The 8 Best Dog Foods for Pancreatitis

By Kevin Myers

Just the thought of your darling pooch getting sick is heartbreaking. But a dog who is ill needs your extra care and love.

Inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis, and this can not only afflict you but your dog too. Even though the exact cause is unknown, researchers believe dietary habits can lead to pancreatitis.

The condition can be life-threatening if not well cared for. Hence the reason why you as the dog owner have to become extra protective of the diet your pup intakes.

Here is my list of the 8 best dog foods for pancreatitis.

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Pancreatitis – My Top 5 Picks

I have read and researched a lot about what kind of foods are best for dogs with pancreatitis. From my studies, it has become obvious that foods that are low on fat, high on proteins, and easily digested are the ones best for your pup.

Following are the 5 best commercially produced dog food formulas that you can give to your dogs with pancreatitis.

1. Blue Buffalo- Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3251 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20%, Fat (min.) 9%, Fiber (max.) 10%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Barley, 4. Oatmeal, Peas, 5. Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 And 6 Fatty Acids)
  • Taurine
  • Chondroitin Sulfate

Blue Buffalo formulas are designed, keeping in mind the specific needs of your beloved pets. Containing low fats and calories, this formula contains the goodness of real meat, brown rice, and vegetables. This means that even though your dog is not getting a diet that is rich and heavy on their guts, yet it is packed with nutrients. And this is what makes this recipe perfect for dogs with pancreatitis.

Presence of L-carnitine, glucosamine, calcium, phosphorus, and Omega acids ensure that your dog’s overall health is maintained. Their metabolism is improved and the immune system strengthened. There is also no addition of allergens like soy, wheat, and corn, or any other kind of artificial flavor, color or preservative.

Buy on Chewy


2. Wellness CORE- Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 360 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 33%, Fat (min.) 10%, Fiber (max.) 12%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Potatoes, 3. Pea Fiber, 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Chicken Liver
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Riboflavin

Another topper on the list of foods for dogs with pancreatitis is Wellness Core. The grain-free product boasts of featuring nutrients that help in reducing and better managing the condition your dog is experiencing. What is best though is the fact that your dog will have no trouble digesting this recipe as there are no grains, artificial additions or heavy meat products.

The recipe is created with fresh meat, vegetables, and fruits that enhance the gut health while improving the immune system to help fight their deteriorating condition. Taurine aids in heart health, while vitamins allow your pooch to gain the muscle mass, they have lost. There are also no allergens or any artificial preservatives.

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3. CANIDAE- Grain-Free PURE Healthy Weight Real Chicken & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3300 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 9%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 8%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Garbanzo Beans, 5. Suncured Alfalfa
  • Choline Chloride
  • Mixed Tocopherols

Canidae is a renowned name in the world of doggy food. Their formulas are specially designed to better the health of your dog, no matter how sensitive their guts may be. Even if your dog is overweight or isn’t really active, you won’t have to worry with Canidae at hand, because the formula contains all essential nutrients.

It has the perfect mix of probiotics, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and fiber. The whole foods present in the recipe are safe for your dog with pancreatitis. Your furry friend will have no problem consuming and metabolizing this food formula. There are also no allergens or any artificial preservatives.

Buy on Chewy


4. Primal- Freeze Dried Venison Dog Food

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 5296 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 59%, Fat (min.) 28%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 4%
  • Form: Freeze-dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Venison, Venison Hearts, 2. Ground Venison Bones, 3. Organic Collard Greens, 4. Organic Squash, 5. Cranberries
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Vitamin E Supplement

If you are looking for raw-food diet, then Primal is the perfect one for your darling pet. This freeze-dried formula is made with fresh and organic venison that is particularly well-suited for dogs that don’t take well to chicken or beef. If you dog has allergies along with pancreatitis, then this recipe is going to have a good impact on their system.

Primal dog food contains the right blend of amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that help in improving metabolic rate, immune system, bones, teeth and the skin of your dog. Within no time you will see a marked difference in their condition and they will regain the strength they had lost to their condition.

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5. American Journey- Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3044 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 9%, Fiber (max.) 9%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), 3. Brown Rice, 4. Menhaden Fish Meal, 5. Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Biotin

The reduced calorie formula by American Journey has been created to help your dog regain the weight and energy they had lost while battling with their pancreatic condition. The main meat source is chicken which is light on the stomach but provides all necessary nutrients your canine might need.

The formula also contains L-carnitine which improves metabolism and gives rise to the development of lean muscle mass. Fiber present in the recipe helps your dog in feeling fuller for longer and digesting their food easily. There are also no allergens or any kind of artificial preservatives.

Buy on Chewy


Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs with Pancreatitis

What is the best diet for my dog suffering from pancreatitis?

Dos who have pancreatitis are ones who have difficulty digesting high calorie, high-fat content food. Therefore, the best kind of food for them is one that is made of natural and whole ingredients. Proteins, particularly those obtained from animals are easy to digest, along with low doses of fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. Just ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced.

Can pancreatitis be fatal?

It can be if not treated and cared for. If the condition gets too severe than chances are your dog’s health will decline progressively and they will not take well either to treatment or to good diet. This is why you need to pay heed to the symptoms your dog is showing.

How low should the fat content be in food for dogs with pancreatitis?

Any dog food that contains fat content to be lower than 10% means it has low fats. If the fat content is over 20% it means that it is too high for dogs who have pancreatitis. Keep in mind though this percentage is calculated for dry food and for wet food you would need to judge based on moisture content. It is also best to consult with a vet in order to be sure that your calculations are accurate.

Can my dog recover from pancreatitis?

This is not an easy answer because it depends on how far pancreatitis has progressed. If the condition as to become too severe, chances of recovery or the treatment working efficiently are low. If on the other hand, your dog’s condition is still in the early stages, then with the right treatment, and a proper diet could reverse their problem and then can completely regain their health.

Could high protein be bad for my dog with pancreatitis?

High protein is generally good for dogs with acute pancreatitis. It is generally low fat and a moderate amount of fiber that you need. Up to 30% is a good amount and you can give it to your dog so that their condition improves. You have to understand though that too much of anything can be hazardous.

Is sweet potato beneficial for a dog with pancreatitis?

Since sweet potato is low in fat and calorie content, it can be a good treat for your dog. Its presence in commercially produced food can also help in digestion because it has a good amount of fiber. It also contains essential vitamins that help with the overall gut health of your pooch.

Are eggs good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Even though eggs are excellent treats for dogs because of their nutritional value, they are very rich in amino acids and fatty acids, which means you have to be careful when giving them to dogs with pancreatitis. It is best to consult with your dog’s vet before giving them any such thing that is high in fat content.

Is peanut butter okay for dogs with pancreatitis?

Peanut butter is another excellent treat for dogs because they simply love it. But it is best that you be careful about the amount you give them, particularly when your dog is suffering from pancreatitis. The great thing is that you can easily give your dog their medicine hidden in peanut butter so that they take it without fuss.

Is fish oil one of the causes of pancreatitis among dogs?

Fish oil is known for its many benefits but since it contains fatty acids, people worry about giving it to dogs who have pancreatitis. Good news is, according to researchers, there are no traces of dog getting pancreatitis because of the consumption of either fish oil or other products containing omega 3 acids.

Can grapes lead to pancreatitis in dogs?

No matter whether your dogs has pancreatitis or not, food products like grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts can be very toxic for dogs, which is why they must never be given to dogs. If consumed, take then to the vet immediately.

Can butter lead to pancreatitis?

Research shows that food items with high-fat content can give rise to pancreatitis. This includes things like butter, oil, meat scrapes, meat drippings/grease, and chocolate. This is why you should never give it to a dog who has pancreatitis.

Is Turkey dangerous for a dog with pancreatitis?

Any high-fat content food can lead to the inflammation of the pancreas. This is why most of the vets would not recommend giving a turkey to your dog with pancreatitis as it is very high in fat. What’s more, the seasoning in the turkey can also cause irritation to your dog’s stomach.

What vegetables are safest for dogs?

If you have been thinking of giving fresh vegetables to your dogs, then some of the safest ones include: asparagus, sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkin and such. These do not cause any kind of irritation to the stomach or inflammation to the pancreas.

Can tomatoes be given to dogs with pancreas?

Tomatoes stem contains chemical solanine that is dangerous for dogs, which is why it is preferred that you don’t give them fresh tomatoes. If tomato pomace is present in their commercially produced food, then it is safe for them to consume.

Can pancreatitis be cured in dogs?

Rest assured, for most cases with low to moderate pancreatitis, it can be cured with the right diet and treatment. The most important thing to know is that it has to be diagnosed in time for it to be cured completely. This is the reason why you need to focus on the symptoms of your dog.

Is rice good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Rice is an excellent source of nutrition for dogs. The greatest thing about rice is that it is lightweight and works pretty well when your pooch has some kind of stomach issue. This is the reason why it is such an excellent form of food for dogs who are suffering from pancreatitis.

Can my dog die from pancreatitis?

There are various forms of pancreatitis from mild to severe. Depending on the type your dog has, they can either be treated successfully or result in hemorrhaging and eventually death.

The Buyer’s Guide: Dog Foods for Pancreatitis

When you are looking for dog food for dogs with pancreatitis, then you are always worried about what is the best thing for their dietary needs.

Rest assured, because I have got you covered about all the things you need to keep in mind when food shopping for your delicate pooch.

Here are all the things you should consider when getting dog food for dogs with pancreatitis.

  • Digestible Ingredients: Pancreatitis means that your dog’s ability to digest food has reduced considerably, which means it needs to have food that is easily digestible. This means that the ratio of protein to fat must b high. If there is too much fat in the food, then the dog won’t be able to metabolize easily. Also remember that whole foods are much better than by-products.
  • No artificial additives: Artificial ingredients includes everything from dyes, preservatives to flavors. These things can cause irritation to the stomach lining, as well as the digestion process of your dog’s system. So make sure that the food products you purchase are free of all kinds of artificial additives.
  • Well-balanced diet: A well-balanced diet is one that contains all kinds of nutrients, be they whole meats, vitamins, minerals or any other supplements. When you reduce the intake of fat from your canine’s diet, you will need to supplement it with other nutrients. Hence the reason for a special diet.
  • Presence of animal protein: Animal proteins are easier to digest as compared to plant proteins. This is another thing you should read on the label and ensure is present in your dog’s food.
  • A moderate amount of fiber: Even though fiber is healthy and essential for digestion, too much of it can cause problems, particularly for dogs who suffer from pancreatitis. Therefore, opt for a food product that contains a low to moderate amount of fiber.

How can pancreatitis be managed or avoided in dogs?

The major cause of pancreatitis among dogs is weight problems and excessive consumption of fats. This means that the diet you feed your dog is largely responsible for their health condition. To ensure that your dog does not develop pancreatitis, or if they already have it, to avoid from it getting worse, you need to take care of what food they consume.

Make sure that everything your dog eats is low in fat, contains high amounts of protein and a moderate amount of fiber. This way they will neither gain an excess amount of weight nor will their metabolism have to battle with fats.

One more thing, feeding your dog table scraps only further increases their chance of developing pancreatitis. So do not give them those. Commercially manufactured food is well balanced for your pooch’s health and well being. They will grow strong, remain active and chances of developing any medical condition will reduce significantly. Therefore, become a wise guardian to your beloved pets.

The Competition – Dog Foods for Pancreatitis

6. Eagle Pack- Reduced Fat Adult Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3240 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24%, Fat (min.) 6%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Pork Meal, 2. Dehulled Barley, 3. Ground Brown Rice, 4. Tomato Pomace, 5. Chicken Meal
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement

If you are looking for food formula that is well-balanced in terms of its fat, fiber and protein content, then look no further because Eagle Pack is perfect for your furry family. The recipe contains dual proteins obtains from chicken and pork, which means there is a low dose of fat in it. A mix of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals ensure overall good health, without disturbing the fauna of the gut. Since the formula is so lightweight, you won’t have to worry about any excess weight that your beloved pet may put on.

7. Nulo- Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3122 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30%, Fat (min.) 7%, Fiber (max.) 6%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Cod, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Lentils, 5. Yellow Peas
  • Calcium Iodate
  • Folic Acid

When it comes to more fiber, more proteins but lesser calories, then Nulo is the food formula that can work wonders for your dog with pancreatitis. The grain-free formula is created with a mix of chicken and egg base, including all the essential minerals and vitamins in between as well. All the ingredients in this recipe have a low glycemic ingredient, which means that your dog will have no trouble with digesting this dog food.  There are also probiotics, L-carnitine, calcium, and phosphorus for improved gut health, better immune system and strong teeth and bones. There are no allergens or any kind of artificial preservatives.

8. Merrick- Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3306 kcal/kg
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 34%, Fat (min.) 8%, Fiber (max.) 11%, Moisture (max.) 5%
  • Form: Dry food
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Peas, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Turkey Meal, 5.  Flaxseed
  • Thiamine Mononitrate
  • Niacin

Allergy-friendly and grain-free recipe of Merrick is what makes it a very acceptable choice among dog owners with sensitive health. Featuring high doses of glucosamine, chronditin and omega acids, this formula is designed to give your pooch the health and fitness it must have lost because of their malfunctioning pancreas. The recipe contains everything from fresh fruits to vegetables and excellent chicken meat source as well. This is why your darling canine will love it.

So these are the 8 best dog foods for dogs with pancreatitis. Try them and see which works best for your furry family.