The BEST food for dogs with diarrhea – Buyer’s Guide

When choosing dog foods for dogs with diarrhea, it's important to remember that there is no one size fits all cure. Many times dogs have diarrhea because they are sensitive to a certain ingredient. This means that as a pet parent you may need to spend a little time figuring out exactly what is triggering this problem with your dog. In today's article we're going to go over some of the best food choices for your pup when trying to construct a dog diarrhea diet that will keep them from having loose stools. First though, let's talk about why this happens and what we should be looking for to change it.
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When choosing the best food for dogs with diarrhea, it’s important to remember that there is no one size fits all cure. Many times dogs have diarrhea because they are sensitive to a certain ingredient. This means that as a pet parent you may need to spend a little time figuring out exactly what is triggering this problem with your dog.

If you have been feeding your dog a cheaper supermarket variety dog food, then it’s possible that they are having a hard time digesting grains. Most of these cheaper foods contain little meat and are actually predominately composed of corn or wheat. This can cause problems for a lot of pets, and getting them off of these low quality diets is a great first step for not only getting rid of their diarrhea issues but also for their health in general!

In today’s article we’re going to go over some of the best food choices for your pup when trying to construct a dog diarrhea diet that will keep them from having loose stools. First though, let’s talk about why this happens and what we should be looking for to change it.

How to choose the best food for dogs with diarrhea

When searching for a food for a pup with a sensitive stomach one of the most important things to look for is that the diet is limited in ingredients. Not only does this mean that there are less foods which could trigger your dog’s upset stomach, but it also means that it will be much easier for you to learn what is triggering it if you don’t yet know.

You should also try to choose a food that focuses on a singular protein item, because believe it or not some dogs do have trouble digesting certain meats. If they are particularly sensitive, then having multiple protein sources could be causing them grief. Instead, focus on a food that sticks to one source. For example, if the food is “chicken flavor”, then it should only feature chicken and not a medley of different meat products.

It would be a good idea to go grain free as well. Many pets have problems digesting grains like corn or wheat, and if you can weed them out of their diet then this will likely help them a lot. It’s also better for their overall health, and if your dog is a bit overweight, then you’ll likely notice him losing a few pounds once you remove the empty calories from his diet.

There are also some ingredients that you may want to make sure are included in the food your choose. For example, pumpkin is excellent for digestion, and it can go a long way in helping your dog to maintain regular bowel movements. Many sensitive stomach foods use this as an ingredient, but even if it doesn’t you can easily add some to your dog’s meals by purchasing canned pumpkin from the grocery store. Just makes sure it’s pure pumpkin and not the pie filling type.

Best foods for dog with diarrhea

Okay, now that you understand exactly what you should be looking for, now we can make some recommendations for a good food for dogs who suffer from diarrhea. When making this list we have chosen only high quality foods that offer grain free options, are limited in ingredients and easy on the digestive tract.

You’ll also notice that we have only chosen fresh or wet foods. There is a reason for this. In some cases your dog may be throwing up because he is not chewing and can’t digest the kibble. Offering a wet or fresh food is a good way to combat this and help him to digest better. In addition, it’s better overall for your dog because it gives him more liquids, improving his health. Alright, here’s our list!

#1 – NomNomNow

nomnomnow dog food for diarrhea

Our top pick for pups with sensitive tummies is NomNomNow. This fresh pet food company actually delivers their high quality meals straight to your door. They cook everything fresh each week, using only human grade ingredients. Fresh foods are not only more beneficial for your dog nutritionally, but these recipes also offer super limited ingredient profiles which are easy to digest. Below you can see the ingredients for the Chicken Chow-Wow recipe, it includes just four main ingredients. It also has no grains, instead utilizing more beneficial sweet potatoes! This is a great recipe for sensitive doggies, but if your pup is sensitive to chicken then they have other options as well.

best dog food available

Not only is NomNomNow an excellent food, but they offer more than that to pet parents! They also offer a free consultation to help you choose the right food for your pup and all of the meals will be tailored to your dog. The food comes in easy to feed, perfectly proportioned packages so you know that you’re always feeding your dog the right amount to keep them at a healthy weight. All of their recipes are also formulated by a vet, so if you were curious about feeding your dog a fresh diet but were afraid about messing up their nutritional requirements, then this is a super easy way to get started with fresh feeding. While this is certainly not the cheapest option on the list, it is the best. If you’re interested in feeding your dog the absolute best food possible, then you can learn more here. This is the most digestible option, and it’s easily the best food for dogs with diarrhea problems.

#2 – Halo Dog Food

halo dog food

If our first option is outside of your budget, but you’d still like to feed your dog a high quality food, then our next pick may be for you. This awesome pet food company uses only whole meats and ingredients to manufacture their foods. They actually have very high quality dry foods as well as wet foods, so if you need to feed your dog a mixture for cost saving reasons, then this is a great brand to do this with.

All of their recipes are super easy to digest, and they include helpful ingredient mixes that allow your dog to extract more nutrients from his food. This food is so digestible that they have actually proven it in a laboratory setting when pitted against other dog food brands. You will likely see a difference immediately in your dog’s stool if you begin feeding them this excellent food.

It should be noted that not all of Halo’s foods are grain free. There are many that are, but you must look for it to be noted on the packaging. Unfortunately, it also seems that their grain free canned diets only extend to the small breed formulas. The largest cans all contain at least a small amount of oats, which is disappointing. The other issues is that most of the foods do not focus on a single protein, which some dogs have issues with. However, their foods are of excellent quality, and if this does not bother you or your dog, then it’s a great choice for animals with digestive problems. Pick up some of this great dog food online to save money over pet store prices. Halo makes some great products, and the best food for dogs with diarrhea for pet parents on a budget.

#3 – Wysong Archetype

best freeze dried dog food

This product is actually a raw diet that features over 95% meat. This diet is grain and starch free, so if you know that your dog is sensitive to these ingredients, then this would likely be a great choice. Not only are these foods very limited in ingredients, but all of them focus on a single protein item. If your dog seems to be allergic or sensitive to near everything, then this food would be an excellent way to weed out exactly what is bothering them. You can choose between chicken, rabbit or pollock, giving a decent amount of choices for sensitive dogs to try.

Archetype is a freeze dried meat product. While you can feed the freeze dried chunks to your dog as is, you will likely have better results reconstituting it with water. This will not only likely make it more palatable, but it will also give your dog much needed liquids.

There is only one negative aspect to this diet which needs to be addressed. That has to do with the fact that since it is a raw diet that there may be at least some risk of food-borne illness. For most healthy dogs this will be a non-issue. However, if you are looking for a food for a dog who is ill then it may not be the best choice. Dogs who suffered from a compromised immune system, such as those going through a cancer diagnosis, will likely be better served with a cooked food product such as NomNomNow instead.

If your dog is healthy and you were curious about feeding them a raw food diet, then this is an excellent way to get the benefits of raw feeding with the convenience of dry foods. You can learn more about this food and read the full ingredients list at the manufacturer’s website.

#4 – Dave’s Bland Diet

bland diet to aid digestion

Some dogs who are ultra sensitive may need a special food referred to as a “bland diet”. Many vets may recommend this diet for dogs with severe vomiting issues or ones who have recently had surgery. If your dog is having really bad diarrhea, then you could try feeding them a diet like this. The term bland is slightly misleading, because dogs will of course still find it to their liking typically. The ingredients are just very basic, including mostly whole chicken and brewer’s rice. If your dog seems to be having bad digestion issues, then this food is worth a shot.

This lesser known, small business based dog food brand is produced in the United States, and they offer a variety of flavors for your pip to try if they need a restricted diet. It’s a good choice for helping pups who you may suspect of having a food allergy, because the ingredients are severly limited. You can learn more about this food, see the full ingredients list and read reviews from happy pet parents here. It’s a reasonably affordable, healthy and helpful product for restricted diet dogs.

#5 – Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets

limited ingredient diet for dogs

The final entry on our list is Natural Balance. This dog food company offers a variety of limited ingredient diets which are suitable for many pets. We recommend the sweet potato and bison formula for dogs with frequent diarrhea issues. It contains a novel protein which your dog has likely not eaten before, and sweet potatoes are normally very easy to digest. It’s free from grains which can be common problems, and the food focuses on just one protein item.

While this food is easier to digest, it comes up dead last on our list because it’s severley lacking in meat proteins. Meat is actually not the first ingredient in the food, and normally that would get it removed from our lists completely, but many pet parents have had success for it, and some dogs do need to be on reduced protein diets for health reasons. If this is the case for your dog, then Natural Balance would likely be a decent food to try for your dog, though we definetely prefer Halo’s food for digestive needs if your dog does not have these issues. You can see the full ingredient list and reviews here.

Of course this is all up to you and your pet. If your dog refuses to eat other options, then this will be a solid pick. Dogs are individuals just like people, and sometimes they just won’t eat something even if it’s good for them. It may take a few tries to find a dog that agrees with your pup, but make sure that you don’t switch their foods randomly. Stick with a new diet for at least two weeks to give your dog time to adjust before changing them over to a new food. It’s also a good idea to slowly introduce them to new foods to avoid causing further stomach upset. You can do this by mixing a bit of the new food with the old food until the old food is gone.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
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