Are peas and carrots good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas that can occur in dogs. It is most commonly caused by a high fat diet or obesity, but can also be triggered by trauma, infection, or certain medications or toxins. Pancreatitis prevents the pancreas from properly digesting food and producing the enzymes needed for digestion. This results in vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, fever, weakness, and abdominal pain. Pancreatitis ranges in severity from mild cases that resolve within a few days with supportive care, to severe, potentially fatal cases involving necrosis, abscesses, sepsis, and multiple organ failure. Dogs that experience one bout of pancreatitis are also at higher risk for recurrence. Treatment focuses on resting the pancreas by withholding all oral food and water during the acute episode, providing IV fluids, controlling pain and nausea, and addressing any complications. As the condition improves, a bland, low fat prescription diet is gradually reintroduced. Dietary management for dogs prone to pancreatitis aims to minimize dietary fat and provide highly digestible protein and carbohydrate sources. Therefore, the role of vegetables, including peas and carrots, is an important consideration.

Are peas good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Peas contain a moderate amount of dietary fiber and protein, with minimal fat. Fiber plays a beneficial role in pancreatitis by helping normalize intestinal mobility. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance during digestion that slows down digestion, while insoluble fiber adds bulk and speeds up the passage of food through the digestive tract. This helps minimize GI disturbances and reduces the workload for the inflamed pancreas. Peas also provide antioxidants like vitamin C and lutein that can help reduce inflammation. Overall, the high fiber, low fat, and easily digestible carbohydrate content of peas make them a good option for dogs prone to pancreatitis. Here are some more specifics on the nutritional benefits of peas for dogs with pancreatitis:

  • Provide insoluble and soluble fiber to regulate digestion – 7g per 100g peas
  • Low fat – 0.4g per 100g peas
  • Moderate protein – 5g per 100g peas
  • High in vitamin C, K, folate, thiamin, manganese
  • Contain lutein antioxidants that reduce inflammation
  • Easily digestible carbohydrates
  • Low glycemic index

Peas can be fed fresh, frozen, or canned. Canned varieties should be low sodium and not packed in sugary syrups. Whether fed as treats or meal toppers, peas are a nutritious addition to a pancreatitis-friendly diet. Introduce peas gradually and in small amounts to allow the dog’s digestive system to adjust. Monitor for any signs of continued GI upset. Avoid creamed peas or preparations with added fat or seasoning. Green peas provide more nutrition than yellow peas. Overall, the high fiber and low fat content make properly prepared peas a great choice for dogs prone to pancreatitis.

Are carrots good for dogs with pancreatitis?

Like peas, carrots make a healthy, low-fat treat or meal addition for dogs with pancreatitis. Here’s a look at the nutritional profile of carrots:

  • Very low in fat – 0.2g per 100g carrots
  • Moderate in fiber – 3g per 100g carrots
  • High in vitamin A, C, K, potassium
  • Contain antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein
  • Easy to digest

Carrots provide insoluble fiber that encourages digestive regularity, as well as soluble fiber that can soothe GI upset. The beta carotene pigments act as antioxidants to reduce inflammation at the cellular level. Carrots are also very low in calories and low on the glycemic index, making them an ideal snack. Some easy ways to serve carrots include:

  • Raw baby carrots
  • Lightly steamed or roasted carrot slices, cubes, or “fries”
  • Shredded carrots added to the dog’s main meal
  • Low sodium canned carrots

Avoid giving dogs carrots in large amounts initially – start with a few slices or baby carrots at a time. Make sure to cut any raw carrots and cooked pieces into bite-sized portions. Do not give dogs raw carrot sticks that can splinter or pose a choking hazard. Also avoid canned carrots packed in syrup, butter, or other oils or seasonings. Plain, minimally processed carrots make the best choice for dogs with pancreatitis. The nutrients and fiber support digestive health, and the very low fat content does not overwork the pancreas. Carrots paired with an appropriate prescription pancreatitis diet can aid recovery and reduce recurrence.

Sample diet for a dog with pancreatitis

When a dog is experiencing an acute bout of pancreatitis, food is typically withheld for at least 24 hours to allow the pancreas to rest. IV fluids and anti-nausea medications are provided during this time. As the condition improves, small amounts of a bland, low fat diet are gradually introduced. Here is an example of what an initial re-feeding schedule may look like:

Day 1

– Continue IV fluids
– Introduce ice cubes to lick throughout the day
– Give several teaspoons of a bland diet in the evening if interest is shown

Day 2

– Reduce IV fluids if drinking normally
– Allow ice cubes and up to 1/4 cup bland diet separated into 3-4 small meals
– Bland diet options: prescription GI food, lean ground beef, lean chicken, white rice, pasta, mashed potatoes

Day 3

– Discontinue IV fluids if drinking and eating normally
– Give 1/2 cup bland diet separated into 4-5 small meals

Day 4

– Gradually increase bland diet to 3/4 cup total for the day

Day 5 and beyond

– Transition back to regular low fat pancreatitis diet
– Amount fed depends on dog’s needs – follow prescription diet guidelines
– Add digestive enzymes or probiotic supplement

Once acute pancreatitis has resolved, the dog should be maintained long term on a low fat, highly digestible diet. Here is an example meal plan:


– 1/2 cup prescription GI kibble
– 1 tbsp cottage cheese
– 2 tbsp canned pumpkin


– 1/3 cup lean ground turkey
– 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
– 1 tbsp shredded carrots


– 1/2 cup prescription GI canned food
– 2 tbsp canned green beans, drained
– 1 tbsp peas

This provides balanced nutrition while minimizing dietary fat. Fiber is introduced through the vegetables and pumpkin. Probiotics help maintain digestive health. Most dogs do very well long term on this type of diet. Recurrence of pancreatitis is reduced compared to a normal high fat diet.

What to feed and avoid?

Creating a pancreatitis-friendly diet involves limiting dietary fat while providing good protein sources and antioxidants. Here are some guidelines on what to feed and what to avoid:

Recommend Foods

  • Low fat meats like chicken breast, turkey, lean ground beef, fish
  • Eggs
  • Cook grains like rice, quinoa, barley
  • Low fat dairy like cottage cheese, low fat yogurt
  • Certain fruits like banana, melon, apple, blueberries
  • Non-fatty vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, zucchini
  • Oatmeal, mashed potatoes


  • Fatty meats like beef, pork, lamb, duck, sausage
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna
  • Bones, skin, scraps with visible fat
  • Greasy people food
  • Most dairy products
  • Fatty fruits like avocado, coconut
  • High fat vegetables like corn, pumpkin
  • Nuts
  • Oils, butter, sauces, gravies

When in doubt, lean towards low fat whole food options that provide balanced nutrition. Prescription GI diets are formulated specifically for dogs with pancreatitis. These diets ensure nutritional needs are met while strictly controlling fat. For dogs prone to pancreatitis, sticking to a prescription food is ideal for reducing future flare-ups.

What about carrots and peas specifically?

Both carrots and peas are excellent choices to include in moderation in a low fat, pancreatitis-friendly diet. Here’s a summary of their beneficial qualities:


  • Very low in fat
  • Provide insoluble and soluble fiber
  • High in vitamin A, potassium, antioxidants
  • Support healthy digestion


  • Low in fat
  • Moderate protein source
  • Rich in vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin
  • Provide soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Both vegetables are nutrient-dense without providing unnecessary fat. They contain a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health. The fiber content aids digestion – peas add soluble fiber and carrots primarily add insoluble fiber. When introduced slowly in small amounts, carrots and peas are an excellent addition to most dogs’ pancreatitis diets. Their low calories also make them great for snacks or treats. Stick to minimally processed, plain preparations without added fat, salt or sugar. Both fresh and frozen carrots and peas are good options. In summary, carrots and peas provide valuable nutrition and fiber for dogs with pancreatitis while being very low in fat content.


Pancreatitis can be a painful, serious condition for dogs. Appropriate nutritional management is key for recovery and prevention of future flare-ups. A low fat, highly digestible diet helps rest the pancreas and minimize symptoms. Lean proteins, whole grains, and non-fatty fruits and vegetables form the basis of a pancreatitis-friendly diet. Carrots and peas specifically provide many benefits including:

  • Very low in fat
  • Moderate protein and fiber
  • High in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Aid healthy digestion
  • Support a healthy pancreas

When introduced gradually in small amounts, both carrots and peas make nutritious, low-calorie additions to the diet of dogs prone to pancreatitis. Their fiber and nutrients support the GI tract, while their low fat content does not overwork the pancreas. Stick to plain, minimally processed forms of these vegetables for optimal benefits. Along with appropriate medical care, a customized low fat diet with vegetables like carrots and peas is the best nutritional approach for dogs with pancreatitis. This diet helps manage the condition both during and after an acute episode.

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