To make freeze-dried livers for dogs, get a bucket of chicken livers and dump it into a half-filled pot of water. Discard the round gall bladder if there’s one attached. Boil the livers and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Then, dump out the liquid, cut the livers into small portions, and put them directly in the freezer.
However, there is a lot to know about making freeze-dried liver for your dog. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to make freeze-dried liver for dogs.
Table of Contents
- The cooking process
- What kind of liver is good for dogs?
- Benefits of freeze-dried vs. fresh
- Health benefits of liver for dogs
- Negative health effects of liver for dogs
- Meal or treat?
- Is liver a good daily meal for dogs?
- Good sides to feed your dog
- Things to look out for with freeze-dried food
- Other good treats for dogs
- Can you mix liver with kibble?
- How long does it take livers to freeze-dry?
The cooking process
It may seem like it’s fairly in-depth, but preparing freeze-dried liver for your dog isn’t too difficult. However, there are a couple of steps in the process.
First, fill a large pot about halfway with water. Next, take your bucket of livers (blood and all) and pour it directly into the pot with the water. If you spot a round piece attached to one of the livers, it’s probably the gall bladder. Cut that off, as it is not nutritious and very unpleasant to eat.
Bring the entire pot to a rolling boil. Then, bring it down to a simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes. After it simmers for 30 minutes, remove the livers from the pot and cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Lay these smaller bite-sized pieces down on a cookie sheet. Space them out evenly so none of them are touching each other. Put this tray directly into your freezer.
It takes a while for the livers to freeze dry. Usually, waiting about a week is your best bet.
What kind of liver is good for dogs?
There are a number of different kinds of livers that can be freeze-dried and fed to dogs. However, you’ll want to go with chicken. Chicken liver is high in protein and other nutrients, as well as being a great size for feeding to dogs. For these reasons, chicken is easily the best liver to freeze-dry and give to your dog.
Benefits of freeze-dried vs. fresh
The benefit of freeze-drying the food is that it can be given as a treat rather than as a meal, as in small, bite-sized pieces, it can be great as a training tool or just a regular treat to give to a good dog!
Not only this but they can be kept for a long time and are far easier to store and keep safe for consumption than the fresh liver.
Health benefits of liver for dogs
There are plenty of health benefits to feeding chicken liver to your dog. It is an extremely vitamin-rich protein that also contains important nutrients like copper, zinc, and fatty acids. It is great for your dog’s vision, muscle building, and overall health. Many dog foods use liver as an ingredient because of its great health benefits.
Negative health effects of liver for dogs
The major issue with feeding the liver to your dog is that, like most organ meat, liver is quite high in fat content. This means that if you’re going to be giving your dog liver regularly, it’s important to make sure your pup is getting enough exercise to burn off the fat that might be coming with this new diet.
Otherwise, liver is a superfood for dogs and is considered very healthy.
Meal or treat?
Liver can be given as both a meal and a treat. However, freeze-dried liver pieces are better as a treat. This is because they are often very small and don’t contain all the same nutrients as fresh liver.
Is liver a good daily meal for dogs?
Liver can be a great meal to feed your dog daily. It is protein-rich, vitamin-rich, and contains many essential nutrients. As long as it’s part of a more balanced meal that includes vegetables, and is being given to an active and healthy dog, liver can be a great daily meal.
That being said, freeze-dried liver isn’t quite as good as a meal for your dog. It lacks the same nutrients and is quite high in fat content. It’s better used as a treat for dog training or general use.
Good sides to feed your dog
There are a number of great sides to give your dog with liver. Mostly, you’ll want to be feeding your dog vegetables to improve the nutritional benefits of the dish and give your dog a more well-rounded diet.
Veggies like carrots, kale, zucchini, and sweet potato are great additions to any meal for your dog, especially liver. Vegetables are low fat and high in essential vitamins and minerals that are important for any dog’s diet.
Things to look out for with freeze-dried food
Freeze-dried foods are often high in fat content. Be careful when it comes to feeding your dog too many freeze-dried liver treats in a day. This can lead to unnecessary weight gain, especially if you’re training a younger dog.
Other good treats for dogs
That being said, what treat alternatives can you give to your pup to mix things up?
A number of fruits are good options. Blueberries and apples are healthy and delicious for dogs and make fantastic treats. Peanut butter, carrots, and sweet potato (cooked) are also fantastic options for mixing things up when it comes to giving your dog different kinds of treats.
Can you mix liver with kibble?
Yes, mixing liver with kibble is perfectly valid. If your dog doesn’t seem to take to eating the liver directly, try mixing it with kibble if you want to get the health benefits of liver with your dog’s food.
Make sure you’re giving a smaller portion of liver with the kibble. After all, you don’t want to end up overstuffing your dog.
How long does it take livers to freeze-dry?
The freeze-drying process can vary in how long it takes, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the treats. However, it should take anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks, so be patient!