Boost Your Dog’s Liver To Prevent Skin Issues

Dog Skin Issues

Skin issues are one the most common reasons for dogs’ vet visits. But they often go unsolved because the root cause isn’t identified. So then overuse of antibacterials, steroids and other immune-suppressing drugs keep your dog in a cycle of sickness. Instead, the key to resolving skin issues is to support your dog’s most efficient organ: the liver.

The liver processes everything you put on or in your dog. Antibiotics, flea and tick medicines, vaccines and other pharmaceuticals upset your dog’s digestive and immune systems … as well as harming elimination organs like the liver and the skin.

Your dog’s skin function integrates with his other organs. It communicates through systemic pathways, including the kidney, digestive, lymphatic and liver systems. The liver is the hub of your dog’s detoxification pathways. Systemically, with a balanced liver, you’ll see your dog’s skin issues improve. And he’ll be able to show off healthy skin and a soft, glowing coat.

How The Liver Affects Your Dog’s Skin Health

The liver and the skin are your dog’s largest organs. Understanding their connection involves understanding the liver’s importance to the skin. While the liver handles hundreds of actions, here are a few jobs the liver does to help your dog’s skin:

  • Increase water-soluble elimination through the kidneys
  • Along with the gallbladder, break down fats and fat-soluble vitamins
  • Remove toxins out of the blood, along with the spleen
  • Stabilize the autonomic nervous system
  • Help circulate bodily fluids, in combination with the lymphatic system
  • Filter and detoxify metabolic wastes
  • Produce essential hormones along with the endocrine system 
  • Support healthy thyroid function*
  • Work with the small intestine to strengthen digestion
  • Filter and distribute wastes to the liver, kidneys and bowels

*Note: The thyroid can negatively affect your dog’s skin. Always rule out a thyroid imbalance. Have a five-test panel done (T3, Free T3, T4, Free T4, TgAA) before addressing your dog’s chronic skin conditions.

How Your Dog’s Lymphatic System Helps His Skin

The lymphatic system is present throughout your dog’s body. It helps distribute tissue nourishment … while working with the liver and the body’s elimination systems. Lymphatic vessels function alongside the circulatory passages. This helps cool your dog’s body through fluid circulation and filtering. 

Lymphatic fluid, called lymph, distributes both waste and nourishment throughout the body. When lymph slows down, elimination suffers, which causes an imbalanced, congested liver. This pushes toxins to the surface. This can lead to your dog having skin issues like lipomas and hot spots.

Warning signs can include …

  • Skin eruptions 
  • Hot spots
  • Dryness 
  • Excessive itching 

These signs let you know you need to support your dog’s entire liver system. This includes the gastrointestinal tract, spleen, kidneys, and lymphatic system.

Herbs That Support The Liver To Help Fix Skin Issues

Some herbs can support the liver and skin … without suppressing the body like pharmaceuticals do. The following herbs support your dog’s skin and coat to prevent issues. And they balance out different parts of the liver system.

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)

  • Helps regulate fats and oils, and increases the liver’s detoxification abilities
  • Helps balance the digestive system
  • Clears heat from the liver and gallbladder
  • Supports kidney and thyroid function
  • Improves liver detoxification and lymphatic movement
  • Helps with dryness, flakiness, dandruff and crusting
  • Works to decrease itching
  • Helps constipation related to internal dryness
  • Supports the kidneys in dogs with stiffness in the backend

Tincture Dosage (based on your dog’s size): 

X-small … 1 drop
Small … 2 to 3 drops
Medium … 4 to 5 drops
Large … 6 to 7 drops
X-large … 8 to 9 drops

Give twice daily before feeding. Dilute the tincture in a small amount of water and syringe it into your dog’s mouth.

Glycerite Dosage: 3 drops for every 10 lbs of body weight, twice daily before feeding.

Dry Herb Dosage: 50 mg for every 10 lbs of body weight, twice daily with food.

Peach Leaf and Twig (Prunus persica)

Peach leaf and twig are cooling and moist. They can help the digestive system, your dog’s liver and any skin issues. The leaves and bark cool systemic inflammation … while calming and strengthening the liver and digestive systems. 

Peach leaf and twig also:

  • Helps decrease dryness and increase circulating fluids, while cooling the body
  • Helps calm irritated digestion and nervous stomach.  
  • Supports dogs with food sensitivities from heat cools internal dryness and heat

Tincture Dosage (based on your dog’s size): 

X-small … 1 drop
Small … 2 to 3 drops
Medium … 4 to 5 drops
Large … 6 to 7 drops
X-large … 8 to 9 drops

Give twice daily before feeding. Dilute with a small amount of water and syringe into the mouth.

Yellow Dock Root (Rumex crispus)

Yellow dock has an affinity towards the skin and the liver. I like to combine it with dandelion for damp, difficult skin conditions. Yellow dock root is slightly bitter and helps tighten tissues and expel heat out of the liver.

Yellow dock root also …

  • Supports the lymphatic and circulatory systems
  • Cools the body and clears inflammation
  • Helps push through stagnancy, promoting energy flow
  • Calms itching and scratching
  • Helps dogs emotionally affected by chronic skin conditions

Tincture Dosage (based on your dog’s size): 

X-small … 1 drop
Small … 1 drop
Medium … 2 drops
Large … 3 drops
X-large … 4 drops

Give twice daily before feeding. Dilute with a small amount of water and syringe into the mouth.

Caution: only give yellow dock root in small doses. Don’t give it for more than 6 weeks without at least a 2 week break.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is a versatile healing herb that is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It has an affinity for the skin, digestive system, lymphatic system and liver. Calendula helps increase liver detoxification and liver circulation.

Other benefits include:

  • Supports liver, lymphatics and skin
  • Helps lower liver enzymes
  • Works well with dandelion for liver and skin health
  • Works as a bitter, supporting digestion and positive gut flora
  • Helps clear metabolic wastes while supporting liver function
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-itching

Tincture Dosage (based on your dog’s size):

X-small … 1 drop
Small … 2 drops
Medium … 3 drops
Large … 4 drops
X-large … 5 drops

Give twice daily before feeding. Dilute with a small amount of water and syringe into the mouth.

The key to healthy skin and coat is resolving the root cause. Your dog’s skin may look like an isolated condition … but it usually isn’t. Often your dog’s skin issues can stem from problems in other areas, like the liver. Your dog functions as an integrated organ system. Her body communicates through systemic pathways that include the kidney, digestive, lymphatic and liver systems.

These herbs help balance out the liver and work with the dog-as-ecosystem, from the inside out. Try using a couple of these plants in combination with a fresh food diet.

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