Copper-Storage Disease in Dogs

Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy – An Evidence Based Approach

updated 2/15/2024

A Toxic Situation: We have a story that matters. So do you.

Canine Copper-Associated Hepatopathy (copper storage disease) is recognized with increasing frequency in dogs. While several breeds have been notably affected by this condition, it is now well recognized that the surge in CuAH cases transcends traditional breed boundaries. Growing studies are demonstrating it is possible that the dietary ingredient (cu) plays a critical and sometimes fatal role in dogs due to several industry changes in pet food, which may give answers to those with an unknown etiology.Copper Concentration in

Commercial Maintenance Dog Food Exceeds Tolerance for Numerous Healthy Dogs

Copper-Associated Hepatopathy has emerged as a noteworthy concern within veterinary circles. Renowned veterinarians advocate their evidence to support recommendations to reexamine dietary copper for dogs and reconsider current guidelines for copper content in commercial dog foods.

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Riggs OVC

This Affects All Dogs

The mineral copper is an essential dietary nutrient for all dogs.
The latest studies we have from veterinary experts from several different academic institutions believe that the incidence of copper-associated hepatopathy associated with the changes in the average liver copper concentrations reported are unlikely to be due to the dogs’ excretion of copper, theorizing that diet, and not genetics, is the most critical underlying factor influencing copper accumulation in the liver of dogs.

Help us spread awareness to the condition and issues that remain in order to bring forth funding and research necessary to help other dogs and their owners.

Copper-associated hepatopathy can be hard to diagnose and treat, but it is easy to prevent.

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Synergistically Yours,

Danielle & Sheepdog Riggs

Forever in Our hearts

Comprehensive Resources and Support

We are dedicated to providing you with the best resources for understanding and managing copper storage disease in dogs. We offer a comprehensive collection of information, resources, and support to help you navigate through the complexities of copper storage disease in your canine companion.

AAFCO Nutrient Requirements for Dogs

2006 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Adult Dogs (Maintenance)

2006 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Puppies after Weaning

FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines

Dog Body Condition Score

Fecal Scoring Chart

(AAFCO) The Association of American Feed Control Officials

The government organization that sets the pet feed industry guidelines.

(AAVN) The American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition

Advances in Nutrition

AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF)

Dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners by funding scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat and cure canine disease.

American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Amino Acid Laboratory, University of California, Davis

Balance IT®

Online formulation software and supplements; generate custom balanced recipes.

Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists®

Full list for referring veterinarians (from Balance IT®)

Calculation and Converter Tools

Canadian Academy of Veterinary Nutrition

Canadian Nutrient File (CNF)

A comprehensive, computerized bilingual database that reports up to 152 nutrients in over 5690 foods. The database can help you find values for nutrients.

Canine Inherited Disorders Database

Reduce the incidence of inherited disorders in dogs by providing information to owners and breeders; facilitate the best management possible of these conditions by providing current information to veterinarians.

Consumer Lab

Evaluates and tests consumer products relating to health, wellness, and nutrition in regards to bioavailability, transparency, potency, etc.

Dietary Supplements Verification Program

Evaluates dietary supplements against science-based quality standards – including federally recognized USP–NF standards of quality, purity, potency, performance, and consistency – and FDA current good manufacturing practices.

European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ESVCN)

An organization encouraging nutrition research and continuing education to veterinary professionals and animal paraprofessionals.


Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition


Center For Veterinary Medicine


Food Data Central expanded nutrient profiles and data


Recalls & Withdrawals


The trade body representing the European pet food industry. This organization strongly encourages responsible dog and cat ownership, and provides valuable pet resources.

How to Report a Pet Food Complaint

Internal Medicine For Pet Parents

Understand Your Pet’s Diagnosis

Low Copper Diet

Royal Canin Hepatic

Low Copper Diet

Hill’s Liver Care

NRC Dog Guide for Pet Owners

Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs – A Science-Based Guide for Pet Owners
National Research Council of the National Academies, 2006

NRC Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th Edition Chapter Download. The global standard for evidence-based small animal nutrition in the most comprehensive and practical resource available

Nutrition of dogs with liver disease

Encyclopedia of Canine Clinical Nutrition

Pet Diets

Veterinary Nutritional Consultations. For pets with medical conditions; customized or homemade recipes; assessements for healthy and growing pets.


The scientific study of pet nutrition by veterinary nutrition specialists and experts


Comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE

Report Animal Drug Side Effects and Product Problems

World Small Animal Veterinary Association

Global Nutrition Committee setting Standards of world veterinary care; Nutrition Toolkits & Guidelines

Copper Storage Disease Links

Offering you a one-stop destination for navigating the complexities of copper storage disease in dogs. Our carefully curated collection of links provides up-to-date scientific resources and support to ensure you have access to the latest advancements and insights in the field.

Copper Supplements

FDA Virtual Listening Session on the Oversight of Pet Food

Canine Chronic Hepatitis

Professional Version

Copper Sulfate: A standard of reference for copper in petfood

Article: Petfood Industry

FDA Virtual Listening Session on the Oversight of Pet Food

Slides for FDA SA Center Copper Canine Dog Food for Video Final Video Removed

How can AAFCO help address emerging pet food health issues surrounding copper?

Article: Petfood Imdustry

The looming concern about copper in dog food:

Copper overload is quietly killing our dogs

What is the role of regulators in pet food marketing claims?

Article: Petfood Industry

WSAVA Standards for Clinical and Histological Diagnosis of Canine and Feline Liver Diseases

Copper Storage Disease Studies

Our thoughtfully assembled array of research studies, ensuring you have access to the most recent breakthroughs and valuable insights in the field.

Hepatic copper concentrations in 546 dogs (1982-2015)


Is it time to reconsider current guidelines for copper content in commercial dog foods?


As an integral part of this resource, we shed light on the crucial role played by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

March 9, 2023

Expert Panel Upholds AAFCO Guidelines for Copper Concentrations in Foods for Normal Dogs

Full response from AAFCO to the JAVMA Viewpoint Article

February 15, 2021

Full report from the Expert Panel

to the AAFCO Pet Food Committee

Are you in need of a Veterinarian right now or have questions about copper-storage disease? Vetster is available 24/7 on demand online to provide veterinary virtual appointments. Search by speciality,  location, availability, species, vet profile, treatment and more. Connect with a licensed veterinarian in minutes from the comfort of your own home.

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