Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS.
- Dogs with pancreatitis need a low-fat diet. For cases that are severe, the dog food should have no more than 10% fat.
- A good homemade diet for dogs with pancreatitis should include lean, protein-rich foods like skinless chicken breast as well as healthy carbs like cooked rice and oatmeal.
- If your dog has pancreatitis, always consult with your veterinarian first before putting him into a new diet.
To make a quick and easy homemade diet for dogs with pancreatitis, combine all the ingredients below and serve to your dog slightly warmed. You will need to feed your dog one cup of this recipe for every twenty pounds of weight.
- One cup of plain boiled chicken
- 1/2 cup non fat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup of boiled zucchini
- 3/4 cup boiled chopped potato
- ½ tsp Berte’s Digestion Blend
Illnesses like canine pancreatitis are some of the reasons why I always make sure my dogs eat healthy and stay healthy. Aside from expensive vet bills, the thought of seeing my dog suffering from a serious disease is enough to make me, or I bet any dog owner, feel bad.
Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas, and it can affect dogs and humans alike. This condition often occurs as a result of an excessively high-fat diet. When your dog is diagnosed with this condition, you need to know all about the symptoms, how to treat them, and how to prepare a nutritionally complete homemade dog food based on a canine pancreatitis diet for your precious pooch.
What Is Canine Pancreatitis?
To understand the disease, you should first know the function of the affected boy part. The pancreas is a vital organ that produces enzymes responsible for breaking down foods that a dog eats. It lies on the right side of the body, adjacent to the stomach. This organ is also responsible for the manufacturing and release of insulin—the hormone that regulates normal glucose levels in the body.
When the pancreas is inflamed, it causes digestive enzymes to spill into the abdominal cavity of the dog, resulting in secondary damage to the liver, intestines, bile duct, and gallbladder. The condition comes in two forms: acute and chronic pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis can affect dogs of any age and breed. However, certain breeds are predisposed including the Poodle and Schnauzer. Acute versions of this condition may remain mild or can turn hemorrhagic.CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE coupons for our readers →
As noted above, acute pancreatitis is often brought on by an excessively high-fat meal, but it can also come on spontaneously; there is not always a clear explanation as to why it happens. The following are some of the common symptoms experienced by dogs suffering from pancreatitis.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- Decrease in appetite
- Standing in the ‘prayer position’
Because canine pancreatitis can have a profoundly negative effect on the digestive system of your dog, it is important to examine his diet. Is he eating too much fatty foods? If yes, it’s time to make the right changes that will protect his health. One of the best things to comfort a dog with pancreatitis is a homemade diet.
How Is Canine Pancreatitis Treated?
Managing canine pancreatitis successfully means finding it in its earliest stages. If you have noticed any of the symptoms above, you must take your dog to the vet right away. While the symptoms of dog pancreatitis can often mimic other digestive disorders, it is important to rule out this serious condition first.
If your dog has a mild case of pancreatitis, the formula for treatment involves giving the digestive system a rest. Dogs who are vomiting should not eat until the vomiting subsides. It is safe to withhold food from a dog for a few days, though water or IV fluids are essential to avoid dehydration.
In some instances of pancreatitis, the dog needs to be hospitalized to be monitored 24/7. In cases of this magnitude, dogs are given IV fluids and analgesics to control the intense pain. If there is an infection, antibiotics will be administered via an IV. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications will be required to reduce the damage done .CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE coupons for our readers →
If a dog with pancreatitis is hospitalized, the stay will typically be between two to four days. During this time, dog food will be gradually introduced again once the dog can hold down both food and water. A high fat diet will be avoided at all costs.
What Is the Prognosis for Dogs With Pancreatitis?
The prognosis of canine pancreatitis will entirely depend on the severity of the condition and how far it has progressed. If a dog has shock and depression, his prognosis will not be as good as a dog who has only mild pancreatitis. In cases of mild pancreatitis, most dogs fully recover with limited medical intervention. It is important to seek immediate medical attention for dogs with possible pancreatitis because this condition if left untreated, can lead to hemorrhagic pancreatitis, which can cause severe damage to the digestive system and may lead to death.
Although most dogs recover fully, some suffer long-term consequences. If the cells that make digestive enzymes are destroyed in great numbers, the result is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This condition can be managed with the addition of digestive enzymes to each meal. Diabetes is another possible consequence, and this is a longterm condition that would need to be managed with insulin and diet.
Diet Plan for Canine Pancreatitis
Once your dog has been diagnosed with canine pancreatitis, you must be prepared to give him a low-fat diet. If his condition is severe, you will need to make sure his diet consists of no more than 10% fat. Say hello to lean, protein-rich foods like skinless chicken breast as well as neutral carbs like cooked rice. Some sick canines are also given prescription dog food.
The goal is to feed your dog a healthy diet that will supply him with plenty of energy but is easy on the digestive system. Plan on adding an increased amount of wholesome complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. Meats like chicken, turkey, and lean beef (like low fat ground beef) are also good additions.
Adding healthy vegetables is also beneficial. Cooked vegetables like sweet potatoes and pumpkins are both good choices. So are dark leafy greens like spinach. Fat-free yogurt should also be a consideration, though keep in mind that many dogs are lactose intolerant so this could cause a stomach upset.
Your dog’s diet should be a healthy balance of high protein, moderate healthy carbs, and low fat. Beef kidney is another highly nutritious food that fits easily into low fat diets. Beef liver is also OK, but does have a slightly higher fat content. However, for most meals, you’ll want to stick to extremely lean meats with not as much fat. Some experts, however, believe that omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil can help alleviate inflammation of the pancreas so adding this to homemade meals could be useful.
There are some commercial dog food preparations that meet these dietary needs and some dog owners may find it easier to offer these pre-prepared diets over homemade recipes, particularly if overwhelmed by caring for their poorly pooch. Other owners, however, may worry about the nutritional quality of commercial diets like kibble and canned foods. They may wish to consider a tailored recipe from a fresh dog food provider.
One of the benefits of homemade recipes for a pancreatitis diet is that they may be less likely to trigger food allergies, as they will contain fewer ingredients. Keep in mind though, a dog can be allergic to any ingredient, including chicken, beef and grains. Furthermore, dogs under pancreatitis diet should not be fed table scraps as these may be unhealthy for them.
Homemade Dog Food Recipes for Canine Pancreatitis
Before I introduce some canine pancreatitis homemade dog food recipes to you, I want you to be aware of some important information. You should not overfeed your dog, even on healthy homemade food! Feeding him too much food during meal times could worsen his pancreatitis and the damage done to his digestive system.
Consult with your veterinarian for any concerns with canine health and before introducing new foods to your dog. Every individual will have different needs and your vet may well advise you work alongside canine nutrition professionals if you plan to home cook. Long-term, diets must be tailored to the individual, to prevent deficiencies and to ensure all nutritional needs are being met. Nutrients like iodine, calcium, zinc and phosphorous may need to be supplemented, depending on your dog’s age and breed.
The vet or some dog nutritionists may also recommend adding some digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet, including pancreatin, l-glutamine, and Berte’s Digestion Blend.CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE coupons for our readers →
In some cases, you will need to readjust your dog’s feeding schedule. Avoiding a raw diet at this time may be a good idea. Instead of a couple of larger meals, he will need to eat a few smaller meals throughout the day. The following offers some recipes you can feed your dog to help him during a bout of pancreatitis. Try one recipe at a time, and see how your dog responds to the new foods being introduced. If his symptoms seem to increase, talk with your vet before continuing.
Lean Beef Recipe
- One cup of lean roast beef (or, lean ground beef)
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup plain boiled zucchini
- 3/4 cup cooked barley
- 1/2 teaspoon Berte’s Digestion Blend
This beef recipe is a tasty and wholesome option between all the boring white meat chicken! Make sure the zucchini and beef are chopped fairly fine. Mix all of the ingredients, and serve one cup per twenty pounds of weight.
Chicken and Rice
- One cup of plain boiled chicken breast
- One cup of plain cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free cottage cheese
While it may sound bland as it is also low sodium, this chicken recipe is a staple pancreatitis meal. This diet is particularly good for those with sloppy stools. Mix the chopped chicken breast with the rice and cottage cheese until well combined. Feed one cup per twenty pounds.CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE coupons for our readers →
Chicken, Rice, And Veggie Recipe
- One pound of cooked, chopped chicken thighs (remove skin and fat)
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup cooked, chopped green beans
- 1/2 cup cooked, chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup cooked wheat germ
Combine all the ingredients carefully. Serve your dog one cup for every twenty pounds he weighs.
You should try one recipe at a time and see how your dog responds. Feed him a small amount of food throughout the day. Dogs with pancreatitis respond better when they are fed small meals instead of large ones. Smaller meals are less stressful on his digestive system and can help prevent vomiting.
Signs Your Dog Is Not Digesting Food Well
As a dog owner, you must monitor your dog for any signs of digestive issues once you start feeding him one of the above recipes. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is important to contact your vet right away for answers. Your vet will offer the best treatment for your dog’s condition and will help you learn to manage it well.
- Throwing up undigested food
- Undigested food in his poop
- Unhealthy or discolored poop
- Constipation, gas or diarrhea—see my recipe to relieve dog constipation!
- Stomach pain and/or bloating
- Failure to thrive
- Excessive thirst and urination
Do not ignore the above symptoms. Your dog needs you to be his advocate. If the recipes above are not working, further intervention from the vet may become necessary.
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FAQ About Canine Pancreatitis
If your dog has been diagnosed with canine pancreatitis, try not to panic. Yes, this is a serious condition, and it requires treatment from the vet. As a dog owner, you likely worry a lot about your dog’s health and have a lot of questions that you need answering. The following are some of the top questions about canine pancreatitis.
Is boiled chicken good for dogs with pancreatitis?
Boiled chicken is one of the safest and best foods for dogs with canine pancreatitis. This is a food choice you can offer your dog with confidence. You should try plain boiled chicken breast before you introduce any of the recipes above. Your dog should be able to digest this food easily.
Are sweet potatoes good for dogs with pancreatitis?
Sweet potatoes are another good food for canine pancreatitis. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and low in fat, making them an excellent choice for healthy nutrition. If you combine sweet potato and a white fish like cod, your dog will have a perfect meal that is high in protein and fiber, without increasing his fat consumption.
Are carrots OK for dogs with pancreatitis?
When your dog is diagnosed with pancreatitis, carrots are one of the best foods for him to snack on, and they can be included in some of the recipes above. Carrots are low in calories and fat but offer beneficial vitamins and minerals that are healthy for a dog’s digestive system. Your vet should be happy for you to offer carrots, especially if they are cooked.
How can dogs with pancreatitis eat?
In its acute stage, pancreatitis may prevent a dog from eating normally. If your dog cannot eat at first, he will likely be hospitalized and given IV therapy until he begins to recover. After he starts to heal, you can introduce foods like white rice, boiled chicken breast, barley, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Be sure to monitor your dog’s symptoms, and take him to the vet if he begins to show signs of a pancreatic attack.
If you order from one of the best dog food delivery services, they will usually tailor-make your dog’s meals if they suffer from conditions like pancreatitis.
Protect Your Dog’s Digestive Health
Although canine pancreatitis is undoubtedly a serious condition, it can be managed effectively in most dogs. Your vet will treat your dog’s condition with IV medications. When your dog goes home from the vet, it is important to monitor his condition and follow the instructions of your vet for diet and medication. With aggressive treatment, your dog can recover fully and go on to live a healthy life.CLICK HERE: Access EXCLUSIVE coupons for our readers →