Single-ingredient dried dog treats are all the rage right now thanks to their simplicity which bring along a whole slew of potential benefits for dogs. Loved by everyone from your dog trainers to veterinarians, dried beef liver treats take the old dog treat to a whole new level. A level that not only spoils your dog with an incredibly tasty treat but one that cares for their health as well.
Benefits Of Dried Beef Liver For Dogs
Dried beef liver is one of the most popular ingredients to use when making dried dog treats. These single-ingredient treats are immensely popular thanks to their high-protein per calorie ratio, great aroma/flavor, and lack of fillers and unnatural additives. This makes them an excellent option for overweight dogs, dogs that struggle with diabetes and allergies, and dogs on a restricted diet. Additionally, dried beef liver treats are rich in iron, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, and copper. All of this makes them one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can give your dog. Thanks to all that protein, vitamins, and minerals, beef liver treats can support and protect a dog’s immune system, digestion, and reproductive organs, while additionally supporting joint, bone, nerve, and mental health. They are convenient to store, carry around, and give. And some, when they are properly stored away from heat, can potentially last for up to 25 years, with a minimum shelf life of 1-2 years. Dried beef liver treats are a fantastic addition to a raw food diet and you don’t always have to refrigerate them.
Beef Liver Nutritional Profile
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 4 ounces (113g) of raw beef liver.
|● Calories: 153 ● Fat: 4.1g ● Sodium: 78mg ● Carbohydrates: 4.4g ● Fiber: 0g ● Sugars: 0g ● Protein: 23g ● Iron: 5.54mg ● Potassium: 354mg ● Zinc: 4.52mg ● Selenium: 44.9mcg ● Vitamin A: 5620mcg ● Vitamin B12: 67mcg ● Folate: 328mcg ● Choline: 376mg ● Retinol: 5590mcg ● Vitamin D: 1.36mcg ● Vitamin K: 3.5mcg|
How To Cook Dried Beef Liver
Dehydrating beef liver is a fairly simple process when you have a dehydrator on hand. Simply cut the liver into thin strips and dehydrate at 160-165°F for 10-14 hours. The liver will be completely dry and cracking when ready. To eliminate any concerns about salmonella and E. coli, you can “flash bake” beef liver in an oven at 250°F for 15 minutes before placing it in the dehydrator. This can reduce the time it needs in the dehydrator by a few hours. Another method involves boiling raw beef liver strips for about 5-10 minutes before baking them on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes. For most people, buying 1 to 2 pounds of whole liver is easiest. In most cases, you don’t need to season the meat. However, if you would like to, dry egg powder is a popular option. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein with a balanced amino acid profile. As well, they are rich in iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. You can find beef liver in some grocery stores, however, your best bet is a butcher. If you don’t want to do any of that work, no problem! Freeze-dried beef liver dog treats are very easy to find and are quite affordable.
Incorporating Dried Beef Liver Into Meals
While dried beef liver is most often given as a treat, if you’re making your dog’s food at home, it’s a great ingredient to incorporate into your dog’s meals. Dog food makers such as ChefPaw, are becoming very popular with pet owners because they bring all the benefits of a raw diet but without any of the concerns over bacteria and incomplete nutrition. With customizable recipes and nutrient analyzers, a dog food machine is a great way for incorporating dried beef liver into meals.
How Much Beef Liver Can I Give My Dog?
Due to the incredible nutrient density of beef liver, you do need to use caution about how much you feed your dog. In particular, beef liver is very high in vitamin A, an incredibly important vitamin, but like everything, you can have too much of a good thing. Organ meat should only make up about 5% of your dog’s diet.For a small breed, that might be about 0.5 ounces per day; 1 oz per day for medium breeds; and around 2 oz for large dog breeds.
How To Store Dried Beef Liver
Properly dried beef liver treats can be stored in a plastic container placed in a cool dry area. To extend shelf life, you can also freeze them. There are multiple ways to create dried beef liver that can affect how you should best store them. Commercial freeze-dried treats can last months to years, while some homemade treats will only last for a week to a month.
Dried Beef Liver Vs. Freeze-Dried Beef Liver
Where dried beef liver is typically cooked or placed in a dehydrator, freeze-dried treats are typically created by placing them in a vacuum chamber set to about -40°F. When in there, the moisture from the beef liver will start to freeze and turn into a gas that can be vacuumed out. When properly done, freeze-dried treats will retain nearly all their nutrients while losing 98% of their moisture. This gives them a longer shelf life than your traditionally dried treats.
What To Look For When Buying Beef Liver Dog Treats
The beauty of dried beef liver treats is their simplicity. That’s why dried beef liver treats should be a single ingredient, free of artificial colors, added hormones, and antibiotics.
Can Dried Liver Treats Be Rehydrated?
While not required, it is fine to rehydrate dried liver treats. Doing so can change the texture, offering your dog a little variety. To rehydrate, simply place treats on a plate with a couple of tablespoons of water and allow them to sit for a few hours or until water is absorbed.