What can I feed a dog with Pancreatitis?
What is the Pancreas?
The pancreas plays an important role for dogs. Firstly it produces the enzymes that aid the digestion of protein, carbohydrate and fat within the small intestine. Secondly, it produces the hormone insulin which helps to regulate blood sugar levels after a meal.
So what is Pancreatitis?
In a normal pancreas, the digestive enzymes remain inactive until they reach the small intestine which prevents the enzymes breaking down pancreatic tissue. Occasionally, the enzymes are activated whilst they are still in the pancreas. The enzymes then begin digesting the organ tissue which leads to inflammation and pain - known as pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is often categorised as acute or chronic – acute pancreatitis a sudden onset or ‘attack’ and chronic pancreatitis is when it continues over time. Individuals with chronic pancreatitis can also experience acute flare-ups.
How do I manage Pancreatitis?
Often, owners ask us which of our treats and foods are suitable for pancreatitis prone dogs. Whether your dog has acute flare ups or a chronic case of pancreatitis, as a rule of thumb you need to be considering foods which are:
· Low in fat (less than 10% fat)
· Highly digestible (hypoallergenic and grain free)
· Moderate protein
· Low to moderate carbohydrates
· No added sugars
Below are some suggestions of food, treats and chews to assist a dog with pancreatitis. Please be aware that pancreatitis is a serious problem and no major changes to diet should be made without consulting your vet.
Bone Broth is a fantastic addition to the diet. Gentle enough to feed whilst a pancreatic flare up is taking place and an all round good addition to the diet on a daily basis (see our Bone Broth article). Our Healthy Hounds supplement is also excellent for all round general digestive health and well being.
Hopefully you will find this information helpful. As always, if you are concerned about the management of your dog’s pancreatitis, please seek the advice of your vet
Laura, Dolly & Reggie x