How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health

Ready to learn about raw pancreas for dogs and how it’s used to help with pancreatic insufficiencies and digestive health?

Well, pancreas is the main digestive organ, which is why pancreas meat is rich in digestive enzymes.

That makes it an important ingredient in whole food supplements and (raw) dog food for pancreatitis, EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) and IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease).

So in this blog post, I’ll cover the following:

  • Benefits of raw pancreas for dogs
  • How much raw pancreas should I feed my dog?
  • How long can raw pancreas be frozen without losing its enzymatic properties?
  • What kind of pancreas can dogs eat?
  • Where to buy raw pancreas for dogs (US, Canada, UK, Australia)

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Benefits Of Raw Pancreas For Dogs

So what is raw pancreas used for in dogs?

Since I’m a raw feeder, let’s start with its importance in raw dog food – raw pancreas is classified as a secreting organ in raw feeding. That makes it an important component alongside raw liver.

While it’s not as rich in Vitamins and Minerals as other secreting organs, it does produce and secrete insulin as well as digestive enzymes, specifically Amylase, Protease and Lipase.

Insulin controls blood sugar and the digestive enzymes help digest and absorb carbs (Amylase), proteins (Protease) and fats (Lipase).

Digestive Enzymes For Dogs With EPI & Pancreatitis

Now, dogs that suffer from pancreatic insufficiencies don’t have those enzymes because the exocrine part of their pancreas can’t make them.

Or, as is the case in pancreatitis, the pancreas is inflamed and begins to digest itself.

Of course this causes maldigestion and malabsorption of nutrients, which is why these dogs need to be supplemented with digestive enzymes, ideally LIVE ones!

In case you’re wondering, symptoms of pancreatitis and EPI are:

  • Rapid weight loss despite feeding enough food
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Belly gurgling & gas
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Poop eating
  • Pale stools
  • Dull coat
  • Lethargy

EPI dogs also suffer from SID (Small Intestinal Dysbiosis), which is an (understandable!) imbalance in the gut flora.

A common side effect of EPI can also be low Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) levels.

Tip: I warmly recommend the 501c3 non-profit Foundation Epi4Dogs. They’re a wealth of knowledge and resources for owners of EPI dogs.

You can read more on low Vitamin B12 levels here.

How Much Raw Pancreas Should I Feed My Dog?

It depends.

Are you planning on feeding pancreas as a preventative in a raw dog food diet? Then check out (1) and (2) below.

But if you want to feed raw pancreas as part of a glandular therapy approach to treat your dog with pancreatitis or EPI, check out (3).

(1) Use Raw Pancreas In Raw Dog Food Meal Prep

When you make your own DIY raw dog food, you’re going to be adding different cuts of meat from 3-4 ingredient categories.

One of those categories is the secreting organ group. Overall, it makes up 10% of your healthy adult dog’s daily raw dog food allowance.

That said, raw liver makes up half of it (5%), and the other 5% can be secreting organs such as:

  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Eyes
  • Brains
  • Testicles
  • Ovaries
  • Thymus glands
  • ….and pancreas!
How to use raw pancreas in raw dog food meal prep

Here’s How Much Pancreas Your Healthy Adult Dog Can Have Per Day:

That’s if they’re fed at an average 2.5% maintenance percentage. Learn more about how to measure percentages in raw feeding here.

10 lb dog0.2 oz
15 lb dog0.3 oz
20 lb dog0.4 oz
25 lb dog0.5 oz
30 lb dog0.6 oz
35 lb dog0.7 oz
40 lb dog0.8 oz
45 lb dog0.9 oz
50 lb dog1 oz
55 lb dog1.1 oz
60 lb dog1.2 oz
65 lb dog1.3 oz
70 lb dog1.4 oz
75 lb dog1.5 oz
80 lb dog1.6 oz
85 lb dog1.7 oz
90 lb dog1.8 oz
95 lb dog1.9 oz
100 lb dog2.0 oz

That’s one way of how I personally feed it to my pup Wally.

For more information on the different ingredients for raw dog food, check out my blog post What does balanced raw dog food consist of?

(2) Feed Premade Raw Dog Food With Raw Pancreas On The Ingredient List

If you don’t want to make your own DIY homemade raw dog food, you can also buy premade raw dog food that uses pancreas in their raw dog food recipes.

This way of feeding raw pancreas is going to be your most convenient option, and I’ll mention several resources later in this blog post.

You can feed your healthy adult dog roughly 3-4 oz for every 10 lb of body weight per day.

(3) Feeding Dogs Raw Pancreas for EPI

Now here’s where it gets interesting especially for kibble feeders!

That’s because raw pancreas is going to support dogs diagnosed with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).

Unfortunately, dogs with EPI usually eat highly processed dog food that doesn’t have any live enzymes (unlike raw dog food!).

That’s why raw pancreas meat is so beneficial for kibble-fed dogs who don’t get enough live enzymes in their diet.

Here’s what Merck Veterinary Manual has to say on the topic of pancreatitis/EPI in dogs (and cats):

Most dogs and cats with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can be successfully treated by supplementation with pancreatic enzymes. […]

Powder is more effective than tablets, capsules, and especially enteric-coated products. Initially, 1 teaspoon/10 kg should be given with each meal for dogs and 1 teaspoon/cat with each meal for cats.

Once the clinical signs have completely resolved, the dose can be slowly decreased until the lowest effective dose has been reached.

However, it should be noted that the lowest effective dose can vary between enzyme batches. 

Oral bleeding has been reported in 3 of 25 dogs with EPI treated with pancreatic enzyme supplements; the bleeding stopped in all three dogs after a dose reduction.

Moistening the food and pancreatic powder mix may also decrease the frequency of this adverse effect. […] Fresh pancreas may be a viable alternative to the use of powder; 1–3 oz (30–90 g) of raw chopped pancreas can replace 1 teaspoon of pancreatic extract.

Raw pancreas can be kept frozen for several months without loss of enzymatic activity.[…]

Merck Veterinary Manual

How Much (Raw) Pancreas Should I Feed My Dog With EPI?

As per Merck Veterinary Manual, you can feed your dog with EPI:

  • 1 teaspoon of pancreatic enzyme powder per 20 lbs of dog weight with each meal, or
  • 1-3 oz of raw pancreas per teaspoon.

Tip: If you’re planning on making homemade raw dog food for your EPI dog, Epi4Dogs recommends to start them out with 4% of their current body weight.

That said, I would always suggest consulting with a (homeopathic) veterinarian to confirm the amount of pancreatic enzyme powder and/or raw pancreas needed for your respective dog.

They’ll also be able to determine the duration of the raw pancreas supplementation.

Alternative: Pancreatic EPI Supplements For Dogs

The following powders all contain EPI enzymes for dogs, specifically Amylase, Protease and Lipase in the form of pancreatin:

  • Thomas Pet Bio Case Plus – Pancreatic Enzymes for Dogs & Cats – Digestive Supplement – [12 Ounces, Powder, Ingredients: Dried Porcine Pancreas, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Diatomaceous Earth, Intrinsic Factor (porcine stomach), L Glutamine, Vitamin B12 Supplement]
  • Pan-tenex | 10x Digestive Enzymes for Dogs – 8.8 Ounces [250 Grams, Ingredients: Pancreatin]
  • CK Formulations | Pancretase Digestive Enzymes [Ingredients: Porcine Pancreatin]
  • Adored Beast Healthy Gut | Digestive Enzymes [Ingredients: Papain 50 000 PU, Betaine HCL, Bromelain 2400 GDU, Porcine Pancreatin 8X (50 MG), Larch Arabinogalactan, Multi Strain Probiotic Blend]

As far as how much to feed to your pet with EPI, check the label for dosing instructions and run them by your vet!

Tip: Another natural supplement that helps reduce inflammation by soothing and lubricating the stomach lining is slippery elm.

You can read all about it in my slippery elm blog post here.

How Long Can Raw Pancreas Be Frozen Without Losing Its Enzymatic Properties?

About 3 months, so make sure not to buy too much at once if you want to use it for medicinal purposes.

Most raw dog food retailers who sell pancreas include a note about their freshness in the product description, so look out for that.

This also explains why raw pancreas sells out quickly!

How Long Can Raw Pancreas Be Frozen Without Losing Its Enzymatic Properties?
Frozen beef pancreas in Wally’s raw dog food freezer

What Kind Of Raw Pancreas Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs can and should eat a variety of raw pancreas from different animals, such as:

  • Beef pancreas
  • Pork pancreas
  • Lamb pancreas
  • Goat pancreas
  • Deer pancreas

As a matter of fact, the more you’re able to rotate between pancreas from different animals, the better – that’s how you avoid nutrient holes!

3 Different Nutrient Profiles Of Raw Pancreas

I always preach how important it is to rotate not just the cuts of animals you feed, but also the animals themselves.

That said, I looked up the nutrient profiles of raw beef pancreas, raw pork pancreas and raw lamb pancreas to give you an idea of their different nutrients.

You’ll see that beef pancreas is the richest in B Vitamins and Minerals, followed by pork and lastly lamb.

Here’s what you’ll find in 100 g = 3 oz of Raw Beef Pancreas.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: 0.00 mcg
  • B1 (Thiamin): 0.140 mg
  • B2 (Riboflavin): 0.445 mg
  • B3 (Niacin): 4.450 mg
  • B5 (Pantothenic acid): 3.900 mg
  • B6: 0.200 mg
  • B9 (Folate): 3.00 mcg
  • B12 (Cobalamin): 14.00 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 13.7 mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.00 mg

Minerals:

  • Calcium: 9.00 mg
  • Copper: 0.06 mg
  • Iron: 2.22 mg
  • Magnesium: 18.00 mg
  • Manganese: 0.150 mg
  • Phosphorus: 327.00 mg
  • Potassium: 276.00 mg
  • Selenium: 24.70 mcg
  • Sodium: 67.00 mg
  • Zinc: 2.58 mg

Here’s what you’ll find in 100 g = 3 oz of Raw Pork Pancreas.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: 0.00 mcg
  • B1 (Thiamin): 0.030 mg
  • B2 (Riboflavin): 0.130 mg
  • B3 (Niacin): 0.978 mg
  • B5 (Pantothenic acid): 1.291 mg
  • B6: 0.130 mg
  • B9 (Folate): 3.00 mcg
  • B12 (Cobalamin): 4.65 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 4.3 mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.00 mg

Minerals:

  • Calcium: 3.12 mg
  • Copper: 0.03 mg
  • Iron: 0.65 mg
  • Magnesium: 4.82 mg
  • Manganese: 0.045 mg
  • Phosphorus: 66.34 mg
  • Potassium: 55.85 mg
  • Selenium: 11.57 mcg
  • Sodium: 12.47 mg
  • Zinc: 0.74 mg

Here’s what you’ll find in 100 g = 3 oz of Raw Lamb Pancreas.

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: 0.00 mcg
  • B1 (Thiamin): 0.009 mg
  • B2 (Riboflavin): 0.071 mg
  • B3 (Niacin): 1.049 mg
  • B5 (Pantothenic acid): 0.284 mg
  • B6: 0.20 mg
  • B9 (Folate): 3.69 mcg
  • B12 (Cobalamin): 1.70 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 5.1 mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.00 mg

Minerals:

  • Calcium: 2.27 mg
  • Copper: 0.02 mg
  • Iron: 0.65 mg
  • Magnesium: 5.95 mg
  • Manganese: 0.011 mg
  • Phosphorus: 113.40 mg
  • Potassium: 119.07 mg
  • Selenium: 9.72 mcg
  • Sodium: 21.26 mg
  • Zinc: 0.55 mg

Where To Buy Raw Pancreas For Dogs In The US

The following raw dog food retailers carry raw pancreas in the US. They’re usually from beef, pork, lamb or goat.

If you have access to a wildlife processor, are friends with hunters or hunt yourself, you may also get your hands on raw deer pancreas.

Learn how to safely feed your dog different cuts of wild raw venison here.

Raw Feeding Miami

Raw Feeding Miami states that their “supplier harvests their pork pancreas as medical grade quality”.

Tip: Save 10% on your first Raw Feeding Miami order with my referral link.

Cutting up raw beef pancreas for my homemade raw dog food
Getting ready to cut up raw beef pancreas from Raw Feeding Miami for meal prep

My Pet Carnivore

Hare Today

Ground beef pancreas

BJ’s Raw Pet Food

Sirius Natural Pet Foods

San Francisco Rw

Raw Paws Pet Food

Signature blend pork recipe (Pork Meat, Pork Heart, Pork Tongue, Pork Bone, Pork Lung, Pork Liver, Pork Kidney, Pork Spleen, Pork Pancreas)

Tip: Save 15% with code K9Savings.

Where To Buy Raw Pancreas For Dogs In Canada, The UK & Australia

Canada

UK

Australia

I only found one supplier in Australia who carries raw pancreas:

Beef pancreas from Pet Mince Direct (in store only: Shop 6, 4129 Warrego Highway, Plainland, Queensland, 4341)

If any one of my readers is aware of more (online) resources, please share them in the comment section below this blog post so other raw feeders may benefit from it.

How To Use Raw Pancreas For Dogs To Support Digestive Health: Bottom Line

Raw pancreas is beneficial both for healthy dogs AND for (kibble-fed) dogs who suffer from pancreatic insufficiencies like pancreatitis, EPI, SID or IBD.

For healthy dogs, you can include raw pancreas in their raw diet as a preventative whole food ingredient.

If you make your own meals, add it as second secreting organ alongside raw liver. If you feed premade raw dog food, choose a recipe that includes raw pancreas.

For EPI dogs, you can top your dog’s dry or canned dog food off with fresh pancreas, but you may want to consider switching them to a raw, fresh food diet altogether.

An alternative to raw pancreas is pancreatic enzyme powder.

Regardless of which pancreas supplementation you choose, make sure to discuss it with your (homeopathic) vet. They’ll be able to run tests to determine the effective pancreatic enzyme dosage needed.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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