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21 Dog Breeds That Are Prone To Have Sensitive Stomachs

Dog Breeds Prone To Sensitive Stomachs

Your pooch will happily eat anything that you give them…

After all, they don’t fully understand the consequences.

Your fur baby doesn’t know or care if your guacamole is bad for them.

That’s why it’s your job to look after your dog’s stomach.

Moreover, what if they have a sensitive one?

Check to see if your pooch is on the list.

You’ll also discover:

  • The reason behind large dog’s predisposal to bloating.
  • 21 dog breeds that are prone to have sensitive stomachs.
  • 9 medical conditions that dogs with sensitive stomachs can acquire.
  • And many more…

What breed of dog has the most sensitive stomach?

The breed of dogs that have the most sensitive stomachs are those with deep chests. That’s because large dogs with deep chests are prone to bloating. An example of such is Great Danes. Small dogs, like Scottish Terriers, can have sensitive stomachs, too. Their size isn’t fit for a lot of food.

How do you know your dog has a sensitive stomach?

You know your dog has a sensitive stomach when they have chronic vomiting and diarrhea. You’ll also notice that they don’t do well with changes in their diet. Dogs with sensitive stomachs also tend to have frequent bad gas.

21 dog breeds that are prone to have sensitive stomachs

#1: Great Danes

These tall and magnificent dogs are known as gentle giants.

That’s because they’re among the most affectionate dog breeds out there.

They’re very gentle and so are their bellies.

I say so as Great Danes have sensitive stomachs.

However, the first part of their nickname isn’t the reason for such a condition.

It all lies in them being a giant doggo.

Great Danes boast a sleek and athletic muscular body.

AKC describes them to have a high height-to-width ratio.

Compared to dogs with that low proportion, Danes are 5 to 8 times more likely to bloat.

According to this research, Great Danes have a scarily high predisposition to bloating.

That’s why if your Dane gets bloated, they’re put at high risk. It’s a lethal condition for them…

This paper says that bloat is the number one killer of Great Danes. Vets tell us that the likelihood of Danes getting GDV in their lifetime is 42.4%.

Now, why is it so deadly?

To understand the danger, let’s get to know the condition better first…

Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) or bloating in dogs

This is a life-threatening condition for all dogs.

According to VCA Hospitals, it develops gradually.

Its early stage is when the stomach fills with gas.

That occurrence results in gastric dilatation

What’s that?

It’s simply a term for “bloat.

In some cases, that bloat won’t advance any further.

But what if it progresses?

If it does, that’s where it becomes crucial.

And that’s where it completes its name. It now becomes Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).

Volvulus is when the gas-filled stomach twists upon itself.

That coiling blocks both the entrance and exit of the stomach.

Such an occurrence is a deadly one. 

The enlarged stomach will press on larger blood vessels in the abdomen. With that, proper blood circulation is compromised. This can lead to systemic shock.

That’s why your pooch will require urgent surgery if they get GDV.

PetMD tells us these are the signs of GDV in dogs:

  • Pacing.
  • Drooling.
  • Retching.
  • Pale gums.
  • Spitting out white foam.
  • Having a racing heartbeat.
  • Showing signs of discomfort.
  • Abdominal distention or pot belly.
  • Panting without physical exertion.
  • Constantly looking at their tummy.

Facts about GDV in dogs

Don’t underestimate this condition.

It’s so deadly that many studies are done around this medical issue.

With that, here’s a set of facts to note down about GDV in dogs:

Fact #1: Large and deep-chested dog breeds are more prone to this condition. 

Research from AKC says these dogs have a high morbidity and mortality rate.

Fact #2: GDV isn’t caused by a single occurrence or factor. That’s why the same study from fact #1 calls it multifactorial. 

Some notable contributors to this condition involve genetics and environmental factors.

Fact #3: Dogs that weigh over 100 lbs (45 kg) have a 20% chance of getting GDV.

Fact #4: Most cases of bloating show no warnings at first. And unfortunately, it can progress quickly.

So, if you suspect that your dog’s bloated, take them to the vet immediately.

Fact #5: Castrating your dog doesn’t affect their chances of getting GDV.

#2: Akitas

Akita With Sensitive Stomach

These dogs stand proudly with their muscular build. They can weigh up to 130 lbs (59 kg).

They look very powerful, and it’s only right to assume that. I say so as these dogs have large bones and can push you over with strength.

But wanna know their weak spot?

It lies on their sensitive stomach.

Akitas are dogs that have highly delicate tummies.

Did you know? Akita is the largest of all 7 native Japanese dog breeds.

And as their size is enormous, they’re also prone to bloating.

Remember? I said so in fact #3 under the previous section…

I stated there that dogs weighing over 100 lbs (45 kg) have a 20% of getting bloated.

Well, Akitas aren’t an exception.

However, the risk of the condition is mild on them. That’s compared to the danger that Great Danes face towards GDV. 

#3: German Shepherds

German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) are among the most loved dog breeds.

Who wouldn’t be in love with these majestic creatures?

Their stance is full of poise. Then, their eyes are the shape of almonds and emit intelligence.

Most of all, their body is longer than tall.

Then, they have a deep and narrow chest.

Those last 2 qualities are trouble for their stomach…

That’s because their body and chest size make them predisposed to GDV or bloating.

Moreover, GSDs are predisposed to many digestive problems.

And it doesn’t help that some German Shepherds are known to eat rocks and consume dirt.

Those habits are concerning, considering GSDs have sensitive guts.

Aside from GDV, there are more concerns regarding your GSD’s digestive health.

This study says megaesophagus is among the most common predisposed diseases in GSDs. 

Don’t be fooled by the condition’s name.

It doesn’t just involve your dog’s esophagus. It also affects your pup’s stomach.

Let me explain even further…

Megaesophagus in dogs

Vets make it clear to us that megaesophagus isn’t a single disease.

It’s a combination of disorders that affect the esophagus. 

That’s the body part responsible for food and liquid transportation. Think of it as the tunnel from the mouth to the stomach.

In this condition, that tunnel gets larger. And because of that, it loses its ability to transport food and liquid.

With that, the food that your dog eats doesn’t travel properly to the stomach.

Instead, the substances get accumulated in the esophagus.

Among the causes of this condition lies the word congenital. That means that the condition is often inherited.

Still, any dog can develop this condition in their life.

Experts give us a list of symptoms of megaesophagus in dogs:

Reading tip: 7 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Eats Everything + 5 Tips

#4: Labrador Retrievers

Do they even need an introduction?

Labrador Retrievers are the most well-loved dog breeds ever to walk the earth.

And I’m not making that up…

They’re like America’s sweetheart. I say so as they’re the most popular dog breed in that country.

They’re smart, affectionate, loyal, and playful.

However, they have a minor flaw in them…

Labrador Retrievers are dogs with sensitive stomachs.

That’s why you have to be mindful of how and what you feed them.

And I’m telling you…

Such a task can be challenging.


These dogs are notorious when it comes to food.

Dog parents report that their Labs will eat almost anything…

They’re even nicknamed ‘vacuum cleaners’ as they tend to eat food from the floor.

A Lab’s eating habits have a scientific basis

First, let’s talk about this issue.

Despite having sensitive stomachs, Labs tend to scoff it off.

That’s because they’ll eat anything they see.

Research says that this is due to a genetic mutation.

This change in their genes causes their ravenous appetite. Then, that leads to weight gain and possible obesity.

Aside from that, this appetite of theirs brings more trouble than you see.

Labs don’t hesitate to eat non-food objects. This results in foreign bodies being present in their GI tract.

Such a condition causes the following:

  • Lethargy.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Sudden aggression.
  • Decreased appetite.

Labrador Retrievers’ predisposal to digestive issues

That isn’t the only issue that brings trouble to a Lab’s digestive system.

Labs are also predisposed to having a megaesophagus.

Moreover, these dogs tend to have more allergies than others too.

It’s due to their immune system.

In a Lab’s biology lies more IgE.

What’s that?

It’s a type of antibody that’s used as a marker for allergy.

Elevated levels of IgE increase vulnerability to food and environmental allergies.

#5: Miniature Schnauzers

Bloated Miniature Schnauzer

These dogs are often described to have an old man look.

It might be from their deep, oval-shaped eyes. Then, add their mustache.

They really give that oldie vibe in them…

That aside, there’s something more that you should know with these dogs…

They’re the kind that has delicate stomachs.

First of all, Miniature Schnauzers suffer from inherited metabolic disorders. There are no particulars for this. But all in all, it can lead to:

  • Diabetes.
  • Risk of heart disease.

And that’s not everything…

These dogs are predisposed to a lot of digestive issues.

Let’s talk about some of them…

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Experts describe this condition as:

The chronic inflammation of your dog’s digestive tract.

This causes improper digestion of food.

Unfortunately, the causes for this are poorly understood.

Professionals believe that it can be congenital or due to:

  • Bacteria.
  • Food allergies.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Weak immune system.

Symptoms of this condition are chronic vomiting and diarrhea.

Chronic colitis

Poor Miniature Schnauzers as they’re also prone to developing colitis.

It’s a condition where their colon (large intestine) is inflamed.

Symptoms of colitis are:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Straining their feces.
  • In rare cases, weight loss.
  • Presence of blood in their stool.
  • Increased frequency in defecating.

#6: Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are adorable companion dogs…

And as their dog parent, you must protect them at all costs.

Then, that protection must be doubled when it comes to their stomachs.


That’s because their tummies are sensitive.

They’re known to be notorious for a condition called pancreatitis.

It’s a fatal medical issue to face for these small canines.


This is another case of inflammation…

And this time, it affects a vital organ: the pancreas.

This condition causes the organ to malfunction. Digestive enzymes aren’t properly produced, and hormones become irregular.

According to vets, these are the clinical signs of pancreatitis in dogs:

  • Fever.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Decreased appetite.

#7: Irish Setters

The majestic redheads of the dog kingdom: Irish Setters.

They have many alluring qualities that make dog parents love them.

These dogs also require your attention all the time.

And you know what else needs your attention?

It’s none other than their stomach.


Well, Irish Setters are dogs with delicate tummies.

That sensitivity causes these Red Setters to be prone to numerous enteropathy.

What’s that?

It’s the term used to describe any disease of the intestinal system.

#8: Scottish Terriers

Don’t be fooled by their size…

Scottish Terriers are known to carry a small body yet act like a big dog. That’s because they tend to always act serious and grumpy.

Then, from time to time, they’re sensitive.

But you know what’s more sensitive?

It’s a Scottish Terrier’s stomach.

And out of all the dogs, theory suggests that these dogs are the most predisposed of all.

That’s because these tiny dogs can only store a short digestive tract.

Such small storage can’t hold a lot of food.

It also doesn’t do well with the following:

  • Plants.
  • Grains.
  • Proteins.
  • Fiber-rich foods.

#9: Collies

These beautiful dogs with pleasing personalities are also at risk for many enteropathies.

One of which is GDV or bloating.

And just like in Great Danes, the condition can be deadly for Collies.

They’re predisposed to the condition as Collies are medium-to-large dogs. They also have a deep and narrow chest similar to German Shepherds.

#10: Golden Retrievers

Another kind of well-loved family dog is Golden Retrievers.

They’re almost a staple in a household. 

They’re so famous that most of the dogs in Hollywood films are Goldies.

Moreover, they’ll give their all in being a playful and loyal companion…

But only until a disease hits them…

Cancer is the leading reason for the deaths of many Golden Retrievers.

If not that, then their sensitive stomach will receive the blame.

I say so as GDV (bloating) closely follows the reasons for Goldies’ deaths.

Golden Retrievers are considered to be large dogs. They’re also batter-chested.

These qualities of theirs make them predisposed to the condition.

Moreover, Goldies take a little similarity to their Lab friends.

How so?

Golden Retrievers also have elevated levels of IgE. As I said, it’s the antibody that marks allergies.

According to this study, Goldies have more of the antibody than Labs do.

With that, these Goldies are additionally prone to experience allergies from food.

#11: Basset Hounds

Bloated Basset Hound

They’re another unfortunate dog breed that’s predisposed to bloat.

And many think otherwise…

Most people don’t suspect that Basset Hounds are inclined to bloating.


They’re classified as medium-to-large dogs. However, they don’t have a deep and narrow chest.

Then, their body is close to the ground…

So many people assume that that structure gets food down faster.

Well, those assumptions are wrong.

The shape of a Basset Hound’s body actually contributes to their predisposal.

So, the wrong kind of food or an incorrect way of eating can be harmful to them.

If such mistakes are made, your Basset Hound will vomit repeatedly. Loose stools and bad gas can also accompany nausea.

#12: Boxers

Oh, they look all toughy-tough, don’t they?

Boxers look so unapproachable. With their medium-muscular build and scary frown…

But little do you know, inside of them is a delicate little baby…

Even more so, they also hold a sensitive tumtum.

How sensitive is it?

A common problem in Boxers is bloating.

Although they’re not that large, they’re still predisposed to the condition. The good thing is it’s not as bad as the cases for larger dogs.

Regardless, it’s still a condition that you must avoid your Boxer dog from having.

When your pooch, unfortunately, experiences this, they’ll be uncomfortable.

Think of the last time you ate too much…

That’s how bloating in dogs feels at first.

Then, it gets worse when the stomach twists itself.

You might also like: Top 25 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds That Love To Cuddle

#13: Poodles

If stomach sensitivity is the subject, one must include Poodles to the topic.

That’s because they’re highly susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

What’s that?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in dogs

According to PetMD, it’s a condition where intestinal muscles begin to malfunction.

That fault in their muscles causes chronic vomiting and diarrhea. It can also result in constipation.

If your Poodle has IBS, their diarrhea will be watery.

This experience can be chronic and recurring. It can resolve then come back again after some time.

When it’s present, the condition causes extreme pain in the canine.

They’ll be very uncomfortable with the ache in their abdomen.

You’ll know it from their whines. Plus, you might notice ‘gas bubble’ sounds coming from their belly.

#14: Doberman Pinschers

Striking, aren’t they?

Doberman Pinschers are stunning dogs that emit elegance…

But, you’re not here to indulge in that…

Let’s talk about a Dobie quality that’s often lowkey and scoffed off.

What is it?

It’s the fact that Doberman Pinschers have sensitive stomachs.

Their size makes them predisposed to GDV or bloating.

Bad food and habits can easily fill a Dobie’s stomach with gas.

So, you must be responsible for their eating practices.


Prevent bloating in dogs

Method #1: Don’t elevate their food bowls when feeding them. The floor will suffice as a place to put it.

Method #2: Never exercise them before or after feeding them.

Method #3: Watch how they munch their food. Make sure that they indulge in their meal slowly.

If your pooch is a fast eater, change the habit immediately.

You can do so by providing them with slow-feeding food bowls.

#15: Shih-Tzus

These dogs are genetically predisposed to many health issues.

Among their many weaknesses, Shih Tzus have sensitive stomachs.

That’s what makes them predisposed to a condition called pyloric stenosis.

It’s a condition where the opening of their duodenum (pyloric canal) becomes narrow.

It’s also called…

Chronic hypertrophic pyloric gastropathy

Several hours after eating, this condition can cause vomiting.

It also brings the following symptoms, PetMD says:

  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Having a pot belly.

#16: Basenjis

These dogs with a light build are also made for gentle meals.

That’s because they have fragile tummies, too.

For Basenjis, the condition that they’re likely to face is malabsorption.

The MSDVM describes this condition as a failure of digestion.

This is what happens:

Your dog’s intestines won’t do their job properly. That instead of absorbing nutrients from ingested food, it simply doesn’t.

With that, these nutrients are flushed out of the body through the urinary tract.

Now, this causes the dog to lack the nutrients that they need.

Moreover, it also results in an electrolyte imbalance in the body.

These are the symptom of malabsorption in dogs:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Depression.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Flatulence and bad gas.
  • Losing weight despite the ravenous appetite.
  • Noisy stomach (hearing gurgles in their belly).

#17: Chinese Shar-peis

These wrinkly dogs didn’t dodge the sensitive stomach train.

Chinese Shar-peis are large dogs with deep chests.

And by reading this article, you might know what that means by now…

Those physical attributes make them predisposed to bloating.

They’re also prone to experiencing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Lastly, Chinese Shar-peis also develop food allergies easily.

If those allergies are triggered, they’ll constantly scratch themself.

#18: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers

These fearless doggos tend to be unstoppable…

However, they do have a clink in their armor…

I’m talking about these Wheatens’ sensitive stomachs.

They’re dogs who are predisposed to getting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

#19: Lhasa Apsos

These dogs have narrow skulls.

Despite that, it’s not bloating that you should be concerned about in Lhasa Apsos…

When an Apso reaches 7 years of age, they become more vulnerable to a condition.

What is it?

It’s pyloric stenosis.

I’ve already mentioned this condition. It causes vomiting almost immediately after eating.

#20: Weimaraners

Sleek as they come, Weimaraners are also called grey ghosts.

They’re the kind of dogs that aim nothing but to please you.

However, there’s a minor catch to them…

They have sensitive stomachs, too.

Weimaraners are large dogs that can weigh over 70 lbs (32 kg).

With that, they’re included on the list of predisposed dogs to bloating.

#21: Boston Terriers

These dogs are classified as brachycephalic. That’s a term used to describe dogs with a short snout.

Unfortunately, dogs belonging to this group are vulnerable to many issues.

Let’s talk about a specific case…

Boston Terriers are small dogs with short muzzles.

And did you know?

That quality of theirs contributes to the sensitivity of their stomachs.

It makes them predisposed to pyloric stenosis.

Best dog food for sensitive stomach

Fortunately, many dog foods cater to dogs’ sensitive stomachs.

That’s because it isn’t a need that’s overlooked…

Now, where could you start?

You can follow this set of recommendations for you and your doggo’s exact needs: