Acid reflux is a symptom that should be treated seriously. It is not a pleasant thing for your dog to experience, but it can signal more serious health issues. If left untreated for too long, your dog can suffer enormously and get even more health problems.
Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux. It is a mixture of stomach acid, bile, and salts. Over time, it causes irritation and inflammation along the lining of the esophagus and can lead to ulcers and even a thinning or necrosis of the esophagus.
Consistent vomiting is often caused by acid reflux. It may cause acid to enter into a dog’s lungs and damage them or cause aspiration pneumonia.
Ultimately, veterinary treatment should be sought out for your pup. However, you can do things to help your pup’s recovery not be so painful and difficult. Changing out their food to be easier on their stomach and the intestinal lining is one way.
Explore our reviews of the top seven foods for dogs that struggle with acid reflux. If you need further guidance on what to look for in this kind of food, then read the buyer’s guide.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||CANIDAE All Life Stages||
|Best Value||American Natural Premium||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm||
|Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care||
|Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery||
The 7 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux — Reviews 2020
1. CANIDAE All Life Stages Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
CANIDAE makes its all life stages formula for dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes. The point of this food is not to specify one type of dog over another, but to give average dogs a premium diet that suits all their needs.
The formula is entirely free from corn, soy, and wheat, making it much easier for most pups to digest. The protein comes from chicken, lamb, turkey, and fish meals, so even these sources add to a nutritionally dense formula. The crude protein is outstanding for a one-for-all mix, sitting at a minimum of 24%. Crude fat is always a minimum of 14.5%, and 4% fiber makes for easier digestion.
Health PLUS Solutions gives the food a trio of probiotics, omega-3s, omega-6s, and antioxidants. The whole recipe is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and is formulated by veterinarians to satisfy taste buds. You pay for the variety, though, as this is one of the more expensive foods on the list.
American Natural Premium Dry Dog Food offers a meal that targets healthy nutrition while simultaneously focusing on being delicious. It has a unique ingredients list, featuring a mixture of turkey meat and pumpkin. The pumpkin helps enhance your pup’s digestion by adding valuable probiotics and prebiotics.
This food’s protein is high enough to fit almost any dog’s needs. The crude protein is 25%, and the crude fat is 14%. A 4.5% of crude fiber makes it easy for your dog to digest without as much pain. Additionally, it is the best dog food for acid reflux for the money.
The ingredients in this food are premium. The first is deboned turkey, then oatmeal, followed by turkey meal, brown rice, ground grain sorghum, and pork meal. You might notice that no corn, wheat, or soy are included, and neither are any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It is also free of legumes, which can bother some dogs’ digestive systems.
Royal Canin is regularly featured as a healthy choice for any dog. Its veterinary diet is meant to calm the digestive systems of the dogs eating it. The food does this by including two amino acids that help pets maintain an emotional and physical balance.
One of these is an alpha-casozepine amino acid chain. It is derived from cow’s milk and has been studied and proven to have a calming effect on animals. L-tryptophan is more common but is also known to have calming effects. On top of these, the formula includes nicotinamide or vitamin B3. It calms the central nervous system.
Generated by veterinarians, this premium formula will cost you a premium price. It is, however, formulated to do more than calm. It helps dogs who have skin sensitivities and urinary and digestive issues. Unfortunately, it does contain chicken by-product meal and wheat gluten, both of which are controversial ingredients.
Overall, the food has a crude protein level of 23% and crude fat of 14%. The fiber is slightly lower than in the previously featured foods at 3.3%.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Canned Dog Food
Hill’s Digestive Care Stress is formulated to help dogs that deal with acid reflux due to stress. Stressors can negatively impact their entire system and overall health. That is why this canned food was created. Notice that it is specifically engineered for small dogs.
Stress has the capacity to cause an imbalance in the intestinal microflora and thus increase intestinal movement. This combination causes digestive upset.
This food is made with only highly digestible ingredients to make it easier for a pup. It is low in fat at 1.4% to help control unruly fluctuations in weight, and then enriched with prebiotic fiber to improve digestive flow. The total crude fiber is 1.2% maximum.
5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery Canned Dog Food
An offering from Royal Canin, this Veterinary Diet mix is meant for recovery. Even though dogs and cats have different overall requirements, they need many of the same things when it comes to recovering from a bad bout of acid reflux.
The food is in an ultra-soft mousse form, mixed with a sauce that makes it more palatable. It is suitable for dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies that may have lost their appetite after enduring difficult times. It can also appeal to picky pets.
The food contains a high protein level for wet food at 9.4%, so they do not lose too much muscle mass while they are recovering. The first ingredients include water, chicken, chicken liver, gelatin, and powdered cellulose.
6. Halo Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food
This holistic adult dog food might come with a premium price, but it is among the best options. It is made with chicken and chicken liver, meant for dogs over 1 year old. The chicken is sustainably raised and cage-free, as well as being the first ingredient in this food.
The food focuses on the health of your dog down to the last vegetable. All of them are non-GMO and from the garden, full of nourishing oils to help ease digestion and control a healthy coat and skin. These include carrots, blueberries, and cranberries, to name a few.
The protein level is high enough for a dog at 25%, and the crude fat is 15%, with crude fiber higher at 5%.
In all the foods from Halo, there is a DreamCoat supplement that is filled with fatty acids and nutrients. This helps make digestion easier and aids the health of your pup’s skin and coat. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors in this food; neither are there any meat-meals, hormones, or antibiotics.
7. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Critical Nutrition Canned Dog Food
Eating the right food will help your pup recover faster from acid reflux. Purina makes its Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Critical Nutrition food for dogs and cats that need an extra health boost.
The food is wet with a smooth consistency that makes it easier to feed through a syringe if necessary. It was made together with nutritionists, veterinarians, and researchers to provide everything that a pup could need.
Unfortunately, it does include meat and poultry by-products. The protein level is only 9.5%, and the fat level is higher than most recovering animals need at 7.5%.
This food has special amino acids that are needed in excess for tissue repair, vital when acid reflux has caused copious damage to the esophagus lining. Beyond these aminos, the food is packed with healthy antioxidants and several high-fat ingredients to provide plenty of energy for a healing dog or cat’s systems.
Buying food for a pet recovering from abnormal health can be difficult if you do not know what to look for. It is most important to give them a balanced diet. In the case of acid reflux, giving them something easier to digest can help stave off some of the issues caused by the symptom.
What to Avoid
Dogs are not easily able to process food that isn’t natural. They struggle with heavily processed foods. Avoid diets that have controversial preservatives.
It would be best if you also avoid sugars. Dogs do not naturally eat anything with sugar in it. Whether the source is natural or synthetic, sugar does not go down well. It has also been proven to trigger acid reflux symptoms.
If your pup is experiencing other acid reflux symptoms regularly, then it can be worth it to investigate whether they have food sensitivities. Remove potential culprits one at a time to target the problem.
Typically, it is good to avoid food that contains gluten because it can be difficult for dogs to digest. Their ancestors would rarely consume anything with grain in the wild unless their food had consumed it first. You need the food for a dog that struggles with acid reflux to be as easily digestible as possible.
The protein level in dog food is always important because they should always have more muscle than fat. Dogs that are recovering or fighting health problems require even more protein than normal. The increase in protein helps offset the lack of activity that they might outwardly be doing.
Their bodies need extra fortification to stay strong in the face of what they battle. It also helps keep up their muscle mass while they are confined to a bed.
- If your pup needs extra protein, you could try: 10 Best High Protein Dog Foods
Certain ingredients can be added to a portion of food to eliminate some of the effects that stress can have. Stress can come from many sources for a dog. For example, if they struggle with separation anxiety and you are gone regularly, they might get themselves worked up daily. This eventually wreaks havoc on all their systems, including the digestive system.
One example of a dog food additive that reduces the effects of stress on the system is ashwagandha. It is an ayurvedic herb that helps control the levels of cortisol in your pup. It has been shown to increase acid levels in the dog’s guts.
There are other ingredients that can help reduce stress for pups as well. Amino acids from milk can help bring down and control cortisol.
- Related Read: 10 Best Calming Treats For Dogs
Perhaps your dog has some type of nutritional deficiency. These can come from certain genetics, or they might be from food that doesn’t satisfy their needs. Either way, it is worth considering and paying attention to food that can ease their pain.
Possible deficiencies that can play a role in acid reflux are zinc, vitamin D, and low dietary fiber, among others. Many dog foods created to help pups with stomach problems have increased amounts of fiber.
Another potential major player is a deficiency in magnesium. Little amounts of magnesium in the body make for slow motility in the gut. When this happens, there will be imbalances in stomach acid. Be careful with any magnesium supplements, though, since it can act as a muscle relaxant, which is not always a good thing for dogs struggling with acid reflux.
Probiotics and Enzymes
Part of the secret to a healthy gut in dogs and humans lies in the balance of the gut’s microbiota. A healthy ecology on the inside means a happier dog on the outside. Not only does it aid in the digestion of food, but it also supports immunity by preventing bad bacteria and yeast from getting out of control.
Adding probiotics and prebiotics to food can be great for overall digestion and health, although researchers have not yet pinpointed precisely how it relates to supporting stomach acid.
Enzymes have been shown to help lower the risk of acid reflux symptoms. The power of this addition is especially true for those furry friends that struggle with food intolerances, sensitivities, or allergies.
- Also see: 10 Best Dog Foods with Probiotics
Supplying your beloved pet with the nutrition they need to stay balanced is an excellent way to support them. If you want to do this by giving them the best food, such as CANIDAE All Life Stages Formula Dry Dog Food, they will thank you even more.
Sometimes, finding an easier option on the budget helps make supporting your pup easier for both of you. Try American Natural Premium Dry Dog Food.
Ultimately, if your dog is struggling with acid reflux, it is necessary to get them to a vet for treatment. They will be able to give you more support and pinpoint exactly what is causing such disruptive health issues. From there, you can work together to change it and make life better for your furry life companion.
Do not understand how this is the best value since it is the same/more expensive than first and other items on the list…
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- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Dog Foods for Acid Reflux — Reviews 2020
- 1. CANIDAE All Life Stages Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
- 2. American Natural Premium Dry Dog Food — Best Value
- 3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm Formula Dog Food — Premium Choice
- 4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Canned Dog Food
- 5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Recovery Canned Dog Food
- 6. Halo Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food
- 7. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Critical Nutrition Canned Dog Food
- Buyer’s Guide