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High Liver Enzymes in Dogs

Your dog's liver provides a lot of essential functions to keep their body healthy, blood filtered, and running the metabolism. Often, a veterinarian will run what's called a "hepatic panel" to make sure that your dog's liver enzymes are in balance.

In some cases, pet owners will hear that their dog has "high liver enzymes." High liver enzymes could be caused by many different factors. It's really an indication to look deeper at the underlying causes of the high liver enzyme diagnosis.

The liver enzymes that your vet is looking at are:

  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

When your dog has high liver enzymes, your vet will often recommend some additional tests to determine the cause of elevated enzyme levels, but there are things you can do at home to help keep your dog's liver functioning properly.

What To Feed A Dog With High Liver Enzymes?

Dogs with elevated liver enzymes fare best on a reduced fat diet rich in fibrous vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Vegetables can help naturally detoxify your pet's liver. Green vegetables contain not only valuable vitamins and minerals, but they also contain fresh enzymes and prebiotic fibers to cleanse the gut and support liver health.
  • Colorful vegetables such as squash, carrots, and beets contain antioxidants and beta-carotene. Adding assorted vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, carrots, okra, leafy greens and a few shreds of grated raw beet can help improve your dog's digestion and liver health.
  • Dandelion leaves contain Vitamin A, B, C, D and K, support bile flow and are a liver detoxifier, making them especially beneficial for pets with elevated liver enzymes.
  • Omega 3s in the form of fish oil and baked fish are also helpful.

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Originally published Feb 16, 2023
Written by: Susan Davis, Pet Health Nutritionist, CCN
All pet treatment protocols and pet treatment supplements have been reviewed and approved by a veterinarian