The 13 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux

Dog with speechbubble"The 13 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux"

Also called Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), acid reflux in dogs is a condition caused when the intestinal fluid backs up into the esophagus. Although acid reflux commonly affects senior dogs, it can affect all dogs, especially those consuming foods high in fats, additives, and ingredients like soy, wheat, and corn. Switching dog foods is a great way to control acid reflux in dogs, so what are the best dog foods for acid reflux?

The best dog foods for acid reflux should contain no wheat, corn, or soy, and include the Purina Pro for dogs with sensitive skin. Dog foods that don’t contain artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors are also ideal, as well as dog foods that contain easy-to-digest proteins and carbs.

If you’re still reading, chances are your four-legged family member has been regularly plagued by acid reflux, and as any vet will confirm, treating acid reflux largely depends on the type of foods administered. Read on as we examine some of the best dog foods for acid reflux.

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach

The Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach is perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies. It comes fortified with prebiotic fiber and live probiotics to improve your canine companion’s immune and digestive health.

Your loving pet will appreciate this corn, soy, and wheat-free dog food. Featuring the easy-to-digest salmon as the primary ingredient, dog food is easy to digest, making it an ideal option if your dog is constantly affected by acid reflux. The presence of omega-6 fatty acids also ensures your dog will have healthy skin and coat.

Pros

  • Fortified with prebiotic fiber and live prebiotics for improved digestive health.
  • Formulated for dogs with sensitive tummies.
  • The primary protein (salmon) is easy-to-digest.
  • Does not contain additives like wheat, corn, or soy.
  • Contains vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids that nourish the skin.

Cons

  • Some dogs might be turned off by the fish smell.
  • Might need some time for dogs to get used to.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredients (Grain Free)

This limited-ingredient dry dog food is specifically designed for dogs with sensitive tummies, and features the easy-to-digest real salmon as the primary ingredient, which reduces the chances of acid reflux. The presence of sweet potato in the recipe means your dog’s tummy won’t be overburdened during digestion.

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Grain Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula is formulated by board-certified animal nutritionists, veterinarians, and pet feeding analysts to ensure it suits dogs with sensitive tummies. It doesn’t contain soy, grains, legumes, or lentils.

Pros

  • The limited number of ingredients reduces the chances of acid reflux and negative tummy reactions.
  • Features easy-to-digest ingredients like salmon and sweet potatoes.
  • Ingredients are well-researched by a team of certified experts.
  • Doesn’t contain any pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, soy, or wheat.

Cons

  • Might not work on all dogs prone to allergic reactions.
  • Some pet parents complain about the smell.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken Recipe

The Hill’s Science Diet sensitive formula is designed for adult dogs with acid reflux and other digestion-related complications. It contains large amounts of prebiotic fiber that helps balance and support the microbiome for smooth, effective digestion.

Your pup will also love the omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E that work together to promote skin and coat health. The presence of amino acids and minerals promotes immune, bone, and joint health, which ensures your adult dog transitions seamlessly to their senior age.

Pros

  • Contains generous amounts of beet pulp, which is a powerful prebiotic fiber.
  • Comes packed with omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E for healthy skin.
  • Contains natural ingredients and minerals for improved overall health.
  • Highly digestible and great for adult dogs with digestive problems.
  • Contains ascorbic acid that helps prevent and relieve acid reflux.
  • A great solution for dogs with soft stools.

Cons

  • Suitable for adult dogs only.
  • Might not work for dogs allergic to chicken.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Your canine companion is probably affected by acid reflux due to consuming foods packed with whole-grain carbs. However, by switching to this unique Taste of the Wild recipe, your dog will become less prone to acid reflux and other digestion-related complications. The grain-free recipe contains easy-to-digest salmon as the first ingredient.

In addition to real smoked salmon, the recipe also contains powerful antioxidants obtained from veggies and fruits like blueberries, tomatoes, and raspberries that promote overall health and improve the immune system. Your furry best friend will also benefit from the presence of chelated minerals that improve nutrient absorption in the digestive system.

Pros

  • Grain-free recipe contains easy-to-digest nutrients.
  • Ideal for pups with food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Contains powerful antioxidants that promote overall health.
  • Doesn’t contain artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Recipe enriched with chicory roots, which are great sources of prebiotic fiber.
  • Contains omega fatty acids that improve skin and coat health.

Cons

  • The fishy smell might be hard for some dogs to adjust to.
  • Not ideal for puppies.

Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula

If you’re looking for healthy, hassle-free dog food for your sensitive furry friend, then you should consider this multi-protein recipe by Canidae. The dry dog food is specifically meant for pups with digestive issues as it doesn’t contain any fillers, corn, soy, or wheat.

The presence of omega 6 & 3 fatty acids helps improve your furry companion’s skin and coat health. Moreover, the diet also comes packed with antioxidants and vital minerals that improve overall health.

Pros

  • Suitable for dogs of different ages, sizes, and breeds.
  • Contains premium, easy-to-digest ingredients.
  • Added vitamins and minerals help improve your dog’s overall health.
  • Comes packed with probiotics to improve gut health.
  • Doesn’t contain any potential allergens like wheat, corn, or soy.

Cons

  • The taste and texture might prove unappetizing for some dogs.
  • Might not work for dogs allergic to proteins.

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe

The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe contains a rich blend of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that support healthy digestion. The flavorful blend of high-quality beef, lamb, and pork as protein sources means your pup will have a relatively easy time during digestion.

The recipe also contains flaxseed, sweet potatoes, and apples that, besides being nutritious, promotes healthy digestion. Your sensitive furry friend will also appreciate the absence of grains, corn, soy, and artificial colors in this recipe.

Pros

  • Features real beef, lamb, and pork as primary protein sources.
  • Comes packed with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that promote general health.
  • It is 100% corn, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives free.
  • Tailored towards the diet needs of dogs with sensitive tummies.

Cons

  • Picky eaters might refuse the taste and texture.
  • Your pup might take longer to adjust to the recipe.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Formula

If your furry buddy is constantly dealing with tummy issues like acid reflux and indigestion, then you’ll want to switch to a limited ingredient diet. This dry food formula contains five carefully selected ingredients, with salmon as the only source of protein. Potato is a great addition as it’s easy for your four-legged best friend to digest.

In addition to the high-quality protein, the recipe also features probiotics and prebiotics that are pivotal in improving gut health and digestion. It also contains essential vitamins, omega fatty acids, and minerals that promote coat health and overall health, while the rich supply of antioxidants helps improve the immune system, increasing your canine companion’s resistance to illnesses.

Pros

  • Formulated using five carefully chosen ingredients.
  • Comes packed with antioxidants, natural probiotics, glucosamine, and omega fatty acids.
  • Improves overall health and the digestive tract’s overall efficiency.
  • Promotes healthy coat and skin.
  • Regular consumption improves bone and joint health.

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well with puppies.
  • The smell might put off some picky eaters.

Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient

This recipe by Canidae is among the best foods to feed to dogs with sensitive tummies, which doesn’t contain unnecessary fillers like soy, wheat, or corn. The Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient dog food contains real lamb as the first ingredient, which is carefully simmered in a savory broth that even the pickiest eaters will appreciate.

The wet dog food is also packed with vitamins D3, A, C, and B12 for improved overall health, while the presence of limited ingredients means the recipe will work for dogs prone to allergic reactions. Your pup will also benefit from the Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that promote coat health.

Pros

  • Contains antioxidants that promote a healthy immune system.
  • Limited ingredient recipe reduces chances of allergic reactions and acid reflux.
  • It is soy, wheat, and grain free.
  • Enriched with natural prebiotics that helps improve gut health and reduce acid reflux.
  • Features easy to digest lamb as the first ingredient.

Cons

  • The smell might put off picky eaters.
  • It can be a bit sticky.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Salmon & Rice Entree

Designed specifically for dogs prone to allergic reactions, tummy problems, and acid reflux, the Purina Pro Plan Focus Salmon & Rice Entree is a great option if you want your pooch to enjoy mealtime again. The recipe contains premium salmon loaded with omega DHA, which helps promote and maintain cognitive functions as your dog starts to age.

In addition to natural ingredients, the wet dog food doesn’t contain artificial flavors or colors, and preservatives, making it a great option for dogs prone to acid reflux. The recipe also contains omega-6 fatty acids that help promote overall skin and coat health.

Pros

  • Contains premium salmon loaded with omega DHA that improves brain function.
  • Contains linoleic acid that improves skin and coat health.
  • Formulated for dogs prone to allergic reactions and upset tummies.
  • Doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, wheat or soy.
  • Contains inulin, a dietary fiber that benefits gut health to improve digestion.

Cons

  • Specifically designed for adult dogs.

Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food

Dogs suffering from acid reflux often react to excess fat, which is why you might need to reduce fat intake. The reduced-fat levels in this recipe make this dry dog food a great option if your dog has a sensitive tummy or is constantly affected by acid reflux.

The dry dog formula features deboned turkey and chicken as the main protein sources, while the presence of potatoes and peas as the main sources of carbohydrates means your pup won’t have a hard time digesting the ingredients.

In addition to containing up to 25% reduced-fat compared to other recipes, the Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat Dry Dog Food contains no artificial colorings, preservatives, or flavorings. The recipe is also free of soy, corn, meat-by-products, and wheat ingredients that normally affect the digestive system.

Pros

  • Fortified with antioxidants to improve the overall health of your dog.
  • Crafted using high-quality, carefully chosen ingredients to reduce tummy reactions.
  • Doesn’t contain any fillers, soy, corn, or meat by-products.
  • Contains probiotics and minerals that help improve the health of the digestive tract.
  • Comes packed with easy to digest proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Contains omega fatty acids that promote coat health.
  • Designed to improve muscle tone and maintain your pup’s body mass.

Cons

  • Requires gradual integration to a dog’s diet.
  • Not ideal for puppies with sensitive tummies.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Formula

You’ll want to choose dog foods with fewer ingredients when dealing with dogs with sensitive tummies and digestive problems like acid reflux, which explains why Blue Buffalo created its limited ingredients dog food with real turkey and potato as the main ingredients. Both turkey and potatoes are easy to digest, meaning they won’t end up straining your furry companion’s digestive system.

Besides the use of limited ingredients, the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free Formula also provides much-needed prebiotic support.

The inclusion of natural prebiotics promotes the growth of good intestinal bacteria, which improves your pup’s digestive health, while the generous amount of vitamins and minerals boosts your dog’s overall health.

Pros

  • Contains essential carbs and proteins to meet your pups minimum energy requirements.
  • Doesn’t contain potential allergens like corn, wheat, chicken, eggs, and dairy.
  • Contains limited ingredients, which reduces the chances of allergic reactions.
  • Free of meat by-products, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
  • Contains a rich blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost overall immune health.

Cons

  • Not recommended for puppies.
  • Some picky eaters might struggle to adapt to the taste and smell.

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Wet Dog Food

Wet foods containing limited ingredients and easily digestible proteins are ideal for dogs dealing with acid reflux. This wet dog food by Merrick doesn’t disappoint in that regard, especially since it contains the easy-to-digest deboned lamb as the first ingredient.

To supplement the deboned lamb, the food also comes packed with a rich blend of essential amino acids and vitamins to promote overall health. The recipe’s carbs are obtained from locust bean gum and sunflower oil, which make the food more complete for dogs with sensitive tummies. The formula is also rich in supplements like Vitamin B-12, Vitamine E, and Vitamin A.

Pros

  • Contains the easy-to-digest deboned lamb as the first ingredient.
  • Specially designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestion problems.
  • Doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives.
  • Boasts a rich blend of health-improving nutrients.
  • Regular usage improves coat and joint health.

Cons

  • Some pet parents complain it lacks a uniform consistency.

Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Dry Dog Food

If your dog suffers from frequent digestive issues like acid reflux, perhaps it’s time to bring out the big guns and switch to this dry dog food by Royal Canin, because sensitive dogs need diets that don’t overwork the digestive tract. The Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Dry Dog Food doesn’t disappoint as it is formulated with professionally hydrolyzed proteins.

The hydrolyzed proteins are composed of peptides that are easily absorbed, which reduces the risk of allergic reactions. The formula also contains amino acids and vitamins that help promote skin and coat health, while the presence of a rich blend of natural prebiotic fibers helps improve digestion in pups prone to acid reflux, among other digestive complications.

Pros

  • Ideal for both adult dogs and puppies with sensitive tummies.
  • The use of hydrolyzed proteins simplifies the digestive process while improving absorption.
  • Contains natural prebiotic fibers that improve gut health.
  • The presence of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids promotes skin and coat health.
  • Reduces the risk of allergic reactions by up to 80%.

Cons

  • Requires vet authorization before being sold.
  • Pet parents must gradually introduce this food to the diet to prevent unwanted outcomes.

Important Considerations When Searching for Dog Foods for Acid Reflux

Dogs with sensitive tummies require special diets if you want to keep your pup off the treatment table. Similarly, if your pooch is constantly dealing with acid reflux, then you’ll need to keep a close eye on the types of foods you administer. Below are important factors to consider when looking for quality foods to prevent or reduce acid reflux.

Easy-To-Digest Ingredients

As a good rule of thumb, you should always check on the digestibility of a recipe’s ingredients, as foods that contain additives and by-products are anything but easy to digest. As a result, you should opt for foods with rich biological value like real salmon and deboned meats.

Highly digestible ingredients won’t strain your furry companion’s digestive system and will help prevent tummy issues like constipation and acid reflux. Ideally, the recommended protein sources include salmon, beef, turkey, lamb, and chicken, but you might want to steer clear of chicken recipes if your dog is allergic.

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Similar to humans, dogs have unique microbiomes made up of billions of good bacterias that aid the digestive process. As a result, you should aim to boost the number of good bacteria in your dog’s gut by feeding him foods rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotics are ingredients that promote the growth and development of probiotics (the good bacteria) in the gut. By consuming foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics, the good bacteria will gradually increase in your pup’s digestive tract, thereby reducing the incidences of digestion-related complications such as acid reflux.

When buying dog food for your four-legged family member, be sure to check for prebiotics or probiotics. Dog foods containing both prebiotics and probiotics are better suited to those with tummy issues as they help restore and maintain an ideal microbiome balance.

Limited Ingredients

Most vets will recommend limited ingredients if your pooch has a sensitive tummy or is prone to allergic reactions, because dog foods with more ingredients are likely to contain ingredients that might lead to allergic reactions.

Therefore, when looking to buy dog food for your furry best friend, it’s best to go for recipes that contain limited ingredients or as few ingredients as possible. The problem with some limited ingredients diets, however, is they might not be well-balanced and might require a dog supplement in addition to your dog’s diet.

Ensure that you get dog foods that don’t contain unnecessary ingredients or food items that your dog is allergic to.

Grain and Additive-Free Diets

If your dog has tummy issues or is regularly affected by acid reflux, chances are they’re consuming foods with additives or grains. Steer clear of dog foods that contain artificial flavors, preservatives, and other forms of additives as they’re most likely the trigger of digestive issues.

Grain free diets are also highly recommended for dogs dealing with acid reflux and other digestive problems, because grains might prove hard for the digestive system to handle and could trigger allergic reactions.

Low-Fat Diets

As revealed by the AKC, dog foods that contain high-fat levels are usually harder for dogs to digest compared to protein or carbohydrate-rich diets. As a result, you should always check the ingredient label before settling for a particular dog food brand. If fats and oils are listed among the first four ingredients, chances are the dog food might contain too much fat for your dog.

FAQs About Acid Reflux in Dogs

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux in dogs occurs when the gastric acid backs up into the esophagus, which can either be mild or serious and often occurs either due to the overproduction of gastric acid or when the esophageal sphincter relaxes too much.

What Are Some of the Causes of Acid Reflux in Dogs?

Acid reflux is caused due to a number of reasons. However, it mainly occurs when dogs consume extra spicy foods or foods containing excessive fat or hard-to-digest ingredients. Your dog can also develop acid reflux as a result of a hiatal hernia or obesity.

If acid reflux is left untreated, it can damage your pup’s mucous lining of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Unfortunately, once the LES is weakened, your dog will become prone to other tummy issues and may become a regular patient at the local vet.

What Are Some of the Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Dogs?

The major symptom of acid reflux in dogs is regurgitation. You’ll notice your dog spitting up food a lot more than what you considered normal.

Another symptom of acid reflux is discomfort or excessive pain when swallowing. Your dog may whine, whimper or howl when swallowing food if they’re dealing with acid reflux.

Burping and gagging also point out acid reflux problems. Your dog is likely to gag as a way to clear their pathway, which could also trigger vomiting. Bad breath is also another sign of acid reflux, which can also graduate to tooth decay if the corrosive acid wears down your dog’s enamel over time.

As expected, your dog’s appetite will significantly be reduced if they’re having trouble when swallowing. After the loss of appetite, they will soon start to lose weight, which might be an indication that the acid reflux is progressing to a serious condition.

What Is the Best Treatment for Acid Reflux in Dogs?

The best treatment for acid reflux in dogs is to switch your dog’s diet. While it might be tempting to home treat your dog, you’ll want to contact your vet once the symptoms of acid reflux become apparent.

However, the best way to treat acid reflux is to switch to dog foods that contain probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes as they can help reduce the acid reflux.

Another great option is to give your canine companion dog foods with easily digestible ingredients. Avoid feeding your dog foods that contain high fat, additives, and artificial additives as they’re likely to strain your pup’s digestive system.

You should also split your dog’s meal schedule, giving him smaller amounts of food more frequently. Feeding smaller portions means your dog won’t overwork their digestive system, translating to a decreased acidity level.

Wrapping Up

Acid reflux is a common condition that affects dogs of different sizes regardless of breed. Foods full of fats, excessive additives, and wheat-based ingredients are likely to trigger acid reflux in dogs.

As a result, you’ll want to switch to dog foods containing easy-to-digest proteins like those discussed throughout the article. When choosing dog food for acid reflux, remember to always choose foods containing high amounts of probiotics and prebiotics as they help improve digestive health and performance.

Sources

Andrew

My name is Andrew, and I've been around dogs my entire life. Look at my profile picture and, you see me as a little kid with my family's two German Shepherds. That's how my life with dogs started, and ever since, I've been both living and working with dogs.

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