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5 Best Dog Foods For Loose Stools

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for loose stools.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Loose Stools?

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Vet’s Advice

If your dog has ongoing diarrhea or shows symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, or weight loss then you should always consult your veterinarian for advice. If the stools are just occasionally a bit loose but otherwise well, then you might want to look out for one or more of the following when trying a new diet for your pet.

Prebiotics and probiotics

Gut-friendly bacteria known as probiotics can help improve digestion and will compete with more harmful bacteria for space in the guts. Prebiotics are usually a type of fiber that acts as a nutritious source of food for these friendly bacteria, helping them to thrive.

A low-moderate fat content

An ideal amount of fat would be 5-15% for a dog with a sensitive or upset stomach. This will help make the food easier to digest. Plus, in some cases, feeding a very high-fat diet could trigger serious issues like pancreatitis, which causes symptoms like vomiting and abdominal pain as well as diarrhea.

Low residue

Low residue diets are fiber restricted, making them very easy to digest. The nutrients become more readily available, and the lower volume of fiber also helps reduce the volume of stools your dog passes. This can be useful if your dog is passing multiple loose stools a day.

Sensitive stomach diets

Using a diet specifically for sensitive stomachs can be a good idea. These diets tend to be high in nutrients and easy to digest ingredients such as chicken, egg, and rice, which are less likely to cause stomach irritation.

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Loose Stool Dog Food Reviews

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

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Ocean Fish Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Potatoes
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 360 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3%

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is an excellent quality diet that has been specifically formulated for its ease of digestibility. One of the best dog foods for loose stools on the market today, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is a fish-based formula that includes smoked salmon as well as ocean fish meal to provide a powerhouse punch of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

This diet is free from grains, making use of fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber and antioxidants to boost immunity and support digestion. Chelated minerals have been added to ensure adequate absorption of key nutrients.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream contains no grains, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Pros

  • Dogs that struggled with recurring allergies found relief from their symptoms when fed Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream on a consistent basis.
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is rich in fish-based proteins, making it very flavorful. As a result, dogs love the taste of this food, eagerly lapping up every morsel of food in their bowls.
  • This food is very reasonably priced, offering owners excellent nutrition and great value.
  • The coat quality of dogs regularly fed this diet was healthy, shiny, and soft.
  • Many owners shared their dogs shed far less frequently when transitioned to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.

Cons

  • A few dogs were uninterested in this diet and would not eat it. Another Taste of the Wild food formulation with a different protein base may be better for these dogs.
  • Potatoes, peas, and lentils all play important roles in this diet. These ingredients are controversial and are considered to be of lower nutritional quality.
  • A few owners indicated they would prefer to feed their dogs a diet that is grain-inclusive, believing whole grains help dogs to achieve ideal digestion. Taste of the Wild has added some new formulations to their product line that include high quality grains in their recipe.
  • This diet does not include any supplements to boost joint health in dogs.
  • Several owners expressed they felt this diet was too cost prohibitive for them to feed their dogs on an ongoing basis.

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Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Lamb Meal
    2. Lamb
    3. Tapioca
    4. Peas
    5. Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

  • Type: Freeze-dried raw and dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 447 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 21.5%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Instinct LID Grain-Free is a diet that has been carefully calibrated with a restricted list of foods to promote optimal digestion and to discourage skin and stomach sensitivities in dogs. Instinct LID’s formulation includes only one protein: lamb meal. This high quality meat is easy for dogs to digest.

To encourage excellent coat quality, this diet has been enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Antioxidant-dense fruits and vegetables have also been included to increase fiber content and assist with the development of a strong immune system.

Considered to be one of the best dog foods for loose stools, Instinct LID is free from grains, dairy, eggs, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Pros

  • The limited list of ingredients found in this food gives owners great confidence that this diet is a good choice for dogs suffering from allergies.
  • Dogs that had difficulty attaining good digestion found relief when fed this diet on a consistent basis.
  • Dogs fed Instinct LID Grain-Free for their daily meals saw an increase in their energy levels and a return to playful behavior.
  • Most dogs find this food very tasty and look forward to their every meal.
  • Owners are pleased with the size of the kibble pieces contained in this food. They also expressed that the morsels were easy for dogs to break down well, including seniors and dogs with dental issues.

Cons

  • A few owners expressed that this food was a little on the costly side in their opinions.
  • In rare cases, some dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. Instinct has several different limited ingredient formulations with other protein bases. One of these diets may be a better choice for these dogs.
  • A few dogs exhibited low energy and began to shed more rapidly when fed this diet consistently. This most likely can be attributed to a food sensitivity.
  • Peas and pea protein are both found in this food. These ingredients are controversial and may be linked to such problems as lowered fertility rates and rapid spikes in blood sugar in dogs.
  • A few owners disliked that this diet is free from grains entirely. They would prefer to feed their dogs a food that includes some whole grains in its formulation, believing these elements are critical for good digestion.

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Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Turkey
    2. Turkey Meal
    3. Potatoes
    4. Peas
    5. Dried Ground Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 430 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 5.5%

Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free is a high quality food that focuses on a recipe with very few ingredients with the objective of discouraging skin and stomach sensitivities and supporting good digestion. Natural ingredients are used whenever possible to ensure optimal nutritional content for dogs to enjoy.

Turkey is the main ingredient in this food, a meat that is rich in amino acids to support a healthy body. Wellness Simple LID does not include any grains, glutens, or wheat in its recipe, all items commonly linked to poor stool quality and stomach distress in dogs.

Prebiotics and probiotics have been included in this recipe to support good healthy digestive processes. Flaxseed also plays a starring role as a food that boosts health benefits for the development of good skin and coat quality.

A diet rated among the best dog foods for loose stools, it’s hard to go wrong with Wellness Simple LID.

Pros

  • Dogs suffering from recurring food-related allergies found relief from their symptoms when consistently fed Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free.
  • Owners were pleased that this diet is based on a limited list of ingredients; all of which are of exceptional quality.
  • A few owners indicated that their dogs that experienced regular ear infections no longer struggled with this issue when fed a steady diet of this food.
  • Owners expressed that their dogs were easily able to achieve and maintain a healthy weight when fed appropriate amounts of Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free.
  • Dogs with poor stool quality saw great improvements when transitioned to this diet.

Cons

  • A few owners questioned if this formula had recently changed. Their dogs that normally enjoyed this food suddenly would not eat it.
  • Several owners expressed they felt this diet was very costly.
  • Some dogs did not like the taste of this food and ate it only reluctantly. Another Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free formulation with a different protein base may be a better choice for these dogs.
  • In rare cases, some dogs began to lose weight when fed this diet regularly.
  • In a few instances, some dogs exhibited mild gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, loose stools, and diarrhea. This may be from too quick a dietary change and will resolve in time.

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Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Barley
    3. Rice
    4. Oat Meal
    5. Canola Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 467 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4%

For a diet that earns high marks in both nutrition and value for a family’s dog food dollar, Purina Pro Plan Adult is one diet that will not disappoint. This exceptional quality food has been carefully formulated to provide a vital help to dogs that suffer from skin and stomach sensitivities. Whole salmon is the primary ingredient, a meat that is easy to digest and that is rich in essential fatty acids to help repair damaged skin.

Though not a grain-free formula, Purina Pro Plan Adult’s carbohydrates are taken from whole grains that are known to be soothing to distressed stomachs. This diet, considered to be one of the best foods for dogs with loose stools, contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or flavors.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with the price point of this food, feeling they get great quality nutrition for an affordable cost.
  • Dogs love that this diet contains large chunks of chicken, making it exceptionally flavorful.
  • Owners noted that this food did not have an overpowering or unpleasant smell to it.
  • Dogs who previously had poor appetites ate this food with hearty abandon, looking forward to their every meal.
  • Several owners noted their dogs had fewer bowel movements when fed this diet regularly.

Cons

  • A few dogs struggled with mild gastrointestinal distress when transitioned to this food. Most often, this is the result of too rapid a dietary change.
  • Several owners noted some quality control issues. A few of their bags contained kibble pieces that were sponge-like in texture. These morsels were off putting to their dogs who would not eat them.
  • A few owners felt this diet was a little on the expensive side.
  • A couple of owners expressed that their chicken pieces in some of their bags were thin and sparse.
  • Some dogs only really like the freeze-dried chicken pieces. These dogs pick out the chicken to enjoy and refuse to eat the kibble. This problem can be resolved by reserving the meat to feed after the meal has been consumed.

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I and Love and You Nude Food Grain-Free Simply Sea Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Whitefish
    2. Herring Meal
    3. Menhaden Fish Meal
    4. Chickpeas
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 350 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 5%

I and Love and You Nude Food Simply Sea Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a diet that ranks among the best foods for dogs with loose stools for its emphasis on premium quality nutrition. This grain-free food is rich in high quality proteins taken from a variety of ocean fish to ensure ample servings of vital omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

A proprietary blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes known as HAPPY TUMMEEZ PLUS has been included to support excellent digestion and reduce abdominal discomfort. Superfoods such as flaxseed, coconut oil, and turmeric play important roles in this diet to boost the food’s overall nutritional profile.

Pros

  • Dogs really enjoy the taste of this food. They eat each of their meals with hearty gusto.
  • Owners love that I and Love and You Nude Food is available in several different flavors. This allows them to offer their dogs more variety in their diet without sacrificing any nutritional quality.
  • Dogs that previously struggled with itchy skin found relief when fed this diet on a regular basis.
  • The coat quality of dogs fed this food was greatly improved. Their fur was soft, shiny, and healthy.
  • Dogs saw an increase in their energy levels with a change to this diet.

Cons

  • A few owners expressed that they found the smell of this food particularly strong. It was off putting to them.
  • Some dogs disliked this food and would not eat it. A switch to a different I and Love and You Nude Food with another protein base may be a better option for these dogs.
  • Several owners felt this diet was very expensive though all agreed it offered exceptional quality nutrition for dogs.
  • Several controversial ingredients are included in this recipe such as peas, whole ground flaxseed, chickpeas, pea protein, and pea starch.
  • This diet contains no supplements to support optimal joint health in dogs.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Loose Stools

Over the course of their lifetimes, nearly all dogs will succumb to loose stools or diarrhea at some point in time. There are many different reasons why a dog’s stool quality may be less than optimal. Most commonly, loose stool can be attributed to a number of typical factors including overeating, swallowing inappropriate items, and ingesting things that may have been contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Some dogs suffer from loose stools because their digestive system is not functioning optimally. This could be a result of poor nutrition or excess amounts of such items as sugar, fat, or salt in a dog’s diet, placing strain on the dog’s pancreas and other internal organs.

If bacteria is the culprit behind poor stool quality, an infection may develop which can negatively impact a dog’s ability to process and effectively utilize their food. When this occurs, owners are at risk of contracting the infection from their dogs as well. One of the mostly common side effects of a bacterial infection is diarrhea.

However, poor stools are sometimes indicative of food intolerances. Typically, when this is the case, the diarrhea or loose stool is also accompanied by other signs such as inflamed skin or abdominal discomfort.

Other common causes for loose stools include stress, emotion, fear, or physical or emotional trauma.

Loose stools can be a great cause for concern, and owners are right to take the first signs of it very seriously. Most often, poor stool quality is accompanied by a number of other signs including:

  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool
  • Dehydration

If any of these items occur in conjunction with the loose stool, it is important to contact a veterinarian for assistance as dietary changes are unlikely to completely resolve the problem.

Unless there is an underlying condition of a more serious nature at play, most loose stool problems can be alleviated with the correct diet. The best dog foods for loose stools are properly balanced with the appropriate amounts of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and key ingredients to promote good digestion, healthy gut flora, and overall health.

Care must be taken to avoid common allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives which can aggravate the gastrointestinal tract and lead to inflammation of the bowel and poor stool quality.

Fluid digestion is key to achieving optimal stool quality in dogs. To promote this, prebiotics and probiotics are highly recommended in dogs suffering from this condition. These important supplements help with establishing healthy gut flora to assist the dog with breaking down its food for ease of elimination.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dogs with Loose Stools

The correct portion size of the best food for dogs with loose stool is every bit as important as the ingredients that go into it. To ensure the dog receives the appropriate meal size, it is wise to use the suggested serving size on the bag as a guideline. The dog’s weight, age, and activity level will help provide a baseline measurement to begin with.

This can be adjusted until the dog’s appetite is satisfied and its weight is maintained satisfactorily.

Dogs with loose stool still need a minimum of 18 percent of an easily digestible protein and 5 percent fat once fully mature to maintain optimal health. Puppies require slightly higher percentages of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat with higher amounts acceptable as well. Care should be taken not to allow either fat or protein levels to be too extreme as this can also lead to poor stool quality.

Dietary Requirements for Dogs with Loose Stools

Since proper diet is the main thing owners can do to prevent loose stools from occurring, selecting the correct food to promote good digestion is very important. Fluid digestive processes are key to proper elimination, and thus, it is recommended that any food for dogs suffering from poor stools should contain prebiotics and probiotics to aid with gut health.

There are also several natural foods that have proven to be effective at helping firm up loose stools. These can be added to a high quality diet or fed on their own. They include pumpkin, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and bananas.

The quality and type of protein is very important in the best dog foods for loose stools. It is best to select a meat that is easy to digest and that is included in its whole form or a meat meal if possible. Experts agree that by-products and plant-based proteins such as wheat, corn, and soy can cause intestinal flareups and should be avoided.

Carbohydrates are important to any diet, but they should form a far lesser part than proteins and fats. The best carbohydrates are high in fiber and rich in antioxidants and can be whole grains, fruits, or vegetables.

Healthy fats are the building blocks that ensure excellent coat and skin and quality and also fuel a dog’s metabolism and energy levels to enjoy an active lifestyle. These are best taken from animal sources such as chicken fat or oily fish.

Water is also a key component in maintaining good digestion. It is important for owners to be certain their dogs have access to clean supply of drinking water at all times.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Loose Stools

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a dog food for loose stools:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Contains healthy amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health

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