Herbal Liver Support for Dogs

Many people who have dogs with chronic liver disease or other conditions affecting this organ will opt to supplement standard medical treatments with herbal liver support. By doing so, you'll help to treat your pet's condition and improve his overall health without putting him at risk of harmful side effects and potentially dangerous and unhealthy combinations of medicines. The following herbs are among the best used commonly in natural remedies for pets with liver problems.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is the single best herbal supplement that you can give to a dog with liver problems. This herb, which comes from a sunflower family, is beneficial because of the powerful flavanoid silymarin that it contains. Silymarin is a potent natural chemical that helps the liver in various ways. Among the benefits of silymarin are:

  • Increase in liver cell function
  • Stimulation of new liver cell growth and reproduction
  • Added defense against potential toxins and other liver cell harm

Because of the potent nature of this herb, it's best to only treat your pet with milk thistle supplements when he has a liver condition already; if you use it as a preventative measure to help ward off liver problems, you may disrupt his healthy liver function. Before you begin to administer milk thistle supplements to your pet, give your vet a warning that you plan to do so. He can give you a guideline as to how much of the supplement to provide to your pet.


Alfalfa is so rich in vitamins and various minerals that it is beneficial to nearly every organ inside of your pet's body. It contains a range of different compounds that help to detoxify the blood in your pet's system. Because the blood passes through the liver for purification, this helps to reduce the stress that is naturally put onto your pet's liver. With the aid of alfalfa, your pet's liver works less hard and suffers less stress. This enables it to continue to function in a healthy manner for a longer time.


Although garlic should be used relatively sparingly in your pet's nutritional breakdown, as it has the tendency to cause damage to the red blood cells and a general disruption to the immune system if used over an extended period of time, this supplement is nonetheless a great way to help stimulate liver production. The antibiotic and stimulating properties of garlic will help to encourage the proper flow of bile through the liver. Garlic can also help to reduce the levels of toxins in the blood in the same way that alfalfa does. The result is that the liver works more smoothly and naturally, and also that it has to work less hard in order to accomplish its tasks.

Serious liver conditions can result in a number of very painful side effects, and some liver problems may lead to death. Always work with your vet to find the best treatment plan for your pet given his condition and situation.