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Homemade dog food diets for dogs with Pancreatitis.


Here is the latest research on canine pancreatitis, condensed into an article so you can make the most informed decisions about caring for your dog.


What does the pancreas do?

The pancreas produces enzymes that help with the digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It also releases hormones that control blood sugar, insulin and glucagon which goes into the blood.

The enzymes help digest food, and inadequate enzyme release can lead to the pancreas failing to get enzymes out of the pancreas, causing inflammation and having secondary effects like the dog not being able to digest their food properly.

The pancreas also makes sure not too much sugar, which is digested from the food, is present in the blood through the release of hormones. Improper production of hormones causes and inability to control blood sugar, which is what diabetic dogs suffer from.


What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas causing a reduced ability to carry out the functions it needs to. The pancreas is an organ rooted in the digestive process, and making sure you manage it correctly begins with the diet.

Acute or a “one off” bout of pancreatitis is considered a completely reversible condition. (1) Chronic pancreatitis or a recurring bout/s can become a lot more problematic due to the potential for bile duct obstruction. This is when activated enzymes get stuck in the pancreas, which then effectively digest parts of the pancreas (necrosis), causing further inflammation and potential loss of function.

Secondary effects can be diabetes or malnutrition from an reduced ability to digest food.


What are the symptoms of Pancreatitis in dogs?

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Frequently adopting the bow/ prayer position


The causes your dog’s pancreas to become inflamed (pancreatitis)

  • Wrong diet which is an incorrect balance of protein/ fats/ carbs
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia is a reduced ability to break down lipids or fats.
  • Hypercalcemia Calcium builds up in the pancreas
  • Bile duct obstruction Enzymes can’t be released
  • Drugs g. Azathioprine, chlorthiazide, hydrochlorthiazide, zinc, potassium bromide, vinblastine, sulfonamides, cisplatin, organophosphates, L-asparaginase, and 5-aminosalicylat.
  • Toxin Ingestion
  • Pancreatic trauma Physical damage



How to treat?

Treatment of your dog’s pancreatitis with diet will mean eliminating the underlying causes, to make sure to minimize further damage.

The most important part of ensuring there’s no recurrence, is going to be a move to a fresh food diet that’s balanced with the correct macronutrients. Ensuring that your dog is digesting the right food, in the right balance, will be the most effective way to safeguard against improper enzymes release.

The first stage, after any type of pancreatic issue no matter how severe, is a 24hr fast period. This allows for a clear-out and will decrease the levels of inflammation.

Depending on the severity of the issue will depend on the continued diet, but it’s recommended that all dogs start on a really low fat diet of around 5%. Initially use cooked sweet potato, a low-glycaemic carbohydrates which is high in soluble fibres (anti-inflammatory) as well as digestive enzymes to aid with digestion. Natural supplements like quercetin can be used to inhibit inflammatory mediators. (5,6)

If it’s just a one off flare up, after a few weeks on a 5% fat diet, move to a more balanced recipe with a slightly higher fat % and you can gradually increase the fats back to around the 10% range after a month.

If it’s not just a flare (seek Veterinary advice) it can be that some cases of pancreatitis have damaged the pancreas leading to recurring episodes and a strict diet will need to be maintained on an ongoing basis.

For all dogs who’ve had pancreatitis, it’s important to avoid high fat treats.



A moderate protein diet is recommended.



Whilst in early stages of recovery (first two weeks), the diet should be max. 5%. For dogs with one off bouts, you can gradually increase this up over the period of 1 month back to normal healthy range. 10-15% fat.

For dogs with recurring pancreatic issues, it’s recommended the dog stays on a diet of 5% fat.


Carbohydrates and Fibre

An increase of carbohydrates in the diet to account for the reduced fat. Cooked sweet potato and brown rice will help provide the energy your dog’s need without increasing the fat levels over 5%. These carbs should be max. 20% of the total meal.

For dogs who need a long term low fat diet, keep the carb content at 15%. For dogs suffering from diabetes, the carbohydrate consumption needs to be managed carefully.


Vitamins and Minerals

Niacin is a vitamin that has been used successfully for the treatment of hyperlipidemia, in dogs, niacin treatment reduced serum triglyceride concentrations for several months without causing any side effects (7)

Niacin is usually administered at the dose of 25–100 mg/day and is prevalent in liver, low fat poultry meats and salmon (8)

For those with chronic pancreatitis, reduced mineral intake need to be accounted for with a multi-vitamin supplement.


Supplementation for dogs with Pancreatitis

Resveratrol supplementation is recommended because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant mechanisms, studies show it to be really effective and natural therapeutic component for the treatment of pancreatitis. (9)

A large number of clinical studies have shown that rhubarb enema can reduce serum inflammatory cytokines, high sensory C-reactive protein (CRP) and endotoxin levels, and relieve the systemic inflammatory stress response and restore intestinal mucosal barrier function in SAP patients (10)

Supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil has been shown to lower serum lipoprotein concentrations in humans with primary hypertriglyceridemia, normal humans, and experimental animals (11)

However, not all Omega-3 fish oil is the same. Low quality options, which tend to be higher in toxins will have the opposite effect. Either use a fish source or a high quality organic option. (12)


Get Cam’s help:

For specific recipes for pancreatic support, click here.

For a consultation with Cam, click here.



  1. Lindsay, S., Entenman, C. and Chaikoff, I.L., 1948. Pancreatitis accompanying hepatic disease in dogs fed a high fat, low protein diet.  Pathol.45, pp.635-638.
  2. Charles M.G. Maxie (Ed.), Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer’s Pathology of Domestic Animals (5th ed.), Saunders Elsevier, Edinburgh (2007), pp. 389-423
  3. Johnson, M.C., 2005. Hyperlipidemia disorders in dogs. Compendium27, pp.361-370.
  4. Wilkinson, A.R., DeMonaco, S.M., Panciera, D.L., Otoni, C.C., Leib, M.S. and Larson, M.M., 2020. Bile duct obstruction associated with pancreatitis in 46 dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine34(5), pp.1794-1800.
  5. Hamalainen, M. et al. Effects of flavonoids on prostaglandin E2 production and on COX-2 and mPGES-1 expressions in activated macrophages. Planta Med. 77, 1504–1511.
  6. Palozza, P. et al. beta-Carotene downregulates the steady-state and heregulin-alpha-induced COX-2 pathways in colon cancer cells. J. Nutr. 135, 129–136.
  7. Johnson, M.C., 2005. Hyperlipidemia disorders in dogs. Compendium27, pp.361-370.
  8. Bauer, J.E., 1995. Evaluation and dietary considerations in idiopathic hyperlipidemia in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (USA).
  9. Ma, Q., Zhang, M., Wang, Z., Ma, Z. and Sha, H., 2011. The beneficial effect of resveratrol on severe acute pancreatitis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1215(1), pp.96-102.
  10. Yao, P., Cui, M., Li, Y., Deng, Y. and Wu, H., 2015. Effects of rhubarb on intestinal flora and toll-like receptors of intestinal mucosa in rats with severe acute pancreatitis. Pancreas44(5), pp.799-804.
  11. Xenoulis, P.G. and Steiner, J.M., 2010. Lipid metabolism and hyperlipidemia in dogs. The Veterinary Journal183(1), pp.12-21.
  12. Hong, M.Y., Hoh, E., Kang, B., DeHamer, R., Kim, J.Y. and Lumibao, J., 2017. Fish oil contaminated with persistent organic pollutants induces colonic aberrant crypt foci formation and reduces antioxidant enzyme gene expression in rats. The Journal of nutrition147(8), pp.1524-1530.


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the superdog supplement

The Superdog supplement is a natural dog supplement and meal topper that contains functional mushrooms, herbs and naturally occurring fruit based digestive enzymes, to support healthy digestion and optimal immune function.The ingredients have been chosen in line with the latest research in canine nutrition, designed to help your dog live its best life. It all starts with what you put in their bowl.

the superdog supplement

70c8958a2ac64a3a202d8d7e3617e2ba scaled
The Superdog supplement is a natural dog supplement and meal topper that contains functional mushrooms, herbs and naturally occurring fruit based digestive enzymes, to support healthy digestion and optimal immune function.The ingredients have been chosen in line with the latest research in canine nutrition, designed to help your dog live its best life. It all starts with what you put in their bowl.
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