This is the third article of the series on treating dogs with liver disease.  In this article you’ll find two recipes for dogs fighting liver disease.

These recipes ARE NOT public domain and are not meant to be shared over the internet without our written consent.

Both were developed by a nutritionist specifically for our girl “Lulu” when she was diagnosed with the disease.

Most often traditional veterinarians will want to place dogs on a prescription diet such as Hills LD.  A home made diet is in my opinion, and most nutritionists opinion, a much better, healthier option. By the way, Lulu wouldn’t touch it.


These recipes were paid for by me and I’m sharing them as a courtesy to other dog owners who might be able to use them. Copyright restrictions apply and you must ask me before posting this anywhere on the internet or offline.

When I started Lulu on these recipes, her liver enzyme levels weren’t extreme so this diet was o.k. but you have to be very careful.  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.

Neither recipe should be given to a dog who is storing copper.  It’s critical that you ask your dog’s vet if you’re uncertain.

Can Raw Be the Answer?

Many believe that feeding a species appropriate 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 what I actually did for Lulu when she was diagnosed with Liver Disease.


The following recipes for liver disease in dogs are for a weeks worth of food and based upon Lulu’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 Lulu had IBS and veggies can often cause soft stool and diarrhea. You can always add your veggies to the recipe.


dog liver disease recipes tested approved

If you prefer less complicated recipes, please see our 5 ingredient recipecookbook here.

**Please be sure to read both of of our articles on Dandelion Root and Burdock Root which are very powerful tools for your dog’s liver problems.

Including desiccated liver in with the diet can also be a very a good idea as a glandular therapy for dogs with liver disease and elevated liver enzymes.  Learn more here.

Recipe #1If 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 fine. Do NOT feed this recipe if your dog has copper storage disease.  If you’re not sure, ask your dog’s vet.

**NOTE: The original recipes below called for brown rice. It’s been said that brown rice contains 50% more arsenic than white rice.  We used brown rice for our girl and she was fine. It’s your call if you want to use brown or white rice.  BUT, there is a method that you can use to significantly reduce arsenic levels in any rice.  See Dr. Lee’s article here.

Fish & Ground Beef

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: Now Calcium Carbonate was the product recommended to me and what I used for Lulu. *It should be noted that Lulu was given 1 cup of cottage cheese daily so this effected the amount of calcium carbonate needed.
  • Iodine: Add 6 kelp tablets (take apart and sprinkle over the mixture).
  • Zinc 50mg: Finely crushed and 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 through-out 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 real 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.

Each morning 1 can of low sodium sockeye salmon (1476 grams) was added to Lulu’s breakfast and at dinner she received 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese with her meal.

Recipes #2 If your dog has elevated liver enzymes  which could be due to ammonia in the (Hepatic Encephalopathy), or vomiting bile, then this recipe is fine. Do NOT feed this recipe if your dog has copper storage disease.  If you’re not sure, ask your dog’s vet.

Chicken and Salmon
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.
  • 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 real good so that the supplements are mixed evenly through the food. Divide the food into 7 even daily portions and place in individual freezer bags. Freeze and pull out what you need the day before. The bag is for two daily meals.

*Note: Each morning 1 can of low sodium sockeye salmon (1476 grams) was also added to Lulu’s breakfast and at dinner she received 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese with as well.

Copyright June. 2012, Janie Knetzer

Did you find these Recipes For Dogs With Liver Disease helpful?


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Showing 124 comments
  • Evelyne

    My 12 year old Aussie has liver storage disease. I noticed you add coconut oil to your recipes….
    Can you tell me the benifit of coconut oil in these cases?
    Also, I have cbd coconut tincture which I believe could help with discomfort and inflammation
    Do you have an opinion on this?
    Thank you for your mindfulness when it comes to our fur babies ????

    • janie

      Hi Evelyne:

      I think you mean “copper storage disease” is this correct? If so, these recipes won’t work for your dog.

      Coconut oil contains what are called MCFA’s or medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are sent to your dog’s liver and converted into energy vs being stored as fat in the liver. Also, studies show that coconut oil protects the liver from damage.

      I don’t know enough about CBD Coconut Tincture to share an opinion Evelyne. However, you definitely should be adding ORGANIC COCONUT OIL to your old Aussie’s home cooked diet. You should also include dandelion daily or burdock root. The liver loves both of these. Include Milk Thistle daily.

      You absolutely must ONLY USE filtered water. Avoid all chemical flea and tick products and vaccines. Hopefully you’ll do this for all future pets as well, if you’re not already.

      You’ll need to stick with low copper foods including and rotate between organic ground beef, ground white chicken and ground white turkey:


      White turkey or chicken meat (no dark)

      Eggs (Give daily. Lightly cook on the stove until the white of the egg is a soft white. Don’t flip. Try and leave the yolk intact or at least keep it runny) and add a little fresh pepper.

      White turkey or chicken meat (no dark)

      Your meat and egg should be 60% of the meal.

      Fresh organic dandelion is very, very good for the liver and so is burdock root. I urge you to purchase both and feed them at least 5 times a week. You can gently steam the dandelion and burdock root (peel it – it looks similar to a carrot). I would steam them separately since the dandelion will cook much faster than the burdock root. These alone can have a tremendous effect on your dog’s liver condition.

      Include greens such as brussel sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli. You can buy the steam in bags from your super market. Just make sure that you cook them well until very, very soft. Softer than for yourself. Dogs have a hard time digesting vegetables. Greens including the dandelion should be 30% of the meal.

      You can include a tiny bit of rice. Rice should only be roughly 10% of the meal if you add it.

      Include a good form of milk thistle daily. Include a good multivitamin daily. Ours is truly the best on the market. You can learn more if you want. Adding a liver glandular will also be very beneficial for your old timer. You can read about that here: Liver Glandular for Dogs
      You can and I would also include Liv 52 along with the above.

      ** You must make sure that any supplements you add include NO added copper.

      I hope this helps Evelyne and you’re very welcome. Please, please, please let me know how it goes.


  • Evelyne Barreneche

    omg…. you have literally put me in tears. I am so grateful to you for your informative and caring response to my question.
    Can rice be substituted by oatmeal or pasta?
    Are carrots of any value… he loves the sweetness and its really the only treat i give him now. Do you have any other suggestions for a loving treat.
    I am beside myself…. he is my first pet ever (im 57) and I am not ready to lose him. He has been with me through depression and was the original service dog before the term was ever designated.
    thank you so much!

    • janie

      Hi Evelyne:

      You are very welcome. I hope it helps your boy.

      Yes, you can feed oats or pasta, but it must be organic. I would also try and feed only gluten free pasta or oats. But, for the gluten free pasta, don’t feed the corn pasta. I recommend an organic brand such as Bionaturae. Dogs often have a hard time digesting carrots unless they are cooked super soft. I don’t feed them myself. Instead, I recommend frozen winter squash’ instead of carrots. You can continue to feed him some carrots.

      You can make our recipes for treats hear for your boy:

      I hope this helps.


  • Virginia

    My angel, Bell, is 9 years old and weighs about 6.5 pounds. She has an extrahepatic shunt that is probably just from being such a tiny thing. I had a scare with her over Christmas; very lethargic, confused, not seeing well, etc. I got some advice on putting her on a “raw” diet. All of the meats she eats are cooked, but her veggies are not. I don’t feed her pork or beef because I worry about ammonia. We stick with chicken thighs, liver, hearts, and gizzards, white fish, and eggs for her protein and sweet potatoes (her favorite!), Cucumber, celery, zucchini, carrots, and peas for her veggies. The improvement I have seen in her is phenomenal to say the least. She hasn’t run around like this for probably the last 3 years. She still sleeps a lot, but she’s back to asking for attention and playing with the cat (on a REALLY good day. I think I might try to add your recipes on a much smaller scale to give her some more variety, and I’m excited to try your treat recipes as well. Thank you so very much for sharing!!!

    • janie

      Hi Virginia:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story about your little Bell. You made my day. Is the chicken thighs, liver, hearts and gizzards, whitefish and eggs all completely raw? Even the fish? What about the veggies, are they diced raw or cooked??

      You’re very welcome and I’m glad that we can help.


  • evanden19

    I have a question regarding the supplements. In your blog, you provide a couple recipes for dogs with liver disease. This is the topic for which my question based. The blog shows many supplements that should be added to the two recipes supplied. However, the cookbook, which I have purchased, says that the only supplements to add are the calcium, burdock and/or dandelion root. It makes no mention of the Selenium, Manganese, copper, fish oil, etc. so, I’m confused as to how’s these supplements are to be added to the recipes, I just spent nearly $400 on these extras to make sure my dog has a balanced diet. Should they also be added? If so, why are they not mentioned in the cookbook under the liver disease section or in the supplements section? If not, ????? I’m confused. Thanks!

    Enid VanDeneede

    • janie

      Hi Enid:

      Yes, the recipes on my site for liver disease include adding supplements to balance out the recipes. The ones in the book do not. In the book, I tell you to include a good MULTIVITAMIN (you must of missed this at the very beginning of the book) which will provide the vitamins and minerals needed. I tell you to include Milk Thistle and Liver Glandular as well. Yes, I also indicate including calcium (any time you home cook) along with burdock root/dandelion which can be given fresh to really help out the liver.

      Regardless of what recipes you’re using, you should still give your dog a good multivitamin as stated in my cookbook. The only time you don’t want to include a multivitamin when home cooking for a dog with liver disease, is if he or she is storing copper and the multi includes copper. So, the same goes for using the recipes on my site. If your dog is storing copper and you’re adding copper to the meal in a supplement form, your dog will be consuming additional copper, when he is already suffering from storing too much copper.

      I have no way of telling if your dog is or isn’t; you would have to check with your vet.

      The bottom line is, the ones on the site were developed years ago for my own dog by another nutritionist. The ones in the book were developed by yet another nutritionist and myself. While the recipes on the site include vitamins and minerals to balance out the meal, your dog can still benefit from the multivitamin regardless of the supplements you are adding.

      In your dog’s case, the Daily Multi Complete is recommended Enid. It’s gentle, pure and organic.

      I hope this helps and makes sense Enid!


  • Debra Rawls

    Can you give me a simple diet I can give my little 4 lbs yorkie, he has been eating hills ld but he started going in circles and running into everything. I made him potatoes and boiled chicken breast just a bit ago, is dark meat better? Is rice better? Help.

    • janie

      Hi Debra:

      I apologize for the delay. I get swamped!

      Do you still need help? Is your little one still circling? The circling is a symptom of Hepatic Encephalopathy and liver problems. Is he storing copper in his liver?

      If he isn’t storing copper, then any of the simple recipes in cookbook can be used. They are 3-5 ingredients for the crockpot. The book also includes recommendations and interchangeable ingredients and supplements that help with the disease.

      You can read more about it here: Home Cooking for Sick Dogs

      I hope this helps and let me know if you have any additional questions.


  • Evelyne

    Hello again,
    So glad for all your help and encouragement. Ziggy is slowly making some progress. Loving his new veggies and home cooked meals . I have a medical question you may or not be able to
    answer. The vet put him on predisolone daily. This worries me. While it’s helping his appetite, he is urinating every half hour (profusely). Are steroids a common form of treatment for excess copper storage disease?

    • janie

      Hi Evelyne:

      Can I ask why you had Ziggy at the vet? Traditional veterinarians use it, but I’m not sure why. I believe for inflammation, but don’t quote me. I would NEVER place my dog with liver disease on predisolone!

      Did the vet place him on it to increase his appetite? If he’s doing good, why did he place him on this?

      Is Ziggy having other issues that you had to take him to the vet?


  • Evelyne

    This is why this worries me!! I can’t imagine a steroid being helpful to his liver
    Ziggy first went in for a gastro intestinal infection/inflammation. He was given metronidazole. Soon after we discovered he had a 7.5 cm tumor on his liver. Fearing the worst, we opted for surgery and had it removed. Benign! Our excitement quickly evaporated when we were told about the liver storage disease which was the root of his escalating liver enzymes. Again he was put on denamarin, metronidazole, zinc, vita e, a canine “Pepcid” and a long term course of prednisonole . He’s eating and pooping well but this urination is becoming a huge problem and interferes with his rest day and night.

    • janie

      Hi Evelyne:

      Is his urine real strong (yellow)? I know you probably can’t see it when he’s urinating. Try getting a little in a plastic cup, bowl, etc. Did they check his kidneys?

      Either way, I would follow a natural protocol for the liver and kidneys. Did we talk about diet, etc.? I would support the kidneys as well as the liver. I would never vaccinate again and always get a titer from Dr. Robb. You can support the kidneys with some great Chinese herbs.

      The prednosolone will cause him to urinate VERY frequently.

      Let me know.


  • Lisa

    Brown rice contains arsenic. Why would you include this in your recipes?

    • janie


      All rice contains arsenic. It’s about balance and we’ve used these recipes on our own dog with liver disease and our girl did perfectly fine, because she was receiving other vital nutrients, etc. How do you think people in other countries where rice is a daily staple get by?

      They did it by using a certain preparation method that we typically don’t ignore here in the U.S. They rinse and soak the rice in very hot water. This method cuts down on the arsenic levels a lot. You can research it more on the internet.


  • Sweta Desai

    Hi, My 12..9 yr old Golden is diagnosed W an illdefined central liver mass in 9/2017. His GGTP & Alkaline phosphatase are imcreasing since 2/2017. Recently his ALT has increased slightly. I started Denamarin liver supplement. Am trying to switch him to home cooked food. I was giving 1 cup Blue life maintenance dry food in AM & Pm. Already started giving organic chicken from Whole foods. He weighs 81 lbs. can you recommend a recipe which I can make at home where I can use Chicken, oatmeal( Steel cut oats), organic eggs, cottage cheese( low fat organic), broccoli, beans, etc to make a balanced diet for him. Thanks! Sweta

    • janie

      Hi Sweta:

      I’m sorry to hear about your old boy.

      WHY do you want to stick with those ingredients? Is your dog storing copper? If you don’t know, then ask your vet. You aren’t vaccinating any more right? When was his last vaccine?

      I recommend doing something completely different than what you’re doing. Let me know if is liver disease includes storing copper or not.


  • Carrie

    My dog also has pancreatitis and liver disease. Is turning into a skeleton. She won’t eat the dr prescribed food.

    • janie

      Hi Carrie:

      Would you be willing to cook for your girl?
      What is her age?
      When was she last vaccinated and for what?
      How often do you vaccinate?
      Do you use chemical flea and tick products on her?
      What food was she eating before all this happened?


  • Susan Misani

    Hi – It is wonderful to read things knowing that the person writing them really knows what they are talking about and cares.
    My dog Opi is 13 and has a number of serious issues.
    About 3 months ago Opi was diagnosed with SARDS.
    Although not great before, his blood values have recently become terribly concerning.
    He has been taking enzymes to help in digestion for the last 3 years due to chronic pancreatitis – he has allergies with serious food restrictions and his ALP has been high for years, but never really addressed. Cortisol is also a borderline issue now, but he has tested negative for Cushings. His Thyroid values are pretty much ok.
    He gets blood work done 3 times a year, recently more frequent.
    Lipasi (26-298) has skyrocketed to 1140
    ALP (14-147) in the last few months has gone from 1962 to 5928!
    ALT (40-125) 310
    both Reticolociti and PLT are both high – presumably from infection

    I usually make the bulk of his food taking into consideration his allergies and supplement it with kibble (chicken and potato, fish/potato, duck/potato). Usually I make him cooked chicken breast with white and sweet potato. He would eat one large meal per day in the morning, and then snacks during the day with a small meal at night. Since SARDS, if you are familiar with it, he is ALWAYS hungry and I was giving him snacks more frequently during the day – Since these last tests, I’ve stopped giving him snacks (for 1 week now) and he is getting 3 meals a day.


    The doctor has increased Creon (the enzyme for his pancreas) from 1 to 4/day

    Ursacol – 1 per day
    Hepatogen supplement – 1/day

    I’m looking into other supplements as well, but haven’s started them:
    K2M – hormonal support
    CBD oil
    Ginkgo Biloba – to help his cortisol level
    Curcumin and Turmeric – inflammation

    He also wants me to change food – suggested royal canine hepatic – but the ingredients are not good for my dog’s allergies – and I am finally getting around to my request for your help!

    Opi should stay away from rice and corn, beef, lamb, turkey – the doctor says take care of the liver and we will worry about the allergies later… yes I understand his point of view, but I would really rather not have to deal with allergy outbreaks as well – his system is critical as it is.

    Would you be so kind as to give me some much appreciated suggestions?
    I am living in Italy, so some things may be more difficult for me to fine here.
    Thank you very much
    Susan and Opi

    • janie

      Hi Susan:

      I’m sorry to hear about Opi.

      It’s been several days since you posted here, so I’ll send you a private email. However, in the mean time and if you read this, please check out Dr. Plechner’s article on SARDS here.



    i am so confused, my dog has a liver that is one fourth the size of a normal liver for my dog. I have been cooking cooked turkey, chicken and salmon with carrots, peas, zucchini, etc. after a year and a half she was doing well, now she gets lethargic, convulsions and don’t know what to do. She is on Demarin and antibiotices and the doctor insist on dog food for liver disease. what would you do?

    • janie

      Hi Valerie:

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog.

      Is your dog storing copper? You need to find out if she is, because if she, what you are feeding isn’t good for her. These can be symptoms of copper storage in the liver.

      Are you including any other supplements for her?


  • Christine Bowin

    My 4 month old chocolate lab puppy ate about 100 (yes 100) cardboard palm berries. I had no idea they were poisonous and they have since been taking out of my yard. That being said, we are now fighting severe Liver Disease. His ALT & ALP are very high. We did a biopsy and he is hepatic disease. I’m devastated and trying everything. He is now 6 months old and the last 8 weeks has been hell. My poor baby doesn’t want to eat, extremely lethargic and drooling. He is on nutrients, actigal, denamarin, fish oil, vitamin E & we are doing acupuncture. I just need him to EAT!!! What can I do to help him eat food?

    • janie

      Hi Christine:

      I’m sorry to hear about your puppy. That’s terrible!

      What are you or have you tried to feed?

      You should most definitely purchase bentonite clay which will bind the toxins in his blood, liver and kidneys. I’m not sure how much he weighs, but here’s how much you would need based upon his weight: Up to 19 pounds he should get 1/2 tsp daily, 20 -50 pounds – 1 teaspoon daily, 50 -90 pounds 1 tablespoon daily.

      You can add the clay to his water or WET FOOD. DO NOT PUT ON KIBBLE. Do not us a metal spoon or metal bowl when including clay. Use a plastic spoon and a glass or ceramic bowl for his food or water (which ever bowl you put the clay in). The brand we recommend is Earths Natural Clay and can be found here.

      You should order the clay immediately and get him detoxed. This should help. Let me know what you are trying to feed him.


  • Ramona

    You are just a WEALTH of information! Thank you for sharing you knowledge with us.

    I have a 10 year old Golden who recently had a large part of her liver removed as a result of a cancerous tumor. There is still a portion of the tumor remaining on what is left of her liver. I was told to feed her the Hills Liver Diet.

    I don’t know if she is storing copper or any of those details. Is that a factor with liver cancer? I would love some guidance on what I should do from here and until I can find out the specific Lab results (if that’s what you recommend I do).

    Thank you so much!

    • janie

      Hi Ramona:

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it very much. I sent you a private message…


  • Taylor

    Hi Janie! I’m so grateful that you’re invested in helping others. It’s giving me hope 🙂
    My 9 year old lab/retriever mix Cooper had a sudden seizure (no history with seizures either) and is now jaundice. Our vet said it was a result of some liver issue, as his liver enzymes are higher than normal. He gets nauseous, as he’s on Aventi supplements, and as a result he’s been eating less. We’ve tried two diet changes; white rice + boiled chicken, and Rayne restrict-CKD. On the rice and chicken, he only got worse (that’s when the jaundice appeared). Now, on the Rayne canned food, he just hates it. I’m assuming my mom put his medicine in there AGAIN, which causes him to hate his food – since he hates the supplements and nausea medicine. Plus, I have a gut feeling about the Rayne food; it just seems… not good. Starches, very low protein, and preservatives? I just can’t trust it. I feel like I’m only making him worse. He’s losing weight quickly. I’ve heard so many things about dogs completely recovering from liver issues with varied raw and cooked diets. In your opinion and experience (and anyone else reading!), should I hop off the vet formulas immediately and try home-cooked meals (or raw homemade)?
    Thank you for your time! I wish everyone and their pooches a full recovery.

    • janie

      HI Taylor:

      I’m sorry to hear about Cooper. And “thank you” for your very kind words. :)

      You should DEFINITELY hop off the vet formulas of food and home cook for Cooper ASAP! Chicken and rice aren’t what he needs. I recommend using the liver disease recipes in Home Cooking for Sick Dogs. You’ll also find helpful recommendations for the disease including the best supplements Taylor.

      Make sure you don’t use chemical flea and tick products on him and only use products like TripleSure for him. NO GOOD VET will ever recommend vaccinating your dog who has liver disease. It’s important for you to remember that okay!

      I hope this helps….

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