Organ meat is a thing you either love or hate, much like marmite.
Some find it disgusting, whilst others find it delicious and nutritional, and whilst the former might be opinion, the latter is definitely true.
People will tend to buy liver to give to their dogs, they absolutely love it and it’s high in nutrients, so it’s a win-win for you and your dog.
If you’re used to giving your dog liver and never trying it yourself, make sure to try a piece when you’re next cooking it for your pup (just make sure that you’re using human grade liver!).
You may be pleasantly surprised with the taste, and if you still swear against it, at least you’ve had a piece of healthy, nutritional meat.
But if you’re not used to giving your dog liver, or are just unsure of how to properly cook it, don’t worry.
We’re going to explain everything that you need to know about how to cook liver for your dog, what the health benefits are, how much to give your dog and which type of liver is the best.
Is Cooked Liver Ok For Dogs To Eat?
Yes, of course it is! We’d even go further as to say that cooked liver is good for your dog to have.
We specify cooked because even though dogs would mainly eat raw meat if they were in the wild, their digestive systems have evolved a lot since then, so cooked meat is much better for them now than raw meat.
Liver is much more nutritional than muscle meats (like chicken breast, hamburger etc), it actually contains around 10 to 100 times more nutrients than it!
It’s full of protein and iron and has tons of vitamin A and B vitamins.
You’ll also find lots of niacin, copper, phosphorus and healthy fats, like omega 3s and 6s.
You don’t just have to stop at the liver, other organ meats such as the kidneys, heart and even brain are perfectly safe and in fact, should be fed to your dog in order to keep their diet balanced.
All organ meats hold many more nutrients than muscle meats, so it’s a good idea to keep your fridge stocked up on them, for your dog of course.
What Type Of Liver Is The Best For Dogs?
Like most meats and proteins, it’s usually best if you can obtain grass-fed or pasture-raised sources of organ meat, for your dog’s benefit and the fact that it’s cruelty-free.
But if you’re unable to get either of these benefits, other types of liver are usually perfectly fine and healthy to give to your dog.
It’s best to stick with liver from lamb, beef, pork or chicken, as these are all great choices and stay away from liver derived from wild game like deer or turkey, since the quality of the meat cannot be assured.
There’s also a possible chance that the meat is contaminated with toxins or bacteria that could end up making your dog very ill.
To avoid this as much as possible, make sure to feed your dog liver that has been responsibly sourced, such as from farms and other repeatable sources.
How Much Liver Is Ok To Give To My Dog?
Like most things, the key is that it’s safe and healthy in moderation.
Even though liver has tons of nutrients and vitamins, you should only give it to your dog in small amounts, it can actually be harmful to your dog if it’s given in higher amounts.
We discussed earlier that liver is rich in vitamin A, and if your dog gets too much of vitamin A then they could develop a condition known as hypervitaminosis A, like the name suggests it’s essentially an overdose of vitamin A.
If this happens then your dog has consumed way too much vitamin A and their body is finding it hard to absorb all of it properly.
Having too much vitamin A can lead to weight loss, bone deformities, digestive problems and much more.
I know what we just said sounds terrifying, but liver is perfectly healthy when given in moderation.
Don’t let that scare you off and just make sure to feed your dog liver in small quantities.
Liver should be fed as a meal supplement, not replacement, and make sure that you take your dog’s weight into account too.
Generally, organ meats should only account for around 5% of your dog’s entire diet.
So, that may mean around ⅕ ounces per day for a smaller dog breed, 1 ounce for a medium dog breed and 2.5 ounces of liver for a large dog breed.
How To Cook Liver For Dogs
Cooking liver is a really easy thing to do, you don’t need to worry about overcooking or undercooking it as your dog won’t complain about the texture or taste!
Make sure to add little to no seasonings, salt, butter and other seasonings aren’t great for your pup’s diet, so make sure to keep them at an absolute minimum or leave them out completely.
To Cook Liver:
- Firstly, remove the liver from the packaging, if it’s frozen, make sure it’s been thawed out completely.
- Make sure to rinse the liver with cold water to wash away and dirt or debris that has been accumulated from the packaging.
- Boil a pot and add the liver and cover the liver with around an inch of water.
- Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat, then let the liver simmer for around 12-14 minutes.
- Once the liver becomes tender, take the pot off the heat and drain the excess water.
- Make sure to leave the liver to cool before you serve them to your dog, you don’t want it burning their tongue!
Can You Freeze Cooked Liver For Dogs?
Of course you can! In fact, frozen liver treats are an excellent alternative for when you don’t have time to cook.
If you follow the steps above, you can just freeze any remaining pieces of liver in an airtight container and freeze them.
When you’re ready to use them, take them out and place them in the fridge to thaw.
Liver is an excellent source of nutrition and vitamins for your dog to have to balance their diet.
Of course, like most things, it should be eaten in moderation as too much liver can cause