If you ask me, liver is gross…
But I’m just a human, so my opinion doesn’t matter (much) here!
I used to feed my papillon, Kitsune, a raw food diet. As he got older, though (Kit is 13 now), his stomach stopped tolerating raw food as well. I home cook for him now. Although I gave up trying to feed Kit raw, the raw food diet did introduce us to the benefits of feeding liver.
I still buy my dogs, Kit and his Alaskan Klee Kai “brother” Fenrir, liver every once in awhile. Usually when I buy it now it’s to make liver dog treats. Occasionally I’ll just give it to them as a special addition to one of their meals. Most dogs can eat any type of liver. I usually go for beef, or chicken liver, because those are the easiest/cheapest to find in the grocery stores near me.
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Liver
Liver is full of good stuff, such as animal protein, copper, iron, vitamins A, and B, phosphorus, zinc, omega fatty acids, amino acids, and niacin. Vitamin A helps digestion, and is an excellent antioxidant. Iron plays many important roles in the body, including forming blood, brain development, and the formation of a strong immune system. Folic acid and B vitamins help fight fatigue and anemia.
Too Much of A Good Thing?
Raw feeders normally recommend that a dog’s diet be made up of only about 5% liver. Although it does have many amazing health benefits, you always want to feed liver in moderation. Too much liver in the diet can lead to an overdose of vitamin A, which can wreak havoc with your dog’s bones, digestive system, and muscles.
Liver is very rich, and too much of it at once often leads to GI upset. Because of this, for most dogs it’s best fed in small amounts – especially if your dog is trying it for the first time.
I really don’t like the smell of liver, and the texture (to me) is pretty gross too. But I still prepare it for my dogs because they enjoy it, and I know it’s packed full of nutrients. The things we put up with for the sake of our spoiled pets!
Have you ever fed your dog liver before? How do you prepare it for him/her?
I feed my guys freeze dried liver treats but never gave raw or even cooked. I’ll have to give that a try…in small doses!
Michele at Angels Bark
My daughter is forever telling me what to feed and not feed our pets. We do not have dogs, but she volunteers at an animal shelter that has a ton of dogs. I know she will enjoy reading this blog.
I hate liver!!! If my partner wants it he cooks it himself ugh. I am glad it’s OK for dogs though.
Liver always struck me as being healthier than some dog food I am not sure why. I did not realise that a dog might lose tolerance to a raw diet l, this surprised me!