Once you have had a dog with acute pancreatitis, there is a question what to feed your dog after they had pancreatitis. Especially to help prevent another case. Naturally, a bad case of pancreatitis is distressing for everyone involved. It’s terrible to see our dogs in pain, and it’s even worse if the inflammation in the pancreas is chronic or recurring.
So if your dog is struggling with pancreatitis, or it has been a problem in the past, what’s the best way to feed them?
In this article:
Nutritional guidelines for dogs who have had pancreatitis
What to feed your dog after they had pancreatitis
When it comes to feeding dogs with this problem, the goal is to reduce how hard the pancreas needs to work to release enzymes that break down food in the small intestine. The enzymes the pancreas release to digest food include amylase for starch, protease for proteins, and lipase for fats.
There are many potential causes of this disease. They include comorbidities, medications, genetics, or pathogens, but a high-fat diet is one of the leading nutrition causes.
To ease the pressure on the pancreas, a diet with lower levels of protein and fat is best since this lowers the demand for protease and lipase. Carbohydrates such as white rice are highly digestible and easier on your dog’s stomach.
In general, food for pancreatic dogs needs to be as digestible as possible!
If the case of pancreatitis was severe enough, it could have damaged the tissue’s ability to produce these vital enzymes. This could cause exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). A vet may need to prescribe extra enzymes to help your dog digest food in these cases. Likewise, it could also damage the tissues that produce hormones like insulin, causing diabetes. In this case, your dog will need food to help manage their blood sugar and much more fiber in their diet.
Suppose a dog who has had pancreatitis has Addison’s disease too. In that case, they will need a high-salt and low-potassium diet.
Similarly, other common problems will need to be ruled out. These include:
- congestive heart failure
- renal or liver issues
These conditions all have specific nutritional requirements that will affect the best diet for your dog.
Pancreatitis dog diet – what NOT to feed your dog
The first vital step after a case of pancreatitis is to remove ingredients that could be exacerbating the problem. After a vet has treated the inflammation, it’s essential to look at anything your dog may have access to that could cause it to happen again.
Vital steps to take to avoid another case of pancreatitis include:
- The first issue is access to high-fat foods such as table scraps. No more pizza, ice cream, or nibbling out of the cat’s bowl!
- Stop any treats or dental chews that could be agitating your dog’s stomach.
- Also, be sure they can have no access to the garbage or rotten food items since pathogens are one of the most common causes of pancreatitis in dogs.
- Keep your dog on a leash when out on walks to stop them from eating something icky they find lying around.
- Since high-fat foods and meat may also cause, such as pork and beef products. In fact, pork products may be one of the leading foods associated with pancreatitis in dogs.
- Look for ingredients that are causing your dog digestive upset. Typical dog food that destroys the protective lining in a dog’s intestines includes polysorbate 80, CMC, and benzoates.
- Avoid inorganic phosphates on the label as these can affect kidney and liver health, placing more stress on the pancreas.
Diet guidelines for a dog that has had pancreatitis
Good food for dogs recovering from pancreatitis should be low in fat. Preferably less than 15%. It should also have no more than 25% crude protein. Ingredients should be highly digestible.
Dogs that have had pancreatitis also need some extra nutrients and guidelines to help reestablish a healthy gut:
- Firstly, as pancreatitis can affect the liver and renal tract, ensure your dog gets plenty of water. Add a cup of water to their dry food. All food should have high-moisture content to relieve the pressure on organs from low levels of dehydration.
- Look for omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, preferably from marine oil and not plant oils, as marine oils contain the more bioavailable EPA and DHA. However, these oils are known to grow rancid quickly, so buy food fresh and store it carefully.
- Arginine, taurine, and glutamine are essential for a healthy gut, aiding the pancreas.
- Look for plenty of antioxidants such as vitamin E (preferably over 300 IU/kg), vitamin C, and natural preservatives such as mixed tocopherols or rosemary extract.
- Fiber can help improve gut health and ensure a soluble and insoluble fiber mix. About 5% fiber should be sufficient. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) are fantastic prebiotics to help establish a healthy gut.
- There is no reason to avoid grains unless your dog has a specific allergy. White rice is highly digestible. White rice is highly digestible for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Brown rice is a source of resistant starch that reduces the need for insulin from the pancreas and contains insoluble fiber that lowers the glycemic index in the food. Oats are full of soluble fiber, and small amounts of barley can also be beneficial.
- Finally, enriching your dog’s diet with appropriate canine probiotics can help to keep their gut healthy. A healthy gut goes a long way to avoiding inflammation in the pancreas.
Pancreatitis dog food
Best foods for dogs that have had pancreatitis?
This prescription diet is an excellent dog to help a dog that has suffered from pancreatitis. It contains only between 6 and 9% fat and a maximum of 24% protein. The protein is a highly digestible chicken meal and whitefish.
It also contains essential nutrients such as taurine, L- carnitine, and omega-3 fatty acids. As well as an outstanding amount of vitamin E and healthy ingredients such as blueberries.
This food has a moderately high amount of fiber, including soluble fiber that feeds the good bacteria in a dog’s stomach. Finally, this food contains chelated minerals for better absorption and plenty of probiotics for a healthy gut.
Vets often prescribe this food for dogs prone to pancreatitis as it contains only 7% fat and 22% protein. It has no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
The protein is highly digestible poultry and hydrolyzed animal proteins. Hydrolyzed proteins mean that the protein has already been broken down using enzymes to make it easier to digest. The main carbohydrate is rice, with a good mix of other healthy grains that provide resistant starch and complex carbohydrates that restore a dog’s intestinal lining.
Finally, it contains helpful antioxidants and prebiotics. There is also plenty of fish oil, with essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, promoting gut health.
Pancreatitis is a common and excruciating condition for dogs. Although the cause isn’t always diet, we can go a long way in helping to prevent it by making sure our canine buddies eat the correct nutrition. Low-fat diets with lower amounts of protein are best.
Look for the essential nutrients that can help dogs with this condition, such as omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and taurine. Finally, no more table scraps or access to the garbage!