If your dog has a sensitive stomach, finding the right treats can be a challenge. Many dog treats are loaded with fillers and artificial ingredients that can trigger food sensitivities and digestive issues. However, with the right knowledge, you can select treats that are gentle on your dog's stomach and support their nutritional needs.
Food Sensitivities vs. Food Allergies
Before we dive into the best treats for dogs with sensitive stomachs, it's essential to understand the difference between food sensitivities and food allergies.
Food sensitivities are a digestive issue that occurs when a dog has difficulty digesting certain foods. This can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Food sensitivities are often caused by ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy.
Food allergies, on the other hand, are an immune system response to a specific protein in food. When a dog has a food allergy, their immune system sees the protein as a foreign invader and attacks it. This response can cause a range of symptoms, including digestive issues, skin problems, and respiratory distress. The most common protein allergens in dogs are beef, chicken, dairy, and eggs.
Symptoms of food sensitivities in dogs may include:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Gas and bloating
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
Symptoms of food allergies in dogs may include:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Itchy skin or rashes
- Sneezing or coughing
- Red or watery eyes
- Swelling of the face or ears
- Ear infections
If you suspect that your dog has a food sensitivity or allergy, it's essential to speak with your veterinarian. They can perform allergy tests and recommend a treatment plan.
Best Treats for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs
If your dog has a sensitive stomach or food sensitivity/allergy, choosing the right treats is essential. Onward Hound offers the best options for dogs with sensitive stomachs:
- Limited-Ingredient Treats
Limited-ingredient treats are an excellent choice for dogs with food sensitivities. These treats contain a minimal number of ingredients, making it easier to identify potential allergens. Look for treats with high-quality protein sources, such as salmon or venison.
- Grain-Free Treats
Many dogs with sensitive stomachs also have difficulty digesting grains. Grain-free treats are an excellent option because they eliminate grains as a potential allergen. Look for treats made with ingredients like sweet potatoes or chickpeas.
- Novel Protein Treats
If your dog has a food allergy, consider treats made with novel proteins. Novel proteins are protein sources that your dog hasn't been exposed to before, making them less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Some novel protein sources include rabbit, kangaroo, and duck.
Disclaimer: It's important to note that every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Additionally, while these treats may be helpful for dogs with food sensitivities, they may not be suitable for dogs with severe allergies or other medical conditions. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet or treat regimen.
Food sensitivities and allergies are common issues in dogs, and finding the right treats for your pup can be a challenge. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or protein allergy, it's essential to choose treats that are gentle on their digestive system. Limited-ingredient treats, grain-free treats, and novel protein treats are all excellent options for dogs with sensitive stomachs. By selecting the right treats, you can support your dog's nutritional needs while keeping their allergies under control.