Best Dog Food for Liver Disease in 2020: Caring Before Treating

Just like with humans, the liver is one of the most multi-functional organs in the body. It performs a variety of mechanisms that regulates the filtering and processing of everything that gets through it. When a dog’s liver gets affected by a condition, it’s noticeable from the start and requires immediate diet changes.

As it goes, the first thing a dog owner has to do is choose food that won’t allow the disease to spread. Consequently, the best dog food for liver disease is a blend of high-quality meats and microelements. Proteins, vitamins, and minerals are essential to the liver’s functioning, especially if it has been damaged and requires time to restore.

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Hill's Prescription Diet l/d Liver Care Canned Dog...
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Provides the feeling of satisfaction
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Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Dry Dog Food, SAVOR...
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Comes in a variety of flavors
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Halo Vegan Dry Dog Food - Premium and Holistic Garden...
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Wholesome mineral and vitamin diet
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The difficulty with dog diets is that they are rarely inclusive and provide a pet only with certain elements, while others are scarce. For this, it’s time you learned how to read a dog food label. For instance, although protein, which comes from meat, is vital to restoring the hepatic cells, not all kinds of it are recommended for liver disease food.

Considering all the recommendations, finding the best commercial dog food for liver disease is hard. But don’t get your feet cold, for there are solutions. Ready to learn more?

Most Common Dog Diseases

White dog with black spot

Contrary to common belief, dogs get sick too. The array of illnesses a pet can encounter is almost as vast as that of a human. From cancer to diabetes and a heart stock, a four-legged is liable to conditions, which require treatment by changing its lifestyle and diet. Here are the most common dog diseases that you have to be aware of.

  1. Rabies. The most common and, unfortunately, lethal, rabies is extremely dangerous because it affects the dog’s brain and changes its behavior to violence.
  2. Cancer. Just like that of a human, dog cancer is very common among the four-legged. While the condition is hard to treat, there is still hope, and using a specific treatment procedure, can be handled.
  3. Heartworm. Transmitted by mosquitoes and flies, heartworms are parasites that infect blood vessels and, eventually, the heart.
  4. Liver diseases. Jaundice, liver failure, and other liver diseases are caused by various reasons. They are normally treated by picking the right diet and regular liver checks.

7 Best Dog Foods Reviewed

While the cause of the liver disease is still not clear, the treatment always involves a change of diet. Many modern manufacturers have great foods to boast about, but, unfortunately, not all of them are fit to handle the condition. So, what to do?

In this section, I’d like to introduce some high-quality products that will surely provide your pet with all the necessary dog vitamins and supplements. Each product is a well-balanced fodder with many benefits though it still has some downsides.

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1. Hill’s Prescription Diet L/D Liver Care Food — Best Overall Dog Food for Liver Disease

Soft and nutritious, Hill’s Prescription offers a great variety of different-flavored foods for dogs with liver conditions. The formula is elaborated specifically for pets whose liver has been affected by infection or hereditary illnesses. It’s completely versatile and doesn’t have any age or size limitations, so you can use it as fodder for any dog regardless of the breed.

Each can contains 13oz of pure conserved chicken morsels. The poultry is not solid, so there shouldn’t be any issues with digestion or chewing. As liver care dog food, the fodder is coated with protection to facilitate stomaching and prevent digestion disfunction. Also, the coating is suitable for cases when a pet loses its appetite, so the coating is flavored to increase the hunger and encourage a dog to eat.

As for the formula, the food is based on chicken meat, which some dogs normally prefer to beef or venison. It’s infused with carnitine, which is an essential compound of digestive metabolism. Here, it accelerates metabolism, leading to faster and better fat-burn processes.

This leads to increased appetite and additional energy boosts. Subsequently, it helps a lot with excessive urination, diarrhea, and tissue color changes.

Positives:
  • Tasty and juicy;
  • No chemicals;
  • Provides the feeling of satisfaction;
  • It helps with restoring liver filtering functions.
Negatives:
  • It takes up to 2 weeks to completely transition from your dog’s previous diet.
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2. Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Shredded Blend — Best Dry Dog Food for Liver Disease

If your dog suffers from drastic weight loss and weakness, you need to make robust changes in the diet and add plenty of proteins. Purina uses fresh lamb and organic rice to provide sufficient amounts of protein-based elements. The meat is well-shredded, which doesn’t harm the dog’s stomach because all the solid particles have been ground and turned into soft, bouncy morsels.

Pro Plan is designed to be a constant and daily food source for any dog with a liver condition. Therefore, the bag has 35lbs of fodder, which suffices for over a month, depending on your dog’s size and eating habits. You can combine the food with supplements or even other food products to ensure that your pet regains weight and stays active all day long.

The manufacturer includes high amounts of fiber to provide a dog with digestible meals. Safe for the stomach, other elements, like vitamin A and Omega-6, are a source of fatty acids. They help accelerate healing and faster rebuilding of the bone and muscle structures without carbs or hard-to-stomach fats. Also, probiotics smoothen digestion and prevent inflammations or stomach irritations, which so often occur due to solid particles.

Positives:
  • Completely dry without any additives;
  • Includes probiotics for a better liver disease diet for dogs;
  • Comes in a variety of flavors;
  • Short transition period.
Negatives:
  • Pricey.
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3. Halo Vegan Adult Garden Dry Dog Food — Best Vegan Dog Food for Liver Disease

For dogs whose stomach is too irritable to meat fats and carbs, Halo Vegan offers a great plant-based solution. The formula doesn’t contain any animal-derived components but substitutes them for completely organic replacements. Don’t worry that your pet won’t be into plants because the brand uses an array of natural, non-synthetic flavors to ensure that their liver support dog food tastes exactly the same as meat-based fodders.

You can choose between 4, 10, and 21lbs of food to either try feeding it to your pet at first or going all-in right away. There are two main components in the formula, i.e., peas and barley. Both of them are full of nutrients important for muscle and bone growth, as well as microelements. Rich in fatty acids, like Omega-3, the food suits dogs whose liver has been affected by a condition causing it to worsen its functions.

L-carnitine, B12, and manganese make up most of the formula. They substitute the fats and acids meat has, providing the same effect but without raising the levels of cholesterol and sugar. As a result, your dog’s coat and eyes get brighter and nose darker. By the way, the company offers a two-week satisfaction policy so that you can see for yourself how good the product is.

Positives:
  • Organic and animal-cruelty-free;
  • Wholesome mineral and vitamin diet;
  • A strong feeling of ‘fullness’;
  • No synthetic flavors.
Negatives:
  • It takes time for a dog to get used to it.
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4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Dry Food — Best Large Dog Food for Liver Disease

People with big, bulky pets know that their dog can get whimsy and crave more than a normal portion of fodder. Blue Buffalo has foreseen it and provided us with a formula for large breeds whose hunger is rarely satisfied. It combines both meat-based ingredients and vegetables to make each meal wholesome and full of nutrients.

Sparing and nourishing, the food is designed for twice-a-day meals so that 24lbs of the fodder suffice for longer. Mainly consisting of high-quality chicken morsels, each piece is dry but also coated in probiotics to ensure easy swallowing and fast digestion. Carbohydrates, coming from peas and other vegetables, include a large scope of vitamins, like vitamin A, B6, and C. And it’s exactly what to feed a dog with liver problems to treat its condition.

Although the food is meant for larger breeds, it’s perfectly suitable for pets in the range of 50lbs-100lbs+. Use 3-½ cups for smaller breeds and 5-5-½ cups for bigger ones. Omega-3 will give the feeling of satisfaction and boost your pet’s immune system, as well as it will help maintain the dog’s weight and improve healing.

Positives:
  • All-natural selected meats;
  • Extended expiration period;
  • Full of antioxidants;
  • No by-products.
Negatives:
  • The pieces are not of the same size, so it’s hard to measure the exact meal dosage.
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5. ProHepatic Liver Support Chewable Tablets — Best Liver Support Chewable Tablets

Although it’s not a full-blown feeding program, the tablets are worth mentioning. They provide a dog with a whole bunch of antioxidants to improve the functioning and metabolism of the affected liver. It’s especially useful if your pet has already manifested any signs of jaundice, i.e., the eyes and skin going yellowish.

Each tablet consists of a well-elaborated set of organic chemicals (non-toxic) used to fight the oxidation processes in the liver. The product decreases the overall liver toxication, supporting hepatic cells in faster and more prolific restoration. The effect is achieved due to Siliphos, which boosts glutathione, improving metabolism processes.

As for the meals, the substance is normally consumed with the dog’s daily food. It can be either mixed with fodder or given before the pet’s meal. Either way, the product is 100% organic and causes no digestive issues but dissolves easily. As a rule, 1 tablet should be provided per 30-40 pounds of weight. For instance, a 100lb Bulldog would have three of them daily.

Positives:
  • Rich in antioxidants;
  • No upsides for the stomach;
  • Almost tasteless;
  • Fast to digest.
Negatives:
  • It isn’t a full meal plan but a supplement.
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6. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dog Food — Best Small Dogs Food for Liver Disease

Just like larger breeds, small ones require many microelements to grow lean muscles and retain energy. This one is great dog food for liver issues when your pet experiences general weakness and unstable walk. Fully organic, the product is easy to prepare and contains no fillers or preservatives.

Depending on your dog’s size and weight, you can acquire smaller, 2oz packs or larger, 10lbs packs to calculate precise meals potions. With up over 20% of protein intakes, the product can be used as a meal or simply a topper to flavor morsels. Choose between chicken, turkey, and beef to see which one your pet likes best, and add some water to turn it into wet food.

Each intake comes to around 500 calories and contains plenty of fatty acids and fiber. Copper, iron, and sodium are favorable for the bones and clear the bloodstream of any toxins or chemicals. This way, your pet receives a portion of fully organic meat and vegetables to go easier on the liver, preventing bleeding or excessive peeing. It’s completely FDA-approved and has other certifications guaranteeing the safety and nutritious elements that compose the product.

Positives:
  • GMO-free;
  • Well-balanced formula without hormones or additives;
  • Reasonable price;
  • Suitable for both pups and grown-up dogs.
Negatives:
  • Contains garlic, which some dogs detest.
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7. Blue Buffalo Gastrointestinal Support for Dogs — Best Dog Food for High Liver Enzymes

Elevated liver enzymes are a common issue when a dog has its liver affected, so Blue Buffalo has elaborated a single-purpose solution. The product contains high levels of fats and elements that help reduce the enzyme sizes and prevent blood in the pee. Moreover, the food is very versatile and has no limitations to the age, weight, or breed of a pet for safer and easier use.

Containing no soy or grains, the product comes with 22lbs in a pack, which is more than enough for a grown German Shepherd, for instance. It’s based on chicken since chicken meat is highly digestive and has low fats, which an infected liver cannot filter. Kelp and berries are rich in antioxidants to boost the immune system and facilitate cellular absorption.

As dog food for liver health goes, probiotics help restore the stomach microfloral system to avoid diarrhea and cramps. Backed up by Ascorbic Acid, the fodder is digested better and allows for a faster metabolism.

Besides, you can decide whether you want to be completely dry or diluted with water. The latter is a perfect option if your pet doesn’t like dry or solid foods.

Positives:
  • Great for dogs with sensitive digestion;
  • Can be served both dry and wet;
  • Rich flavor;
  • Suitable for all ages and breeds.
Negatives:
  • Comes only with chicken flavor.
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Dog Food & Liver Disease: Dos and Don’ts

Dog with a flower in his mouth

Many people wonder what makes the best dog food for liver problems, and it’s a fair question. Finding options online is one thing, but knowing whether it suits your case is something different. And while your vet might have recommended certain products to you, it’s completely fine if you’re overwhelmed. Here are a couple of things you need to know.

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Things to consider when buying dog food for liver diseases

First and foremost, you need to consult with your vet if your pet is experiencing any signs of liver diseases. A professional will help you choose a good pro plan to treat and maintain the condition. When you’re all set, you can start browsing for dog foods that will suit your case.

Initially, make sure that the diet is made of wholesome, non-filler meat or substitutes. Avoid cheap products that include preservatives, flavors, and colorings. All of them might deposit toxins, which your dog’s affected liver will have a hard time processing.

As for formulas, choose foods containing high levels of protein, minerals, and vitamins. Protein is a cornerstone of restoring the liver’s deficient cell; whereas, minerals and vitamins help strengthen tissues and boost the immune system.

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Homemade dog food for liver diseases

It’s also possible to include homemade meals in your professionally selected diet. Food prepared at home can make up for the lack of certain minerals and vitamins in manufactured pro plans. Besides, you can control the components you add to it, which, otherwise, may be low-quality in premade products.

For instance, you can cook an egg-chicken porridge to ensure fast and easy digestion for your pet. Also, vegan patties are extremely nutritious, especially if your dog has excesses of protein in the system. These and many other recipes are fast and easy to cook, and they can be both extras or main meals for the pet.

On the other hand, it’s not advisable to rely solely on homemade dog food. For instance, professional dog food for high liver enzymes has a specific protein level that, if excessive, can be harmful to the liver. The same applies to vitamins that can be scarce in homemade meals.

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Additional treats for dogs with liver diseases

If your dog’s liver is under a condition, most of the treats you usually indulge the pet with are not an option. Because all of them contain flavors and hunger accelerators, the toxins and chemicals they include will go hard on the liver. However, it’s still possible to use certain treats if they are completely deprived of chemicals and have moderate formulas.

Proteins and fats are vital, and no treatment can go without them. Some proteins and fats are easily digested and get into the bloodstream without too much difficulty. On the other hand, there are those that the liver will find it hard to process, especially if it has been damaged.

To avoid complications, indulge your pet with organic hepatic dog treats. Because sweet potatoes, fruit, and vegetables contain dissolvable components that do no harm to the liver. Also, avoid using sodium-based treats since the element deposits in the liver, causing damage, vitamin D toxicity, and blockages.

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FAQ on Best Dog Food for Liver Disease

Pug on the couch

Is there anything still unclear about liver disease dog food? Take a look here to find the answers to your questions.

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What food to avoid for dogs with liver disease?

Foods with synthetic flavors and preservatives are highly unrecommended for ill pets. The chemical elements they include are normally filtered by the liver to prevent them from getting into the bloodstream. Because the liver is already damaged, it won’t be able to perform its functions but will simply be affected by chemicals.

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How to prevent a dog from getting the liver disease?

The best thing you can do for your pet is to watch it closely for any signs of the condition. Second, you can maintain a diet beforehand, feeding your pet with products that contain low levels of fats and preservatives.

Finally, avoid indulging the dog with anything fried or roasted, but replace such foods with well-cooked or steamed meat and vegetables.

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How to find out if a dog has liver diseases?

A loss of appetite or weight, diarrhea, and excessive urination are the main symptoms of your pet having issues with the liver. In such cases, consulting with the vet is a priority because, as studies show up, 80% of hepatic cells are already dead before a dog is diagnosed with liver diseases.

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Any Treatment Starts With Care and Attention

Liver diseases are at the top of the most common dog illnesses nowadays. The root of the problem lies largely in the food our pets consume. Because modern dog fodder producers are beginning to use more and more synthetic substitutes, more and more dogs come down with the condition yearly.

If your pet has been diagnosed with liver disease, don’t panic, but start paying attention to the food, water quality, and other conditions. Although it will take time and effort, the liver will surely restore itself if you help it by choosing a good-quality diet.

Acquire dry food with high protein concentrations if there has been some damage done to the liver. It will accelerate healing and help your pet maintain energy and vitality. Also, use wet or diluted mixtures and foods if the condition is worsened by jaundice. Professional hepatic products boost the immune system and prevent toxins from depositing in the body.

Nonetheless, take care of your four-legged friend and pay attention to its needs, not only when it goes down with an illness. Also, tell me what kind of food have you used before? How does your pet feel about plant-based foods? Leave your comments below!

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make Doggolab a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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