Healthy organs have the unique benefit of being able to strengthen and repair your dog’s own organs. When you feed your dog pancreas, it can support his pancreas in 5 powerful ways. First let’s take a closer look at the the role of the pancreas.
Pancreas: An Organ With 2 Functions
Organs are a natural source of vitamins and minerals and that makes them the multi-vitamins of your dog’s diet. The pancreas is part of your dog’s digestive system. And it has two very different functions:
About 95% of the pancreas is exocrine tissue. This tissue excretes enzymes to help your dog process food. Enzymes digest food into smaller units used for cell repair and energy. Its main digestive enzymes are:
- Amylase that breaks down carbohydrates
- Lipase that breaks down fat
- Protease that breaks down protein
The pancreas is also an endocrine gland. Its other role is to produce hormones. The most important ones are insulin and glucagon. Insulin is the hormone that lowers glucose levels, while glucagon raises glucose levels.
Now let’s look at why it’s important to feed this organ to your dog.
5 Important Reasons To Feed Pancreas
All dogs benefit from having pancreas in their diets. Some need it more than others for these reasons.
1. Support The Pancreas
As early as 1899, the Merck Veterinary Manual recommended feeding pig pancreas to support the pancreas. That practice became known as glandular therapy.
Modern medicine ignores it, but glandular therapy is still an effective treatment in holistic medicine. Practitioners use organs for their unique nutrients and fats that support optimal function. As examples, the brain is rich in DHA, a fatty acid that protects nerve cells. And the pancreas is rich in digestive enzymes and hormones.
Dogs with a low functioning pancreas don’t produce enough digestive enzymes to process their meals. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Dogs prone to enzyme deficiency include:
- Older dogs
- Dogs on a diet of kibble or cooked food
- Dogs who have pancreatitis
- Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insuffiency (EPI)
Pancreas has also been able to balance the hormones in diabetic dogs.
2. Control Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Drugs, toxins, poor diet or an excessively fatty diet stress and damage the pancreas. An inflamed pancreas will form scar tissue that blocks the cells that produce insulin and glucagon. It can also block the cells that produce digestive enzymes.
These are some breeds susceptible to chronic pancreatitis:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Miniature Schnauzers (due to difficulty metabolizing fat)
Eating pancreas provides dogs with pancreatitis the digestive enzymes and hormones their own pancreas can't produce.
3. Relieve EPI In Dogs
EPI stands for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. EPI disease stops the pancreas from producing enzymes that break down fat, protein and carbohydrates. That prevents your dog’s body from absorbing nutrients. If left untreated, EPI can lead to organ failure and even death.
Most veterinarians advise feeding pancreas to dogs who have EPI. There’s a study that shows feeding pancreas controls symptoms of EPI in dogs. It only took 4 months for the general health of the EPI dogs to match healthy dogs in the study.
When you feed pancreas or add pancreatic enzymes to your dog’s food, it replaces those missing enzymes. Then your EPI dog can absorb nutrients.
4. Help Prevent Diabetes
If your dog’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin properly, glucose can’t get into his cells to provide energy. That translates to diabetes. And a diabetic dog will need a lifetime of insulin shots.
Type 1 diabetes is what most diabetic dogs get. It’s not directly caused by diet ... but diet is a huge factor in preventing and managing it. Nutrition-based factors that cause diabetes include ...
- Food allergies
- Inflammatory ingredients in food
- Contaminants (drugs, toxins and other endocrine disruptors)
- Weight (fat cells secrete pro-inflammatory hormones)
- Pancreatitis caused by diet
The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine says, “Animals that are overweight or those with inflammation of the pancreas are predisposed to developing diabetes. Some drugs can interfere with insulin, leading to diabetes.”
It’s estimated that 25% of diabetic dogs have or have had pancreatitis. This destroys pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. So, giving your dog pancreas is a proactive approach to help prevent diabetes. Here’s how …
Pancreas contains manganese that helps insulin production. Pancreatic enzymes digest fat, protein and carbohydrates.This supports the function of a compromised pancreas and allows it to produce insulin as needed.
RELATED: What causes diabetes in dogs?
5. Provide Pancreatic Enzymes For Aging Dogs
Older dogs naturally produce fewer enzymes. That means all senior dogs probably have an enzyme shortage. But it can happen to younger dogs too. They’ll also benefit from extra digestive enzymes.
There are lots of causes of enzyme deficiency: poor diet, drugs, city water and vaccines. Enzyme deficiencies can affect these vital processes in your dog’s body:
- Immune system
- Waste and toxins
Poor gut health leads to many common dog problems. They include food intolerances, allergies, recurring ear infections and skin problems. Adding digestive enzymes helps them all.
How To Feed Your Dog Pancreas
You can feed your dog either fresh raw pancreas or powdered pancreas. Research shows both are effective and you only need a small amount. If you feed powdered pancreas, choose freeze-dried. Heat destroys enzymes so dehydrated pancreas isn't suitable because heat is used during dehydration.
Dosing For Healthy Dogs:
If using freeze-dried pancreas, give 100-200 mg daily for every 30 pounds of body weight. It's food, not a drug, so you can give a little less or a little more.
If feeding raw pancreas, give it as about 2-5% of his diet daily.
If feeding powder, it needs to be “incubated.” You add it to your dog’s food, moisten the powder, then let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 60 minutes before feeding. Enzymes are powerful and can cause mouth bleeding or sores. If you find that happens, reduce the dose and that usually helps.
Always find the freshest, best quality raw pancreas for your dog. Grass-fed meat of any kind is always better. That’s because grass-fed meat has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids that control inflammation.