containing basic meats and rice.

Easy to digest ingredients:

The best dog food for digestive problems must promote healthy digestion. Some good examples include chicken, lamb, rice, sweet potato, as well as potato.

These ingredients are easily digested and may be ideal for dogs with digestive issues and a sensitive stomach. Formulas with supplements are also encouraged.


Grain food may be tasty to some dogs but isn’t ideal in this case. Many manufacturers use grains as the sole ingredient rather than protein which the pet desperately needs.

Wheat and corn are the top common ingredients that cause digestive issues in dogs. Such grains are carbs and should be used appropriately.

Bland composition:

Must also be labeled balanced and complete. This means that it should provide all the necessary nutrients without having an effect on your pet’s health.

Note that home cooked meals are great, but when a pet has digestive issues, it may not be a good idea. The pet may still experience allergic reactions if the right composition is not included in the meal.

Probiotic content:

Probiotics form a crucial part of all diets as they help stimulate the digestive system, thereby enabling proper digestion.

However, some good dog foods may not contain a sufficient amount of this supplement in the formula. You can also get the probiotic supplement from a store and sprinkle it over the dog’s food.

Lack of protein:

A diet that is low in protein is not healthy for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Some dog food companies mix a few protein sources in a single dog food, but this is bad for dogs with digestive problems. It will irritate their tummies further and cause digestive problems.

Dog food ingredients that can cause digestive issues

Dairy products:

Some dogs may like milk and other dairy products and may not have issues digesting them. While others suffer intestinal distress when they ingest them. Some symptoms may include diarrhea, gas, and vomiting.

You need to know if your pet is lactose intolerant or not. But if your dog has digestive issues then you may need to avoid all dairy products in the interim.


Note that some fruits are not appropriate for canines despite being healthy. Fruits contain a high amount of sugar and this can irritate the dog’s stomach and cause digestive issues. Most good commercial food has a 10% fruit content.


This is another ingredient that can aggravate digestive issues. Gluten that contains grains like rye, barley, wheat and spelt may cause digestive problems in dogs.

Studies have revealed that they are the main causes of inflammatory health disorders.

Ingredients you should look out for


Pets that have digestive issues or a sensitive stomach need to eat foods with chicken as the main ingredient. This is because chicken is easily digestible.

It is also a good protein for most digestive disorders. The ingredients in your preferred option should contain such rich sources of protein.


This protein source is another non-toxic product for dogs when it is part of the diet. It can be found in a lot of commercial foods. Since it is low in fat, it is ideal for pets with digestive issues.

Lean ground beef

This ingredient is the third lean protein and is common in dog diets. It contains minerals, vitamins and amino fatty acids. The ingredient is one to look out for when buying the best dog food for digestive problems.

Boiled rice

This ingredient is used in preventing or stopping problems with the digestive system in dogs. It is far easier than brown rice when it comes to digestion.

It can also treat an upset stomach as well as diarrhea in pets. Vets recommend brown rice for nutritional value.

Boiled potatoes

Mashed or boiled potatoes are great choices for dogs with a sensitive stomach. They contain vitamin C, B6 as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium.

However, portion control is necessary because the vegetable contains sugar in large amounts.

Main ingredients to avoid completely

As well as changing your dog’s food to a formula with limited ingredients, you need to pay attention to ingredients in the food.

Rich dog food should contain a reasonable amount of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates for proper nutritional balance.

There some specific ingredients that should be avoided when buying dog food. They include:

  • Wheat: whole wheat is ideal for humans but for dogs. It can cause digestive issues. Also, it lacks the necessary nutritional value needed for dogs. Wheat and wheat ingredients are not recommended for dogs with digestive issues.
  • BHA/BHT: these are chemical preservatives that can be found in some pet foods. Studies have revealed that they are linked to several health problems. Any dog food with this ingredient should be avoided. Opt for natural preservatives instead.
  • Gluten: as mentioned earlier, gluten is not good for dogs with digestive issues. It is a protein found in barley, wheat and rye. Most dogs have gluten sensitivity. It is best to avoid this ingredient in your preferred dog food.
  • Colors: dog food doesn’t require artificial colors as they do not offer any nutrition. It only makes it look more enticing to humans.
  • Corn syrup: human food may require sweeteners, but dog food doesn’t need such sweeteners. Avoid any product that contains corn syrup or any other type of sweetener.
  • Soy: soy is great for humans, but it doesn’t offer much value for dogs. They can cause gas and bloating for dogs.
  • Propylene glycol: this ingredient is found in antifreeze and is used to preserve the moisture in wet food. It can be toxic in high doses.
  • Rendered fat: salmon oil and chicken fat are good sources of nutrition and energy for dogs. Rendered fat such as animal fat and poultry fat are low-quality ingredients.
  • Corn: corn is healthy for humans but can be difficult to digest in dogs. It also doesn’t have any nutritional value to add.
  • Animal by-products: for a high-quality diet, cheap fillers are not advised.


You need to be careful when choosing the best dog food for digestive problems because some ingredients could worsen the problem.

All the dog food mentioned in the list are of excellent quality but the clear winner in the roundup is Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food.

It contains lots of ingredients that promote healthy digestion in dogs. Also, its antioxidant content helps promote healthier skin and coat in dogs while clearing their digestion issues.

Sherri Taylor

Sherri has been a lifelong dog lover. She is the founder of dfwdogquest.com. She created this website with only one mission in mind; to make sure every dog gets the best care it deserves. She is passionate about dog care and you can pick up the latest information on dogs from dfwdogquest.com

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