Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and author of the online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs."
The Ferrari of Dog Treats
From a dog's perspective, there aren't many snacks that come close to a mouth-watering slice of fresh liver. This is why professional dog trainers invest money in purchasing freeze-dried liver for their training sessions. It is almost as if a dog's mind opens up just at the sight (and smell!) or liver. Dogs appear to almost become hypnotized by it and may even think ''Ask me whatever you want, I'll do anything for that piece of liver you have in your hand!'' There's a reason respected veterinarian, trainer and writer Dr. Ian Dunbar calls freeze-dried liver "the Ferrari of dog treats"!
Freeze-dried liver, however, may not be easy to find in pet stores, or it may turn out to be quite expensive. If you don't mind cooking for your dog, you can try to make liver treats from the comfort of your own home. This way, you can save money and don't have to order liver treats online or drive miles for a store that stocks them. And your dog will certainly thank you!
How to Make Liver Treats at Home
Most important is to make sure you purchase organic liver. The liver is an organ that stores a lot of waste, so you do not want to purchase it from a questionable source. Because of this, you should also consider limiting the use of liver to perhaps once or twice a week and only feeding a small amount each time. Keep it for those moments of intense training when you need to ask the most out of your dog.
1) Purchase organic cow liver in slices.
2) Place the liver in a pan.
3) Fill the pan with enough water to cover all the liver.
4) Cook on the stove for about 15 minutes.
5) Remove from water and rinse off.
6) Place liver on baking sheet.
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7) Cook for 15 minutes on low heat (about 200 degrees).
8) Slice the liver and give in small amounts accordingly.
Some owners like to add a sprinkle of liver treats on top of their dog's regular food to make it more appealing. Again, small amounts only two or three times a week. Dogs will certainly enjoy liver treats for their training sessions, and I also recommend using liver treats when dealing with behavioral problems. Being high-value treats, it may help owners that need to keep their dog under control in certain situation or in areas of high distraction.
*Important Note: Avoid giving too many liver treats in one day as they are high in vitamin A and can give your dog diarrhea. Also, according to Vet Info, eating too much liver may predispose dogs to a condition known as hypervitaminosis A. This may cause bone deformity, digestive problems, muscle weakness or weight loss.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 27, 2014:
They are super enticing for dogs and great for those training sessions around distractions!
MarieLB from YAMBA NSW on October 27, 2014:
This is really great to know #alexadry. I will certainly try doing this. As you say, it is much healthier than packaged treats.
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on October 28, 2010:
Wonderful hub, I love my dog and cat like my children and I go to the health food store and by organic chicken go make home made chicken soup, and boil the organs for my pets. I need to understand why my dog is always wanting to find green plants to eat, now that it is winter what can I do? Please do try to read my hubs as wll. your fan darski