In Part I of our Pancreatitis in Dogs article, we discussed the causes of pancreatitis in dogs as well as the types of pancreatitis that can occur. But now that you know what you're dealing with, you may be left with some important questions about how to help your dog.
What You Can Do To Take Control of Pancreatitis in Your Dog
Your veterinarian is likely to give you instructions for treatment, which will include instructions on how to give the pancreas and GI tract a break. No food for 24 hrs, little or maybe no water as well (depending on if your dog needed an IV). The type of treatment prescribed will depend on the severity of the pancreatic condition.
These steps are important and will help to get through the acute stages. In addition to taking the advice from your vet, here are measures you can take to deal with dog pancreas issues and to help prevent or remedy pancreatitis in your dog. These are especially important for the long-term health of your pet. The remedies are broken up into diet, exercise, and supplementation.
Diet for Dog Pancreatitis
The problem with most dog diets is that many dog foods just dont measure up as being truly healthy and nutritious. Additionally, dog owners make the mistake of feeding scraps that are extremely fatty to their dogs.
Did you know one excessively fatty meal may cause acute pancreatitis in your dog? Please be sure not to do this!
The main diet strategy for keeping your dog from getting pancreatitis or for treating it is to:
- Provide your dog with the nutrition needed
- Provide your dog with a food that does not create allergens or cause inflammation
This is best done with a balanced and natural diet: avoid fatty foods and avoid high grain content foods. We recommend raw, and/or natural foods which we think will deliver best on the above two goals. Providing your dog with proper food daily will go a long way in dealing with pancreatitis; either helping to alleviate causes and symptoms of it or not let your dog get it in the first place.
Exercise for Dog Pancreatitis
Just like in humans, when dogs arent active it seems that they are more prone to adverse health conditions. Simply put, exercise cures many ills (including helping with dog pancreas issues). No doubt, part of this has to do with just keeping systems operating efficiently, like digestion for example, which all work to help keep dogs healthy. But it also keeps your dogs weight down and body composition favorable towards muscle and not fat. This is critical as obesity is directly linked to many inflammatory conditions. So make sure you get your dog regular exercise. As discussed above, exercise improves digestion and intestinal movements which is important in preventing pancreatitis in dogs.
Supplementation for Dog Pancreatitis
With pancreatitis in dogs the problem is inflammation and reduced pancreatic function. So, both of these areas need to be addressed for supplementation. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to give your dog nutritional supplements that were specifically designed for them. For inflammation, choose a natural fish oil that you can add to the food. Fish oil is very powerful at reducing systemic inflammation as it works directly on inhibiting the pro-inflammatory molecules that are involved in an inflammatory response. This will help your dog with some of the symptoms and intensity. Secondly, and very importantly, if your dog has pancreatitis they have reduced enzyme-producing function. This is bad. They will not be able to digest as well, thus they wont get nutrition and they are likely to then also suffer from a host of digestive disorders.
Make sure to give your digestive enzymes at each meal to support their digestive process. Make sure it is a formula specifically formulated for pets. Meaning, be sure that the formula has the enzymes your dog needs like protease (for proteins), amylase for starch, and lipase (for fat). These enzymes should appear in significant amounts. You'll be wasting your money on a formula that uses enzymes for foods your dog shouldnt be eating (like phytase for plant food). A great enzyme formula that focuses on those enzymes is Enzyme Miracle.
If you are feeding your dog a modern diet, then likely, your dog's diet is missing most of the natural enzymes that occur in a raw diet which causes the pancreas to become overworked. The key here is to increase the natural enzymes through supplementation and install a raw diet program, if possible. At least by introducing supplemental enzymes to your dog's diet, you will help reduce the stress put on the pancreas and your dog's body to produce all the digestive enzymes at each meal.
If your dog has pancreatitis, or is prone to pancreatitis, then your dog needs to be on a good diet and have supplementation. The key is to reduce inflammation and help the digestive process through the following steps:
- Raw diet to provide good nutrition and reduce allergy potential.
- Fish oil will help to reduce systemic inflammation.
- Digestive enzymes will replace the missing enzymes from your dog's diet and relieve stress put on his pancreas to produce massive amounts of enzymes at each meal.
We recommend the following Products from Nusentia:
Celavin: An ultra-pure, easy to use liquid manufactured in Norway by one of the worlds highest quality fish oil producers. It is very critical to have a pure product, as contaminates can add to the burden of pancreatitis. Learn more about Celavin.
Enzyme Miracle®: designed specifically for pets with significant levels of all the key digestive enzymes for dogs and cats with no unnecessary enzymes added. The result, a highlyeffective product at a great value! Learn more about Enzyme Miracle »
Customer Testimonial: "We have lost many Mini-Schnauzers over the years to pancreatitis and other digestive disorders so we decided to start Trigger on Enzyme Miracle young to carry him through his life. Not only has Trigger had the best coat of any dog we've ever owned, but no signs of pancreatitis after so many years. I'm so glad I found this product and I tell my friends about it all the time! Thank you!"