Dog Liver Disease Diet Recommendations

There are certain dog liver disease diet recommendations that you should keep in mind if your pet is suffering from liver disorders or conditions like hepatic encephalopathy. Since the liver works hard to remove toxins from the body and metabolizes medications, it shouldn’t be overworked when damaged. For this reason, dogs suffering from liver disease require diets that are free from chemicals, preservatives, food colors and additives.

Diet for Canine Liver Disease

Since some ingredients present in commercial food products increase liver damage, it’s important to read product labels and only feed the pet, meals that promote good health. If your dog’s liver condition has progressed to hepatic encephalopathy, you should avoid giving him a high protein diet.

On the other hand, if the dog isn’t suffering from hepatic encephalopathy, feed him a diet that’s rich in good sources of proteins. Since the liver has to metabolize different components of food, consider feeding your dog a combination of proteins that are derived from plants and animals. Some good choices are soybean, chicken and beef.

Other Components of Food

The pet’s food should ideally contain a good source of protein along with fat and fiber. Since pets suffering from liver disease easily digest high fat foods, the meal should contain 40 percent of calories from fats.

Fat is a good source of energy, particularly for dog’s that are severely debilitated. The pet’s diet may have to be modified once the dog shows signs of recovery. It’s therefore important to conduct follow up vet checks to determine the pet’s response to dietary modification and medication. Along with fats, the pet’s meal should contain soluble and insoluble fiber. It promotes digestion and eliminates bile acids from the body.

Supplements to Reduce Toxicity

Consider administering vitamin supplements to the dog, to help the liver regenerate itself. Vitamins that are known for their antioxidant properties include Vitamins C, B complex, E, and K. Supplements should also contain zinc and silymarin. These ingredients not only fight free radicals but they also reduce toxicity and promote cell regeneration.

While some vitamins benefit dogs suffering from liver disease, others might do more harm than good. Avoid administering any supplements that contain potassium and copper. Since some dogs are genetically predisposed to liver problems that involve the storage of copper, exert caution when administering any supplements that contain copper.

Commercial Diets vs. Home Cooked Diets

If you prefer to feed your ailing pet home-cooked meals, make sure you feed him meals that consist of good quality ingredients like chicken, beef, tofu, and wheat bran. You could also add small amounts of rice to the diet. You can also consider feeding your pet a prescription diet like the Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine l/d Canned Food.  

Tips for Pet Owners:

  • Carefully monitor your dog’s condition and seek medical care if his condition worsens.
  • Work with the vet to schedule appropriate meal times. Some dogs may benefit from eating small meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid any sudden change in the diet. This will cause intolerance.
  • Don’t administer any vitamins or supplements without obtaining vet approval.
Pets with liver disease go through a lot of discomfort. If you administer all medicines on time and feed him an ideal diet, you will increase his chance of survival.