10 Best Canned & Wet Dog Food Options for Sensitive Stomachs in 2022


You feel like you’ve tried everything, and your pup’s still sick. The dog food you can buy at your local grocery store doesn’t work for everyone—and now that includes your dog. If your pooch has a sensitive stomach, finding the right food can be a long process of trial and error, and it can feel overwhelming! There isn’t one solution that works for every dog, so we hope these reviews make the search a little easier. Read on to get some great suggestions for solving your pooch’s tummy troubles.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2022 Update

The 10 Best Canned & Wet Dog Food Options for Sensitive Stomachs

1. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach — Best Overall

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Turkey & Rice

First Ingredient: Chicken Broth
Protein Type: Chicken, Turkey
Grains: Rice
Life stage: Adult

The Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Turkey & Rice meal is a great choice for canines that need a little extra pampering. This canned food contains a hearty stew-type meal that is slow-cooked to make the meat extra tender and soft for sensitive stomachs. The chicken and turkey stew is supplemented with rice, carrots, and peas to meet all your pup’s nutritional needs. The reviews for this product are overwhelmingly positive, with many reviewers saying that it worked like magic.

One drawback of this meal is the grain content, which can irritate some dogs. It also contains two different protein sources, turkey and chicken, both of which are common allergens.

Pros

  • Easy to digest slow-cooked food
  • Balanced, delicious diet

Cons

  • High grain content
  • Chicken and turkey are common allergens

2. Purina Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potato — Best Value

Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potato

First Ingredient: Cod
Protein Type: Cod, Chicken, Turkey, Salmon
Grains: None
Life stage: Adult

If your pup is completely done with grains, the Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potato food is a delicious alternative. With carbs coming from sweet potatoes instead of a traditional grain like corn, rice, or soy, this food is a great grain-free option. With a lower price point than many of the alternatives here, it’s also the best value option for a sensitive stomach. This food comes with a specially formulated mix of vitamins and minerals to keep your pup’s stomach happy, including prebiotic fibers that aid in digestion. Salmon and cod also bring natural omega fatty acids.

One drawback of this food is the inclusion of several different protein sources, including common allergens like chicken.

Pros

  • No filler grains
  • Includes natural prebiotics
  • Low price

Cons

  • Several protein sources—potential allergens

3. Hill’s Prescription Digestive Care — Best Premium Choice

Hill’s Prescription Diet id Digestive Care

First Ingredient: Pork Liver
Protein Type: Pork, Chicken, Egg Whites
Grains: Corn Starch, Soybean Oil, Flaxseed
Life stage: Adult

If you’ve tried everything else, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care food is the Holy Grail of food for sensitive stomachs. Its specially formulated food is the best premium option for gastrointestinal issues. Its digestive formula includes prebiotics, omega fatty acids, and small amounts of ginger, all of which aid digestion. It also includes proprietary ActiveBiome ingredients that promote a healthy gut flora by regulating healthy bacteria.

Because of the special formulation of this canned food, it requires vet authorization to use, making it a bit trickier to buy. It is also a more expensive option. While this food is a great option for most sensitive gastrointestinal problems, it’s also not the most allergy-friendly, with several common allergens including chicken, egg whites, and cornstarch.

Pros

  • Includes prebiotics, omega fatty acids, and ginger
  • Includes ActiveBiome ingredients
  • Vet recommended

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Requires prescription
  • Includes grains and egg whites

4. Canidae Grain-Free Chicken Recipe — Best for Puppies

Canidae Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

First Ingredient: Chicken
Protein Type: Chicken, Egg
Grains: None
Life stage: Puppy

If your pooch is still a puppy but already has tummy troubles, you might want to look into Canidae Grain-Free Chicken Recipe. This low-ingredient recipe is the best option for puppies with sensitive stomachs. With only a few key ingredients (and added vitamins and minerals) this food is designed to make clean eating simple. It has no gluten, grains, or hormones that might be dangerous to your dog. One drawback of this food is the chicken base, which is a more common allergen.

Pros

  • Limited ingredient list
  • Specially formulated for puppies
  • No gluten, grains, or hormones

Cons

  • Some puppies may have chicken allergies

5. Canidae Pure All-Stages Grain-Free Lamb Recipe

Canidae Pure All-Stages Grain-Free Lamb Recipe

First Ingredient: Lamb
Protein Type: Lamn
Grains: None
Life stage: Adult

Your dog might be allergic to fish and fowl and even beef, but have you tried lamb? Canidae’s Pure All-Stages Grain-Free Lamb Recipe is a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs and lots of allergies. It has a limited list of only a few ingredients (other than vitamins and minerals) that keep the food simple and allergy-friendly. This simple formulation is also easy to digest for most dogs.

One drawback of the pared-down ingredient list is a lack of added omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and other additives that can aid digestion.

Pros

  • Single, unusual protein
  • No grains

6. Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Salmon & Rice

Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Salmon & Rice

First Ingredient: Salmon
Protein Type: Salmon, Fish
Grains: Rice
Life stage: Adult

The Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Salmon & Rice meal is a great alternative for dogs who can’t eat poultry, with a fish-based entrée that will keep your dog fed and happy. This food has salmon as its first ingredient, a great sign that the food is light on fillers, and it is missing common fillers like corn and soy. This canned food is high in omega fatty acids, which can help with digestion, skin issues, and a host of other issues.

It does contain rice, which some dogs are allergic to. Another potential ingredient worry is the unspecified “fish” in the ingredients list. Although reviews show that dogs generally like this meal, owners do point out one last drawback—a strong fishy smell that can nauseate humans.

Pros

  • Natural Prebiotic Fibers
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • High in omega fatty acids

Cons

  • Does contain rice grains
  • Strong smell
  • Contains unspecified “fish” protein

7. Natural Balance Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

First Ingredient: Sweet Potatoes
Protein Type: Venison
Grains: None
Life stage: Adult

If your dog likes to live on the wild side, you might be interested in Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Grain-Free Canned Dog Food. With a unique venison protein source, this can be a great choice for dogs with allergies to more common meats. This meal is also grain-free, with sweet potatoes and potatoes replacing the grains in traditional dog foods. The limited ingredient list, with only a few food sources plus some vitamins and minerals, can also help with allergens.

This food source does have some drawbacks, though. For one thing, it doesn’t have all the digestive aids like omega fatty acids or prebiotics that can help sensitive stomachs along. Another drawback is that venison isn’t the first ingredient, sweet potatoes are.

Pros

  • Unique protein source
  • Grain-free formula
  • Limited ingredient list

Cons

  • Meat isn’t the first ingredient
  • No added omegas, prebiotics, or digestive aids

8. Dave’s Pet Food Bland Restricted Diet Chicken & Rice

Dave’s Pet Food Bland Restricted Diet Chicken & Rice

First Ingredient: Chicken
Protein Type: Chicken
Grains: Rice
Life stage: Adult

Another great option is the Dave’s Pet Food Bland Restricted Diet Chicken & Rice food. This food has a simple recipe with only chicken products, rice products, and a few other key vitamin and mineral ingredients. The “bland” formulation also means that it is a less smelly product than many canned dog foods, and many picky dogs found their dream food here.

One drawback of this type of food is that chicken is one of the most common dog allergens and rice, like all grains, is another allergy source.

Pros

  • Limited ingredient list
  • Simple flavor for picky pups
  • Low smell option

Cons

  • Chicken and rice can be allergens

9. Merrick Lil’Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Plate

Merrick Lil'Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Plate

First Ingredient: Chicken
Protein Type: Chicken, Turkey, Egg Whites
Grains: None
Life stage: Puppy

Another great puppy option, the Merrick Lil’Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Plate is made for sensitive puppy tummies. With a delicious chicken-turkey blend to tempt puppies and a grain-free formulation that keeps fillers out of food, this is a great option for many puppies. A high-veggie formulation including peas, apples, and red peppers replaces traditional grains in this food. Although some sensitive puppies might have allergies to the protein sources, it’s a great food for many others. One drawback to this food is the packaging design, which is convenient but high in plastics.

Pros

  • High in Omega Fatty Acids
  • Grain-Free

Cons

  • High-plastic design
  • Poultry is a common allergen

10. Nature’s Recipe Easy-to-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley

Nature’s Recipe Easy-to-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley

First Ingredient: Chicken
Protein Type: Chicken
Grains: Soybean Meal, Rice, Barley
Life stage: Adult

Nature’s Recipe Easy-to-Digest Chicken is a good ground food option with plenty of vitamins and minerals. With at least 8% crude protein and 5% crude fat, this food has all the nutrients to keep your dog happy. The barley is among the easier grains for dogs to digest, although it also contains soy, chicken, and rice, other common allergens. Unlike many dog foods, it has only one meat source, chicken, which can make it a safer choice for allergy-prone dogs. Overall, this is a great option for dogs with gastrointestinal issues and no allergies.

Pros

  • Single meat formula
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Contains common allergens like soybean
  • Chicken is a common allergen

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Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Wet & Canned Dog Food

Signs of a Sensitive Stomach in Dogs

There are many signs of a sensitive stomach, and it varies from dog to dog. The most common sign is vomiting or diarrhea. Other dogs might experience appetite loss, gas, bloating, or signs of being in pain. If you think your dog is having stomach issues, you can talk to a vet to help you figure out the cause of your dog’s sensitivity.

Types of Stomach Sensitivities

There are two main reasons your dog might be having stomach issues. The first is an allergy. Dogs can have allergies to any food ingredient, but protein and grain sources are the biggest culprits. This includes common protein sources like chicken and common grain fillers including corn, soy, and rice. Experimentation can help you determine what your dog is allergic to and what the best alternative foods are.

The second reason your dog might have a sensitive stomach is a gastrointestinal issue. There are many gastrointestinal issues that can affect dogs, but in all cases, the end result is that dogs struggle to digest any food. Moving to softer and blander foods can help with some gastrointestinal issues (that’s one reason why rice is a common grain in stomach-sensitive dog foods) and certain compounds can help aid digestion. This can include prebiotic fibers, omega fatty acids, ginger, and other ingredients. In some cases, a vet might recommend prescription dog foods for especially picky eaters.

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Image Credit: thanakarn Singto, Shutterstock

Transitioning to a New Food

It might be counterintuitive, but if your dog has a sensitive stomach, you don’t want to switch to better food right away. A sudden change in diet, even a positive one, can shock your dog’s digestive system and lead to stomach issues. Instead, diet changes should happen gradually. You might start by giving your dog an 80/20 mix of old and new food for a few days, and then a 50/50 mix, and so on until you’ve removed the old food from your dog’s diet completely. Gradual food changes can help your dog’s stomach adjust to the new food without hiccups.

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Conclusion: Best Wet & Canned Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs

After looking through our reviews, we hope you have a handle on some of the best options for canned dog foods if your dog has a sensitive stomach. We found the Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach Chicken and Rice meal to be the best overall food for sensitive stomachs, with Purina Beyond Alaskan Cod, Salmon, & Sweet Potatoes coming in as the best value option. For extreme cases, we suggest Hills Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care food as the best premium option. And if your puppy needs sensitive food, we loved the Canidae Grain-Free Chicken Recipe.


Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

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