How To Cook Liver For Dogs

Organ meat is a thing you either love or hate, much like marmite. Some find it disgusting, while others find it delicious and nutritional, and while 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 how to properly cook it, don’t worry.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about how to cook liver for your dog, the health benefits, 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 vitamins 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 brain are perfectly safe and should be fed to your dog to keep their diet balanced.

All organ meat holds many more nutrients than muscle meats, so it’s a good idea to keep your fridge stocked up on them for your dog.

What Type Of Liver Is The Best For Dogs?

Like most meats and proteins, it’s usually best to obtain grass-fed or pasture-raised sources of organ meat for your dog’s benefit and because it’s cruelty-free.

But if you cannot 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 liver, as these are all great choices. 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 make 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 given in higher amounts.

We discussed earlier that liver is rich in vitamin A, and if your dog gets too much of vitamin A, 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. 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; just make sure to feed your dog liver in small quantities.

The liver should be fed as a meal supplement, not a replacement, and ensure 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

What is the best way 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 the dirt or debris from the packaging.
  • Boil a pot, add the liver, and cover the liver with around an inch of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and 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!

Once it has simmered in the boiling water for about 15 minutes, you can pan fry it over low medium heat. You can also place the liver on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 375°F.

Beef liver is especially good for pups when it is pan fried. Beef liver is considered a superfood and is a great source of nutrients for your dog. Some dog owners shy away from organ meat, but it really is a good choice and a delicacy for your dog.

Cooked Liver Recipes to Try at Home

Ready to embrace all that liver has to offer your furry friend? Here are some easy recipes you can try at home to ensure your dog can take full advantage of all the nutrients this organ meat offers.

Also, before you add liver to your dog’s diet, you want to check with your veterinarian to ensure it is appropriate for your dog’s current health needs.

Basic Liver Dog Treat


  • 1 pound chicken liver
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Rinse the liver under cold water and pat dry
  3. Cut the liver into bite-sized pieces
  4. Mix the flour and egg in a bowl
  5. Toss the liver pieces in the flour and egg mixture until coated
  6. Place the liver pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through

Beef and Liver Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound chicken liver
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Rinse the liver under cold water and pat dry
  3. Puree the liver in a food processor
  4. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, pureed liver, egg, oatmeal, and dried parsley until well combined
  5. Roll the mixture into small meatballs
  6. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through

Liver and Sweet Potato Stew


  • 1 pound chicken liver
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups water


  1. Rinse the liver under cold water and pat dry
  2. Cut the liver into bite-sized pieces
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
  4. Add the sweet potato and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Add the liver and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add the water and bring to a boil
  7. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the liver is cooked through

Can You Freeze Cooked Liver For Dogs?

Of course, you can! In fact, frozen liver treats are an excellent alternative when you don’t have time to cook. If you follow the steps above, you can freeze any remaining pieces of liver in an airtight container. When ready to use them, take them out and place them in the fridge to thaw.

Can Dogs Have Dehydrated Liver Treats?

You can give your dog dehydrated liver treats in small quantities, and it makes for a delicious and nutritious treat. One bite-sized liver jerky treat a day is sufficient. If you want to dehydrate the liver yourself, slice the liver into ¼ inch to ½ inch strips and place the slices of liver meat on the dehydrator racks.

It should dry at a temperature of 145°F for around eight hours. You will know when they are done because each liver piece will be slightly pliable. Once done, the liver strips can be stored whole or broken down into smaller treat sizes.

Final Thoughts

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 health problems for your pup.

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