Low fat dog treats, pancreatitis and what to feed your dog, to keep them healthy
We assist a lot of dog owners in their quest for the healthiest, most appropriate dog treats for their dogs, and this article is based on one such interaction. I have pulled out the most salient parts of our regular communications on this so if you are interested in low fat treats or feedings dogs with pancreatitis, you may understand what is and isn’t good for your dog.
PANCREATITIS and dog treats/ Dog food
When a dog is pre-pancreatitis or has fully been diagnosed with pancreatitis, they are generally put on a low fat diet. It should be noted that there are a few sources around that suggest that over-loading dogs with carbohydrates (grains and the sugars they contain) can be a large contributory factor to the acquiring of such serious organ diseases.
So the diagnosis can sometimes be seen as a wake-up call to increase meat intake in a dog (low fat meat) and reduce carbs.
You don’t have to believe in any of that, but we are here to ‘fly the flag’ for dogs eating as natural (non processed foods as possible, and species appropriate, and for domestic dogs. That means mostly animal meals (meat, bones, and offal based diet). Note if you are staying with commercial dog food, there are HIGH meat component options too. But there are specific requirements for dogs requiring low-fat diets.
If you want to view our low fat dog treat range, the first button below shows the whole category. The second button shows our high selling Medium Chewer Sampler pack that contains five low fat treats !
LOW FAT DOG TREATS LOW FAT MEDIUM CHEWER PACK
Low fat chicken & beef dog treats – NOT ideal.
In keeping with the concept of meat based, but LOW processing, there is no such thing as natural Low fat chicken or beef dog treats. These animals typically contain around 10% animal fat in most of the meat cuts, and the only way to significantly reduce that in a dog treat is harsh, high temperature rendering that can significantly reduce the nutrition of the proteins and enzymes in the treat.
Some sites recommend main dog food meals to be made from ‘cooked skinless chicken breast or boiled hamburger’ because they say boiling removes most of the fat. This is the hard retendering cooking methods that destroy much of the nutrition of the meat, and a good reason to use slow oven dried meat based dog treats as a supplement, from low fat sources.
Most country have a specific non farmed ‘wild’ animal that can be used as a healthy resource for dog treats, and in Australia we are blessed by the proliferation of Kangaroos (caught under quota) and Australian Fish also caught under regulations.
Because we have relatively clean land and oceans around Australia these wild animals are essentially organic, more so than any farmed animal should be able to claim. The big thing to note is that these animal products (roo and fish) are Australian origin and NATURALLY 2- 4% fat. And they are the Good fats (non saturated) and higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
One site google finds, purporting to represent vets, says to the effect that ‘Because we want dogs with pancreatitis to benefit from as much nutrition as possible .. a highly digestible diet is preferred. Foods should be low in fibre and made from high-quality ingredients.’ If you are not aware of the benefits of 100% meat, it is VERY low in fibre, and the MOST digestible of any food source for a dog. Another dog wellness site says ‘ Low fat in dog food is defined as: 9 percent or less in dry food, 7 percent in moist and 4 percent in canned (wet) food.’ However this is EXTREMELY MISLEADING.
When the dogs pancreas becomes inflamed and damaged, low fat diets allow it to not be overworked. The problem for a dog fed dry food at 9% or even 4% fat content is that these commercial mixes usually have a low 30% meat amount. This means that the fat content is likely to be from the vegetables or grain added OR sunflower oil or similar that is purposely added to account for the Omega 6 aafco requirement.
Adding vegetable oils makes a dogs coat shiny (a promise on the pack) but adds empty kilojoules that take away from the meat they could have eaten to boost their bio available protein input from meat. Animal fat is used as energy and many other purposes inside of your dog, but a pancreatitis dog must have a low fat diet, so you should ensure that the fat that they do consume is low in total, and composed mostly of the good kinds of natural animal based fats their bodies actually need (beyond coat aesthetics).
NOTE all 100% kangaroo dog treats are low in fat (with high proportions of good Omega 3). Most of the fish treats are low in fat, the exception is Sardines that can be as high as 10% – the rest are less than 4% . To assist in your HEALTHY dog treat selection for dogs requiring a LOW FAT diet, we have put together a specific category on our site called LOW FAT dog treats, and inside of this we include a MEDIUM Sampler pack of dog treats that includes five low fat medium chewing options (all 100% animal product with no additives). YOU can acccess these sections by clicking on the buttons at the top of this article.
Always consult a vet before significantly changing your dog’s diet if you have any concerns.