How to Feed for Dogs and Cats with Liver Disease

Liver disease is a serious problem in dogs. Perhaps the most important treatment for dogs with liver disease is a home-prepared diet.

Not all patients have the same type of liver disease and severity of liver malfunction; diets should, therefore, be specifically tailored to your dog's degree of liver dysfunction.

Most patients need a diet low in copper and sodium. Antioxidants should be available in a plentiful amount!

The guidelines for a liver diet include:

  1. The liver has a diminished ability to detoxify. Thus, we need to feed adequate, reasonably high levels of easily digested proteins, free of aflatoxins, hormones, herbicides and pesticides.
  2. Limit further damage by limiting copper and, again, pesticides and other toxins.
  3. Support liver regeneration by supplying high levels of antioxidants and free radical scavengers.
  4. Dogs with liver disease are usually suffering from a condition where less protein is being broken down (catabolic), resulting in increased energy needs and, therefore, the need for more protein.
  5. Prevent the build-up of bloodborne brain toxins, called hepatic encephalopathy.
  6. Dogs with liver disease can usually handle very high amounts of fat in the diet (30 - 50% of calories).
  7. Moderate amounts of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber can help a dog with liver disease. Soluble fiber, such as beet pulp and gums, lowers the production and absorption of ammonia and helps the growth of beneficial bacteria.
About us

Our Philosophy: was founded as a site to educate companion animal owners. We want to educate you about how to feed, house, love, and nurture your companion animal. This site has been created to be a book on-line, with multiple ways to access the information depending on how you are analyzing a problem or concern.

learn more