How to Find the Right Diet for Your Sensitive Dog


When your dog has sensitivities or allergies, finding the right food for them can be a nightmare. It's really frustrating testing out different diets and discovering that so many of them seem unsuitable for your pooch. Even foods that seem fine at first can soon start to cause problems, meaning you have to start all over again. Your vet can provide advice to help you find the right food, but even they might not have perfect answers for you.

It might require some trial and error, but you can find the right diet for your sensitive dog. There are just a few things you might need to do to discover what works and which foods you might need to avoid.

See Your Vet

If you think that your dog might have food sensitivities, seeing your vet is a good first step. You might notice that your dog is having digestive problems, but there can be other signs of allergies or sensitivities too. For example, you might see your dog scratching or licking themselves a lot. It's especially important to see your vet if your dog has been vomiting multiple times, if they have had diarrhea for several days, or if there have been changes in their stools. Watch out for unexplained weight loss too, as well as signs that your dog might be experiencing abdominal pain.

Test for Allergies

One of the things that your vet might be able to do is test your dog for allergies. Allergy tests can be done through a blood sample, which is usually the easiest method. Another option for finding allergies is intradermal skin testing, but this can be a bit more complicated. It needs to be performed by a dermatologist and the dog has to be anesthetized, which means it's not the best option for everyone. Allergy testing may be useful in finding things your dog is allergic to, but it's not always as helpful as you might want it to be. There can sometimes be better ways of finding the right diet for your dog.

Trial an Elimination Diet

Another way of finding ingredients that your dog might be sensitive to is to try an elimination diet. This involves eliminating ingredients from your diet and slowly reintroducing them to see which ones could be causing your dog's problems. This might mean starting with a food with a single protein, ideally one that your dog has never had. You then feed your dog that food to see if their symptoms improve. If they do, you can start adding other ingredients to their diet to determine what could be causing their problems. Speak to your vet if you want to do an elimination diet to get the right advice.

Add Some Natural Ingredients to Their Diet

It can be helpful to add certain natural ingredients to your dog's diet to help support their digestive system and overall health. If you see if brown rice is safe for dogs to eat, you can learn the benefits of brown rice for a gluten-free dog diet. Some dog foods are made with high-quality natural ingredients and might offer features such as being grain-free or raw. If you're not sure what ingredients could benefit your dog, speaking to your vet or a dog nutritionist can help you work out what your next steps should be.

Look at Specially Formulated Foods

There are various dog foods that are specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. These can be an easy thing to start with if you're looking for the right diet for your dog. Steps such as elimination diets can be time-consuming and difficult to follow, so they can be better as a last resort. Talk to your vet to see if they can recommend a food for sensitive dogs or do your own research to see which products are available and what other dog owners recommend.

Always Switch Foods Slowly

If you're giving your dog a new food, make sure you always introduce it slowly. If you suddenly change their diet, it can cause its own stomach issues. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with your dog's current food. Each day, add a little more of the new food and a little less of the old food until your dog has been switched over completely. It should take around 7-10 days to make the swap.

Finding the right diet for your sensitive dog can take time, but it's worth it to ensure your pooch is happy and healthy.