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 my cookbook here.

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

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.

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 Cans low sodium sockeye salmon (1476 grams)

  • 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 43 comments
  • C D

    That was a wonderful recipe. Do you have one for “kidney?” Or can this particular one be used for kidney? My dog is on denamarin and has just recently started to spill protein into his urine. The Vet suggested K/D. It looks awful!

    Can you recommend a pet food or home made diet for this – low sodium and low protein?


    • admin

      Hi CD:
      I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Keep in mind that dogs in the early stages of kidney disease do not need low protein diets. They should be eating a dog food that contains a HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN SOURCE. One good food for dogs at the early stages of kidney disease is called Grandma Lucy’s. It’s very close to home-made. You add warm water and you have a meal. It’s a dehydrated food. This is actually the same food that my own dog eats who was actually in renal failure. Another good food would be “Keen” made by the Honest Kitchen which is a freeze dried food and you just add warm water for this food as well.

      I hope this helps.
      Janie 😮

  • lisa forrest

    Hi Janie – I have two senior dogs. One was recently found to have elevated liver enzymes; the other decreased kidney function. Neither shows any signs of illness. Is there a single food you would recommend that would be appropriate for both, as it is difficult to keep them out of each others’ food bowls? Thanks; love the website and all your great information and advice. Lisa Forrest

    • admin

      Hi Lisa:
      The food that I recommend is not a kibble and therefore can’t be left in the bowl all day. Grandma Lucy’s Artisan freeze dried “Chicken” formula is low in phosphorus and much like home made but you just add warm water; but I recommend adding additional meat (I elaborate on that further on). This is what my own doberman eats who has kidney disease and at one point also had elevated liver enzymes. She was actually in renal failure as well when I placed her on this food. I also included Wellness Ninety Five Percent to provide a high quality protein for her and you can even rotate between an egg and the Wellness Ninety Five Percent. She did well and her kidney function returned to normal. Since liver disease is also present, you may want to add cooked oats (whole quick oats) in order to eliminate any ammonia in the system. I also highly recommend a GOOD fatty acid. The salmon oil that I like includes COQ10 which is very good for kidney and liver health. Other recommended supplements include B complex and vitamin E. Avoid foods and supplements with high copper content which are beef liver and other organ meats.

      Watch the treats you feed and NEVER feed rawhide, etc.


  • lisa


    My dog has CHF and an enlarged heart, NOW cushings syndrome, I would like to cook her a balanced diet that is both good for her heart AND bring down her elevated liver enzymes, do you have any suggestions? thanks!

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Lisa:
      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. You have several options to choose from. You can certainly cook for your girl if you want. I haven’t had a chance to add any free recipes here on my blog for heart disease yet, but if you’re interested, you can purchase my recipe book that offers two recipes for heart disease. Both are very easy and include only 3 ingredients (one is salmon and one is turkey). One is for the crockpot and the other is a easy fry recipe. Or, you can purchase a very good brand of food such as The Honest Kitchen Verve formula or their Keen formula. Both would be good for your girl. You MUST include supplements such as a good multi-vitamin (I love Dr. Harvey’s multi powder), Cardio Strength by Vetri Science and I definitely recommend (regardless of which diet you choose) Cortiquel for Cushings which should help lower the liver enzymes.

      I would also love to see you include organic, cold pressed coconut oil which has many, many benefits and will definitely benefit your own old girl.

      Hope this helps.

  • Carmen

    My sweet Bella is having liver issues. Such a roller coaster ride. She absolutely loves hard chewies/rawhide chews. Do you know of any safe chewies that I can buy her. Or perhaps a recipe for hard chewies?

    • yourolddog

      Carmen, what are you doing for her liver issues with regards to her main diet?


      • Carmen

        I’m giving her yams,spinach, quinoa and chicken breast. And adding turmeric, vitamin E and coq10 in there. She really likes to chew on rawhide a but I want to eliminate that in her diet. I just can’t find anything safe that she loves

      • yourolddog

        Hey Carmen:

        I’m sorry for the delay. I’m not sure if she’d like them or not, but the safest for her would be deer antlers. But, they are actually like a bone, but 100% calcium and low fat. So, they’re not like a chewy rawhide, which I’m so glad to see that you’re getting her away from by the way. 🙂

        Because of her liver issues, you really have to watch everything she consumes. You could also give her this jerky treat, which would be healthy for her.

        I hope this helps and again, I’m sorry for the delay.


        • Carmen Cosio

          Thank you so much for all the info Janie! I’ll definitely try both. But what’s the jerky treat called? When I click on it. It’s blank

          • yourolddog

            Hey Carmen:

            My pleasure. They are called Bark at the Moon Turkey Treats.


          • Carmen

            Hello again,
            My sweet babies refusing to eat. Can you suggest anything to stimulate he appetite. Or any foods to give her. This is so hard. She’s so restless and won’t sleep through the night. In turn I’m up all night and dead all day!!Help????

          • yourolddog

            Hi Carmen:

            What food or diet were you feeding her when she stopped eating? Any supplements or meds? Does she have symptoms? This page offers some ideas.


          • Carmen

            She’s taking
            Steroids every 3 days
            Vitamin e
            Co q10
            I was feeding her chicken, yams and spinach. She stopped eating that so I’ve resorted to canned low protein and low in fat. I don’t know what else to do. She’s hungry but won’t eat. She just can’t get comfortable. I feel so bad.

          • yourolddog

            Carmen, I don’t know if this will work, but I know it has for others. Mix equal parts of filtered tepid water (not real cold) and apple cider vinegar with the mother. Using a syringe, give it to her. See if she’ll eat a little after that.

            I would also like to see you get dried dandelion root and make a tea. Or, purchase organic dandelion root in a tea bag form. It must be organic and contain only dandelion or it may also contain burdock root. Both of these can do amazing things for the liver. Let me know okay.


          • Carmen

            I’ll definitely try this!! Thank you so much for all your info.
            I just wish that I could find something for her to eat and something that lets her sleep throughout the night.

          • yourolddog

            No matter what, you should do the dandelion tea. But try the other right now for immediate help and see if it does anything. I forgot to mention that you might also consider feeding raw such as organic ground beef Carmen. Going back to the basics often helps as well 🙂 And, you’re welcome.

            Let me know how it goes.

          • Carmen

            I’ll try anything. I’ll go to sprouts after work. Do I also syringe the dandelion tea? Raw organic ground beef. Is there any special handling with that?

          • Lisa Martin

            Are bully sticks ok. They are all natural

          • janie

            Hi Lisa!

            Bully sticks are a very good option. Just MAKE SURE they are 100% natural and try to stick with US cattle and brands.


        • becca

          My mini bull terrier puppy Knomi (11months) ate something when we were out at the lake on sunday, the vet and i both were not sure what it was. for two days she was extremely lethargic and not her self. Day 3 I took her to the vet, thank God b/c her liver enzymes were elevated to over 4760 ( normal is b/w 10-100).
          We gave her an IV , antibiotics, milk thistle and another medication that i can’t remember. She has been improving and after 2 days her levels went down to 2700, still not in the clear but improving. her other liver level is high but the doc said that will take a couple weeks to come down.
          (note the vet was not a 24hr facility so i have been picking her up at night and bringing her back in the mornings to the vet)
          This morning she definitely showed improvement with an increase in energy and partaking in her normal morning bark session out side at all the dear, letting them know its her yard LOL.
          She is back at the vet though for another day of fluids, antibiotics and milk thistle.
          The reason for the entry is i am try to figure out what would be the best diet wise for her. The vet recommended Hills Prescription liver care, continuing the milk thistle and adding sam-e to her diet, but just wanted to see what you could recommend with your experience.
          I will be picking her up tonight and then we will redraw her blood in a couple weeks. Thanks for sharingyour knowledge and wisdom from your experiences.


          • yourolddog

            Hi Becca:

            Thanks for your kind words and I’m sorry to hear about your pup. Personally, I would run from any of the Hills Precription diets. I would feed a home made diet consisting of good quality proteins such as meat, egg and (this is very important) fresh organic dandelion (boil water and cook the dandelion for roughly 3-4 minutes until tender). I would include coconut oil, a good multivitamin such as Nuvet. I would also include a good food such as The Honest Kitchen’s Force formula and rotate between the homemade meal and The Honest Kitchen (not a base mix). Keep giving the Milk Thistle and SamE.

            Please give the dandelion. This is an exceptional herb for the liver.


  • Jennifer

    Hi Janie,
    My dog currently started having seizures and we are worried it might be hepatic encephalopathy due to liver disease. She is currently on phenobarbital & it has stopped the seizures somewhat. Today I purchased milk thistle. And as for her food, I’ve been giving her steamed rice, chicken breasts, & carrots. I’m not sure if that’s okay. Do you recommend anything else (supplements or diet changes) at this point It’s killing me to see her the way she is. She’s not herself & runs in circles throughout the day.

    • yourolddog

      Hi Jennifer:

      I’m really sorry to hear about your girl.

      As long as she isn’t storing copper in the liver, both recipes on this page are fine for her. My cookbook also offers 2 crockpot recipes for liver disease, so this would give you 4 total.

      But instead of adding all the different vitamins and minerals separately, I would just give her:
      Pure, non toxic fish oil
      Milk Thistle (you’re already giving)
      B complex
      Powdered Multi with Glandulars
      I always recommend burdock root and dandelion root for liver issues Jennifer. You can add them fresh or include our Detox Tincture which has both in it: Detox Formula

      For her seizures, I would include Lepsilyte.

      If you follow my advice Jennifer, please stop back and let me know how she does. Please! You can help others. 🙂

      I hope this helps.


  • Daisy

    My almost 15 year old dog has very high liver enzymes. They have done an ultrasound and the liver looks like swiss cheese, we were told is most likely cancer. A biopsy is needed but she looks so weak and skinny that we did not want to put her through too much stress at her age. Also my husband lost his job an money is a big issue right now. The Vet told us just to make her comfortable, but I refused to give up on her. She is on Denamarin and Milk Thistle. She on a homemade diet that I make myself (chicken, green bean, brown rice, carrots, lentils, eggs) I think the elevated liver enzymes could be due to ammonia in her blood because she develops the symptoms of the disease: walking as if she is drunk, feeling really sleepy after meals, kind of spacy or zoned out, staring at the wall. Anything that can help my girl, It would be very appreciate it. Thank you.

    • janie

      Hi Daisy:

      I’m so very sorry to hear about your old girl. I know this is very painful to watch.

      To improve detoxification, the liver uses sulfur compounds to produce the antioxidant glutathione.L-cysteine which is believed to be the most critical sulfur compound required by the liver in order to manufacture glutathione. The best way to deliver L-cysteine is in supplemental form by using N-acetyl-cysteine or better known as NAC. It’s inexpensive Daisy and you would need 150mg per 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight.

      Parsley and spinach (you must use organic Daisy) are high in chlorophyll which is excellent for liver and kidney health. You can lightly steam it. Garlic is also an excellent choice for the liver and you get the dosages here in my article: Garlic for Dogs

      Again, I’m very sorry to hear about your troubles Daisy. I hope this helps a little. My prayers are with you all.


      • Daisy

        I know it’s very hard to watch my girl like this but I’m not giving up on her.
        Do they sell the N-acetyl-cysteine for dogs too? or is a generic supplement. I saw it online, there is 600mg per capsule.
        I will start adding parsley, spinach and garlic in her diet and I will look for dandelion and burdock roots too, I hope I can find it at the grocery store. She has a very good appetite though, I just wish she can gain some weight and stop pacing throughout the day, it kills me to see her like that.
        Thank you so much for all your information and for praying for my girl.

        • janie

          Daisy, the NAC is a human supplement, but you can it to her as well. No, there isn’t a NAC supplement marketed specifically for dogs. Use the human formula. If it is indeed liver cancer, it will be hard to put any weight on her. The pacing is most likely a sign of discomfort Daisy.


          • Daisy

            I will look into the NAC, I am just praying that is not cancer, but I will do whatever I can to make her comfortable. Thank you again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and compassion. Happy New Year for you and your family.

          • janie

            Thanks Daisy. All the best.


      • Daisy

        Hi Janie again!

        I just got a quick question… are these pet supplements or human too? The ones listed in both recipes, and where can I order them? Thank you

  • Wendy

    My 13 year old golden retriever has liver tumors and no biopsy yet to find out what is going on. He also has anemia so your articles have been very helpful. He is on Prilosec OTC once a day, Denamarin once a day and Carafate twice a day. This was just discovered late last week so I’m researching what to feed and supplements to use. So far I have been making:
    organic ground beef
    sweet potatoes
    brown rice
    green beans or broccoli
    coconut oil
    fish capsule – opened and stirred in food

    I see there are several more items I need to add from your recipes. I have dandelion root capsules, so can I give a capsule or need to make a tea and add? He isn’t drinking much water so doubt this would work.

    Thank you!

    • janie

      Hi Wendy:

      I’m very sorry to hear about your old boy. I’m glad my articles are helping.

      What are you giving for the anemia? If you haven’t already done so, please read my article on anemia here.

      Make SURE the fish oil you are giving is pure and guaranteed free of all heavy metals and toxins Wendy. You can give the dandelion root capsules or make it tea, whichever is easier for you. You need to keep him hydrated. Try giving him a little organic chicken broth mixed in a little warm water a couple times a day to help keep him hydrated.

      I hope this helps. If you need additional recipes, my cookbook includes several recipes for many different diseases, and offers 3 additional recipes for liver disease for the crockpot. The nice thing about the book, is that it also shares the best supplements for each disease as well. If you want to look into it Wendy, here’s a link.

      It it’s cancer, the book also includes recipes for cancer and helpful supplements for cancer as well. We’ll say some prayers for you and your old friend that he is okay.

      I hope this helps.


  • Beverly

    I have to check with my vet to see if my Bailey is storing copper. I didn’t know to ask. You mentioned dandelion greens. I don’t even know where I can get fresh dandelion greens in my area…..other than my yard, but it’s winter. Will the dandelion tea help her? or dandelion supplements? She’s on Denamarin, but that is SUCH a pain to give her. The pills are huge and she has to take 2! I haven’t tried milk thistle, but I’m thinking about getting it. She also has thyroid issues. Any recommendations for that?

    • janie

      Hi Beverly:

      You should definitely use Milk Thistle, Dandelion and/or Burdock Root plus whatever care for the thyroid. I’m sharing my articles for each of these below. You should be able to easily get fresh dandelion root from Whole Foods or another store like it:

      At the bottom of this article, I share recommendations for the thyroid: Caring for a yeast infection
      Dandelion Root
      Burdock Root


  • sandy skurat

    My older chi just had blood work and his liver enzymes have doubled since last year. Vet suggested a ultrasound but i won’t put him through a surgery at 14 years old the. I am currently feeding him honest kitchen proper toppers and the vet put him on denosyl she thinks he has an enlarged liver for whatever reason possibly a tumor. what diet and vitamins would you suggest. thank you

    • janie

      Hi Sandy:

      I’m real sorry to hear about your little old boy and his liver issues. I’m not trying to push my book on you, but my best recommendation for you is my cook book which not only includes recipes, but the best vitamins, etc. for dogs with liver disease. It’s a great tool to have on hand for future reference as well.

      You can read more about it here if you like: Home Cooking for Sick Dogs. In addition to what is in the book, I would be sure to include burdock root in the diet, which is outstanding for the liver and cleansing of the blood. You can read about that here.

      I hope this helps Sandy.


  • Stephanie


    I believe I am able to do the first recipe. Is there a replacement for the chicken liver? My dog is allergic to chicken.

  • Sheree

    Hello Lisa,
    We have a 12 yo lab with liver disease. I switched her to RAWZ food lately and am thinking of trying to cook her food. Our mai problem is she is getting pill shy as she takes to many. (Atopica 300 mg, ursodil capsules, Sam e , phosphatydil choline, and Marin tabs). I am wondering if I can eliminate the prescription mess with a homemade diet and supplements that I can mix in the food. Thank you, Sheree

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