Most people know that a dog’s liver is responsible for removing toxins, but it also assists in blood clotting, storage of iron and fat-soluble vitamins, hormone breakdown, blood sugar stabilization, energy storage and processing, bacteria filtration and proper digestion. “Liver Disease” can actually describe a number of conditions in dogs, all of which affect the liver. Dogs have either acute or chronic liver disease. Some dog breeds may be prone to liver diseases like chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, including American Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, Dobermans, West Highland White Terriers, and Bedlington Terriers. The wonderful news is it can usually be prevented or managed with natural “remedies” for liver disease.

Part of managing any disease is managing the symptoms. Symptoms of canine liver disease may include digestive issues, increased urination, loss of appetite and weight loss, all of which can be helped with natural treatments. It is much more effective to address the cause of the symptoms, however, which in this case revolves around improving liver function and helping it with its chores, such as toxin removal. What’s more, these methods of assisting liver function can also be used to help prevent liver problems entirely. Finally, it’s important to also support the organs which assist the liver, including the kidneys and bowels.

Herbs and Other Natural Supplements for a Healthy Liver

You can provide natural supplements to compliment and enhance a natural diet designed for dogs with liver disease. A natural diet will go a long way to both protect your dog and treat suffering dogs. The natural diet of a dog suffering from liver disease will differ from what is considered a “high quality natural diet” in most dog health circles. For example, studies have indicated meat protein will actually shorten the life of a dog with liver issues. We strongly recommend discussing both the diet and supplements with your veterinarian before making any changes.

  • Choline, Carnitine, Arginine and Citrulline supplements – Choline, Carnitine, Arginine deficiency can impair fat metabolism, resulting in fat deposits in the liver. Arginine and Citrulline can speed up the conversion of ammonia to urea.
  • Calcium Montmorillonite Clay – Binds & removes toxins while also protecting the liver from things like mycotoxins. It will also help control the nausea often associated with liver disease.  It is critical to use high quality clay to avoid contaminants that may make your dog’s illness worse.
  • Alfalfa – Blood cleanser.
  • Burdock (Diuretic, limit use)
  • Calendula – Natural liver stimulant.
  • Chaparral – Blood cleanser.
  • Cleavers – Improves lymphatic circulation.
  • Dandelion Root (Diuretic, limit use)
  • Echinacea – Used if there is a bacterial infection.
  • Licorice (Avoid long-term use) – Liver regeneration.
  • Milk Thistle / Silymarin (Avoid daily and long-term use) – Especially useful for the treatment of a damaged liver to regenerate, repair and restore normal function.
  • Nettle (Diuretic, limit use)
  • Oregon Grape – Natural liver stimulant.
  • Primrose Oil
  • Red Clover – Blood cleanser.
  • Turmeric – Natural liver stimulant.
  • Yarrow tincture – Improves digestion, appetite, and circulation.
  • Yellow Dock – Natural liver stimulant.
  • Marshmallow Root – Used if digestion/constipation is an issue.
  • Psyllium Husks – Used if constipation is an issue.
  • Pumpking Seed Oil – Digestions and immunity.
  • Maitake Mushrooms
  • Raw High-Fiber Vegetables – Beets are especially good for the liver. The vegetable fiber binds with toxins for more effective elimination.
  • Bonemeal
  • Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Zinc
  • Homeopathic Phosphorus 6C
  • Homeopathic Nux vomica 6C
  • Homeopathic Belladonna 30C

Note: It is critical that only freshly dried herbs or pure essential oils be used for full effectiveness. We rely on Starwest Botanicals as a supplier of high quality herbs and oils.

If you prefer a prepared solution, holistic and naturopathic veterinarians often recommend Denamarin, Proanthozone and Milk Thistle Drops (bacon flavored).

??? Have you ever had a dog with liver disease? Please share your natural solutions in the comments below.

Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Pitcairn, Richard H. Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. 2017.
Balch, Phyllis A. CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition
Knishinsky, Ran The Clay Cure : Natural Healing from the Earth

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3 thoughts on “Natural Treatment and Prevention of Liver Disease in Dogs ©

  1. Thank you for compiling this list. I’m familiar with most of these, such as the vitamins and primrose oil, but I’ve never heard of Yarrow tincture. My dog is healthy, and I want it to stay that way. If anything changes, at least I know what types of the actual supplements I can give her.

  2. So many diseases can be prevented when you feed dogs a natural diet!! They’re just like us so the better they eat and supplements they take the longer they live. Plus their lives are BETTER!!.

  3. This is really great to have a regular test for the dogs, to avoid the later problems.The regular checkups help us to maintain the history of the pet ,as well as its helpful for moving further in any case of treatment.

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