Keeping your pet’s liver healthy: Holistic Support for Dogs with Liver Disease

The liver is one of the most valuable organs for your pet’s overall health and well-being. It aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels, the production of bile for digestion, and the management of blood clotting. The liver also serves as a filter to remove toxins and helps retain vitamins, fats, and minerals. 

However, an abundance of toxins can lead the liver to fail. Some dog breeds are genetically more prone to liver disease than others, while some are exposed to it due to vitamin deficiencies, and bacterial or viral infections.

Part of controlling liver conditions in dogs is to manage its symptoms, which include digestive issues, increased urination, a lack of appetite, and weight loss. It is initially more effective to address the underlying symptoms which in most cases involve improving their liver function and toxin removal through a change in diet, and holistic liver support for dogs through supplements and natural ingredients like turmeric, milk thistle, antioxidants, and vitamins.  Natural treatments help the liver regenerate and provide fewer side effects than pharmaceutical medicines.

Symptoms of liver disease in Dogs

Dogs with liver disease can experience loss of appetite, vomiting, digestive disorders such as ulcers and diarrhea, seizures and other neurological issues. While others may have a persistent fever, jaundice, blood clotting, fluid retention in the abdomen, excessive urination, and weight loss. 

Be observant and in tune with your dog’s behavior. Visit your local veterinarian for an early consultation. The veterinarian’s diagnosis and understanding of the potential causes of the disease will enable them to provide the necessary care. Liver disease caught in its early stages has a better chance for improvement.

Causes of liver disease in dogs

Liver disease may be due to a congenital condition, while certain dog breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Labradors are more prone to copper build-up which leads to liver damage. 

Exposure to a toxic substance and heat, inflammation in the gallbladder, excessive fat in the liver and a viral and bacterial infection are contributing factors to acute liver disease. Dogs prescribed steroids, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs to treat cancer can add further strain on the liver. 

Liver disease in dogs can be treated, it is always best to identify the tell-tale signs and consult your local veterinarian on how to begin early treatment and protect your dog from unnecessary discomfort.  Older dogs with pre-existing conditions under medication will often benefit from natural treatments that are milder when compared to the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids.

Natural and holistic support for liver disease in dogs

Due to the varying signs that are associated with liver disease, there are a number of available treatments. Through the consultation of your veterinarian, seek blood tests, urinalysis, biopsy, or a non-invasive ultrasound to provide a more definitive diagnosis.

Conventional medicine will be prescribed by most veterinarians, however, you may seek guidance if you would like to proceed with a more natural or holistic approach. A change in diet, rich in antioxidants and natural products such as milk thistle can go alongside antibiotics, diuretics, and other anti-inflammatory medication.

Since dogs with liver disease have a low appetite, it is recommended to make their diet more palatable to encourage them to eat. Your dog’s diet should be balanced using lean proteins such as white meat and vegetables, combined with healthy carbohydrates and high fiber vegetables rich in water-soluble vitamins, especially vitamins E, K, C,  B, and Zinc. 

Explore into introducing carrots, beetroot, cucumbers, eggs, apples, and brown rice. Other foods that can restore liver balance are cottage cheese, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. Adding fresh liver to their diet also encourages a quality protein with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Supplements for liver support

Supplements are able to neutralize the side-effects of exposure to unnecessary chemicals and prescribed medications which may include the use of pro and prebiotics, slippery elm to aid in digestion, and other anti-anxiety medications.

Antioxidant vitamins which include Vitamin E can minimize the after-effects of bile on your dog’s liver, while Vitamin C and B complex can help improve their immune system, skin, heart, and digestive health.

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) is a natural supplement that proves to protect liver cells and aids in the detoxification of liver cells. The levels of this natural supplement can change in bodies with liver issues. SAMe works to strengthen the immune system, cell membranes, and helps break down chemicals.

Natural herbs for liver support

Your dog’s liver needs to be detoxified and cleared of unwanted toxins to improve gut and liver health. Cynara scolymus or Globe artichoke can assist in the production and the circulation of bile from the gallbladder to boost the detoxification process and lessen cholesterol. Milk thistle or silybum marianum is an effective liver tonic with antioxidant properties that is able to repair run-down liver cells and encourage toxin removal and simultaneously protect your dog’s liver from more damage.

Dandelion root can work as a mild laxative and be used to support digestive health and encourage liver detoxification. Bupleurum Radix bupleuri is an effective liver tonic that treats your dog’s digestive issues by normalizing liver enzyme levels and other disorders, including hepatitis. Schisandra sinensis is an antioxidant fruit that protects the kidneys and calms the heart. It assists in chronic liver disease and improves detoxification. 

In Closing

A combination of natural herbs, vitamins, and supplements can help treat liver disease in dogs without the harsh side effects of pharmaceutical medications. Natural and holistic treatments for liver disease work best when prescribed by a veterinarian who is well versed with a more holistic approach.  A change in a diet free from processed foods and chemicals, with small frequent meals that contain high fiber and digestible grains low in fat, combined with regular exercise, and weight regulation, will readily improve your dog’s liver function.

Natural liver supplements and vitamins can aid in the repair and regeneration of your furry friend’s liver cells by breaking down fats and proteins, supporting detoxification, and improving their overall liver health. Prevention and an early diagnosis can help your dog lead a more comfortable and active life, which you can share together for years to come.

Care guide for those with senior dogs

The hardest part of loving a pet is having to say goodbye. Our team of vets and pet experts created a resource that outlines ways to ensure a comfortable end-of-life transition for your pet. We cover the inevitable questions that arise over caring for an elderly pet or one with a terminal illness, as well as the tougher conversations on if euthanasia should be considered and how to cope with their loss. 

Our guide details the various steps to take to ensure that you and your dog are prepared and that their life and your bond are celebrated. 

Here it is:

Dr. Randy Aronson, VMD
Veterinary Advisor at betterpet


  1. Pennye L Hallam

    my dog is being treated with Piroxicam and Leukeran for cancer tumors on the liver. It was found early and active and asymptomatic at this time. Few side effects but he’s ravenous which is very unusual for him. Can’t seem to help himself. Is there anything I can do to keep him satisficed between meals.


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  3. Thank you for sharing this comprehensive guide on holistic support for
    dogs with liver disease. The liver plays a crucial role in a pet’s overall health, and your article provides valuable insights into recognizing symptoms, understanding causes, and offering natural and holistic approaches for treatment.

    I appreciate the emphasis on the importance of early detection through vigilant observation of a dog’s behavior and the need for consultation with a local veterinarian. The breakdown of causes, from genetic predisposition to exposure to toxic substances, is both informative and practical for pet owners.

  4. My yorkie is 4 year’s old she gave aliver disease. Must I take her for a operation. Thanks a lot.

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