Health & Nutrition | Dogs | April 27, 2020

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Pancreatitis in Dogs - Big and small dog eating Small Bites kibble

What is Pancreatitis, You Ask?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Your dog’s pancreas serves two main functions: it produces enzymes to help digest food and it secretes insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels. When the pancreas is inflamed, these two main jobs are inhibited and the enzymes that are supposed to be digesting food actually start to attack the pancreas and can cause significant harm.

This disease is very serious and can be life threatening, and at the very least, could cause lifelong complications such as subsequent diabetes. In fact, pancreatitis often runs concurrent with diabetes in dogs.

What Can I Do?

If your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, a reduced-fat diet is recommended. Although the ideal dietary fat level for dogs with pancreatitis has not been definitively determined, we have several lower fat recipe options available. Our NOW FRESH Senior, Small Breed Senior, and Large Breed Senior recipes are all lower fat options. We have also introduced GO! SENSITIVITES Small Bites Limited Ingredient Salmon recipe for dogs. This recipe was created for dogs who prefer small kibble, thrive on a limited ingredient diet, and may need a lower fat option.

The NOW FRESH Senior dog recipes and GO! SENSITIVITES Small Bites Limited Ingredient Salmon recipe for dogs all have reduced fat levels and also use coconut oil as a fat source. Coconut oil is palatable and the medium chain trigylcerides it contains do not require the use of the pancreas to be broken down.

Read More: Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets 

Diabetic dogs are often incorrectly encouraged to switch to a food that is low in carbohydrates; however, low carb foods are higher in protein and/or fat. Because diabetes and pancreatitis often occur concurrently in dogs, an increased fat diet may be contraindicated.

A lower fat diet may help to prevent the development of pancreatitis for dogs that are susceptible to the disease. It’s also important that fatty “treats” (i.e. left-over turkey dinner with gravy) are avoided. Try to side-step the temptation to slide the leftovers off your plate and treat your dog to some GO! or NOW FRESH food instead. We know they’ll love it!