With the ever-increasing industrialization of the world, its no doubt that we live in a toxic environment.
The situation gets worse for our furry friends because, unlike us, they can’t actively protect themselves from these toxins.
Hence, it’s up to us to help them out, but even so, some toxins still manage to get into their bodies and interfere with their liver functioning.
Below we look at signs that indicate your dog’s liver needs a detox, how to detox it and how to lessen the amounts of toxins your dog gets access to.
Toxins that affect your dog’s liver
There are plenty of harmful substances your dog encounters daily.
Toxins are present in the air, water, and even inside your dog’s food. Some of these harmful substances include
- Electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- De- wormers, Vaccines, Antibiotics, Steroids, and other drugs
- Flame retardant chemicals like HBCD and PentaBDA are sprayed on upholstery, fabrics, furniture, and carpets
- Heavy metals
- Chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals present in unfiltered water
- Mycotoxins, hormones, antibiotic residues, allergenic ingredients, and toxic preservatives in most pet foods.
How does the liver function?
Your canine’s liver has numerous functions, and the top among them is the removal of toxins.
The liver can do so with the aid of enzymes that break down harmful substances.
A large amount of the chemical toxins which enter your dog’s body are fat-soluble and hard to excrete.
However, the liver has two methods to convert these fat-soluble chemicals to water-soluble ones, thereby enabling their removal as urine or bile.
Phase one Convert toxins to less harmful substances.
Firstly, liver enzymes break down harmful substances in a process like digestion.
For phase one to occur, all of the enzymes must be present, and their effectiveness depends on the nutrients in your dog’s diet and if they inhibit or support the process.
Radicals are the by-products of phase one, and they can also damage your pup’s liver.
Antioxidants can help lower the harm, but if your dog gets exposed to excess toxins and his diet lacks sufficient antioxidants, the radicals will cause more damage.
Phase two: Reduce the effect of by-products
Once phase one is complete, some poisonous by-products remain in the liver.
The organ passes them through the second pathway called the conjugation pathway. In this pathway, the liver adds another compound to the toxins, for instance, glycine or cysteine, to make the toxins water-soluble (less harmful).
After which, the toxins get extracted from the body.
Other functions of a dog’s liver
- Aids in control of hormones like thyroid hormones
- Stores vitamins B, D, E, and K
- Stores minerals such as zinc, iron, copper, and manganese
- Filters allergens and bacteria which get past the intestines
How to detox your dog’s liver
Now that you know what your dog’s liver does and how it does it, here are methods you can use to detox it.
Glutathione supplement immensely helps the liver when it carries out the first phase of toxin removal.
The supplement is made by synthesizing three amino acids; glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. Glycine is an amino acid that supports the functioning of the nervous and digestive systems.
Glutathione is effective in the removal of numerous toxins, some of which are
- Chlorine in tap water.
- Heavy metals; include mercury, lead, nickel, aluminum, antimony, and mercury.
- Plastic residues, namely BPA
N- acetylcysteine (NAC) and taurine
Taurine and NAC supplements aid your dog’s liver in the eradication of phase two toxins.
Taurine is an antioxidant that stabilizes cell membranes, particularly heart cells, skeletal muscles, white blood cells, and the central nervous system.
It also makes liver cells more resilient to attacks from free radicals and neutralizes toxins from the gut dysbiotic bacteria.
Some pet foods include small amounts of taurine in their products, but you need to provide more antioxidants for it to be effective.
NAC works similarly to taurine, though its main functions are enhancing cellular glutathione levels and heavy metal binding.
By binding with the heavy metals, NAC reduces oxidative stress experienced by the liver and eradicates free radicals present in it.
Curcumin is the compound responsible for turmeric’s yellow color. It is an antioxidant with cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing liver stress and clearing toxins.
An active ingredient in Japanese knotweed, resveratrol is an antiaging and anticancer antioxidant.
In addition, the substance reduces the liver’s lipid peroxidation, lowering the organ’s enzyme elevations.
Many experts highly recommend milk thistle as it helps eradicate reactive oxygen species and supports liver cell regeneration.
The herb’s active ingredient is silymarin, which stimulates glutathione intake by liver cells.
Caution: avoid giving milk thistle to pregnant or lactating dogs; it may harm the puppies.
Schisandra has a hepaprotective nature that keeps liver cells healthy and removes free radicals from the organ.
It is one of the potent detoxifiers since it wraps itself around toxic metals in the gut, enabling quick removal. Spirulina can do so using its tough outer cell wall.
Known mostly as SOD, the enzyme removes free radicals from your dog’s liver. It works by splitting superoxide radicals into hydrogen and oxygen.
Superoxide radicals negatively affect your dog’s living cells; therefore, their removal is critical for optimal lymphatic system functioning.
Blueberries are full of SOD and other antioxidants. There is no fruit with more antioxidants than blueberries.
Dandelion leaves have immense blood cleansing properties. They support kidney, gall bladder, and liver detoxification.
Clean blood means metabolic wastes in your dog’s organs and tissues are effectively carried away.
Feed your pup one teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves for every 20lbs of his body weight by mixing it in his food.
You can also give dandelion to your dog as a drink by mixing one tablespoon of the leaves in a cup of boiled water.
Caution: don’t use dandelion leaves from your yard if you spray them with herbicides. Instead, buy fresh ones and let them dry.
Your mutt’s liver needs adequate amounts of water daily to remove all of the toxins inside it.
Therefore, to detox it, simply provide enough clean water and always wash the water bowls.
Safe Guard Probiotic
Probiotics provide healthy bacteria that improve absorption of nutrients and minerals and protect the liver from free radicals.
Safeguard has been designed to meet all these needs and improves your dog’s immunity.
Apart from water and safeguard, ensure you first consult with an integrative or holistic veterinarian before using any of the listed herbs or supplements.
He will help you determine which among them are ideal for your dog and the doses.
How to reduce amounts of toxins that could affect your dog’s liver
- Keep your dog away from sprayed lawns
- Keep human medication where your dog can’t access them
- Feed fresh foods and avoid processed foods
- Don’t offer over-the-counter medications before talking to a vet
- Avoid unnecessary vaccines
- Exercise your dog regularly
- Don’t let your dog roam freely in a new environment
- Minimize the use of detergents in the house
Signs your dog’s liver needs a detox
- Pink eyes or a discharge may suggest corneal disorders or liver issues
- Brittle nails
- Gas, bloating, and small stints of diarrhea
- Irritable, aggressive, or controlling behavior
Even though you can’t protect your dog from all the environmental toxins, you can cleanse his liver so that it gets rid of them more effectively.
Try the herbs and supplements we listed and watch your dog thrive and live a long, happy life. Good luck detoxing.