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Dog food and feeding => Feeding dogs with health problems => Topic started by: Dogmo on Oct 07, 2014, 11:03

Title: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 07, 2014, 11:03

I have two rescue dogs  - Max a labrador X aged 11, and Lithia a springer spaniel age 3. I have joined the forum as Max has been diagnosed with pancreatitis and I'm looking for some independent dietry advice on what a low fat diet actually is.  I guess I need to post my questions elsewhere on the forum?
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset
Post by: Tinyplanets on Oct 07, 2014, 11:11
Hi Dogmo and welcome,

There is a section for feeding dogs with health problems. I don't know a great deal about pancreatitis but I am sure any questions you have will be answered by somebody with experience of this.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset
Post by: Dottie on Oct 07, 2014, 11:13
Good morning Dogmo and welcome to the forum.  I am so sorry to hear of your dog's illness and I do hope that it can be managed with a suitable diet.  I hope that you don't mind  but I have merged and moved your threads into the health section because it seemed more suitable there. Also it helps people further down the line when searching for a particular problem.

You don't mention what you are currently feeding but the best advice I can offer you is to give Nutriment a call.  They have a low purine food which is recommended for conditions like this.  I am sure they will be able to offer you advice.  If you are minded to try it, do not transition at all - just stop his current food and start on the new one.  Check with Nutriment but they told me not to feed anything else except their food and perhaps sea jerky for a treat.

If you are minded to try it, please could you keep us up to date with progress?  It may be that it will help another member/s with a similar problem.
Title: What is a Low fat diet for Pancreatitis?
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 07, 2014, 11:27

My 11 year old crossbreed Max has been diagnosed with pancreatitis and we have been told by the vet that he must be fed a Low Fat diet. The problem is that I don't want to feed the Royal Canin "special" diet that my vet tried to sell me. My vet does not seem to know much about what Max can and can't have if I don't feed what they sell, and I have been told that the maximum fat content  that Max can have is what the vet read off the packet of the  RC (7.5%).

My first question is does the fat content he can have vary depending on whether it is wet food, dry food or raw food? And does anyone know what the percentage is for the different type of food?  For example does can of food that has 4% fat actually contain more fat that a 7.5% dry food, because of the moisture content?

In general I would prefer to feed a raw or homecooked diet (or a combination). Raw food has a high moisture content so I fear that actually makes it much higher in fat than it says on the packet, so in terms of raw I'm not sure what he can and can't have.

Then there will be the times when we are away and I can't feed raw or home cooked. What good quality low fat wet food is there? Or kibble that can be purchased in small quantities.

At the moment I'm really confused. The diagnosis was a complete shock, and I don't want to risk another flare up because I've inadvertantly fed the wrong thing. Given the potential seriousness of the condition I want to be sure that what I feed is low fat enough, but I just don't  know where to find out that information.

Thank you.
Title: Re: What is a Low fat diet for Pancreatitis?
Post by: George on Oct 07, 2014, 11:33
Hi Dogmo,

Since you say you prefer  to feed raw, I know of 2 raw complete foods specially formulated to suit dogs with panceatitis, see here:

and here:

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Oct 07, 2014, 11:56
The pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin which helps break down, and regulates sugar in the blood stream. It has other functions to help us (and dogs) digest our food. Because you don't want to stress the pancreas it is best to give food that is appropriate and will reduce the stress on it.  All dried food contains some sort of filler/carbohydrate which will need to be broken down by the liver and pancreas so it is good that you are thinking on the lines of low fat, raw or home cooked food.   I would imagine that with a bit of forethought it can be managed when going away on holiday.

I think you are right not to accept the RC food - I am no expert but it always seems to contain too much filler, carbs and other unwanted things. It may be that your vet will advise against raw - people seem to come across this time and again.

I am sorry I cannot help you in your query about percentages but maybe the customer services department of those raw food companies can help.  Hopefully David might see this post and might be able to shed some light on the fat levels.  I have been told that of the Nutriment varieties, salmon and turkey are lower in fat.

Regarding home cooked food, I would imagine you would be looking at lean white meat such as chicken, turkey and perhaps fish. Lamb would be a definite no no and beef only if lean. 

You may have seen these but here are a couple of websites that might be helpful:
Whole Dog Journal (
Dog Food Advisor (
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 08, 2014, 15:27
Thank you for your replies.

I'm still a bit confused. Has anyone heard of the dry matter basis calculation? The nutrition department at Burns told me about this. Basically in order to be able to compare the fat content in moist food with that in dry food you have to do a calculation which removes the moisture content, so the different types of food are comparable.

For example the Burns weight control kibble has a fat content of 7.5%. There is no moisture content so the fat content is 7.5%. However Burns moist food for example Penlan Farm Chicken and Brown Rice has a fat content of 2.6%, but the moisture content is 78.6%.  To compare the fat content in the two types of food I have to take the moisture out of the moist food. The calculation they have given me is to divide the stated fat content  - 2.6% by the amount of dry matter (100-78.6) 21.4 and multiply by 100. This means the fat content in the moist food is actually 12.15%, so although it appears to be lower fat than the dry it is actually much higher in fat!  If I do this calculation on the Natural Instinct Special diet (which they say is suitable for dogs with pancreatitis) I end up with a fat content of 19.4%!!! Now my instinct is telling me that you can't actually compare raw wiith kibble. I am emailing Natural Insticnt as well to see if they can clear up my confusion.

The article on the dog food advisor link that Dottie posted suggests that "low fat" is  a different percentage depanding on whether it is dry, wet or raw. This approach does seem to make more sense to me, but I can't find any other literature which confirms this.

Anyway if anyone can clear up my confusion that would be really great.

Many thanks
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Oct 08, 2014, 15:56
Wow - I am confused too. That is some very serious calculation.  I feel a bit out of my depth with this one so I will send David a private message to see if he can pop into the forum and give some advice.
I telephoned Nutriment earlier today to check about fat content in their foods and was told that low purine, chicken and turkey are the ones that have the lowest fat levels.  Salmon was said to be higher, along with beef. Duck is the highest in fat.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Tinyplanets on Oct 08, 2014, 16:50
I was playing around with this calculation too and am getting my head around it.  It looks like some foods like nutriment, are quite high in fat.

When I was trying the calculation I was using the composition of nutriment and coming out with a similar number to the fat stated on the AADF review in the dials.

I must say, I have just ordered some nutrient and was initially put off by the high fat content. I suppose though, as there is so much moisture in it, it works out less when it is fed.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: George on Oct 08, 2014, 17:14
I'm afraid I'm going to complicate this further, by asking if the moisture content of the dry food you're using as a base for this calculation can possibly be zero?

A dry food with zero moisture would just be dust, I would have thought. Most I have read up on have somewhere around 8 - 10% moisture.

And in any case, can you directly compare cooked and raw fat levels? The point of reducing fat intake in pancreatitis is, to make the food more easily digested by the dog, and I would have thought it perfectly possible that raw fat is more easily digested than cooked (or extruded at high temps, as in a kibble) fat. Certainly, reading the reviews, the Natural Instinct Special Diet has been entirely successful for many dogs with the condition.

David, we need you!
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: David on Oct 09, 2014, 09:06
Hello everyone and apologies for joining the discussion so late.

The generally accepted dietary approach to dealing with pancreatitis is to feed a highly digestible, low fat food in the attempt to reduce the workload on the pancreas. Dottie, you are also quite right that too many fillers or less digestible ingredients are also best avoided.

In order to compare fat contents in different types of foods (dry vs wet vs raw etc) you do indeed have to work out the dry weight value which can be a real headache. Fortunately, we've thought of that and every product on the AADF website has a dial for the dry weight fat level in the Nutrition section of the review page. No matter what type of food you're looking at, these dials can be directly compared.

You can also go to the Dog Food Directory and select the exact dry level fat levels you are looking for in the panel on the left under 'Nutrient levels'. Again, since these are dry-weight, they work for all foods so no maths is required on your part.

That should make finding a low fat food a lot easier but what is, in my opinion, even more important is to find a food that is easy to digest. Look for a food that has the natural and the hypoallergenic logo highlighted (you can also filter for these under 'food properties') and the higher the rating, the more digestible and beneficial we would expect it to be for your dog.

You'll have plenty of dry options but you won't find any good quality wet or raw foods with only 7-8% fat (dry matter) due to their high meat content. Nevertheless, you will find a few with around 10-15% fat (which is still considered fairly low) and since the top end raw and wet foods are generally far easier for a dog to process, pancreatitic dogs do tend to do very well on them.

I hope that helps!
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: David on Oct 09, 2014, 10:11
Just to add that the lowest fat wet complete I can find is Burns Penlan Farm

and the lowest fat raw complete is Natures Menu

And a link to the full Dog Food Directory...
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 09, 2014, 11:27
Thank you for your replies David. It's really good to be able to get some independent feeding advice. It's also good that you've cleared up the confusion about the dry matter basis. I was shocked when I started doing the calculation on foods yesterday but at least I now know that I do need to apply it to wet and raw foods and that it wasn't just a marketing ploy to make me believe that dry food is lower in fat.  It is such a relief to have the low fat and fairly low fat percentages clarified so I know what I should be able to safely feed Max. I still can't believe the vet couldn't be more help with this. If I have to have the low fat diet converstaion with the vet again I'll be able to do it with alot more confidence.

It is also good to know that Max will probably do well on one of the fairly low fat raw completes. Natures Menu do now also do a grain free range of raw completes called Country Hunter ( (sorry , but I don't seem to be alowed to post the link). These work out at about 13.3% fat when the dry matter calculation has been applied. Natures Menu have advised me that the rabbit one is the best for pancreatitis.

Thank you everyone for all your advice on this. I'm alot happier now and hopefully Max's pancreas will be to!
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Oct 09, 2014, 12:03
Thank you for raising this topic which I am sure will be of use to someone else since pancreatitis is probably not so unusual. I have to say that I have learned something new from the information in the thread. I assume that the food that you have selected is this one (  It looks like a good choice and I really hope that your dog's condition is stabilised and even improved by it.  Please would you let us know how you get on? 
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Tinyplanets on Oct 09, 2014, 12:21
My dog loves that one dogmo. She likes the venison from that range and the banquet one which is tripe

She hasn't tried the duck one yet. I am sure Max will enjoy his food and not realise that he is on a special diet ;D
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 09, 2014, 14:10
Yes Dottie, the link you posted to the rabbit & cranberry nuggets is the one that Max will be having.

Tinyplanets - the  banquet one is quite alot higher in fat so Max won't be having that one. He will be trying the venison one at some point though.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 09, 2014, 15:02
Sorry to post again, but I am a little confused again. This may be another one for David.

Earlier David posted a link to the Natures Menu Complete Meals Adult, which show a fat content of 13.3% on the blue dial. I had been recommended another raw complete by Natures Menu, the Country Hunter Rabbit, I had done the dry matter calculation myself and I came up with 13.3%. However when I looked up the country hunter nuggets on the dog food directory, the blue dial shows the fat content as being 20%. For both of these types of raw complete the listed fat content is 4%, and the moisture content is 70%, so surely (if I have done the calculation correctly) both types of meal will have a fat content of 13.3%.

If someone could clear this up for me that would be great.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Oct 09, 2014, 15:16
No need to apologise - getting my head round this is good for delaying dementia!  LOL.   I got the same figure as you. Looking at the rabbit variety (as per link) it looks something like this:

Moisture is 70% so that leaves 30% dry matter.
Divide 4% fat by the dry matter
Multiply by 100 = 13.33%

Unfortunately I can't help you with coming to an understanding of this so as you say, I think it is one for David and he will probably pick up on it when he gets the chance to pop into the forum.  Meanwhile, as he says, regardless of fat content, that particular food is easily digested and should reduce the load on the pancreas.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: George on Oct 09, 2014, 15:33
I'm certain  the calculation of 13.33% is correct, and the dial doesn't show 20% when I look at it, it's not easy to read but it looks more like about 14%.

Are you sure you're not just reading the number shown on the dial? I think that's not the result,  just the max number the dial goes up to..
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Tinyplanets on Oct 09, 2014, 15:37
Thats what confused me as the rabbit and the tripe one was showing a similar fat content on the dials.

Ah that might explain a lot George.

Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: George on Oct 09, 2014, 15:51
I just went back for another look at the dial, and the number at the bottom of it reads 13.3% now...

Are you playing with it as we speak, David?  ;D
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Oct 09, 2014, 15:52
The dry matter dial for fat on the Country Hunter nuggets, rabbit variety is showing 13.3% for me. In fact all of them are showing this. I've re-read your post but wonder if I am misunderstanding? 
*We posted at the same time! LOL
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: David on Oct 09, 2014, 15:53
Yes indeed. Sorry about that. It was an error with the figures on the database. All fixed now though. I've also double checked the rest of the NM range and all of the details appear correct.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dogmo on Oct 09, 2014, 16:18
Great. Thank you for clarifying that one for me.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Eden Holistic Pet Foods on Nov 06, 2014, 11:18
pancreatitis is often caused by high carbohydrate level rather than high fat levels, since to digest carbs the pancreas has to attempt to produce more amylase and other enzymes in higher amounts than it really sould, and this stress causes inflammation, and can eventually lead to insulin resistance and diabetes
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Nov 06, 2014, 11:29
Dogmo - just wondering how your dog is getting on with the new food? I guess that you will have a fair idea by now. 
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: AB2015 on Jan 01, 2015, 23:04
My 16 month old beagle is currently being treated in emergency vet for pancreatitis. Reading up AADF article on prescription diets, I want to avoid them.
I am keen to feed cold pressed. Do you think this would be suitable? (Can't post links but it's Lukullus Beef & Trout)
Despite being a beagle she is a very fussy eater but seems to like this so I am keen to keep her on it.
Any advice greatly appreciated, many thanks.
Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Jan 02, 2015, 07:52
I am sorry to hear about your Beagle's illness - he is very young to be having pancreatitis.  Has the vet been able to say what caused it? I hope that following treatment at the vets he makes a full recovery. 

With regards to cold pressed food I feed this myself but use Gentle.  It is very similar and in fact is made in the same factory by the same company.  As has been pointed out on this thread, the aim is for low fat but often with commercial foods this comes at the expense of higher than average carbohydrate and Lukullus is no exception.  It is a shame that Dogmo has not returned to the thread to appraise us of progress since using Natures Menu Country Hunter nuggets as it might have been helpful to you.  This product  seems to have a reasonable fat level and is lower than some of the other prepared raw meals.  If you have the freezer space it might be worth trying for a few weeks.  The company have a help line if you need further advice.  You could also run a search on the Dog Food Directory of this website but set the slider in the Filters section to a lower fat level.

If you don't fancy raw or haven't the freezer space, perhaps have a look at  Wainwright's products (Pets at Home).  Having recently checked them out, I noticed that their grain free wet food is low fat. 
Link ( The dry matter fat level is 0.4 and the carbohydrate on the border line between low and average.  However, have a word with the vet and take the dry matter figures with you as it is these that are important.  I am hoping that one of the other experienced members will come along and advise further.

Title: Re: Hello from Dorset (Pancreatitis)
Post by: Dottie on Mar 12, 2015, 15:18
There has just been a post on the Gentle Facebook page from someone whose dog has pancreatitis.  I know that it is just one dog, and anecdotal but I thought it might be worth sharing it as pancreatitis seems to be a fairly common illness.

Apparently the dog is doing really well on this product after refusing to eat next to nothing for 2 1/2 weeks and losing 4kg in weight.  She had been hospitalised for five days so must have been quite poorly.  Apparently she was refusing food but has taken to the cold pressed food quite readily and is now getting stronger, although she has some way to go.  I hope that she eventually regains full health.
Title: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: SarahB on May 28, 2015, 16:34
Hi All

I'm new to this site and am hoping the collective brains out there will be able to help...

I have an 11 year old Bearded Collie.  She came to us when she was 6 years old and was fed on James Wellbeloved dry food - usually the white fish & rice variety.  She did very well on this until a couple of years ago when she started having occasional stomach upsets - early in the morning her stomach would start gurgling very loudly and all she wanted to do was go out and eat grass.  She would pass a normal stool but would be clearly 'down', lethargic and off her food until late in the afternoon when she picks up and wants her food.  The stomach gurgling is sometimes accompanied by flatulence and very occasionally she has a bout of diarrhoea.  The following day she absolutely fine and back to full Beardie bounce.

The vet's diagnoses was possible pancreatitis and recommend a change to Royal Canin Low Fat prescription diet.  I know that such foods aren't always what they claim to be but the change in diet did immediately resolve the stomach problems, so we have stuck with it and she has been symptom free for a good 18 months or so.  However the symptoms have now returned and she is now having one of these episodes once a week.  Blood tests including a mal absorption test have come back normal and the vet is puzzled.  So for 6 days out of 7 we have an extremely fit & healthy Beardie, showing no signs of age, and not on any medication.

The obvious thing is to try her on a different food but I'm struggling to know what to try and have spent hours trying to work it all out.  The main difference between the James Wellbeloved and prescription diet was the drop in Fibre and Fat content.  The prescription diet is poultry based and does contain wheat, so it makes sense to head for a grain free, fish based food.  But the low fat ones I can find, seem to be much higher in fibre e.g. Wafcol Salmon & Potato.  Is this a bad thing? Something like Robbie's Brown Rice & Salmon has similar levels of Fibre & Fats but still includes Oats.  So really confused as to which way to go  :-\

Just wondered if anyone has any similar experience and can offer advice?
Title: Re: Low Fat Alternative to Prescription Diet Needed
Post by: Dottie on May 28, 2015, 18:27
Hello and welcome to the forum. It does sound as if you are having problems with your dog. It is helpful that your vet has ruled out serious illness.

I don't know anything about your prescription diet. However, having fairly recently searched for low fat food for one of my dogs I have found that the only two grain free ones are Wafcol Salmon and Potato and Fish4Dogs Superior Weight Control. If grain is OK then the choice is wider. Usually they are designated light or mature. Burns have a few products that are low in fat. Another one that springs to mind is Pooch & co light (fish)  but there are more.

Did you use the Dog Food Directory to search for low fat food? If not, it can be found
here ( You just need to set the filters to your required parameters - they are on the left side of the screen. At the bottom there is a slider for fat and if you set it no higher than 10 you should get a variety of products as long as you leave the grain/cereal boxes empty.

The F4D Weight Control seems to have helped my dog but I soak the kibble and she has 4 meals per day, the last one being about 8pm. From experience I have found that Buscopan helps with this sort of problem but it needs to be given as soon as the dog shows symptoms. Metoclopramide is an anti emetic and that too is helpful.

It is a case of trial and error, particularly with meal management but I would definitely recommend soaking the kibble and giving a small meal last thing at night.  Please let us know how you get on and I hope that things improve.
Title: Re: Low Fat Alternative to Prescription Diet Needed
Post by: Eden Holistic Pet Foods on May 28, 2015, 23:30
some foods don't appear to be low fat, but because they are low carb the feeding amounts are much lower, which means that the grammes of fat eaten per day is the same as a low fat food, sometimes less. the other advantage is that, being low carb, they also allow the pancreas to work less, since it doesn't have to produce excesses of amylase, often the trigger that starts pancreatitis in the first place.

Similarly, a "low fat" food can require higher feeding amounts, and the fat intake can be as much as a regular fat food

sorry to make the choice more confusing
Title: Re: Low Fat Alternative to Prescription Diet Needed
Post by: SarahB on May 29, 2015, 10:09
Thanks for comments.  Having spent hours studying this, I'd come to similar conclusions - think a degree in nutrition is needed!  Though this website is great - having all the info in one place and easy to compare. 

I think we will be on a long road of trial and error until we find what is triggering the problems - it may not be the fat content at all.  At least my dog is extremely fit and healthy otherwise, so that is less of a worry.

I will let you know how we get on!
Title: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Victoria on Aug 12, 2015, 06:41
We have a 14momth old male Boxer who has had tummy  problems since we got him at nine weeks old. He has just been diagnosed with Pancreatitis and IBD. We are struggling to find a food that doesn't make him unwell. We are resisting the vets recommendation of Royal Canin Moderate far. I have been cooking chicken, rice and veg for him but am unsure about amounts of each and in general how much to feed in total. Does anyone have experience of cooking for their dog and any advice??
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Dottie on Aug 12, 2015, 13:19
Hello Victoria. It sounds as if you are having a difficult time right now with your Boxer.  Did the vet suggest that you give your dog a low protein/fat diet?  They usually do for pancreatitis.  Also, are you giving well cooked brown rice?  It is reported to be more nutritious than white.

I read an article about it a long time ago and IIRC the author talked of thirds so I presume it was something like one third protein (meat etc), one third carbohydrate and one third vegetables/fruit. They advised giving a good quality all round supplement and the one that I have used was SF-50.  An omega oil supplement (e.g. salmon oil) might be helpful.

Links that might be useful:
How to Make Allergy Food for Dogs (
Founders Vet Home Cooking ( (this is American)

I am sorry that I cannot answer your question about quantity - I think it is impossible to say really because all dogs have different requirements.  It will just have to be trial and error on your part, weighing the food accurately and also taking him to the surgery for weighing every so often.
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Victoria on Aug 12, 2015, 19:12
Thanks! Very useful. We are trying to find a dry food that works, but he is so hungry that I am cooking for him because he can keep it down, rather than throwing up because of an intolerance to whatever food we are currently testing.
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Eden Holistic Pet Foods on Aug 12, 2015, 21:29
Sorry to hear your boy isn't well.

I would suggest you start with a single source protein, grain free, low carb food. I may be better to start with a fish based recipe, such as Eden Catch of the Day, as 2% of dogs are intolerant to chicken.

Low fat (actual grammes not just fat%) is often advised during a pancreatic episode since the fat will be harder to digest, but it is higher carbs that tend to be the cause, since dogs have little salivary amylase the burden of digesting starch falls to the pancreas which then has to work extra hard, and hence the inflammation.

IBD can have many causes, but grains and chicken seem to be the two most common.

Feel free to phone the Eden office for a more detailed chat

Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Dottie on Aug 13, 2015, 08:23
I have been thinking about this issue of quantities in home made dog food. Many years ago I had a trusty old pressure cooker and used it a lot to give my dogs a home made diet.  In those days we did not have all these dog foods and you could get all sorts of cuts of cheap meat from the butcher e.g. beef cheek. I expect that my dogs' diet probably wasn't very well balanced but they survived until old age so it couldn't have been so bad. 

With the problems that your dog has I think you are right in preparing his food yourself but for now I would concentrate more on quality ingredients and in taking it very, very slowly to see if you can elicit what he is intolerant of (if anything). On my own forum we have discussed this and one of our members routinely feeds all her dogs home made food. Here is what she does:

* We feed only root vegetables; carrot, swede, parsnip, sweet potato and a small amount of potato.
* We usually dice the veg and boil it all until fairly soft and then drain and mash it. Occasionally we put in some broccoli or cabbage but they can tend to get a bit gassy when fed brassicas.
* For meat we use a mixture of beef & lamb heart or kidney, neck of lamb or any cheap cut of chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. We never feed pork as I've read that's not good for them. We also avoid liver as it doesn't seem to agree with any of them.
* We cook the meat in a batch and then dice it up and put it into small bags. The bags of food are then frozen and used as we need them.
* We used to freeze the meat and veg together but found that they like it much better if frozen separately and then mixed at time of feeding.
* Once a week we mix veg with a tin of oily fish such as sardines and also a couple of times a week feed raw chicken wings to give them the calcium they need and a bit of crunch.

The suggestion in the aforementioned article is 40% protein (meat, chicken, fish), 50% vegetables and 10% carbohydrate.  The problem with that is that it is a lot of vegetables and I wonder if that might exacerbate the inflammatory bowel disease.  As David says, fish is usually helpful for dogs like yours as it is easily digested.

I don't know what you have tried,but if you go down the commercial dog food route, choose one that is clearly labelled and very simple in terms of ingredients. Wet foods are often better in this respect, particular ones like Wainwright's grain free, Naturediet and Natures Menu pouches/cans although there are others. These can be found on the dog food directory of this website, using the filters on the left hand side.   The problem with some of them is that the fat and protein levels tend to be higher so you ought to ask your vet about suitable levels.  Look at the dials at the bottom of each product - they give the dry weight percentages.  Although it is not the same as your dog, one of mine has gastric problems and I've found that Fish4Dogs seems to be helping.  It is quite basic - just fish and potato. I always soak the kibble to help with digestion and she has it divided into four meals per day.
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Victoria on Aug 13, 2015, 10:10
Thank you so much Dottie and Eden. As I Said Oscar has had problems since a very young pup, we fed him on Burns puppy and then moved him onto Skinners Field and Trial, so felt we were feeding him reasonably well, but he has become increasingly poorly. I know I am being churlish but I really resent buying food only available through a vets, although I will if I have to, but am determined to exhaust other avenues first.

So far, we have tried and had to reject Burns Sensitive plus, both varieties. I then gave him a break and fed him home cooked food, chicken, brown rice and veg which he adored. am now slowly introducing Purina Sensitive EN and he hasn't been sick in the last 24 hours. I have also reduced the amount of rice we are giving him, having taken on board what Eden Holisitic Pet Foods says about carbs, so am hopeful we may be able to move him onto Purina permanently, although am tempted to keep,cooking for him, but would need advice on supplements etc.

I do really appreciate the help, thank you again.

Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Dottie on Aug 13, 2015, 10:20
I do hope that the Purina helps.  Regarding supplements if you go back to home cooking, as mentioned before, two that are worth considering are SF-50 ( and a good quality salmon oil.  Whilst carbs are currently getting a bad press right now, your dog has particular problems and and he does need to feel that he has had a meal.  This website does not look on carbs as necessarily a bad thing but advocates good quality ones such as well cooked brown rice or oatmeal.  Sweet potato is also a good choice.
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Victoria on Aug 13, 2015, 10:43
Thank you for info re supplements. I didn't mean to infer website was anti carbs!
Title: Re: How much to feed? (Pancreatitis/IBD)
Post by: Dottie on Aug 13, 2015, 11:25
I didn't think that Victoria.  I merely mentioned carbohydrate because your dog has particular problems.  If you reduce them then you have to replace that with something else.  Some people give vegetables but that may not be suitable for your dog.  A healthy dog can use extra meat (higher protein and fat) but you said that he was subject to pancreatitis and  vets often suggest a diet lower in fat.  If your vet could tell you what kind of balance is appropriate then that might be helpful. 
Title: Advice desperately sought for a dog with acute and chronic pancreatitis.
Post by: Pandapaws on Mar 22, 2016, 10:52
Hi all,

Firstly, here are Panda's stats as requested in the forum:

Breed of dog: Dalmatian
Sex F
Age 10
Diet - Royal canin low fat GI, plus home cooked boiled chicken, turkey and white fish with veggies (trying to feed low GI such as broccoli, cabbage, sweet potato, green beans... also has applaws tins.
Weight to include current weight and ideal weight 18.5 kg -back to ideal weight now since last acute bout. (she is very petite for her breed, I am sure this is her correct weight)  ::)
Nature of the problem, including how long your dog has had it. Chronic and acute Pancreatitis. Since Feb, but could have been chronic for a long time. The first bout of chronic nearly killed her. :(
Known allergies/intolerances. Beef gives her bad skin, as does pork. Anything too rich goes through her.
General health. Was good for her age before this whole pancreatitis thing. Always had spondylosis, and urinary incontinence.
Veterinary consultations - She has spend a lot of time in the vets. Ultrasound shows slight inflammation but no visible masses. She has a grade 2 heart murmour. She needs a bronchoscopy for a long term cough but can't be knocked out as anesthetic can aggravate pancreatitis. Have been advised to undergo fine needle aspiration on the pancreas.  Medication has been varied. She is on Gabapentin/buprenorphene for pain, metronidozole to prevent infection, cerena for sickness if she vomits... The last time she came off antibiotics she had another acute bout. She also has psyllium, fortiflora, yumove and propalin (lifelong urinary incontinence)

Main question:
Am really struggling with so much conflicting advice!!

Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences regarding feeding an entirely home cooked diet for a 10y/o Dalmatian who has had two acute bouts of pancreatitis and also has chronic pancreatitis? The vet wants to keep her on Royal Canin low fat GI but I know it is rubbish food! (she used to be on Akela and Millies Wolfheart before she was ill but it contains too much fat) She never seemed to get on with raw despite all my efforts (I would love to feed her raw but she really doesn't cope with it) I am currently feeding some of her meals as homecooked -boiled chicken, turkey and white fish with veggies... but I know long term she needs a specific balance of vitamins and minerals. Is there a supplement that I can add to her limited list of foods she can eat that will create a balanced diet that isn't too high in fat? Vet says wet food should be lower than 3% fat and dry should be 7% -this is pretty much non existence apart from on the RCanin GI hell food. :(

Would massively appreciate any help or advice, or to hear similar experiences. :)
Title: Re: Advice desperately sought for a dog with acute and chronic pancreatitis.
Post by: Tinyplanets on Mar 22, 2016, 18:44
Hello and welcome to the forum, I am sorry to hear that your dog is so ill. I am sorry that I haven't had any experience with pancreatitis but hopefully somebody will be able to share their experiences.  It sounds like you have tried lots of options already.

Home cook seems like it may be a good option in helping to keep the fat content low but as you say it is then important to ensure your dog is getting everything she needs in terms of nutrients. There is  some discussion about home cooked food in
thisthread ( which may be of some use. I hope you can find a workable solution.
Title: Re: Advice desperately sought for a dog with acute and chronic pancreatitis.
Post by: Dottie on Mar 23, 2016, 16:53
Hello and welcome to the forum.  It does sound as if your dog is going through a very bad time right now and I can understand your confusion.  I don't have any personal experience of pancreatitis in a dog but there are some threads on the forum about this condition - just put pancreatitis into the search box above and you can then choose which ones might be of interest.

Raw diets are often higher in fat so that might be one of the reasons that your dog cannot tolerate it.  The lowest complete one that I found is Natures Menu Country Hunter nuggets but there may be more at a similar level - you can use the filters in the Dog Food Directory to search for others. 

It would be helpful if the vet could tell you what percentage (dry weight) of fat you should be aiming for.  You could then use that parameter to help search the Dog Food Directory for low fat dry food.  It is unlikely that you will find a quality wet food that is low fat but you can soak kibble and some dogs tolerate it better this way.   I have just searched for you, using the filter for fat set at 5% to 10% with no red ingredients, natural and clearly labelled.  It returned one full page of results, many being marketed for dogs who need to lose weight or senior dogs.  Four of those results were products from Burns.  If you need any help with using the Directory please ask.

The choice is greater in products that contain grain but very limited in grain free.  The fat level in cold pressed foods is also  on the low side - Gentle has a dry weight of 10.7%  fat so if that is acceptable it could be worth a try.  If you are unfamiliar with cold pressed food, we have a thread
here ( which explains all about them.  These products are easy to digest and processed at low temperatures so retain more of the nutritious elements of the ingredients. 

Home cooked sounds like a good idea but is a lot of work and you need to do some homework.  There is a thread
here (  which may be of use to you.  Regarding vitamin supplements, the one that I know of and has a wide range of vitamins, minerals etc is SF50. (   You must make sure that the dog gets sufficient calcium in the diet and some people give supplements or ground up egg shell.  Alternatively, search for foods that are rich in calcium and ensure that the dog gets some of these on a daily basis.  I read that a small amount of offal should also be included but I stand to be corrected on that as I do not home cook for my dogs on a regular basis.

The only other thing I can think of is to ask your vet if he or she knows of a canine nutritionist - they will be able to give you more definite advice and may be able to help you formulate a suitable home cooked diet.   
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Tinyplanets on Mar 30, 2016, 12:23
We have a few threads about pancreatitis now so we thought that it may be useful to merge them and have all the information in one place.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: EvieParker on Apr 01, 2016, 17:35
information as requested
Breed of dog - Miniature Schnauzer
Sex Female
Age 11
Diet - Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Low Fat, previously on Canaghan Light/Senior
Weight to include current weight and ideal weight 9kg
Nature of the problem, including how long your dog has had it. - She has recently had acute pancreatitis and been very poorly. During the time she was admitted to the vets we also found out she has liver disease. I have been advised by the vet to feed the Royal Canin however on researching I know it is not very nutritious. I prefer a dry kibble as she also suffers with colitis and is intolerant to fresh meat including chicken. however in kibble and ry form this is fine.
Known allergies/intolerances. As above
General health. Good
Veterinary consultations - include any advice and medication that was given. She is on Denermarin supplement.

I have been doing a lot of research and then came across this thread with lots of advice (I've read it all so no need to repeat) however there are no updates as to what food people have changed their dogs on to and how they are doing on it? Is there anyone who has had a similar experience to me that can offer any advice please?

Many thanks
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 02, 2016, 06:26
Hello and welcome to the forum.  As you see in this thread, pancreatitis is a common problem.  Your post highlights a particular problem with the forum - the failure of members to provide feedback.  Sadly, they often do not even reply so we have no way of knowing whether our advice has been of any use or what has or hasn't worked for them.  Forums are all about sharing experiences and we do not understand why our members are not coming back on their threads to let us know how they are getting on or trying to help other people with the same problems.  Perhaps it is because people prefer Facebook these days.  I have just done a very quick search and found this group (Living with a Pancreatic Dog) (  There may be more.

I can only suggest that you follow the advice I have given previously re sourcing a better product.  You might find it helpful to ask the vet for the values in terms of the dry weight percentage of fat/protein as this will assist with the search.  Because you want to feed dry food I would also advise that you soak it first as this will help with digestion.  Also, small, more frequent meals may be more palatable - maybe three per day.  If you need help with using the filters on the Dog Food Directory, please ask and we will do our best to assist.  There are plenty of low fat products to choose from, once you know the level of fat and protein that you need.

If it is of any help, I have just completed a search using the filters:
    Type of food - dry
    Food properties - clearly labelled
    Avoid ingredients - all red
    Nutrient Levels - slider for fat moved to 5% to 10%

It returns two pages:

Ancestral Canine Premium Senior Lite
Barking Heads Fat Dog Slim
Burns:  Alert, Large and Giant Breed Original,  Organic, Original, Sensitive+ Duck and Brown Rice
Country Kibble Grain Free Light and Senior
Fishmonger's Finest Senior
Gelert Country choice Grain Free Adult
Laughing Dog Adult Complete Lamb
Lily's One Pot
Milburn's Premium Senior/Light
Millie's Wolfheart Tracker Mix
Pooch & Co Adult (one suitable variety)
Trophy Premium Holisitic Large and Small Bite
Wafcol Senior Salmon and Potato
Wainwright's Dry Mature Grain Free
Walking the Dog Grain Free Lighter Option and Senior

Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: EvieParker on Apr 04, 2016, 09:47
Hi Dottie

Thank you for your advice. I had done a search myself and thought that the Ancestral Canine Senior Lite looked like the best option as it scored the highest. So I think I will give that a try and see how she gets on. I will start to soak it a little too and see if that helps with her digestion. Since having pancreatitis I have also been feeding her 3 smaller meals a day and also bought her a slow eating bowl as she does tend to scoff her food as fast as possible.

The vet has suggestion fat content of less than 10% but didn't mention protein. And I think I would rather have something that was grain free, think this will also help with her digestion.

I will feed back once she's been on it for a few weeks so others can benefit from my experience. It may not be for a while as I have just bought a bag of the Royal Canin so will mix the two different food together for a few weeks and gradually change her onto the Ancestral Canine.

Thanks again - this forum is great!
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 04, 2016, 11:15
Thank you so much for your feedback - it really helps.   :)    It is useful to know what the vet has said re the required percentage of fat (dry weight).   I know what it is like to have to finish off bags of food - I've done a lot of that in the past when I have changed product for one reason or another.  I get to the stage when I am glad to see the back of it!  LOL  I hope that the Ancestral food helps and I think you are doing a great job with the meal preparation and timing.

If it helps, I have heard from David about the
BalanceIT ( website which is all about creating home cooked recipes, particularly for ill dogs.  It is American and we have nothing like it in the UK.  However, he has checked and approves the website and as he says,  cooking is basically the same whatever the country or continent. 

Looking forward to hearing of your dog's progress and I hope that you can keep her stable.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: EvieParker on Apr 05, 2016, 11:22
Thank you Dottie. I will check out the BalanceIt website. I have not seen that, anything to help my girl  ;)
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 06, 2016, 12:41
David is in the process of writing a knowledge base article on pancreatitis so please keep an eye on this thread. Hopefully it won't be long before he uploads this to the website.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: David on Apr 11, 2016, 06:24
Hi all. As Dottie mentioned, I have been putting together an article on feeding dogs with pancreatitis as it does seem to be an increasingly common question amongst our visitors.

The article is available on the link below. Although it does touch upon home preparing food, it is more about picking suitable commercial alternatives to prescription diets as well as treats and supplements etc. A comprehensive home-prepared food guide is in the pipeline though so please bear with me.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 11, 2016, 07:47
Thank you very much for that David.  I am sure it will be very helpful.  It would seem that pancreatitis is not always preventable but in some cases it might be. 
In the hope that some of these cases can be prevented, here are three simple measures that pet owners can take:

1. Feed a good quality diet and don't give high fat food, in particular unsuitable leftovers from your own meal.   
2. Do not allow your dog to become obese, particularly if it is an older female.
3. Give your dog daily exercise.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: DQ on Apr 11, 2016, 20:57
The current posts and David's article on pancreatitis are timly for me as last week one of my minature schnauzers spent 2 days 'in hospital' with what the diagnosed as low grade pancreatis. He's home now and much better. I am aware schnauzers are prone to this but apart from his breed he is not overweight, gets plenty of exercise and hasn't had what the vet calls a fry up, he is 13.
For the last year he has been fed raw, either Nutriment or Natural Instinct. He also has some home cooked and the occasional tinned. I am reluctantly feeding Royal Canin Gastrintestinal Lo Fat wet. It's tuly awful! Meat and animal derivative, vegetable and vegetable derevatives, cereal, topped of with a chemical found in wash powder which increases sodium x5. Protein7.5 Fat 1.7 Goodness knows where the nutrition is.
So since he was diagnosed I've been glued to the internet researching. What I find difficult to get my head round is this dry matter issue. I understand the calculation(just) and the need to calculate a level playing field but as David has said if I want to feed wet or raw there isnt anything under 10. Nutriment do their Low Purine and Natural Instinct their Special but with their dry calculation are well over 10.
Also before I settled on raw he test drove many wet foods. With low fat I found he didn't keep weight on and I had to keep increasing the amount fed. One of the reasons I settled on raw was I could feed him less food.
currently I'm intending to put him on to homecooked next and then try reintroduce some raw. I just cannot believe feeding something like Royal Canin can be better than feeding quality ingredients. Surely it must be easier to digest
Lastly, the vet couldn't give me a fat level other than reading the figure off the tin and said it is possible he could have another attack whilst eating th R C.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 12, 2016, 06:25
It is sad that your elderly dog has pancreatitis and I hope that you can keep it at bay with a suitable diet.  It seems that you really want to keep feeding raw but the lowest in fat that I know of (complete) is the Natures Menu Country Hunter nuggets at 13% .   I have a 13 year old too and she lost weight on this product so I can identify with your concern about an older dog keeping weight on.  This is my experience right now and I am having to give her more food than she has ever had.  This pleases her enormously as she has a good appetite.  Whilst I can appreciate that you would like to go back to raw, perhaps that is not the right thing at this stage of her life.  However, it is your choice of course.

Regarding wet food, AFAIK there are no quality products with the required fat level (as you have found).  This leaves you with dry food or home cooked.  I have a feeling that you would find it hard to go back to dry food so as you say, home cooking would probably be the way forward.  However, it is time consuming and needs to be done with great care so that your dog does not become deficient in nutrients.  I would imagine that once you have a few good recipes you would find it quite straightforward, especially if you cook in bulk once a week and freeze daily portions. 

The other alternative (which is still dry food) is to look at  cold pressed products because some of them are only very slightly higher than the required 10% fat, 
Gentle ( being only 10.7% dry weight.  My oldie is currently on a cold pressed product and seems to be doing fine.  I soak the nuggets and make a sort of crumble.  She also gets topped up with lean cooked chicken, white fish or scrambled egg as this increases the protein. 

I appreciate that you are not happy with RC but for the moment, maybe it is best to feed it and get your dog comfortable and stable.  In the meantime you will be able to decide on a way forward.  Please let us know what you decide to do and how your dog gets on.  We never know when the information will be useful to someone else.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Tinyplanets on Apr 12, 2016, 08:00
A great article. Very informative.

DQ I am sorry to hear that you are going through this at the moment. It sounds like a very distressing condition for both dog and the family.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: DQ on Apr 13, 2016, 16:33
Since my last post I've continued with the Royal Canin whilst I continue my research. He's doing fine at the moment. I have a couple of issues I'm struggling with. David's article refers to feeding foods with fat of 10% or less Dry Matter. Whilst I can see the need to use the dry matter calculation when comparing kibble with wet or raw, I'm struggling to see why it is necesary to use this when only looking at wet or raw. The way I look at it the moisture is a good thing and means the food levels are diluted and therefore more gentle on his digestive system. I read recently that dogs need protein, fat and naturally occurring moisture. I've spoken to a number of manufacturers, raw and wet and kibble and no one seens to know where this dry matter guide has come from. I should say I've come across it elsewhere in my research so it's not just Davids guidance.
Secondly David mentions using Salmon oil or EPA oil. I don't know if I'm having a senile moment but can anyone tell me what EPA is! Also I was surprised oil supplements are good given the fat issue. I'm particularly interest given David's comments about reducing lipid as I believe it is something to do with high lipids that effects schnauzers.
I wonder if David could help with these points raised by his article
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Tinyplanets on Apr 13, 2016, 20:25
HI DQ, as I understand it, the dry matter calculation  allows you to assess nutritional composition on a level playing field.

A food with a high water content may state that it is  10% fat but if it is 75% water, then the fat content of the 25% dry matter must be high. As you say I am not sure how this works with pancreatitis. I was worried about the fat content of nutriment but as it is 66% water, the overall amount of fat my dog is eating, is acceptable to me. I was also a bit confused and unsure as to why the dry matter is used as a measure when you are feeding the food wet. On my pack, the amount of fat states 9.2%. That is as it comes but that is how I feed it.

I got a bit tied up in knots thinking about it initially but, I feed almost double the weight of nutriment to the amount of cold pressed I used to feed.  Even though both fat levels stated are similar, as served, the bigger portion requirements (due to water content) does make for a diet higher in fat. My dog seems to do well on this so it isn't an issue but not good if you are trying to control the fat content.

In terms of EPA oil, my knowledge is scant. I believe it is omega 3 present in fish oil and is processed, by the body, in a different way to fats which may cause problems. Hopefully somebody will be able to tell you more. I will be interested to learn more myself.

I hope I haven't confused you more.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 14, 2016, 06:37
I will email David to ask him to look in on this thread.  It may not be immediately so please keep a look out for it if you do not have notifications turned on in your control panel.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: David on Apr 14, 2016, 07:34
Since my last post I've continued with the Royal Canin whilst I continue my research. He's doing fine at the moment. I have a couple of issues I'm struggling with. David's article refers to feeding foods with fat of 10% or less Dry Matter. Whilst I can see the need to use the dry matter calculation when comparing kibble with wet or raw, I'm struggling to see why it is necesary to use this when only looking at wet or raw. The way I look at it the moisture is a good thing and means the food levels are diluted and therefore more gentle on his digestive system. I read recently that dogs need protein, fat and naturally occurring moisture. I've spoken to a number of manufacturers, raw and wet and kibble and no one seens to know where this dry matter guide has come from. I should say I've come across it elsewhere in my research so it's not just Davids guidance.
Secondly David mentions using Salmon oil or EPA oil. I don't know if I'm having a senile moment but can anyone tell me what EPA is! Also I was surprised oil supplements are good given the fat issue. I'm particularly interest given David's comments about reducing lipid as I believe it is something to do with high lipids that effects schnauzers.
I wonder if David could help with these points raised by his article

Hi DQ. Good questions...

Dry matter is important even when comparing only wet and raw foods because their moisture levels can vary quite considerably which can have a large impact on the actual levels of nutrients in the food. For example...

A wet food with 5% fat and 60% moisture will have a dry matter fat content of 12.5% while a similar food with 5% fat but 80% moisture will have 25% dry matter fat - double that of the first food.

Of course, if all of the foods being compared have exactly the same moisture level then the dry matter calculation isn't necessary for every food but it will still have to be done to find the fat level you are aiming for at the that moisture level.

EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid - an omega-3 oil found in fish body oils. Although they are from the same family as other fats, omega-3's affect the body very differently. They fulfil all sorts of extremely important roles in both dogs and humans but most significant for dogs with pancreatitis is that they help to reduce the level of fat in the blood stream which means less work for the pancreas and a better chance of recovery/prevention.

I hope that helps.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: DQ on Apr 15, 2016, 21:05
Thanks for everyones comments and advice. I'm going to start introducing some home cooking and see how it goes. I'll let you know how we get on.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: DQ on Jul 22, 2016, 20:58
I last posted in April and since then it's been a bit of a rollacoaster. My dog was first diagnosed with pancreatitis in April, in May he had a bought of colitis and in June another attack of pancreatitis so as you can imagine  feeding and caring for him has been difficult to say the least. Rightly or wrongly I still can't bring myself to feed a dry food and as is well documented finding a wet/raw food with a dry matter fat level below 10% is impossible, unless you feed Royal Canin which is 1.7 wet.Added to this my dog lost a lot of weight. After the last attack I really tried with the Royal Canin. Prior to becoming ill he was fed  250g of raw a day. I got as far as feeding 500g of RC and he was still loosing weight. The RDA for RC is 675g but I couldnt see any way I would get that much down him, or how it could be good for his digestion to be feeding almost 3 times as much food. I also worked out it would cost me over £120 per month!
He was so thin and depressed I couldn't go on with it so I found a couple of recipes for feeding a poorly dog and started home cooking for him. He gradually began to pick up, put on weight and be so much more happier.
in the mean time I continued to research feeding with pancreatitis. I still can't find out where the 10%dry matter figure came from and as I've said before in my thinking naturally occurring moisture is good, and easier to digest. So I have looked at raw and wet foods below 10% . I then spoke to some one who works for a vet who advises one of the raw food companies.  By chance she had a dog with pancreatitis and she was managing to feed raw. Like me she has difficulty keeping weight on her dog and so she mixes different fat levels together. So since then I have gradually introduced raw to his diet. Natural Instinct do a Special range at 4.6 and I add their Banquet turkey to it. To keep the variety he also has Nutriment Low Purine at 7.9 and some times venison or Senior. He has 2 raw meals and 1 homecooked a day. He is putting on weight and is bright and happy again. My vet is aware of my thoughts.
I appreciate myactions have no nutritional basis but my thinking  feels right to me and my dog is clearly happy. Only time will tell. He may have further attacks and my vet says they could happen even on Royal Canin so I will continue with my regime.
One final point, another post elsewhere mentions treats. I have to say I'm not a big treat giver. They both have cooked chicken or liver training treats and raw veg when I'm preparing my evening meal and thats about it
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Tinyplanets on Jul 23, 2016, 11:10
Thank you for taking the time to update. I am glad you have found something which seems to be working well for your dog, Long may it continue.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: RHEBDEN on Aug 25, 2016, 14:55
I was trying to understand the fat conversion here but as I read it a 15kg dog on this diet would consume 42.3g fat per day and yet on a dry diet is would be between 15-20g. Am I correct?
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Rachel on Apr 30, 2017, 09:14
As a new member and having a dog recently diagnosed with an acute bout of pancreatitis, joining this forum has been very informative but very confusing. SO I will try and summarise what I have taken from the thread - I do hope someone will correct any errors in my thinking because I really want to make sure I am doing the best I can for my beautiful girl.

Feeding low fat is vital and should be less that 10% or less of dry matter content of food. (Still struggling to work out the sums a bit though).

Sugars and carbohydrates should also be a consideration because of the role of the pancreas in metabolising sugars - so as not to increase the workload and end up dealing with diabetes too.

I have looked at a lot of the prescription or low fat pre prepared raw, wet, dry and dehydrated foods and they either seem to contain higher amounts of fats OR high percentage of high carbohydrate foods like potato, sweet potato, parsnip rice etc.

I have decided to keep feeding a little raw - now and again she will have some raw home made.

In my veg paste blended very fine. I use (in order of quantity) celery, courgette, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot including a few carrot tops some salad leaves from the garden and various herbs eg mainly parlsey, some marjoram, ocassional sage leaf etc.

Venison with mixed raw veg paste.
Turkey breast with veg paste.
White fish with veg paste.

I have also been making cooked meals to use for at least 1 meal and sometimes 2 using the above ingredients with home made watered down chicken stock.
I add a desert spoon of bone meal to her meals and she also has half ground up tablet of pancreatic enzymes in every meal.
She has 1/4 tspn of golden paste in every meal.
She has other issues including glaucoma luxated lense, joint issues (and a corn we are treating homoeopathically too!)
I have a concern about vitamins - does anyone have advise about feeding additional vitamins - is it a good idea or not? - what do you use?

Any comments advise etc would be very greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Apr 30, 2017, 11:47
As you say, low fat food does contain a lot of carbohydrate.  Was the recent episode of pancreatitis acute on chronic or a single episode? If the latter, do you need to reduce the fat long term?  Your dog has coped with raw food and that also makes me wonder if you have to be quite as strict with fat. Obviously you need to talk to your vet about this though.

Commercial dog foods are restrictive although there are ways of enhancing them.  You seem to be looking for a diet that is tailor made. You have already made considerable progress in a part home cooked diet and if you want to take this a bit further, there are some links in the home cooking section of the forum. The Facebook groups are particularly useful although they do not deal with diets for  illnesses. They have much information in the files though, including links to useful articles and books. The Balance IT website will give you recipes for specific illnesses although there is a charge.

If you go for a totally home made diet then calcium needs adding in the correct amount. Some give ground up egg shells. There is some excellent information about this in the aforementioned FB group. As for vitamins, the best all round one that I know of is SF-50 (formerly SA-37). I have used it in the past and would be inclined to use it as a fail safe with a totally home cooked diet. It contains calcium so you would need to do the sums re adding this separately. 

Edit: Have you looked at the Lupo Sensitive ( range of food?  there are two that are low in fat - 24/10 and 20/8.  The former might be helpful. I don't know the carbohydrate level as it is not mentioned in the product review ( but would imagine that, like other cold pressed foods it is above average.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Meg on May 01, 2017, 01:09
Rachel another suggestion for you might be to consider researching air-dried food, which begins with raw, fresh ingredients such as meats, vegetables, fruits and herbs. The water is then removed by warm air slowly evaporating the food's water content. Then just before feeding you add water to rehydrate the food to resemble it's original form.

The allaboutdogfood dog food directory lists air-dried products made by "Pure Pet Foods" and "Land of Holistic Pets (Robbies)" which have Protein levels within the 20-30% range and Fat levels within the 5-10% range. 

Links are here:
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Meg on May 01, 2017, 01:59
The composition and analysis information for Lupo Sensitive 20/8 is also listed here yet still with no mention made of moisture levels. Therefore, using David's default (of 8% moisture) equates the carbohydrate level as follows: 100% minus 20% protein minus 8% fat minus 7.5% ash minus 8% moisture =56.5% carbohydrate of which the fibre (the indigestible part of carbs) is 3.5%.

Lupo Sensitive 24/10 is here  and gives a carbohydrate level of 100%-24% protein-10% fat-7.4% ash-8% (default) moisture =50.6% carbohydrate of which the fibre is 3%.

Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: tiddy on Jun 08, 2017, 08:47
Hello , i am new hear , i have a 2year old springer with diabetes , started at 6months after sterilisation, in Portugal, vets here are a nightmare they have no idea about feeding etc . i have tried raw but her bg levels are still a bit high , anyone have any ideas on which dry food is good . Ellie is underweight , not fat  :-\
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Jun 08, 2017, 10:32
Hello and welcome to the forum. I understand that some people feed raw food to dogs with a history of pancreatitis but I would imagine that one would have to choose meat with a lower fat content.   I can't really advise you on what to feed your dog as I am unfamiliar with the dog food market in Portugal.  The only thing that has just come to mind is that we had a member who lives in Spain and was able to source cold pressed food. This tends to be low in fat and very digestible. If you are interested, please have a look at this page (;topicseen#msg4933) of the thread on cold pressed food.  If you are interested in home cooking for your dog you would need to research this carefully to ensure that he gets all the required nutrition. We have a section on home cooking for dogs here ( and it contains a number of useful links.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Dec 05, 2018, 18:50
Butternut Box has some information on their website about using their products in dogs who have pancreatitis. They recommend the chicken and turkey recipes for this rather than the beef and lamb. The information on this is here. (
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Seaweed on Jan 31, 2020, 14:02
Bella and Duke, A Guide to Pancreatitis in Dogs.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Seaweed on May 07, 2020, 10:27
Three vets talk about pancreatitis.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Seaweed on Jul 05, 2020, 11:48
Chronic Pancreatitis - Why it isn't just about low fat.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Buddy’s Girl on Nov 18, 2020, 01:30
I would love some recipes to feed my dog with pancreatitis.  I normally give them ground turkey 99% fat free and green beans.  I was told that carbohydrates like rice and squash are not good for dogs with pancreatitis.  Can you give me some new recipes or new suggestions on what to feed them. 
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Nov 18, 2020, 06:05
Hello and welcome to the forum. We have lots of information and links in our Home cooking section of the forum. (  Have a good look in there as you might find it helpful.

It is better to take advice from a qualified pet nutritionist, not least because your dog has a health problem. Also, all home cooked meals require the correct supplementation, calcium and omega oils in particular. Here are three links to  qualified nutritionists who can provide you with balanced recipes. There may be a charge but once you have them, they remain yours:

Canine Nutritionist (
Vet Chef (
My Pet Nutritionist (

Another alternative for fresh cooked food is Different Dog. The company has nine or ten recipes at the moment and some of them are lower in fat. Speak to their advisers if interested.
Title: Re: The Pancreatitis thread
Post by: Dottie on Jan 20, 2021, 17:08
Pancreatitis is usually requires a low fat diet. It is necessary to have the dry matter percentage but this may not be available in wet and raw foods. There is a dry matter calculator on The Raw Vet website. (http://http s:// 

Quote The Raw Vet: “For pets that are overweight or who have high levels of blood triglycerides The recommended fat level is usually less than 10%DM (That's 10% by 'Dry Matter')
For pets who are not overweight, and with normal blood triglycerides 15%DM is often recommended for these pets.”
However, it is important to discuss this with the treating vet.