Here's a problem lots of dog owners face. Your dog doesn't particularly enjoy dry dog food (kibble). You don't have the freezer space or desire to feed a raw dog food diet.
You prefer the convenience and availability of wet dog food and your dog enjoys wet food (canned / tinned dog food) but....your dog's sensitive stomach is not always in agreement.
How to solve the problem of feeding a dog with a sensitive stomach on a wet food diet?
Fortunately, that's just the question we're going to answer for you in our guide to the best wet foods for dogs with a sensitive stomach.
We've previously covered the pros and cons of wet food vs dry food, so this guide is aimed squarely at anyone who wants to feed their dog on a wet food diet and is aware that their dog has issues with food sensitivity.
Understanding the source of your dog's sensitive stomach
Before we recommend the best wet dog food choices for dogs with a sensitive stomach, it pays to take a moment to examine what might be the underlying cause of your dog's digestive issues.
Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to certain ingredients. Your vet can organise tests to establish if, for example, your dog has a gluten or wheat allergy. Some dogs do better on high protein diets, other dogs fair well on a diet made up of foods such as fish, chicken & rice or grain free meals.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what wet dog food you choose to feed, if your dog has an underlying stomach issue that has not been addressed, you may get the same results you were getting before. It always pays to check with your vet and rule out health issues such as canine IBD.
Choosing the best wet food for a dog with a sensitive stomach
Once you've ruled out any medical issue causing your dog's sensitive tummy, choosing the right wet dog food will often come down to these key criteria:
The importance of wet food availability
Being prepared to experiment a little is a good thing, but beware. You have to switch dog food carefully and once you've made a switch you have to be prepared to stick with a new diet long enough to establish how well your dog is tolerating the new food.
Some of the brands we suggest here you will be familiar with. They will score very high on the convenience scale. They're probably available from your local supermarket. Other brands, you may need to order online from a retailer or stockist such as Amazon or similar.
The convenience and availability factor is really important when feeding a dog that you know to have food sensitivity issues. It's a problem if you get a dog settled on a particular wet food and then that product becomes hard to buy. Constantly changing the food for dogs who have known sensitive stomachs can exacerbate the problem and cause stress.
So, let's get to it.
Our pick for the best wet dog food for dogs with a sensitive stomach
You'll find Chappie in your local supermarket. It's a ubiquitous, convenient (distinctive smelling) dog food that has been around for so long, you might just miss it.
It's low cost, so you might assume it's low quality. Chappie is actually what many vets will often recommend for dogs with tummy troubles as a first port of call for owners who aren't able to steam vegetables, cook chicken and boil rice for their dog's every meal.
Chappie dog food might just be the answer you've been looking for and it could have been staring you in the face the whole time.
The best of the rest
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Canned Dog Food
"With simple gut-friendly ingredients, a superfood blend, and probiotics, this dry food is ideal for sensitive tummies."
"The combination of highly digestible protein, rice, special dietary fibre and fish oil in Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Low Fat provides a balanced intestinal flora and optimal digestibility. A low fat diet improves digestion problems in dogs, such as hyperlipidaemia and pancreatitis.
The small amount of fibre in Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Low Fat makes for easy digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. The specific combination of synergistically acting antioxidants (Vit. C, vit. E, taurine and lutein) contributes to the neutralisation of free radicals."
Dog owners who use Royal Canin Gastrointestinal food also have good things to say:
"My Mini Schnauzer had a health scare last year and we were told her pancreas was slightly inflamed, possibly due to old age or the medication she was taking at that time. She has not been diagnosed with pancreatitis. 3 weeks ago she exhibited similar symptoms and we ordered this immediately.
We fasted her for 24 hours and continued with very small amounts of the food for a week, gradually increasing the amount and introducing her back to her usual food. On week 3 she is still 2/3 on this and 1/3 on her usual and we plan to continue until she is able to be 100% on her usual food. Definitely helped a lot without the need for medication."
It's best for dogs who have been diagnosed with a specific digestive or health issue.
Denes Complete Adult Wet Dog Food Chicken and Vegetables
"Lower price, well reviewed, easily accessible"
You may or may not be aware of Denes. They have been involved in the natural pet health sector since 1951, so even if the brand might be new to you, it's got some history.
Chicken is often the go-to food recommendation from vets when a dog doesn't tolerate higher protein meats. Vegetables work well for some dogs (providing fibre and roughage to keep them regular and good nutrients), but not for others (can cause loose stools). So be prepared to trial.
For those dog owners who have used this particular wet dog food, the overwhelming experience has lead to positive reviews.
The ingredients breakdown as follows:
Fresh chicken 38%, chicken liver 8%, rice, vegetables 4% (carrot, green beans, white potato), minerals, herbs (garlic, parsley, kelp).
Forthglade Complete Natural Wet Dog Food - Grain Free Chicken
"More affordable for owners of small dogs, readily available, fantastic user reviews"
Forthglade is a brand that has earned a strong reputation for delivering a high quality dog food product.
If a grain free wet food is what you're looking for, you should definitely give this one a try.
The ingredients breakdown as follows:
Composition: Chicken (75%), Butternut Squash (4%), Carrots (2%), Peas (2%), Minerals, Linseed Oil (0.5%), Seaweed (0.45%), Prebiotic - Fructooligosaccharide, Yucca, Glucosamine (50mg/kg), Chondroitin (50mg/kg), Camomile, Parsley, Rosemary, Nettle. Nutritional additives: Additives (per kg): Vitamin A 2,500IU, Vitamin D3 200IU, Vitamin E 30mg. Trace Elements: Zinc Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate 139mg, Iron Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate 33mg, Copper Chelate of Amino Acids Hydrate 20mg, Calcium Iodate Anhydrous 0.8mg. Analytical constituents: Crude Protein 11%, Crude Fibres 0.7%, Crude Oils & Fats 8%, Crude Ash 3%, Moisture 70%.
As you'll see, that ingredient list shows a number of highly desirable natural herbs and vegetables along with a 75% chicken component that forms the basis of this line.
Burns Pet Nutrition Hypoallergenic Complete Wet Food With Chicken Brown Rice and Vegetables
"Trusted brand, great reviews, affordable and easily available"
The Burns product was developed by a veterinarian (John Burns) and if you check dog forums you'll find people who feed Burns tend to love the product and stick with it.
If you're trying to find the right wet food for your dog and you prioritise a trusted brand, Burns is worth looking at.
As the manufacturer states, this product this wet dog food is ideal for dogs with a sensitive stomach:
- Made with natural ingredients
- Contains organic brown rice
- Contains organic chicken
- Suitable for dogs with sensitive skin
- Suitable for dogs with sensitive digestion
The ingredients break down as follows:
Organic Chicken (Min 25%), Seasonal Vegetables (Min 25%), Organic Brown Rice (Min 12%), Minerals.