Best Dog Foods For Pancreatitis

When you buy through our links, Dogfoodspecialist may earn an affiliate commission

Share the post:


This review gives you a definitive guide to some of the best dog foods that can help treat pancreatitis on the market.

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, pancreatitis occurs. When this happens, digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas seep into the abdomen and start attacking surrounding tissues and organs. This inflammation is excruciating for your dog and might even be deadly.

The damage can be severe in some cases of serious pancreatitis, resulting in your dog developing secondary problems such as diabetes and other illnesses.[1]

Table of Contents

So, lets look at what is  the best dog food for Pancreatitis in 2022!

I’m a veterinarian who works with gastrointestinal difficulties such as pancreatitis daily. I spend a lot of time reading about the finest diet for treating my pancreatitis patients.

When dealing with pancreatitis, I employ a high-quality, low-fat diet. This allows me to lighten the burden on my patient’s pancreatic enzyme production, allowing their pancreas time to heal. The quality and digestibility of your dog’s diet is very important for his or her recovery if they have pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a serious illness that can have severe consequences for the health of surrounding organs, such as the liver. If you suspect pancreatitis in your dog, you should immediately visit your preferred veterinarian.

Acute vs Chronic

Acute and chronic pancreatitis are two types of the disease. Acute pancreatitis is defined as a single occurrence of usually severe pancreas inflammation, while chronic pancreatitis is an ongoing inflammation that can last for months or even years.

This article will explain or discuss

  • The best food for dogs with pancreatitis.
  • What to look for when buying food for a dog suffering from, or prone to pancreatitis.
  • How diets help manage pancreatitis.
  • How the presence of some ingredients can help.
  • Symptoms and causes of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Treatment and Management of pancreatitis.

Let’s get started!

All of these Dog Food formulas meet AAFCO recommended daily nutrient properties for your dog

Best Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat, Barley, Natural Flavors
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Short or long term management of GI issues.

This veterinary prescription diet has a maximum of 8.5% fat and around 20% high-quality protein content, this Royal Canin diet is both low in fat and easily digestible.

This makes it ideal for managing acute pancreatitis issues. 

Your veterinarian might prescribe this diet during a pancreatitis episode or recovery. It can however also be used long-term in dogs with very sensitive digestive systems. 

This diet contains flavorings to help with inappetence that often happens in dogs suffering from pancreatitis. 

This dog food is supplemented with prebiotics and omega 3 fatty acids that promote the establishment of a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation of the digestive system.

This diet also has a wet food alternative.

Best Sensitive Stomach Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support Low Fat Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Whitefish, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Potatoes, Tapioca Starch
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Short or Long term management of GI issues

This Blue Buffalo dog food is good for those dogs that have food sensibilities to wheat, corn, and soy. 

It has a maximum fat content of 9% making it one of the good choices of food during an acute pancreatitis episode.

It contains 24% protein content which is mostly derived from fish and chicken, both of which are highly digestible sources of protein. 

The flavoring in the food helps make this food highly palatable to encourage sick dogs to eat during recovery. 

The diet also contains prebiotics to help re-establish and maintain general gut health in dogs that suffer from chronic or recurrent pancreatitis.

This diet also comes as canned food.

Best Low Fat Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Corn Starch, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Short or long term management of GI issues.

This low-fat dog food by Hills is similar to the one made by Royal Canin. It contains a maximum of 9% fat and a minimum of 20% protein content.

Similarly, it contains brewers rice and wheat as two of its first five ingredients. 

However, this food contains more starch and plant protein. It is highly digestible and is also very good food for dogs suffering from pancreatitis. 

It contains chicken liver and pork flavorings to enhance its palatability and stimulate eating in dogs recovering from pancreatitis. 

Besides its soothing effect on the digestive system, this dog food is formulated to protect your dog from struvite and oxalate urinary crystal formation.

It is supplemented with antioxidantsomega 3 fatty acids, and prebiotics to reduce inflammation of the bowels and restore its beneficial microflora.

This diet is also available in wet form   

Best Wet Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Water, Pork By-Product, Pork Liver, Brewers Rice Flower, Corn Grits
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Short or long term management of GI issues.

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat in Loaf Canned Dog Food is a palatable, digestible low-fat wet dog food that is formulated for dogs that may have difficulties digesting fat, with a palatable texture.

Prebiotics help maintain the balance of good bacteria in the gut. A blend of dietary fibers supports healthy digestion for optimal stool quality. Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from fish oil help nourish and soothe the GI tract.

A precise blend of antioxidants supports a healthy immune system. And the exclusive S/O Index supports urinary health by creating an environment unfavorable to crystal formation in the bladder.

Nutritional Profile includes:

  • A veterinary-exclusive wet dog food for dogs with long- or short-term digestive sensitivities.
  • Promotes digestive health and optimal stool quality with highly digestible proteins and prebiotics.
  • Contains low fat content for dogs that have difficulties digesting or tolerating fat, while providing sufficient calories for their daily needs.
  • Adapted fiber level to provide appropriate energy levels for weight maintenance despite fat restriction.
  • Helps manage GI health with omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

Veterinary Authorization

This item needs authorization from your veterinarian. Simply provide your pet and vet clinic information at Checkout and we’ll follow up with your veterinarian to confirm.

If you have a copy of your authorization, you can expedite the process by uploading a scan or photo of it to the Prescriptions section in your account or your order confirmation. You can also email it to

Best Dry Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Low Fat EN Gastroenteric Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers rice, barley, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, animal digest
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Short or long term management of GI issues.

Purina’s low-fat dog food is higher in protein than the diets previously mentioned; it contains a minimum of 25% protein

However, this does not make it any worse than its counterparts as part of the protein is made up of animal digest which is predigested animal protein that can be easily handled by a dog with pancreatitis. 

Similar to the dog foods previously mentioned, it also contains a maximum of 9% fat content which allows for dogs with pancreatitis to give their system a break and recover from this debilitating condition.

 This dog food contains prebiotics and antioxidants.

This diet also comes as a wet food. 

Best Digestive Care Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term management of GI issues

At a guaranteed minimum of 9% fat content, this dog food is not as low fat as the other dog food mentioned above. 

However, despite its relatively higher fat content this dog food contains moderate amounts of fat and can still be used to manage your dog’s digestive health after recovering from an acute episode of pancreatitis and prevent it from happening again. 

This diet promotes regular digestive transit time and the formation of post biotics that can help with maintaining the gut’s health and aid digestion, both of which would greatly benefit dogs prone to pancreatitis. [2]

This diet also comes as a wet food

Low Fat Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Select Blend Overweight Management Formula Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Yellow Corn, Soybean Meal, Soybean Germ Meal, Soybean Hulls, Soy Flour
  • Type of product: Veterinary Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term weight management.

This dog food is great for those dogs whose pancreas can tolerate very little fat content in their diet. 

Purina’s Overweight Management formula contains a maximum of 8.5% fat content in its diet but is not ideal for dogs suffering from pancreatitis since it is high in protein and low in overall calories. 

However, it can be used for dogs that are on the mend but still need a fat-restricted diet. This food contains at least 28% protein with soy being the major source of protein. 

It also contains 15% of crude fiber which helps stimulate the healthy gut function and aid recovery in ill dogs.

Best Healthy Weight Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Iams ProActive Health Adult Healthy Weight Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Ground Whole Grain Barley
  • Type of product: Commercial Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term weight management.

This Iams dog food might not be as low in fat as the veterinary diets mentioned above, however, a maximum of 11.5% fat content makes this diet a good alternative for those dogs at risk of suffering another episode of pancreatitis in the future. 

It contains moderate amounts of protein and fiber which help maintain a moderately active dog’s condition without taxing organs like the liver that could have suffered secondary damage after an episode of pancreatitis. [3]

This product line also has a formula for large dogs. Its composition is very similar to the one reviewed here but contains a slightly higher protein content to be better suited to the large and giant dog’s nutritional needs.

These products contain L-Carnitine to aid in priming the metabolism for weight loss. Weight loss can help reduce the chance of future pancreatitis episodes.

Low Fat Dog Food Panctreatitis

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Powdered Cellulose
  • Type of product: Commercial Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term weight management

This product is low in fat  (maximum 11% fat content), moderate in protein, and high in fiber.

This diet is good for dogs recovering from an acute pancreatitis episode and are ready to switch from a bland highly digestible diet to one that has more nutrients. 

The high fiber in the diet also stimulates the gut and helps for its restoration.

This diet is also high in Vitamin E and Selenium that work as antioxidants and help mop up the free radicals caused by the inflammation associated with acute pancreatitis.

Weight Care Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Royal Canin Weight Care Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Pea Fiber, Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat
  • Type of product: Commercial Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term weight management

This dog food is part of Royal Canin’s care range and does not need a prescription to buy for your dog. 

It is rich in protein and fiber. The food variety for medium-sized dogs contains between 9% and 13% fat content. 

The other varieties for small dogs and large dogs have similar compositions but only specify that they contain a minimum of around 9 to 10% fat content. 

This makes these foods not suitable for dogs suffering from the acute form of the disease but good enough for those in recovery. 

This range of products is supplemented with L-Carnitine to prime the metabolism for weight loss and Glucosamine and Chondroitin to maintain the joints of overweight dogs on their journey to a healthier and more sustainable weight.

This dog food can also be found as canned food. Also available in wet food

Best High Protein Dog Food for Pancreatitis

Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Weight High Protein Formula Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Rice Flour, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Type of product: Commercial Diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Long term weight management

This diet is high in protein, and moderate in fiber. It contains a maximum of 12% fat content which is not ideal for dogs currently dealing with an acute form of pancreatitis. 

It should however be good for those dogs in recovery and those intending to keep the condition under control.

It can also help your dog reach or maintain a healthy body weight which can help prevent future episodes of pancreatitis. 

This diet is supplemented with antioxidants and omega fatty acids to regulate the inflammatory processes associated with the condition.

It also contains vitamin A and glucosamine to maintain healthy eyesight and joints.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis refers to an inflammation of the pancreas. This can occur for a variety of reasons, however, the most typical cause of patients coming into our waiting room with pancreatitis is due to their diet being excessively fatty or owing to having eaten something extremely fatty while rummaging in the garbage.

Pancreatitis, obesity, and diets rich in fat appear to be linked. Obese dogs were found to have a greater risk of developing pancreatitis in studies.

It also implies that high-fat diets are a trigger for pancreatitis. It is thought that the greater fat content in a dog’s diet might cause hyperstimulation of the pancreas and early activation of pancreatic enzymes, resulting in damage to the pancreas.

The damage caused by acute pancreatitis can result in future recurrence of the disease or chronic pancreatitis as a result of long-term harm.


Symptoms of Pancreatitis

There are several indicators of pancreatitis, but early manifestations can be difficult to identify. The following are some of the typical symptoms in dogs:

  • Hunched back
  • Repeated vomiting 
  • Pain in the abdomen 
  • Distension (bloating)
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Dehydration 
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue/weakness

What Causes Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most prevalent is an excessive fat diet.

It’s usually caused by owners who fed adult dogs puppy food for lengthy periods of time, or dogs that have been eating cat food or scavenging all the time.

Here is a full list of causes of pancreatitis:

  • High-fat diet 
  • A history of eating anything and everything
  • Obesity 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Severe blunt trauma 
  • Diabetes 
  • Some medications (rarely)
  • Genetic predisposition (rarely)

How Can I Prevent Pancreatitis?

The majority of the dogs I’ve treated for pancreatitis were overweight, had a fatty diet, or had a history of pancreatitis that ate themselves into a large quantity of fat in one sitting.

It’s most prevalent among dogs that are fed table scraps haphazardly or those who scavenge garbage cans.

Avoiding high-fat diets is one of the simplest ways to avoid pancreatitis. Not only will this help your dog’s pancreas function normally, but it will also assist your dog lose weight and create a barrier between him and this disease.

The fat content of therapeutic diets for pancreatitis is usually adequate to provide between 15 and 30% of the total energy intake. Some low-fat diets, on the other hand, contain considerably less fat than that.

What Foods Can Help With Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is a serious illness that may be deadly if not treated quickly. Pancreatitis can be extremely severe or mild, and the prognosis for patient recovery depends on the degree of severity. This isn’t a condition you can tackle alone, so if you think your dog has pancreatitis, you should get them seen by a veterinarian right away

Making your dog fast was one of the methods pancreatitis was treated in the past. However, studies suggest that early feeding of dogs with gastrointestinal issues, including pancreatitis, improves prognosis, and treatment strategies are shifting.

The characteristics to look for in such dog food are:

  • Restricted fat content.
  • Moderate levels of easily digestible protein content.
  • Easily digestible carbohydrate content.
  • High energy density to meet the requirements of dogs with no appetite (in acute pancreatitis)

Acute pancreatitis necessitates a diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in protein.

Carbohydrates are energy-dense and can help the dogs consume enough food to keep themselves alive. They’re often afflicted with inappetence, which means they don’t eat much, and they need extra energy.

Carbohydrates, unlike fats, do not stimulate pancreatic enzyme production to the same degree and are hence one of the safest food components that can be eaten by dogs with pancreatitis during the acute phase of the disease.[56]

Treatment and management of pancreatitis in dogs

Treatment is beneficial, and its aggressiveness is determined by the severity of pancreatitis. Hospitalization is required in severe situations for restoration and maintenance of hydration, pain and vomiting control, nutritional support, and if necessary, antibiotic treatment.

If the patient is vomiting, no food or water should be given. Otherwise, an ultra low-fat diet may be offered. The use of extremely low-fat diets in dogs is intended to lighten the burden on the pancreas.

If the patient is hydrated and does not vomit, hospitalization may not be required in less-severe chronic situations. An extremely low-fat diet will be advised for at-home usage, as well as frequent blood work monitoring including the cPLI and/or abdominal ultrasound.

After therapy from a veterinarian, most dogs with pancreatitis recover completely; however, some dogs get pancreatitis numerous times throughout their life.

Best dog food for Pancreatitis - the bottom line!

The low-fat gastrointestinal care veterinary diets are the finest dog foods for treating a bout of acute pancreatitis in dogs.

I personally like Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat and Blue Buffallo Natural Veterinary Diet support dog food, as I’ve used these diets with excellent success in my patients.

Commercial diets are not good for acute cases. They can, however, be useful during recovery or maintenance in dogs prone to relapse. 

When it comes to nutrition, there are a few things to keep in mind. Because pancreatitis is a critical condition that varies on an individual basis, I usually propose consulting with your veterinarian to assist you to decide which of these diets would be best for your dog.

Did you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health? A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract!

Discover why this supplement is vital for your dog’s immune system and overall health – read our blog on The Best Probiotics for Dogs.



Share the post: