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The 10 Best Dog Foods For Liver Disease In 2024

Looking for the best dog foods for liver disease? You have come to the right place. In this brief overview, we'll take a look at our top ten picks.

Each of these diets is specially formulated to support dogs with liver problems, and they all contain high-quality nutrients to help your dog thrive.

Here is an article from BestForPets (bestforpets.org) that rates the best dog foods for liver disease.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Image Product View on Amazon
1 Adult Dry Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet View on Amazon
2 Adult Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection View on Amazon
3 Grain-Free Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food Grain-Free Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food View on Amazon
4 Prescription Dry Dog Food by Hill’s Prescription Dry Dog Food by Hill’s View on Amazon
5 Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Gentle Giants View on Amazon
6 Fit Large Breed Dry Dog Food by Eukanuba Fit Large Breed Dry Dog Food by Eukanuba View on Amazon
7 Hepatic Dry Dog Food by Royal Canin Hepatic Dry Dog Food by Royal Canin View on Amazon
8 Dry Food Purina Pro Plan Dry Food Purina Pro Plan View on Amazon
9 Adult Dry Dog Food with a Solid Gold Fit Adult Dry Dog Food with a Solid Gold Fit View on Amazon
10 Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat View on Amazon

Introduction

What to Avoid in Dog Foods for Liver Disease

If your dog has liver disease, you know how challenging it can be to manage their condition and maintain their health and happiness. Liver disease can affect dogs of any age, breed, or size, and it can significantly reduce their quality of life.

Liver disease is a broad term that refers to any condition that affects the function or structure of the liver. The liver is one of the most vital organs in your dog’s body, performing hundreds of critical functions such as:

  • Removing toxins and waste from the blood
  • Producing bile to aid in fat digestion
  • Storing and releasing glucose for energy
  • Synthesizing proteins and coagulation factors
  • Metabolizing drugs and hormones
  • Controlling electrolytes and pH levels

When the liver is injured or sick, it cannot perform these activities correctly, resulting in a range of symptoms and problems. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of liver disease in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Yellowing of the skin, eyes, or gums (jaundice)
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Swelling or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Confusion or behavioral changes
  • Seizures or coma

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, take them to the veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and several tests to determine the cause and severity of your dog’s liver condition. Some of the possible causes of liver disease in dogs include:

  • Bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections
  • Toxins such as medications, chemicals, plants, and foods
  • Medications such as steroids, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Genetics, such as congenital or hereditary problems
  • Cancer, either primary or secondary
  • Autoimmune disorders such as autoimmune hepatitis
  • Metabolic illnesses such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease
  • Injury or trauma such as blunt force or surgery

Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to address the underlying issue and minimize inflammation and infection, depending on the cause and stage of your dog’s liver disease. However, food and nutrition are also crucial in controlling liver disease in dogs.

Diet and nutrition can be very beneficial in the treatment of canine liver disease. A healthy diet can help reduce stress on the liver, aid in liver regeneration, prevent hepatic encephalopathy (a dangerous brain disorder caused by excessive ammonia levels in the blood), and improve your dog’s overall health and well-being.

But how can you know which dog diets are best for liver disease? What should you look for, and what should you avoid? In this post, we will explore some of the best dog foods for liver disease to help you make an informed decision for your canine.

Reviews

1. Adult Dry Dog Food Hill’s Science Diet

 Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

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Science Diet by Hill's Adult Light Small Bites with Chicken Meal and Barley Dry Dog Food  is our sixth choice for the best dog food for liver disease. This dog food is formulated specifically for dogs with liver issues and is prepared with high-quality ingredients.

Science Diet by Hill’s Adult Light Small Bites with Chicken Meal & Barley Dry Dog Food is a prescription diet for adult dogs with liver disease.

It contains 18% fewer calories than regular Science Diet Adult dog food, making it a suitable option for dogs who need to manage their weight.

The high-quality protein and natural fibers help dogs feel full between meals, while the omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E promote healthy skin and coat. This dog food is made in the United States with reliable ingredients sourced globally.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if this dog food is suitable for your dog’s specific dietary requirements and to obtain permission to purchase it.

While it may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods, it is an effective option for dogs with liver disease who require a prescription diet to manage their condition.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content is 22%.

Fat content of 11%

Cons

Costs more than many non-prescription foods.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


2. Adult Dry Dog Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection

 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food  is our seventh recommendation for the best dog food for liver disease. This dog food is made with premium ingredients and is specifically formulated for dogs with liver issues.

The primary ingredient in this dog food is deboned chicken, along with brown rice and oats. This dog food has a protein content of 27%, a fat content of 12%, and provides 347 calories per cup. It is important to note that this dog food may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food always features real meat as the first ingredient.

The high-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles, and the dog food also contains nutritious whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit.

This dog food is designed to meet the energy needs of adult dogs and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin.

Additionally, the dog food contains a precise combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is a natural dog food made with the highest quality natural ingredients and added vitamins and minerals. The dog food contains no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice is available in a 30-pound package.

Remember to consult with your veterinarian to determine if this dog food is appropriate for your dog’s specific dietary needs and obtain the necessary authorization to purchase it.

This dog food is a high-quality option for dogs with liver disease that require a prescription diet to manage their condition.

Pros

Made with premium ingredients

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Protein content of 15%

Fat content of 11%

Cons

Only available with a prescription.

More expensive than non-prescription food


3. Grain-Free Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free High-Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food

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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Dog Food  is our eleventh recommendation for the best dog food for liver disease. It is specially formulated with high-quality ingredients to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs with liver issues.

This dog food is made of deboned turkey, poultry meal, and peas, which provide 34% protein, 12% fat, and 388 calories per cup. Keep in mind that this dog food may cost more than non-prescription alternatives due to its premium ingredients.

Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Dog Food is a grain-free adult dog food for small breeds that contains high-quality protein from responsibly sourced turkey and nutrient-dense superfoods.

The ideal fat and calorie levels in this dog food promote leaner body mass and muscle tone, which is essential for dogs with liver disease.

This dog food also contains omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat, glucosamine for strong joints, high fiber and probiotics for digestive health, and taurine for a healthy heart.

Additionally, it does not contain corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Dog Food is made in the United States with non-GMO, wholesome ingredients. Each recipe is formulated to provide dogs with the necessary nutritional benefits for a healthy life.

Before providing this dog food to your dog, consult your veterinarian to ensure it meets his or her specific dietary requirements.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content is 27%.

Fat content of 12%

Cons

Costs more than many non-prescription foods.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


4. Prescription Dry Dog Food by Hill’s

Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Chicken Flavor

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Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Pork Flavor Dry Dog Food  is a specially formulated diet designed to promote liver health in dogs.

This food was developed by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians with high-quality ingredients and moderate protein levels to reduce liver workload.

In addition, the high levels of L-carnitine and L-arginine contribute to the maintenance of normal lipid metabolism in the liver, while the appropriate levels of zinc and low copper contribute to the maintenance of liver health.

This food contains 15% protein, 11% fat, and 360 calories per cup, making it an excellent option for dogs with hepatic issues. Due to the fact that this is a prescription diet, the price may be higher than other dog foods on the market.

The Chicken Dry Dog Food mentioned in the original sentence is a specific product, Hill’s Prescription Diet Liver Care l/d, which is also described in the preceding section.

Due to its specialized formula designed to assist dogs with liver problems, this food has been deemed the best overall dog food for liver disease. It includes chicken, brewers rice, cracked pearled barley, and whole-grain wheat as key ingredients.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content of 34%

Fat content of 12%

Cons

Costs more than many non-prescription foods.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


5. Canine Nutrition Dry Dog Food by Gentle Giants

GENTLE GIANTS World Class Canine Nutrition Chicken Feast

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Although not formulated specifically for dogs with liver disease, Canine Nutrition by Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food  is an affordable option with high-quality ingredients and a lower protein and fat content, making it an excellent choice for dogs with liver conditions.

This dog food is primarily composed of chicken, oats, legumes, and potatoes. It is a great option for dog owners on a budget because it is less expensive than many prescription dog foods.

This dog food is 100% complete and balanced, making it appropriate for all dog breeds and ages. With three sources of protein (chicken, fish, and eggs) and four vegetables (peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach), this dog food provides a well-rounded nutrition for your dog.

It is an excellent option for dogs with liver disease that require a lower protein and fat diet, but still need a balanced nutrition.

Please note that while this dog food is an affordable option for dogs with liver issues, it may not be as effective as prescription diets specifically formulated for liver health.

We always recommend consulting with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog’s specific needs.

Pros

Made with premium ingredients

Protein and fat levels have been reduced.

Whole beets, blueberries, cranberries, and apples are included.

Prebiotics and probiotics are present.

Cons

Not intended for dogs suffering from liver illness.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.


6. Fit Large Breed Dry Dog Food by Eukanuba

 Eukanuba Fit Body Weight Control Large Breed Dry Dog Food

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While not formulated specifically for dogs with liver disease,  Canine Nutrition by Gentle Giants Chicken Dry Dog Food  is an affordable option with high-quality ingredients and a lower protein and fat content, making it an excellent choice for dogs with liver conditions.

This dog food is primarily composed of chicken, whole grains, legumes, and potatoes. It is a great option for dog owners on a budget because it is less expensive than many prescription dog foods.

This dog food is 100% complete and balanced, providing all the necessary nutrition for dogs of all breeds and ages. With three sources of protein (chicken, fish, and eggs) and four vegetables (peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach), this dog food offers a well-rounded and balanced diet.

It is an excellent option for dogs with liver problems that require a lower protein and fat diet, but still need complete and balanced nutrition.

Please note that while this dog food is an affordable option for dogs with liver issues, it may not be as effective as prescription diets specifically formulated for liver health.

We always recommend consulting with your veterinarian to determine the optimal diet for your dog’s specific needs.

Pros

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content is 22%.

Fat content of 11%

Cheaper than prescription foods

High in fiber

Cons

Not intended for dogs suffering from liver illness.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Can result in gas

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


7. Hepatic Dry Dog Food by Royal Canin

 ROYAL CANIN Canine Hepatic Dry

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Royal Canin Hepatic Dry Dog Food  is our fifth choice for the best dog food for liver problems.

This dog food is made with high-quality ingredients and is specially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs with liver problems. The main ingredients in this dog food are chicken meal, brown rice, and brewers’ dried yeast.

This dog food contains 23% protein, 12% fat, and 360 calories per cup. It is more expensive than many non-prescription dog foods and may be difficult to find in grocery stores. Please note that veterinary approval is necessary to purchase this dog food.

Royal Canin Hepatic Dry Dog Food is a prescription diet that provides complete and balanced nutrition for dogs with liver disease.

It contains a precise blend of nutrients to support liver function and reduce the workload on the liver. This dog food is also low in copper, which can be beneficial for dogs with certain types of liver conditions.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if this dog food is appropriate for your dog’s specific needs and to obtain the necessary authorization to purchase it.

While this dog food may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods, it is an effective option for dogs with liver issues that require a prescription diet to manage their condition.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content is 23%.

Fat content of 12%

Cons

More expensive than many non-prescription foods

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


8. Dry Food Purina Pro Plan

 Purina Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Canine - Salmon Flavor

 

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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Hydrolyzed Dry Food  is our sixth recommendation for the best dog food for liver disease.

This dog food is made with high-quality ingredients and is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs with liver problems.

The main component of this dog food is hydrolyzed poultry, along with corn starch and dehydrated beet pulp. This dog food contains 20% protein, 11% fat, and provides 360 calories per cup. Please note that this dog food is more expensive than many non-prescription dog foods.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA is a prescription diet that provides complete and balanced nutrition for the growth of puppies and maintenance of adult dogs.

This dog food is formulated with a single protein source that is highly digestible for optimal nutrient assimilation and to aid in the management of food sensitivities.

The single, low-allergen carbohydrate source included in this dog food is intended to reduce the risk of food-related reactions.

Dogs with food sensitivities may exhibit gastrointestinal distress and/or intense scratching or irritation.

With a single, hydrolyzed protein source and a low allergen carbohydrate source, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA is specially formulated to help manage food sensitivities in dogs. This dog food is an effective choice for dogs with liver disease and food sensitivities or allergies.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if this dog food is appropriate for your dog’s specific dietary needs and to obtain the necessary authorization to purchase it.

While this dog food may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods, it is a viable option for dogs with liver disease and food sensitivities that require a prescription diet to manage their condition.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content of 20%

Fat content of 11%

Cons

Costs more than many non-prescription foods.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


9. Adult Dry Dog Food with a Solid Gold Fit

 Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous Dog Food

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Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous  weight control dog food with freshly caught Alaskan Pollock is our eighth recommendation for the best dog food for liver disease.

This dog food is made with premium ingredients and is formulated specifically for dogs with liver issues.

Fresh Alaskan Pollock is the primary ingredient in this dog food, along with sweet potato and chickpeas. This dog food has a protein content of 20%, a fat content of 11%, and provides 340 calories per cup.

Please note that this dog food may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods.

Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous weight control dog food is a gluten-free and grain-free diet that promotes digestive, immune, skin, and coat health for all adult dog breeds.

This dog food is formulated with genuine Alaskan Pollock, which is a lean and nutrient-dense protein source that helps maintain a healthy weight by keeping calories and fat levels low.

This dog food also contains probiotics that promote digestive health, intestinal flora, and immune function in dogs. Additionally, it contains plenty of nutrients, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that can support the skin, coat, and immune health of dogs of all sizes.

Solid Gold Fit and Fabulous weight control dog food is a high-fiber, zero-filler dog food that contains fiber-rich peas, pearled barley, and brown rice to promote healthy digestion and help dogs feel full between meals.

It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if this dog food is appropriate for your dog’s specific dietary needs and to obtain the necessary authorization to purchase it.

While this dog food may be more expensive than non-prescription dog foods, it is a viable option for dogs with liver disease that need to manage their weight and require a prescription diet to manage their condition.

Pros

Designed specifically for dogs with liver disorders.

Made with premium ingredients

Protein content of 20%

Fat content of 11%

Cons

Costs more than many non-prescription foods.

It may be tough to locate in retailers.

Protein and fat levels may be insufficient for certain dogs with liver problems.


10. Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat

Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat

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Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat  is a high-quality dry dog food that offers exceptional nutritional benefits for your furry friend.

With real pasture-raised lamb protein as the number one ingredient, this formula is specially formulated with fewer calories to support the needs of less active and higher-weight dogs.

This nutrient-rich dog food provides the energy your dog needs to thrive. It contains vitamins and minerals sourced from superfoods like blueberries and oranges, which contribute to overall health and well-being.

The inclusion of omega fatty acids ensures a healthy skin and coat, keeping your dog looking and feeling their best.

What sets Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat apart is its focus on digestive health. Each serving includes species-specific K9 Strain proprietary probiotics, antioxidants, and prebiotics.

These components work together to support healthy digestion, boost the immune system, and promote overall wellness.

As a family-owned company, Diamond Naturals takes pride in producing their dog food in the USA using quality ingredients from trusted domestic and global sources. This commitment to quality ensures that your dog is receiving a safe and nutritious meal.

While Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat does not have additional features such as flavor variations or grain-free options, it remains an excellent choice for pet owners who prioritize their dog’s health and well-being.

In conclusion, Diamond Naturals Light Real Meat is a professional-grade dog food that offers high-quality nutrition with real pasture-raised lamb protein.

With its focus on digestive health and overall well-being, it is a reliable choice for pet owners seeking a nutritious and balanced diet for their dogs.

Pros

Specially formulated with fewer calories to support the needs of less active and overweight dogs.

Nutrient-rich formula with vitamins and minerals sourced from superfoods like blueberries and oranges.

Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat.

Includes species-specific K9 Strain proprietary probiotics, antioxidants, and prebiotics for digestive health and immune support.

Family-owned and made in the USA using quality ingredients from trusted domestic and global sources.

Cons

Limited flavor variations and grain-free options available.

May not be suitable for dogs with specific dietary restrictions or sensitivities.

What to Look for in Dog Foods for Liver Disease

What to Look for in Dog Foods for Liver Disease

When choosing dog food for liver disease, several factors must be considered, including:

1. Ingredients:

The ingredients are the foundation of every dog food, determining its quality, safety, and nutritional content. You should choose dog food made from natural, healthy, and high-quality ingredients that are good for your dog’s liver health.

Ingredients that are beneficial to dogs with liver problems include:

1.1 Lean meats:

These contain moderate levels of high-quality protein that is easy to digest and absorb.

Protein is necessary for the development, repair, and immune function of your dog. However, too much protein can overwhelm the liver and increase blood ammonia levels. Therefore, you should avoid high-protein diets or foods containing organ meats (such as liver, kidney, and heart), fish oil (rich in copper), cheese (high in fat), or meat by-products (low-quality protein sources).

1.2 Eggs:

Eggs are another high-quality protein source that is gentle on the liver. They also contain choline, a vitamin that aids in fat metabolism and the prevention of fatty liver disease.

1.3 Soy:

Soy is a plant-based protein that may be appropriate for some dogs with liver disease. It contains modest amounts of copper and high levels of arginine, an amino acid that aids in the detoxification of ammonia from the blood. However, some dogs are sensitive or intolerant to soy, so check with your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.

1.4 Rice:

Rice is a carbohydrate that provides your dog with energy. It is also low in salt and high in B vitamins, both of which are necessary for proper liver function. Rice is easy to digest and can help dogs with liver problems avoid diarrhea or constipation.

1.5 Oatmeal:

Oatmeal is another carbohydrate that can help dogs with liver disease. It is high in fiber, which can aid in blood sugar regulation and cholesterol reduction. It also contains beta-glucans, which are anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting substances.

1.6 Vegetables:

These are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which can protect the liver from oxidative stress and inflammation. They also contain fiber, which can aid in regulating bowel movements and preventing hepatic encephalopathy. Carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are some of the healthiest vegetables for dogs with liver disease.

1.7 Fruits:

Fruits contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are beneficial to the liver. They also contain natural carbohydrates, which can offer your dog an energy boost. Apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, and watermelon are some of the healthiest fruits for dogs with liver disease.

2. Nutritional composition

When selecting dog food for liver disease, it’s important to consider the nutritional composition of the food. A nutritional analysis breaks down the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in a portion of food, giving you an idea of how much of each nutrient your dog will receive.

To promote liver health, choose dog food with a balanced and comprehensive nutritional composition that meets your dog’s needs. Here are some dietary recommendations for dogs with liver disease:

2.1 Protein

Protein should make up 18% to 22% of your dog’s diet and come from high-quality, easily digestible sources. Look for protein sources with low copper content and high arginine content.

2.2 Fat

Fat should account for 10% to 15% of your dog’s diet and come from healthy sources that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats.

Fat provides energy and helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), which are essential for liver function.

However, too much fat can lead to pancreatitis or fatty liver disease, so avoid meals high in fat or containing animal fats or vegetable oils.

2.3 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates should make up around 50% to 60% of your dog’s diet and come from complex sources that are high in fiber and low in salt.

Carbohydrates provide energy and help prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can occur in dogs with liver disease.

However, too many carbs can lead to obesity or diabetes, so avoid meals high in simple sugars or refined grains.

2.4 Vitamins

Vitamins are crucial for your dog’s health and well-being, regulating many biological functions and preventing deficiencies or disorders. Here are some vitamins that are especially beneficial for dogs with liver disease:

  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes healthy skin, eyes, and immune system. It also helps protect the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation.

However, too much vitamin A can be harmful to the liver, so avoid meals containing liver or fish oil as vitamin A sources.

  • B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that help metabolize proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates.

They also aid in nerve function and preventing anemia. Thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12) are particularly important for dogs with liver disease.

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and helps protect the liver against oxidative stress and inflammation.

It also aids in collagen and carnitine synthesis, both important for liver function.

Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea or kidney stones, so avoid meals containing synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid.

  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and helps protect the liver against oxidative damage and inflammation.

It also aids in immune response modulation and preventing clotting diseases.

Too much vitamin E can interfere with vitamin K absorption or create bleeding problems, so avoid foods containing synthetic vitamin E or tocopherols.

2.5 Minerals

Minerals are inorganic compounds that regulate many biological processes and prevent imbalances or disorders.

Here are some minerals that are particularly helpful for dogs with liver disease:

  • Zinc is a trace mineral that helps immune function and wound healing.

It also helps protect the liver against oxidative stress and inflammation. However, too much zinc can cause vomiting or diarrhea, so avoid meals containing zinc oxide or zinc sulfate.

  • Iron is an important trace mineral that helps deliver oxygen in the blood and prevent anemia.

It also plays a role in liver function and cleansing. However, too much iron can be harmful to the liver, so it’s best to avoid dog food containing iron oxide or iron sulfate.

  • Copper is another trace mineral that’s essential for dogs.

It helps produce red blood cells and collagen and maintains nerve function and antioxidant activity.

However, too much copper can accumulate in the liver and cause liver failure, especially in dogs with copper storage disease.

This hereditary condition affects certain breeds, such as Bedlington terriers, West Highland white terriers, Doberman pinschers, and Labrador retrievers. To prevent copper toxicity, avoid dog food containing copper sulfate or copper proteinate.

3. Palatability

Palatability is an important consideration when choosing dog food. It refers to how appealing the food is to your dog’s senses of smell, taste, and texture. Dogs with liver disease may have a decreased appetite or a change in food preferences due to nausea, vomiting, or altered taste perception.

Therefore, it’s crucial to choose dog food that your dog will find appealing and enjoyable.

To enhance the palatability of dog food for liver disease, you can try some of these tips:

  • Add warm water or broth to dry food to soften it and add flavor.
  • Mix canned or wet food with dry food to increase moisture and taste.
  • Top the food with shredded cheese or a cooked egg for added nutrition and flavor.
  • Offer fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as treats or snacks to add variety and antioxidants.
  • Avoid strong or unpleasant odors that may put your dog off.

Digestibility is also a critical factor to consider when selecting dog food for liver disease.

Digestibility refers to how well the food is broken down and absorbed by your dog’s digestive system.

Some foods may be harder for dogs with liver disease to digest due to reduced bile synthesis, enzyme deficiency, or intestinal inflammation. Therefore, it’s essential to choose dog food that is easily digestible and absorbable.

Here are some tips to improve the digestibility of dog food for liver disease:

  • Select foods with moderate levels of high-quality protein that are easy to digest and absorb.
  • Choose foods with minimal amounts of fat to avoid fatty liver disease and help with metabolism.
  • Opt for complex carbohydrates that are easier to digest to avoid hypoglycemia.
  • Choose dog food that is high in natural sources of vitamins and minerals that are easier to absorb to prevent deficiencies or imbalances.
  • Avoid dog food with artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, or flavors that may cause gastric irritation in your dog.

What to Avoid in Dog Foods for Liver Disease

When selecting dog diets for liver illness, you should also avoid products or ingredients that may aggravate your dog’s health or create problems. Some of the ingredients to avoid in dog food for liver illness include:

1. Diets high in protein

High-protein diets may seem appealing to dogs with liver illness as they provide extra energy and muscle mass.

High-protein diets, on the other hand, might overload the liver and raise ammonia levels in the blood, leading to hepatic encephalopathy.

Hepatic encephalopathy is a dangerous brain disorder caused by ammonia buildup in the blood, which breaches the blood-brain barrier.

It can result in neurological symptoms such confusion, disorientation, lethargy, convulsions, or coma.

As a result, you should avoid high-protein diets or meals that contain more than 22% protein by dry matter.

You should also avoid meals containing organ meats (such as liver, kidney, and heart), fish oil (rich in copper), cheese (heavy in fat), and meat by-products (low-quality protein sources).

2. Diets high in fat

High-fat diets may also appear enticing to dogs with liver illness since they give more calories and taste. High-fat diets, on the other hand, can result in pancreatitis or fatty liver disease.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for the production of digesting enzymes and hormones. Pancreatitis can induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and shock.

Fatty liver disease is a disorder in which fat builds up in the liver cells, impairing their function. Fatty liver disease can result in jaundice, weight loss, ascites (abdominal fluid buildup), or liver failure.

As a result, you should avoid high-fat diets or meals that contain more than 15% fat by dry matter. You should also avoid foods heavy in saturated fats and poor in omega-3 fatty acids, such as those containing animal fats or vegetable oils.

Check out our expert reviews of the best low-fat canned dog foods on BestForPets.org – perfect for pups with sensitive stomachs!

3. Foods high in copper

Copper-rich meals may appear to be safe for dogs with liver problems, as copper is a trace mineral that is necessary for your dog’s health.

Copper-rich diets, on the other hand, can produce copper toxicity or copper storage sickness.

Copper toxicity is a serious disorder that occurs when copper accumulates in the liver, causing inflammation and oxidative damage. This condition can lead to various health problems, including nausea, diarrhea, anemia, jaundice, and liver failure.

Copper storage disease, on the other hand, is a hereditary condition that affects several dog breeds, such as Bedlington terriers, West Highland white terriers, Doberman pinschers, and Labrador retrievers. It causes the liver to accumulate extra copper, resulting in chronic liver disease.

As a result, you should avoid copper-rich diets or foods containing more than 5 mg/kg of copper on a dry matter basis. You should also avoid meals containing copper sulfate or copper proteinate, as these are synthetic copper sources.

4. Food intolerances or allergies

Food allergies or intolerances are unfavorable responses to certain foods or substances in your dog that may cause an immunological response or digestive problem. Itching, rashes, ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or bloating can all be symptoms of food allergies or intolerances.

Food allergies or intolerances can aggravate liver disease in dogs by producing inflammation, infection, or malabsorption. As a result, you should avoid foods that include components to which your dog is allergic or intolerant.

Some common dietary allergies or intolerances in dogs include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Eggs

To determine your dog’s food allergies or intolerances, you may need to undertake an elimination diet or a food trial under the supervision of your veterinarian. You may also need to select hypoallergenic or restricted ingredient diets that include novel proteins (like deer, rabbit, duck, or kangaroo) and novel carbs (like potato, pea, or quinoa).

5. Selective eating habits

Picky eating habits are a type of behavioral problem that might influence your dog’s appetite or food preferences. Stress, boredom, sickness, medicine, environment, or habit can all contribute to picky eating habits.

Picky feeding habits can also wreak havoc on your dog’s liver illness, causing weight loss or increase, nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, and hepatic encephalopathy. As a result, you should prevent finicky eating habits and urge your dog to eat frequently and in suitable quantities.

Here are some pointers to help you avoid or overcome fussy eating habits:

  • Every day, feed your dog at the same time and place.
  • Feed your dog in a calm, comfortable location that is free of distractions.
  • Feed modest, frequent meals to your dog throughout the day.
  • Feed your dog meals with a range of tastes, textures, and temperatures.
  • Feed your dog meals that are both tasty and digestible.
  • Praise and praise your dog for eating properly. If your dog refuses to eat for more than 24 hours, consult your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the Prognosis for Canines with Liver Disease?

The prognosis for liver disease in dogs depends on the underlying cause and how quickly it is diagnosed and treated.

Although it can be more difficult to treat in dogs with pre-existing health conditions, many canines can still enjoy long, healthy lives with prompt treatment.

2. How is Canine Liver Disease Treated?

Treating liver disease in dogs varies depending on the cause. Addressing the root cause is the most effective treatment. Antibiotics, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and special diets with supplements may all be used depending on the underlying issue.

3. How Can the Sodium Intake of a Dog with Renal Disease Be Restricted?

The best way to limit sodium in your pet’s diet is to eliminate salt entirely, including natural sources of sodium in their food. Choose kibble with low or no sodium to ensure their health and well-being.

4. How can the sodium intake of a dog with renal disease be restricted?

The prognosis for dogs with liver problems depends on the type and severity of the disease. While some chronic liver diseases may have a fair to good prognosis, end-stage liver failure or cancer usually have a poor prognosis.

5. Can a dog recover from liver problems?

While not all liver diseases are preventable, vaccinations for infectious hepatitis and leptospirosis, avoiding toxins, and being aware of the signs of liver disease can all help reduce the risk. Early intervention is crucial for successful treatment.

6. Can you prevent liver disease in dogs?

The prognosis for dogs with liver disease depends on the cause and how early it’s diagnosed and treated. With prompt treatment, many dogs with liver disease can live long, happy lives.

7. Is liver disease in dogs fatal?

Xylitol in candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods can cause liver failure and drop their blood sugar.

8. What foods are bad for dogs liver?

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods sweetened with xylitol can cause liver failure and low blood sugar in dogs.

9. What natural cures liver disease in dogs?

While milk thistle is the most common natural treatment for liver disease in dogs, other nutrients like choline, carnitine, arginine, Boswellia, burdock, dandelion root, licorice, nettle, Oregon grape, red clover, turmeric, yellow dock, and maitake mushrooms may also help.

Conclusion

Liver illness is a dangerous disorder that, if not treated appropriately, can be deadly. Many dogs with liver illness, however, may have long and happy lives if treated properly.

If you suspect your dog has liver illness, take him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment are critical for a successful outcome.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes our evaluations and guide assist you in finding the best dog foods for liver disease.

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Dr. Linda Wilson

Dr. Wilson has devoted her professional life to the treatment of cancer in dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, and other exotic species. She has more than 15 years of expertise in the area and is dedicated to giving her patients the best treatment possible.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Linda Wilson

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