8 Best Dog Foods For Pancreatitis: Non-Prescription, Low-Fat, Wet, Dry & More

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If your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, feeding her the ideal diet is crucial to manage this condition and keep her as healthy as possible for years to come. Your veterinarian may have suggested a prescription dog food, but is that your only option? While a handful of prescription diets are effective in managing pancreatitis, they’re pricey and may not work out if your pup has food intolerance or allergies to certain ingredients.

Fortunately, you have several non-prescription options, which may be less expensive and super healthy alternatives. We’ve done our research and have determined that Ollie’s fresh chicken recipe, Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim formula, SquarePet VFS low-fat formula, and several others are among the best dog food for pancreatitis.

At A Glance: Best Dog Food For Pancreatitis (Non-Prescription)

Wet Dry Low-FatModerate-Fat
Ollie freshNulo Freestyle Adult TrimSquarePet VFS Low FatJustFoodForDogs package and food
OllieNulo FreestyleSquarePet VFSJustFoodForDogs
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What Is Pancreatitis?

A cute dog near a bowl of dry food licks his nose

A vital organ in the abdomen, the pancreas produces many of the enzymes dogs need to properly digest their food. Pancreatitis is fairly common in dogs and occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing pain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Pancreatitis can either be mild or severe and acute or chronic.

“I have diagnosed many cases of pancreatitis in dogs over the years,” says Dr. Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed, BSAVA, PGCertSAM, a companion animal veterinarian in Gloucester, United Kingdom. “The cases of pancreatitis that I tend to see need initial supportive treatment such as intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medication, and pain relief after we have diagnosed their condition. There’s no specific ‘cure’ for pancreatitis, but we can make dogs much more comfortable and help to manage their condition through a long-term diet change. One dog I treated lived until the ripe old age of 16 years when carefully controlled on a prescription low-fat diet.”

Did You Know?

Pet insurance may cover testing, treatment, medications, and even prescription dog food for pancreatitis as long as no signs or symptoms appear until after your policy enrollment and waiting periods have passed. Even if you missed the window for pet insurance to cover your pup’s pancreatitis, securing a policy can still be worth it. Why? Your furry friend could develop future covered health problems that require costly treatment.

What To Feed A Dog With Pancreatitis

“In some dogs, pancreatitis can be triggered by consuming high-fat meals or fatty treats/table scraps,” explains Dr. MacMillan. “Therefore, these dogs do best when managed on a highly digestible, low-fat diet. The diets your vet will usually recommend are prescription or veterinary-approved dog foods, as many pet shop ones still contain levels of fat that are too high.”

“Some affected dogs need to be fed a diet that contains less than 10% fat on a dry matter basis, though other patients can be managed on diets up to 15%. Some of these diets also contain additional ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids to help with inflammation, antioxidants, and prebiotic fibers [e.g., flaxseed, beet pulp, chicory root], which help to keep gut bacteria healthy.”

Best Dog Food For Pancreatitis

Keeping in mind that low-fat (under 10%) or moderate-fat diets (up to 15%) are best for dogs with pancreatitis, we’ve chosen our top picks based on fat content, other healthy ingredients to help with this condition, customer feedback, pricing, and other factors. However, every dog with pancreatitis has different dietary needs. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian about any dog food you plan on feeding your special-needs pup.

Nutritional Notes

Brown checkmark (Yes) All of the dog foods we’ve included in our reviews are all-natural and meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutritional guidelines (unless otherwise noted). They contain no fillers, by-products, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.
Brown checkmark (Yes) Several of the dog foods we often recommend are grain-free. While the FDA has not found a significant link between grain-free dog food and heart health, it’s wise to talk with your vet before switching your dog’s diet. You might also consider using a fresh, grain-inclusive food as a topper on grain-free kibble or mixing in rice to add more nutrients.

Best Wet Dog Food For Pancreatitis: Ollie Chicken Recipe Review

Ollie fresh food

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We believe that fresh dog food is one of your healthiest options to feed dogs with many needs. Fortunately, Ollie’s chicken recipe may satisfy requirements for dogs who don’t require a strict low-fat diet. This grain-inclusive formula has 11.54% (min.) fat content on a dry matter basis and contains such easy-to-digest, whole-food ingredients as rice, carrots, peas, potatoes, spinach, and cranberries.

What’s more, all of Ollie’s meals are all-natural, human-grade, and personalized for your pup’s age, breed, current and ideal weight, activity level, and more. And they’re formulated by specialized veterinarians. This chicken recipe also includes salmon oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omegas are particularly beneficial for pancreatitis because they can help reduce inflammation of the pancreas. While Ollie requires a subscription, you can cancel at any time.

Price

Our readers can get 50% off their first box. Use this link to take advantage of this offer (no discount code needed).

Full Review Of Ollie

Best Dry Dog Food For Pancreatitis: Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim Review

Nulo Freestyle Adult Tri

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With a crude fat maximum of 9%, prebiotic fiber, probiotics, and omega fatty acids, the Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim formula is a fantastic option for dogs with pancreatitis. This gluten and grain-free dog food is made from 74% animal-based proteins (cod, turkey, and salmon meal), low-glycemic carbs, and real fruits and veggies, including tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, and apples.

With plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, this formula supports your pup’s immune and whole-body health. Another plus is the addition of L-carnitine, an amino acid derivative that helps the body metabolize fats more efficiently. Many owners of pups with pancreatitis say this diet works well for their dogs’ dietary needs.

Price

Full Nulo Review

Best Low-Fat Dog Food For Pancreatitis: SquarePet VFS Low Fat Review

SquarePet VFS Low Fat jpg

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Vet-formulated specifically for dogs with digestive problems, this SquarePet formula is an excellent alternative to prescription dog food for pancreatitis (particularly for those allergic to chicken). It only contains 8% (max.) crude fat, making it a fantastic choice for dogs needing a strict low-fat diet. And at 384 kcal/cup, it’s excellent for pups who can benefit from higher calories than weight control dog food.

Featuring cod, ocean whitefish meal, and no chicken products, this grain-inclusive recipe is crafted with dietary fiber sources, prebiotics, and probiotics for overall healthy digestion. To top it all off, this limited-ingredient formula also includes antioxidants and omega fatty acids for immune health and to reduce pancreas inflammation as well as L-carnitine for optimal fat metabolism.

Price

Best Moderate-Fat Dog Food For Pancreatitis: JustFoodForDogs Venison Recipe Review

JustFoodForDogs PantryFresh Beef Russet Potato

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Another excellent human-grade, fresh dog food option with a moderate fat level is JustFoodForDogs’ venison and squash recipe. Formulated by veterinarians and pet nutritionists, this gluten, grain, and chicken-free recipe contains 11.11% (min.) fat content on a dry matter basis. Its limited ingredients include ground venison, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberries, and anti-inflammatory Icelandic premium fish oil, all fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.

While JFFD doesn’t personalize your pup’s food for her life stage or other factors, you can figure out how much food to buy and how much to feed your dog each day based on her age, weight, and activity level. If you want a personalized diet for your pooch, you can have the company’s nutrition team formulate a custom diet based on your dog’s medical records (requires a one-time $250 fee).

Price

Get 35% off your first order at JustFoodForDogs. Just use this link to get started.

Full Review Of JustFoodForDogs

What About Annamaet, Solid Gold & More?

The following non-prescription, low-fat dog chow didn’t make our top picks. But if you haven’t found the best option for your pup’s dietary needs, you may want to consider these formulas. We’ve included grain-free, grain-inclusive, and beef and chicken-free options for a variety of dietary needs. They’re also worth considering if you can’t afford prescription food or our other top picks (as long as your vet gives you the green light).

Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Review

Annamaet Grain Free Lean Low Fat

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Made with chicken meal, duck meal, and herring meal* as the primary protein sources, this grain-free, high-protein formula features a maximum of 9% fat content and 350 kcal/cup. It’s fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotic fiber, probiotics, and chelated minerals to support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

This recipe also contains cranberries and blueberries as natural antioxidant sources, L-carnitine to boost fat metabolism, and taurine for heart health. Many owners of dogs with chronic pancreatitis say this formula is a fantastic alternative to prescription food for their pups.

*A note about meat meal: Quality pet food brands often use meat meal in their recipes, which can be a very healthy source of protein for your pup (as long as the “meat” is named, e.g., chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.). A meal can be made from the meat, tissue, organ meat, bone, stomach, and intestines of the named animal. But meal doesn’t include by-products like hair, feathers, beaks, heads, blood, hooves, hide trimmings, etc.

Price

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Review

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight

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If your pup doesn’t require a strict low-fat diet and you’re looking for an affordable option, Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight formula could be a good fit. Featuring a crude fat content of 9% min and 12% max, this chicken recipe is also a great option if your pup could benefit from fewer calories (324 kcal/cup) or you’re wary of grain-free food. It contains such easy-to-digest grains as brown rice, barley, and oatmeal and is fortified with prebiotic fiber and probiotics for enhanced digestion.

The inclusion of flaxseed gives your pup the omega-3 fatty acids she needs to help with pancreas inflammation. It also contains antioxidant and fiber-rich blueberries, cranberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and L-carnitine to aid with fat metabolism. Finally, it features Blue Buffalo’s patented “LifeSource Bits,” a blend of vitamins, chelated minerals, and antioxidants for immune and whole-body health.

Price

Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult Review

Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult

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Another grain-inclusive, low-fat (9% max) kibble that many owners find effective in managing their dogs with pancreatitis, Eagle Pack’s Reduced Fat formula features pork meal and chicken meal as primary animal protein sources. This limited-ingredient recipe includes barley, oat groats, and brown rice as easily digestible grain sources, dried beet pulp and chicory root for prebiotic fiber, and probiotics. It’s also fortified with flaxseed, an excellent source of omega fatty acids to help with inflammation.

Price

Solid Gold Fit And Fabulous Weight Control Review

Solid Gold Fit And Fabulous Weight Control

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Solid Gold’s Weight Control formulas are available in grain-free chicken or grain-inclusive Alaskan Pollock, both containing a maximum of 9.5% crude fat. They’re also high in dietary fiber (10% max) and fortified with pumpkin, prebiotics, and probiotics to support healthy digestion. Natural antioxidants include carrots, blueberries, and cranberries, and they both also contain anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids. Customers say it’s a fantastic diet for pancreatitis, sensitive tummies, and weight loss.

Price

  • Starting at $21.99 (4-lb bag)

Prescription Food For Dogs With Pancreatitis

What are the best prescription dog foods for pancreatitis? Hill’s Prescription Diet, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet, and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets are the top vet-prescribed brands for dogs with pancreatitis. Each comes in dry or canned formulas. Here’s a quick table to help you briefly compare these prescription dry formulas to the non-prescription formulas we review above. All contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and prebiotics.

Top Prescription Dog Foods For PancreatitisFat ContentGrain-FreeWheat-FreeCorn-FreeChicken-FreeStarting Price
Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat Dry Dog Food9.0% maxOrange X (No or Not)Brown checkmark (Yes)Orange X (No or Not)Orange X (No or Not)$52.99
(8.5lb bag)
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Dry Dog Food8.5% maxOrange X (No or Not)Orange X (No or Not) Brown checkmark (Yes)Orange X (No or Not)$43.99
(6.6lb bag)
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Formula Dry Dog Food10.5% minOrange X (No or Not)Orange X (No or Not)Orange X (No or Not)Orange X (No or Not)$39.99
(6lb bag)

What Treats Can I Give My Dog With Pancreatitis?

For dogs with pancreatitis, it’s crucial to avoid fatty treats and table scraps as they can cause flare-ups. Fortunately, you have many healthy snack options for your furry friend. Some fruits like apples, bananas, blueberries, and watermelon can make excellent low-fat and low-calorie treats. It’s best to steer clear of citrus fruits as they may upset your pup’s tummy. You can also safely give your pup carrots for a crunchy, healthy treat.

Be sure to read the labels of any store-bought treats. Again, low-fat treats are necessary, and you may also want to look for low-calorie treats to avoid weight gain. A few of our favorite commercial treats that are suitable for dogs with pancreatitis include:

Should I Consider A Daily Dog Probiotic?

Dogs with chronic pancreatitis can certainly benefit from a daily probiotic supplement, as long as you get the green light from your veterinarian. Probiotics introduce billions of beneficial living bacteria into your dog’s gut to restore her tummy health, which can get out of whack with pancreatitis flare-ups. Probiotics also help to strengthen your dog’s immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties, which are both beneficial for this condition.

Our Methodology

We analyze hundreds of dog food brands and individual formulas to provide our recommendations for the best nutrition. Each of the following elements helps us determine the best dog food for any dietary need. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Scrutinizing all ingredients included in every formula
  • Having firsthand experience with our dogs for many of the foods we recommend
  • Assessing the guaranteed analysis for every formula, including protein, fat, fiber, and caloric content
  • Investigating the latest scientific studies on dogs’ nutritional needs and benefits of ingredients
  • Researching the specific dietary needs for breed sizes and health conditions
  • Reading hundreds of customer reviews
  • Staying informed on every dog food recall
  • Diving into every pet food brand’s history and reputation
  • Keeping on top of pet food trends

Unlike many other review sites, we give unbiased reviews based on countless hours of research. Our goal is to provide our readers with the healthiest options for their pups.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has researched and reviewed hundreds of different dog food brands and specific formulas. She’s an expert at analyzing dog food ingredients based on current nutritional guidelines and scientific studies for the healthiest food for our pups. She’s part of a team of dog specialists at Canine Journal who have over a decade of experience in researching, testing, and writing about everything you need to know to keep your pup healthy and happy.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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