The Raw Food Diet is the Best Fit for Liver Disease in Dogs Whether your dog is showing symptoms of liver disease or is already suffering from it, a raw diet, tailored to address the particular needs of his disease, is the best thing you can feed. Prescription foods ‘designed’ for dogs with liver issues are rarely a good fit for a dog with liver issues. They are highly processed, contain subpar ingredients and, in reality, not much in the way of food. If you were suffering from a similar ailment, would you eat processed foods and Burger King every day? Not a chance and neither should your dog. Foods to Avoid & Foods to Consider Avoid foods high in copper such as most organ meats, pork, lamb, salmon and duck. Feed foods lower in copper such as beef, eggs, chicken, turkey and whitefish. Chicken and turkey livers are relatively low in copper and can be fed in moderate amounts. A low to no salt diet is recommended, especially for dogs in later stages of liver failure to avoid fluid retention. Supplements and Liver Disease Give zinc to help bind copper in the dog’s system as well as for its antioxidant properties B-Complex and Vitamin E can also help with liver function Fish oil and coconut oil can help with inflammation and fat absorption respectively. Avoid Vitamin C if your dog has copper retention issues. Avoid cod liver oil as well as any excess vitamin A (present in high amounts in liver). Milk thistle is an antioxidant that protects liver tissue and helps to regenerate a damaged liver. Probiotics can provide vitamin K, important for the proper clotting of blood and can help restore the body’s ability to produce vitamin K on its own. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar can act as a liver cleanser and can be easily added to your dog’s food. Protein and Liver Disease Remember that protein is important for liver health and function. Poor quality proteins or too little protein can cause further damage than what your dog is already dealing with and in fact, protein is necessary for the liver to ‘heal’. Raw proteins are far different than those that are processed or cooked. Raw proteins retain their moisture giving them an overall lower protein percentage than those that have the moisture processed out of them. Raw proteins are 60%-70% water. Fats should always be moderated, but not avoided as they are important for the overall health of your dog. The best and most digestible fats are those that come raw from animal protein sources. Gather as much information as possible about what liver issues your dog has as your dog’s diet will need to be tweaked to fit his circumstances. For example, dogs with liver shunts or end stage liver disease should only be fed proteins that produce lower amount of ammonia such as poultry, fish and eggs. Red meats produce the most ammonia and while they should not be avoided completely, they should only be fed in moderate amounts. For more information please see www.dogaware.com and www.primalpooch.com/canine-liver-disease-raw-diet. Question: If your dog has experienced liver issues, what diet or supplements have you used and with what results? Leave your answer in the comment section below.