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Best Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Karan French  Julia Ogden

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Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: June 19, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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What’s the best dog food for Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is a dangerous condition which can be life threatening for dogs. Yet, the symptoms aren’t always severe and can often be mistaken for something less serious.

There are two types of pancreatitis — acute and chronic — which can both be mild or severe. They are both painful and are caused by enzymes which support digestion activating in the pancreas and damaging/inflaming surrounding tissue and organs.

Although there are multiple causes of Pancreatitis, one of the main causes is a high-fat diet. This could be in the form of dog food but most commonly, dogs who suffer from pancreatitis are being fed human food or fatty scraps such as lamb or buttery treats.

If you suspect your dog has Pancreatitis, you should visit your veterinarian immediately who can diagnose and treat your dog’s condition. This will include pain management and monitoring for further complications.

To support the treatment prescribed by your vet, you should change your dog’s diet and consider a dog food which is:

  • Low fat – less than 10% DM
  • High quality
  • Easily digestible

Here are our top recommendations for the best dog food for dogs with Pancreatitis and learn answers to each of the most frequently asked questions we get about dogs with Pancreatitis.

The Dog Food Advisor - Editor's choice

Best Dog Food for Pancreatitis July 2024

Here are The Dog Food Advisor's best dog food brands for Pancreatitis for July 2024.

  • 1. Annamaet

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    Lean Low Fat Formula is one of 7 dry recipes included in our review of the Annamaet Grain-Free product line.

    Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33.3% protein, 7.8% fat and 50.9% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 23%.

    Read our review of the full Annamaet Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken meal, field peas, lentils, potato, tapioca
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-Free
    Protein Percentage 33.3%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "If you own a very picky dog with health issues that demand low fat dog food this is the food for you."

    Read more buyer reviews at chewy.com
  • 2. Eagle Pack

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    Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult is one of 7 dry recipes included in our review of the Eagle Pack product line.

    Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult derives the bulk of its meat protein from pork. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26.7% protein, 6.7% fat and 58.7% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 25%.

    Read our review of the full Eagle Pack Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Pork meal, dehulled barley, peas, ground brown rice, oatmeal
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-Free
    Protein Percentage 26.7%
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "About 5 years ago, my then 9 year old dachshund got very ill and was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. This food is low in fat enough to keep him from having anymore episodes. I also add it to my two older dogs' kibble to keep their weight down, since they are seniors and less active."

    Read more buyer reviews at chewy.com
  • 3. Nulo Freestyle

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    Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim is one of 9 dry recipes including in our review of the Nulo Freestyle product line.

    Nulo Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim derives the bulk of its protein from cod. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33.3% protein, 7.8% fat and 50.9% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 23%.

    Read our review of the full Nulo FreeStyle Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Deboned cod, turkey meal, salmon meal, lentils, yellow peas
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 33.3
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "Nulo FreeStyle Adult Trim Dog Cod and Lentils is a hit in my home! My dogs absolutely love it but most of all I love it. I love that it is healthy for them and not filled with by products and grains and fillers. One of my pups can't have those ingredients due to seizures so this food is something he can eat without getting sick. We all love the high meat diet of this dog food! I highly recommend! I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review."

    Read more buyer reviews at nulo.com
  • 4. Natural Balance

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    Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie is one recipe in our review of the product line.

    Natural Balance Fat Dogs Chicken & Salmon Formula Low Calorie derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28.9% protein, 8.3% fat and 54.8% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 29%.

    Read our review of the full Natural Balance Fat Dogs (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Chicken meal, salmon meal, chickpeas, dried peas, oat groats
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 28.9
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog almost died from pancreatitis and a month after doctor visits, treatments, and getting her stable I spent soo much money trying specialty foods but my dog kept having flare ups so we would have to go back to home-cooked chicken and water to get her stable again. However, after 6 months of this craziness I found this dog food. My dog loved it immediately and this has been the only food to keep my dog healthy and happy. My dog loves the food so much I can even use it as a treat from time to time as well, and the best part is she has been flare up free for 1.5 years now."

    Read more buyer reviews at chewy.com
  • 5. JustFoodForDogs

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    JustFoodForDogs Venison & Squash recipe is one of 6 fresh recipes included in our review of the JustFoodForDogs product line.

    This recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from venison. Dry matter label analysis reveals it contains 50% protein, 11.1% fat and 30.9% estimated carbs… resulting a fat-to-protein ratio of about 22%.

    Read our review of the full Just Food for Dogs (Frozen Fresh) range here

    Main Ingredients Ground venison, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberries
    Type Grain-free, fresh
    Protein Percentage 50
    AAFCO Standards Maintenance
    Best For Dogs

    Sample buyer review...

    "Since I started feeding my pets this food they refuse to eat anything else (and that’s sayin something). They have more energy and, not to be gross, but their poops are healthier too! I have a big dog with an expected life span of 8 years, and I’m hoping that feeding him a healthier and more balanced diet will give him a longer and happy life. Well worth the cost!!"

    Read more buyer reviews at justfoodfordogs.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs?

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs are varied, and can be mild enough that you won’t suspect anything is wrong. If your dog displays any of the below symptoms, keep a close eye on them, but if they display more than one, call the vet immediately:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Hunched back
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy

How is pancreatitis in dogs diagnosed?

Diagnosing pancreatitis can be difficult and multiple tests will need to be run. A veterinarian or hospital will:

  • Take a blood test to measure pancreatic enzymes
  • Look at your dog’s stomach, heart, gums
  • Take your dog’s temperature
  • Analyze your dog’s medical history
  • Conduct a radiograph or ultrasound

A combination of the above methods will help to build a bigger picture of your dog’s health and evaluate whether there are any other conditions affecting them.

How is pancreatitis in dogs treated?

As pancreatitis in dogs has many causes and symptoms, the treatment is also varied and depends on which type of pancreatitis has been diagnosed.

Most treatments focus on pain management and preventing the condition from advancing. The sooner you can get your dog treated for pancreatitis, the better. Your veterinarian may suggest:

  • IV fluid therapy
  • Pain relief medication
  • No food or water for 24 hours
  • Antiemetic or anti-inflammatory medication
  • Change of diet
  • Smaller meals
  • Regular monitoring

Which human foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs?

Fatty foods are a common cause of pancreatitis in dogs, as they can trigger the release of pancreatic enzymes to break down and digest the fat.

A dog with underlying pancreas issues may already be struggling with enzymes not being released correctly or enzymes reacting in the pancreas and inflaming surrounding tissue. So fatty foods will worsen symptoms.

The most common types of human foods for your dog to avoid are:

  • Fatty meat e.g lamb, pork, turkey, bacon, steak
  • Chicken wings or ribs
  • Animal skin
  • Gravy made with meat juices
  • Butter and dairy fats

This list is not exclusive so it’s best to avoid giving your dog table scraps and seek advice from your veterinarian about which dog food might be best.

Final word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

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