Bad dog food can cause liver problems. For example, when you feed your dog with a lot of fat. Long-term obesity can damage liver tissue through fatty deposits in the liver and can also be the cause of liver dysfunction.

Like humans, dogs can develop hepatitis. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, drugs, or certain chemicals can also cause liver inflammation.

Liver disorders are hard to diagnose in pets. In addition, they often occur as a secondary disorder. This means that the dog will be infected by a condition that impacts the liver secondary to blood biochemistry.

The liver has multiple roles connected to the metabolism of some foods, such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is also correlated with vitamin and mineral metabolism.

The capacity of the liver to eliminate and excrete contaminants and medications borne by blood and the process of creating and removing bile is another irreplaceable function of the liver.

Hepatic Dog Food

Prohibiting or limiting some foods to our dog with a liver problem will depend on the specific disorder that he suffers. For example, in cases where the food must have a limited copper content, we must avoid foods that present it in high amounts, such as lamb, pork, organ meats, beans, lentils, wheat germ, or mushrooms.

Once your veterinarian has given us the diagnosis, the treatment will include a diet change until the dog recovers or for life (if the injury has become chronic). Regardless of the food that we offer our dog, we must go on a special diet.

On Amazon, we can find food cans adapted to this type of disorder. These foods contain just the right protein so as not to overload the liver. They are quality proteins and easy to digest and carbs, which are the best way to provide energy.

In cases of hepatic encephalopathy, the proteins must be from vegetable or dairy origin. The contribution of sodium and copper should be minimum.

The ingredients should be completed with vitamins, with particular attention to A, B, K, D, E, and C. It should also have minerals such as zinc, potassium, selenium, manganese, essential amino acids such as omega 3 or taurine, and other antioxidants.

In any case, these are general characteristics. Ideally, the menu should be adapted to the specific damage suffered by the dog.

You should serve the food into several small portions, between 3-6 times a day. If our dog still has difficulties eating, we can consider offering him a homemade diet for dogs with liver problems.

If we cannot get him to eat, your dog should use a tube at the vet clinic to keep his nutritional intake.

Homemade Dog Food for Liver Disease

A plate with quality products chosen and cooked by ourselves will be very appetizing for our dog. By following veterinary advice, we can prepare a diet for dogs with liver problems at home, which we can alternate or not with commercial food to try to stimulate the dog’s appetite.

To prepare food to feed a dog with liver problems, we can choose low-fat meats such as chicken or turkey. Protein should account for about 20% of calories, although it must be monitored to adjust.

Yes! You can use milk or vegetable proteins, soy, or corn gluten. They have the added benefit of their fiber content. A recommended fiber is beet pulp.

Carbohydrates must also be included, without exceeding 45% of calories. Boiled white rice and, to a lesser extent, pasta can be given. Similarly, for liver dogs, vegetables are indicated, in addition to vegetables such as carrots. We can dress with vegetable oil.

The fats should constitute 30-50% of the total, except in the case of cholestasis calories. It will be necessary to supplement with vitamins. We must not add salt. To determine the amount of daily food, we have to consider the characteristics of the dog and consult with our veterinarian.

Dogs with Liver Problems Not Eat

When the liver fails, we will face anorexia, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. Over time, we will find increased water intake and urination and more characteristic of liver failures.

All symptoms do not come at once. Sometimes, the signs of another illness may be misunderstood. Specific symptoms when dogs catch liver problems are:

  • Apathy: your canine friend might be sleepy, lack energy, and may not run.
  • Loss in appetite. We can see that dog only has little to no urge to feed.
  • Dehydration: Except though the dog consumes it, water does not hydrate its cells. If we pinch a strip of skin on its body, we will see if a dog is not hydrated because it takes time to get back to his spot.
  • The color shift in mucous membranes: If the liver has a problem, the mucous membranes of the dog begin to appear yellow. We call that jaundice.
  • Lose weight: The dog may lose weight because of little appetite and improper nutritional metabolism.
  • Persistent or frequent vomiting: other signs occur as the liver condition rises. It is normally yellow and frothy while vomiting.
  • Polydipsia and polyuria: the words lead to a rise in absorption in water and urine excreted, respectively.
  • Ascites: the fluid build-up in the belly. It develops when the serum proteins are decreased and venous stress is raised.
  • Diarrhea
  • Physiological signs: owing to the buildup of blood pollutants and the absence of liver activity, it effects the brain inducing inflammation of the brain.

Just like humans, a dog can have jaundice, ascites, or hepatic encephalopathy. It occurs due to the high level of toxins that are not eliminated in the blood.

Among these toxins, ammonia stands out. It comes from the metabolism of proteins.

Therefore, these will be the first element to consider in the diet for dogs with liver problems. Liver failure has various causes.

Your veterinarian will perform the diagnosis and prescribes the treatment that will combine drugs and diet. In the market, we can find liver feed for dogs, but there are more options.

Wet Dog Food for Liver Disease

There are a lot of wet dog foods you can choose from there. But we will highlight some ingredients you must pay attention to:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fiber
  • Orthomolecular nutrients


The essential diet in this type of dog consists of avoiding meat origin proteins as they contain nitrogen. When decomposed, it produces ammonia, which is very toxic to the liver.

However, protein is essential to help that liver to regenerate. As much quality plant protein should be offered as the patient can tolerate.

You should find a wet dog food with vegetable protein. Otherwise, one of the best quality vegetable proteins for this type of patient is undoubtedly Tofu.

Commercial foods for liver dogs are low in protein, contributing to low levels of ammonia in the blood. Very good for the dog!

The problem with these diets is that they do not provide natural quality protein because it comes in homemade dog food, which helps that liver regenerate.

Dairy proteins are a good option. It has a very high-quality protein, such as cheese.

There are alternatives like Royal Canin or Hills. In short, they are not the best alternatives. High-quality (plant-based) protein is essential to help the liver regenerate.


Carbohydrates must be of high quality and digestibility. It will provide the dog with energy quickly so that the liver does not “waste time looking for it” and can dedicate itself exclusively to its regeneration. The best homemade carbohydrate for your dog, without a doubt, is boiled rice.

The dog does not need cereals, he is a carnivore, but a patient with liver problems cannot consume meat proteins. Sweet potatoes good for dogs with liver disease.

The dog is a carnivore and needs almost no carbohydrates, much less in the grain like rice. A healthy dog ​​should consume them occasionally, but nothing more.


Adding little vegetables (green beans, spinach) is always beneficial because fiber absorbs endotoxins from the intestine (especially the large intestine). With this, we prevent these toxins from reaching the liver.

The problem is that they often don’t like vegetables. If you can, mix a little with chicken fat and garlic (they like it) and try to give it to them, they would come in handy. Or you can mix them in the diet that you are going to prepare.

Orthomolecular nutrients

Without a doubt, everyday nutrition plays a fundamental role in proper recovery from liver damage. Science has discovered specific nutrients that alone can be very harmful or beneficial for particular organs.

For example, Curcuma in the liver with a diseased dog can have a detoxifying power for the organ and substances of metabolic waste.

Final Thoughts

The liver is the body’s laboratory. It performs more than 1500 functions to transform the substances that enter. Drugs and food pass through it to be metabolized.

When this organ begins to fail severely, many biochemical processes are triggered in the body. Then, the damage is reflected in many ways.

While liver disorders in dogs are triggered by other factors, the liver is often healed until this disorder is treated. There is a prevention approach for each illness. For starters, repellants can be used in situations such as filariasis or other diseases spread by insects and environments where these insects reside.

Finally, hepatic problems and kidney dysfunction develop in elderly dogs at times. While age does impact, sufficient nutrition is a priority.