You noticed your dog was no longer solid in the fecal department. It was a problem. Now you have your answer: Your dog has colitis. What to do now? We’re sure your vet has already explained the importance of a specialized diet, which is why you’re here. The good news is colitis is easily manageable, once you find the right food for their condition.
Since each dog is different, discovering the food that works best can vary on a case-by-case basis. We have put together a list of the top 6 best dog foods for colitis and given you firsthand reviews to look over.
Then, your dog will be well on the road to recovery and you won’t have to clean up any juicy remnants they leave behind.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 6 Best Dog Foods for Colitis
1. Purina Hypoallergenic Dog Food – Best Overall
Purina 13852 Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog Food made the top of the list. It has a comprehensive hydrolyzed recipe specifically tailored for food allergies and digestion. It is made of one singular protein that is broken down into molecular bits as to not stimulate a dietary reaction.
They use only one carbohydrate source to minimalize allergens or side effects. The kibble is designed to be easy to consume. It has no harsh smells or artificial additives. It truly is formulated with multiple sensitivity factors in mind.
This dog food would not only help colitis, but food allergies, pancreatic issues, inflammatory bowel disease, and dermatitis as well. Many of those conditions are linked together, so it can solve multiple issues that your dog faces. It is vet recommended as well, so you have the professional preference to back it up.
Across the board, it is the best selection we could find that targeted issues relating to colitis.
2. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food – Best Value
When it comes to the best value we could find, Royal Canin Digestive Care Dry Dog Food takes the cake. It is the best dog food for colitis for the money from a brand you can trust. This diet was formulated especially for small breeds up to 22 pounds. So, while it may not be for every dog, it is ideal for small breeds 10 months and older.
For sensitive stomachs, it’s designed to smooth out digestion, aiding in beneficial gut flora and healthy probiotics. It also has a nice dose of dietary fiber, which is essential for dogs with colitis and abnormal stools.
By helping stool consistency, it should also make your dog have less frequent bathroom trips. Since it isn’t suitable for medium to large breeds, we couldn’t put this in as our number one. However, if you have a small breed and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for specialized food, this can help you.
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Dog Food may be a very pricy addition to the list, which keeps it out of our number one slot. However, if you are looking to have all bases covered for your pooch, this pick is worth a peek.
It is specially formulated for GI issues of all kinds. Its main purpose is to promote healthy stools by using optimal prebiotics, probiotics, and necessary fibers to cleanse and soothe the digestive system. It has both soluble and insoluble fibers to aid in proper breakdown.
With this food, you can keep your dog’s gut flora at a healthy level by, supporting good bacteria. It also includes omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, fish oils, and EPA to ensure everything in the tract goes as it should. If you have tried other foods that just aren’t doing the trick and are ready to spend top dollar to help your dog, this food may be just what you’re looking for.
4. Canine Caviar Dog Food – For Puppies
This Canine Caviar 901268 Grain Free Dog Food is the best selection we could find for puppies with issues causing colitis. What makes it even more perfect is that it is ideal for all life stages. So, if you feed this to your puppy and they do well, you won’t have to change their diet again once they reach their adult stage.
This dog food is totally natural with holistic ingredients for optimal nutrition. It has no grains or fillers of any kind. It is completely hypoallergenic and sensitivity friendly. It also is entirely gluten-free and alkaline based. It has reduced any digestive triggering ingredients while catering to essential nutrients.
They also have a wide selection of flavors so you can get one that best appeals to your pet’s appetite. Pickier dogs may not like the taste.
5. Natural Balance Wet Dog Food
This Natural Balance 43102 Wet Dog Food is designed for adult dogs with food sensitivities. They have multiple flavors with various main ingredients so you can get the best fit for your pet. The smell is very aromatic and tasty to dogs.
Because it is wet food, it has a higher moisture content, making digestion easier. It has a well-balanced selection of ingredients to promote overall health. While it is a good selection to help your dog with digestion, you will have to be careful what you choose if they are allergy-prone.
Even the choices that say they are fish-based have chicken meal and other protein ingredients so it definitely may not be suitable for all dog diets.
6. Wellness Wet Canned Dog Food
Lastly, we have Wellness 8927 Natural Wet Canned Dog Food. This is a well-balanced food for all sizes of adult dogs. It is also great for added hydration, aiding in digestion. While it isn’t primarily focused on the GI tract, it’s formulated for optimal health in all areas, so your dog can reap the benefits of a well-rounded diet.
This particular can was a duck and sweet potato recipe that was tempting to the taste buds, for dogs, of course. While it is holistic, it isn’t 100% grain-free, as it does contain barley. Be mindful of ingredients before purchase.
Colitis isn’t a walk in the park for your dog. They’re probably uncomfortable and tired of feeling the urgency to potty. If they aren’t making it outside in time, you’re probably done with cleaning up messes, too.
What is Colitis?
Colitis is a condition where the large intestine or colon is inflamed. This inflammation causes diarrhea and loose stools. There can be multiple causes, all of which have simple treatments once the underlying cause is found.
What Causes Colitis?
Colitis has a number of causes, but the most common is stress. Other reasons can be underlying infections, parasites, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease. With one of those triggers, the colon is no longer able to retain the feces and water absorption becomes difficult.
Infections can be a common trigger for colitis. Some infections that produce diarrhea in response to the intrusion are salmonella, e. Coli, and clostridium. These can make your dog very sick and cause dehydration. Treatment from a veterinarian is essential.
Parasites are hugely responsible for colitis in dogs. If they have a parasitic infestation in the GI tract such as whipworms, giardia, or cryptosporidium, colitis may be something you notice straight away. Treatment for these issues includes dewormer or other prescription medications.
Allergies are a very common theme for colitis. With so many dog foods on the market these days, something ingredient irritants can take a long time to pinpoint. You have some dogs who are allergic to grain, wheat, egg, dairy, animal proteins, and other additives.
Food trials are often suggested to rule out or pin down which foods are causing the reaction. As far as colitis as a symptom of an underlying food allergy, you may also notice issues with dry or itching skin, lethargy, vomiting, hot spots, ear infections, and swelling.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is likely going to be a quick diagnosis for your dog. Many dog foods cater to the symptoms caused by this disease so you can help your canine manage symptoms. Things to look for are vomiting, excessive gas, abdominal distress, depression, fatigue, and of course—colitis.
Stress can also cause colitis. If you have a very nervous dog who displaying anxious habits, diarrhea can be prevalent for them. Reducing the number of triggers can help to ease stress-related symptoms and help your dog get back to a healthy lifestyle.
Stress can be a major trigger for irritable bowel syndrome in your dog as well. Understanding the underlying causes can help you tailor the right environment for them.
What Role Does Diet Play?
Diet is essential in the treatment of colitis. Many underlying issues which cause it can be prompted by diet alone. If your dog is continually eating something that isn’t agreeing with their GI tract or digestion, it’s going to develop into a series of issues.
Eating healthy is key in order to maintain the disease. Dogs will be put on a hypoallergenic or low residue diet. Other medications may also be necessary depending on the severity of the illness. Your vet may suggest food trials so you can determine which foods make symptoms increase or decrease.
It may take some time to adjust to the diet, so don’t get immediately discouraged. Food transitions can take several weeks to take full effect. Once you find a food that reduces colitis or eliminates it altogether, your dog can be on their way to a much happier existence.
Dairy, glucose, and wheat can be particularly problematic for your pooch. These ingredients are known to cause inflammation in the digestive tract, making your dog downright miserable. Your vet will most likely recommend cutting the most common irritants first and then hack away at the rest as you go.
There won’t be a one-size-fits-all fix with diet. It must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, as each canine will have different reactions to various foods. Having a nutrient-rich diet with simplistic ingredients and a solid protein source will be your best bet for improvement.
We feel the Purina 13852 Hypoallergenic Vegetarian Dog is going to be a solid foundational diet for your dog. It has all common irritants removed from the ingredients. There are no harmful additives or fillers. It’s hydrolyzed and formulated specifically for treating digestion issues.
If you can’t add a big expense to the budget right now, Royal Canin Digestive Care Dry Dog Food is an awesome alternative to our number one choice. If you have a small breed with colitis and they need something to soothe dietary sensitivities, it’s the best value we can find.
While high-dollar, Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dry Dog Food is completely designed for optimal digestive health, targeting many different sensitivities. They truly cover all bases when it comes to potential triggers to eliminate these ingredients from the diet without scrimping on needed nutrients.
If you didn’t know where to begin in finding the right dog food, hopefully we’ve made that part a walk in the park for you. Erasing causes of colitis can be difficult, but with proper nutrition and care, your dog can get back on track again.
Featured image credit: Lepale, Pixabay
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Dog Foods for Colitis
- 1. Purina Hypoallergenic Dog Food – Best Overall
- 2. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food – Best Value
- 3. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Dog Food – Premium Choice
- 4. Canine Caviar Dog Food – For Puppies
- 5. Natural Balance Wet Dog Food
- 6. Wellness Wet Canned Dog Food
- Buyer’s Guide
- What is Colitis?
- What Causes Colitis?
- What Role Does Diet Play?