Most often traditional veterinarians will want to place a dog with liver disease on a prescription diet such as Hills LD. We do not recommend these types of diets at all.
In our experience, a homemade diet made with REAL WHOLE FOODS is an absolute must for dogs with a failing liver. Many dogs won’t touch the prescription dogs foods on their own anyway.
If your dog is suffering from ANY form of liver or kidney disease which is extremely serious, we urge you to please visit our page here for immediate help right away:
Dogs suffering from copper storage disease should not eat these recipes. Dogs diagnosed with Hepatic Encephalopathy may have problems with the protein in the following recipes. Again, please visit the link above for more help.
Can Raw Be the Answer?
Many believe that feeding a raw diet can help dogs with liver disease. While this is the complete opposite of what you’ll find here, I don’t believe that it’s not possible. I’m a huge fan of a raw diet and I recommend them all the time, however, this page is dedicated to feeding a homecooked diet for dogs diagnosed with Liver Disease.
PLEASE READ ABOUT OUR HOMEMADE DOG FOOD RECIPES FOR LIVER DISEASE
These are the recipes that we’ve used for many of our own dogs when their liver enzymes weren’t too extreme. You have to be very careful with this disease. This means that having your dog’s blood work done routinely (every 6 months); including a complete liver profile is critical. If the liver enzymes remain stable, then you can continue with the diet; but, you have no way of knowing this information unless you have the blood work done on a regular basis.
The following homemade recipes for liver disease in dogs are for a week’s worth of food and based upon our own dog’s weight which was approximately 70-75 pounds at the time they were developed.
Also, you’ll notice that there are no veggies included in the recipe and this is because our lab at the time had IBS and veggies can often cause soft stool and diarrhea.
The following recipes are the property of YourOldDog.com and are meant as a courtesy to our visitors. The recipes ARE NOT public domain and not permitted to be shared anywhere on the internet or copied and pasted on anyone’s website or shared in eBooks, etc. without the written consent of YourOldDog.com
Including desiccated liver in with the diet can also be a very good idea as a glandular therapy for dogs with liver disease and elevated liver enzymes. Learn more here.
Recipes for Dogs with Liver Disease
#1 – Fish & Ground Beef Recipe for Dog with Liver Disease
If your dog has elevated liver enzymes which could be due to ammonia in the blood (Hepatic Encephalopathy) or he or she is vomiting bile, this recipe is not ideal. Detoxing your dog first is the best thing to do for a dog with any type of liver issues PERIOD! This recipe can possibly be slowly incorporated later. See the link at the beginning of the page for immediate guidance.
Do NOT feed this recipe if your dog has copper storage disease. If you’re not sure, ask your dog’s vet if your has excessive amounts of copper in the liver. If you still don’t know, treat your dog like he is storing copper and use the above link for immediate help.
**NOTE: Since brown rice contains 50% more arsenic than white rice, there is a method that you can use to significantly reduce arsenic levels in any rice if you choose to: See Dr. Lee’s article here.
- 8 Cups of well-cooked brown rice (1560 grams)
- 7 Cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potato (1000 grams)
- 3 Cups cooked and chopped chicken livers (420 grams)
- 7 large hard-boiled eggs chopped
- 2 Cups poached, flaked, boneless haddock, cod or other whitefish (not tuna, shark or mackerel)
- 18 ounces regular ground beef, cooked in a little water but not overly browned
- Mix together and allow to cool completely. Stir in 1 tablespoon of fish oil.
- Next, YOU MUST and I repeat MUST add the following supplements in order to balance the diet:
- Calcium: Include 8-1/2 level teaspoons of pure calcium carbonate powder to the recipe.
- Iodine: Add 6 kelp tablets (take apart and sprinkle over the mixture).
- Zinc 50mg: Finely crushed and sprinkle THREE (3) through-out the food.
- Manganese 10mg Caps: Add TWO (2) finely crushed caps.
- Copper 2mg: Sprinkle SEVEN (7) of the capsule throughout the food.
- Coconut Oil: THIS SHOULD BE ADDED DAILY and NOT ALL ONCE -Add 1/2 teaspoon daily to your dog’s food.
Using your hands, mix the food really good so that the supplements are mixed evenly through the food. Divide the food into 7 even batches and place in a freezer bag and freeze. Pull a bag out of the freezer the day before. Divide the bag into two meals for your dog that day.
#2 – Chicken and Salmon Recipe for Dogs with Liver Disease
Again, if your dog has elevated liver enzymes which may be due to excess ammonia levels in the blood (Hepatic Encephalopathy) or he or she is vomiting bile, then detoxing your dog first is the best thing to do for any form of liver issues PERIOD! The recipe may be used later once your dog is stabilized. Use our link above for immediate help in stabilizing your dog’s condition.
- 7 Cups well-cooked brown rice cooked very well (1365 grams)
- 2 Cups (measure out 2 cups of raw Quinoa) then cook (340 grams)
- 3 Cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potato (600 grams)
- 9 Cups lightly cooked ground chicken with fat (990 grams)
- 3 Ounces poached liver finely chopped
- 2 – 6 oz cans low sodium sockeye salmon (170grams per can)
- Allow this mixture to cool and stir in one tablespoon of fish oil. Add all of the following supplements.
- Calcium: Eight and one half (8.5) LEVEL teaspoons and sprinkle evenly over food. *Again, it should be noted that Lulu was given 1 cup of cottage cheese daily effecting the amount needed in the recipe.
- Iodine: Sprinkle SIX (6) capsules evenly over the food.
- Zinc 50mg: Finely crush and sprinkle FOUR (4) evenly over food.
- Manganese 10mg: Finely crush and add ONE (1) evenly to food.
- NO COPPER NEEDED
- Coconut Oil: THIS SHOULD BE ADDED DAILY and NOT ALL AT ONCE -Add 1 teaspoon daily to your dog’s food.
Using your hands, mix the food really good so that the supplements are mixed evenly through the food. Divide the food into 7 even daily portions and place them in individual freezer bags. Freeze and pull out what you need the day before. The bag is for two daily meals.
**Please be sure to read both of our articles on Dandelion Root and Burdock Root which are very powerful tools for your dog’s liver problems.
Copyright June. 2012, Janie Knetzer, YourOldDog.com
Editor’s Note: The blog post was originally published in September 2011 and completely revamped and updated for accuracy in November 2019.