Dogs suffering from pancreatitis has an inflamed pancreas caused by the leakage of digestive enzymes into the pancreatic tissue.
To avoid over-stimulating the pancreas into production of digestive enzymes, dogs with pancreatitis or those prone to this disease must be on a special diet.
This page looks at some natural, healthy dog food for pancreatitis, as well as some supplements that can help to support a dog’s pancreas and the digestive system.
Important Points to Remember
There are several things to remember when choosing dog food for pancreatitis:
The most important point to note if you have a dog with pancreatitis is to avoid feeding him fatty foods, including butter, margarine, and vegetable oils.
In other words, dog food for pancreatitis should be low in fat.
Do not feed any rich oily table scraps to a dog with pancreatitis. For dogs who are prone to this disease, even a single occasional high fat meal may cause pancreatitis.
Another benefit of a low-fat diet for pancreatitis in dogs is that it is effective in weight control.
Overweight dogs seem to have more severe bouts of pancreatitis when it occurs and to have recurrences more frequently, so keeping the dog’s weight down is essential.
When choosing a low-fat dog food, look for high-quality, low-fat, and highly-digestible protein sources such as chicken, turkey, no-fat cottage cheese, etc.
The second important point to remember is that, since the pancreas produces insulin, pancreatitis and diabetes are closely related. Dogs with diabetes are susceptible to pancreatitis, and pancreatitis itself can lead to diabetes.
So, for dogs with pancreatitis, sugar intake has to be controlled. Avoid food and snacks that contain a lot of sugar, such as honey.
Vegetables high in sugar should also be limited. Examples of high glycemic vegetables include pumpkin, fresh corn, parsnips.
High-Quality Protein & Highly-Digestible Carbohydrates
To reduce the work of the pancreas, choose sources of carbohydrates that are highly digestible, such as rice, potatoes, and oatmeal.
Kibbles bought at supermarkets usually contain low-quality protein and carbohydrate sources (lots of fillers that are hard to digest).
Also, such dog foods contain insufficient amounts of digestive enzymes. As a result, the dog’s pancreas will need to work more in order to produce and secrete digestive enzymes during mealtimes.
If your dog has pancreatitis, try to get him a high-quality, all-natural dog food.
Homemade Dog Food for Pancreatitis
If you prefer to home cook for your dog with pancreatitis, make sure that the diet consists of half low-fat protein, and half starchy carbohydrates.
Low-fat proteins can be skinless chicken breast, turkey breast, or 98% lean ground beef. Buffalo, venison and rabbit are also low in fat. Some organ meats such as chicken heart and beef heart are also lower in fat.
Low-fat dairy products (e.g. low-fat plain yogurt, cottage cheese) are also good protein sources.
As for carbohydrates, use starchy ones (such as barley, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc.) as they can provide the dog some calories.
A bit of leafy greens, broccoli, and other vegetables are fine to add to the diet as well.
Feeding should not be one big single meal a day. Instead, food and water should be fed in small quantities several times a day to avoid putting too much strain on the pancreas at one time.
Dog Food for Pancreatitis – Supplements
If your dog is recovering from pancreatitis, consider these supplements. They aid digestion and help to support and strengthen the pancreas.
Supplements containing digestive enzymes not only aid digestion, but also support the pancreas, thereby minimizing or preventing pancreatitis flare-ups.
Probiotics are the “friendly bacteria” that are essential for a healthy and balanced intestinal tract. The bacteria also aid digestion.
Here is a good natural product containing digestive enzymes and probiotics:
This natural supplement contains plant enzymes and probiotics and helps break down fats, protein, carbohydrates, and cellulose.
Supplementing a dog with pancreatitis with this product can greatly help in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, thereby lightening the burden put on the pancreas and the digestive system.
To Sum Up
Dog food for pancreatitis should be:
- Low in fat
- Low in sugar
- High in good-quality protein
- Carbs should be highly digestible
- With supplements of probiotics and digestive enzymes added