Why what dog food you choose can be a sensitive issue

If your canine chum has a delicate digestion, it can sometimes be a struggle to find a suitable dog food for a sensitive stomach. What’s more, your dog’s nutrition requirements change as they get older. So what do you do if you need to find a food that’s just right for a sensitive senior canine? Burgess Pet Care has the
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20th April 2021

If your canine chum has a delicate digestion, it can sometimes be a struggle to find a suitable dog food for a sensitive stomach. What’s more, your dog’s nutrition requirements change as they get older. So what do you do if you need to find a food that’s just right for a sensitive senior canine?

Burgess Pet Care has the answer, as in-house vet Dr Suzanne Moyes explains: “If you think that your dog may have a sensitive digestion, first ask your vet for advice in case it’s something more serious that’s affecting them. For many dogs with delicate digestions, switching to a hypoallergenic dog food variety (which means it’s relatively unlikely to cause an intolerant reaction) can be really helpful.

“As part of our Burgess dog food range, we’ve already developed delicious recipes especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs as they have special dietary needs, requiring food that’s free from the usual ingredients which may cause upset such as beef, eggs, dairy, wheat and soya. Our Sensitive dog food range features easily digestible proteins, prebiotics and antioxidants to provide your dog with all the nutrients they need, without the upset tummy and runny poos. The great news for golden oldies is that we’ve now added a variety that’s specifically created for senior dogs, aged seven and over, without the typical ingredients that can cause sensitivities for dogs in their senior years.”


A dog is classed as older when he or she reaches seven or eight years old. This is when greying of the muzzle and slowing down of the body begins. From aged 10, dogs are classed as senior and from aged 12, geriatric. How a dog ages depends on the breed and their life experience.

Just like humans, dogs are affected by the ageing process. Some dogs slow down and are less keen to go walkies, hearing and eyesight can deteriorate and joints become stiff, especially in cold, damp weather. Some dogs' moods can change and they can experience brain changes that can affect their behaviour, perhaps appearing confused or staring into space. And, while good nutrition can’t turn back the clock, it can help manage many age-related conditions.

Dr Moyes adds: “As well as being hypoallergenic, our Sensitive Senior recipe has been created to meet a range of needs of older dogs.”

Burgess Sensitive Senior is:

  • Rich in turkey, a digestible protein
  • Formulated to support a sensitive tummy
  • Contains prebiotics to support good bacteria in the gut
  • Designed to help sustain brain health and improve learning and trainability
  • Created to support older bones and joints
  • Aids the growth of a glossy coat
  • It also helps to form solid poos!



Dogs are not, as is often believed, classified as carnivores, but as omnivores – benefiting from a healthy diet that contains both animal and plant-based foods such as grains. In fact, even wolves in the wild derive nutrition from both plant and animal sources.

How much should I feed my dog?

How much your dog needs to eat depends on their age, lifestyle and health. Always read and follow the on-pack feeding instructions that relate to the food you choose.

Accurate and regular weighing of food portions is essential to maintain a healthy weight.

  • Use a kitchen scale to weigh out the correct daily amount of dog food as outlined on the packaging or use a dry-food measuring cup.
  • Place the weighed or measured-out food into a storage container. Whether you feed your dog twice, three times or more a day, take the amount from their daily ration in the container so you’ll know your dog is getting just the right amount of food – not too much and not too little.

Follow our feeding guide for Burgess Sensitive Senior dog food >>


  • Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh, clean water available and, if you’re feeding a dry food, you’ll find they’ll need a little more
  • When introducing a new food to your dog, you should do it gradually to avoid upsetting their digestion. Mix in the new food with the old over a period of seven to 10 days until the new food completely replaces the old diet
  • Remember that treats should be just that – something special, fed occasionally, in small amounts. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet

If you’re at all unsure about the best way to feed your dog or have any concerns about specific nutritional requirements at different times of their life, ask your local veterinary practice for advice. You can also call our expert team on 44 (0)0800 413 969 who’ll be happy to help. They’re available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can use our online form to get in touch.

Can't find your usual pet food? Why not give dry food a try?


It wasn’t until the 1930s that foods specially designed for pets appeared. Even as recently as 30 years ago, there was no real understanding of what dogs require at different stages of their lives. Today, things are very different and the science of pet nutrition has come a long way. We now know much more about the significant role nutrition plays when it’s tailored to the different stages of a dog’s development, ensuring the optimum quality of life for the longest time possible.

Useful information about dogs with sensitivities

  • Some common signs of adverse food reactions include tummy upsets, weight loss and Itchy skin (also known as pruritus), although ear problems can also occur in some dogs. However, it’s important to remember that these are all symptoms that can develop from non-food allergies as well and you should always ask your vet for advice.
  • Just as in people, an episode of flatulence or diarrhoea can be triggered in some dogs if their food doesn’t agree with them. This is known as having a ‘sensitive stomach’. Because your dog’s digestive system is crucial in making sure all the nutrients from their food can be absorbed and used, it is very important that they are fed dog food that can help support this, without making them ill.
  • Food allergies are one of the most commonly found allergies in dogs and can even impact the skin. Some of the more common dog food allergy symptoms include itching and sneezing, itchy paws, hot spots, skin rashes, scaly or oily skin, pigmented skin, and skin that has more of a leathery texture.
  • Other signs of dietary sensitivity with your dog may include chronic ear problems, vomiting, gas, diarrhoea, coughing, and wheezing. Food intolerances are much more common than true allergies with the usual symptom being runny poos. Food allergies and food intolerance are two different conditions which often have similar symptoms. While they are both examples of adverse food reactions, food allergies involve the animal’s immune system while food intolerances do not.

Food allergy or hypersensitivity This occurs when a particular component of food (usually a protein) triggers the susceptible animal’s immune system to react, for example, cells may release histamine which causes itching.

Food or dietary intolerance This occurs when something in the food doesn’t agree with the animal’s body but does not trigger the immune system to react. For example, a dog may not be able to digest cow’s milk well.


Complete foods are those which will deliver all your dog’s required nutrients in their daily ration. Complementary diets have high or low levels of certain nutrients and are therefore only complete when fed in conjunction with other foods. All the foods in the Burgess Dog Food range are complete. This means that you can be sure you are providing your pet with all the nutrients they require in exactly the right proportions, so you don’t have to worry about balancing their diet.

Is your dog a Burgess dog? Join the Burgess Pet Club for exclusive offers and rewards.

As a family-owned business with over 300 years of history, the health and wellbeing of pet animals is Burgess Pet Care’s number one goal and we’re proud of our expert knowledge in animal nutrition. All our pet food is produced in line with FEDIAF (the European pet food industry federation) nutritional guidelines. These guidelines, which are based on many pieces of published research, helps us to calculate the nutrient content and dietary components such as protein, fat, carbohydrate and vitamins and minerals required to ensure all our foods meet the detailed nutritional requirements for the pets they are designed for.

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