Can dogs eat liver?

April 13, 2012

Dogs love liver! Baked chopped liver mixed with flour and cornmeal would be delectable treats that would entice the pooch to respond well to training. A dog would devour every last piece of liver steak on its feeding bowl. In the wild, dogs purposely look for the liver and other organs when eating the body of the prey. It must be noted that the liver is the organ in the body that manages toxic substances so that when it gets overloaded and when the body weakens, the liver is one of the very first organs that breaks down. The liver of an unhealthy animal becomes the repository of the impurities of the body. Interestingly, some dogs would not touch raw or cooked liver. These dogs probably know that they stand to get parasites from unhealthy dogs. These dogs are probably aware that eating large portions of liver would do them no good.

A responsible owner would always ensure that the pet is given every chance to have good health. Dogs have many similarities with humans but a dog’s systems and its digestive capabilities are far different from ours. Dogs have a different metabolism. What is edible and safe for humans can pose dangers to the health of the dog. Thus it would not always be wise to give the pet human food. One of these human foods is liver. Can a dog eat liver? Certainly! Liver, raw or cooked, is rich in vitamins and minerals. However, feeding our canine friends with liver must be done in moderation. Liver contains large levels of vitamin A. Dogs should never be feed large amounts of liver as it can poison the pet and result to vitamin A toxicity.

For humans, liver is considered to be a super food as it is known to boost energy, brain power and muscle growth. Liver is one of the food sources that help in maintaining human’s general health. This nutrient packed food is a good source of vitamins A and B, DHA and arachidonic acid. Vitamin A has always been widely acknowledged to promote healthy vision. Vitamin A also promotes fertility in males and females. Dogs receive similar benefits from vitamin A. This vitamin is of prime importance to the growth of puppies as deficiency of vitamin A would retard the growth, result to poor vision, weak muscles and poor quality of skin and coat. Mature dogs deficient in vitamin A may fail to reproduce. Females may not ovulate properly and males may become sterile.

Liver is a good source of vitamin A. However, feeding the dog large amounts of liver can result to toxicity given that vitamin A is one of the 2 vitamins that when over supplemented can give negative results. Three or more servings of liver a week will result to vitamin A toxicity that would cause deformed or excessive bone growth especially on the elbows and the spine. Other symptoms of toxicity are weight loss and anemia resulting from the dog’s refusal to eat, constipation or diarrhea. Because of the deformed bones, dogs with vitamin A toxicity would limp.

Good health is the greatest gift a dog owner can give to the pet. However, well meaning owners may inadvertently cause the dog harm. An owner must always know what is being fed to the dog. Labels of canned food must be carefully examined to ensure that it does not contain liver if the dog is already given home cooked liver.

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