The topic of feeding beef liver to your dog is not nasty, rather it’s tasty. So can dogs eat beef liver? The short answer is YES. The liver is a very popular food among canines. But what about it is so great? Well, for one thing, the liver is packed with generous amounts of muscle meat nutrients. On top of that, it contains lots of iron, Vitamin A, protein, and more.
Let me bring to your attention here in the introduction itself that pasture-raised and grass-fed animals have a liver that offers a superior nutrient profile. But this doesn’t mean skipping liver altogether if you can’t get access to the grass-fed kind.
Now let’s get to the part where I answer the question, can dogs eat beef liver, in detail.
Consuming Liver Is Beneficial For the Liver
It’s only common sense to assume that the liver coming from different species offers different properties. But what they all have in common is the sweet flavor. And the fact that the liver promotes liver health and eyesight. Along with purifying the blood! This explains why the liver is used for treating blood deficiency problems in dogs.
When a fatigued, debilitated, or anemic dog consumes liver. Its highly nutritious content definitely makes him or her feel better. But one thing is for sure though. That feeding too much of it might lead to loose stools. This means you should feed only a limited quantity.
Around 1/2 tablespoon once in a few days is more than enough. But keep a check on your pet’s stools. If they become loose, then you should reduce the amount of liver and frequency of feeding.
Some dogs have copper metabolism issues. In that case, the beef liver works like medicine. Thanks to the high copper content present in beef liver. But whatever the case, it’s always a better idea to talk to your vet regarding medical problems and their treatment methods.
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What About Liver Makes It So Beneficial For Dogs?
The liver is organ meat, correct? It’s not like beef or chicken, which is why you’re so skeptical about feeding it to your canine. But you should know that organ meats such as liver are packed with rich nutrients. That is a huge part of every dog’s healthy diet.
Did you know that a raw food dog diet mainly consists of raw organ meats such as liver? Along with raw muscle meat and bones. The liver is full of rich proteins and healthy fats. Apart from key nutrients of course! It’s also got tons of Vitamin A, copper, zinc, iron, and phosphorous.
Vitamin A for dogs promotes healthy digestion. Iron contributes to healthy metabolism, body temperature regulation, and brain development. The liver is also equipped with various types of Vitamin B. These prevent the onset of anemia. And protect mental health.
And now the final important piece of useful information on this section. The liver’s nutritional value gets affected, as you can guess, by heat. So cooking should be avoided if possible.
How Much Liver Is Safe for Dogs to Eat?
You can safely feed the liver in small amounts once a week. But this should be fed as a nutritional supplement, aside from the regular diet. Feeding fresh liver pieces is safe. Or you can purchase dog-specific liver treats from the pet store or online. The thing about feeding the latter is that it keeps track of the amount of liver going into your dog’s body.
Too much liver causes Vitamin A overdose, which you obviously want to avoid. If your canine comes from a small breed, then 1-2 liver treats per week are safe. As for medium-sized breeds, 3-4 treats. And for large dogs, 5-6 treats.
Beef liver, pork liver, lamb liver, and chicken liver are all safe for dogs. Even bison liver is good to go. Just keep your dog away from the wild game liver. And that’s because you have no idea what the organ meat quality is like.
Moderation is necessary. It goes with everything you feed your dog. Apart from dog-specific food of course!
The liver does offer some very important nutritional and health benefits. But too much liver is not a good thing either. So don’t over-feed the organ to your furry little companion. No matter how much he/she begs for it. And keep a check on the stools to make sure you’re feeding the right amount.
Cooking Liver for Dogs
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It’s not that difficult cooking liver for your furry friend. Just keep the seasonings away as much as you can. Even ingredients such as butter, salt, and other such additives are bad for the health of your pup. So keep those away too.
Now here are the proper instructions for cooking beef liver, chicken liver, or any other liver for your dog.
- First, you get the liver ready by taking it out of its packaging. If it’s frozen liver, then please thaw the organ and then proceed.
- Rinse the beef or chicken liver using cool water. This removes all debris and dirt that may have clung to the liver from all the packaging.
- In a large or medium boiling pot, add the liver and cover it up with water.
- Once the water starts to boil, reduce the intensity of the flame. Then let the liver simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Once the liver becomes tender, take it out from the pot and place it on a plate. Let it cool before you dice it up into small pieces for serving.
Cooking the liver is not such a repulsive task. At least not as repulsive and gross as you might think. If your dog loves this treat once in a while, then there’s no reason to not allow that. The thing about beef liver or chicken liver is that it is packed with tons of nutrients. So you can feed the liver to your dog. But keep the consumption limited and less frequent.
There are dog-specific liver treats as well. And these do a better job of keeping a check on the consumption. So you can go for those instead.
But there’s no denying that the liver offers health benefits. As long as the feeding is done in moderation, you and your precious pet have nothing to worry about.
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