As your dog gets older, its nutritional requirements change. So not only is it important to take care of your beloved pet companion as a puppy and adult dog but also when the time comes for Rover to take things easy. This is the reason why a proper, well-balanced senior dog food will suit your aging dog’s lifestyle while supporting its nutritional needs and sensitive stomach best!
We researched for you and found the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach. Here are our favorites to calm your dog’s digestive system:
What Happens to My Dog When it Gets Older?
Physical changes in your dog’s anatomy, when aging, can include:
- Worn teeth – from years of chewing
- Arthritis in the joints – due to years of movement
- Inability of the body to quickly repair cuts and bruises
- Slower bodily reaction towards environmental changes
- Sensitive stomach – due to years of processing food
A senior dog is less active, which requires its food to contain slightly more protein and fewer calories.
A sensitive stomach can cause uncomfortable situations for your dog such as:
- Over-excessive flatulence
- Loose stools
- Stomach cramps
Most sensitive stomach symptoms can be traced back to a diet not suited for your old dog.
There are exceptions to this rule, which include diabetes, obesity, kidney diseases, poor liver function, or poor food absorption issues.
If you think your dog has an underlying issue, consult with your Veterinarian.
Whatever the case may be, it is always a good choice to feed your dog senior dog food, best suited for your dog’s specific dietary needs.
Depending on the breed, your pet pooch will reach its senior years:
- Toy Breed = 9 to 13 years
- Medium-Sized Breed = 7 to 10 years
- Large/Giant-Sized Breed = 6 to 8 years
This is when you need to start looking at better quality dog food more suitable for the lifestyle of senior dogs.
Apart from good old-fashioned TLC and healthy exercise, food plays a very important role in keeping your aging dog in tip-top shape for the golden stage of its life!
Tips for Senior Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
When considering a change from your current dog food brand to a more suitable brand for healthy senior dogs, make nutritional label comparisons between the current dog food brand and the new brand.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when scouting around:
- Some dog food ingredients may cause a dietary intolerance to a senior dog with a sensitive stomach, these usually include gluten, corn, wheat and heavy hard to digest meats. Instead, look for other alternative ingredients such as venison, rabbit, chicken or duck meat and oats, to name but a few. If the meat ingredients are ground up in the recipe (meal) it would be a huge advantage.
- In general, senior dog food should contain a slightly higher amount of protein and fewer calories, but it should still create a sense of fullness. Keep in mind that that you should choose a senior dog food with less protein when it comes to dogs with a decreased kidney function.
- Fat is harder for your senior dog’s sensitive stomach to digest than protein and carbohydrates. It can cause pancreatic inflammation and irritation in a dog’s behavior. Look for a dog food that has a maximum fat content of 15%. A general rule of thumb is to buy a dog food with a fat content between 8 and 12%.
- If you would like to take a more holistic approach, be on the lookout for hydrolyzed proteins. These are natural proteins that are broken down for easy digestibility, which will help your dog’s stomach cope with the processing of food more easily.
- Vitamins A, E and C aid as antioxidants and selenium and beta carotene helps with osteoarthritis and vision.
Too much fiber in a dog’s diet is not a good thing, but too little is not good either. The correct amounts of fibers are needed to assist a senior dog’s sensitive stomach with digesting food more efficiently.
There are soluble and non-soluble fibers. A good fiber to look out for in dog food is beet-pulp. Fiber relieves constipation. The ideal fiber content should be between 3 and 5%.
Other ingredients you can give two thumbs up include:
- Flax seed oil or cod liver oil
- Brewer’s yeast
- Brown rice
Brown rice is an excellent source of carbohydrate to give your senior dog, especially when it has a sensitive stomach.
The above-mentioned oils are high in omega 3 & 6 that promotes shiny coats and the brewer’s yeast aids in maintaining blood-sugar levels.
MSM, Glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate supplements in dog food assist with soothing osteoarthritis symptoms.
Dog food preservatives, food coloring, and flavorings are all probable causes for a sensitive stomach in a senior dog. Finding a dog food that is more natural can be the best thing you can do for your aging pal!
If your aging dog is a quick eater, he/she might be gulping too much air while eating, causing flatulence. Divide your dogs’ meals into smaller portions throughout the day, instead of one big portion. This will also assist the digestive system and give it time to process smaller amounts of food more efficiently.
It is extremely important, especially when putting a senior dog with a sensitive stomach on to a new dog food, to slowly transition the current food type to the new food type.
All you need to do is to mix a little bit of the new dog food in with your current dog food. Over the course of 7 days, increase the new dog food portion size, until your dog is 100% onto its new brand of food.
Doing so gives your senior dog’s sensitive stomach time to slowly adjust to a new type of food, without having to send your buddy’s digestive system into overload!
After the transition period, feed your dog only the new dog food for 6 to 12 weeks. During this period, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior patterns for signs of discomfort and keep an eye on its stools, for signs of diarrhea or constipation.
Monitoring your senior dog will give you an indication as to whether its sensitive stomach is having a good or bad reaction to the new type of dog food.
Avoid giving your furry buddy any greasy table scraps, even if it is chicken.
Greasy foods can be harder on your senior dogs’ digestive system to break down and could cause more harm than good to that already sensitive stomach.
Only give your dog easily digestible treats as a snack.
What is the Best Senior Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach?
Choosing the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach might feel a bit like…
That’s what we’re here for!
Here is a list of dog food brands that we feel are the best senior dog food for sensitive stomach:
1. Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Venison Dog Food
Taste of the Wild
Microorganism is a probiotic ingredient and helps with developing good bacteria in your senior dog’s intestine.
Not only does this food contain venison, but also tomatoes and blueberries, which sound so good, even a human would want to eat it too
Protein: 28% Fat: 15% Fiber: 4.5%
2. Wellness Simple Natural Dry Limited Ingredient Dog Food, Lamb & Oatmeal
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Wellness Simple Natural Dry Limited Ingredient
It contains limited ingredients which cater to senior dogs with sensitive stomachs, keeping what goes into your senior dog’s mouth, simple and natural.
The Wellness Simple Duck & Oatmeal Formula does not contain any wheat or gluten, nor does it contain any colorants or flavorings.
Protein: 21% Fat: 11% Fiber: 4.75%
3. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Chicken Meal Formula Dry Dog Food
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Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free
To help support brain and eye health, the kibble contains DHA.
Nature’s Variety never heats their ingredients, because they believe that it diminishes the natural nutrients of the food.
They try to stick close to the way nature has intended dogs to live, as they believe plant-based protein ingredients is not exactly the same as high-protein raw meat. They provide non-GMO food products in their recipes.
This is definitely an interesting brand!
Protein: 33.5% Fat: 10.5% Fiber: 3.5%
4. Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7 Plus Active Longevity Small Bites
Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+
Their veterinary formulated recipe is clinically proven to have health benefits such as healthy coats and supportive joint remedies.
Their food has no artificial flavor, preservatives or colorants.
Protein: 19.6% Fat: 14.9% Fiber: 2.4%
5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient, Dry Adult Dog Food
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Blue Buffalo Basics
It assists with joint health, promotes a healthy heart and a strong immune system.
Formulated with the help of veterinarians and nutritionists, Blue Buffalo dog food has “LifeSource” bits which are a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Lifesource bits are cold pressed, ensuring that nutrients do not lose their value due to heat emissions.
Protein: 18% Fat: 10% Fiber: 7%
6. Canidae Grain Free Pure Meadow Senior Dog
Canidae Grain Free Pure Meadow Senior
What’s so great about Canidae is that it makes its senior dog food with whole foods which makes digestion a lot easier.
Canidae Pure Meadow Senior also has probiotic which helps to nurture good bacteria in a sensitive stomach.
Protein: 28% Fat: 10% Fiber: 5%
7. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Salmon, and Sweet Potato Recipe
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet
There is a dog food brand comparison chart on the Merrick website which you can use to compare your current dog food with the Merrick dog food range.
Merrick sources their ingredients from local farmers in the area.
Protein: 25% Fat: 13% Fiber: 3.5%
8. Nutro Original Senior Dog Food: Chicken, Whole Brown Rice & Oatmeal Recipe
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Nutro Original Senior Dog Food
Nutro states it is the best senior dog food company because it promises these 4 things:
- A healthy coat
- Great skin
- Firmer stool
- Better digestion
Nutro’s mantra is:
A healthy pet is a happy pet.
…and they leave no stone unturned when it comes to sourcing the ingredients of the food back to its routes, improving on safety regulations within their company and helping out in the community by getting involved in projects such as restoring local dog parks.
Protein: 23% Fat: 13% Fiber: 4%
9. Avoderm Senior Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula
Avocado is a great source of vitamins C, A, B6 and E. It contains essential fatty acids too and is high in fiber.
You might think that avocado is not good for dogs, but studies have shown that it is only the pit and the leaves that are toxic which are not used in the making of the meal or oil.
Do not feed your dog raw avocado & never let him near the pit.
Avoderm chicken meal & brown rice formula contain no artificial colors, or corn or wheat derivatives.
This formula helps give your senior dog more energy to enjoy life to the fullest to make him forget about his sensitive stomach for a while!
Protein: 20% Fat: 10% Fiber: 6%
We can safely gather that senior dogs with sensitive stomachs:
- Need fewer calories throughout the day.
- Higher amounts of protein to sustain their energy levels.
- A bit more fiber than usual to keep their digestive system fully functioning.
It is important to give your senior dog a diet that is of limited ingredients, or have raw or whole food ingredients and are devoid of colors, flavorings and gluten or grain.
The more natural the better!
Never let a senior dog with a sensitive stomach each too much food, too quickly and refrain from giving it greasy food to eat. Always have water at hand when your dog is eating its food.
Most of all, remember:
You can give your senior dog the best dog food on the market to take care of its sensitive stomach…but only you can give him the tender loving care he so rightly deserves in his old age!
Did we miss any of your picks for best senior dog food for sensitive stomach? Leave a comment right now and let us know!