No one wants to be stuck pooping all day — but that’s what happens with diarrhea. And for dogs, this can become a dangerous situation.
If it gets out of control, your dog can become dehydrated, exhausted, and more. While acute diarrhea usually resolves itself, what happens when it keeps coming back?
For one, you’ll want to talk to your vet. After they clear your dog of any potential health issues, it will most likely be time to look into dog food that supports your dog’s sensitive stomach. But, what is the best dog food for diarrhea, and are there any that keep it away?
Our favorite option is Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains dry dog food.
It’s filled with simple and wholesome ingredients that protect your dog’s digestive system and boost their immunity. And, it’s still got plenty of protein and healthy fats for dogs of all sizes and breeds.
But, if your looking for other options, like a puppy formula or organic food, we’ve got you covered there too.
Our Best Dog Food for Diarrhea
- Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food (Best Overall)
- CANIDAE PURE Puppy Dry Dog Food (Best for Puppies)
- Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Senior Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Seniors)
- AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food (Best for Small Breeds)
- Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Adult Health Dry Dog Food (Best for Large Breeds)
- Natural Balance Gentle Balance Sensitive Digestion Adult Wet Dog Food (Best Wet Food)
- American Journey Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Food)
- Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Premium Food)
- Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Dry Food)
- Ollie Lamb Dog Food (Best Fresh Food)
10 Best Dog Food for Diarrhea & Loose Stool Reviewed
Each of the following formulas adheres to AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. Please don’t switch your dog’s food without consulting with your veterinarian, especially if they’re dealing with diarrhea or loose stool.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 395 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with wholesome grains for dogs with loose stool
There are many reasons that your dog may have diarrhea. But the most common cause is food intolerance or a sensitive stomach. If that’s the case for your furry friend, try a formula that’s made for delicate tummies.
Wellness CORE Digestive Health dry dog food is the perfect solution for your dog’s diet. It starts with real animal proteins and includes gentle grains that aid in firmer stool and regularity.
It starts with deboned chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal. These high-quality proteins contain glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and cartilage. And they have B vitamins for metabolism support and vitamin K for muscle support.
For a dose of omega fatty acids, they include salmon oil. This nutrient-rich oil also provides DHA and ARA for cognitive function and healthy skin.
This recipe also contains barley, oat groats, brown rice, and pumpkin. These carb sources are high in fiber to improve regularity. And pumpkin is full of beta-carotene and antioxidants for a robust immune system and eye health.
Last but not least, Wellness Core includes live probiotics in this formula. These aid in better digestive health and fight inflammation in the stomach and digestive tract.
Dog parents love that this food reduced gas and burping in their dogs. And many also noted a considerable change in their digestion. They admit that this food keeps their pups regular without causing constipation or diarrhea.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 526 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Moderate-fat and limited ingredient puppy food with probiotics for digestive support
Yes, puppies can have sensitive tummies and loose stools too. Young pups are more susceptible to diarrhea. This is because their digestive systems are learning how to function. And, during this time, most puppies are showing if they will have food allergies or intolerances.
If you have a pup that gets diarrhea or needs a limited ingredient diet, try CANIDAE PURE Puppy dry dog food. This formula has nine simple ingredients. And, it doesn’t contain many proteins or additives that cause digestive problems.
This recipe starts with high-quality animal proteins that are gentle to the stomach — deboned salmon and salmon meal.
Since some pups with allergies tend to have issues with proteins like chicken or beef, this fish formula is a great alternative. Plus, salmon contains DHA, which is essential for brain function and growth.
Oatmeal and barley are easier-to-digest grains that are safe for most puppies and their sensitive tummies. These ingredients have a healthy dose of prebiotic fiber for stool regulation and vitamin C for a healthy immune system.
Calcium, phosphorus, and taurine are supplemented as well. These nutrients are essential for growing pups and offer health benefits like healthy bone growth and heart health.
For extra digestive support, probiotics with digestive enzymes are sprinkled over the food after cooking. These help introduce good gut bacteria into your dog’s system, which can keep inflammation and infections away.
This formula is free of corn gluten meal, wheat, and soy — which can cause your pup’s upset stomach. It doesn’t include artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Puppy parents say this food gave their pups a great headstart in life. Many note that even puppies with food intolerances and allergies could handle it and thrived when switched to CANIDAE.
- 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: High-protein dry senior dog food with organic ingredients and omega fatty acids for digestion support
Senior dogs need lots of support. As they age, their bodies need more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to function their best. And, just like puppies, senior dogs are prone to diarrhea. Their digestion and immune systems can weaken over time, allowing bacteria or other illnesses to cause loose stool.
This is why it’s crucial to choose the right senior food. Why not give Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Senior dry dog food a try?
It includes only USDA-certified organic foods crafted in an organically certified US kitchen. So not only are you giving your pooch the best of the best, but you’ll know where the food comes from.
This formula starts with organic and farm-raised chicken. This contains natural glucosamine, taurine, and chondroitin for flexible joints and a strong heart.
For extra joint support and to fight off inflammation in the digestive tract, organic sunflower oil and organic chicken liver provide omega fatty acids and vitamin E. They also coat the stomach to keep harmful bacteria that can cause diarrhea away.
Keep in mind that too much oil or fat can cause loose stool. Luckily, the fat content in this food is low enough to keep stool firm.
This recipe is grain-free. Instead, it has organic sweet potatoes and peas. They offer soluble fiber to keep your senior regular. And organic blueberries provide antioxidants and vitamin C for a strong immune system.
Castor & Pollux doesn’t include artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, or GMOs. And, it’s free of corn, wheat, soy, chickpeas, and lentils.
Senior pet parents love to spoil their senior dogs with premium organic dog food. And, many noted that their dogs don’t experience any digestive problems like bloat, gas, or diarrhea.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Pea Flour
- Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 497 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free and limited ingredient diet with small kibble size for small breeds
Your little furry friend is more likely to have tummy troubles and diarrhea than their larger counterparts.
That’s because their metabolism and GI tracts are smaller but need proper nutrition to meet their protein and calorie needs. When these are out of balance, a sensitive stomach — and diarrhea — can happen.
AvoDerm Advanced Sensitive Support Small Breed dry dog food can help with that. This limited ingredient diet is specially made for canine companions under 20 lbs. And each bite-sized piece of kibble is coated with probiotics for digestive support.
This recipe starts with real deboned lamb — and it’s the only source of animal protein. This provides plenty of protein and includes crucial vitamins and minerals like iron for energy and zinc for metabolic support.
Garbanzo beans and pea flour contain plenty of fiber to support easy digestion. And to top it off, flaxseeds and avocado oil contain essential fatty acids to support sensitive skin and firm up stool.
This formula is 100% free from corn, wheat, soy, and chicken by-product meal. It also doesn’t include artificial colors or flavors.
Dog moms and dads appreciate that this food doesn’t include chicken or beef. And many say that even when their dogs start feeling better, they keep them on this food.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Rice, Oatmeal, Oats, Chicken Fat
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 453 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Dry dog food with probiotics and antioxidants for large breed dogs
Sometimes, your large breed just needs a little more help with their digestion. If you have a giant dog with a sensitive tummy, or if they’re gassy or experiencing diarrhea, a formula made for sensitive stomachs can be beneficial.
Holistic Select Large Breed dog food is the perfect solution. Not only does it contain plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, but it’s also supplemented with probiotics for better digestion.
This larger-sized kibble starts with high-quality chicken meal and pork meal. This provides a healthy 24% Crude Protein. And they provide taurine for heart health and l-carnitine for a brain boost and metabolic support.
Chicken fat and flaxseed oil contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These aid in healthy skin and provide your dog with a shiny coat. But they also aid in joint health and cognitive function.
For prebiotic fiber and other nutrients, Holistic Select adds oats, rice, and pumpkin. These help keep your dog’s stool firm and offer vitamin C for immune support.
Apples, cranberries, papayas, and pomegranates are included for an antioxidant boost. These wholesome fruits aid in a robust immune system and offer other nutrients like vitamin A for eye health.
Pet owners say that if your dog has poop problems, feed them this formula. They noticed an immediate difference in their dogs’ regularity and the quality of their stool (aka no more diarrhea!).
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Brewers Dried Yeast
- Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 8% Crude Protein, 5.5% Crude Fat, 1.5% Fiber, 78% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 405 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein wet dog food with prebiotics for sensitive tummies
Is your dog suffering from acute diarrhea? Or are they dealing with a super sensitive stomach? If so, choose a diet that’s a bit more “bland” and high in nutrients to stop the symptoms in their tracts.
Try Natural Balance Gentle Balance Sensitive Digestion wet dog food for the most sensitive tummies. This complete and balanced diet is formulated with prebiotics and other nutrients to support your dog’s immune and digestive health.
It starts with real deboned chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver. While some dogs may be allergic, it’s a gentle protein for many. And these ingredients contain l-lysine and iron to maintain stool iron, provide antiviral support, and aid in lean muscle mass.
Menhaden fish oil and flaxseeds contain essential amino acids for healthy joints. And they also contain DHA for cognitive function.
It’s important to know that this is not a grain-free formula. However, it includes gentle grains like brown rice and pearled barley. These offer plenty of prebiotic fiber for healthier digestion and nutrients like magnesium for anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the key ingredients in this canned food is chicory root. It contains inulin, which has been studied to improve digestive health and even boost metabolism.
Canine owners hate how this food smells. But, many said this is the best food to feed a dog when they have diarrhea that comes out of nowhere.
- 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 dog food with novel proteins for dog owners on a budget
Many dog food formulas that help stop diarrhea and support an upset stomach can be of higher value. If you’re a dog owner on a budget, you may be looking for a more cost-effective option. Enter American Journey Limited Ingredient dry dog food.
This formula has the same high-quality ingredients and is a mono-protein food. But, it’s also wallet-friendly and perfect for long-term use if needed.
It starts with real deboned salmon. This helps grow and maintain lean muscle mass and are easier to digest for dogs with specific protein allergies. Plus, salmon contains EPA, which can aid in better brain function and nourish joints.
Easily digestible carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas provide plenty of fiber to coat the tummy and aid in regularity. And sweet potatoes are high in potassium, which helps keep the muscles in your dog’s digestive system strong. This helps them absorb their food slower and better.
Fish oil and sunflower oil supply omega-3 fatty acids. These reduce inflammation in the joints and your dog’s digestive tract and give them extra energy.
Dog owners say this is the best high-value food that you can get on a budget. They love that they can feed their dogs natural ingredients like real salmon without the price tag.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 388 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free premium dry dog food with antioxidants and probiotics for digestive support
While there is nothing wrong with budget-friendly food, some dog owners want to splurge a little. If that’s the case for you, but you still need food to firm up your dog’s stool, you’re in luck.
Solid Gold Leaping Waters dry dog food is the perfect premium food that also aids in protecting an upset stomach and helping to get rid of diarrhea. It’s grain-free and doesn’t include soy or corn either.
This formula starts with deboned salmon, salmon meal, and ocean fish meal. These are novel proteins that are safer for most sensitive tummies. And they also provide glucosamine for supple joints and selenium for healthy brain function.
Chicken fat and salmon oil also aid in joint health. They provide a natural source of chondroitin for metabolism support and omega fatty acids for joint flexibility. Plus, these healthy fats give your dog’s coat a lustrous shine.
Instead of grains, chickpeas and lentils offer fiber for easier digestion. But they also provide iron and B vitamins for extra energy. And, for regularity and firmer stool, Solid Gold includes pumpkin.
Pet owners love that their dogs get the best of the best, and many appreciate that this food also includes live probiotics. However, some have noted that their super picky pups will pick at it sometimes.
- First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils
- Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 4.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 408 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High-protein and high-fiber dog food with probiotics for regularity
When a dog has tummy troubles, the most common symptoms are gas, bloat, and diarrhea. If this is a common issue for your dog, and you need a simple formula that helps keep these symptoms at bay, try Taste of the Wild Pine Forest dry dog food.
This formula is packed with species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics. These assist in better digestion and can boost immune health. Plus, chicory root offers extra prebiotic support. This helps keep your dog regular and aids in firmer stool.
While salmon is a common novel protein in many dog foods, this recipe starts with venison and lamb meal. These are just as gentle on your dog’s tummy and are an excellent option for picky dogs that don’t like fish. Plus, they include vitamins and minerals for a healthy gut and digestion, like zinc.
Peas and garbanzo beans offer grain-free prebiotics and fiber for a healthier digestive system. And they also include nutrients like polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, which can aid brain health and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
Taste of the Wild is sourced for and made in the US by a family-owned brand. It doesn’t include grains, corn, wheat, artificial colors, or flavors.
Dog parents say that their pups gobble this food up. And, many have seen the benefits of probiotics. They believe their dogs are more regular than they’ve ever been, without watery stool.
- First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Butternut Squash, Lamb Liver, Kale, Rice
- Guaranteed Analysis: (wet matter basis) 10% Crude Protein, 7% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 74% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 225 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Human-grade dog food with manganese and thiamine for digestion
It can be a struggle to choose the right dog food for a dog prone to diarrhea. Once you’ve ruled out any health issues, you may be looking to test foods to see what works best for your pup.
Ollie is an entirely customizable dog food company that ships handcrafted dog food made with human-grade ingredients right to your door. And, if you have a sensitive pooch, that can make their food unique to keep them from tummy troubles.
Before you get started with the subscription, you’ll take Ollie’s quiz. They’ll ask questions about your dog’s weight, height, and even potential allergies. Then, they’ll use your answers to craft a well-balanced diet for your dog without the ingredients that cause them to have adverse reactions.
Keep in mind that these formulas are not raw. Instead, they’re gently cooked to get rid of potentially harmful pathogens. But, they are fresh and are made within 24 hours of being shipped to you.
You’ll have a choice between four different recipes — lamb, beef, chicken, and turkey.
A novel protein like lamb would be best for many dogs with sensitive tummies. And the lamb includes nutrients like manganese and thiamin, which can support digestion and boost your dog’s metabolism. But feel free to pick and choose which options you want to try.
Ollie ships your dog’s food right to your door every two weeks. And each batch comes with a feeding guide, scoop, and storage container for easy serving.
Many busy moms and dads enjoy the convenience of this food. And, they’re happy to feed their dog food that is safe for human consumption (although we don’t recommend trying it!).
What to Feed Dog With Diarrhea?
Now that you know the best dog foods for diarrhea, let’s talk about the type of food you should be looking for.
What Causes Loose Stool in Dogs?
Diarrhea can be a sign of a more significant illness or health issue. Sudden changes usually cause acute diarrhea (or diarrhea only 1-2 days long). This includes stress, travel or moving, changes to the environment or food, and even boarding.
A bacterial or viral infection, or significant health problems can cause chronic diarrhea. These include Parvovirus, coccidia, organ dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease, or allergies. Each of these issues needs to be ruled out by a veterinarian.
What To Look For When Buying Dog Food For Loose Stool
Not sure what to look for in your dog’s food to help avoid loose stool? These are the ingredients you want!
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Your dog’s stomach relies on healthy bacteria for better digestion and proper bowel movements. To ensure that they have regularity, find food with probiotics and prebiotics. These additives help protect the intestines and introduce good gut bacteria to keep loose stool at bay.
A Low-Moderate Fat Content
Dog foods that are high in fat can include hard-to-digest oils. These can upset your dog’s stomach and form a layer in their intestines that is hard to clear out. This can cause your dog to have runny stools and diarrhea.
If your furry friend tends to have diarrhea often, and don’t have any other health issues, look to switch to a low or moderate-fat diet. Anything under 15% Crude Fat should be beneficial.
If your dog has problems with diarrhea, higher-fiber food can be beneficial. This is because fiber helps to soak up fluids that cause watery stool. And soluble fiber makes it easier to break down food and avoid constipation while getting rid of diarrhea.
Sensitive Stomach Diets
Sensitive stomachs can cause multiple issues, including diarrhea. This is because the stomach is trying to expel whatever is bothering it.
If you suspect that your dog has a sensitive tummy, switching to a limited ingredient diet or diet made for sensitive stomachs can be beneficial.
These diets have fewer ingredients that can cause inflammation and usually have beneficial additives (like probiotics) to improve gut health.
Tips for Feeding Dogs With Diarrhea
So, what are you supposed to do when your dog has diarrhea? Here are a few options.
Feeding your dog while they have diarrhea means dealing with more watery stool. Instead, let your dog fast for 12 to 24 hours. And if you’ve switched their food, don’t give them the new food immediately. This could upset their stomach even more.
Diarrhea can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. So even if your dog is dealing with loose stool, they need to have water nearby at all times. If the weather is warm, you could also add some ice to cool your dog down too.
Smaller dogs are prone to dehydration, because their small bodies can’t hold as much water. So it’s crucial to get your small breed checked if they’re having diarrhea.
Once the diarrhea has slowed or the vet has cleared your dog, you don’t want to feed them with too much food too fast.
Instead, start with smaller portions, or about half of the food you usually feed them. You can slowly add more throughout a few feedings.
Switch to Other Food Slowly
If your dog’s stomach doesn’t agree with their current food, you may think that switching their food will solve all of their symptoms. But that’s not always the case. Changing their food too fast can cause tummy upset too.
Be sure to switch your dog’s food slowly. This could take 3-7 days but is better than dealing with symptoms like diarrhea. For each feeding, add a little bit more of the new food until you’ve completely replaced the old.
Is Dry Food or Wet Food Better for Dogs With Diarrhea?
Either can work. It depends on your dog’s preference and your budget. And, your vet will be able to give you recommendations depending on why your dog has loose stool.
The key in feeding food to your dog with diarrhea is to give them a bland diet. In other words, give them food with limited ingredients. And, if you can find one that’s higher in fiber and has probiotics, even better.
Your dog doesn’t have to suffer from one of the worst symptoms of a sensitive tummy. Instead, give them dog food that meets their nutritional needs and keeps their stool firm and regular.
Our recommendation is Wellness CORE Digestive Health Wholesome Grains dry dog food.
With high-quality meats, fruits, and grains, it’s a great way to keep your dog’s digestion healthy and still give them high-value nutrition.
But we have other great options on this list too. So if you have a picky pup or want to save a few bucks here and there, you can find a formula on this list that will support your furry friend.
Want to know more about dealing with a dog who has diarrhea? We have the answers to your common questions.
Is dog diarrhea contagious?
It can be. Certain viruses and illnesses like Parvovirus and Giardia can spread from dog to dog and cause diarrhea in all of them.
But other issues like allergies or gastrointestinal upset cause diarrhea too, and these aren’t contagious.
Do I need to switch my dog’s food if it has diarrhea?
Possibly. Sometimes, diarrhea is caused by allergies, intolerances, or certain foods in your dog’s diet. So a permanent switch may be needed.
But sometimes, you just need to feed your dog bland food (like homemade chicken and rice or a limited ingredient diet) for a few days until the loose stool stops. If you’ve switched their food and your dog is still experiencing diarrhea, see your veterinarian immediately.
But also keep in mind that a sudden switch in food can cause diarrhea as well. Always switch your dog’s food slowly to avoid acute problems.
Do I always need to take my dog to the vet if it has diarrhea?
No. If your dog has loose stool for a short period (less than a day) and gets better, you should be able to skip the vet. However, if it’s been 24 hours or more and no signs of getting better, you’ll want to get an appointment.
How long will it take my dog to become dehydrated if it has diarrhea?
This can happen quickly — within 24 to 48 hours. Diarrhea excretes quite a bit of water, and most dogs don’t drink enough to keep them hydrated for multiple days.
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