Benefits of low fat foods for dogs

Updated 09 May 2024
Read time: 5 mins
article author
Written by Elle Padgham
Lead Copywriter
article author
Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon
Team Vet
For some dogs, feeding ‘regular’ dog food is not the most appropriate option. Many will benefit from tailored or prescribed diets that best support their medical needs. Low fat dog foods are one of the most common types of tailored diets purchased in the UK today. Read on below to discover what they offer and why they are so popular among the canine population.

Which Dogs Benefit most from Low Fat Diets?

While low fat diets won’t be the best choice for all, they can benefit many dogs. We would consider a low fat diet for those who are over-weight, those who have gastrointestinal disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or those who are prone to pancreatitis.

Historically, low fat diets have often contained sub-par ingredients and low levels of protein. Pooch & Mutt have just launched a vet approved Low Fat wet dog food made from over 60% fish. With a very small percentage of fat (just 2% on a wet matter basis), this is a great option for those who have been advised to keep their dietary fat low. 

When converted to dry matter basis, this equates to a fat content of just 9%. Keeping in mind that some commercial dry diets have up to 25% fat, it is clear that this is a very low fat option.

What exactly is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which can cause severe abdominal pain. The purpose of the pancreas is to produce enzymes to assist in digestion. It also produces insulin, an important hormone when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis can occur in any dog, regardless of age or breed. However, it is more common in certain breeds including the Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer and Cocker Spaniel.


The exact cause is not fully understood. We do know, however, that fatty and greasy foods can trigger a bout of pancreatitis. Sometimes, certain medicines like corticosteroids can play a role too. It is likely that some dogs are genetically predisposed.


As pancreatitis can be acute (comes on suddenly) or chronic (grumbles on over several weeks) symptoms can vary. Possible signs to monitor for include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Lethargy
  • A tense abdomen
  • Restlessness
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

During a flare up, many dogs are in extreme pain. They may put their front legs out and their bum in the air. This is called the ‘prayer position’ and is an attempt to alleviate abdominal discomfort.

If pancreatitis is suspected from your dog’s signs, the vet will try to confirm this with specific blood tests and imaging studies such as an ultrasound scan. Frustratingly, it is not always an easy diagnosis to make as we can get ‘false negatives’ from the tests. This means that the tests appear negative, even though the dog has pancreatitis.


As pancreatitis can be very serious and even fatal, treatment should commence as soon as possible. Dogs may need to be hospitalised. Supportive care will consist of intravenous fluids, strong pain relief, anti-inflammatories and a low-fat diet. While it was once thought that starving throughout the illness was best, it is now believed that it is important to feed the dog, in order to aid their recovery.


While pancreatitis cannot always be prevented, there are a few things that we can do.

  • It can be sensible to feed a low fat diet long term. Aim for a diet with a low fat percentage, such as the new fish food from Pooch & Mutt.
  • Stop sharing greasy or fatty table scraps and ensure your dog doesn’t have access to open bins, from which they may snaffle leftovers.
  • Keep your dog slim; aiming for a Body Condition Score of 4 or 5 out of 9.

Gastrointestinal Disease and your Dog

There are a range of conditions that can affect the stomach and intestines of the dog. Symptoms can include chronic diarrhoea, periodic vomiting, a reduced appetite or the presence of blood or mucus in the stool.


Frustratingly, there are a huge range of gastrointestinal disorders that can affect dogs. It is not always easy to get a specific diagnosis, especially when signs wax and wane. Considerations include Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Food Sensitivities, Parasitic, Viral and Bacterial Infections, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Lymphangiectasia, Food Allergies etc.


When something is amiss with the digestive tract, signs tend to include vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Dogs may not be absorbing nutrients as they should, so may lose weight, be prone to infections and have a lacklustre coat.


Treatment will be tailored to the specific disease. Determining what exactly is wrong is not always straightforward and can include a range of diagnostic tests such as specific blood tests, a stool analysis, abdominal imaging and even gastrointestinal biopsies.

Medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and ant acids will be prescribed as needed. For most, providing a low fat, highly digestible diet is key. Many also need a substantial amount of protein, to replace the protein being lost through the gut. On a dry matter basis, Pooch & Mutt’s Fish Wet Food contains 42.8% protein; replacing any protein being lost through the gut.

With a limited number of ingredients, this Fish Wet Food is often the right choice for those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Food Allergies. Fish, potato, pea and seaweed are the only ingredients, making it a low allergen diet.

The Take Home Message

Low Fat dog foods play a vital role in the treatment of a number of diseases. They can help treat and prevent certain conditions and can be fed short or long-term. Pooch & Mutt’s new low fat option has many advantages. Ultra low fat, high in protein and palatable; this diet is an excellent choice for many. 

Comments (13)

My dog has been diagnosed with Pancreatitis and I have her on Royal Canine Gastrointestinal but I need to find out what else there is that is just as good but maybe less costly. Please can you help?

Chrystabell Young - Apr 22 2022
Pooch Admin

Hi @Chrystabell Young As the article says you could try your dog on the Fish, potato and pea wet food as this has a very low fat percentage. Let us know how you get on!

Team Pooch - Apr 22 2022

At the moment I have my dog on hills prescription i/d low fat meals wet and dry ….I also in between I give her your brand of chicken
.is there a cheaper way for me to get something from you similar to the hills …wet & dry .what would you recommend …recently had an infection on the pancreas but now on the mend .please let me know when you can …chicken meals would be the favourites.

Robert Rees - Nov 04 2022

My 15 year old dog has “slightly” reduced kidney function. Would p and m wet food be a good option for this? I’d like to reduce her protein level slightly with something she likes to eat. The vet has not yet recommended any prescription food- I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t eat that anyway! Thanks!

Linda - Apr 11 2023
Pooch Admin

Hi Linda, our Fish, Potato and Pea wet food contains the lowest fat so might be a good option. Please reach out to the team [email protected] if you would like to discuss further :)

Team Pooch - Apr 11 2023

hello, can you please let me know what the kcals are per 100grms, not per pack. Thanks

Karen - Nov 08 2023
Pooch Admin

Hi Karen, our Fish, Potato & Pea wet food contains approximately 69 calories per 100g. :)

Team Pooch - Nov 08 2023

My 11 year old dog Sylvie has been eating your Slim & Slender kibbles
for a very long time with wonderful results but has been diagnosed with Pancriatitis and needs a low fat diet, is your other products any lower in fat content than this on
Is it possible for you to let me know asap please
Thank you June and Sylvie

June - Feb 22 2024
Pooch Admin

Hi June, for those with pancreatitis we would usually suggest trying our Senior Complete dry food, as this contains only 8% fat. If you would like to discuss this any further, please reach out to the team on [email protected]. :)

Team Pooch - Feb 22 2024

Been giving the kibble to calm my dog but vet says she needs a low fat one has she has been spayed and putting a bit of weight on what do you recommend please

Christine - Feb 28 2024
Pooch Admin

Hi Christine, from our dry food range the Senior Complete contains the lowest fat at just 8%. If you would like to discuss this further, please reach out to the team on [email protected] :)

Team Pooch - Feb 28 2024

Hello. Following surgery to remove calcium oxalate stones, my miniature schnauzer has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. Do you have a suitable food options for both conditions? He also has an allergy to chicken. Thank you.

Dani - Apr 16 2024
Pooch Admin

Hi Dani,
Unfortunately, we don’t have any food that would be suitable for both conditions, as we don’t have any currently aimed for calcium stones. We will feedback to the team and hopefully we can have something suitable in the near future :)

Team Pooch - Apr 16 2024

Leave a comment

Never miss a treat!

Subscribe to our newsletter and get blog articles amongst other treats delivered to your inbox


close button