Canine pancreatitis is caused by inflammation in the pancreas as a result of digestive enzymes leaking into the pancreatic tissues. It can cause abdominal pain, depression and decreased appetite in your dog. Pancreatitis is often associated with obesity and high-fat diets, so improving your pet's diet is a key component of canine pancreatitis treatment.
Canine Pancreatic Diet
When pancreatitis first sets in, your dog will not be able to eat at all. He'll be on intravenous fluids until the symptoms subside, because canine pancreatitis is so painful.
Once he is able to eat again, it's important to reduce the fat and increase the fibre in his diet. Protein is not bad as long as it is healthy muscle meat, not fatty meat byproducts. The diet should be bland to start and can gradually increase to a healthy commercial or home-cooked diet.
If a homemade diet is not feasible for your schedule, there are low-fat commercial diets available that are also high in fibre. Most of these will be senior formula foods or diet food. However, check the label for ingredient quality. Diet foods are often filled with cheap fibre, such as wheat or corn, that has no health value for your pet.
Since quality is of vital importance as your dog recovers from canine pancreatitis, a homemade diet is preferable. Less than 18 per cent of your dog's diet should come from fat, and most commercial foods don't meet that requirement.
Instead, feed him a diet with a low-fat protein such as boiled chicken or turkey. If your dog can tolerate rice, add brown rice, split about half and half between rice and protein. Add a small spoonful of low-fat cottage cheese for additional protein.
A small spoonful of canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, adds fibre while also soothing the dog's stomach.
Add a few vegetables to your dog's diet as snacks, such as carrots, snap peas or green beans, or grind up some vegetables and add them to his meal for more fibre. Dogs can't digest many whole vegetables, so grind them up and add a couple of spoonfuls to the mix. Fresh vegetables are preferable, but canned vegetables will work as long as they are low sodium.
Mix this together and serve it to your dog warmed just a little for each meal. When your dog is suffering from canine pancreatitis, several small meals a day are preferable to one or two large meals. For a large dog, 2 to 3 cups of this diet should suffice. Spread that portion throughout the day.