Dog Food Insider

Best Dog Foods For Poor Digestion

Best Dog Foods For Poor Digestion

Many dogs have food intolerances. Others have food allergies or illness that lead them to have a myriad of digestion issues. Dogs with digestion issues have special dietary considerations and it is important that we compare dog food brands to find the best possible food for their particular issues. Here is a rundown of the best dog foods for dogs with poor digestion.

What Causes Poor Digestion?

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Poor digestion is caused by a number of factors. You dog may have a food allergy or an intolerance or they may be suffering from a chronic illness. Other times, digestion problems occur because of the dog’s age. Senior dogs and puppies have sensitive digestive systems and the wrong food can exacerbate these issues. Other times dogs may have mental health problems like anxiety, stress, or nervousness. Finally, certain breeds and purebreds tend to have more sensitive digestion than other dogs.

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Signs Of Poor Digestion

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There are many signs and symptoms of poor digestion you can look for in your dog. If your dog has any of the following issues, they may have poor digestion:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Lack of appetite or disinterest in food
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme weight gain
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Dull coat and dry skin

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What To Do If Your Dog Has Poor Digestion

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The most important thing to do if your dog shows any of these symptoms is to take them to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will run tests and diagnose the problem causing poor digestion. This is extremely important because many times poor digestion is a sign of a larger health problem. Once the problem is diagnosed, your veterinarian will make recommendations on dietary changes to help your dog overcome these issues.

How To Pick A Dog Food For A Dog With Poor Digestion

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Your veterinarian may make special recommendations for your dog’s diet. In severe cases your veterinarian will recommend a prescription dog food or a raw foods diet on a very strict schedule. Your vet may also recommend a specific exercise routine to help move their digestion along. If that is the case, you will want to follow their recommendations.

However, in milder cases, your veterinarian may suggest you change their food to a digestion friendly alternative. If this is the case, you can then compare dog food brands and find the food right for your dog. Typically you will look for dog foods that are fiber rich, contain pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes like glucosamines and glutamines, digestion enhancing ingredients like beet pulp, grain sorghum, and barley, and phytonutrients. These ingredients will all aid in proper digestion.

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The Best Dog Food Brands For Poor Digestion

Choose Dog Food

One avenue to explore is limited ingredient dog foods. Limited ingredient dog foods have simple recipes using very few ingredients making them much easier to digest. Often times limited ingredient dog foods are also made with novelty proteins like vegetable protein or game meats, which may be easier for dogs with food intolerances to livestock meat to digest. Many dog owners have found success with limited ingredient foods, so it is a great place to start when looking for a new food. Here are the top ten best limited ingredient dog foods:

Another avenue to explore is grain-free dog food. Many dogs have intolerances to cereal grains. Dogs lack the enzyme amylase in their saliva, which is essential to help break down starches. So if the grains in their dog food have not been properly processed, many dogs will have difficulty digesting them. Dogs may also have difficulty digesting fillers which are usually made from grains. So it is recommended if your dog has food intolerances, you try to introduce a grain-free food. Just make sure the grain-free food also has high fiber. Here are the top ten grain free foods:

Finally, there are several brands of dog food that have been specifically formulated to help aid in proper digestion. These foods are great for dogs with severe digestive issues but can help any dog with poor digestion. Here are the top ten digestive formula dog foods:

Transitioning Dog Foods

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Once you have picked the best food to help your dog’s digestion, it is important that you ease them through the transition. Dogs with poor digestion will really have problems if you switch their food too quickly. The best way to transition dogs to a new food is to introduce it slowly by mixing it into their old food. Start by making a quarter of their food the new food. Monitor their progress and see if there are any negative changes in their appetite, behavior, or health. If they are doing well on the new food, after a week mix in increase the amount to half. After another week, increase the amount to three-quarters, and then ultimately, after one more week, you will feed them 100% of their new food. During this process watch for any changes and make sure you report back to your veterinarian your progress.

If you make the right switch, your dog will no longer have issues with digestion. So talk to your veterinarian, compare some of these different options, and transition them carefully, and soon your dog and their stomach will be healthier and happier!

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My 13 year old Pom has digestive issues for sure but also have to watch her weight. What is the best for these 2 issues?

  • I tried Purina Pro Plan Weight management from the vet. It had freeze dried pieces in it and my picky dog liked it. His stools were perfect but he was allergic to the corn so had to give it up.

  • When I found him I didn’t know if I would keep him so I bought Pedigree dry food. Every food I bought after that with corn made him itchy. A friend gave me Cesar which made him bite his paws and nails (her dog was doing that too on it). I bought Instinct grain free freeze dried raw high protein kibble and he is fine on that but the fiber is too low for good poops. I am still struggling to find the right food. So many use ingredients from China. He is very picky and so far instinct is the only one he will eat.

  • My 13 yr old Pom is itchy and she flakes a lot around her neck but really all over. I have spent a lot on shampoo’s with aloe and oatmeal. She is on Hills Science for digestion. But she does itch. Some days are better then others on itching. Her fur has turned frizzy and dry around her neck. I thought it was the topical Tick medication I put on her on her neck and down her back. But she only has the main problem area in the neck , actually on the back of her neck. I want her to have easy digestion and low calorie for weight. So hard to figure what is best. I did order the Hills Science for stomach and skin it will be here in a couple days. I just want her to live longer and feel better. Tru Dog has a BOOST ME it’s called that is a topper for your dog food and it is freeze dried . It is excellent and Tru Dog sells dog food but the price is the highest I have ever seen. I just use the topper.

  • I am curious as to whether she wears a collar and could she be allergic to the material or the tags? I think my dog is a pom crossed with poodle. I used to have a dog with the dry skin like yours. I used the Wellness weight management chicken dry formula and mixed in California Natural chicken canned. The ingredients are limited so it worked for him. I don’t know if ingredients have changed. I think he was allergic to glucosamine which is in many foods. Took 1.5 years to figure that out. Hope the hills works. I had Fluffy on Stella and Chewy dehydrated raw patties for a few months and the hair on his belly got very course and rough. I think the freeze dried and some dehydrated don’t have oils in them and can mess up their coat. Maybe be careful with the toppers. Right now I have a list of weight management foods that I am going to study. My guy has intestinal and anal gland problems. Sigh…..

  • I did hear the Hills was good. I would like to know how it works out for you. If you are on FB look me up. Same picture as on here.

  • Seems like the Alaskan Fish Oil helped years ago but her stomach , digestive issues ,she will not eat it. Like humans if it does not appeal , it will not be eaten . I think oils are important when you notice flakes. It helps if you can’t figure why the skin is flaking. I did stop the toppers after Molly had to have an Endoscopy a couple months back. She found a raw hide knob and swallowed it as she is limited on chewing at her age.I do not know where she found it, some place out side. What a stressful time she was heaving white mucus and the vet said it was an allergy. Needless to say after 5 days of her vomiting white mucus and obvious pain and discomfort , she no longer goes to that vet and I am taking them to small claims court next month as they charged me $550 for her 3 visits . I told them I thought it had something to do with digestive and the owner was only concerned that I had stopped buying their prescription dog food. What symptom’s does your little guy have for intestinal and anal issues? By the way I have organic coconut oil and give Molly a little .I think that is a good source of antibacterial and oil. She has had it on and off when I remember for years. But I recently moved and had forgot about it. I am hoping it helps itching..

  • I found you on FB easily.. I will let you know. It will arrive tomorrow. I bought it on Amazon as I am a prime member. Chewy would of charged me shipping.

  • Coconut oil is not good for your heart and she is old so maybe some Omega 3 Oil? The human grade one might help. Just a few drops. I have similar problems with vomitting and mucus. He even has mucus coming out of his eyes. He is on antibiotics right now to get bloody diarrhea under control. His eyes are red and I can tell he isn’t feeling great. He still plays but he is not the same. His anal glands get really full and then just release wherever. So I need to empty them ever 4 days but then I read that they can get dependent on that. Hoping higher fiber will help. I live 1.5 hours, one way, from a bigger city with more dog food variety so it’s a pain to buy dog food and have to return it.

  • Great Kathleen. I will have to look into prime member. How do you return it if the product does not work for your dog?

  • You can tell Amazon you want to return by viewing your orders and click on return, type in reason. With dog food they gave me immediate refund and I do not have to return it.I tired one and Molly would not eat, they gave me refund. Also you can join Amazon Prime for $99 per year or $10.99 per month. When you sign up first time you get 30 trial FREE. I love Amazon. Also Prime membership include movie streaming, I don’t use and Prime member specials. At times I get to try some supplements for myself free. Love Amazon. Any questions ask me. 🙂

  • Most ALL good pet stores take food and treats back with a refund if your dog does not like or it does not agree. If they don’t they are not a good pet store.

  • I know coconut milk and other coconut items are recommended to humans and there is a fat that is still unhealthy. Molly will not do fish oil , salmon oil I even did a couple drops of my Krill Oil. She can smell it and sometimes will not eat it on her food. I just use the white coconut oil and spread a little on her front paws. Either way fish oil is great. My neighbor bought that Chondroitin sulfate for himself and his older big dog walked slow he gave them to his dog and his senior dog walks more and has lost weight. Pretty much supplements and medicine is the same for humans and dogs. I used to give Molly when she had an upset stomach a little powder from my ginger capsules. Ginger is great for upset stomach and I take it for acid reflux.

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