There’s just no denying how highly nutritious organ meat like liver is. For both humans and canines! It might seem icky for you to feed the liver to your dog. But your furry companion doesn’t find it icky one bit. So can dogs eat liver? Even though highly nutritious and tasty, is liver safe for dogs?
Let me point out that the difference between the liver and other types of meat is not much. Aside from the high level of nutrients, the former and the latter are pretty much the same. As long as you’re cooking and feeding liver meat that’s the human-grade kind.
As for everything you need to know about feeding liver to your dog. I have answered nearly all of the frequently asked questions concerning liver and dogs.
Why Liver Is So Beneficial
The nutritional value of liver and organ meats of this kind is quite high. The liver is packed with Vitamin A, protein, fatty acids, minerals, and other essential nutrients. This means the liver helps in boosting digestive health, reproductive health, mental health, and brain health. Along with improving metabolism and providing powerful antioxidants for protection.
But let me tell you that most of this nutritional value offered by the liver gets affected if you use heat for cooking. Unless you’re just boiling the liver of course, which is the best recipe for dogs anyway.
The Bad Side of Liver
At the other end of the spectrum lies the drawback of feeding liver to your dog. In that case, can dogs eat liver? You’ll find out the answer soon enough.
The liver may be a healthy treat or supplement for your little pooch. But that doesn’t mean you can feed it however and whenever you like. You should know that foods high in Vitamin A can cause Vitamin A overdose. And when that happens, digestive issues, muscle weakness, and bone spurs come into the picture.
Also, the liver you decide to feed to your dog might contain hormones and additives. These are often fed to animals we get our meat from. Along the same lines, deer and other such game animals should be avoided at all costs. Because the chances of liver flukes or other liver diseases are very high here. So it’s best for your dog to not consume this kind of game liver.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Liver?
Dogs, when left to their own devices in the wild, consume raw meat, don’t they? But your dog is the domesticated type I’m assuming. In that case, his/her digestive system has evolved. And that means raw meat might not be such a great choice. Keeping that in mind, cooked meat seems more easily digestible.
The liver is equipped with way more muscle mass nutrients. In comparison to other meat. Along with high levels of Vitamin A, protein, iron, fatty acids, copper, niacin, phosphorous, etc. So there’s no denying that feeding liver boosts the overall health of your pup. Provided that the consumption is not only limited but also occasional.
What Type of Liver Can Dogs Eat?
This section is very important. I think every pet owner who wishes to feed the liver should know what kind of liver is the most beneficial. Firstly, go to pasture-raised or grass-fed liver sources. And secondly, lamb liver, beef liver, pork liver, and chicken liver are all healthy choices for dogs.
What should be avoided is the wild game liver. This includes the liver from turkey and deer. For all you know, the liver here may be infected with toxins or parasites. And these are definitely not safe for your dog to consume.
So go with farm animals and high-quality sources. Just because you’re feeding the liver to your dog doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care to find out where it comes from.
How Much Liver Is Too Much for Dogs?
Moderation is the solution to every feeding problem. No matter how healthy or tasty, food intake should always be controlled in the case of canines.
As you already know, the liver contains tons of Vitamin A. So too much of it can cause Vitamin A overdose in dogs. The condition is called hypervitaminosis A. And it causes weight loss, digestive issues, bone spurs, muscle weakening, bone deformities, and more.
So what this means is that you ought to keep the feeding in check. Include the liver as a treat or supplement once in a while. The liver is not to be considered as a meal replacement.
Did you know that organ meat makes up 5% of the dog’s daily diet? Small breed canines get 1/5 ounces of liver a day. Medium dogs get 1 ounce while larger dogs receive 2.5 ounces.
Cooking Liver for Dogs
How to cook chicken liver for dogs? How to cook pork liver for dogs? The method is one and the same. No matter the type of liver! And just by the way, the options are only chicken, pork, lamb, and beef liver for dogs. Not wild game liver like turkey or deer.
- If the liver is frozen, thaw it first.
- Then rinse for getting rid of any dirt.
- Boil it for around 15-20 minutes.
- Once the liver is tender, turn off the heat.
- And finally, dice it up into tiny pieces for serving.
25 Harmful Foods Your Puppy Shouldn’t Eat
When fed in moderation, the liver is good for dogs. Good for your little creature’s brain health, digestive health, mental health, and more. So can dogs eat liver? I don’t see why not if you keep the feeding in check. Meaning a small quantity every once in a while.
The nutritional benefits of the liver may be high and impressive. But that doesn’t make it okay for you to overfeed liver or any other human food to your dog. As a responsible and caring pet parent, you have to always keep this in mind. For the sake of your little pooch!
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