Quick Post

Diet After Pancreatitis

New Topic
Diet After Pancreatitis
  • My dog Sugar (Maltese Mix) had pancreatitis a couple of months ago.  She recovered after a couple of rounds of withholding food for 24 hours. 

    The vet just said to get her a low-fat food.  I did cook for her at first, rice & hamburger per the vets instructions, while she was recovering, but can't do that for the long run, due to traveling mainly.

      I put her on Science Diet after she recovered, & she did well, but have read many places that is not a good food, so switched to a food from Safeway, NutraBalance, which listed chicken at the first ingredient,  and the fat content is low, but it seems to be making my dogs vomit.  My poodle has been vomiting every morning. Sugar has been vomiting every few days.  Can anyone recommend a good food that is low fat & not too expensive?



  • After Morgan's pancreatitis, i tried a few foods that all made her sick. I ended up just keeping her on ID for a couple years. I wasn't in love with it, but people kept telling me that while ID wasn't great, it wasn't as bad as some of the other SD foods. she is now doing well on Nature's Variety Prairie. I wish you luck, and I feel for ya.
  • If she is vomiting then it can be a sign that the pancreatitis is coming back.  I would take her ot the vet to make sure everything is OK; an RX food might be in order for a temporary fix.

    For the long run, you may need to just find a restricted calorie/light food.  While they may not be the most "appealing" ingredient wise, it is VERY important that a dog prone to pancreatitis is kept on a very low fat diet. 

  •  Pancreatitis can be deadly, and even if its not, there can be long-term consequences such as pancreatic insufficiency.

     Find what works for your dog, and stick to it. The ingredients list is JUST a list of words on paper...

  • Years ago, my dog with very sensitive stomach issues did great on Science Diet Sensitive Stomach.  He just couldn't tolerate anything else and I got sick of putting him through the stress of trying new foods, the inevitable diarrhea and vomiting in the middle of the night, the vet bills to get him back on track, etc.  I currently have a dog with allergies would only does well on SD z/d.  My rescue dog that had a bad bout of what we are pretty sure was pancreatitis is on Purina OM which is an overweight formula but it's high fiber, low fat and he's doing great.  I'm not looking to experiment and put him in danger, but I am trying to increase the amount of raw and fresh food both dogs eat and decrease their intake of kibble overall.

    I'm in the school of thought that if it works for your dog and you try other things (ie, "better") and they don't work, go with what works for your dog. 

  • SD is not the worst food out there, and honestly, if it is working for your dog - don't change it! the I/D formula is GREAT for dogs with tummy problems, we use it at work all the time.

    You have to always keep in mind, what works for one dog, may not work at all for the other dog. Casey does well on Blue Buffalo - but many dogs don't. He also did ok on SD, but Blue has helped with his allergies.

  •  This lady does long distance nutrition consultations and my clients have been satisfied with her: http://www.betterdogcare.com/

    She also runs The Dog Food Project website: http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main 

    Pancreatitis, as you know, can be life threatening.  Get back in touch and consult with your vet, and maybe get some recommendations for foods from Sabine.  She has investigated the ingredient lists of most major dog food companies.  I doubt that she will refer you to Science Diet, however.  I'm also pretty sure that nothing you buy at the supermarket will be on her list either...  In the meantime, if your dog did well on it, and NOT on the current food, if it were me, I'd switch back temporarily until a really good, safe food can be found that has the right low fat content.


  • My breed, Mini Schnauzers can be prone to Pancreatitis and my oldest dog had an acute attack several years ago.  The Vet recommended that he go on WD, which is actually I think the lowest fat formula in Hills prescription line.  I hated the food for its nutritional value, but I kept him on it for a period of time until he got stabilized and I had the time to research other foods/diets. 
    For kibble, I've used Eagle Pack, usually their Holistic fish formula (12% fat), and Natural Balance Sweet Potato/Fish (10% fat), among others.  When you are looking for a low fat kibble for the long term you  need to go to the higher end foods in order to get more and better sources of protein.  They are more expensive, but most people find they are able to feed less volume of the higher quality foods.
    And be mindful of what kind of snacks/treats they are getting.  Those are often the highest sources of fat. 
    As already pointed out, Pancreatitis is a very serious condition.  Even mild episodes can become chronic and eventually turn into something very serious.  I'd have Sugar checked out again since there has been some vomiting.
  • I'm in the school of thought that if it works for your dog and you try other things (ie, "better") and they don't work, go with what works for your dog. 

    yeah, but she didn't try anything "better" yet, just a grocery store brand that is making all of her dogs puke. Science diet prescription diets are fine for short-term stabilization, but for long-term use, they should be a last resort- they may fix the pancreatitis, but what good is that if the crappy ingredients then give the dog five other health problems down the line?  Consult a nutritionist as spiritdogs suggests is a good idea.

  • Thanks for all your replies & suggestions.  They have been helpful.


  • My big dog, Malamute/Dalmatian mix experienced this at 13yrs of age, she lived to be almost 16yrs....BUT, the first year following the attack especially was VERY rough.

    I had her on a special vet diet for 2 mnths, then went to homecooking for 1.5yrs - mainly chicken/rice/and a very small amount of Salmon....do NOT give anything too oily, NO sunflower, canola, flaxseed, etc oils, and no chicken fat.

    She did great with this, but I couldn't keep enough weight on her, a neighbor ended up giving us a bag of Avoderm chicken/rice food, from Breeder's choice, which contained excellent ingredients in very good moderation levels, something like 22% protein, and 9-10% fat....I begin feeding her this for one meal, and homecooked for the next.

    She did EXCELLENT from there on, started putting some weight back on, had incredible energy, looked good again, for a while. But overall, she was never the same after that.

    Seriously look into Breeder's Choice, the AVODERM formula line, they are much better foods then what your vet has to offer, and very digestible. What ever you do, start SLOW and feed several meals in one day, breaking down the amount she recieves each time so that not so much is hitting her pancreas all at once.

    Also, add a very TINY amount of a digestive enzyme to help break down her food. For a week or so, try feeding a diet VERY highly digestible, i.e. scrambled eggs with potatoes, canned salmon with highly OVERCOOKED minute rice (more digestible then brown  or long grain rice)

    You may need to homecook her food for a while, but easily digestible ingredients consist of eggs, fish first, then I think chicken, you can also try, for a grain, cream of wheat, it's supposed to be very digestible too. But only if she's not allergic to wheat, otherwise, stick to minute rice, but OVER cook it, make it real mushy.

  • I like Canidae Platinum to transition a dog back to normal eating after a bout of pancreatis (or gastroenteritis, or coccidea/giardia, or liver disease, or a long course of harsh antibiotics).  It's extremely easy to digest - if you pour warm water on most kibble, it is still hard and kibble-y even after an hour.  The CP gets squishy in just a few minutes.  There's lots of nice soothing fiber and good high quality protein sources (ie, identifiable meat/egg/dairy, not grain glutens or mystery meat), and of course low fat.  Those three factors together are most important to speed any healing of the digestive tract.

    I have not had any dog with issues of this nature since the high protein reduced fat foods became readily available to me, but I'd go to something like that (Wellness Core Reduced Fat is my current favorite) as a next step after six months to a year of healing.  

    The most important thing to remember after a bout of pancreatis is how very serious an illness it is, how long it will take for normal function to return - and how easy it will be to trigger a return of symptoms.  Go slowly, be patient, stick with what works, and several months from now your dog should be healthy enough to start experimenting again.  Your vet will have seen your dog again by that time so you will not have to guess whether the time is right.