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Can Dogs With Pancreatitis Eat Carrots? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Written by: Keri-Beth Clur

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

fresh and cut carrots on wooden board

Can Dogs With Pancreatitis Eat Carrots? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If your dog has just spent the last few days in intensive care due to pancreatitis and you’re worried about what you should and shouldn’t feed them, we’re here to help you out! There are types of foods your dog should avoid during this time to prevent vomiting and a painful abdomen. However, if you’ve been considering offering them carrots as a tasty snack, go right ahead!

In this article, we’re going to discuss what pancreatitis in dogs is, what causes it, what symptoms to watch out for, and what your dog should and shouldn’t be eating so that you can better care for them throughout their course of treatment and afterward.

 

What Is Pancreatitis?

Although it’s alarming to find out that your dog has pancreatitis, it’s actually very common in dogs. However, that doesn’t make it easier to deal with and manage. The pancreas is an organ in your dog’s abdomen that has many roles. One of its main roles is to release digestive enzymes, which break down the foods your dog has eaten.

Pancreatitis can either be acute or chronic, but in both types, inflammation occurs in the organ and causes pain and other signs, such as vomiting and inappetence. The inflammation is the cause of an early release of enzymes, which starts to break down its own tissue—in simple terms, the pancreas begins to digest itself.

In acute pancreatitis, symptoms in your dog may be sudden. In chronic pancreatitis, the process is generally slower. However, either type can be mild or life-threatening and require medical care.

Husky dog lying on vet table with doctor and owner near by
Image by: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs?

Although pancreatitis is common in dogs, the cause of this disease is not always known, especially in acute cases. However, several factors can cause this disease to develop in your dog.

Firstly, some breeds are more at risk of this disease than others. Breeds with higher fat levels in their blood tend to be more at risk. Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, and Miniature Schnauzers are among these breeds. Although these breeds have a higher risk factor, it doesn’t mean these breeds will always end up experiencing pancreatitis at some point in their lives. In the same way, all breeds are at risk of this disease, even if they don’t have hyperlipidemia. Obese dogs are at risk for pancreatitis because they also have higher fat levels in their blood.

Sometimes pancreatitis is caused by something seemingly far more innocuous, such as a dog being fed table scraps. So that piece of faty bacon you fed Fido at breakfast can actually trigger a bout of pancreatitis. Unfortunately, even the medications your dog may need to fight other diseases, such as cancer, can cause pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis isn’t always caused by what goes into your dog’s mouth; it can sometimes be the result of an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, liver and kidney problems, or Cushing’s Disease. It can also be triggered because of infections, such as parvovirus, Babesia canis, etc.

Pancreatitis can be caused by blunt trauma to the abdomen, such as being kicked by a larger animal or human or being hit by a car.

Signs to Watch Out For

Pancreatitis isn’t age-specific, but it occurs more commonly in dogs older than 7 years old. Unfortunately, like most diseases in dogs, pancreatitis signs can closely resemble the signs of other health conditions. It’s essential to get your dog to your local vet if they display any of the signs below, whether you think they may have pancreatitis or not.

In both acute and chronic pancreatitis, you may see signs of:

  • Pain
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Shock
  • Lack of appetite
  • Collapse
female veterinarian checking up a dog
Image by: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

How to Care for a Dog With Pancreatitis

Your dog will need to see a vet and will likely be hospitalized for a few days, depending on how bad their signs are. They require this level of care to address the pain, nausea, and dehydration associated with the disease. Intravenous fluids are a mainstay of therapy, and sometimes it may take a few days to get a dog feeling better and hydrated.

Your vet may send your dog back home with you with medication to give them for a few days or as instructed. They may also instruct you not to give your dog food for a certain period or until the vomiting has stopped.

You’ll also need to monitor their intake of fatty foods. It is strongly discouraged to feed your dog scraps from the table in the future, and furthermore, a change in diet to a low-fat one is typically recommended. They may also do better eating smaller meals fed more frequently.

These changes may only be necessary while your dog is recovering from pancreatitis. But, for dogs that have had several flare-ups, these changes will most likely have to become part of their daily lifestyle to prevent further bouts.

Why Are Carrots a Good Snack Option?

We know that carrots are a low-fat snack that your dog with pancreatitis can enjoy. They’re much cheaper than dog treats and have a lot fewer calories in them. They’re also nutritious.

You can freeze carrots and give them to your dog to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. They love the crunchy texture of these vegetables, and chewing one will likely keep them busy for quite some time, making them fun “toys”. They contain plenty of nutrients, such as vitamin A, as well as potassium and fiber.

Always supervise your dog when they munch on carrots and cut them up into smaller sizes to prevent the possibility of them lodging in their throats. Otherwise, you can cook the carrots first.

sliced carrots
Image Credit; Piqsels

What Other Fruits and Vegetables Can Be Eaten by Dogs With Pancreatitis?

If your dog isn’t a big fan of carrots, there are other safe fruits and vegetables to offer them that are also low in fat and full of nutrients. Always introduce new snacks in small portions. All fruits and vegetables should be given in moderation.

Bananas Contain copper, vitamins, and potassium
Apple slices Contain vitamins A and C
Strawberries Help whiten dogs’ teeth
Blueberries Contain antioxidants
Cantaloupe Contain plenty of water and fiber
Cucumbers Full of water for hydration
Mangos Contain vitamins A, B6, C, and E
Oranges High in vitamin C and potassium
Peach slices Contain fiber and vitamin A
Pear slices Full of copper, fiber, and vitamins C and K
Pineapple slices Contain bromelain
Pumpkin Great for digestion
Broccoli Contains fiber and vitamin C

divider-dog

Conclusion

Pancreatitis in dogs is a common but unfortunate disease whereby the pancreas becomes inflamed and doesn’t function as it normally does. High-fat foods should be avoided in dogs with the disease. Instead, they should be given a low-fat diet and snacks. Carrots are just one example of many nutritious and beneficial snacks that can be safely given to dogs who have experienced pancreatitis.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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