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How often do you give your dog scraps from your plate? A few bites here and there may seem harmless, but the reality is that those greasy table scraps can put your dog at risk for a painful condition called pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas and can affect your dog’s digestion as well as their ability to absorb nutrients from food. If your dog suffers from pancreatitis, the quality and digestibility of their diet matter greatly for their recovery.
In this article, we’ll provide you with our top picks for the best dog food for pancreatitis, but let’s start with a little background on the condition.
What Do You Need to Know About Pancreatitis?
The pancreas is an organ that produces enzymes used to digest food and absorb nutrients. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it’s known as pancreatitis and there are two types: acute and chronic.
Acute pancreatitis comes on suddenly while chronic pancreatitis develops slowly over time. Symptoms of pancreatitis include distended stomach, abdominal pain, dehydration, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever. In severe cases, it can even lead to a fatal arrhythmia, difficulty breathing, or sepsis.
The exact cause of pancreatitis is highly debated but certain medications like corticosteroids and dietary factors like high fat or low protein intake may be involved. Treatment requires you to withhold food until the vomiting resolves while giving analgesics to reduce pain and IV fluids to restore hydration.
Making certain changes to your dog’s diet can not only help with the management of existing pancreatitis, but it can prevent future recurrences.
Tips for Managing Pancreatitis with Diet
The prognosis for a dog with pancreatitis depends on the severity of the disease when it’s diagnosed. If your dog already has severe pancreatitis, he may not respond as well to treatment as dogs with a milder form. Without treatment, however, both acute and chronic pancreatitis can lead to fatal complications.
Dietary management of pancreatitis in dogs usually involves feeding the dog a low-fat, highly-digestible diet as well as plenty of fluids. It ‘s important to choose a high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food and to avoid feeding the dog too many treats and scraps.
Over time, and with a healthy diet, your dog’s pancreas may recover. You’ll still need to keep feeding him a healthy, high-quality diet, however, to keep the problem from recurring. Read on to see our top picks for the best dog foods to help you manage your dog’s pancreatitis.
11 Best Dog Foods for Pancreatitis
Protein is the foundation of any healthy diet for dogs, but it’s particularly important for dogs with pancreatitis because they may have trouble digesting fat. Look for a recipe made with high-quality animal proteins, digestible carbohydrates, and low-to-moderate fat content. It also helps if the dog food contains supplemental fiber and probiotic supplements for increased digestibility.
Here are our top picks for the best dog food for pancreatitis:
Featuring fresh chicken as a lean source of protein, this healthy weight recipe is supplemented with LifeSource bits to deliver a powerful dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.Buy Now on Amazon for $48.98
A healthy, holistic recipe made with premium-quality ingredients like fresh chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans, this formula is low in both calories and fat.Buy Now on Amazon for $54.99
Packed with protein and other premium natural ingredients, this grain-free formula is highly digestible but contains 25% less fat than the original formula.Buy Now on Amazon for $15.99
Made with just nine simple ingredients, this protein-rich recipe is highly digestible and completely free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives while also being low in fat.Buy Now on Amazon for $64.99
Though this recipe is highly affordable, it’s low in fat and calories to help your dog recover from pancreatitis while also maintaining a healthy body weight.Buy Now on Chewy for $39.99
In addition to being highly digestible and low in fat, this grain-free recipe is supplemented with omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy bones and joints.Buy Now on Amazon for $59.99
Featuring a healthy blend of fresh cod and lentils, this grain-free recipe delivers a powerful punch of protein but stays on the lower end of the scale for both fat and calories.Buy Now on Chewy for $62.99
Dehydrated to preserve the nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients, this dog food features free-range chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans to deliver high-quality, balanced nutrition.Buy Now on Amazon for $88.19
This low-fat, low-calorie recipe is designed to nourish your dog’s body through the use of high-quality, natural ingredients for optimal health and wellness.Buy Now on Amazon for $51.99
Made only with wholesome, natural ingredients this formula features farm-raised chicken as a lean source of protein with sweet potato and lentils for digestible carbohydrates.Buy Now on Amazon for $49.92
With organic, free-range chicken as the first ingredient, this recipe is packed with protein but still low in fat and calories to help manage your dog’s pancreatitis.Buy Now on Amazon for $47.36
If you want to feed your dog the best of the best, you may want to consider homemade dog food. A homemade dog food diet enables you to control exactly what your dog is eating and his intake of calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate. To learn more about making homemade dog food, check out our helpful guide.