Unfortunately, your dog can suffer from acid reflux just like you. But, unlike humans, dogs can’t just pop tums and feel better.
Instead, the best way to avoid acid reflux (besides medication or surgery in severe cases) is to eat an appropriate diet. But what’s the right option, and which choice is the best dog food for acid reflux?
Our number one choice is Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free dry dog food.
First, this formula is perfect for both puppies and adults, which can keep you from having to find another option that fits your dog’s growing needs.
But there are plenty of other options as well — from chicken-free to limited ingredient options for dogs with multiple intolerances. Here are the best dog food options for acid reflux.
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Our Top Picks: Best Dog Food For Acid Reflux
- Best Overall – Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Best for Puppies– Blue Buffalo Basics LID Puppy Dry Dog Food
- Best for Seniors – Castor & Pollux Organic Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Best Wet Food – Ziwi Peak Beef Recipe Canned Dog Food
- Best Grain-Free Food – Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food
- Best for Small Breeds – Royal Canin Small Digestive Care Dry Dog Food
- Best for Large Breeds – Natural Balance L.I.D. Large Breed Dry Dog Food
- Best Budget Food – American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
- Best Premium Food – ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Best Limited Ingredient Food – Go! SENSITIVITIES Venison Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
10 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux Reviewed
The formulas mentioned in this article follow AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your dog to a new food, please consult with your veterinarian.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Potatoes, Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 29% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 448 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with novel proteins for gut health
With acid reflux, it’s essential to avoid foods that cause too much stomach acid that can cause trouble. These ingredients include proteins like beef and chicken and other components like grains or legumes for many dogs.
Holistic Select Natural Grain-Free dry dog food keeps your dog healthy without the use of ingredients that could hurt their tummy or increase acid secretion. And bonus points! The formula is safe for both puppies and adult dogs — so you can feed your dog for years with the same recipe.
This dry food starts with real and fresh salmon. This offers a novel protein — along with anchovy and sardine meals — to soothe the tummy and make this food easier to digest. And these animal proteins provide omega fatty acids and taurine for heart health and joint support.
For developing puppies, this formula also includes DHA. This is an essential amino acid for growing pups — helping build cognitive function.
Instead of simple carbohydrates in grains, potatoes, pea fiber, and peas offer easily digestible carbs and prebiotic fiber for sensitive tummies.
And flaxseed, vitamin E oil, and probiotics provide additional digestive tract support and help reduce inflammation in the joints that work against environmental allergies and intolerances.
Dog parents love that the animal proteins are wild-caught and sourced right in the US. And many noted that they’ve had their dog on this food for years, with no gut problems.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Brown Rice
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient dry dog food with probiotics for sensitive pups
Puppies need more protein and calories per pound than when they’re an adult. But this can be difficult to achieve when your dog has to avoid many proteins and other ingredients to keep acid reflux at bay.
Luckily, your pup doesn’t have to eat bland food to keep them safe and well-fed. Instead, try Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy food.
This formula has less than 20 ingredients, keeping it simple and easy to read for any dog owner. It starts with deboned turkey and turkey meal instead of the typical chicken protein.
Turkey offers just as much Crude Protein as chicken too. And, unless your furry friend is allergic to all poultry, it can be gentler on your pup’s tummy. Plus, it includes taurine and glucosamine, which aid in joint support and heart health.
For prebiotic fiber and vitamins like phosphorus for healthy bones in growing pups, this recipe has oatmeal and whole brown rice. Prebiotic fiber increases friendly bacteria in the gut for healthy digestion and to ease acid reflux symptoms.
This dry food is free of wheat, corn, and soy. It’s also chicken-free for sensitive pups.
Puppy parents say that this food keeps their pup regular and even keeps them from gagging after eating.
- First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Potatoes, Organic Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 377 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Dry senior dog food with organic ingredients and antioxidants for immune and digestive support
Old dogs need all the nutritional help that they can get. With Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Senior dry dog food, your canine friend can have organic and stomach-soothing ingredients.
First, it’s important to note that this recipe does contain organic farm-raised chicken as the primary protein source. However, it doesn’t include added growth hormones or antibiotics. But if your dog is allergic to chicken, or if it causes tummy issues, it may be best to avoid this recipe.
However, if your canine can digest chicken a bit easier, they’ll get lots of benefits. First, chicken is full of natural glucosamine and chondroitin — building blocks for flexible cartilage and supple joints. Plus, it also includes iron and B vitamins for an energy boost.
Organic sunflower oil and organic chicken fat provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for brain health and coat shine. Plus, these fats are lighter and more nourishing than saturated fats like pork fat — keeping obesity at bay and easing inflammation in the joints.
This grain-free recipe is made without artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, and GMOs. And, there are no corn, wheat, soy, chickpeas, or lentil ingredients. It doesn’t include any synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.
Castor & Pollux Organic Senior Recipe is certified USDA organic and made in an organically certified US kitchen.
Parents of senior dogs say that this food is fantastic for larger breeds (although safe for small breeds too). They love that it aids in joint support and keeping their big dogs active, even into seniorhood.
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Water, Beef Lung, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe
- Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 8% Crude Protein, 5.5% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 419 kcal/13.75-oz can
- Key Feature: Chicken-free wet dog food made with non-GMO ingredients for dogs with gut issues
Sometimes, your dog just needs or wants wet food. And, with acid reflux, wet food can be helpful because it’s easier to digest and coats the stomach lining to keep bile and acid from rising.
But, finding a chicken-free wet food that offers prebiotics and is filler-free can be difficult. So try Ziwi Peak Canned dog food.
This wet option follows a whole-prey formula — using the bones, organs, and cartilage of real fresh beef. Plus, they include New Zealand green-lipped mussels — an easy-to-digest animal protein.
And these meats offer natural sources of chondroitin, DHA, EPA, and glucosamine. These promote flexible joints, strong muscles, brain function, and gut health.
For digestive health, this formula also includes dried kelp. This is rich in fiber and natural antioxidants, which boost immune support. Plus, fiber aids in healthier digestion.
Chickpeas offer a grain-free solution for soluble fiber as well — raffinose. This provides good bacteria in your dog’s stomach to digest food slowly, which helps keep your dog from regurgitating their food.
This formula is added to and stored in BPA-free cans. It doesn’t include potatoes, soy, or other cheap fillers.
Pet parents enjoy that this food is high in protein and has beneficial fats for their dogs’ joint health. Many love that the formula is chicken-free, too — since chicken is an animal protein that affects their dogs’ tummies.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Yellow Peas, Potatoes, Potato Starch, Chicken Meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: 20.5% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 405 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free and moderate fat dry dog food with antioxidants for a robust immune system
Okay — let’s say your dog mostly suffers from grain allergies or intolerances. If that’s the case, your veterinarian may have recommended a grain-free food.
If that’s the case, you’ll want dog food with healthier grain replacements. That’s where Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin comes in.
This formula provides prebiotics and probiotics — essential nutrients for your dog’s digestive system. Plus, probiotics can also aid in easing symptoms from GI issues. And it also includes antioxidants for an immune system boost — plus omega fatty acids for brain and joint support.
It starts with real deboned chicken. This provides niacin, phosphorus, and even potassium. These essential vitamins aid in joint, bone, and muscle health. Plus, niacin helps reduce potential inflammation and can control cholesterol.
Instead of grains, yellow peas and potatoes provide complex and easy-to-digest carbohydrates. And yellow peas offer iron and magnesium for energy production. Apples and cranberries supply natural antioxidants and vitamin C to help boost your pup’s immunity.
Pet owners say this is the perfect food for gassy and burpy dogs. And, they note that their dogs seemed to love the flavor too.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 3.6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 485 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with prebiotics for easier digestion
Small dogs need a higher protein and fat diet than larger dogs. But they also need less food and smaller kibble.
And, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, you may be thinking it’s hard to fit all of those needs with one food. But, Royal Canin Small Digestive Care dry dog food offers tailored nutrition to your small pooch.
This diet is formulated with a blend of prebiotics and fibers to support easier digestion in small breeds. And, added fibers promote a balanced intestinal flora for less chance of acid build-up and reflux.
It starts with chicken by-product meal. While this is usually an ingredient that you want to steer clear of, Royal Canin uses farm-raised chicken and also uses the organs and bones — making the protein highly digestible and with plenty of nutrients.
However, you may want to choose another formula if your dog can’t handle poultry.
Corn and brewers rice are ground and added to the kibble during cooking to offer extra fiber for motility. Plus, corn offers vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help support a healthy immune and digestive system.
This dry dog food is specially formulated for small dogs ten months who will weigh up to 22 lb when fully grown.
Dog moms and dads exclaim that this is the best food for small dogs. They love that the kibble is small but crunchy to promote chewing and avoid bloat.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
- Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient dry dog food that’s chicken and pea-free for dogs with allergies
Surprisingly, big dogs can be more susceptible to acid reflux. This isn’t because of their allergies and intolerances, though. It’s because they also eat their food too fast, gulp air (thus potential causing bloat), and try to eat everything under the sun.
This is why it’s important to offer tasty — but healthy — food to keep them happy and away from yucky ingredients. And, you’ll also want a larger kibble, so your dog has to chew their food to eat it.
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Large Breed dry dog food is the perfect choice for your big guy.
It starts with a novel mono-protein — real lamb. This offers essential amino acids for heart health, glucosamine to lubricate joints and selenium for thyroid and digestive support.
Low glycemic grains like brown rice and rice bran add in prebiotic fiber to fuel the colon cells and help your dog stay constipation-free.
Sunflower oil and vitamin E aid in joint health and mobility, especially for large breed dogs. Plus, vitamin E boosts your dog’s immune system and aids in membrane stabilization — helping your dog manage pain and inflammation better.
Natural Balance is free of wheat, soy, corn, peas, and chicken.
Pet parents say this food not only helped clear up digestion issues, but their dogs’ skin improved too.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 327 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient dry food made without grains for sensitive pups with budget-conscious owners
Usually, limited ingredient diets and novel protein ingredients in dog food can be high-cost. But it doesn’t have to be.
This formula starts with a high-quality animal protein — real deboned salmon. This novel protein offers plenty of omega-3 essential acids — as well as calcium and potassium — for strong joints and bones.
Fish oil and flaxseeds also supply amino acids and vitamin A. These benefit your dog’s coat and make it shiny. Plus, vitamin A aids in eye health.
Because this is a grain-free recipe, the fiber comes from chickpeas, and sweet potatoes, making this formula grain-free.
These offer gentle nourishment with prebiotics for gut health. And sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene and calcium for a robust immune and digestive system and muscle support.
This dry dog food doesn’t have corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals. And, it doesn’t include artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.
Dog owners love that this food is affordable. But, they admit that it’s stinky and that the pickiest puss may not like it.
- First 5 Ingredients: Whole Mackerel, Whole Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder
- Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 468 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Premium dry dog food with whole prey ingredients and fibrous vegetables for easier digestion
Want to offer premium food with raw and sustainable meats to your dog? Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free dry dog food is for you.
This formula includes novel fish and water proteins and gentle legumes and vegetables for better digestion and a lower chance of acid reflux.
This tasty kibble starts with whole raw mackerel, whole herring, monkfish, and redfish. These animal proteins include the “whole prey” — including organs and bone.
The food is cooked before being freeze-dried coated for extra raw flavor. Plus, these proteins have a vital source of B vitamins for energy production, as well folate for healthy cell growth.
Lentil fiber and pinto beans offer slowly digested fiber and carbohydrates. They are considered low-glycemic, making it easier for dogs to absorb more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These help aid in better digestion and can keep regurgitation at bay.
For omega fatty acids, safflower oil coats the food. And it contains linoleic acid and DHA for proper brain function.
This high-quality dog food is made in the US by a family company. It doesn’t include corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or colors.
Pet owners enjoy that this food is full of high-protein animal sources. They recommend it most for larger dogs or working pups that need the extra energy without the ingredients that can cause acid reflux.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Venison, Venison Meal, Tapioca, Peas, Pea Flour
- Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 442 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient dry dog food with venison with zinc for digestion and immunity support
If your dog suffers with food sensitivities to almost everything, you may feel unlucky (and frustrated) with trying to find decent food.
But, you can tailor to your pooch’s unique dietary needs with Go! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Venison dry dog foo.
This formula starts with a mono-protein — deboned venison. This premium-quality animal ingredient is perfect for dogs who may be allergic to beef and chicken (or other poultry) options.
Venison offers zinc for digestive health, iron for energy production, and B vitamins for a brain boost.
ASC-certified marine microalgae oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health. But, it also provides DHA and EPA for proper brain development.
Dried chicory root provides fiber to help support sensitive stomachs. And lentils are added as well. They contain folate and thiamine for muscle and metabolic support.
This recipe is made without by-product meals or artificial additives. It doesn’t include grains, gluten, chicken, potato, wheat, corn, or soy. It’s crafted by a team of animal nutritionists.
Pet parents say this is the best food for multiple problems — including itchy skin and acid reflux (or even just a grumbling belly).
Dog Food for Acid Reflux: What to Look For
What do you need to do with a dog that has acid reflux? And, is there specific food you should buy? Here’s all that you need to know.
Acid Reflux In Dogs
Acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease) is similar to acid reflux in humans. This multifactorial disesase happens when intestinal or gastric fluids come up from the stomach and flow into your dog’s esophagus.
This can cause inflammation or irritation — and in worse cases, cause damage to the esophageal lining.
Acid reflux can mean a gastrointestinal tract issue. If you’ve noticed symptoms in your dog that happen frequently, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Dogs
Here are a few common symptoms from acid reflux to look out for. Your dog’s acid reflux symptoms may vary, but there are a few to keep an eye on.
Changes in Eating Behavior
If your dog no longer wants to eat their food or seems to pick at it, this could be a sign of acid reflux. It’s common for dogs to avoid food that doesn’t make them feel well.
Excessive Burping and Gagging
After your dog eats, they may burp or gag. But, if they do this often and if your dog has excessive gas even when not eating, this can be a sign of acid reflux.
Does your dog’s tummy constantly rumble and grumble? This could be a symptom of gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux.
The occasional groans are okay, but be wary if it always happens after eating or during activity times.
Some dogs just slobber a lot, and that’s okay. But if your dog has never had an issue with salivation before but has started, it’s time to get them checked by a vet.
This can also be a symptom from nausea, so keep an eye out.
Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. This is usually in the form of bile — a yellow substance that usually happens on an empty stomach.
Or, your dog may regurgitate their food, spitting it up right after they’ve eaten.
Appetite Changes and Weight Loss
Does your dog outright refuse their food? Or have you noticed a decrease in their weight? If so, this could be a severe symptom of acid reflux and should be checked immediately.
Bad Breath and Tooth Decay
While bad breath and tooth decay can also happen if your dog doesn’t get their teeth cleaned regularly, it can also be a sign of acid reflux.
If you brush your dog’s teeth but they still have stinky breath or tooth decay, talk to your vet about possible acid reflux.
How to Treat Acid Reflux in Dogs
Once you confirm that your dog has acid reflux, there are a few techniques that you can use to treat it.
Keep in mind that these tips are for mild or moderate cases — extreme cases are usually fixed with surgery.
Smaller and More Frequent Meals
One of the easiest ways to combat acid reflux (besides changing dog food) is to offer your dog smaller and more frequent meals.
This will help them digest their food easier and faster, thus avoiding the build-up of fluids.
Add Moisture or Consider Wet Food
Wet food helps coat the stomach lining and prevents bile from rising during digestion. You don’t have to buy wet food either.
You can always mix your dog’s kibble with broth or water to soften it a bit. If you would prefer to buy wet food, we have a great choice up above!
If your dog is underweight or overweight, they aren’t getting the proper nutrition they need. And this can affect multiple systems in their body, including their stomach and digestive tract.
So, keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra issues.
How to Prevent Acid Reflux in Dogs
The best way to prevent acid reflux in your dog is to avoid the food or ingredients that cause it. This may take trial and error, but usually, limited ingredient diets work best.
Also, be sure to avoid feeding your dog excessive table scraps as a treat or feeding them human food that doesn’t have their health in mind. This can irritate their digestive tract and cause further damage.
Do you feed your pup late at night? With acid reflux, it’s harder to digest food while sleeping. Instead, feed your dog an hour or two before bedtime to allow the food to settle a bit.
And, be sure to keep your canine on a consistent feeding schedule. This will help reduce pressure buildup in their gastrointestinal system. Plus, it can also decrease the risk of acid reflux.
What to Feed a Dog With Acid Reflux
When it comes to dog food for acid reflux, what should you be looking for? Here are the ingredients to keep an eye on!
Highly Digestible Proteins
Unlike with other adult dogs, those with acid reflux will need slightly less protein — a high protein diet usually can have too much fat — which can cause extreme heartburn.
Also, focus on highly digestible proteins, like lean meats. These include fish, venison, lamb, or even turkey. And, find animal proteins before turning to plant sources — even meat meals are better than soy or beans.
High-fat content is harder to digest and spends a longer time in the stomach. This causes your dog to make more stomach acid — which can cause heartburn and acid reflux. So, a low-fat diet is a better choice than moderate or high fat.
And, the types of fat that you choose will be important too. Unsaturated fats like coconut oil and fish oil are better than meat fats and canola oil.
While these ingredients aren’t bad, they have a heavier feel in the stomach, which can make your dog feel terrible.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts. These help flood the digestive system with “good” bacteria — helping to fend off germs and illness — like acid reflux.
With probiotics, your dog’s stomach will be able to absorb food and nutrients better. And stomach acid build-up may calm down, which will also help your dog feel better, reduce inflammation in the gut, and keep food down.
When choosing a dog food with probiotics, be sure that they are “live” probiotics. This means that they are added after cooking in order to be at full strength.
Limited Ingredient Diet
As you can see, specific ingredients and nutrients can cause extra acid in your dog’s stomach. To avoid most of these upfront, choose a limited ingredient diet!
These will include novel proteins (like lamb) to avoid certain proteins. And, many are free of fillers that may exacerbate symptoms and build up.
Remember, a limited ingredient diet may not be noted on the front of the package. Always read the ingredients of commercial dog food to see how many there are, and if they will work for your pup.
Acid reflux doesn’t have to call discomfort and pain for your dog. Instead, complete and balanced nutrition can meets their needs can keep those symptoms away.
For us, the best option is Holistic Select Adult & Puppy Grain-Free dry dog food.
With plenty of protein, healthy fats, and novel ingredients, it’s the perfect choice for puppies and adult dogs.
But if you need a specific option — like a senior formula or limited ingredient option, we’ve got you covered there too. All of the options on our list are perfect to help dogs with acid reflux get better.
What are the best proteins to feed a dog with acid reflux?
Novel proteins that are lower in fat are best for dogs with acid reflux. This includes duck, fish (like salmon), venison, water buffalo, or lamb.
Is acid reflux in dogs dangerous?
Yes, it can be. In worst-case scenarios, it can erode the delicate lining of the esophagus. This could create a need for surgery or can cause other issues like extreme weight loss or fatigue.
Is acid reflux painful for dogs?
Yes, acid reflux is painful for dogs. If you’ve ever had heartburn, you may understand how it can make you uncomfortable or hurt during the process. And for dogs, it’s even worse because their esophagus is shorter. It can cause difficulty with chewing, eating, swallowing, and more.
Can you feed your dog with acid reflux homemade food?
Yes, but I’d recommend against it. Homemade dog food may be missing key nutrients and vitamins that dogs need to thrive. Instead, you can choose one of the options from this list.
If you want to make your dog’s food, consult with your veterinarian to create the best diet for them.
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