Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, often a result of a diet too high in fat, or a large intake of fat at once. Other risk factors are being overweight/obese and older dogs are more at risk of developing the disease as well.
The pancreas is usually responsible for producing enzymes that aid digestion, so during a bout of pancreatitis it will be difficult for your pet to digest food, especially ones high in fat.
This results in symptoms such as:
vomiting and diarrhoea
the ‘prayer position’ as it can be very painful and uncomfortable.
If your dog is showing these symptoms it is important that you visit your vet before you try and sort out their diet, so you can rule out anything else and the vet can treat them. Once they are stable, it is crucial you keep them on a low fat diet to prevent reoccurrences.
What should I feed a dog that has had pancreatitis?
Once a dog has recovered from pancreatitis they need a low fat dog diet which is easy to digest to maintain good health.
Under 10% fat
Feeding amounts will be particularly important so as to keep the fat as low as possible
Be careful when feeding a wet food. Many people think they are feeding a low fat wet food but when you take away the moisture content to compare it to a dry food it works out as high in fat (for further information into this please see Wet Vs Dry Foods.
Small frequent meals spread throughout the day
Even if your dog is underweight it is important not to try and ‘fatten them up’ as this can overwork the pancreas.