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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the Fiesta Dog Parade this year I got a lot of information from the vendor booths and was just going through it all last night. I found a piece of paper with a website recommended by a lady selling food supplements. I visited the site this morning and ohmigosh it is sooooo informative.

I am putting together a ton of information toward switching Pico over to a home-cooked diet and this site really helped. There are also links to other sites where you can really dig into this issue and learn much about what your pet has, if it is preventable, how to treat it and proper nutrition for it.

Oddly, I have read several sources through the site that say Avocado may assist liver function and that Broccoli and Cauliflower are recommended veggies. Also, one talks about garlic supplement. Before I feed those to Pico I will certainly research those more thoroughly since I have heard you should NOT give these to a Maltese.

Here's the site: (I forgot how to put a link in properly....sorry)

1,672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, it's been at least 4 weeks since I eliminated wheat from Pico's diet and so far he has not had a recurrence of the rumbly-tummy problem. Knock on wood! Could it be that easy? We stopped giving him his morning bites of whole wheat toast and his weekend bites of tortilla. (He LOOOOVES tacos! Goes crazy when my husband walks in the door Saturday morning with a bag of breakfast tacos)

For several weeks I have been placing a teaspoon of low-fat cottage cheese on his plate alongside his regular canned l/d. He gobbles the cottage cheese, nibbles the l/d and only finishes it later in the evening, as usual.

Yesterday I ran completely out of the canned and gave him baked sweet potatoe and cottage cheese in two small meals (several small meals daily were recommended because it gives the liver less to process at one time).

He Hoovered his plate immediately!. It was so gratifying to be feeding him food he actually likes and to know it is good for him, too. The diet I found is a canine liver diet and consists of:

50% protein, as follows, and 50% grain. Since Pico doesn't eat wheat I will use brown rice and cooked oatmeal.
Cottage cheese

White fish-25% fish & 75% veggies
oatmeal (grain)
white & sweet potato
avocado (I pm'd Doctor Cathy about this since I had heard avocado was not good for small dogs)
canned pumpkin
FRUIT: watermelon, kiwi, cherry, grapefruit, fig, papaya, japanese plum

SUPPLEMENTS: l-carnatine, larginine, Vitamins B,E,C, kelp alfalfa & 250 mg fish body oil (not liver oil)

I found a source for the supplements but want to run all this by my vet once I have finished my research before converting Pico to all home-cooked. I think I will continue to give him the l/d kibble as a free-feed because he really doesn't eat that much of it and it is a good crunchy tooth cleaner.

On another site, they listed broccoli and cauliflower for liver diets, which Pico loves but which I read earlier you should not give small dogs. It's a bit confusing but I am determined to give Pico a diet he enjoys enough to eat right away and still be kind tohis liver.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. I started by googling "canine liver diet", if you are interested in pursuing this, too. Two heads are better than one.

1,672 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is one of the diets I got from a website through

For a fifty pound dog, a sample diet would look like this:
- 4 ounces low fat cottage cheese
- 4 ounces cooked chicken
- One egg
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of cooked oatmeal
- 4 ounces canned pumpkin
Using the ingredients listed above, this diet could be varied. Variety is important not only for nutrients, but for the interest of the dog as well.
Here are some additional examples:
- 4 ounces cooked Cod
- 4 ounces low fat yogurt
- One egg
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) of cooked oatmeal
- 4 ounces steamed or cooked broccoli, cauliflower or sweet potato
Another variation would be:
- 4 ounces drained and rinsed canned or cooked Salmon
- 3 scrambled eggs
- 6 ounces cooked barley
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
Please note the metabolism of dogs can vary. Watch your dog's weight carefully. If the dog starts to look thin, serve more food. Conversely, if the dog gains weight, reduce the quantity. You should be able to easily feel the ribs, but not see them by observing the dog. It can also be helpful to serve small frequent meals daily than to serve one or two larger ones. Home cooked diets are naturally low in salt, so this can help prevent acsites (fluid retention) in some forms of liver disease. Do not add extra salt to the diet, and be sure to drain and rinse canned fish thoroughly.
The second part of this diet includes supplements. Since this diet is devoid in calcium, save the eggshells and dry them overnight. Grind them in a coffee bean grinder and add them back at 1/2 teaspoon per pound of food served. I would also add Berte's Green Blend for trace minerals.
Dogs with liver disease also need help in producing vitamin K. You can add this vitamin, or give your dog Berte's Ultra Probiotic Powder. Beneficial bacteria helps produce vitamin K.
Vitamin C is also lost with liver issues. The liver has problems storing fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E. B vitamins can also help support the liver. Berte's Immune Blend contains these vitamins without adding additional minerals. I would probably give this at 1/2 the recommended dose.
Omega 3 fatty acids are also very helpful. Salmon or fish oil (not Cod Liver Oil) are best. Give at the rate of 1,000 mg per 20-30 lbs of body weight daily.
Since the liver can have problems digesting fat, a good digestive enzyme is recommended. A good digestive enzyme that contain pancreatic and pancrealipase can help break down fats in the stomach. This can help take the load off the liver. Berte's Zymes contains these, plus betaine, which is also helpful for liver support.
Other supportive liver supplements include:
Milk Thistle:
This herb has been found to help regenerate the liver and remove toxins. This comes in both capsules and liquid tincture, depending on ease for dosing each particular dog.
(also known as denosyl) helps to improve hepatic function. Several research studies have been done on SAM-e showing excellent results. SAM-e would be given at approximately 200 mg per 50 lbs of body weight, in between meals.
This amino acid has been found deficient in human patients with advanced cirrhosis, and is being advised for dogs with liver disease as a supportive measure. L-Carnitine deficiency can cause protein starvation. Give approximately 500 mg per 50 pounds of body weight.
L- Arginine:
L-Arginine is another amino acid that has shown effectiveness in helping with hepatic circulation and increased oxidation. Dose would run about 250 mg per 50 pounds of body weight daily, if needed.
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When I emailed Lew, he responded within hours. Impressive! I am still confused about the broccoli, cauliflower recommendations.
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