Best Dog Food For Pancreatitis: Guide and Reviews of 4 Top Brands

Edited and reviewed by Dominic Martin

Pancreatitis in dogs is a serious condition that happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed.  The causes aren’t always clear, but when it happens, it can cause severe symptoms such as stomach pain, loss of appetite, fever, and vomiting.

This is a somewhat common condition for dogs, especially certain breeds such as the miniature poodle or cocker spaniel. Additionally, dogs that are overweight or older are more likely to be afflicted with pancreatitis.

To help avoid this medical condition, there are some preventative measures such as providing a quality, low-fat diet. Therefore, it is important to find a dog food that will help your pup get better and prevent the condition in the first place.

Read on to learn the 4 brands with the best dog food for pancreatitis.

Quick Comparison: Best Food For Dogs With Pancreatitis in 2018

Dog FoodQualityOur Rating
Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken RecipeA
The Honest Kitchen ZealA-
Fromm Grain Free Game Bird FormulaA
Premium Edge Healthy Weight IIA-

* click on the product name to be taken to Amazon where you can check the current price and read customer reviews.

Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of each of the above products.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis means “inflammation” of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ near your dog’s stomach that helps control blood sugar concentrations and digest food.

The pancreas is responsible for releasing enzymes that aid in digestion. These enzymes become active in the small intestine. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, these digestive enzymes that are normally inactive, become active prematurely, inflaming and causing damage to the pancreas and its surrounding tissues.

In most cases, the problems only last for a short time period, causing acute pancreatitis.

If you notice symptoms that last longer than a day or that they keep coming back regularly, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to get an official diagnosis. This may be chronic pancreatitis and it can be life-threatening.

Sick Dog

 

Here are the main symptoms you want to look out for:

In more severe cases, you might also see the following symptoms:

  • Fever (or low body temperature)
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hunched back

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

While the causes of pancreatitis in dogs is not very clear, some professionals believe toxins, high levels of calcium in the blood, or trauma to the pancreas can all cause this disease.

Another suggested cause is a high-fat diet and obesity.  If your dog eats a large amount of fatty food all at once this can cause acute pancreatitis. Veterinarians tend to see an increase in this disorder around the holidays when fatty foods are more prevalent.

What Types of Dog Foods are Best for Pancreatitis?

Certain foods can make this inflammation even worse, so you need to get dog food that will be easy on your dog’s stomach and not further aggravate the pancreas.

Fatty foods cause the most distress to an inflamed pancreas. Find a brand that has lower than average fat.

For reference, here is a general idea of what “average” fat content means for various kinds of dog food:

  • Dry food usually has an average of about 16% fat. So low fat would be 12% or below.
  • Wet food usually has an average of about 23% fat. So low fat would be 15% or below.
  • Raw food usually has an average of about 27% fat. So low fat would be 17% or below.

Generally, you want to try and find a brand that is still high in protein and fiber even though it has low fat. If your dog has a very severe case, go for the low-fat dog food brands for pancreatitis, even if that means sacrificing protein.

Also, make sure you consult with your veterinarian. They will recommend the best diet for your dog’s health.

Editor’s Choice – Recommended Dog Food For Pancreatitis

Here are the 4 brands that we think offer the best products. They are usually marketed to old or overweight dogs:

1. Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken Recipe

Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken Recipe Dog Food

This is a canned dog food with an amazingly low-fat content. There’s just 1.4% fat in this brand so it will be really easy on an inflamed pancreas. Of course, it’s impossible to achieve that low of a fat content without sacrificing the other ingredients. This food only has 10% protein.

Additionally, it’s also not giving you the best bang for your buck since, as a wet food, it’s about 85% water. With that said, the high water content and extremely low fat can actually be an advantage if your dog has an extremely bad case of pancreatitis.

Although we do not recommend this as your dog’s normal, long-term diet, it’s a great short-term option for helping your dog get through a bad case of pancreatitis. Additionally, it could be combined with a different food to ensure that your dog has complete balanced nutrition once they do not have pancreatitis.

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2. The Honest Kitchen Zeal

The Honest Kitchen Zeal Dog Food

The recipe for this dog food is a great option for a dog with pancreatitis because it is very low in fat but still surprisingly high in protein. Specifically, it’s got only 8.5% fat, but a whopping 35% protein. This is actually above average protein content for normal dog foods.

With this brand, you are getting the best of both worlds. This recipe uses fish as the main protein source, but it’s also packed with fruits and veggies. Overall, this dog food is well balanced and a great option for long-term use.

One draw-back is that this brand is a little more expensive than other brands of commercial dog food for pancreatitis. Additionally, there is some preparation required because it is freeze-dried and needs to be mixed. However, one package makes about 40 lbs. of food, so we feel you get your money’s worth, especially when you consider the high quality.

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3. Fromm Grain Free Game Bird Formula

Fromm Grain Free Game Bird Formula Dog Food

This one is the fattiest option our list, but at 17%, it is still lower than most normal dog food. However, with the higher fat content, you also get more protein and fiber compared to other brands. Therefore, this brand could be a good trade-off if your dog only has a mild case of pancreatitis.

One thing we love about this food is that there are so many different fruits and veggies in the ingredients list. If you have a dog with chronic pancreatitis, this is the brand we would recommend as its normal grain-free dog food.

However, during an attack when the pancreas is severely inflamed, you probably want to switch temporarily to Weruva or one of the other brands here that offer a much lower fat content.

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4. Premium Edge Healthy Weight II

Premium Edge Healthy Weight II Dog Food

 

At just 8% fat, premium edge offers an extremely low fat dry dog food. The protein is sacrificed a bit, but at 25%, it is still higher than most other low-fat brands tend to be. Overall, you still get nice balanced nutrition with this food.

Premium edge is also very high in fiber since it has so many fruits and veggies. This will really help with proper digestion. Maintaining gut health and good digestion are extremely important when your dog’s pancreas is working at full capacity.

This brand is also more affordable than the other products on this list.

The one thing that we don’t really like is that the ingredients include white rice and potatoes, which are not the most nutritious sources of carbs and might be tough on your dog’s tummy.

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Final Thoughts

Managing a dog with pancreatitis can be difficult, especially if you don’t catch it early. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, contact your veterinarian immediately to confirm the diagnosis and get medical treatment.

Pancreatitis is manageable, but often your dog will need more treatment than just a change in diet. However, once your dog is healthy again, a low-fat and well-balanced dog food is essential to keep pancreatitis from returning.

If dealing with acute pancreatitis, our best recommendation is Weruva wet food. However, if you are trying to prevent pancreatitis there are many other great low-fat options.