Best Foods for Dogs With Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in dogs is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical treatment. Let us look at some of the most common symptoms, treatments, and foods for dogs with pancreatitis.

Homemade diet and foods for dogs with pancreatitis

What is the best food to feed a dog with pancreatitis?

Most dogs will do better with a high-quality low-fat diet that is specifically formulated for dogs with pancreatitis. This can be done by feeding your dog a canned food or dry soft kibble.

  1. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food, Veterinary Diet
  2. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care Wet Dog Food, Veterinary Diet
  3. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Easy to Digest Dry Dog Food with Real Meat, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Dog Food
  5. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support Low Fat Wet Dog Food
  6. Purina EN Gastroenteric Low Fat Canine Formula

How to comfort a dog with pancreatitis

You can help relieve your pet’s symptoms by being proactive and giving him the proper nutritional support through a diet that does not aggravate his illness.

Treats

The first thing you can try is to change his treats from processed biscuits to boiled chicken or veggie pieces like carrots or broccoli. These are easy to chew on and they don’t trigger an attack of pancreatitis.

Raw diets

A raw diet is also highly recommended, as it contains no preservatives and adds lots of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help keep your dog’s body healthy during recovery.

Low-fat diets

Changing to a low-fat diet will reduce the inflammation caused by the condition and therefore reduce a lot of the pain and discomfort your dog may be experiencing.

If you’re feeding your dog a commercial brand of dog food, make sure to read the label carefully and make sure it fits into your dog’s diet plan.

Boiled chicken and rice diet

Many dogs with pancreatitis are on a restrictive diet. This means they can eat only a few things, and it’s typically very bland. You may have to change your dog’s diet to help him feel better.

You can give your dog boiled chicken or veggie pieces like carrots or broccoli instead of cooked foods. These foods won’t aggravate the condition as much as other types of foods do.

Fish oil

Giving your dog small amounts of fish oil could help improve their pancreatic health and ease their overall discomfort. When done in small doses over time this will continue to prevent flare-ups and may improve their gut’s general health.

Medication

Dogs with pancreatitis are typically treated with pain relief, anti-sickness medications, and fluids. If a dog is vomiting or having diarrhea, the vet may prescribe medication to control those symptoms and help prevent dehydration.

Dog pancreatitis not getting better

If your dog with pancreatitis is not getting better, the vet may prescribe medicine to regulate the dog’s blood sugar level and pain medication to alleviate any discomfort your dog might have.

A veterinarian may give your dog medications through injection or may decide to keep your dog on IV fluids if they have been vomiting frequently.

Oral medications that help treat pancreatic inflammation and pain, as well as provide nutritional support. Dogs with pancreatitis should be kept quiet and calm until they begin to feel better.

Can a dog fully recover from pancreatitis?

The treatment for pancreatitis in dogs can vary based on the severity of your dog’s condition. Most cases of pancreatitis in your dog are caused by underlying conditions. If your veterinarian can identify one of these underlying causes they will treat that cause and your dog’s pancreatitis will go away.

What are the clinical signs of pancreatitis in dogs?

The classic signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These signs may occur alone or in combination with fever, lethargy, and depression. Your dog may also exhibit abnormal behavior such as acting depressed or becoming anxious.

The most common clinical signs of pancreatitis include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal tenderness

What causes pancreatitis flare-ups in dogs?

The most common cause of pancreatitis is trauma to the pancreas or damage to the duct system that carries bile from the gallbladder to the pancreas. The condition can also result from severe liver disease or from eating too much fat and protein.

If you suspect your dog has pancreatitis, seek veterinary care immediately. While it’s rare for dogs to die from pancreatitis, if left untreated it can lead to organ failure and even death.

How long does pancreatitis pain last in dogs?

Mild cases usually resolve within 48 hours once treatment is administered. More serious cases may last a few days.

The length of time a dog experiences pain from pancreatitis depends upon the severity of the condition, what medication (if any) they receive, and how well their body responds to the treatment.

Can pancreatitis in dogs cause shaking?

Yes! Shaking is one of the signs that your dog has pancreatitis and needs immediate medical attention. This is due to the pain that your dog is experiencing as a result of the pancreas being inflamed.

Conclusion of treating a dog with pancreatitis

The most important part of comforting a dog is to make sure that he is receiving proper medical care.

In the case of severe pancreatitis, this includes hospitalization, IV fluids, and pain medications. The treatment for pancreatitis is quite intensive but once the acute episode has resolved, your pet will require special care to reduce the risk of recurrent episodes.

These recommendations include:

  • Feed a low-fat diet that is specially designed for dogs with pancreatitis.
  • Feed small frequent meals rather than two larger meals daily.
  • Avoid foods that are hard to digest such as table scraps, pig ears, and rawhides.
  • Administer any medications prescribed by your veterinarian to treat concurrent conditions.

Do you have any experience comforting a dog with pancreatitis? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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