Do Golden Retrievers Have Sensitive Stomachs? 9 Signs and Solutions


Creating a diet for your dog can include a lot of trial and error until you can figure out some foods that they like which can also be good for them. Creating a complete dog food diet can be as complicated as creating your own diet.

This can lead some people to believe that something is wrong with their dogs, or that golden retrievers in general may have sensitive stomachs, at least more sensitive than other dog breeds.

So, do golden retrievers have sensitive stomachs? No, Golden Retrievers don’t have sensitive stomachs in general, not any more sensitive than other dog breeds. They are, however, one of the dog breeds most prone to bloat due to being batter-chested. A lot of Goldens do have food allergies to some nutrients or foods like grain.

It’s normal to try and test for a while until you can find the foods they are comfortable with. It’s also fine to take them to the vet a couple of times and ask for advice, recommendations, and find out if they have allergies to certain foods or nutrients.

There is quite more to the subject, so if you think you dog may have a sensitive stomach, let’s take a minute (or five) to discuss your dog’s sensitive stomach…

What Causes a Dog to have a sensitive Stomach?

Golden retriever puppy eating from a bowl to illustrate why do golden retrievers have sensitive stomachs

No one really knows what causes sensitive stomachs in dogs. What we do know is that a sensitive stomach can be something that dogs are born with or it can show up at any age unexpectedly and it can be triggered at any time during their lifetime.

While most people think that dogs are carnivores, they are actually omnivores, which means that they are designed on a diet that contains both meat and vegetables. Sure, goldens can live on a vegetarian diet, but they will suffer for it.

Their diet should consist of many elements in order for it to be balanced. Most people who have had dogs before know that dogs are almost always willing to eat almost anything that they come across.

This also makes them prone to stomach issues, and dogs are prone to the casual episode of diarrhea or flatulence when they eat something that they shouldn’t eat. (Check out the foods your golden shouldn’t eat here).

Why has your dog’s stomach suddenly became sensitive?

The most likely reason your dog’s stomach has suddenly become sensitive is a change in their diet. If you have recently changed their diet, you should revert it back.

If their stomach stays upset and they still get diarrhea after you revert back their diet, then this can be due to something else like a bacterial infection.

The symptoms you see could also be caused by something else like motion sickness – which dogs do get while travelling. It’s important for you to distinguish between an upset stomach and something else, but this could be difficult if the only symptms is diarrhea.

To make it easier, let’s see how you can identify a sensitive stomach in your golden – or any other dog.

Signs & Symptoms your golden has a sensitive stomach

The signs and symptoms of a sensitive stomach in dogs are:

  • Intermittent loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Nausea
  • Excessive Wind
  • Blood in stool
  • Vomit
  • Laziness
  • Weight loss
  • Irritated or Itchy Skin (and Scratching)
  • Reddish-brown marks on the face (tear-stains)

Diarrhea doesn’t always mean the dog has a sensitive stomach, because all dogs will get episodes of diarrhea in their lifetime, just like us. However, a diarrhea that stays consistent for more than a couple of days could be considered a chronic issue and would probably be a symptom that your dog does indeed have a sensitive stomach.

Depending on what i triggering the reaction and how sensitive their stomach is, the symptoms could vary greatly. The general rule of thumb is that if the symptoms is chronic, meaning it doesn’t go away on its own in a day or two, it is probably a sensitive stomach and they should get checked by the vet.

It’s also worth noting that the symptoms or signs of your dog’s stomach sensitive stomach are close to those seen in other problems including:

  • IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • IBD – Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Gastroenteritis (digestive system infection)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Colitis (inflammation of the colon)

Hee is a little tip to help:

Pro Tip
Use the notes app on your phone to keep track of your dog’s symptoms and frequency as this can greatly help the vet make an accurate diagnosis quickly, helping your dog get the right food and meds faster.

If your dog shows skin issues such as itching or scratching, you should probably look into the skin problems on their own before jumping to the conclusion that it is their sensitive stomach that’s causing it.

You can learn about dandruff here and the excessive shedding here for starters.

Okay, so assuming you have noticed the signs and think that they do have a sensitive stomach. What’s next?

Let’s look at this now.

How to treat your golden’s sensitive stomach?

Here is what to do when you think your dog has a sensitive stomach:

  • Retrace any dietary changes happened within the last week
  • Cut out table scraps
  • Cut out treats (temporarily)
  • Inform the rest of the family to not give them any food
  • Make sure they don’t get food anywhere else other than what you give them
  • Put them on an easily digestible diet with a restricted ingredients list
  • Make sure the new diet is grain-free
  • Make sure the new diet has no chemicals or artificial additives

The first thing you see when you suspect that your dog has a sensitive stomach is to retrace your steps and see what has changed in the last couple of days that may have caused their stomachs to get upset.

Whatever changes you have introduce to your diet, reverese it .

Whether or not you have changed their diet, the next step is the same anyway; you want to restrict their diet to something that can’t possible upset their stomach.

This means that they should only eat foods that are completely free from any artificial additives, sugar, or grains. You should also know that certain proteins can cause dogs some problems, so make sure to go with a completely natural protein source.

I recommend that you stick with homemade foods for a week or so and then se what happens. If things get better – and they will almost always will – then you can start introducing other foods to their diet gradually while keeping a close eye on them to notice any symptoms once they start – even if they are very mild or light.

If they develop symptoms, you will know that it’s the last new food you’ve introduce to their diet.

It also goes without saying that a trip to the vet can spare you and them a lot of pain and trouble, so make sure to check with their vet and see if they have any food allergies.
Dogs can develop food allergies at any point in their life.

Before you go, I recommend you check out these 20 tips that can help your golden retriever live longer and try your best to follow them when possible. Goldens have a depressingly low life, which is always heartbreaking, but maybe you can extend your dog’s life by a few months or years by following some of these tips.

Related Questions

Do Golden Retrievers have stomach Issues?

No, not all golden retrievers have stomach issues. Some goldens can have sensitive stomachs, and goldens, in general, are at more risk of bloating than other breeds due to their deep, narrow chests. Goldens are also more prone to allergies to grains in food than most other dog breeds.

Are Goldens Sensitive?

Yes, golden retrievers can be sensitive because they are very emotionally intelligent and can pick up on your body language and what you are feeling very quickly. So, if you are upset at your dog, they can feel it more than other dogs.

The good news is that goldens are also incredibly loving and hold no grudges, so they are quick to forgive you for your mishaps, so make sure to reward them with love and attention and make sure things are back to normal.

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