The liver is a wonderful, healthy addition to your dog’s daily diet, being vitamin-rich and high in protein. The liver is a wonderful addition to your dog’s diet and will promote healthy digestion and reproductive organs, mental and nerve health, and the function of their blood cells, among many other benefits!
The rest of this article will explain why you should feed your dog liver, what is best for them, and what the benefits are!
Is Liver Safe for Dogs?
Not only is liver safe for dogs, but it’s also really good for them! Many of the dog food you see walking through the dog food aisle of the grocery store are made with liver.
In fact, the liver is considered a vitamin-rich protein superfood that contains copper, iron, zinc, and wonderful, essential fatty acids.
That being said, too much organ meat, in general, can be very bad for dogs, as it will lead to your dog digesting too much vitamin A. When you
What Kind of Organ Is The Liver?
Liver is a secreting organ, meaning it secretes a substance. Therefore, your dog’s diet should include multiple different secreting organs.
Examples of these organs include the brains, spleen, and kidney, which are different from other organs like the heart and lungs, which do not secrete any kind of substance and are considered muscle meat.
Why Is Liver Good for Dogs?
As mentioned, liver is high in so many vitamins. In fact, organ meat has way more essential nutrients in it than most other animal meats consumed.
Compared to ground beef, beef liver actually contains times more iron, 1200 times more vitamin D, and 23 times more calcium. These are essential for the health and development of your pet.
In order to fully understand as dog owners how great liver of all kinds is beneficial for your pet, we must first understand what the vitamins it contains will do for them.
Vitamins Found in Liver
Liver is heavy in Vitamin A, which supports healthy vision and allows your dog to have a healthy heart, as well as functioning reproductive organs and kidneys.
Also high in B Vitamins, it helps with the function of the body’s cells and prevents fatigue.
These vitamins will also help your dog’s immune function, which will prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Minerals Found in Liver
Minerals are also extremely important for your pet. Luckily, liver contains some of the most essential minerals for any diet.
Liver is high in zinc and copper, which are wonderful minerals used to improve muscle and bone strength. It’s also high in iron, which regulates body temperature.
Overall, liver of all kinds, whether it be chicken liver or pork liver, is a great addition to your dog’s diet and will help boost your dog’s liver health digestive system, help support bone strength joint health, and help promote weight loss in overweight dogs.
What Kinds of Liver Should Your Dog Eat?
When choosing the kind of organ meat to give your dog, you should do a bit of research into which one is the best so that your dog will get the most from what you feed them.
Most grocery stores will carry two kinds of livers, having them readily available. These types are chicken liver and beef liver. Both of these are great for your dog and packed with so many vitamins and minerals.
Along with being wonderfully high in so many good things, both are also low in saturated fat and low in calories.
If you are looking at adding a great addition to your dog’s dog food, both chicken liver, and beef liver will do the job.
Benefits of Beef Liver
If you were to compare both beef livers and chicken livers, you will find that beef liver is lower in calories and higher in several vitamins and minerals.
In addition to that, beef liver has been found to contain more than twenty times the amount of copper.
This is important for your dog because it will support your dog’s brain function, as well as skin functions. In addition, it’s an extremely important mineral because your dog’s body does not produce copper by itself.
Downsides to Beef Liver
Overfeeding your dog beef liver can come with several different issues. First, some dogs experience problems with the metabolism of copper. Many times this is due to the kind of breed they are.
Dobermans, labrador retrievers, and dalmations are prone to copper toxicity, accumulating over time. Beceausee of this, you should be careful when feeding them beef liver!
Benefits of Chicken Liver
Maybe you were told exactly what your dog is missing from their diet by a professional.
If your dog needs more proten or iron, you may want to give your dog chicken liver, considering chicken livers are very high in both protein and iron.
Chicken liver is also a wonderful source of omega-3 and has been shown to improve vision and help with different blood deficiencies canines can have.
Downsides to Chicken Liver
That being said, chicken liver has some downsides. It is high in fat, and if your dog has too much, it can lead to weight gain. If your dog is already overweight, you may want to stay away from this type of liver.
Additionally, chicken liver’s high amount of fat can lead to stomach issues for your dog.
Other Kinds of Liver You Can Feed Your Dog
Other than chicken liver and beef liver, dogs can also be fed the pork liver, goat liver, calves liver, and duck liver.
You can even find deer liver if you ask around, as many hunters or wildlife processors will have it. If this is the case, you should be sure to freeze it for a couple of weeks before using it to ensure it is free of parasites.
How Many Types of Livers Can You Feed Your Pet?
It is recommended that you feed your dog several different kinds of the liver to see what kind they do best with, as many dogs need certain amounts of nutrients.
Some dogs may have different food sensitivities and may do better with one type over the other.
While some, like deer liver, will be hard to find, there are still many that should be readily available to you and easy to try.
The Best Kind of Liver for Food Sensitivities
If you have a dog with a lot of food sensitivities, you may want to try adding rabbit liver to your dog’s raw food diet since it is considered hypoallergenic.
This can be hard to find unless there is a farm near you that sells it, but if you need, you can get it from a couple of different online stores that will ship it to you.
How Can You Feed Your Dog Liver?
Many people may cringe at the thought of preparing their dog organ meat, but it can be way simpler than that. You can get your dog to eat liver in so many different ways, whether it be raw liver, cooked liver, or freeze-dried raw liver.
Store-bought Dog Food That Contains Liver
If you want to dip your toe into the waters of feeding your dog organ meats, you should start by looking for nutritionally complete wet dog food that contain a heavy amount of beef or chicken livers.
Freeze-dried Liver Treats
Another great alternative to cooking liver yourself is the freeze-dried liver, which can be used as treats for your dog.
If you decide that you are ready to take the next step when it comes to feeding your dog wonderfully nutritious organ meats, you can start feeding them home-cooked liver.
The cooking process for cooked liver is simple, as all you have to do is cook it on your stove! It’s easily cooked and will be ready to give your dog within 15 minutes of simmering in water. You can also cook liver by frying it or baking it.
Liver for Immuno-compromised Dogs
If your dog has a compromised immune system or illness, it’s best to cook the meat instead of feeding them the raw meat.
Although some dogs can be cautious of secreting organs at first, especially smaller dogs, if you do not want to cook your organ meats, you don’t have to!
Raw diets are wonderful for dogs, and many pet owners swear by it.
If you are looking to take the next step in creating a wonderful diet for your pet, you should consider feeding your dog a raw diet.
These diets are usually complete with many different kinds of raw meats and usually include organ meat, muscle meat, raw eggs, chicken gizzards, and other great, nutrient-dense types.
What If Your Dog Really Doesn’t Like Raw Liver?
Since liver is so packed with vitamins and nutrients, it’s hard to find an alternative that will provide the same benefits.
If you are really set on feeding your dog a raw diet instead of the normal dog food, you should try to find ways to get your dogs to eat it because eventually, they will get used to it.
As stated previously, the best way to do this is to puree the liver you want to give your dog before mixing it in with the other types of meat included in their dog food.
A great tip to convince your dog to eat liver is to include green tripe since dogs love it and cover the smell.
How Long Does This Type of Meat Last?
Since many of the types of liver aren’t readily available in the grocery store, you’ll have to source it.
Whether this be from a local place or from an internet store, like most raw meat, you will need to figure out how much you should order at one time and how long it will keep for.
Raw liver can be kept in the freezer for up to a full year and can even be kept there for longer in most cases. Thawed liver can be kept in your fridge for about four days.
How Much Liver Should My Dog Eat?
Since liver is so good for dogs, your dog’s diet should consist of only about 5% liver. The max daily allowance of secreting organ meat for most dogs being 10%. Giving your dog too much organ meat can be very harmful to them.
What Should Account for The Other Half of Organ Meat Allowance?
Since liver-only accounts for half of that 10%, the other half should be a mix of other secreting organs such as kidneys, brains, and spleans.
How Much Liver Is This Per Day?
For a medium-sized dog, this is about one ounce per day. If you have a small dog, you should use half an ounce per day. This should be worked up to in order to make sure that your dog has a tolerance for it.
Can dogs eat too much liver?
Yes, your dog can absolutely eat too much liver. If this happens, your dog may have loose bowels. Although good in moderation, the amount of Vitamin A that liver contains can be very toxic to many dogs.
If your dog eats a very large amount of liver, they could end up with Vitamin A toxicity. If this happens, your dog will have symptoms of lethargy, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, paralysis, and in extreme cases, death.
When creating a raw food plan for your pet or even just deciding to add liver to their dog food, you should ensure that you are not giving them too much.
If your dogs eat liver for most meals, no matter how small the amount is, you should make sure that you don’t give your dog too many dried liver treats on top of it.
Using Liver As Dog Food
Liver is a wonderful addition to any dog’s diet and should be included in moderation, just like any food in any situation.
Because of how packed with vitamins and minerals the liver is, your dog will have so many positive health changes, such as a boosted immune system, better mental and nerve health, healthy vision, and so much more.