What Does Your Dog's Liver Do?
The liver is the main filtering system for your pet's body. Everything your dog eats, breathes or comes into contact with is filtered through your dog's liver to be processed and eliminated.
Your dog's liver performs many critical functions:
- Metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates
- Filtering of harmful substances from the blood (e.g. toxins and/or medications)
- Storage of vitamins and minerals
- Production of bile, which aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients
- Glycogen storage (involved in blood sugar regulation)
- Synthesis of important proteins such as albumin and clotting factors
- Red blood cell maintenance, in conjunction with the spleen
How Do You Know If Your Dog's Liver Is Healthy?
Many dogs do not show any outward signs of liver disease. Liver disease (elevated liver enzymes) may only be discovered in a laboratory test and/or a physical exam by your veterinarian.
The following are signs of liver disease in dogs:
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the gums, whites of the eyes, or skin)
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Changes in behavior (pacing, circling or even seizures)
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
Dogs with liver disease may also have gallbladder problems. Symptoms of an inflamed gallbladder or bile duct are similar to those produced by liver disease and can include a loss of appetite, jaundice and vomiting.
Dog Liver Supplement Testimonials
"I just wanted to give you an update on my Yorkie Bailey Rose. Bailey Rose had high ALT levels and an abscess on her liver. Her last blood work before starting the Pancreatitis & Liver Support Kit showed liver enzymes 4 times what they should be and her WBC was 40,000. She continued on her antibiotics (for a bacterial infection) and started the Kit on Oct 1 as soon as I received it. I took her for her recheck yesterday (a few weeks later) and the vet called today and was amazed that all her levels including WBC were all in normal levels and after losing a pound she has got back to her normal weight! Even though she is almost 13 she is doing wonderful and acting like a puppy again. I also changed her food to the natural blend Ask Ariel suggested and she loves it. Thank you so much for helping me to help my sweet baby." - Cherie, Indiana
"I wanted to share with you that last year Miss Ladybug was diagnosed with a possible Gallbladder Mucocele and the vet put her on Ursodiol but it made her very sick, so instead she has been taking the Liver & Gallbladder Supplement, Power Probiotic, and LypoZyme everyday faithfully. We just had another ultrasound check and this time they said everything looks good, that they wouldn’t even say that it's a Mucocele anymore - it just looks like a gallbladder and hasn't gotten bigger. Her blood work was also wonderful - kidneys and liver (everything actually) were in range. Not bad for a 13 year old puppy mill rescue :)
They did find a little irritation in the intestines that they feel could be IBD so I knew right away that I would be getting your
Soothing Digestive Relief formula this time too. Thank you so much for your amazing products because I truly believe they have extended my baby's life!" - Marissa, Colorado
Shop Dog Liver Supplements with High Quality Ingredients
Most dog liver supplements contain ingredients like milk thistle, artichoke, beets, dandelion and S-adenosylmethionine. They help to cleanse, detoxify and protect liver tissue. At Ask Ariel, we use only the finest, human-grade ingredients so that you can feel confident about what you are giving your pup. Many of these ingredients have been extensively studied in human and animal research.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, can help support the immune system, provides anti-inflammatory effects and its antioxidant properties help to protect against free radical damage. Milk thistle has been recommended by holistic veterinarians for many years to support liver function and promote cellular regeneration. A recent animal study  showed that supplementing with silybin decreased liver enzymes and improved liver function of the dogs in the research group. Milk thistle should be used along with S-adenosylmethionine for dogs that are using NSAIDs and/or anticonvulsants, as long term use of these medications can affect the liver. Silymarin can help the liver flush out chemicals and toxins more effectively.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
Artichoke is scientifically proven to support liver metabolism and bile flow through the liver. A compromised gallbladder can lead to difficulty digesting fats, as the bile excreted from the gallbladder helps with digestion and the elimination of solid waste. Artichoke has been used in traditional medicine for diseases of the biliary and digestive tracts. It has antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties. Research suggests that artichoke may help maintain proper liver enzyme levels and protect liver cells from toxicity .
Beet Powder (Beta vulgaris L.)
Beets are packed with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective properties. They are an excellent source of betaine, an amino acid that supports detoxification and the digestion of fats. Supplementing with beet root powder has been shown in studies  to improve liver structure and prevent liver damage.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion has been used since ancient times to prevent or treat liver diseases. It is loaded with phytochemicals (like carotenoids and terpenoids), vitamins and antioxidants. Dandelion also contain inulin, a prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your pet’s gut. Dandelion may help increase bile flow and prevent liver disease. A recent academic article  concludes that Taraxacum officinale should be considered as a natural therapeutic agent for chronic liver disease.
S-adenosylmethionine helps support liver health by supplementing metabolic activity, helping maintain glutathione levels (which is known to be protective and detoxifying for the liver) and supporting cell regeneration. S-Adenosyl methionine (SAM) is a biologically active metabolite derived from amino acids (ATP and methionine) during a methylation reaction. There is evidence  that SAMe is naturally depleted during liver disease and supplementing can support liver function and help to detoxify the liver and promote cell regeneration. SAM-e is widely recommended by veterinarians for dogs because it is safe and effective.
We understand how hard it is when your dog is suffering from liver disease and we will do all we can to help. It can be confusing to know which supplements would be appropriate for your pet. Please email us at [email protected]. Please note that we cannot provide consultative advice due to veterinary regulations, but we will be happy to provide articles and information so that you can make an informed decision about what's best for your dog.
Originally published Dec 11, 2023
Updated Feb 15, 2024
Written by: Susan Davis, Pet Health Nutritionist, CCN
All pet treatment protocols and pet treatment supplements have been reviewed and approved by a veterinarian
What is the best liver supplement for dogs?
A high quality dog liver supplement should include natural ingredients such as milk thistle, SAMe, antioxidants and vitamins that help detoxify the liver. Ask Ariel’s dog liver supplements are made with ingredients that are scientifically proven to support liver function and promote cellular regeneration.
How can liver supplements for dogs help?
Natural dog liver supplements can help to detoxify the liver and support the liver as it regenerates healthy tissue. The liver cleans the body by removing harmful chemicals and waste products. When the liver becomes overloaded, toxins and waste can build up. This can cause many dogs with liver disease to have low energy and low appetite. Holistic dog liver treatments, especially when combined with a reduced fat, all natural diet can help repair and regenerate your pet’s liver cells.
How can I detox my dog’s liver?
High liver enzymes in dogs is quite common, but the liver is one of the few organs in the body that can regenerate healthy tissue. Detox your dog’s liver by using the best natural liver support supplements, feeding a liver friendly diet and reducing environmental toxins. Ask Ariel’s liver support supplements contain premium quality, human-grade ingredients that are scientifically proven to support both phases of liver detoxification. Our Liver & Gallbladder Support and Special SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine for dogs) are recommended by veterinarians nationwide because they are safe and effective products to detoxify your dog’s liver.
What do you feed a dog with high liver enzymes?
Pets with high liver enzymes and liver disease can show significant improvement when they are fed a liver-friendly diet and given the best natural liver support supplements for dogs. Many dog foods contain chemicals, allergens and grains which create additional work for the digestive system and liver. Pet treats may contain sugar, fillers and food dyes. A reduced fat diet with added omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and fish oil) along with freshly steamed vegetables can be helpful for dogs with elevated liver enzymes or liver disease. Colorful root vegetables, such as beets and carrots, contain antioxidants and carotenoids (beta-carotene) which can help to stimulate bile flow and help eliminate wastes. At Ask Ariel, we will include free liver diet tips on the packing slip that comes with your order.
How can SAMe and milk thistle support my dog’s liver?
SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) and milk thistle are the most popular natural dog liver remedies to promote healthy liver function and support detoxification. Special SAMe is scientifically proven to reduce elevated liver enzymes. SAM-e also supplements metabolic activity by maintaining glutathione levels and supporting cell regeneration. Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, can prevent toxins from entering the liver, promotes cellular regeneration and improves liver function. Milk thistle contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help to support the immune system. Ask Ariel’s Liver & Gallbladder Support contains amino acids, Vitamin A, ox bile and inositol to promote fat metabolism and an herbal blend of milk thistle, artichoke and beet powder to support detoxification and improve bile flow. SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) and milk thistle have been recommended by holistic veterinarians nationwide to support liver function and detoxification.