The Best Dog Foods For IBD

Irritable bowel disease can have serious health impacts on your dog, such as decreased muscle mass, weight loss, and poor coat. You’ll need to take the necessary steps to improve your dog’s health. The first step is to change your dog’s food.

Dietary changes can help you manage this disease. With so many options out there, you may not be sure which dog food will help ease IBD symptoms. To make things easier, we’ve developed a comprehensive guide to help you find the best option.


Let’s get started.

The Best Dog Foods For IBD

Top ProductsRatingTop 5 Ingredients
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets H.A. Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food 4.4 Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Vegetable Oil
Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Grain-Free Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food 4.4 Salmon, Rice, Barley, Oat Meal, Fish Meal
Hill’s Science Diet Grain-Free Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food 4.6  Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Soybean Oil
Diamond Care Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach Formula Adult Dry Dog Food 4.5 Potatoes, Egg Product, Potato Protein, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Dog Food 4.6  Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Sunflower Oil
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Adult Classic Entree Canned Dog Food 3.8 Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein, Carrots
Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food 4.8 Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Canola Oil, Peas, Chicory Root
PetGuard Organic Chicken & Vegetable Entree Canned Dog Food4.8 Organic Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Oats, Organic Carrots

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets H.A. Hydrolyzed Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein Isolate, Vegetable Oil

If you want to relieve your dog’s IBD symptoms, consider the Purina Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food. This recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition, making it ideal for your dog’s digestive problems.

This recipe is highly digestible to promote optimum nutrient absorption in dogs. It features a high-quality hydrolyzed protein source and is a great choice for dogs with food sensitivities. This dry dog food is vet-recommended and has nutritious ingredients. 

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Grain-Free Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  Salmon, Rice, Barley, Oat Meal, Fish Meal

Purina’s Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach dog food is a special diet for sensitive dogs that boosts their digestive health. The recipe features easily digestible ingredients such as salmon and rice that provide essential macro-nutrients for a healthy and active dog. It also contains fish oils and omega fatty acids to nourish your dog’s skin and coat.

This dog food helps strengthen your dog’s digestive health, making it easier to manage irritable bowel disease. It contains live probiotics and prebiotic fibers to promote gut flora and encourage faster nutrient absorption.

Hill’s Science Diet Grain-Free Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Soybean Oil

This tasty dry dog food from Hill’s Science Diet is a great choice for dogs with irritable bowel disease. 

It helps alleviate digestive issues in most sensitive dogs. The recipe features an array of nutrient-rich ingredients, including chicken, brewers rice, and soybean oil, supporting your dog’s dietary needs and overall health.

Another great feature of the recipe is its prebiotic support, promoting gut flora for a stronger digestive system. It also contains vitamin E and omega fatty acids to support soft skin and a lustrous coat.

Diamond Care Grain-Free Sensitive Stomach Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Potatoes, Egg Product, Potato Protein, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat

Diamond Care Sensitive Stomach Formula is the best food product for dogs with an extremely fragile digestive system. It features a limited selection of quality ingredients and even exchanges meat for egg protein to manage IBD flare-ups. This recipe is completely free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy so that your sensitive dog can enjoy a tasty meal.

To support your dog’s digestive tract, the dog food features species-specific probiotics and prebiotics that promote gut flora and more efficient nutrient absorption. Also, the recipe contains vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids that strengthen your dog’s overall health.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Sunflower Oil

Natural Balance’s Salmon & Sweet Potato dog food features carefully selected ingredients for sensitive dogs. This digestion-friendly recipe has everything your dog needs to stay strong and healthy. It features premium quality foods, including real salmon, sweet potatoes, and other wholesome ingredients that energize your dog and support muscle growth.

This dog food is completely free from grains, gluten, peas, lentils, corn, and wheat so that your pet can easily digest and absorb nutrients. Also, Natural Balance’s dog foods are formulated by board-certified clinical veterinarians and animal nutritionists to ensure the highest-quality dog food for IBD.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Adult Classic Entree Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein, Carrots

Purina Pro Plan canned dog food is perfect for dogs suffering from irritable bowel disease. If your dog has an upset stomach, this recipe is an excellent choice. It has nutritionally dense salmon and rice for the best texture and taste. It also provides essential amino acids and omega fatty acids needed for skin and muscle nourishment.

This recipe features highly digestible rice to keep your dog active and healthy. The salmon in this recipe also contains D.H.A., which promotes cognitive development. Overall, it’s a great pick for dogs with food allergies and irritable bowel disease.

Blue Buffalo Basics L.I.D Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Canola Oil, Peas, Chicory Root

This recipe is a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs and irritable bowel disease. It has limited ingredients to ensure that your dog gets high-quality nutrition. The recipe features premium-quality protein sources like turkey to nourish and support muscle growth. It also contains easily digestible carbohydrate sources like potatoes and peas to boost your dog’s energy levels.

Apart from this, the dog food provides prebiotic support to enhance overall digestive health. Also, the recipe contains various antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables for complete and balanced nutrition.

Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Dry Grain-Free Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Blueberries

Taste of the Wild offers one of the most nutrient-dense dog foods out there. It contains novel proteins and other unique ingredients like venison, garbanzo beans, and blueberries. A variety of wholesome fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

This diet is ideal for sensitive dogs with irritable bowel disease. It has K9 probiotics and prebiotics that improve your dog’s digestive function. Plus, this recipe is free from allergens like grains, gluten, and artificial preservatives.

Nulo Freestyle Puppy Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Canola Oil, Dried Chicory Root

The Nulo Freestyle dry dog food has the right ingredients to fulfill your pup’s unique dietary needs. If you’ve got a puppy with irritable bowel disease, consider the Nulo Freestyle Limited+ dog food. It is gentle on your pup’s stomach and has limited ingredients.

This recipe features deboned salmon as the primary ingredient to support lean muscle development. It also features complex carbs like chickpeas to promote easy digestion. Plus, this recipe contains specially-formulated GanedenBC30 probiotics for a healthy gut and immunity. Your pup will love this great-tasting, healthy recipe.  

Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Real Chicken And Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Dried Peas, Sunflower Oil

This highly palatable recipe is completely free of dietary allergens and is a perfect choice for dogs with irritable bowel disease. It features premium-quality, holistic nutrition to support sensitive dogs. The base recipe features real chicken as the primary protein source for muscle nourishment. Other wholesome ingredients include brown rice, carrots, and dried beet pulp.

These ingredients provide essential macro and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for optimal growth. Finally, the recipe omits artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors to prevent IBD flare-ups.

Royal Canin Small Digestive Care Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Brewers Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp

Royal Canin dog features a nutrition profile tailored for small dogs with IBD. It uses highly digestible proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber for optimal nutrient absorption and improved energy levels. The recipe also includes probiotics and prebiotics to promote gut flora. The taste and aroma of the Royal Canin dry dog food make it a popular choice amongst dogs.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Liver, Dried Peas, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed

This grain-free wet food can help manage chronic irritable bowel disease in dogs. It has easily digestible proteins and limited ingredients to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort. If you’re looking for a delicious recipe for your dog, this one is a great choice.

This recipe features real, deboned lamb to aid in muscle nourishment. It derives a range of vitamins and minerals from complex carbs like peas and flaxseed. It’s specially formulated for sensitive stomachs and doesn’t contain any corn, peas, grains, potatoes, or soy. Also, this dog food is packaged in a pull-tab can for added convenience.    

American Journey Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed

The American Journey offers a highly palatable solution for dogs with irritable bowel disease. This recipe has a novel protein source and complex carbs for better digestibility. It features real lamb and savory lamb broth as the primary ingredients. It also includes amino acids and omega fatty acids for skin and coat support.

This grain-free recipe is ideal for dogs that can’t tolerate allergy-triggering ingredients. Also, it obtains premium ingredients from trusted sources worldwide. You can feed your dog a great-tasting meal that delivers powerful nutrients for great overall health.

PetGuard Organic Chicken & Vegetable Entree Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Oats, Organic Carrots

Provide your dog with a complete and balanced meal with this organic dog food by PetGuard. The recipe features organic chicken and fresh vegetables and fruits. It is full of chelated minerals, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s full-body healthy. Additionally, this recipe is incredibly flavorful, and most dogs love it.

Organic, hormone-free, and cage-free chicken is the main ingredient in the blend. Other wholesome ingredients include brown rice, savory chicken broth, oats, carrots, chicken liver, cranberries, and more. This recipe is one of the best organic wet food options to relieve your dog’s IBD symptoms.

Newman’s Own Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Organic Barley, Organic Oats, Organic Peas, Chicken Meal

This tasty kibble by Newman’s Own features a holistic formula rich in nutritious ingredients. The premium dog food contains natural ingredients to give your dog a well-balanced and complete meal. It contains the ideal ratio of protein, complex carbs, and fats. Also, it includes essential omega fatty acids, vitamins, and chelated minerals to enhance your dog’s immunity.

This dry dog food is suitable for all breeds and maximizes nutrient absorption. It contains a unique antioxidant complex to promote immune health and probiotics for digestive wellness. Finally, it has great taste and is perfect for picky eaters!

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley

This recipe by Halo Holistic features cage-free chicken as its primary ingredient. The recipe contains no antibiotics or growth hormones and provides holistic nutrition to dogs with irritable bowel syndrome. It has a unique blend of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that maximize palatability and nutrient assimilation. Also, the recipe gets its unique flavors from organic ingredients, including chicken liver, dried egg product, and pearled barley. Overall, the non-GMO ingredient list offers maximum nutritional benefits to keep your dog happy and healthy.

CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Canola Oil

This highly palatable recipe has fewer ingredients than the average kibble. It’s a favorite of dogs with irritable bowel disease and a picky attitude. It features easily digestible protein and carbohydrate sources ingredients like salmon, sweet potatoes, and peas. These ingredients support your dog’s digestive health without triggering IBD flare-ups. Also, the recipe includes antioxidants, probiotics, fatty acids, and vitamins that promote gut flora and build strong immunity. Serve your dog a bowl filled with wholesome nutrition for overall good health.

Primal Turkey & Sardine Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Whole Sardines, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers

This raw-food diet offers all the nutritional benefits your dog needs. If you’re looking for a hormone-, antibiotic-, and steroid-free dog food, this one is all you need. This naturally-preserved, balanced diet will boost your dog’s digestive and immune health. The recipe features high-quality protein, calcium, and omega fatty acids for your beloved dog’s optimal growth.

The natural, grain-free diet has a variety of sustainably sourced ingredients. Additionally, it contains essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.  

Buyer’s Guide

Here’s a breakdown of common dietary triggers of IBD and tips for how to choose the best food for your sensitive dog.

Irritable bowel disease is not uncommon in dogs. A variety of things can trigger IBD symptoms, such as chronic vomiting, loose stools, and excessive gas.

Some dogs develop IBD because their diet contains too much fat or lacks sufficient fiber. In other cases, IBD may signal the presence of an underlying disorder or a defective immune system.

Every dog has unique needs, which means that the perfect dog food for one dog may be a poor choice for another. Depending on the cause of your dog’s irritable bowel disease, a change in diet may help alleviate the symptoms.

Is Your Dog’s Food to Blame for Their Irritable Bowel Disease?

The exact cause of irritable bowel disease is unknown, but common dietary culprits may trigger a flare-up of IBD symptoms. These include excess fat, grains, gluten, insufficient fiber, and the type of protein.

Some IBD flare-ups involve an allergic reaction to common protein sources, such as chicken and beef. Most dogs with IBD will also have other symptoms, such as recurring skin and ear infections.

Food intolerances can arise from any ingredient in a diet. These intolerances occur when a dog has difficulty digesting a certain ingredient. For example, fats and grains are difficult for many dogs to digest.  

Dietary Guidelines For Managing Your Dog’s Irritable Bowel Disease

An intermittent episode of diarrhea or vomiting is not uncommon. But if the symptoms persist, you should consult a veterinarian. Your vet will perform a thorough physical exam to assess your dog’s overall health.

There are many causes of irritable bowel disease other than food, such as viral infections and genetic predisposition. Your vet will rule out these conditions before focusing on your dog’s diet. Your vet may also ask for a fecal exam, blood work, and X-rays to help with the diagnosis.

Try a Bland Diet for Short-Term Relief

A temporary switch to a bland diet is the best option to help manage your dog’s IBD flare-up. Boiled, plain chicken and brown rice, and some canned pumpkin may help resolve chronic diarrhea.

Switch to a Dog Food For Sensitive Dogs

Ask your veterinarian if you can switch to a new food that’s specifically formulated for irritable bowel disease and other digestive issues. These diets are available in prescription and over-the-counter formulas and include natural ingredients to soothe your dog’s tummy.

Sensitive stomach diets for dogs feature:

Easily Digestible Ingredients

The dog food options in this article target dogs with gastrointestinal issues. These options help promote easy and healthy digestion. When you pick a dog food, make sure it is easy to digest and contains ingredients that naturally support digestion. These include lamb, rice, chicken, peas, and sweet potatoes.

You can also choose a formula that features additional vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support a sensitive stomach.                            

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are essential for a dog’s diet and help stimulate the digestive system. The dog food you pick must include probiotics for maximum nutritional benefit. Your vet may also prescribe a prebiotic supplement that you can add to your dog’s food. Prebiotics can help restore healthy gut bacteria to improve digestive function.

High-Fiber Content

Choose a diet with fiber-rich ingredients, such as beet pulp or psyllium or beet pulp, to help resolve symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

Low-Fat Content

Fats and oils are difficult for many dogs to digest.

Try an Elimination Diet

Sometimes, switching to a new diet can resolve your dog’s stomach problems within a few days. But if symptoms persist, you may want to try an elimination diet.

An elimination diet involves switching the dog to a prescription diet specifically formulated for pets with digestive disorders. Most dietary trials last up to eight weeks to allow intestinal inflammation and infections to resolve. Avoid feeding your dog other foods during the trial to avoid accidental exposure to a dietary allergen. This includes table scraps and sugary treats.

After the trial is complete, your vet may recommend switching to the old diet to see if symptoms return or to a new diet for long-term maintenance.

Limited-ingredient Dog Food

Limited ingredient dog food (L.I.D.) is a popular option for dog owners and contains fewer ingredients than regular kibble. Most limited ingredient diets have one protein source, like hydrolyzed turkey or venison, and may also have a complex carbohydrate source. If your dog has irritable bowel disease or other digestive problems, you may want to switch to a limited ingredient diet.

Grain-free Dog Food

If your dog has irritable bowel disease, you may need to avoid grains and grain-derived foods. These include wheat, corn, soy, and rye. Dogs have difficulty digesting these grains, which can also cause gastrointestinal inflammation and other serious health issues.

Grain-free diets can help reduce common IBD symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. These diets are hypoallergenic and highly digestible, meaning dogs can utilize essential nutrients efficiently.

Check Food Labels

The dog food should meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrition standards. These guidelines ensure the safety, accuracy, and quality of ingredients.

The label should indicate that the food is nutritionally complete and balanced for your dog’s life stage. This guarantees that the dog food will contain appropriate ratios of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is canine IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to the chronic inflammation of a dog’s intestine or digestive tract. The inflammation damages the intestinal lining and prevents smooth digestion. Most dogs with irritable bowel disease have a history of recurrent diarrhea or vomiting and may have a poor appetite.

What Causes IBD?

The main causes of irritable bowel disease (IBD) include:

  • Food allergies
  • Genetic markers
  • Food allergies
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Weak immune system

Can irritable bowel disease cause chronic vomiting?

If your dog’s intestine is inflamed, it can lead to chronic vomiting. This symptom may not have any identifiable cause, but there may be certain foods or treats that irritate the condition.

Can irritable bowel disease cause chronic diarrhea?

Yes. If inflammation is primarily located in the intestine, your dog may have diarrhea or the presence of mucus and blood in their poop.

Can irritable bowel disease cause weight Loss?

Yes. Irritable bowel disease can trigger unexplained weight loss in dogs. Your dog may not be eating because of painful IBD symptoms. So if you notice a decrease in your dog’s normal appetite, talk to your veterinarian.

Is lethargy a sign of canine IBD?

Yes. Your dog may seem lethargic if the inflammation is mild. Early intervention is crucial for addressing irritable bowel disease in dogs. You may want to consult with your vet if you notice any changes in your dog’s eating habits and activity levels. 

How Is IBD Diagnosed?

Your vet will ask questions about your dog’s symptoms. If they suspect your pet is suffering from irritable bowel disease, they’ll recommend an intestinal biopsy for a diagnosis. This biopsy will confirm the presence of inflammatory cells and show how severe the condition is.

Blood work, fecal exams, ultrasounds, and x-rays are also common if your dog’s vet suspects IBD. These tests can help to rule out other possibilities like cancer, parasites, or illness.

Which Dogs Are Prone to IBD?

Any dog can have irritable bowel disease, but some dog breeds receive a diagnosis more than others, including:

  • Weimaraner
  • Basenji
  • Soft-coated wheaten terriers
  • Rottweiler
  • Irish setters
  • Yorkshire terriers
  • German shepherd
  • Norweigian lundehund
  • Border collie
  • Boxer

How Is IBD Treated?

Irritable bowel disease has no cure, but you can manage it through prescription medication like steroids and antibiotics. This condition can take some trial and error to find the best treatment plan.

Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to see any improvement. Be patient with your dog as you try new things to help improve their condition. You can also take detailed notes on their diet and other habits.

When is it time to see the veterinarian?

Diarrhea or vomiting that persists longer than a few days will likely require a vet visit. You may notice blood in your dog’s vomit or stool if their condition has progressed.

Some dogs may begin to eat and drink less to prevent IBD flare-ups and end up losing weight. This can lead to fatigue and disinterest in daily activities. Any negative changes in your dog’s behavior are a reason to visit your vet.

Do vets recommend a raw diet for dogs with IBD?

Vets recommend against feeding raw food to dogs with IBD. Raw diets feature uncooked and untreated meat, poultry, milk, and eggs. These raw ingredients contain harmful germs that can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea.

Is IBD painful for dogs?

Yes. Dogs with irritable bowel disease are miserable and in pain. A quick diagnosis and dietary changes can help your recover from this illness.  

Can dogs with IBD eat a banana?

Yes, dogs with IBD can have bananas. This fruit is a great low-calorie treat for dogs.  

Can dogs with IBD eat eggs?

Yes. Eggs are a great source of digestible protein for dogs.

 Is peanut butter good for dogs with IBD?

No. Dogs with IBD cannot eat peanut butter. That’s because it contains inflammatory ingredients like rancid fats and is dangerous for sensitive dogs.  

Is yogurt bad for dogs?

Yogurt is not bad for dogs, but some lactose-intolerant dogs may have trouble digesting it.

Are sardines good for dogs with a sensitive stomach?

Yes. Sardines are high in protein and safe for sensitive dogs to eat.

Is salmon good for a dog with IBD?

Yes. Salmon is a novel protein source and is a great choice for dogs with irritable bowel disease.

Is cooked or raw meat better for dogs?

Cooked meat is a better choice for sensitive dogs. Dogs on a raw diet have a higher chance of developing a foodborne illness or other digestive disorders. Cooking meat to a safe temperature removes harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and more.

What vegetables are toxic for dogs with IBD?

Onions, wild mushrooms, garlic, avocado, and rhubarb are all toxic to dogs. You should also avoid feeding raisins, corn, and grapes to your dog.

Is bacon good for dogs with IBD?

No. bacon is an incredibly fatty food with a high salt content, which can irritate your dog’s sensitive stomach. Eating a large amount can cause severe IBD flare-ups and pancreatitis.

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