Canine Liver Disease (CLD) is rather common in dogs. Some breeds are more susceptible to it than others. However, the symptoms and effects of the disease are the same for every dog. CLD is a big problem since its compromises the functioning of your dog’s liver. This disease can become serious. However, it can also be brought under control and even cured. One of the best ways of dealing with CLD is diet control. Today, we’re going to talk about homemade dog food for liver disease patients. In this article, we shall identify food items that are beneficial for a dog’s liver and how they can be used to fight CLD.
Before we get into curing and managing CLD, let’s develop an understanding of the disease itself.
What is Canine Liver Disease?
The name introduces the disease quite well. CLD affects the functioning of a dog’s liver in various ways. Some cases are mild and only slow down the liver. Others can be more serious and may even result in liver failure. CLD is usually terminal, meaning that the disease continues to become worse. Fortunately, being able to spot the disease on time and making an effort to fight it can save or extend your dog’s life.
The liver is responsible for keeping the body free from external waste and toxins. These toxins enter the body through the food that your dog eats. Normally, they aren’t a big problem since the liver regularly flushes them out. However, a dog with CLD will have a poorly functioning liver. As a result, their liver won’t be able to expel waste and toxins effectively. This leads to a buildup of harmful substances in the body that can be life threating in the long run.
The liver also produces bile; a substance that aids in the body’s digestive system. A poorly functioning liver also means that your dog’s digestive system won’t be able to break down food effectively.
While CLD is a serious disease, there’s hope in the fact that the liver is capable of repairing itself. The liver has a superb healing ability that is often promoted to cure CLD. CLD is classified as one of the top 5 non-accidental dog deaths. However, this disease is quite curable as well. As long as your dog gets the right kind of nutrition and medication, you can expect them to overcome this disease easily.
How to Cure Canine Liver Disease
There are two things that you must do to cure CLD:
- Provide proper medical care
- Devise a liver friendly dog diet
It goes without saying that proper medical care cannot be managed by yourself. You need to frequently take your dog to a vet for checkups and medication. We cannot stress enough on how important medical care is when it comes to CLD.
Developing a liver friendly diet for dogs is also important. You need to provide your dog with food that promotes their recovery. We recommend that you keep your vet in the loop when planning out your dog’s diet. Whether you’re planning a specialized homemade diet or a regular one, discussing the idea with a vet can help you out. You can figure out exactly what kind of food you need to provide your dog to fulfill their nutritional needs. If you’re new to the concept of homemade dog food, then you might want to go through our guide on the topic.
How Does Homemade Food Help Fight CLD?
There are many benefits when it comes to homemade meals. The major ones being; fresh, quality ingredients, no additives and chemicals, and complete control over what goes into your dog’s belly. Dogs with liver disease needs to be fed meals that:
- Reduce stress on their liver and provide nutrition that boosts liver regeneration.
- Provide the dog with balanced nutrition to maintain their health.
- Prevent the buildup of harmful substances in the body by using selective ingredients.
- Use food items that help minimize the effects of toxins already present in the body.
Now, a dog with liver disease will have a limited diet. There’s a list of food items that fall off the menu since they promote toxin build up. One common misconception about CLD is that dogs cannot be fed protein if their liver is unwell. This misconception stems from the fact that some protein sources encourage the buildup of ammonia in the body. Ammonia can be quite harmful if its buildup is left unchecked. However, having CLD doesn’t mean that your dog shouldn’t have protein. In fact, protein is an essential nutrient that your dog needs to heal faster. Instead of prohibiting protein from their diet, you should go for protein sources that produce lesser ammonia. Keep in mind that while protein shouldn’t be banned, its quantity should be reduced.
You also need to reduce the amount of fat that your dog eats. The liver plays an important role in the body’s ability to breakdown fat. You want to reduce the amount of fat in your dog’s diet and also cut back on protein. Make sure that what protein you do give to your dog comes from quality, easy to digest sources. Ideally, you want quality proteins that are combined with essential amino acids as well. Lastly, you want to increase the amount of fiber that your dog eats. Fiber helps the digestive system. Also, most sources of fiber are rich in nutrients that boost your dog’s health as well.
It goes without saying that any pre-packaged dog food cannot meet such selective dietary requirements. This is why homemade food is the best option. Now, before we finally start going through some homemade dog food recipes, let’s take a look at some food items that you’d want to include in your dog’s diet.
Sources of Fiber And Carbs
Sources of Quality Proteins
Sources of Fat
- Omega 3 fatty acids. Can be found in salmon oil and fish oil (cod liver oil shouldn’t be used)
- Fat from animal meats (in moderate quantities)
Red meats shouldn’t be fed to dogs with liver disease since they produce a higher amount of ammonia.
Eggs And Chicken Mash
This meal certainly doesn’t look appetizing. However, it can make your dog’s day with a variety of flavors that it offers. The recipe uses quality protein sources that can be easily digested. It also includes fiber and carbs, making it a great mix of beneficial nutrients. This meal is really easy to make and is best served fresh.
Low Protein Veggie Cakes
This recipe cuts back on protein and focuses more on green ingredients. You’ll find a number of veggies in this recipe that provide carbs, fiber, and additional nourishment as well.
Doggy Pasta Salad
This is a rather simple meal that can be prepared at a moment’s notice. It includes quality ingredients and is easy to digest. The amount of ingredients can be doubled if you have a bigger dog.
Liver Boosting Meal
This recipe makes use of ingredients that boost the liver’s functioning and regeneration. You can also add various supplements to it to make it even more beneficial. Keep in mind that supplements should only be given if your vet prescribes them. Even without any supplements, this recipe can fill your dog’s belly with superb nutrients.
- Dice chicken into tiny cubes (about ½ inch cubes).
- Slice bell pepper and remove any seeds from it.
- Add the bell pepper, chicken, and rice to 5 cups of boiling water. Let the mixture cook at low heat until water is almost completely reduced.
- Take eggshell, sunflower seed oil, and any supplements that you’ve been prescribed and blend them into a fine mixture.
- Add the blended mixture into the cooked rice, bell pepper, and chicken mixture. Add cheese and mix well.
- Serve the mixture while it’s lukewarm. You can also store it for up to 5 days.
These dog food recipes are easy to make and are designed to carry as many useful nutrients as possible. They only make use of easily digestible ingredients, making sure that your dog’s meals don’t stress out their liver. A proper diet is essential when it comes to fighting CLD. It gives your dog’s body the relief and nourishment needed to heal. Also, while a proper diet is necessary, you shouldn’t forget about proper medication.
A proper diet will help your dog’s liver heal and de-stress. Proper and timely medication will keep the disease from worsening. Make sure that you regularly visit your vet and follow whatever guidelines that they give you. With the right care, your dog will continue to have a comfortable and joyful life.