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What is the best protein food source for your dog?

Does your pet have a “sensitive stomach”?  While this term is a bit generic, looking for common signs of sensitive digestion issues can help clue you in to what your pet’s issue might be.

Common symptoms observed in a pet with sensitive digestion include: occasional vomiting, diarrhea/loose stool, gas, and eating grass (as grass is a natural remedy for tummy troubles, but can also cause vomiting due to the grass blades tickling the stomach lining). 

NOTE: If  your dog is vomiting consistently, and other symptoms such as lethargy and loose stool/diarrhea are present, it’s time to call your vet. (

Dogs eat grass for many reasons, but often to help treat upset stomach.

If you have recently changed pet foods, there is a period called “transition” that a pet goes through as the probiotic bacteria in the intestines adjust to the new foods. Think of this, if you ate a ham and cheese sandwich every day, twice a day, for a year, and then switched to eating baked chicken and green beans twice a day, your stomach would need a bit of time to adjust to the new foods. Your dog also needs this time as well, which is why, at Nature’s Select of the Carolinas, we recommend a slow transition to minimize digestive upset. 

Many times, simply switching to a food that is more easily digestible is all that is needed. Protein sources can be measured by their biological value score. This is a score that is used to determine how well your body can make use of the protein (break it down, convert it to energy, etc.).  Proteins that are more easily used (more easily broken down) have a higher biological value. Proteins that are harder to use and digest have a lower value score. 

Chart courtesy of

Eggs are the easiest to digest and use, while “meals” come second. Check out this summary of digestibility of meat meals from

“Meat meal is real meat that has been dried and pulverized into a gritty powder. Removing both the water and fat from the meat leaves a very concentrated source of protein that is added to a dog food formula to boost the protein content. Meat meal is actually very digestible, and this means a dog can render more nutrition from it than from an inferior source of protein. The more efficiently a dog can digest his food, the less waste he produces.”

So, eggs and defined meat meals are great sources of protein. (Notice I said the word “defined” – the name of the protein source MUST be used in the name to qualify as a great source of protein. Examples include: salmon meal, chicken meal, duck meal, lamb meal, etc.) In whole form, chicken, fish, and beef all have biological scores between 78-83. When converted to their meal form, that score goes up to rank them in the low 90’s (see Fish Meal above).

Second, take into consideration the digestibility of the protein source. Dogs, like humans, are single-stomach animals. While the time for digestion may vary, these are the estimated digestion times for humans consuming whole meats. Fish is the most easily digested protein source, with Chicken placing second. 

Fish: 30-60 minutes
Chicken: 1.5-2 hours
Beef/lamb: 3-4 hours
Pork: 4.5-5 hours

So, when looking for the best dog food for your dog with sensitive stomach issues. look for a fish-meal based protein source with easy-to-digest beneficial whole grains like oatmeal.

Avoid corn, soy, and wheat as these are high allergen triggers in dogs and rank as some of the most genetically modified foods in the US market. 

Nature’s Select Cold Water Recipe

I have seen TERRIFIC results for pets with sensitive digestion issues with our own Cold Water Recipe. This recipe features wild-caught Alaskan salmon (NOT farm-raised) and White Menhaden fish meal for easy digestion.

This easy to digest dog food is one of our lowest allergy foods and has NO corn, wheat, or soy carbohydrate sources. Instead, this delicious recipe features sweet potato meal, pumpkin meal, and pealed millet as its protein sources AND includes seven vegetables for holistic health. Nature’s Select Cold Water Recipe also boasts incredible Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. 

If you would like to give Nature’s Select Cold Water Recipe a try, click on this link to order. All of our food is backed by our 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not happy with the food or our service for any reason, simply let us know and we will gladly exchange or refund you.