Pancreatitis – How to manage, what is it?


Read more at Nutrition expert Dr Conor Brady’s website

If your companion has been diagnosed with pancreatitis then this would be my advice. However you should always consider the professional who has seen your dogs advice

1. Feed little and often 

Fasting was once recommended for pancreatitis in dogs. This is no longer the case. When your dog is recovering from acute pancreatitis, it is best to feed smaller, easily digestible meals, little and often throughout the day. While still recovering, you will want to keep the fat reasonably low. The following proteins (if tolerated by the dog) would be recommended for this period, organic where possible –

  • Lean meats such as turkey and chicken 
  • Wild game such as venison, rabbit and pheasant – highly digestible
  • Cottage cheese
  • Bone broth – with fat removed, is highly nutritious and delicious! 

Consider feeding “DIY” for a while – this way, you know exactly what you are feeding, and there are no “hidden” fats that there may be in cheaper 

Once the dog has fully recovered from acute pancreatitis, you can start introducing “fattier” meats – remember,it’s carbs, NOT fat, that causes pancreatitis – yes, fat will cause issues during acute pancreatitis. There will always need to be some vigilance; monitoring your dog is essential, but they do not necessarily have to stay on a low or no-fat diet forever. 

2. Remove all aggravating / inflammatory factors

Now that your dog has fully recovered, don’t rattle the cage – you need to address all the causes that may drive inflammation in your dog.  The list is long….

  • Ultra Processed dry and canned food – This must be the first thing you remove – studies show that dry-fed dogs undergo TEN TIMES more inflammation than dogs fed raw food. 
  • Avoid treats full of sugars, derivatives, wheat and, glycerine, etc, usually the cheap ones found in supermarkets – 100% meat – always check where the meat was sourced from, even better – make your own 
  • Ditch the chemicals – this includes unnecessary flea/worm/tick treatments, kennel cough vaccines and most certainly those annual boosters after one year of age. NSAIDs – While your dog is in extreme pain with acute pancreatitis, of course, pain relief is vital. However, these are not drugs that you want your dog to take long-term.Use paracetamol short term Boswellia and other herbs longer term
  • Maintain good dental health –  when your dog has periodontal disease, bacteria make their way into the body via the capillary-rich gum line; this fuels inflammation and is a constant threat to the immune system – which can aggravate and inflame the pancreas. To achieve a healthy smile naturally, I recommend raw meaty bones OF COURSE

Additions For Pancreatitis In Dogs 

1. Pancreas  IN small amounts,  perhaps 5% of the diet of fresh pancreas could be beneficial   IF YOUR BUTCHER can source it You can get freeze dried but at the moment I do not have a brand I could recommend

There are lots of things that you can include on top of this diet that is sure to help them at this point. As your vet is unlikely to stock most of them, you can try the local health store for some, but I think most are easiest found on Amazon; 

2. Digestive Enzymes

I strongly recommend a digestive enzyme mix of lipase, tripase and amylase for a dog with pancreatitis. I recommend Pet Plus certainly perhaps Lypex

 These are particularly important if your dog is suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), as they will give the pancreas less work to do and the brand. Dose him according to size, and sprinkle on food. If feeding some fresh pancreas, you will not need digestive enzymes. 

3. Probiotics 

 I recommend you include some probiotics in their diet for at least a month while we get him right. They will help reset their digestive system, which will be in disarray. A healthy gut microbiome is a healthy animal, and it’s not to be forgotten. 

Full-fat probiotic yoghurt or kefir are good additions, aiding the digestive process, but we’re unsure just how much gets through the dog’s strong digestive acids.  Fidospore if really acute attack. Natural probiotics are found in healthy organic soils (teaspoon daily) on surface of grasses – let him chew a bit when out

4. Omega 3 

Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent at reducing inflammation. The ACVN recommend a therapeutic dose of 700mg of combined EPA and DHA per 10kg of dog to help alleviate some of the more painful symptoms of pancreatitis, I would keep it going in to help avoid its occurrence in the future. Fish and flax oils perhaps but. 

Algal oil is a a great choice and much more sustainable. Once they are recovered from the acute bout of pancreatitis – feed fresh oily fish like sardines and sprat; they don’t need a lot, and as little as 100g a week for a 15kg dog would be a start.


1. Is chicken and rice suitable for dogs with pancreatitis?

The short answer to this is chicken – yes, rice – absolutely not! Remember, we are avoiding carbohydrates, so rice is a very bad idea for all dogs, especially for dogs with an already inflamed pancreas!

2. Can raw dog food cause pancreatitis?

As discussed above, your dog needs to come off the carbs and eat a fresh diet; I highly recommend this diet. However, not all raw dog food is created equally. Higher fat content in some cheaper pre mades may be an issue.  

Also, it is essential to be aware of any intolerances your dog may have to certain proteins. This can cause inflammation which will put the pancreas under pressure. Remain vigilant with your dog and any sign of itching, soft stools, vomiting, diarrhoea etc; an elimination diet may be needed here.

3. Will my dog recover from pancreatitis?

Yes, they absolutely can and do, providing you take evasive action now. Our experience shows that the gross amount of pancreatitis dogs and cats are mysteriously suffering today is entirely localised in the dry-fed community. 

The issue evaporates once fed an appropriate fresh diet, and all chemical products are eliminated. Enzyme readings return to normal after a few months. The pancreas is expected to recover, and clients have these dogs back eating all the usual foods a normal healthy dog will. So hang in there; you’re giving them the best fighting chance.

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