Questions? Call Bruce : 0402 262 875



Cart empty
Shopping cartCart empty

Dog pancreatitis true cause: fatty food or grains ?

Dog pancreatitis causesOK,  NONE of the major searches or dog food sponsored sites will ever give you an alternative cause of dog pancreatitis, but its interesting to see at least TWO possible reasons dogs get it.

What is dog pancreatitis?

1 The pancreas organ is part of the endocrine and digestive system with primary purpose for food digestion. It also produces enzymes that digest food, and produces insulin.

2 When a condition occurs to cause inflammation of the pancreas, the flow of enzymes into the digestive tract can become disrupted, forcing the enzymes out of the pancreas and into the abdominal area. This can cause digestive enzymes to break down fat and proteins in the other organs, as well as in the pancreas.

3  Unchecked pancreatitis causes the dogs body TO DIGEST ITSELF!  The cascade effect is damage to the kidney and liver and the abdomen becomes inflamed.  This can lead to prolonged pain or sudden death.


The official  (SUSPECTED) cause (ref 1)

#1 cause is nutritional factors like high levels of fat in the blood (called lipemia),

#2 high levels of calcium in the blood (hyper-calcemia),

#3 trauma to the pancreas, and some drugs (such as cortisone) or toxins (such as scorpian stings).

#4 Obesitylinked to a high fat and "low carbohydrate diet has also been shown to be a risk factor for this inflammation disorder."   PLEASE CONSIDER THIS AN ADVERT FOR GRAIN DOG FOOD.

#5  Higher frequency of pancreatitis found in these breeds:

  • Miniature Schnauzer,
  • Miniature Poodle,
  • Cocker Spaniel.
  • More common in female dogs and elderly dogs.

Low fat dog treats = low fat dog food

If you are at all concerned about the high grain/ carb load on your dog from commercial dog food, or your dog has been diagnosed with pre pancreatitis or actual pancreatitis, or your dog is obese ... low fat dog treats (100% meat) are the obvious healthy choice !

The lowest fat treats we have are Roo Jerky and most fish dog treats.

Namely:  Roo jerky or roo jerky long, Shark cartilage, Hoki, Ling fish skins, Flake, Green Lipped Mussels, Octopus,.

A lesser known THEORY for pancreatitis causes in dogs ...

No one disagrees that obese dogs, and dogs on high fat diets are more susceptible to getting pancreatitis.

However vets simply recommend LOW FAT, high fibre diets for dogs with pancreatitis or predisposition to it, which conveniently are marketed by a few dog food makers as solutions.

HOWEVER, if you put terms such as "dog pancreatitis and GRAINS" into a search engine, you will find alternative just as compelling information about the causes.

The 'whole dog' website (ref 2) says the pancreas has two main functions:

1) to produce enzymes which help in digestion of food (RAW fats and proteins in carnivores/ dogs)
2) to produce hormones, such as insulin.

Clearly they are also aligned to my belief that dogs are carnivores. They go onto say:

" Dogs, being carnivores have no digestive enzymes in their saliva like an omnivore does so for them digestion does not and cannot begin in the mouth. When our dogs are fed a cooked diet or diet with grains and vegetables in it, the pancreas gets over stimulated and overworked and in turn becomes inflamed. The inflammation itself can activate the digestive enzymes before they’re released in the intestines which can result in triggering the process of “self digestion”. The enzymes from the inflamed pancreas can also leak out in the abdominal cavity and damage the abdominal lining and other organs which only serves to add to a serious and often life-threatening situation."  ref 2

The site continues on to list all of the previous causes we suggested by the other site (except the low carb story) ... and instead goes on to say "Dogs with diets high incooked fat, or dogs who 'steal' or are fed greasy 'people food' seem to have a higher incidence of the dis-ease. However, in most all cases these dogs are also fed a processed pet food diet."

"What happens is, under normal conditions, digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas are activated when they reach the small intestines. In pancreatitis, these enzymes are activated prematurely in the pancreas instead of in the small intestines. " ref 2


" The only way to "turn off" the pancreas is to withhold all oral fluids and food for a short period of time. This approach is of course, accompanied by intravenous fluids to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balance is often needed in severe cases. In addition, natural anti-inflammatory herbs,proteolytic enzymes or homeopathic remedies are sometimes administered. The presence of shock necessitates the immediate and intense use of intravenous fluids."

Owner, be prepared to have your reality altered:

" Veterinarians will recommend you feed a "bland" diet of cooked rice and boiled chicken. This may be very easy on a human/omnivore's digestive system but it is by no means easy for a dog/carnivore to digest and may only make matters worse. Dogs, beingcarnivoreswere designed to eat meat and bone in its RAW state.

They are not equipped with enough of the right kind of enzymes necessary to digest cooked meats let along grains (Yes, rice is a grain). The easiest foods for a dog to digest under any circumstances is RAW.

Raw meat and bones digest very quickly and do not require the pancreas to tax its self in producing enzymes in an attempt to digest something it was never intended to. Cooked food and grains have to remain in the dog's stomach and intestines for many hours to ferment and breakdown before they can be digested. This is taxing to the digestive system. Again, fasting the dog for a couple of days is much healthier than feeding it and taxing the pancreas again so soon."  ref 2

" Enzymes are heat sensitive and easily destroyed in the processing/cooking of all commercial foods as well as in any cooked diet. If you are still feeding a cooked and/or processed diet, it is urgent that we put dietary enzymes back into the diet, in order to maintain proper wellness and not deplete their body of this important resource. Enzymes are of course needed to properly digest foods but they have other functions in the body as well."

Why feeding raw or slow dried meat dog treats help pancreatitis in dogs

By now you might be feeling that its all about a raw feeding conspiracy.

But consider this, ANYONE can buy raw meat based food for their dog, and apply it in the appropriate quantity and ratios (meat, offal and bones).  There is NO profit motive behind the raw diet (or meat) information. THAT is why you wont read any articles in the popular press about raw feeding.

While I sell meat based dog treats, I have been doing it for years, knowing that it is the species correct food.  This supplementary article I have been quoting just adds more scientific reasons behind why raw might be better or at least supplementing your regular grain or veggie based dog kibble with meat based foods.

In fact they suggest that it is NOT a lack of carbs in the diet (as the first article tried to suggest), but a lack of natural MEAT.  THIS is the Polar opposite of what almost every vet and of course dog food company will tell you.

"The diet should be a raw, species appropriate diet of raw meat, bones and organs which is easily digested by our carnivorous pets. Nutrition and your dog's daily diet should be closely examined. Hopefully if you found this article you are already feeding your dog a raw meat, bone and organs diet or at the very least home cooking for him. However, if you are still feeding kibble or canned, processed foods, please read the labels on your dog's food and see what the ingredients are and what the fat, salt and grain content are. All of these should be avoided as well as any vegetables - raw or cooked. Carnivores, such as dogs and cats, lack the enzymes necessary to digest and/or break down grains and vegetables so when fed, this puts a large drain and tax on the pancreas."

"As stated above, pancreatitis is usually caused by eating a very high fat, rich meal that the dog is not used to or due to the use of cortisone at some point. Natural, raw fats (emphasis on raw) are normally well tolerated by healthy dogs. It is the cooked, processed fats that tend to cause the problem. So, unless your dog has chronic pancreatitis, there is really no need to switch to a lower fat diet for the dog, just a healthier one over all." ref 2


As always we always recommend you consult your vet before making any major changes to your dog. But also please understand your vet sells the very products that this article cautions you about.

I have listed the counter argument elsewhere on this site, but here is what you should really know.  Raw meat is not dangerous to wolves and dogs. They have eaten it ever since they evolved. You have the choice to freeze it to kill any potential harmful bacteria and if you buy human grade meat it should be parasite free.

Many dogs have died around the world from eating grain dog food. The main reasons most people don't try a raw diet for their dogs is fear (from dog food makers) and convenience of buying off the shelf.

If you are one of those people 97% of dog owners, who only buy manufactured dog food, please consider that even if the whole dog article writers have a slim chance of being right, that the more meat, low fat, and as close to natural as you can get into a dogs diet, there is a chance that it will help readdress this unnatural almost 'pandemic' of pancreatitis globally attacking dogs.

If you doubt any of this, please considerthe real reasons why dog food manufacturers are putting a scare campaign out there about feeding dogs meat. You might just find its about their profits, not your dog's health. There is no dounside to feeding dogs meat, and as you might have raad, a few potential up sides ...



ref 1

ref 2

Recommended Products