Liver Cleansing Diet for Dogs

A liver cleansing diet is beneficial to dogs that have liver disease. It also benefits pets that have been on medical treatment for a long duration or dogs that are prone to epileptic attacks and seizures. Damage to the liver can be very harmful to your pet's health because this organ is involved in the performance of many functions, such as the synthesis of proteins, enzymes and sugars, the excretion of waste products, detoxification of the blood, production of bile and the conversion of extra proteins into urea.

Causes of Liver Disease:

Liver Cleansing Diet

A liver cleansing diet should consist of home cooked food and raw food. Fruits, low fat white fish and vegetables are an essential part of a liver cleansing diet. The diet should consist of 25 percent fish and 75 percent vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, string beans and squash. Phenobarbital is also used in the treatment of seizures, but this can damage the liver. It's therefore necessary to reduce the amount of Phenobarbital that's administered to your dog, in order to cleanse his liver.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is very useful in cleansing the liver. It's a very powerful antioxidant that also stimulates protein synthesis and helps to regenerate and replace liver cells. Milk thistle blocks the absorption of toxins into liver cells, inhibits the formation of inflammatory substances and helps the liver break down toxins. As a general guideline, about 100 to 150 mg of milk thistle should be added to the diet of a dog weighing around 40 pounds.

Benefits of a Liver Cleansing Diet

A cleansing diet can rid the liver of toxins that can adversely affect the liver's ability to remove waste from the body. This diet is beneficial to dogs that suffer from high cholesterol, poor digestion, hypertension and irritable bowel syndrome. It improves health, strengthens the body's immune system and helps the dog maintain healthy body weight.


Dogs on a liver cleansing diet can lose weight very rapidly. Because of this, their weight should be monitored regularly. Pets that have been fed commercial dog food should be gradually switched to a liver cleansing diet because home cooked food is very rich and your pet can suffer from diarrhea.

When you start your pet on this diet, add a small portion of home cooked food to kibble and slowly incorporate larger amounts of home cooked food until the kibble is completely replaced by the liver cleansing diet. It's best to ensure that your dog's stools are firm while this switch in diet is taking place. Your pet will also have to be fed larger quantities of home cooked meals, because this diet food has fewer calories.

Additional Precautions

If your pet is taking potassium or sodium bromide supplements, you must decrease the amount of bromide administered to him when you start feeding him a liver cleansing diet. This is because home cooked food has less salt than commercial food, and lower amounts of bromide will be required. The levels of bromide should be measured regularly once your pet is on a liver cleansing diet.

Liver cleansing diets are helpful for dogs suffering from severe liver disease, but they are not recommended for dogs with mild liver problems.