What Should I Feed My Dog with Acid Reflux?

Here at My Pet Nutritionist, acid reflux is one of the most common issues we come across in our consultations. Dogs with acid reflux may have it for a variety of reasons, from allergies to BOAS, and many other reasons in between. These dogs are often less tolerable of some generally preferred diets, so require a specific diet and supplement regime, which we will discuss here!

A Bit About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is formally known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When a dog eats, a mixture is formed in the stomach, comprising of stomach acid, salts and bile; this is called chime. Those with acid reflux suffer from the chime mixture entering the oesophagus. Acid reflux is a symptom of many underlying health conditions, and can be very uncomfortable. While acid reflux itself is not life threatening, it can lead to oesophageal ulcers due to repeated inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus, as well as the potential risk of aspiration pneumonia.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux include:
  • Bad breath
  • Regular burping and regurgitation
  • Tenderness of the stomach (bowing is the main sign of this)
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Wheezing and dry coughs
  • Weight loss

Acid reflux is often caused by low stomach acid, contrary to what many may assume. Proton pump inhibitors are often prescribed under the assumption that the dog has too much stomach acid, however it’s often the exact opposite issue. This may seem an odd concept, however it becomes clear that when the stomach is lacking acid, it is unable to fully digest food at a high enough rate, so the food tends to sit in the stomach, which is then regurgitated.

For more information on acid reflux, read our blog here!


When is comes to feeding a dog with acid reflux, it’s important not to feed processed foods. Processed foods such as kibble, are very inflammatory, which ultimately reduces stomach acid. A reduction in stomach acid can be a major trigger for acid reflux, as there’s less acid to digest foods. Fresh feeding for acid reflux dogs can be raw, or lightly cooked. Many dogs with acid reflux find it difficult to tolerate raw food, as the food sits in the stomach for a long time; when it sits in the stomach in chime, gasses are released, and the chance of reflux increases. Cooked food is often the best option. When feeding a cooked food, it is incredibly important to follow a balanced recipe, such as our recipes! Sticking to the leaner protein options such as the white fish recipe may be the best option, as feeding fattier proteins may cause more issue for dogs who are unable to digest efficiently.

Acid reflux is often a symptom of allergies, so it’s important to get to the bottom of the dog’s allergies, and eliminate trigger proteins from the diet. To achieve this, an elimination diet should be carried out. Why not book in with one of our team for guidance through an elimination diet?

Ensure there is plenty of fibre in the diet. Insoluble fibre increases gut and stomach motility, which is essential for those suffering from acid reflux. Some great sources of insoluble dietary fibre are:
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Berries

Findings Here

Feeding a good variety of proteins (if allergy constraints allow), and a variety of plant matter can help ensure there are no vitamin deficiencies, which could contribute to acid reflux. In the human world, bariatric surgery patients often suffer with GERD, due to the inability to consume sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals – nutritional deficiencies can impact our dogs too!

Zinc deficiencies are common among acid reflux patients as it is thought that zinc helps protect the lining of the stomach.

Findings Here
Findings Here

Working on getting to the bottom of any allergies and intolerances is important in helping relieve your dog of symptoms too! Allergies and intolerances are largely down to gut health, which causes a knock on effect on acid reflux.

It’s also very important to choose the correct supplements to give your dog when suffering with acid reflux.


The first, and most important supplement, or group of supplements we will be looking at, is those that aid gut health.

Mucilage Herbs

Mucilage herbs include Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and Declycyrrhizinated Liquorice Root. These herbs are excellent for healing the gut, as they coat the digestive system. They not only help heal the gut, but they also soothe the oesophageal tract which is great for those suffering with acid reflux.

Our probiotic and mucilage herb blend, Gut Guardian, may be perfect for your dog!


Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut. They help the gut microbiome flourish, which in turn aids digestion of foods, reducing the risk of chime sitting in the gut. Our aforementioned Gut Guardian supplement contains a great variety of clean probiotics, so may be a great choice for your dog!

Findings Here

Digestive Enzymes

Some dogs, especially our acid reflux dogs, often suffer from poor digestion, due to insufficient amounts of the required digestive enzymes. When lacking such enzymes, food sits in the stomach in the chime mixture, which is them repeatedly regurgitated. Giving a good digestive enzyme may be pivotal to your dog’s recovery, or management of acid reflux. The two enzymes as play in this situation are Pepsin and Trypsin.

Findings Here


This is a herb, less commonly known in general, which contributes to responding to physical and mental stressors. As well as aiding those with diabetes, cancer, and anxiety, Rhodiola is great at helping the body cope with the physical stressors acid reflux brings.

Findings Here


Theanine is a non-protien amino acid which occurs naturally in tea. It plays a role in the prevention of acid refluc flare ups by increasing GABA activity, and reduce oesophageal sphincter relaxations. Together these reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

Findings Here

If your dog has acid reflux, and you are unsure what to feed them, please don’t hesitate to book in for a consultation with one of our team!
Team MPN x

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