Diet to Help With Pancreatitis & Acid Reflux in Dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

Pancreatitis and acid reflux are conditions that cause extreme discomfort in dogs. Pancreatitis can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness. Acid reflux is often a result of chronic vomiting, but can also cause regurgitation. Low-fat diets manage and reduce the effects of both pancreatitis and acid reflux.

Pancreatitis Diets

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, which often occurs suddenly. When the pancreas is inflamed, it produces enzymes that can cause the pancreas to digest itself. While the cause of pancreatitis is not exactly known, it is believed to be a product of liver disease, high-fat diets, obesity and infection. Dogs that have pancreatitis are admitted into the veterinary hospital and given intravenous fluids. Food and water is withheld initially to give the pancreas a rest. Once the dog has gone 24 hours without vomiting, a bland, low-fat diet is introduced. Since pancreatitis is believed to be caused by fatty foods and often occurs after a dog has invaded the contents of a dustbin, it is important to feed your dog a low-fat diet. This will not only help him to maintain a healthy weight, but will also avoid overworking the pancreas. Some dogs have pancreatitis once and never get it again, while others seems to constantly battle the condition. Therefore, in order to prevent it from occurring again, consider feeding him a low-fat diet for the remainder of his life. Give your dog boiled rice with either cottage cheese or boneless, skinless chicken breast. This diet is low in fat and is easily digested. Feed this diet to your dog while helping him get over his pancreatitis. If you want to keep him on this type of homemade diet, speak with your veterinarian about supplements that he will need to take to create a balanced diet for him. Commercial diets that are good for pancreatitis include Hill's I/D and Iams Veterinary Formula Intestinal Dry Dog Food. Both of these diets are easy on the stomach and are available with a prescription.

Acid Reflux Diets

Acid reflux, also called gastro-oseophageal reflux, is a disorder in which intestinal or gastric fluids flow backwards into the oesophagus. This uncomfortable condition is typically caused by chronic vomiting or a lazy lower esophageal sphincter muscle. In severe cases, dogs suffering from acid reflux are hospitalised and fed through intravenous catheters or stomach tubes. Milder acid reflux is often managed by medication and diet. Dogs that have acid reflux should be fed low-fat diets in small, frequent amounts. Avoid feeding your dog late at night, as this can diminish gastro-oseophageal sphincter pressure when the animal sleeps, which contributes to the reflux. Often, the same diets that are given to dogs with pancreatitis are also fed to those with acid reflux. Therefore, foods such as Hill's I/D or Purina E/N help dogs that have this painful problem. Helping your dog manage his pancreatitis or acid reflux through his diet will not only help to alleviate his discomfort, but will also prevent future occurrences.

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