3 Ways to Prevent Pancreatitis in Your Dog

Posted on: 25 September 2017

Getting pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) can be an uncomfortable, painful and depressing experience for your dog. If left untreated, pancreatitis can also cause severe organ and brain damage that could be life-threatening. While it's impossible to guarantee your pet won't get the condition, there are a few things you can do to prevent it. Here are 3 top tips.

Don't Let Your Dog Become Obese

One of the biggest risk factors associated with dog pancreatitis is obesity, so it's important to keep your pup's weight at a healthy level. Obesity has many causes in itself, so preventing it involves managing your dog's whole life well.

For starters, you should weigh your dog regularly, either at home or at the vet's. This will ensure you actually notice your dog gaining weight before it gets to a dangerous level. If your dog is gaining weight, two of the best ways to prevent obesity are keeping up your dog's exercise levels and feeding them the right food. Ensure you take your dog for several walks a day (the exact number will depend on their breed). On the food side, check the nutritional information for details on calorie content. A vet will be able to advise you on whether the figure meets your dog's size and activity levels. You should also refrain from feeding your dog treats. Give them set meals instead of constantly refilling their bowl.

Keep Your Dog's Fat Intake Low

Even if your dog's weight isn't changing, you still need to make sure their diet isn't fat-heavy. To break down high-fat foods, your dog's body needs to produce an enzyme called lipase. The more of this enzyme their body has to produce, the more strain your dog's pancreas will be under. This stress can then lead to or worsen pancreatitis. Look for a low-fat dog food and don't let your dog eat leftover fatty meats from your meals to ensure the pancreas won't be under too much stress.

See a Vet Regularly

It's important that you take your dog to an animal hospital regularly, especially if you already see signs of pancreatitis like vomiting and diarrhoea, lethargy, fever or a hunched back. Vets can assess your dog's risk of pancreatitis and treat other conditions that could lead to it, including hypothyroidism and diabetes. And if your dog does develop pancreatitis, regular vet visits ensure it will be caught early enough to prevent it developing into a more serious problem.