Pug with an upset stomach.

Sensitive Stomach Dog Food Options Australia Reviewed

Our #1 Pick

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

The Best Value for Money

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

  • Low-fat and iron-rich protein
  • Ingredients sourced in Australia
  • Limited and clear ingredient list
  • Turmeric helps fight inflammation
  • Healthy dose of prebiotic fibre

Some dogs can eat almost anything without having the slightest problem, but for others, that’s not the case. Some dogs’ digestive systems simply don’t work so well and they need an appropriate diet for their tummies to be happy.

Today, we’ll help you find the best sensitive stomach dog food for your fussy eater.


What Causes Food Intolerance in Dogs?

The key to getting the right food for dogs with sensitive stomachs is understanding the root cause of their problem. The main symptoms of stomach sensitivity are diarrhoea, vomiting, and flatulence (1).

For many dogs, the cause of this issue can be a certain ingredient or an imbalance in their diet. Still, these same symptoms can be a sign of something more serious.

Vomiting occasionally is not a big deal for most dogs, for example, but if symptoms persist it’s important to consult the vet to rule out possible causes of the problem that are not related to food.

In terms of reactions to food, some dogs have food allergies to specific ingredients, while others have food sensitivities or intolerances. When it comes to the first, there is an immune response, while in the second case it’s just any kind of adverse reaction to certain types of food.

In the end, it doesn’t matter too much which type of reaction it is because in any case, you’ll want to get to the root of the problem and eliminate the food ingredients that are bothering your dog.


Choosing Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

There are a variety of aspects of a dog’s diet that can cause gastrointestinal difficulties, but the goal of a sensitive stomach dog food should always be to eliminate those problematic aspects.

“Common dietary culprits for indigestion include the type of protein, insufficient fibre and excess fat.” - Natalie Stilwell, PetMD (2)

While any ingredient could cause a problem for a dog, the culprits can often hide in plain sight.

For example, a common type of protein like chicken or beef can become a problem for some dogs. On the other hand, some dogs' digestive tracts might be thrown off by too much fat or too little fibre in their diets.

That’s why finding the right food for our sensitive pooches can be hit or miss, and it might take some experimentation to find the right formula.

In any case, these are the types of dog food you might want to consider getting to calm your pooch’s belly. Which one will work ultimately depends on the cause of the problem.

Specialised Formulas for Sensitive Stomachs

You’ll easily find various options on the market formulated and advertised specifically for dogs that have easily irritable stomachs. Some of the options come from big brands, and others from smaller ones.

As a rule, these recipes will be formulated in such a way that they are easier for dogs to digest than standard food. They might also include various anti-inflammatory and soothing additions.

Limited Ingredient Formulas

Your dog’s stomach might be upset by any ingredient in their food, but when the ingredient list has 50 items, it’s hard to determine what exactly is causing the problem. Limited ingredient diets help you identify what it is that is triggering your dog and help you stay away from it.

Novel Protein Formulas

Some of the most common triggers of allergies and sensitivities in dogs are certain types of protein, like chicken, for example. Moreover, these sensitivities can develop at any point in a dog’s life. What’s fine one day might not work the next. In such cases, switching to a novel source of protein can be beneficial. The “novel” proteins, as in not so often used for dog food, are kangaroo, duck, or goat, for example.

Grain-Free Diets

Grain-free diets for dogs are quite popular these days, but keep in mind that grains are not necessarily bad. Feeding grain free food is not necessarily better for a sensitive stomach. However, some dogs can be allergic to grains, in which case a grain-free diet can help.


Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs 2022: Our Top Picks

Ready to find some food that will help calm your doggo’s nervous stomach? Below are the best options available in Australia. The same thing will not work for every dog, but there ought to be at least one helpful entry in this top list.

#1: Best Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Petzyo Dry  Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Low-fat and iron-rich protein
  • Ingredients sourced in Australia
  • Limited and clear ingredient list
  • Turmeric helps fight inflammation
  • Healthy dose of prebiotic fibre

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

27%

Fat

11%

Fibre

4%

Petzyo - 5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Kangaroo Meat, Lentils, Peas, Sweet Potato, Chicken Oil, Kangaroo Offal, Sunflower Oil, Tomato, Basil, Flax Seed Oil, Kelp, Turmeric, Blueberry, Chicory, Taurine, Hemp Seed Oil, Fish Oil, Green Tea; Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Acids (Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B11, B12, D, E, K, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Taurine, Omega 3, Omega 6.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free
  • Recipe Range: Salmon & Ocean fish, Chicken & Turkey, Kangaroo & Sweet Potato
  • Suitable For: Petzyo's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

Sometimes, bad reactions to food in dogs are caused by the low quality of ingredients used in some dog foods. With Petzyo, you can always rest assured you are getting the best possible option. Petzyo kibble is made fresh on demand and they source 99% of their ingredients from Australia with great attention to quality and sustainable practices.

The Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato being tested by our independent expert team.

Petzyo Dry Dog Food Kangaroo & Sweet Potato being tested by our review team.

As for the ingredients, all of the Petzyo dry food recipes contain only a limited (but not restrictive) list of wholesome ingredients. We’ve chosen the Kangaroo & Sweet Potato recipe because both of the main ingredients tend to be easy to digest and soothing for the stomach. However, other Petzyo recipes might work better for your canine companion, depending on the source of their stomach issues.

Related: Petzyo Dog Food Review.

The only issue we could find with Petzyo dry god food is that their kibble comes in one, universal size. It would be nice to have smaller individual kibbles for tiny dogs and bigger ones for canines who are on the larger side. However, that’s not a major issue since the kibbles are a good middle size (11-13 mm diameter), which tends to work ok for most dogs.

Verified Review - 15/05/2022
Dogs love it!
"Great, easy ordering, ingredients are what I was looking for in a replacement of my more expensive food and most importantly, all three of our doggos love it"

Pros

Cons

  • Low-fat and iron-rich protein
  • Only 1 kibble size
  • Ingredients sourced in Australia
  • Limited and clear ingredient list
Cell
  • Turmeric helps fight inflammation
Cell
  • Healthy dose of prebiotic fibre
Cell

#2: Premium Pick: Ziwi Peak Venison

Ziwi Peak Venison
  • Single-protein formula
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrients
  • Top quality ingredients (No GMO, antibiotics, growth promotants)
  • Easy to serve

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

45%

Fat

23%

Fibre

2%

Ziwi Peak Venison - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Venison, Venison Tripe, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free
  • Recipe Range: Chicken or Mackerel & Lamb or Beef + more.
  • Suitable For: All ages
  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned)

Ziwi Peak is the cream of the crop of quality dog food. They focus on excellence and believe our canine companions should be treated well. Instead of feeding scraps, with Ziwi Peak you’ll be feeding the best possible ingredients to your dog.

The main focus is on the protein, and in this case, it is local and sustainably spruced New Zealand venison. At Ziwi, they believe a whole prey diet is essential for dogs which is why you’ll notice that this formula also contains venison offal (with each ingredient very specifically named).

The Ziwi Peak Venison being tested by our independent expert team.

Ziwi Peak Venisonbeing tested by our review team.

The reason why this particular recipe might work well for dogs with sensitive stomachs is that this is truly a single-protein diet. A lot of limited ingredient diets from other manufacturers contain a single source of meat protein with various sources of vegetable protein added, but with Ziwi that is not the case, it’s really just venison (plus trace amounts of protein that come from the New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels which are super healthy too, by the way).

Related: Ziwi Peak Dog Food Review.

Moreover, venison is a novel protein for most dogs and might be helpful for dogs with known sensitivities to more common protein sources like chicken.

Verified Review - 3/04/2020
Big hit!
"Worth every cent and my dogs, while they enjoy their food, go nuts for this as soon as I open the bag, so their reaction tells me that it's super yummy too. I wish I could afford it more often."

Pros

Cons

  • being tested by our review team.
  • Quite expensive
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrients
  • Top quality ingredients (No GMO, antibiotics, growth promotants)
Cell
  • Easy to serve
Cell

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Small & Mini
  • Small kibble perfect for tiny dogs
  • Manufactured in the USA with AAFCO compliance
  • Formulated specifically to support the digestive health of small breeds
  • Consistent quality

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

26%

Fat

16%

Fibre

1.3%

Hill's Science Diet - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Soybean Oil, Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Liver flavour, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver flavour, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Oat fibre, Natural flavours, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
  • Recipe Range: Chicken, Rice & Barley or Chicken Meal & Oats or Chicken + More.
  • Suitable For: Small adult dogs (but there are formulas for every size, breed & condition)
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No

Hill’s offers two collections of dog food recipes: Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. The first one is meant for supporting healthy dogs, while the second one is designed for dogs suffering from specific health problems. In any case, this is the brand many turn to when their dogs seem to have issues that could be fixed with diet.

Hill's Science Diet being tested by our independent expert team.

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Small & Mini being tested by our review team.

Is the Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach formula the best you can give your dog to calm their gastrointestinal issues? It depends. As you can see, the ingredient list is very long, but the formula is very well balanced.

Related: Science Diet Dog Food Review.

In an ideal world, we would much prefer a simple formula with a limited number of high-quality ingredients for our dogs, but that’s not always what works. According to the reports of many pet parents with smaller dogs, like Chihuahuas, Bichons, or Shih Tzus, this formula is the only thing that works. Might as well give it a try if that’s your case too!

Verified Review - 3/04/2021
My dog likes it
"We have a little yorkshire terrier (2.0kg), this bag lasts for 2 months, so the resealability is very useful. The poop smells is better and is drier since we started giving this food to her."

Pros

Cons

  • Small kibble perfect for tiny dogs
  • Limited options in terms of protein variety
  • Manufactured in the USA with AAFCO compliance
  • Formulated specifically to support the digestive health of small breeds
Cell
  • Consistent quality
Cell

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Tuna
  • Designed for easy digestion
  • Promotes skin and coat health
  • No additives or fillers
  • Good value for money

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

30%

Fat

16%

Fibre

4%

Purina Pro Plan - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Salmon and tuna; oats; vegetable protein concentrate; fish protein meal; brewers rice; wholegrain sorghum; tallow preserved with mixed tocopherols (form of vitamin E); minerals, vitamins and/or amino acids (including calcium carbonate, potassium chloride and/or dicalcium phosphate, sodium chloride and/or phosphoric acid, fish meal, copper sulphate, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, pantothenic acid, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulphate complex (source of vitamin K activity), thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, potassium iodide, sodium selenite, biotin, natural flavours, spinach, choline chloride); natural fibres (including beet pulp and chicory); natural antioxidants.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Inclusive.
  • Recipe Range: A variety of recipes based on age and breed size.
  • Suitable For: Adult dogs
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No.

While our first instinct is not to recommend dog food made by a company that’s owned by Nestlé, we also know that finding dog food for sensitive dogs can be difficult, especially one that is reasonably priced.

The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Tuna being tested by our independent expert team.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Tuna being tested by our review team.

The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Coat is an affordable and reliable option. If you look at the ingredient list, you’ll notice that it’s fairly long. But, the good news is that the main ingredients are the first 6 on the list, which are fairly wholesome and self-explanatory. The rest are added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

The main ingredient in this formula is fish enriched with highly processed proteins from fish and vegetables (fish protein meal & vegetable protein concentrate). While this might sound less appetizing than it should be, for some dogs this formula appears to be easier to digest.

Verified Review - 11/05/2022
Only food my dog will eat
"I rescued a high-maintenance shelter dog who only ate hot human food. I tried a few different dry foods and he wouldn’t eat for days. This is the only one he chowed down so I stuck with it. One year later and my dog is energetic, healthy, and happy."

Pros

Cons

  • Designed for easy digestion
  • Not the best smell (thanks to high amounts of fish inside)
  • Promotes skin and coat health
  • No additives or fillers
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell

#5: Best Wet Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Ziwi Peak Wet Tripe & Lamb Recipe

Ziwi Peak Wet Tripe & Lamb Recipe
  • Green tripe supports digestive health
  • Single animal protein formula
  • Top quality ingredients
  • Zero additives & fillers

Nutritional Analysis:

Protein

9%

Fat

4%

Fibre

2%

Ziwi Peak Wet Tripe & Lamb Recipe - 4.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Lamb Tripe, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb, Lamb Lung, Chickpeas, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Dried Kelp, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B5 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-free.
  • Recipe Range: Beef, Venison, Lamb, Chicken + More
  • Suitable For: All ages.
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Australian Owned: No (but NZ owned).

If you are looking for the absolute best in terms of wet food to help your dog’s tummy, you can, once again, turn to Ziwi Peak.

The Tripe & Lamb formula, in particular, is no. 1 from Ziwi for picky eaters and sensitive dogs alike. Why you ask? Well, that’s because this particular recipe has the highest amount of tripe (over 25% according to Ziwi Peak website).

Green tripe is the lining of the stomach of a cow or sheep (in this case it’s lamb). Dogs seem to love it, and it has a surprising number of nutritional benefits:

“[Tripe] contains a variety of nutrients and amino acids not found in quantity in other meats. Calcium and phosphorus are present in a 1:1 ratio, which is ideal for optimal absorption. It also contains essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and ‘good’ bacteria (probiotic) such as lactobacillus.” - Dr. Laurie Coger, PetMD (v)

Of course, tripe is not the only ingredient in this food, but over 90% of the contents of this can is just lamb meat & offal plus New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels. The only other additions are chickpeas, dried kelp, some salt,  and vitamin & mineral supplements.

Ziwi Peak recipes are suitable for dogs of all ages, which is why this is a good sensitive stomach puppy food too.

Verified Review - 3/04/2021
Straight to his bowl!
"This fine young guy is our 3-year-old rescue, Zeus. He loves his family, being airborne and catching things, and is a super picky eater. Zeus eats ZIWI’s air-dried food with excitement! He went straight to his food bowl this morning (something he has NEVER done before) and licked the bowl clean. Thank you so much!"

Pros

Cons

  • Green tripe supports digestive health
  • Expensive
  • Single animal protein formula
  • Top quality ingredients
Cell
  • Zero additives & fillers
Cell

Final Verdict

It’s almost impossible to decide what is the best dog food for sensitive stomachs because every dog is a little different and so are their food preferences. However, for many dogs, switching to a high-quality diet with a limited number of ingredients is often all it takes to get them to feel better.

If that’s the case for your dog, trying Petzyo kibble is a good idea. If you’d rather try wet food, the Ziwi Peak Wet Tripe & Lamb Recipe does wonders for upset tummies.

FAQ

How do I know if my dog needs sensitive food?

Signs of an upset stomach are usually pretty obvious. You’ll see signs like loose stools, vomiting, or flatulence. If this happens occasionally and isn't too severe, then it’s very likely your dog just has a sensitive stomach.

Is wet or dry food better for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

There are no rules in this regard. For example. et food might work well for some dogs as it’s easier to digest. Dogs prone to constipation can often benefit from it. On the other hand, too much wet food can cause loose stools in some dogs, and those might be better.

How do I transition my dog to a new type of dog food?

Changing dog foods should always be done gradually. Start by adding a small amount of the new dog food to your dog’s regular food. Then, increase the ration of the new food slowly over time. Changes in the diet can cause extra issues in a dog’s stomach, so it’s best not to rush the process.

References

  1. Coates, J. January 13, 2012. “What is a Sensitive Stomach, and What Can Be Done About It?”. PetMD. Retrieved May 2, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2012/jan/what_is_a_sensitive_stomach-12322
  2. Stilwell, N. December 10, 2019. “What’s the Best Food for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs?”. PetMD. Retrieved May 2, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/whats-best-food-dogs-sensitive-stomachs
  3. Gallagher, J. March 21, 2016. “5 Common Dog Vitamins and Supplements”. PetMD. Retrieved May 2, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/5-common-dog-vitamins-and-supplements#slide-1
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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