Canine Liver Detox

"Canine liver detox is related to the functions of the liver which includes the detoxification and excretion of waste. Drug residues, bacterial and viral toxins, poisons and many other waste products are addressed by the canine liver. In almost all canine liver problems, the functional capacity of this organ is not only badly affected, but more complicated toxins are produced as seen in hepatic encephalitis (cause of unconsciousness). Thus, it is required that a dog's liver, healthy and diseased, needs to have the capacity to excrete wastes. This may be done by either treating any underlying disease, and to support the liver with dietary management and by using different natural remedies that have been proven to play a supportive role."

Overview of Physiology Associated with Canine Liver Detox:

The liver plays a vital role in the body's immune response. It helps in the regular detoxification of the blood, without any break or pause. Thus, it is required that the canine liver should be supported in completing this purpose, both in times of health and disease.

Even a healthy dog requires support of the detoxification process. This  is accomplished the making sure the diet is comprised of the right components.  Different minerals, especially zinc, vitamins and some additional additives and supplements are added into dog food for this purpose.

When a dog is suffering from canine liver disease, the liver experiences severe dysfunction and a seizure of operation, causing toxins to rapidly accumulate in the body tissues. This will affect other systems of the body as well. If the canine liver problem persists for an extended period of time, the possibility exists that toxic effects may lead to the development of cancer.

Forms of Canine Liver Toxicities:

The liver has to address several types of toxins when healthy. These may be toxins produced by invading microbes, fungus, residues of drugs, potential poisons, food miscreants, allergens etc. Sometimes these toxins cause several health issues.

When there is a dog liver problem, especially in the idiopathic forms of canine liver disease (when there is an unknown cause) and when several carcinogenic pathologies exist in the body, toxins are produced. The liver may be unable to process the toxins and eliminate them, thus the level rises over time. This makes it necessary to not only treat the underlying cause of disease or cancer, but also to detoxify the liver through medication, nutrition and herbal or natural remedies.

Approaches to Canine Liver Detox:

It is always recommended that an approach should be defined for not only those dogs with any clinical manifestation of liver disease and toxicity, but also healthy dogs, who should also be considered at least once a year for regular detoxification. This may be done many ways, but natural or the organic way is best, as it has least side effects. This also creates more of a chance for complete detoxification and a lower possibility for any additional drug toxicity.

For canine liver detoxification in dogs which have recovered from any severe pathological condition, especially from a liver disease, this is an approach that can be followed, 

1. The dog must be kept on a modified fast for at least 1 – 2 days, only a very limited and simple diet should be provided, which is sufficient to keep the body status and physiology nearer to normal. It is also called a maintenance diet. 

2. If the dog is over weight, reduce the energy/calorie content in the diet. It must be less then 20% for over weight dogs and less then 30% for normal dogs. Use a broad spectrum de-wormer, if the stool sample examination appears positive for any helminthes or digestive parasites. Additionally, a herbal preparation for correction of digestive physiology such as Digestive Support is highly recommended for support.

3. Nutritional deficiencies should be identified carefully, and required components should be included. Usually liver oil, flax seed oil, zinc, soluble fiber, probiotics and herbal preparations containing chamomile and licorice is required to correct and fulfill all nutritional deficiencies and needs respectively. This diet should be continued for at least 6 weeks. 

4. Canine liver detoxification can be optimally done at this stage, as the physiology and nutritional requirements stay at normal levels. Detoxification is done by using natural remedies such as DetoxPlus

The diet mentioned above, assuming it contains all of the components mentioned in the proper balance,  and the use of supplements such as a natural remedy for effective liver detoxification, will help the liver function normally. Detoxification will then resume as a natural liver function.  

Additional support can be provided by a general purpose homeopathic dog health liver supplement such as Liver-Aid Formula . It  can be effectively used during all stages of detoxification and maintenance, expect during stage 1, where only a maintenance diet should be used.


F. Barbara, Guide to Natural Healing (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006)

Merck Veterinary Manual (Merck & Co. 2008)


Ask a Vet for Free 24/7