Liver disease in your canine friend can be due to various reasons like ingesting toxic substances. If your dog has liver disease, you have to take care of it properly. You can start by exploring dog food for liver disease to prevent further complications and control the disintegrating health of your dog. Also, you don’t have to stress out as this disease can be healed and treated with proper care.
The liver is a very important organ of your dog as it plays a vital role in eliminating toxins from the body. Therefore, if the liver is affected, it can cause serious health complications. The disease can be observed when the dog has abdominal swelling and discomfort. Dogs with liver disease may also be accompanied by pale gums and yellowing of eyes.
As a dog parent, you should consider that the feeding prescriptions can be changed according to your dog’s health. In case of liver disease, you should visit a vet to follow the new diet and supplements that can be helpful. Besides buying the best Dog Food for Liver Disease, you can also make homemade dog food for liver disease.
Here is a comprehensive guide to the best dog food for liver disease, along with all the information about this disease in your canine friend.
The best dog food for liver disease
Here are the top products that made the cut as the best dog food for liver disease. If you want to read more about the pros and cons of each, scroll down and dig in. In a hurry? You can click on the links to go directly to products.
- Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
- ROYAL CANIN Canine Hepatic Dry Dog Food
- Halo Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Dog Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food
What are the Types of Liver Diseases in Dogs?
Before getting into the food prescriptions or diet plans, let’s discuss the various liver diseases frequently observed in dogs.
This disease is the most common primary liver disease diagnosed in dogs. This type of hepatitis results in a chronic inflammatory condition that can be due to the following reasons;
- Genetic conditions
- Infectious agents such as viral infections and leptospirosis
- Severe trauma
- Various drugs such as NSAIDs, paracetamol, phenobarbital
The accumulation of copper within the hepatocytes is the most toxic and is referred to as copper-associated hepatitis. In such cases, dog food for liver diseases is preferred to aid treatment.
Acute Liver Failure
In this case, the liver of the animal suddenly stops working. This problem is usually associated with blood clotting issues and neurological malfunctioning. Acute liver failure can either occur due to the previously deceased liver or can also be due to any sudden injury.
Hepatic encephalopathy is also a liver disease observed in quite a few cases. It is a syndrome of neurological problems resulting from a poorly functioning liver. This disease can be due to various liver malfunctioning and neurological issues.
Although these shunts are usually congenital in some rare cases, they also develop due to certain illnesses over time. This type is referred to as acquired liver shunt common in older dogs. Therefore, if you have an older dog and it has been diagnosed with this certain disease, you should make dog food for liver disease accordingly. This disease can be due to the high blood pressure in the vessels entering the liver.
Detecting a liver disease can be complicated as it can take years. Therefore it is necessary to check for the symptoms in your dog to get food for canine liver disease and start feeding it to your dog as soon as possible.
Elevated liver enzymes
This is a condition where the liver enzymes are raised above the normal. Any rise in liver enzymes can lead to serious health issues such as acute hepatitis, muscle damage, or even death.
Cancer is the most dangerous canine liver disease due to its ability to spread and destroy many surrounding tissues. Liver cancer cells lead to pain, darkening in gums, and loss of appetite in dogs.
Symptoms of Liver Disease in Dogs
As a pet owner, you might know that you can immediately point out any irregular activity or problem in your dog’s behavior. Here are some symptoms you may notice in dogs with liver disease, and if any of them seems to occur quite frequently, you should take your dog to the vet.
- Play bowing
- Bloody urine or stools
- Ascites – swelling up of the abdomen
- Diarrhea (usually of orange color)
- Unstable walk
- Weight loss due to the poor digestive system
- Symptoms of jaundice
- Possible pruritus
- Muscle wastage
- Licking of lips
- Sometimes blindness
Moreover, it is to keep in mind that these symptoms are not confined to liver diseases only. Therefore, it is necessary to get a proper check-up of your dog before starting dog food for liver disease.
Reasons for Liver Disease in Dogs
As promised that we provide you with the necessary information about liver diseases in dogs and homemade dog food recipes for liver disease, we will do so. Before stepping into the diet plans and recipes for the cause, let’s discuss what factors cause liver problems in dogs. Some of the reasons for liver disease in dogs include;
Stress and Traumas
Stress is a major cause of various diseases and cannot be ignored while diagnosing liver disease in your dog. Determining the stress response is important to consider while diagnosing any disease. Another reason for liver disease is severe trauma. If your dog has had an accident that affected its liver area, it could cause liver disease afterward.
Improper or Poor Diet
Even though poor diet is not the major reason or cause of a disease, it plays a great role. If your dog is not getting proper and essential nutrients, it will strain the liver and trigger genetics. That’s why dog food for liver disease helps a lot in the treatment.
Copper toxicity can be due to a low level of zinc in the diet or the genetics responsible for impairing the detoxification of copper and the assimilation and absorption of zinc. It results in copper-associated hepatitis that is seriously damaging for the liver.
Various types of infectious agents tend to damage the dog’s liver. Some bacterial, parasitic, and fungal diseases can cause damage to the animal’s liver. Therefore, it is vital to check this factor while going through the diagnostic process.
Some diseases like diabetes, Mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and hyperadrenocorticism can cause real damage to a dog’s liver. Therefore, it is necessary to check for any endocrine diseases while diagnosing liver disease.
Chemicals and Drugs
Some pharmaceutical drugs can affect the dog’s liver when taken frequently or beyond a certain amount. Some of these drugs include paracetamol, NSAIDs, and phenobarbital.
What dog Breeds are more Prone to Liver Disease?
All dogs can have liver disease, but few breeds are more prone to this, like dogs with copper storage disease. It means that it is quite difficult for their liver to get rid of excess copper. These breeds include Bedlington terriers, Dalmatians, and labrador retrievers.
In addition, canine chronic liver disease like hepatitis is also associated with slow liver damage. The breeds more prone to this condition are cocker spaniels, Labrador retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Maltese, and Chihuahuas. On the other hand, congenital polycystic liver disease has a detrimental effect on liver working in Bull Terriers, White Terriers, and Beagles. However, Shetland sheepdogs are more prone to Gallbladder Mucocele.
These canine breeds can be more prone and sensitive to liver disease. Just pay attention to symptoms and if you feel anything unusual, visit your vet as soon as possible.
What is the Best Dog Food for Liver Disease?
If you are looking for homemade dog food recipes for liver disease, you must first know what nutrients he requires more if he is diagnosed with liver disease. To help you through the process, we have listed below some nutritional and beneficial food components that might help you and your dog. So, let’s dig into the dog food for liver disease guide;
Proteins are a major requirement of the body and play a great role in healing. Therefore, if your dog suffers from liver disease, you will have to feed some good proteins. However, it is to consider that protein intake depends on the type and stage of the liver disease. You will have to consider homemade dog food recipes for liver disease with high proteins in some cases or stages. In contrast, others might demand limited protein intake. The protein that you can feed your dog includes;
- Animal-based proteins, except those rich in copper, such as salmon, duck, lamb, and pork.
- Plant-based proteins, as in eggs, dairy, and soy.
Fats and Carbohydrates
Although fats and carbohydrates are essential for digestion and providing energy to the body, their intake also depends on the stage of the disease. To avoid any inconvenience, you can choose dog food for liver disease with moderate fats and carbs. Easily digestible fats should be preferred, such as coconut oil. Moreover, add some pasta, white rice, or oatmeal to the diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Some vitamins like vitamin C, K, E, and B complex should be added to the diet when making dog food for liver disease. Also, zinc is beneficial in such cases as it has antioxidant properties and can help in the efficient functioning of the liver.
We have discussed some important aspects and factors of liver diseases in dogs and how they can be treated. Let’s get onto the reviews. Below you can find reviews of some of the best dog food for liver disease.
Top 8 Best Dog Food for Liver Disease
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Dog Food
This dog food for liver disease has high L-carnitine and L-arginine levels that are extremely beneficial for maintaining normal body fat metabolism in the liver. It has a balanced level of zinc and copper that aids in your dog’s healing process. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best dry dog foods for liver disease and can help in the improved functioning of the dog’s liver.
- It contains balanced nutrients beneficial for the liver.
- Explicitly formulated to protect the liver and its functioning.
- Contains high-quality and moderate proteins.
- Too dry and might require a little mixing.
As this dog food for liver disease contains all the essential nutrients, it can help your dog in the healing process. This hill’s dog food for liver disease is one of the best options in the market.
2. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
Blue Buffalo offers a naturally-sourced, highly nutritious dog food for liver disease. It has all the necessary nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, that speed up your pet’s recovery process. All the ingredients of this food are completely natural, and it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives. That’s what makes it one of the best dog foods for liver disease. It is helpful for the liver as well as kidneys of the pet.
- It has balanced nutrients.
- Made with the finest ingredients.
- It helps protect the function of the liver.
- It is a temporary replacement.
3. ROYAL CANIN Canine Hepatic Dry Dog Food
If you look for a low protein dog food for liver disease, Royal Canin canine hepatic dry food is one of the best options. It has a moderate amount of essential nutrients vital for the healing process. Moreover, it is easily digestible and helps reduce the inflammation in your dog’s system with the help of omega-3 fatty acids. We recommend Royal Canin as it is the best dry dog food for liver disease, and it helps lower the amount of zinc and copper in the dog’s liver.
- It helps to stabilize the pet’s blood pressure.
- Contains a moderate amount of nutrients.
- It is easily digestible.
- It might be a little expensive
4. Halo Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Dog Food
As we know that chicken can benefit dogs suffering from liver disease, this chicken dog food is a viable option. This real whole meat comes with all its packed nutrients for your little fellows. It is not just crunchy and tasty but also consists of easily digestible grains that are beneficial for a dog’s liver that is sustainably sourced and high-quality; it can be the best dog food for liver disease for different breeds.
- It is sustainably sourced.
- This dog food is whole meat chicken.
- It is beneficial for the liver function of dogs and is specifically designed for small breed dogs.
- It might be too small in size
In many cases of liver disease, you will have to look for dog food recipes that are rich in proteins. This product stands out from the other products as it has an efficient amount of proteins.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Senior Wet Dog Food
If you are looking for the best wet dog food for liver disease, you can surely consider this one. This dog food is made with completely natural materials and is really beneficial for your dog’s health. It comes in two different types,’ i.e., chicken and vegetable stew or beef and vegetable stew. So, you can choose the one that your dog likes the best.
- Ideal for adult dogs.
- Helps maintain the health of their liver, heart, kidneys.
- It is a natural canned diet.
- It is a little expensive.
It is undoubtedly one of the best-wet food dog diets for older dogs as it contains the required nutrients. Therefore, if you are looking for a diet that can help maintain the health of various organs of your dog, this one is the one to go.
6. PureVita Grain-Free Chicken & Chicken Liver Canned Dog Food
This recipe from PureVita is one of the best-wet dog food for liver disease that will promote your dog’s wellbeing and, more so, the liver.
Chicken is the key source here to nourish your pet. More so, chicken is a high-quality protein source full of essential minerals and fatty acids to promote liver regeneration.
Unlike other protein sources, chicken is gentle on a dog’s liver.
Besides that, this tasty dog food for liver problems has added vitamins like vitamin B complex vitamin E essential during liver healing.
Moreover, this recipe has no grains, artificial flavors, or preservatives that your dog’s body system may find hard to metabolize. All you will find in this drool-worthy recipe are fresh ingredients that will promote and protect the health of your dog’s liver.
Verdict: this canned dog food for liver disease is suitable for all breeds and sizes, which is a big plus. However, you might have to use lots of it for your dog to become fully satisfied. Thus it might be expensive to sustain your dog on only this type of food alone.
This recipe has no artificial flavors, preservatives, or grains
Suitable for all life stages
This recipe has a single protein source
- Some dog parents complain that this dog food makes their dogs develop loose and smelly poop.
7. Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Is your large dog breed suffering from liver problems, and you are looking for the best pocket-friendly recipe that will promote your dog’s liver health? Then this dry dog food for liver disease from Iams should be your top pick.
The reason being this dry dog food for liver disease contains healthy and nutrient-packed ingredients that will promote the health of your dog’s liver.
The key protein source in this dry dog food for liver problems is chicken. It’ll support the repair and regeneration of your dog’s liver.
If your furry friend is allergic to chicken, you are not out of choice as you can get the lamb and rice formula.
Besides quality protein sources, this dog food for liver diseases has whole fibers that promote healthy digestion. Fibers also help absorb ammonia that may be toxic if left in your dog’s system.
Besides being one of the best dry dog food for liver disease, this recipe has glucosamine and chondroitin that will support the health of your dog’s bones and joints.
The major concern here is the source of omega fatty acids derived from chicken fat, which is not a quality source.
However, if you prefer a grain-inclusive recipe for your dog with liver problems, don’t hesitate to pick this recipe.
- The first ingredient is real farm-raised chicken
- Contain wholesome fibers for improved digestion
- Plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health
- Contain grains that may be harsh on some dog’s tummies
8. Wellness Simple Natural Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Caring for your dog with liver problems has to start with what it eats. And one diet that will see your dog’s liver health improve is this one from Wellness Simple.
This recipe utilizes a single animal protein source to help regenerate your dog’s liver.
Besides being rich in protein, this dry dog food for liver disease is enriched with antioxidants. These antioxidants eliminate free radicals that may promote degeneration of your dog’s liver tissues.
Also, the added complex carbohydrates in this dog food for liver disease are easy to digest, providing essential nutrients.
Flaxseed is another key ingredient in this dog food for liver problems that provides omega fatty acids for improved skin health. More so, these fatty acids decrease inflammation that may occur in your dog’s liver.
Verdict: if you are looking for a limited ingredient diet for your dog with food intolerance or allergies, this dry dog food is a great option.
- Easy to digest protein source added
- With added probiotics and fiber for gut health
- No meat by-products, filler, or artificial ingredients
- Some dog parents complain that they didn’t see any improvement in their dogs.
The best dog food for liver disease FAQs
Q: What is the best food to feed a dog with liver problems?
Good proteins should surely be included in homemade dog food recipes for liver disease to help heal. Eggs and meat should also be added with vitamins, minerals, and fats.
Q: How can I help my dog with liver problems?
Here’s what you can do if your dog is suffering from liver disease;
- Check if he needs surgery in case of tumors or cysts
- Change the diet
- Add supplements to the diet
- Use recommended antibiotics to deal with the infections
Q: How can I lower my dog’s liver enzymes?
Diets play an important role in any disease. Therefore, switching to a more appropriate diet can help lower the dog’s liver enzymes. You will have to create a diet containing all the necessary nutrients and calories to help the dog’s liver. Also, you can add supplements to their diets, such as milk thistle, to improve your canine’s liver function.
Q: Is chicken liver good for dogs?
Chicken liver is a good source of necessary vitamins and minerals for your dogs. However, it is necessary to keep the intake moderate. Even if you feed chicken liver to your dog daily, it should not exceed 10% of the overall diet.
Q: What is a hepatic diet?
A hepatic diet is the one that is given to individuals or animals who are suffering from liver diseases or hepatic dysfunction, or failure. If your dog has liver disease, you can look for hepatic dog food recipes that come with all the essential nutrients.
Q: What is the life expectancy of the dog with liver disease?
Liver problems can overall affect your dog’s quantity and quality of life. So once your dog is diagnosed with a liver problem, how long can he live? To answer that, the life expectancy of a dog diagnosed with any liver problems will depend on the vet’s diagnosis. Your dog can be diagnosed with a viral infection, tumor, fatty liver disease, or liver failure.
Although a liver disease can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early and treated properly, it is not possible in some cases. Usually, if the dog is diagnosed with hepatitis, they can live up to 21.1 to 36.4 months.
Other factors determining how long your dog lives include the disease’s progress and treatment options.
For example, dogs with cancer may have a few weeks to a few months to live. The reason is this contains spread faster, thus deteriorating your dog’s overall body health.
Also, a dog with 70% liver failure with deteriorated body health may have a few weeks to months to live.
The key when it comes to liver disease is detecting the conditioning early. Also, remember every dog is different, some dogs may respond well to treatment, and others don’t. And this is a core factor that can determine the life expectancy of your dog.
Q: Is raw food good for dogs with liver disease?
According to many veterinarians, raw and fresh food supports the liver and helps it cleanse. Also, it can provide a solid foundation to improve their overall health.
A raw diet is a species-appropriate dog food that will benefit a dog with liver problems. So why is a raw diet beneficial? A raw diet has easy-to-digest ingredients and fewer preservatives, flavors, and salt.
Always consult the vet whether it’s the right time to start your dog on a raw diet.
Your vet will help you find the best dog food for liver disease with low salt content and copper concentration.
Starting with proteins, the best options to include are –
- Beef muscles
- Chicken, rabbit, and turkey
Avoid protein sources like salmon, pork, and goose as they have high copper content. This high copper content can damage the liver.
Add leafy vegetables with core multivitamins in that dog food for liver disease.
Adding therapeutic grade essential oils to this raw diet will help improve the dog’s liver health.
Examples of these essential oils that you can use include;
Helichrysum paradisi, important in stimulating liver cells
Pelargonium graveolens is an essential oil that helps in detoxification.
All along, discuss with your vet how to slowly start your dog on a raw diet.
Q: Is bone broth good for dogs with liver problems?
Bone broth is rich in essential amino acids that serve a great purpose in helping the liver during the detoxification process. Therefore, it should be contained in dog food for liver disease.
Q: Can a dog with liver disease eat peanut butter?
No, don’t feed peanut butter to dogs with liver disease. It contains harmful carcinogens that can cause serious damage to your pet’s health.
Stuffing it in your dog’s Kong ball, using it to give your dog medication, peanut butter is one versatile treat that all dogs love.
However, how safe is it for dogs with liver disease?
Although delicious peanut butter is one treat that may cause more harm than good to your dog’s body.
There is always that risk of getting peanut butter from the shelf with lots of aflatoxins. This aflatoxin is a mycotoxin that is harmful to your dog if consumed. Hence, store-bought peanut butter may not be the best dog food for liver disease.
Besides causing liver damage, which may lender this organ functionless, peanut butter full of aflatoxin can damage your dog’s central nervous system.
Besides that, most store-bought peanut butter contains hydrogenated fats, harmful for all dogs, even those with liver disease.
These hydrogenated fats also cause inflammation which triggers diabetes and heart diseases in dogs.
Also, one danger with store-bought peanut butter is the added sweetener, xylitol !. Even in small quantities, xylitol is harmful as it causes a drop in sugar levels.
If your dog is persistent in eating peanut butter, only opt for one that is raw, salt, and Xylitol-free.
Q: Are eggs good for the liver?
Egg whites have proven beneficial for proper liver function, but the intake should be limited. On the other hand, the yolk should not be consumed as it has great cholesterol.
Besides being yummy, eggs are nutritional powerhouses your dog with liver problems can eat. An egg contains high-quality proteins, essential fatty acids, and amino acids that help your dog’s liver regenerate easily.
Moreover, this protein source is easy to digest and gentle on the dogs’ liver. Therefore, eggs are one of the best dog food for liver problems.
Since one of the side effects of liver disease is lack of appetite, you can use an egg to improve the taste of your dog’s dry or wet dog food for liver disease.
First, boil your egg. Then let it cool down, afterward slice it down.
Next, add this egg to your dog’s food for that enhanced taste that your dog will love.
Also, avoid giving your dog too many eggs. Too many eggs can make your dog overweight, a serious condition that you would not like your dog with liver problems to have.
To be on the safe side, enquire from a pet nutritionist or a vet on how many eggs your dogs with liver disease require per week, if not per day.
Q: Is yogurt good for the liver?
Probiotics present in yogurt have proven very beneficial for liver health. Probiotics help improve the liver aminotransferases levels in patients suffering from NAFLD.
Yogurt is a delicious dairy product that your dog with liver problems can consume. According to Purina, yogurt is a source of calcium and protein beneficial for your dog.
However, there is a catch: not every yogurt you see on the shelf is suitable for your dog. Avoid yogurt with added sweeteners like xylitol, as even a small amount of it can cause liver failure.
As always, give your dog with liver problems plain, non-sweetened, low-fat yogurt for you to see its benefits without triggering health issues.
Also, consider whether your dog with liver disease has lactose intolerance. If your dog has lactose intolerance, it may develop stomach upsets after consuming yogurt.
Hence why it’s always important you analyze whether your dog has food allergies or intolerance before starting him on any diet.
Q: Is rice good for the liver?
Yes, white rice can benefit liver function because of the essential nutrients. Moreover, cooked white rice is highly beneficial for the liver to prevent HF-induced fat accumulation. That is done by regulating the lipid metabolism-related gene expression.
Rice is a highly digestible complex carbohydrate that you can give your dog with liver disease. This dog food for liver problems provides fiber for efficient digestion. Still, this rice provides fiber that eliminates toxins in your dog’s body system.
If left to roam freely in your dog’s blood system, these toxins can overall reduce the quality of his life.
The positive thing is that you can incorporate rice in your homemade dog food for liver disease.
Here is an easy hepatic dog food recipe
1 ½ cups of brown rice
Chopped turkey breast
Liquid tincture of milk thistle
- Boil the rice separately in 2 ½ cups of water. Let it boil for 30-45 minutes.
- Then boil the turkey breast in a separate bowl.
- Now take the boiled rice, turkey, and canned pumpkin and mix them in one bowl.
- Then add a few drops of milk thistle in this mixture per your vet’s advised dosage.
- Cover this mixture and let it cool before serving it to your dog
Q: Is Fatty liver disease common in dogs?
Yes, liver disease or hepatopathy is quite common in dogs with diabetes. It mostly happens because lack of glucose absorption causes lipid mobilization, resulting in fat accumulation in the dog’s liver.
Q: Is fish oil good for dogs with liver problems?
Fish oil contains Omega 3 fats, so it can be beneficial for dogs suffering from liver problems.
Key points of best dog food for liver disease
The liver is a vital organ of your dog’s body and plays a great role in keeping them healthy. Therefore, it can affect overall health when it is not functioning fully. You need to ensure that your dog’s liver is functioning efficiently by providing the essential nutrients. So, for dogs with liver disease, you should get food with high protein. You can also try some liver dog food recipes to maintain the dog’s overall health.
Moreover, considering keeping the diet balanced and healthy, giving your dog exercise, and treating it regularly with vaccinations can keep your dog healthy for a long time. Therefore, if you are looking for dog food for liver disease to keep healthy liver function to an optimal level, you should consider purchasing one of the above products. We hope our list of dog food will help you a lot in keeping your dog healthy. So, don’t waste time and pick one for your dog now!