What To Feed A Dog With Hepatitis
If your dog has hepatitis you should take extra precautions and look for foods to ensure its diet is varied, nutritious and suitable for its condition. Liver infections should be treated with caution as this vital organ serves to channel everything your pet ingests, making its diet essential in safeguard of your pet's health. It must always be a vet who guides you through what diet to follow but at OneHowTo we want to give you a general outline regarding what to feed a dog with hepatitis.
As already indicated, it is important to follow a diet specific for dogs with hepatitis and this should be set out by a veterinarian who will consider the different causes and disease states that require specific care. In general, the food for a dog with hepatitis must be high in vegetable proteins and low in sodium and copper.
The importance of vegetable proteins
Dogs are carnivorous animals feeding mainly on animal protein; however, if suffering from hepatitis this type of food should be eliminated and replaced by proteins of plant origin such as tofu, soy or seitan. The reason for this change is that foods from animal flesh contain nitrogen and when this decomposes it produces ammonium, a nutrient which is very toxic for the liver.
A suitable way to feed a dog with hepatitis must be to give it food that contains at least 20% of proteins, these should be of very high quality and, as far as possible, of plant origin for the reasons just stated. If you can not fulfill this premise you can talk to the vet to have him or her prescribe a protein supplement.
Add carbohydrates to the diet. It may seem odd but reducing the intake of animal protein makes it necessary to increase this food group in the diet. Normally a dog needs few carbohydrates, these being added to the diet only occasionally. However, a dog sick with hepatitis can not eat meat and therefore must take calories from other foods.
Of this food group the most appropriate ingredient to put in your dog's food will be brown rice. Above all it is important that it be whole grain because otherwise you will not be providing nutrients to your dog. Rice is a cereal of great quality and is very easily digested.
Vegetable fibers are also important for a dog with hepatitis. It is difficult for a dog to want to eat vegetables due to their flavour and texture, which are not to their liking. However, whenever possible it is good to add a bit of these ingredients (green beans, spinach, lettuce, etc.) to the food as the fibre contained will help the intestine absorb endotoxins, thus avoiding them reaching the liver. Bear in mind that foods like tomatoes or onions are toxic for your pet, in OneHowTo we tell you what foods are toxic for dogs.
A trick to make your dog eat vegetables is to mix them with grease or oil that has been used to cook meat; thus, the smell of meat will call its attention and trick the animal into eating it. Take a look at the list of vegetables dogs can eat.
Add vitamin C to its diet. This nutrient is a natural antioxidant and is highly recommended for treating a dog with hepatitis. Normally dry feeds have a lot of this vitamin but consult with your veterinarian to confirm whether it is recommendable to include an extra dose for your dog to feel better. It is important to corroborate with a specialist as too much vitamin C can increase the copper in the body, a mineral which is terrible for the liver.
Increases vitamin K in the food. This nutrient promotes blood clotting so it is highly recommended for dogs with hepatitis, especially in the event that the disease is chronic. When sick the liver does not produce clotting elements nor can it produce or store vitamin K, so it is vital that you manually add this vitamin to your dog's diet. This vitamin can be found in foods like green leafy vegetables and some fruit.
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