Why Dogs Should Eat Pancreas

raw pancreas for dogs

Can you name the best thing to feed a dog with a damaged organ?

The answer is ... the raw organ in his bowl! 

Healthy organs have the unique benefit of being able to strengthen and repair your dog’s own organs. So, feed liver to support your dog's liver, kidney to support his kidney ... and so on. 

And when it comes to the pancreas, here’s how giving your dog a bit of pancreas every day can help heal some pancreatic problems.  

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 multivitamins of your dog’s diet. The pancreas is part of your dog’s digestive system. And it has two very different functions:

Exocrine Function

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

      RELATED: Read about important digestive enzymes for dogs ...

      Endocrine Function

      The pancreas is also an endocrine gland. This part of its job 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 with pancreatitis
      • Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insuffiency (EPI)

            Pancreas can also help balance the hormones in diabetic dogs.

            RELATED:  How much organ meat to feed 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
            • Collies
            • Boxers
            • Miniature Schnauzers (who have difficulty metabolizing fat)

                      Eating pancreas provides dogs with pancreatitis the digestive enzymes and hormones their own pancreas can't produce.

                      RELATED: Here’s how to manage pancreatitis in dogs …

                      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.

                      RELATED: EPI and other digestive diseases in dogs …

                      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
                              • Hormones
                              • Gallbladder

                                    Poor gut health leads to many common dog problems ... like 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 a freeze-dried product. Heat destroys enzymes, so dehydrated pancreas isn't suitable because heat is used during dehydration.

                                    Pancreas Dosing For Healthy Dogs

                                    For freeze-dried pancreas, give 100-200 mg daily for every 30 pounds of body weight. It's food, not a drug, so the amount doesn't have to be exact. 

                                    For  raw pancreas, give it as about 2-5% of his diet daily. 

                                    If you feed pancreas powder, it needs to be “incubated.” Do this by adding it to your dog’s food, then moisten the powder and 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.

                                    RECOMMENDED: Four Leaf Rover offers Digest digestive enzymes with New Zealand bovine pancreas to support your dog’s normal pancreas function, plus soil based probiotics for gut health. Buy Digest now >>

                                    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 healthier fat content, with  higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids that control inflammation. 

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