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August 12, 2021

What Can I Do If My Dog Has Pancreatitis?

  • Dog
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Pancreatitis
French Bulldog sitting beside bowl of GO! SOLUTIONS SENSITIVITIES kibble

Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs are also at risk of developing certain health conditions at some point in their lives. Whether you’re concerned about symptoms or your dog has been diagnosed, here is everything you need to know about pancreatitis in dogs and the next steps you can take as a pet parent.

What is Pancreatitis? 

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. Your dog’s pancreas serves two main functions: it produces enzymes to help digest food, and it secretes insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels. When a dog’s pancreas is inflamed, these two main jobs are hindered, and the enzymes that are supposed to be digesting food begin to attack the pancreas and cause significant harm. Pancreatitis in dogs is a severe disease and can be life-threatening. Additionally, in some cases, it could cause lifelong complications such as diabetes. Furthermore, pancreatitis can occur in conjunction with diabetes in dogs.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs

If you begin to notice symptoms or behavioural changes early on, it’s important to not delay seeking a thorough check up from your vet.

Some signs of pancreatitis in dogs may include: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea and decreased appetite
  • Preference to stand with the rear end in the air, and head and feet on the floor

What Can I Do?

If your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, a reduced-fat diet is usually recommended. Although the ideal dietary fat level for dogs with pancreatitis has not been completely determined, recipes like our GO! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Small Bites Salmon, may be a possible option. This grain free dog food recipe offers dogs a reduced fat level compared to the regular sized recipe, and uses coconut oil as the main fat source. Coconut oil is palatable and the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) it contains do not require the use of the pancreas to be broken down. This recipe was created specifically for dogs who prefer small kibble, thrive on a limited ingredient diet, and may need a lower fat option.

GO! SOLUTIONS SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Bites Salmon Recipe for Dogs

Recommended Solution

Ideal for dogs who prefer small-sized kibble

Tthis Limited Ingredient recipe uses premium-quality Salmon as a single source of fish protein, making it rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, skin and coats, and great for supporting dogs with sensitive dietary needs.

Many times, diabetic dogs are often incorrectly encouraged to switch to a food that is low in carbohydrates; however, low carb foods are higher in protein and/or fat. As mentioned earlier, because diabetes and pancreatitis often occur simultaneously in dogs, an increased fat diet may be contraindicated.

A lower fat diet may help to prevent the development of pancreatitis or a pancreatitis attack for dogs that are susceptible to the disease. It’s also important that fatty “treats” (i.e. left-over turkey dinner with gravy) are avoided. Try to side-step the temptation to slide the leftovers off your plate and treat your dog to some healthier options instead!


Jennifer Adolphe

Dr. Jennifer Adolphe

PhD (Companion Animal Nutrition)

Dr. Jennifer Adolphe has a PhD in companion animal nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan. She previously completed a master’s degree in human nutrition and is the recipient of more than 20 awards and scholarships for her academic work. Wow!