Top 7 Liver Supplements for Dogs with Liver Problems

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The Can Dogs Eat It Team

Top 7 Liver Supplements for Dogs with Liver Problems
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joana garridoReviewed By Joana Garrido DVM

Liver supplements for dogs provide additional support to the liver function of canines with hepatic disorders. They prevent further destruction of the liver cells, promote liver detoxification, and help hasten the organ’s regeneration.

If your dog is suffering from liver dysfunction, here are some of the liver supplements that can help improve the prognosis of his condition:

Vitamin and Mineral Liver Supplements for Dogs

liver supplements for dogsOne of the important roles of the liver is acting as a nutrient storage. Dogs with impaired liver function are prone to developing vitamin deficiencies. Some types of hepatic ailments can cause toxicity due to the overabundance of a certain mineral.

Liver supplements for dogs come in handy for these kinds of situations since they aid in counteracting symptoms of canine liver problems.

1. Vitamin K Liver Supplement for Dogs

different liver supplements for dogsVitamin K is stored in the liver of dogs. When liver problems such as cholestatic liver disease or advanced liver dysfunction occur, this nutrient becomes depleted, resulting from ineffective intestinal absorption.

In rare cases, dogs with vitamin K deficiency due to liver disease have an increased risk of experiencing bleeding disorders.

The veterinarian may prescribe vitamin K liver supplements to mitigate the abnormal occurrence of prolonged bleeding and ensure proper blood clotting.

In a veterinary setting, vitamin K is commonly administered subcutaneously. The dosage can go anywhere from 0.5 to 2 milligrams per 2 pounds of body weight. It is given every 12 hours for about 2 to 3 doses.

2. Vitamin C Liver Supplement for Dogs

a dog is given vitamin C supplements for dogsGenerally, dogs with a healthy liver do not need vitamin C supplementation because they can synthesize this nutrient on their own.

However, when our furry pals suffer from hepatic ailments, their liver becomes unable to naturally produce vitamin C. Being vitamin C-deficient can cause many health problems in canines such as:

  • Poor skin and coat health
  • Bleeding problems
  • Weakened immune system

Thus, supplementation may be necessary to stabilize the vitamin C levels in the bodies of dogs.

However, it is not the best course of action to take for dogs with certain health issues like increased hepatic copper or iron concentrations.

Administering vitamin C supplements on them may exacerbate oxidative injury brought on by excessive transition metal accumulation.

3. B Vitamin Liver Supplement for Dogs

liver supplements for dogs 9Increased urination, low liver nutrient storage, and inappetence are some of the symptoms commonly exhibited by dogs with poor liver health.

The combination of these clinical signs can lead to the inadequacy of water-soluble vitamins in dogs, particularly B vitamins, hence the need for supplementation.

Some of the most valuable types of vitamin B for canine liver function are folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12). Both of these nutrients work together to provide an effective liver detoxification process.

The dosage of oral vitamin B supplements for dogs with impaired liver functions ranges between 50 and 250 milligrams.

4. Zinc Liver Supplement for Dogs

a dog sitting next to a bottle of liver supplementsCopper storage hepatopathy is a condition that causes excessive accumulation of copper in the liver of canines. Over time, it causes progressive damage to the organ, which may ultimately end in liver failure.

Zinc can help counteract the health complications caused by copper storage hepatopathy. This mineral binds with intestinal copper.

It helps bring back copper balance in the liver by limiting the amount of copper being absorbed into the digestive system. Zinc is also found to have an antioxidative effect, which protects the liver from oxidative damage and promotes faster healing.

Generally, pooches can get up to 40% of zinc from their dog food provided that it is nutritionally balanced and complete.

However, in cases of copper storage hepatopathy, the zinc intake of canines may need to be increased, which can be achieved through supplementation.

Ideally, 15 milligrams of zinc per 2 pounds of body weight is a safe dosage for dogs. It should be noted that although zinc supplements are safe when taken at recommended doses, they can cause gastrointestinal side effects in some dogs.

5. Vitamin E Liver Supplement for Dogs

Vitamin E liver supplements for dogsVitamin E functions as an antioxidant similar to zinc. It prevents oxidative damage to the liver by fighting off harmful free radicals. The nutrient also has anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic properties, which protect the hepatic tissues.

Vitamin E liver supplements for dogs are safe to administer at a dose of 10 IU per 2 pounds of body weight per day.

Opt for the nutrient’s natural form, which is d-Alpha-tocopherol since it has a higher bioavailability compared to synthetic vitamin E formulations.

Be careful not to accidentally overdose dogs suffering from liver problems with vitamin E supplements.

Exceeding the recommended dosage may induce functional vitamin K deficiency. It can also cause vitamin E to become a prooxidant, which makes the liver more at risk of oxidative injuries.

Nutraceutical Liver Supplements for Dogs

Nutraceutical Liver Supplements for DogsNutraceutical refers to substances derived from food that provides medicinal or health benefits. Nutraceutical supplements support the liver function of dogs and minimize the damage caused by hepatic disorders.

1. SAM-e Liver Supplement for Dogs (S-adenosylmethionine)

S-adenosylmethionine or SAM-e is naturally produced in dogs’ bodies by amino acids. However, for dogs that have developed chronic liver disease, their SAM-e concentrations will decrease.

It is important to ensure that they have enough SAM-e since this compound has a good impact on their liver health such as:

  • Maintaining normal glutathione levels, which are crucial for healthy liver detoxification
  • Keeping the liver of dogs from sustaining further damage from oxidative stress
  • Supporting cell regeneration, which speeds up the healing of the liver

Dog owners must be meticulous when choosing SAM-e liver supplements for dogs. The compound is very unstable and quickly oxidizes.

Be sure to purchase supplements that have an enteric coating to keep them protected from moisture and oxygen.

2. Silymarin Liver Supplement for Dogs

Milk thistle is a flowering herb with hepatoprotective abilities. Its extract contains a compound called silymarin, which helps in liver cell repair and regeneration.

According to studies, silymarin in milk thistle extract has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic properties that can aid in mitigating liver damage.

Additionally, the compound exhibited the ability to bind with liver toxins and increase the production of glutathione, which is crucial for liver detoxification.

Silymarin contains around 7 active ingredients. Out of them all, silybin (silibinin) is the most biologically active component. It means the compound exerts a direct physiological effect on dogs the most.

Take note that silymarin has low bioavailability. Combining it with phosphatidylcholine is found to enhance its absorption in dogs’ bodies. So look for nutritional supplements that combine milk thistle for dogs with phosphatidylcholine.

Liver-support supplements are generally beneficial for dogs with hepatic disorders. However, in some cases, they can exacerbate certain forms of dog liver diseases.

Take this into account when shopping for liver supplements for Fido. Also, make sure to talk to your veterinarian before giving supplements to your dog. They will help confirm if your furry pal can truly benefit from taking supplements.

How to Find High-Quality Liver Supplements for Dogs

supplements for dogsNot all liver supplements for dogs are produced by reputable pet companies. Thus, some products are not uncommon to be made with poor-quality ingredients.

Here are a few tips that will help you find safe and effective liver supplements for your canine companion:

  • Steer clear of products that are advertised as liver detoxification supplements. It is a marketing ploy used to attract and reel potential customers.
  • Do not use human liver supplements on dogs unless instructed by the vet. They may contain ingredients that are safe for humans but poisonous to canines such as the sweetener xylitol.
  • Choose liver supplements for dogs that are third-party-tested. It is a good indicator that the product is of high quality.
    Inspect the supplement for a seal of approval from independent organizations such as NSF International and the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).
  • Make sure that the liver supplement for dogs has a lot number. It is a good sign that the product undergoes strict quality-control procedures.
    A lot number is commonly printed on the label or near the barcode of the product. It is used to track a certain batch of goods. This comes in handy when it comes to checking expiry dates or product recalls.

Checking with the veterinarian will help narrow down your choice of liver supplements for dogs. They are highly knowledgeable about which products carry the safest and best ingredients for dogs.

FAQs About Liver Supplements for Dogs

liver supplements for dogs

1. What Does a Liver Supplement Do for a Dog?

Liver supplements help enhance the liver function of dogs while providing liver support. They protect the organ from sustaining further damage, ease symptoms of liver problems, and hasten the healing process.

2. What Supplements Are Good for Dogs’ Liver?

The type of supplements that are good for dogs’ liver should contain hepatoprotective ingredients such as vitamin E, zinc, silymarin, and the rest we have listed above.

3. What Are the Side Effects of Liver Supplements for Dogs?

The side effects will differ depending on the type of liver supplements used on dogs. For instance, zinc can trigger gastric upset while vitamin E may cause vitamin K deficiency.

4. Can Liver Supplements Cause Liver Damage in Dogs?

Certain liver supplements can cause liver damage in dogs if not used correctly.

As mentioned earlier, vitamin C supplementation is not recommended for dogs with ailments like increased hepatic copper or iron concentrations. Otherwise, it can cause oxidative damage to the liver.

On the other hand, excessive vitamin E intake will make the nutrient function as a prooxidant, contributing to liver oxidative damage.

Due to these risks, dog owners must seek the veterinarian’s advice before using supplements for their dogs.


Giving liver supplements to dogs affected by hepatic disorders can be highly beneficial to their recovery. Liver supplements provide additional protection against liver injury and support the healing of the damaged organ.

However, if misused, some liver supplements can have a reverse effect on dogs with certain liver problems. Thus, we advise contacting the veterinarian first to ensure that your chosen product is safe to use in your dog’s condition.

Supplements can do wonders for your canine companion’s health. If you want to know more about the health benefits they provide, head to our Supplements section.

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