Stomach trouble is no fun for anyone, and your playful pooch is no exception. While some issues go away within a few hours, others, like pancreatitis, take longer to manage and recover from. When you’re considering which food is the best for your ailing pooch, low-fat and easy-to-digest foods are ideal for reducing the strain on their digestive system.
We put together these reviews of the top 11 foods so you can choose the right option for you and your canine.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Hill's Prescription Diet Canned Dog Food||
|Best Value||Annamaet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||
|Premium Choice||Purina Pro Plan Gastroenteric Balance||
|Royal Canin Vet Puppy Food||
|Hill's Prescription Low Fat Dry Dog Food||
The 11 Best Foods for Dogs With Pancreatitis
1. Hill’s Prescription Digestive Canned Dog Food — Best Overall
|Special Diet:||Pea-free, sensitive digestion|
Formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists, Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Canned Dog Food is the best overall food for dogs with pancreatitis. Easy to digest and filled with electrolytes, vitamin B, and fiber — both soluble and insoluble — this wet food takes care of your dog’s sensitive digestion and doesn’t exacerbate pancreatitis.
Along with the chicken and vegetable flavoring, the recipe contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation, support immune health, and keep your best friend’s coat in good health.
However, the Hill’s formula requires a prescription from your veterinarian for you to purchase, and many dog owners have complained about the watery consistency of this dog food.
2. Annamaet Grain-Free Low Fat Dry Dog Food — Best Value
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy, non-GMO, sensitive digestion, low fat|
Affordable and sold in three bag sizes — 5, 12, and 25 pounds — the Annamaet Grain-Free Low Fat Formula Dry Dog Food is the best food for dogs with pancreatitis for the money. It helps ease digestion for dogs with sensitive stomachs by using a low-fat and high-protein recipe. The formula also avoids common allergens, like grain, corn, wheat, and soy.
Both prebiotics and probiotics keep your dog’s digestive system working smoothly and help ease the signs of pancreatitis. The contained omega-3 oils also help reduce inflammation.
Some dogs will refuse to eat this dry dog food due to disliking the flavor, and the kibble might be too large for smaller dog breeds to manage comfortably.
3. Purina Pro Vet Diets EN Gastroenteric — Premium Choice
|Special Diet:||Sensitive digestion|
If you don’t mind spending more on your pooch, the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Fiber Balance Formula promotes gastrointestinal health with a carefully formulated and easy-to-digest recipe. Veterinarians and nutritionists designed this dry food to contain antioxidants and prebiotics, along with soluble and insoluble high-quality fiber, to support a healthy digestive system.
Although this option is sold in 6-, 18-, or 32-pound bags, it’s one of the more expensive options on this list. As a specialized diet formula, it also requires a prescription from your veterinarian. The recipe contains corn and can set off allergies in some dogs.
4. Royal Canin Vet Diet Gastrointestinal — Best for Puppies
|Special Diet:||Pea-free, sensitive digestion|
Our beloved puppies can suffer from digestive issues too, and the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Puppy Food is formulated with young dogs in mind. Although this dry food is designed to support gastrointestinal health rather than fast puppy growth, the recipe contains the minerals and nutrients that young dogs need to develop properly.
High in protein, the recipe also contains electrolytes, omega-3, EPA, and DHA to keep your puppy’s digestive system working properly. It’s sold in 8.8- or 22-pound bags for multi-dog households.
Purchasing this dry food requires a prescription from your veterinarian, and its puppy-focused formula makes it unsuitable for adult and senior dogs. This puppy food also has an unpleasant smell.
5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dry Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Pea-free, sensitive digestion, low fat|
Using ActivBiome+ technology, Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Low Fat Dry Dog Food regulates your dog’s gut bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system. The high protein content, prebiotic fibers, omega fatty acids, and ginger help soothe stomach upset, ease inflammation, and make this recipe easy to digest for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
For households with single or multiple dogs, this Hill’s dry dog food is available in three bag sizes: 8.5, 17.6, and 27.5 pounds.
Despite supporting healthy digestion, the ingredients don’t contain real meat, and it’s an expensive option compared to some other choices on this list. It also requires a prescription.
6. Royal Canin Vet Diet Gastrointestinal Canned Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Sensitive digestion|
For dogs that struggle to digest dry food, the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Low Fat Canned Dog Food uses a low-fat, high-moisture recipe to help boost your pooch’s digestive system. Prebiotic fiber, EPA, and DHA keep their gut health in check, while omega-3 and antioxidants soothe inflammation and boost your best friend’s immune health.
Since this option requires a prescription, it’s unsuitable for multi-dog households and should only be given to the dog that needs it. It may lack the necessary nutrients for dogs that aren’t on health-related diets. Also, this wet food can be dry and crumbly in texture and is one of the more expensive options on this list.
7. Purina Pro Plan Vet Diet Low Fat Gastroenteric Dry Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Pea-free, sensitive digestion, low fat|
The Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Low Fat EN Gastroenteric Dry Dog Food uses a low-fat recipe to ease the side effects of pancreatitis. It’s formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists and sold in 6-, 18-, and 32-pound bags. The low-fat content helps make this option easy to digest for canines with issues regarding fatty foods.
While it doesn’t contain that much fiber, it still has plenty of prebiotics to help your dog’s digestive system. Antioxidants also work to keep their immune system healthy to boost their general health and wellness.
The kibble can be too hard for some dogs to eat, and the recipe contains corn, wheat, and soy products, which may set off allergies. It’s also expensive and requires a prescription.
8. Bil-Jac Senior Select Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
Compared to other gastrointestinal support dog foods, the Bil-Jac Senior Select Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food doesn’t require a prescription and is safe for dogs with minor digestive issues too. Formulated for senior dogs, this chicken and oatmeal recipe contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health while boosting the digestive and immune systems. Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids also help reduce inflammation.
Due to Bil-Jac’s being suitable for all senior dogs rather than requiring a prescription, it’s not specifically designed to help with digestive issues and might be less effective than veterinary diet formulas. Fussy dogs have been known to dislike either the flavor or the size of the kibble or have trouble with the dry texture of this food.
9. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support
|Special Diet:||Low fat, grain-free, sensitive digestion, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
Sold in 6- or 22-pound bags, the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Support Low Fat Dry Dog Food is easy to digest and helps maintain your dog’s energy levels. Formulated for adult dogs, Blue Buffalo uses a low-fat recipe to ease the strain on your best friend’s pancreas during digestion, while the prebiotic fibers help keep their gastrointestinal system running smoothly.
Some canines dislike the flavor, and the pea content may set off food allergies in some dogs. Blue Buffalo is known for being expensive, and this option also requires a prescription, making it unsuitable for households with more than one dog.
10. Forza10 Nutraceutic Intestinal Support Dry Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Gluten-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy, sensitive digestion, non-GMO, limited ingredients|
The Forza10 Nutraceutic Active Line Intestinal Support Diet Dry Dog Food works by avoiding ingredients known to cause stomach upset in dogs. This option is sold in 6- or 22-pound bags for single or multi-dog households and doesn’t require a prescription. Forza10 also doesn’t use corn, wheat, gluten, soy, or GMOs in the limited-ingredient recipe to avoid common allergies and help your dog digest their food with ease. The included omega fatty acids help reduce inflammation of the pancreas.
In the past, the ingredients in a few batches have been changed without notice, and the recipe also smells like medicine, which can be off-putting for some canines. The bags are among the more expensive on this list.
11. Annamaet Grain-Free Ohana Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy, sensitive digestion, non-GMO, pea free, high protein|
Formulated with puppies in mind, the Annamaet Grain-Free Ohana Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food supports your new puppy’s development and promotes their digestive health in the process. The formula contains omega-3, EPA, and DHA from real salmon, along with prebiotic fibers, to ensure that the kibble is easy to digest, soothes inflammation, and boosts brain function.
Annamaet avoids using grain, corn, wheat, soy, GMOs, and peas in its recipe to prevent adverse reactions to these common fillers.
Unlike prescription-based foods, Annamaet doesn’t focus solely on easing gastrointestinal distress. It also doesn’t contain the nutrients required for adult dogs. Some puppies refuse to eat this kibble due to disliking the salmon flavor.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Food for Dogs With Pancreatitis
Purchasing food for your dog can be daunting at the best of times, so when you must cater to specific health conditions, the task increases in difficulty. Pancreatitis is one of the many issues facing your dog that can be eased or worsened by their diet.
We answered these frequently asked questions to help you learn more about this health issue and how you can manage your dog’s pancreatitis.
What Is Pancreatitis?
The pancreas is a vital part of the digestive system. Not only does it help break down sugar, starch, and fat, but it also helps regulate several other bodily functions, such as insulin and glucagon production.
Pancreatitis is a common health issue for both humans and dogs and can vary in severity. It occurs when the pancreas swells, an issue that doesn’t always have a clear-cut cause.
What Are the Signs of Pancreatitis?
Diagnosing pancreatitis isn’t one of the easiest tasks for your veterinarian — unless the swelling is obvious enough to show up on an abdominal ultrasound — but you should still check in with them if you suspect that your dog has an underlying health issue. Recognizing the signs will help you decide whether a visit to your veterinarian is necessary for your dog.
Using pancreatic-specific blood tests and abdominal ultrasounds, your veterinarian will be better able to determine whether your dog is suffering from this illness. They’ll also be able to give you more information on monitoring and treating the disease.
How Do You Treat Pancreatitis?
Both types of pancreatitis — acute and chronic — are best treated by supporting your dog’s digestive system. It isn’t an easy disease to cure, taking anywhere between a few days to a few weeks for your dog to fully recover. The methods that you use to treat your dog’s pancreatitis depend on the severity of their disease. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend a suitable treatment for your dog’s situation, which can include.
Are Some Dogs More Susceptible to Pancreatitis?
Different dog breeds can be more or less prone to certain health issues than others. Pancreatitis is one of the illnesses that may affect one dog more than another, particularly if they have a history of pancreatitis.
Does Your Dog’s Diet Help Pancreatitis?
The severity of your dog’s pancreatitis will decide whether changing their diet will be effective. Severe cases should be treated in a proper facility, while minor cases can be managed by changing your dog’s diet.
Many gastrointestinal foods designed to help dogs with pancreatitis and other digestive issues are created by veterinarians. Many of them require a prescription, but they’re designed to support your dog’s digestive system while limiting the ingredients that will cause further harm to their health. Purina, Hill’s, Royal Canin, and Blue Buffalo are among the well-known brands with veterinarian diet recipes for gastrointestinal health.
The pancreas produces an enzyme designed to help break down fat, sugar, and starch. High-fat diets can cause it to work much harder to produce the necessary enzymes. Looking into dog foods with a low-fat content will help take some of the strain off your dog’s pancreas, while still supplying them with the nutrients that they need to recover.
Easy to Digest
The easier your dog’s food is to digest, the less the pancreas has to work to break it down. By providing a food option that doesn’t put unnecessary strain on your dog’s digestive system, you can help them recover from their pancreatitis. Also, you won’t have to change their regular feeding schedule to do so.
Low-fat, easy-to-digest foods are ideal for helping dogs suffering from pancreatitis. Our top pick, Hill’s Prescription Diet Digestive Care Canned Dog Food, uses a formula created by veterinarians to promote healthy digestion and ease gastrointestinal problems. The Annamaet Grain-Free Low Fat Formula Dry Dog Food offers a more affordable option without the need for a prescription.
Hopefully, these reviews have helped you find the best food for your dog, whether they’re suffering from pancreatitis or a sensitive stomach.
- Another interesting read: 7 Best Low-Fat Dog Foods
Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock