Do Golden Retrievers Have Sensitive Stomachs?

Golden Retrievers are amazing companions. They are loving, energetic, and fun. Bred as wild game dogs in Scotland, golden retrievers probably had meals that consisted of foods that were harsh on the stomach like raw meat, different grains, and dairy. They probably weren’t given vegetables so the missed out on those nutrients. But what if the dogs had sensitive stomachs? Do golden retrievers even have that problem? I searched online and gathered the following information.

Do golden retrievers have sensitive stomachs?  Yes, Golden Retrievers can suffer from stomach sensitivities. This is usually because an ingredient in their dog food doesn’t agree with them.

Symptoms That Your Golden Retriever Has A sensitive Stomach

The most common indications that your dog ate something that doesn’t agree with their tummy is vomiting, diarrhea, and flatulence (which can lead your dog to absorbing bad odors). If your golden retriever did either of the first two things, check the vomit or poop for blood, mucuous, and or undigested bits of whatever they might have consumed.

If you see bits of either bone, sticks or another foreign object, feel your dog’s abdomen for bloating(an expansion of the stomach due to the build-up of gas, food, or fluid. This is common in retriever dogs because they have deep and barrel chests.) or a possible blockage. Monitor your dog, and if the vomiting or diarrhea persists, call your vet.

Hopefully, that paragraph didn’t scare you. Those are worst-case scenarios. If you don’t see or feel any of those things, assess whether or not the act is just a random instance. Infrequent stomach sensitivities are nothing to worry about. There could have been something minor that caused them to throw up or have loose stool. You won’t have to change foods if that was a reason why.

Changing the brand or formula of your dog’s kibble can result in an isolated bout of stomach sensitivity. Make sure to


There are a number of reasons why your golden retriever may suffer from a frequent sensitive stomach. Some serious reasons include parasitic infestations and cancer. This may sound gross, but regularly checking your dog’s feces can be a good way to determine whether a type of worm is the cause of their sensitivity. Making sure your dog gets regular vaccinations, tests and check ups can rule out these possibilities.

Similarly, if your golden retriever has been on antibiotics for any worm or parasite issues, that might be a cause as well. The antibiotics could have diminished the dog’s good digestive bacteria, weakening the stomach’s defenses. The ingredients in their kibble may just be a little to harsh for them at the moment.

Now, the most common reason why your dog has any stomach issues is an allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient in its foods. If you haven’t added anything to your golden retriever’s kibble, which would be an easy answer, you will have to figure out which ingredient is hurting the pup’s belly. Low-quality dog food will have high percentages of filler ingredients, like by-products and generic meals, carbohydrates, or fat.

Symptoms That Your Golden Retriever Has A sensitive Stomach


Whether or not your golden retriever has a sensitive digestive system for any of the reasons listed above, always make sure you discuss major changes in your dog’s diet. Rely on their expertise when figuring out a plan to address the dog’s stomach problems. You want to solve the problems and not make them worse. Get any necessary tests done (allergy, stool, cancer screenings) to pinpoint what the problem is.

If your pet’s digestive issues stem from a parasitic problem, or medication from one, add probiotics to replenish the good bacteria in their stomach.

 What Are the Best Probiotic Supplements For A Golden Retriever?

What are probiotics? Probiotics are microorganisms that live in digestive tracts and promote intestinal and digestive health. They break down foods, extract nutrients from them, and protect the gastrointestinal system’s immunity against pathogens.

Probiotics are beneficial for both humans and animals. Talk to your vet about which species-specific probiotics would be best for your golden retriever. Some human foods that are dogs for that are yogurt, cabbage, kefir, and fermented vegetables. Be sure to limit these foods to only three teaspoons a day for your pup.

If you and your vet determine that a food allergy is the cause of your golden retriever’s issues, you have to find out which ingredient of their meals is the culprit. An allergy test can do this or a food test can. When you discover which ingredient is making your golden retriever sick, start trying foods that have a different one.

A meat ingredient is rarely the cause of stomach sensitivity, but corn grain is a likely one. Try switching to a kibble that has a rice grain, no by-products, and no generic meals . Peas, lentils, and other legumes should not be one of the first five listed ingredients in the kibble’s nutritional facts.

Giving your golden retriever a variety of food can prevent a sensitive stomach as well. Your dog’s digestive system will be used to all different kinds of things and that lower the possibility of a bad reaction to a food. Even though some articles and blogs advise away from human food, there are a multitude of meats, fruits and veggies that are healthy for your pup, in moderation of course.

Should I switch my golden retriever to a raw food diet?

Not necessarily. Feeding raw is a newly popular alternative diet that dog owners are implementing. The idea is that feeding their dogs raw human food is more nutritious but many veterinarians actually suggest against doing it. Some of the drawbacks to this diet is malnutrition; it is much harder to gauge how much food your dog will need to maintain its health. What will the fat to protein to vitamin intake ratio be? Another is the potential for bacterial infections such as salmonella.

Feeding your golden retriever a human-food diet is also one hefty contribution to your monthly grocery bill. And if you have a multi-dog household? Yikes. No, it is best to feed your fur baby a high-quality kibble. All of its nutrients are measured there for you and then you can supplement with human foods like boiled chicken or beef, veggies, or a little bit of cheese.

Should I switch my golden retriever to a raw food diet?

Should I stop giving my golden retriever treats?  Absolutely not. Be more mindful of the nutritional value of the treats, however. Treats like Beggin’ Strips and Pupperoni treats have high-fat content, so can hurt your dog’s belly more than anything. Instead, this is a great opportunity to give your pup a few pieces of chicken or dried beef. It’s healthy and nutritious and delicious. These foods are also great training treats. Potty training will become a breeze!


The are so many things that can contribute to your golden retriever’s upset stomach and digestive sensitivities. But remember these last tips. Be observant of what your golden retriever might be eating, whether it is a treat or their meals. Pay attention to the ingredients lists on the back of the dog food bag. High-quality dog kibble does not need to be expensive. Trust companies that have been manufacturing dog food for at least thirty years.

If your dog has digestive issues, determine if it’s a random one-off occurrence or an actual problem to address. Assess what is an emergency or what can be handled at a pace. Stay calm and talk to your vet with any questions and concerns. They are your ally in maintaining your golden retriever’s health. A healthy golden retriever is a happy one. And a happy golden retriever makes a dog owner happy.

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