Liver supplements for dogs
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Chewy EditorialNutrition / Supplements

Liver Supplements for Dogs: What They Are, Benefits and Dosage

When it comes to keeping our dogs healthy, we think a lot about heart health, joint health and skin health, but how much do we think about liver health or liver supplements for dogs?

It might not seem like the liver is doing a lot, but liver function impacts several systems in the body. If the liver isn’t happy, then nobody is happy.

Healthy Liver Function in Dogs

The liver is one of the largest organs in the body, and it does a lot. Here are some of the vital functions the liver performs:

  • Acts as the primary filter for blood that comes from the digestive system
  • Makes bile acids that are required for digestion
  • Stores vitamins, minerals and energy in the form of glycogen and fat
  • Removes toxins from the blood
  • Metabolizes drugs
  • Makes proteins that are involved in blood clotting and maintaining appropriate blood pressure

Do Dogs Need Liver Support?

Many people know that dogs with impaired liver function benefit from a supplement that supports liver health, but did you know that even healthy dogs can benefit from a liver supplement?

Throughout a dog’s life, the liver can be impacted by chronic exposure to toxins, parasites, medications, infections and stress. Additional factors, such as old age, genetics and diet, can also cause increased wear and tear on this uber important organ and impair its ability to effectively detoxify the blood.

How Supplements Can Help Liver Problems in Dogs

Treatment of liver disease in dogs depends on what is causing the problem and how damaged the liver is. Depending on the liver problem, the treatment may require hospitalization, medicine or surgery.

Even if your dog requires veterinary care for their liver problem, there are other things you can do to help support the liver. Firstly, you can support your dog’s liver with proper diet and exercise, which can help support liver healing. Always check with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet or starting any exercise program.

Another way to support your dog’s healing is through liver supplements for dogs. In general, if the liver is impacted by disease, then a dog can benefit from the nutritional support that a liver supplement can provide.

Liver supplements for dogs that include ingredients such as milk thistle, silybin, omega-3 fatty acids, S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) and glutathione can support liver healing through the action of cell-repairing antioxidants, increased protein synthesis and detoxification.

Best Liver Supplements for Dogs

With so many liver supplements for dogs available on the market today, how do you know which one is good one for your dog? The following is a list of effective, safe liver supplements for dogs. Always check with your veterinarian before giving any supplement to your dog.

Denamarin: Denamarin is probably the most prescribed liver supplement out there. Denamarin incorporates antioxidants SAM-e and silybin to protect liver cells through increasing glutathione levels.

liver supplements for dogs
liver supplements for dogs
liver supplements for dogs

Vetri-SAMe 90: This liver supplement for dogs blends SAM-e and glutathione. It has a special coating to promote absorption from the small intestine and has the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal of approval.

liver supplements for dogs - vetriscience

As always, check with your veterinary care team before introducing any new supplements to your dog’s diet. This is because supplements may have adverse interactions with medications that your dog is already taking.

How to Give Liver Supplements to Your Dog

In general, when giving a liver supplement to your dog, follow the instructions given on the label, and read the fine print! Some supplements need to be given with food, while others need to be given on an empty stomach. Some supplements are administered once daily, while others are twice daily. Some supplements are safe for pregnant or nursing dogs, while others are not.

To avoid accidentally overdosing your dog, never give more than the suggested amount on the label, and store the supplements securely and out of reach of your pet or children. Some of the supplements are surprisingly tasty, and if given the chance, dogs are not opposed to eating whole bottles!

Here’s to healthy livers supporting long, healthy lives!

By: Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM
Dr. Sarah Wooten is a practicing veterinarian, certified veterinary journalist, author, speaker, landlord, tea tavern owner, mom and warrior goddess. When it is time to play, she can be found either skiing in Colorado, diving a coral reef or triathlon training with Team LC.

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