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What to feed a dog with pancreatitis?

Published on August 8, 2023
Written by Nade

Many owners have been devastated when they brought their very sick dog to the vet and heard the diagnosis of pancreatitis. However, even though it is hard to treat, if it is caught on time, the outcome can be good. 

In this article, we will learn a little bit about what pancreatitis is and what every owner needs to know when it comes to feeding their dog that has this condition. 

So what is pancreatitis?

The pancreas is an organ that sits close to the stomach and plays a huge role in food digestion, as well as sugar regulation in your dog’s body. On some occasions, it can get inflamed and this leads to a condition known as pancreatitis. 

There are several different reasons why this condition could occur:

  1. Improper diet: feeding your dog food that is rich in fat could potentially lead to pancreatitis.
  2. Feeding your dog human fatty food: is your dog one of the beggars that sit next to you while you are enjoying your bacon? And you always fall for that and share some of the tasty food with them? That is the road to pancreatitis. 
  3. Infection: different reasons could lead to infection of the pancreas, as well as different bacteria could be responsible for it.
  4. Genetics: this is important for owners who have Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, or Cocker Spaniels, as they may be more prone to this condition.

What are the symptoms of dogs with pancreatitis?

The symptoms can vary among every dog, but this is what owners usually notice:

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Fever


How can I feed my sick dog?

As we have previously mentioned, one of the reasons why your dog may have gotten pancreatitis is improper dog diet, meaning giving extra fatty food. With that said, it means that your dog needs to be switched to low fat food for at least a couple of months, which could give the pancreas time to properly heal.


Usually vets are good about giving the owners the option to choose from the variety of medical prescription diet foods that are available on the market. They are specifically made for dogs that suffer from pancreatitis and this way you don’t need to think if the meal is balanced or not. However, have in mind that they may be on the expensive side.


Another option of course is to cook the food yourself. If you decide for this step we recommend you consult the vet about which ingredients would work the best for your dog. Also, talk to the vet if there are any other supplements that you can add in the homemade food. The most important thing is that the diet must be low fat.


We all want to spoil our dogs, which is why we give them treats constantly. And it is okay to give treats to your dog that has pancreatitis, just make sure they are also low fat.

Ideas for homemade meals

Turkey and Oatmeal Recipe:


  • 1 cup boiled, lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal (without added fats or seasonings)
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt

Instructions: Boil the ground turkey until fully cooked and drain any excess fat. Cook the oatmeal and allow it to cool. Mix the cooked ground turkey and oatmeal together. Add the plain yogurt as a topping or mix it into the food. Ensure the food is at a suitable temperature before feeding it to your dog.

Fish and Sweet Potato Recipe:


  • 1 cup boiled, flaked white fish (e.g., tilapia, cod, or haddock)
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Instructions: Cook the white fish thoroughly and flake it into small pieces. Cook the sweet potato until soft, then mash it. Mix the flaked fish and mashed sweet potato together. Add a small amount of olive oil for some healthy fats (optional). Allow the mixture to cool before serving.

I am Nade and I am a vet with five years of experience working with small animals. I come from North Macedonia where I graduated and went on to finish postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I am currently owned by a one-year-old naughty black Labrador Retriever named Fred and enjoy spending my spare time with him.

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