Dog Foods that Detox the Liver

Sometimes it is necessary to detox the liver. Some dog foods are made to detoxify the liver, by either replenishing the liver with nutrients or by blocking toxins from entering the liver in the first place.

What Does the Liver Do?

The liver is the second largest organ of the body. Its main function is to clean toxins out of the body by removing them from the bloodstream. This includes fungi, microbes, allergens and any potentially toxic elements. It also plays an important role in the body's immune system. The liver metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Nutrients cannot be effectively metabolized and the harmful byproducts cannot be broken down into digestible components, if it were not for the liver functioning properly. 

If the liver does not eliminate the toxins from the blood, they will accumulate and cause a number of health problems. One such health problem results in contaminated blood reaching the brain, causing encephalopathy and resulting in seizures, excessive salivation and head pressing. If the liver cannot provide the body with essential nutrients, cells break down body tissue to compensate for the loss. During this process, there is an increase in ammonia production in the intestines.

Foods that Detoxify

Foods containing high-quality proteins, such as turkey, chicken or lamb, help detoxify the liver because they are easily digested and broken down into nutrients, creating less work for the liver. A raw or home-cooked diet or high-quality kibble can produce the same results. Food with meat byproducts, which are hooves and other non-meat parts of animals, corn and wheat, cannot be easily digested, making the liver work harder. Foods with preservatives or dyes also tax the liver. Some dog food manufacturers make dog food that is high quality and produce less waste because most of the food is nutrients used by the body.

Some herbs naturally possess detoxifying and antioxidant properties. Milk thistle is one of the better-known herbs. Milk thistle blocks toxins from ever entering the liver and improves liver function by destroying toxins at the cellular level.

Dog Foods Are Not All Equal

Sometimes dogs will not accept herbs since they are usually bitter. Sprinkling them over dog food changes the taste, and the dog may not eat the good because of this. Some herbs are present in high-quality dog foods. Careful reading of the labels of dog foods may alert the dog owner that that particular dog food already contains enough detoxifying elements and does not need to be supplemented.

Some herbs to be on the watch for:

  • Burdock is a blood purifier.
  • Natrium phosphate is a tissue salt that assimilates difficult-to-digest fats and promotes the bile flow from the gall bladder.
  • Natrium sulphate is a tissue salt, which helps detoxify the liver.
  • Choline citrate moves fats through cells, being a naturally occurring liver chemical.
  • Vitamins B6 and B12 help in the absorption and the breakdown of food.
  • Amino acids, methionine, dimethglycine and N-acetyl-L-cysteine, contribute to healthy liver function and help regenerate liver cells.
  • Zinc helps in the detoxification process.

Although protein helps in the detoxification process, too much protein leads to a high level of ammonia, while too little causes the body to break down its own tissues to make up for the shortage.