Can Raw Dog Food cause Liver Problems?

Updated on June 2, 2021

Can raw dog food cause liver problems?

The short answer is “not likely”. If your dog has not yet reached end stage liver disease, there is hope for recovery. But, having done your Uncle Google and Cousin Bing online research, you would come to the same conclusion as us – with so much conflicting information, how do you decide which diet is appropriate for mutts, pups and nobles?

More important, which foods will aid in recovery and which foods will exacerbate the condition further?

McKibble is Not the answer

What is rather ironic is that many pet parents believe fooding a raw diet is acceptable for a healthy dog, but it is less than ideal, or dangerous, for sick dogs. Many writings on the internet claim raw diets are risky for dogs with compromised livers because one of the main jobs of the liver is to filter out toxins.

Prescription foods ‘designed’ for dogs with liver issues are rarely a good fit for a dog with liver issues either. They are highly processed, contain inferior ingredients and, in reality, not much in the way of food. If you were suffering from a similar ailment, would you eat processed foods and McDonalds every day? Neither should your dog.

You have to remember that protein is important for liver health and function. Poor quality proteins or too little protein can cause further damage than what your dog is already dealing with and in fact, protein is necessary for the liver to heal.  Protein is necessary for regeneration of the liver. If you are not fooding enough protein, your liver is not getting what it needs to heal.

Raw proteins are far different than those that are processed or cooked. Raw proteins retain their moisture giving them an overall lower protein percentage than those that have the moisture processed out of them. Raw proteins are 60%-70% water. Despite what many believe, dogs were built to eat meat digest raw protein the easiest. It is certainly fitting that we food raw protein (biologically appropriate foods) when our dogs are sick. These foods do not strain the body. Plus, proteins with high biological values leave less waste for the liver to deal with.

Not Sure are You?

Here is a must-read article from Dog’s Naturally Magazine that goes over the results from a consumer-funded pet food evaluation. Unfortunately the results show that a shocking number of McKibble brands contain dangerous toxins and molds that can contribute to cancer and liver disease.