Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Liver?

beautiful dog with nutritious food

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat liver! In fact, the liver is a nutrient-dense, protein-packed treat that most dogs absolutely love.

However, as with any treat, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure the liver is safe and healthy for your pup.

Let’s dive into all the details about feeding liver to dogs.

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The Nutritional Benefits of Liver for Dogs

Liver is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can provide some great health perks for your pooch. Here are some of the key nutrients found in the liver:

Iron: The liver is a fantastic source of iron, which is especially important for healthy red blood cell production and oxygenation. Iron also helps keep your dog’s energy levels up.

– Copper and Zinc: These trace minerals support a robust immune system and proper enzyme function in your dog’s body. Zinc is also great for skin and coat health.

– B Vitamins: The liver contains a variety of B vitamins, including B12, which are crucial for nervous system function, cell metabolism, and more. B vitamins help keep your dog feeling good from head to tail.

woman enjoying book garden along with her dog

– Vitamin A: The high levels of vitamin A in the liver promote healthy skin, a shiny coat, and sharp vision. It also boosts their immune system.

– Essential Fatty Acids: The liver provides beneficial fatty acids that support brain health, joint mobility, heart function, and more. Fatty acids help keep your dog’s body and mind in tip-top shape.

High-Quality Protein: Just like for us, protein is particularly important for building and maintaining strong muscles in dogs. Adding liver to your dog’s diet in moderation can be a fantastic way to support their active lifestyle.


How Much Liver Can You Feed Your Dog?

Now that you know liver is good for dogs, you may be excited to make it a regular part of your pup’s menu. However, it’s important to remember that the liver is very nutrient-dense, especially in vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can actually be harmful.

Excess vitamin A can lead to vitamin A toxicosis in dogs. Symptoms may include digestive upset, bone and joint abnormalities, and even neurologic issues in severe cases. To avoid this, liver should be fed as an occasional treat rather than a staple of your dog’s diet.

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Veterinarians generally recommend that treats, including nutrient-rich ones like liver, make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. For example, if your dog eats 800 calories per day, liver and other treats should account for no more than 80 of those calories.

The exact amount of liver you can safely feed depends on your individual dog – their size, weight, health status, and regular diet. Always check with your vet before adding any new foods or treats to your dog’s routine. They can provide personalized guidance on the right serving size and frequency for liver treats.


The Best Ways to Serve Liver to Your Dog

Okay, so you’ve determined the right amount of liver for your dog, and you’re ready to serve up this savory treat. To keep things safe and healthy, follow these tips:

1. Choose fresh, high-quality liver from a reputable source. Organic is ideal if it’s available and fits your budget.

2. The liver should always be cooked before feeding to your dog. The raw liver may contain bacteria or parasites that can make your dog sick. The most nutritious methods are boiling, baking, or pan-frying in a small amount of healthy oil, like olive oil.

cooked liver frying pan black background

3. Do NOT add any seasonings, especially onion or garlic, which are toxic to dogs. Keep the liver plain and simple.

4. Once the liver is cooked and cooled, chop it up into petite, pup-friendly pieces that are easy for your dog to munch and gulp down

5. Let the liver cool completely before offering it to prevent burns. The liver holds heat well, so be patient and let it return to room temperature.

6. Start with a small amount to see how your dog reacts before feeding more. If they tolerate it well, go ahead and serve up the full amount recommended for their size.

close up cute dog near heater

Creative Ways to Server the Live to Your Dog

Once you’ve mastered the basics of serving liver, feel free to get creative! Here are a few fun ideas:

1. DIY Liver Jelly Treats

Start by selecting your preferred type of liver—chicken, beef, or turkey are all excellent choices. Cook the liver by boiling or gently simmering in water for about 15 minutes or until fully cooked. Allow the liver to cool slightly before transferring it to a blender or food processor. Add just enough bone broth or water to achieve a smooth, velvety texture. You can adjust the portion of liquid based on how firm you want the jelly treats to be.

Next, Pour the liver puree into silicone molds of your choosing, or use ice cube trays for perfect, bite-sized portions. Refrigerate these molds for at least 3 hours, or until the jellies are completely firm.


Serving Suggestion: For an extra treat, begin by placing a few of the set liver jellies on a lick mat. This creates a tasty base that will keep your dog busy and delighted as they lick away.

2. Serving Suggestion

For an extra treat, begin by placing a few of the set liver jellies on a lick mat. This creates a tasty base that will keep your dog busy and delighted as they lick away.

3. Liver Doggie Ice Cream

Blend cooked liver with plain yogurt or kefir and freeze in an ice cube tray for a cool, creamy treat on hot days.

4. Dehydrated Liver Chips

Thinly slice liver and dehydrate in the oven or a dehydrator until crisp. Break into chips for a crunchy, irresistible snack.

beautiful border collie dog havin fun outside

5. Stuffed Kong

Mix mashed liver with a dollop of peanut butter or pumpkin puree and stuff into a Kong toy for a long-lasting mental challenge.

6. Tasty Topper

Crumble a small amount of cooked liver over your dog’s regular food to boost flavor and nutrition. A little goes a long way!

Remember, these are just ideas for occasional treats. The majority of your dog’s diet should still come from a complete and balanced dog food. Consult with your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s nutritional needs.

closeup shot panting border collie standing field


1. What kind of liver is best for dogs?

Chicken, beef, pork, or lamb liver are all okay for most dogs. Liver from wild game, like deer, is also fine, but make sure it was harvested safely and is free from parasites. Organic liver is preferable if you can source it.

2. Can puppies eat liver?

Puppies can eat liver, too, but should be fed liver more sparingly since their digestive systems are still developing. A tiny nibble is plenty for a puppy. For adult dogs, feeding them a few bite-sized pieces of liver occasionally is usually appropriate.

3. Can dogs be allergic to the liver?

Yes, while uncommon, some dogs can be allergic or intolerant to the liver. If your dog has never had liver before, start with a very small amount to see how they tolerate it. Watch for any adverse reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, or difficulty breathing. If you observe any of these signs, stop feeding them liver and consult your veterinarian.

4. Is it okay to feed liver pâté to my dog?

It’s best to avoid liver pâté specifically made for human consumption. It often contains added fat, salt, and seasonings like onion and garlic that can upset your dog’s stomach. Stick to plain, cooked liver instead.

5. Can I give my dog raw liver?

No, it’s not recommended to feed dogs raw liver due to the risk of bacterial contamination or parasites. Always cook liver thoroughly before serving to your pup.

6. How often can dogs eat liver?

The liver should be fed as an occasional treat, not a daily indulgence. Most dogs do well with small liver snacks a few times a week at most. Every dog is different, though, so defer to your vet’s advice for your dog’s specific needs.

Other Nutritious Human Foods for Dogs

While most dogs go gaga for liver, some may turn their nose up at it, and that’s okay! There are many other nutritious options to add variety to your dog’s diet; consider the following:

  • Salmon: A lean protein source and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chicken: A nutritious lean protein that can be fed regularly.
  • Kidneys or heart: Other beneficial organ meats to feed in moderation.
  • Pumpkin: Packed with fiber, pumpkin (not the sugary pie filling) helps regulate your dog’s digestion, promoting firmer stools and easing tummy troubles. It’s a gentle and effective way to support your furry friend’s gut health. It’s also rich in vitamins A and C and can be mixed into your dog’s regular food.
woman hand cutting slice pumpkin

  • Carrots: Crunchy and naturally sweet, carrots are a great snack for dogs. They’re high in beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Plus, chewing on carrots can help clean your dog’s teeth.
  • Green Beans: Low in calories and high in satisfaction, green beans offer a delightful crunch that satisfies your dog’s snack cravings without adding excessive calories. This makes them a perfect treat for weight management or portion control. You can offer them raw, steamed for a softer texture, or even incorporate chopped green beans into your dog’s regular food. Just make sure to choose canned options with no added salt for optimal health benefits.
fresh green beans

Final Words

Keeping your pup healthy and happy starts with understanding what they can safely enjoy. Liver, a nutrient-rich treat, is just one delicious option in the world of “human foods” that can complement your dog’s regular diet.

We’ve created a collection of informative articles covering everything from the power of fruits and veggies to the surprising no-nos in your spice cabinet.

medium shot smiley woman dog

Our aim is to help you provide your furry friend with a varied, nutritious diet while being mindful of their sensitive digestive system. Explore our articles to learn which foods are dog-friendly and which ones to avoid.


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.