Does your dog have pancreatitis? You may not realize it until a veterinarian makes the diagnosis.
The signs seem to come out of the blue. One day your dog is his normal, happy, self, and the next day he/she has diarrhea and appears to be in pain.
The level of treatment required for your dog will depend on the severity of the disease. Mild cases may just need a diet adjustment. Severe cases may need urgent care.
Thankfully, mild pancreatitis has a good prognosis. There are plenty of healthy treats that dogs can enjoy without compromising their health.
Keep reading and discover 17 of the highest quality pet treats safe for dogs with pancreatitis.
What Does the Pancreas Do?
The pancreas is an organ found on the right side of the dog’s abdomen next to the stomach. It produces digestive enzymes and hormones like insulin.
The pancreas is necessary in regulating blood sugar levels. The digestive enzymes are secreted into the small intestine. The hormones head for the blood stream.
When there’s a problem, the pancreas becomes inflamed. This is what sets the problems of pancreatitis in motion.
What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs?
Dogs with chronic pancreatitis experience significant digestive issues. They may not be able to digest animal protein or tolerate a high-fat diet. Even certain high-fibre foods can be too much.
It’s not always easy to determine the cause. However, the following are thought to be contributing factors:
Dogs who scavenge will eat anything, anywhere, at any time. These dogs typically have their noses to the ground. They are constantly sniffing for something to eat.
Unfortunately, it might not be something healthy or safe to eat.
My Labrador retriever found an entire plate of uneaten sushi in the park and gobbled it down before I could get it away.
Other dogs have found half-eaten sandwiches on the ground, pizza crust, and sometimes tiny things that were once alive.
Unfortunately, a lot of the fatty foods dog eat comes from table scraps. Food made for humans isn’t designed with dog nutrition in mind. They don’t digest food the same way we do either.
An otherwise healthy dog may be able to tolerate occasional table scraps. A dog with pancreatitis, however, could end up suffering from abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Other Potential Risk Factors for Pancreatitis in Dogs
It’s thought that other possible triggers of pancreatitis include:
- Severe trauma
- The use of some drugs
- Cushing’s Disease
- Infections (Leishmania)
- High triglycerides.
- It can also happen spontaneously with no known cause
Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs
The symptoms a dog has will depend on whether he/she is experiencing an acute, severe episode or a mild, chronic illness.
Dogs with pancreatitis may:
- Not want to eat
- Show signs of abdominal pain
Even if your dog does have some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean he/she has pancreatitis.
If your dog continues with these symptoms after 24 hours, it’s important to contact a veterinarian.
Are Some Breeds More Prone to Pancreatitis?
Older dogs, overweight dogs, and some breeds may be more prone to pancreatitis.
Technically, it can happen to any dog. Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, and miniature Schnauzers may be susceptible to certain types of pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to any dog at any age regardless of sex.
How is Pancreatitis Diagnosed in Dogs?
Pancreatitis is typically diagnosed through blood tests, radiographs, and/or ultrasound. Your dog will be diagnosed based on 2 types of pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is a short, sudden bout of inflammation. It can either be mild or severe and affects dogs regardless of age, breed, or sex.
Chronic pancreatitis, however, occurs when the dog continues to have recurrent bouts of the disease.
Treatment Options for Dogs with Pancreatitis
Treatment options will depend on the type and severity of the pancreatitis. Dogs with mild symptoms are offered supportive care. The idea is to allow the pancreas time to rest.
Vomiting dogs should be fasted (on doctor’s recommendation only). Otherwise, dogs who are no longer vomiting may need to follow prescription diets.
Dogs with pancreatitis should be fed low-fat dog food.
In cases of intense pain, analgesics may be administered.
If your dog is experiencing dehydration, intravenous fluids may be used to reset electrolyte balance.
If the veterinarian suspects an infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Lifespan of a Dog with Pancreatitis
Most dogs suffering from mild forms of the disease have a good prognosis. They often go on to live normal lifespans with dietary changes.
When dogs have severe or ongoing attacks there can be serious health consequences. For example:
- The destruction of cells that produce digestive enzymes prevent proper food digestion. This needs to be treated daily with an enzyme replacement powder.
- Diabetes mellitus can develop if too many insulin producing cells are destroyed.
What to look for in quality pet treats for dogs with pancreatitis.
1. Avoid by-products.
When choosing a healthy treat for your dog, the most crucial factor to consider is how the treat was made. It’s important to avoid “by-products” and other animal parts such as beaks, snouts, and hooves.
These may seem like a cheap alternative to humanely raised and ethically sourced ingredients, but they can create several health issues when consumed regularly.
Common by-products include blood and bone meal, which may contain high amounts of phosphorous and lead. Some by-products can also be rendered in animal fat, which contains cholesterol.
2. Look for Gluten-Free Dog Treats
Another important factor to consider is whether your dog will be able to digest the treat.
Many treats are made from dairy products, wheat flour, and corn, but these ingredients aren’t always easy for a dogs’ digestive enzymes to break down.
This can lead to diarrhea, gas, and other digestive issues. If your dog has difficulty digesting certain protein sources, look for gluten-free treats that can help keep your dog’s pancreas functioning normally.
3. Low-protein treats for dogs with pancreatitis.
Another health-conscious factor to consider is the amount of protein in each treat. Many pet treat makers create their products by binding protein and fat together, making them very high in calories and fat.
Look for treats with few calories and a low-fat diet/low-fat content.
4. Natural ingredients for dogs with pancreatitis
As you shop for healthy treats for your pet, pay special attention to the ingredients list. Many treats are full of hidden additives and preservatives that could be hazardous to your dog’s health.
Look for healthy alternatives using natural ingredients such as whole grains, protein from meat sources, and limited artificial preservatives.
Dietary fiber and brown rice are great sources of fiber and carbs for dogs with pancreatitis. The best food choices include lean hamburger meat and low-fat cottage cheese. These are a great sources of protein, which make them very suitable for dogs with pancreatitis.
Best Treats for Dogs with Pancreatitis
The following treats may be better for dogs with pancreatitis. Ever dog is different. Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of pancreatitis as well. If you’re going to try any of the treats mentioned below, start with one. Feed sparingly and assess your dog’s reaction.
If there are any signs of pain, discomfort, or GI upset, stop feeding the treat.
Note: As an affiliate for Amazon, Cherrybrook, and Chewy, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase a product after clicking on one of the links below.
1. Instinct RawBoost Mixers Gut Health
This freeze-dried raw mixer is perfect for adding to your dog’s regular food.
2. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw
This freeze-dried dry dog food for dogs features real deboned beef as the first ingredient. This food is grain-free and contains freeze-dried raw-coated kibble and freeze-dried raw bites. Give your dog the benefit of a raw food diet while taking it easy on the digestive system.
Special Diet: Contains no corn, no wheat, no soy, high-protein, grain-free, gluten free, raw, chicken-free, weight control, sensitive digestion.
3. The Honest Kitchen Fruit & Veggie Grain-Free Dehydrated
Perfect food for raw feeders and home cookers. This fruit and vegetable base mix is designed to be mixed with meat or fish based on your dog’s dietary requirements.
100% human grade. Just add water and your own source of protein.
This fruit & veggie base mix is designed to be mixed with the protein of your choice. Good for dogs with meat sensitivities.
4. Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Original Skin/Food Sensitivities
If your dog suffers adverse reactions to food it’s vital to feed the right diet. Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians developed this Prescription Diet z/d formulated to support your dog’s skin and food sensitivities.
Contains high levels of Vitamin E and natural fiber. This product is enriched with essential fatty acids. No gluten, soy protein, lactose, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
Highly hydrolyzed animal protein & single purified carbohydrate source.
5. Royal Canin Health Nutrition Gel Canned Dog Food
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat in Loaf is a palatable, digestible low fat wet dog food. It’s formulated for dogs who have trouble digesting fat (dogs with pancreatitis). Prebiotics help to maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
Supports urinary health by creating an environment where crystals are not likely to grow in the bladder.
Veterinary-exclusive wet dog food for dogs with digestive sensitivities. Low Fat content.
6. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula LOW FAT
Perfect to add on top of prescription diet food or by the teaspoon as a treat. This great-tasting wet food is formulated to help nourish a healthy gastrointestinal tract in dogs.
Nutritionists, researchers and veterinarians have worked together to create this product. Contains high-quality ingredients including prebiotic fiber and healthy antioxidants.
Features MCT vegetable or coconut oil. Designed to promote optimal nutrient absorption and digestibility.
7. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Digestive Care
Formulated with Hill’s ActiveBiome+ ingredient technology which regulates vital gut bacteria in the microbiome. Supports digestive wellness and nutrient absorption.
The added ginger, omega fatty acids, and prebiotic fiber help your dog have healthy bowel movements.
You will need to get veterinary authorization to purchase this food product. When you have it, just email it to: [email protected]
8. Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Diet Low Fat
This food is highly palatable and easy to digest. If your dog needs a low-fat diet, this may be the food you need. Prebiotics help maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut.
Required: veterinary authorization to purchase this food product. When you have it, just email it to: [email protected]
9. Purina ProPlan Veterinary Diets Gentle Snackers
Gentle Snackers canine treats offer a highly-digestible option for dogs on a special diet.
These tasty treats are good for dogs with pancreatitis, food sensitivities, or sensitive gastrointestinal tracts.
Perfect treats for dogs with stomach or digestion issues. No prescription required.
10. Pumpkin Pro Powdered Supplement for Dogs
If your furry friend is experiencing stress along with gastrointestinal issues, consider adding this supplement to his/her prescription diet. Made with fermented whole turmeric and ginger roots. Designed to allow the full spectrum compounds to be readily absorbed by the body.
Supports healthy digest and gut health while providing a sense of calm in nervous dogs.
This supplement is the equivalent of 5 cans of pumpkin. Crafted with organic, human-grade ingredients.
11. BIOVET VITES Complete Multi-Nutrient Dog Supplement
Features a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, protein, amino acids and antioxidants to promote and maintain whole-body wellness. This supplement may help normalize digestion, absorption, and metabolism for immune function.
BioVites multi-nutrient, enzymes & antioxidants.
12. Purina Pro Plan Adult Salmon & Rice Sensitive Skin and Stomach
Salmon and Rice dog food for sensitive skin and stomachs. This recipe is perfect for dogs with gastrointestinal issues. This is made to be easily digested and gentle on the tummy. Made with antioxidants for healthy immune system. Salmon is the first ingredient in this quality dog food.
Free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors
13. SquarePet Low Fat Dog Food – Veterinarian Formulated
This dog food is low fat and formulated to support digestive health in dogs. Made with naturally lean MSC Certified sustainable and wild caught Pacific Cod and Ocean Whitefish Meal.
Supports dogs with problems digesting fat. No artificial ingredients and no foreign ingredients. Made in the USA. Formulated by veterinarians.
Made with a proprietary GI health blend of dietary fiber, prebiotics & probiotics
14. Fromm Digestive Support Chicken Formula for Dogs 12 oz case
This food is from Fromm Family Remedies Digestive Support products. The recipe features finely minced chicken and Fromm’s unique fiber blend of pumpkin and select ingredients including miscanthus grass and chicory root extract.
Designed to support healthy digestion and regularity. For supplemental use with Fromm dry dog foods.
15. Greenies Weight Management Dental Dog Treats, 27 oz.
Greenies Weight Management Dental Dog Treats are made with real chicken, which helps to promote healthy digestion. These treats are formulated to help prevent weight gain in dogs. They can also help to prevent plaque and tartar buildup in dogs. Greenies
Dental Dog Treats also contain essential vitamins and minerals that help keep dogs healthy, strong, and happy.
Contains essential vitamins & minerals to keep dogs healthy, strong and happy.
16. Davie’s Sweet Potato Dog Treats, Made in The USA, High in Fiber, Grain-Free, Vegan.
Davie’s Sweet Potato Dog Treats are made with sweet potatoes and contain vitamin A, fiber, and vitamin C. These treats are perfect for dogs that are acclimated to the taste of sweet potatoes. They’re also great for dogs that enjoy chewing on rawhide chews. These treats can help with healthy digestion because they’re rich in fiber.
High in fiber, grain free, vegan, no preservatives.
17. Kingdom Pets Filler Free Chicken Breast Jerky, Premium Treats for Dogs, 48-Ounce Bag.
Kingdom Pets Filler Free Chicken Breast Jerky is made with real chicken formulated to promote a healthy weight. These treats are perfect for dogs that need a low-calorie diet because they’re low in fat and calories. They can also help prevent diseases in dogs since they contain vitamin E, D, A, and C, as well as essential fatty acids.
Always check with your veterinarian before giving dogs with pancreatitis new treats.
Pancreatitis is a serious and debilitating disease. Sorting out dietary issues can be a complicated process. However, dog lovers like us are quick to ensure our dogs get nothing but the best. Is there anything more satisfying than offering our dogs treats?
Food binds us socially with our friends and emotionally with our dogs. Once you find the most appropriate dog food for your dog, you’ll be back on track in no time.
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Ask Your Veterinarian Before Trying New Foods or Treats
Pancreatitis is a serious and painful condition. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian before trying your dog on any new treats or foods. The food and treats listed above may not be good for some goods. Every dog is different.
We tried to choose the best, non-fact, digestible foods on the market. However, that is not a guarantee that your dog will be able to tolerate them. Always check with your veterinarian.