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  • Kara Dyko

Natural Remedies for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Any illness your dog faces is concerning, but pancreatitis can be particularly tough on both pups and their parents — it’s hard to see your beloved pup in pain.

While it's a serious problem that requires veterinary care, a holistic approach to your pup’s health can help minimize future flare-ups or even prevent pancreatitis altogether.

Alongside regular vet check-ups, pancreatitis can be managed with a highly digestible, ultra-low fat diet, and regular age-appropriate exercise to maintain a healthy weight.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which stimulates the early release of digestive enzymes which breaks down the pancreas. This leads to tissue damage, along with other health complications like diabetes, kidney failure and infection. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute (a sudden onset) and chronic (long-term damage caused by recurring acute flare-ups).

Some common symptoms of pancreatitis are:

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Back hunching

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea or bloody stool with mucus

  • Dehydration

  • Fever

  • Lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Restlessness or agitation

When pancreatitis is severe, your dog’s abdomen will be very tense and painful, and they may yelp or wince when you touch them or pick them up.

You might notice your pup hunched up or in a ‘prayer’ position with the front of their body low against the floor with their rear end in the air. It might look like a play bow, but this indicates abdominal pain and severe discomfort.

If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your vet straight away. Pancreatitis is a serious illness that can be life-threatening, so it’s important to address it early and take preventative measures to better support your dog's system.

What causes pancreatitis in dogs?

Acute pancreatitis can be idiopathic, which means it can occur out of the blue — making it tricky to prevent. But many cases can be traced back to one or more of these triggers:

  • Highly processed kibble and high-fat foods and treats

  • Lack of exercise

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

  • Vaccines

  • Trauma

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Toxins

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Stress (high cortisol)

Once a dog has experienced a bout of acute pancreatitis, the organ becomes more sensitive to triggers like fatty food, which can lead to chronic pancreatitis. Dogs tend to be prescribed a low-fat diet to help minimize this risk.

Our Top Pancreas-Friendly Natural Remedies

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to this disease. If we can grant you any healing wisdom today, it’s these six things…

1. Start with a fresh food diet

Dogs with pancreatitis have a sensitive and inflamed pancreas that struggles to produce enzymes and hormones, affecting its ability to digest food effectively. A human-grade, fresh food diet containing bioavailable ingredients for easy digestion and nutrient absorption is an important part of recovery, so avoid feeding kibble and any hard to digest grains.

Avoid fatty meats like duck and lamb as well as rich meats like beef, bison or buffalo. Focus on simple proteins, including chicken or turkey breast, whitefish and bone broth.

2. Bilberry Fresh or Dried

(For chronic and acute pancreatitis)

Oxidation is a contributing factor in pancreatitis as the destruction of healthy cells causes excess free radicals and metabolic waste. This puts extra pressure on the surrounding organs.

Billberry is high in antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It also strengthens the pancreas by fortifying pancreatic B-cells responsible for regulating glucose.

You can add fresh or dried bilberry to your dog's meals or use as a supplement.

Dosage For Bilberry

150 mg for extra small dogs

250 mg for small dogs

350 mg for medium dogs

450-500 mg for large dogs

500-800 mg for extra large dogs

Give twice daily with food.

3. Dandelion Root Glycerin Extract

(For acute pancreatitis)

Dandelion is a high antioxidant remedy for acute pancreatitis and liver support. Research has shown that the root protects against the effects of increased CCK octapeptides (intestinal hormones) known to cause acute pancreatitis.

Dandelion root strengthens the pancreas as well as the entire digestive system. It’s bitter and helps the liver and gallbladder release bile for fat digestion.

Dosage For Dandelion Root Glycerin Extract

4 drops for extra small dogs

6-8 drops for small dogs

10-12 drops for medium dogs

15-20 drops for large dogs

20-30 drops for extra-large dogs

Give two to three times a day without food.

4. Milk Thistle

(For chronic and acute pancreatitis)

Milk thistle supports liver and gallbladder function during an attack. A pancreatic trauma causes a cascade of metabolic waste and puts pressure on the liver.

Milk thistle helps support the liver’s cellular structure and function, and aids the liver in the detoxification process.

Dosage For Milk Thistle Glycerin Extract

4 drops for extra small dogs

6-8 drops for small dogs

10-12 drops for medium dogs

15-20 drops for large dogs

20-30 drops for extra large dogs

Give two to three times a day, without food.

5. Digestive Enzymes

Are a digestive aid that assists in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. By breaking down fats, carbohydrates, cellulose and protein, the digestive system is relieved of that extra burden. Two products we highly recommend:

6. Avoid over vaccinating your dog

In humans, vaccinations have sometimes been associated with pancreatitis. Avoid over vaccinating your dog. The American Animal Hospital Association now acknowledges that there is no need for yearly “boosters” for most vaccines. Instead, opt for a titer test. A titer test is an antibody blood test that can tell you if a previous vaccine is still protecting your dog's immune system while minimizing over-vaccination side effects.

The list could go on, but instead?

Try out some of the options above to better support your dog's long term health with fewer dashes out the door to go potty.

We hope the months ahead are FULL of wonderful, life-highlight worthy moments!


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1 commento

2 days ago

Thank you this is very helpful! Can I give my dog both of the enzyme recommendations or just one?

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