The Best Low-Fat Dog Food (Good for Pancreatitis)

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: January 19, 2023
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall low-fat dog food is the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken.
  • An experience like pancreatitis in your dog can be a really scary one. Even though a veterinarian should always be consulted first, you can make changes to your dog’s diet to alleviate symptoms and restore his health. One of the best things you can do for them is to feed them a great low-fat diet. 
  • You might find it a little challenging at first to transition your dog from a high-fat to a low-fat diet. Our goal is to help you find the most tastiest dish for your pup to make the transition easier by considering factors like the quality of the food and ingredients.

If your dog has developed pancreatitis, it can be a really scary experience. You’ve probably noticed unusual symptoms like a hunched back, diarrhea, a bloated abdomen, loss of appetite, and an overall change in personality. Pancreatitis can cause weakness and lethargy and can even cause your dog to develop a fever. Although sometimes, these symptoms happen on their own, when several of the symptoms are combined, it’s vital you get in touch with your veterinarian as quickly as possible.

When your dog loses his cheerful personality, it can really take a toll on the overall mood in your home. While seeing your vet is always the first course of action, there are changes you can make to your dog’s diet to help alleviate symptoms and restore his health. Although in some cases, pancreatitis is related to a genetic predisposition, the leading cause of pancreatitis is a high-fat diet. To counteract the symptoms of pancreatitis, changing your dog to a low-fat diet can help to reduce symptoms.

Switching your dog over from a high-fat diet to a low-fat diet might prove a little challenging at first. It’s important to know what your options are, as some low-fat foods are prescription-only and others you can purchase online without veterinarian authorization. Some brands and products are pricier than others, so we included a budget-friendly option in the list below. We also included a variety of dry food and wet food options so you can decide which your dog may be most attracted to. It may take a little time to transition your pup’s diet, but with patience and love, you can make this happen.

  1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
  2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
    • Suitable for all breed sizes
    • Contains probiotics and omega fatty acids
    • High-protein diet
    • Includes chicken and salmon oil
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
  4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
    • Must be prescribed by a veterinarian
    • Promote digestive health
    • Contains EPA and DHA from fish oil
    • Very palatable 
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
  6. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
    • Palatable and very digestible
    • Contains a blend of dietary fibers
    • Improve gut health
    • Reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis
    Check Chewy
  7. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
  8. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
    • Accessible, affordable product
    • Contains tender, shredded pieces of chicken
    • Optimal protein to fat ratio
    • Contains probiotics and prebiotic fiber
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
  10. Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
    • Low-fat pate wet dog food
    • Clinically proven formula
    • Require vet authorization to purchase
    • Suitable for all dog breeds
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Low-Fat Dog Food Today

#1. Best Overall: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe

This Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe is the best overall low-fat dog food. This formula is crafted for whole-body health and promotes leaner body mass and muscle tone. It includes omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health. The first ingredient in this recipe is deboned turkey. Alongside this high-quality protein source are carefully chosen fruits and vegetables that help your dog reach and maintain a healthy weight.

All breed sizes can eat this reduced-fat dog food as long as they are in their adult life stage. Along with probiotics and omega fatty acids, this recipe incorporates taurine for proper cardiac function and eye health along with glucosamine to support joint health. Typically, dogs that develop pancreatitis are also overweight. With his formula, you can help get your dog to a healthy weight so there’s less stress on his joints.

This recipe cuts out grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. Instead, it focuses on delivering a high-protein diet with reduced fat. Along with deboned turkey, this formula includes salmon oil which is a great source of omega-3. The recipe is low in moisture, which may not be ideal for older dogs who need extra hydration.

Pros and Cons of the Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken Recipe

ProsCons
The first ingredient in this dog food is real deboned turkey.The recipe is low in moisture.
The product doesn’t contain any additives, fillers, or by-products.
The salmon oil in the ingredients provides omega-3 fatty acids.
Designed to keep your dog’s weight healthy.
Best Overall
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Reduced Fat Turkey & Chicken
  • Suitable for all breed sizes
  • Contains probiotics and omega fatty acids
  • High-protein diet
  • Includes chicken and salmon oil
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Wet Food: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf

Your dog with pancreatitis will benefit from the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf. 

This low-fat wet dog food by Royal Canin is perfectly suited for breeds of all sizes. It’s a veterinary-exclusive wet food, which means that you do require a veterinarian’s authorization to purchase it online. This recipe is designed to promote digestive health and optimal stool quality with highly digestible proteins and prebiotics. The prebiotics help to maintain a balance of good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Some dogs have difficulty digesting fat and if that’s the case for your pup, this pate-textured wet food can make a huge difference in his G.I. tract.

Along with prebiotics, there’s also a blend of dietary fiber in this formula to support your dog’s healthy digestion. Omega-3 fatty acids along with EPA and DHA from fish oil help to soothe and nourish your dog’s tummy. Pancreatitis can be incredibly painful, and this gentle formula goes down easy and helps your dog feel better. Even though this is a low-fat recipe, it still provides sufficient calories for your dog’s daily needs. Fat-restrictive diets require adapted fiber levels, and this formula ensures your dog is getting the proper nutrition, so he has the appropriate energy levels to maintain an active lifestyle. It is true that this dog food is on the more expensive side, however.

Pros and Cons of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low-Fat Loaf

ProsCons
Supports your dog’s gut health by providing omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA.The price of this dog food is definitely higher than the average.
Veterinary-exclusive wet dog food designed for dogs with digestion sensitivities.
The low-fat content makes it suitable for dogs who struggle to digest fat or tolerate it.
To promote digestive health and stool quality, prebiotics are included in the recipe.
Best Wet Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat Loaf
  • Must be prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Promote digestive health
  • Contains EPA and DHA from fish oil
  • Very palatable 
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Dry Food: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat

If your dog prefers dry food, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat is a great choice.

This dry dog food recipe by Royal Canin is a great counterpart to the one above if you plan to incorporate both wet food and dry dog food. This is a palatable, digestible formula that is made specifically for dogs that have trouble digesting or even tolerating fat in their diet. Like the wet food variety, this dry dog food also requires a veterinarian’s authorization to purchase. It incorporates prebiotics, a blend of dietary fibers, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. It’s meant to improve your dog’s gut health and reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis.

The recipe contains a minimum of 20% protein, a minimum of 4.5% fat, a maximum of 3.6% fiber, and approximately 55% carbohydrates. According to some reviewers, the kibbles are quite large for dry dog food. Therefore, small dogs have a hard time eating it. Additionally, it isn’t available in smaller sizes for smaller dogs.

Pros and Cons of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat

ProsCons
Dogs with digestive issues will benefit from this dry food diet.It may be difficult for smaller dogs to eat the kibbles because they are quite large.
In addition to prebiotics, it contains proteins that are easily digestible.
For dogs that need a low-fat diet, this is an excellent dry food option.
Best Dry Food
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Gastrointestinal Low Fat
  • Palatable and very digestible
  • Contains a blend of dietary fibers
  • Improve gut health
  • Reduce symptoms related to pancreatitis
Check Chewy

4. Best Budget-Friendly: Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management

This Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management dog food is a great option if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

It’s no secret that some of these low-fat dog food options for pancreatitis are expensive. However, even if you have budget constraints, you can still switch your dog over to a great formula that’s easy on his tummy and that keeps you on track with all your bills. We selected this Purina Pro Plan weight management formula because it’s appropriate for all breeds, is high in protein, and has high fiber along with low-fat. Chicken is the first listed ingredient for this recipe, and it helps to deliver the outstanding nutrition your pup needs while also delivering a savory, familiar flavor he enjoys.

This formula is unique because it combines crunchy kibbles with tender, shredded pieces of chicken to further entice your dog to hop onto this new low-fat diet. This product contains 15% less fat than the other Purina Pro Plan Essentials formula. It’s formulated to give your dog the complete and balanced nutrition he needs while the probiotics and prebiotic fiber support his digestive and immune health. It’s formulated with an optimal protein-to-fat ratio as well, which helps your dog maintain his lean muscle mass even as he loses weight. There are, however, animal by-products present in this recipe, such as poultry by-product meal.

Pros and Cons of the Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management

ProsCons
A cost-effective option for dog owners.There are by-products of animal origin in the recipe.
Featuring real chicken as the first ingredient, this recipe is packed with protein.
A hard dog food with tender, meaty shreds that creates a tasty texture to entice your dog to eat.
Best Budget-Friendly
Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management
  • Accessible, affordable product
  • Contains tender, shredded pieces of chicken
  • Optimal protein to fat ratio
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotic fiber
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Prescription: Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat

Dogs who need prescription food recipes should opt for Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat.

You may have seen this particular prescription diet stocked up at your vet’s office. This one is a low-fat wet dog food that comes in a can. Fat levels in your dog’s blood need to be addressed immediately if they are excessive. This food is prescribed to dogs ranging from small breeds to giant breeds. For your dog to be able to build and repair tissues and obtain energy, his digestive system has to be efficient. To support his digestive health, switching over to this low-fat wet food can help to restore his health by managing challenging digestive issues.

This is a clinically proven formula and does require vet authorization to purchase online. It’s highly digestible and contains prebiotic fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut. It also incorporates ginger to help calm and soothe the G.I. tract and omega-3 fatty acids to support G.I. recovery. Those fatty acids also help to improve skin and coat health. Additionally, clinically proven antioxidants support his healthy immune system as his body works to restore health. Several reviewers, however, reported that their dogs would not eat the new formula due to a formula change.

Pros and Cons of the Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat

ProsCons
This recipe is great for dogs with digestive issues and who need a low-fat diet.Owners complained that the formula change caused their dogs to stop eating the food.
An immune-boosting antioxidant blend that helps support a healthy immune system.
This food is suitable for all breeds of dogs.
Best Prescription
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Low Fat
  • Low-fat pate wet dog food
  • Clinically proven formula
  • Require vet authorization to purchase
  • Suitable for all dog breeds
Check Chewy Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Low-Fat Dog Food (Good for Pancreatitis)

Like with any dog food, there are always special considerations when purchasing. However, when you’re purchasing low-fat dog food specifically because your dog is dealing with digestive issues, pancreatitis, or other gastrointestinal problems, it’s even more important that you pay special attention to the type of food you’re feeding. There are different varieties you can select from but the most important thing to look for is that the food you choose is low-fat.

There are three main considerations to keep in mind when selecting low-fat dog food for your pup: 

  • Type of dog food
  • Limited ingredients 
  • Cost 

Below are some details on each of these factors:

Type of Dog Food (Wet or Canned)

When your dog is used to an indulgent diet of high-fat foods, table scraps, and extra treats, it can be difficult to switch to a low-fat diet. Choose a formula that is similar to what he’s accustomed to. For example, if he was acquainted with a wet food diet, purchase low-fat wet food to replace his old favorites. If he typically enjoys kibble, you can switch him over to a crunchy kibble that tastes and feels familiar. You may find that a combination of both dry dog food and wet canned food is a better method for getting your dog to enjoy the new diet. Ultimately, it may take a bit of patience so be sensitive when transitioning him over and if the first type of food you try doesn’t go over well, just give it a go with another recipe.

Limited Ingredients

Limited ingredients in your dog’s low-fat food help with sensitive digestion. You want to avoid any fillers or unnecessary preservatives in your dog’s food when trying to help improve his gut health. Some formulas include grains while others don’t. If you’re not sure whether you should feed your dog a grain-free diet, be sure to ask your veterinarian.

Cost

These special diets can get expensive. If your veterinarian lets you know that your dog should only be on a low-fat diet for a short period of time, then you can create a budget forecast to ensure you can cover the cost of his food during that period. However, if this is more of a long-term issue, you may want to invest in a more budget-friendly option like the Purina Pro Plan dog food we highlighted above.

The 4 Different Types of Low-Fat Dog Food

Dogs with sensitive gastrointestinal tracts need low-fat recipes that are digestible, which veterinarians recommend for dogs suffering from pancreatitis. A high-fat diet makes pancreatitis worse, and during the recovery phase, your dog needs nutrients that are low in fat to support his digestion. If you want to get the right low-fat dog food for your dog, you need to know the different types available. There are four main different types of low-fat dog food, each with its different pros and cons. 

Some of the most common pros and cons include:

  • Wet Low-Fat Dog Food — High moisture content. A soft, tasty texture that dogs enjoy. Can be mixed with dry food. Often the priciest option of all dog food. 
  • Dry Low-Fat Dog Food — Usually more affordable than wet food. Easy to store. Supports dental health. Can be difficult for older or smaller dogs to chew and digest. 
  • Budget-Friendly Low-Fat Dog Food — Easier on your wallet. Balanced nutrition. Soothes G.I. tract. Can sometimes have unnecessary fillers in the formula. 
  • Prescription Low-Fat Dog Food — Specially formulated for digestive care. Soft and crunchy textures are available. Improves gut health. Requires a vet visit to get the prescription.

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The Best Low-Fat Dog Food (Good for Pancreatitis) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which dog food has the lowest fat content?

There are several dog food options with low fat content. The recipes with the lowest fat content are labeled as such and typically require a prescription or vet authorization to purchase. Look for clear labels on dog food packaging to ensure you’re getting dog food with low fat content.

What food is best for dogs with pancreatitis?

Bland, low fat foods are ideal for helping a dog that has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. High fat foods aggravate this condition so it’s best to switch him over to a low fat diet that includes foods like chicken, vegetables, barley, and rice. Avoid giving table scraps, treats, or high-fat meals to dogs that have been diagnosed with pancreatitis.

What is a highly digestible low fat food for dogs?

Any of the foods outlined above is a suitable, highly digestible food for dogs. Look for ingredients like prebiotics and probiotics, which help to maximize beneficial gut bacteria and improve overall gut health. These highly digestible foods can come in either wet or dry food formulas, so long as they contain ingredients specifically for sensitive digestion.

What is the healthiest dog food to feed?

For dogs that have tummy troubles, especially more serious conditions like pancreatitis, a low-fat diet is recommended. Some dogs have stronger stomachs than others. If your pup has a sensitive tummy, stick with low-fat diets that offer complete nutrition so he can enjoy tasty meals while maintaining his weight and his overall health.

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