Maintaining Liver Health in Dogs

The liver health can be damaged by environmental factors and most importantly by the dog's diet. The liver is a fundamental organ in the dog's body and if it is damaged, the dog will no longer be able to live. The health of the liver may be maintained with a proper diet, antioxidants and supplements. A yearly detox cure is also helpful in cleaning the dog's body and liver from toxins.

The Dog's Diet

The dog's diet is essential in maintaining the liver health. A lot of commercial diets for canines will exhaust the liver, by sending a lot of waste material for the organ to process. This will result in early liver damage and other adjacent health problems. A diet that will be beneficial for the liver will be:

  • Rich in proteins
  • Low in potassium
  • Low in sodium
  • Low in copper

There are various commercial foods that claim to keep the liver healthy, but you need to examine the label and possibly consult the vet to establish whether the food is good enough for your pet's liver.

Antioxidants for Liver Health

The antioxidants are substances that will eliminate the free radicals from the dog's body, reducing the workload of the liver. Many free radicals can attack the liver and cause liver tissue damage. Antioxidants may be found in numerous fruits and vegetables or soy products. Antioxidants may also be supplemented in the dog's diet. Consider antioxidants such as:

  • N-Acetylcysteine
  • Vitamin E
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Metronidazole
  • Azathioprine

Supplements for Liver Health

The dog should get a number of supplements which will be helpful for the health of the liver. These supplements may be recommended by the vet and may include:

  • Zinc
  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Natrium phosphate
  • Natrium sulphate
  • Herbal supplements such as milk thistle, burdock root or nettle

Avoiding Toxic Foods and Materials

There are a number of toxic foods and materials that the dog may be exposed to on a regular basis, and even though these are not fatal, they can cause liver tissue damage. As more and more liver cells are destroyed, the liver function will eventually drop below 25 percent, and the dog will have liver failure which can be fatal. Chemicals, smoke and toxic emissions should be reduced from the dog's environment.

Detox Cure

A detox cure is recommended once or twice every year. This cure will consist of foods that won't put stress on the liver and allow the damaged liver tissues to heal, so that the liver will function properly. Foods that will be administered during this cure include green leaf vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, fruits and lean meat (chicken or turkey), and the diet will be poor in sodium, potassium and copper. The cure should be kept for 7 to 20 days, or as prescribed by the vet.