While some of our furry four-legged friends are social butterflies, others need more persuading. Giving treats is one of the most effective ways to handle, train, and connect with dogs. It is also a way of showing love for dog lovers.
As dog parents, we are constantly looking for ways to provide our dogs with healthy food and treats. While doing that, you must’ve come across freeze-dried liver treats and the hype around them. But are freeze-dried liver treats bad for dogs?
We’ll get into it point by point, where you learn whether this popular treat is as good as it seems.
Table of contents
Can Dogs Eat Freeze-Dried Liver Treats?
Yes. Beef, chicken, calf, goose, and duck liver make great treats for our four-legged friends. It is an excellent way to satisfy your dog’s meat cravings without all the extra calories that come with other treats.
You can give raw, cooked, or freeze-dried liver to your dog. However, when feeding it for the first time, monitoring how its digestive system reacts to it is crucial. Check their activity level and stool to ensure it isn’t allergic or reacting badly to the food.
Although dogs can eat liver, moderation is key to making it safe. The liver contains high amounts of Vitamin A; too much can prove toxic.
Benefits Of Freeze-Dried Liver Treats For Dogs
The liver, unlike regular meat, contains proteins, nutrients, and vitamins that provide nourishment even in small quantities.
Whether cooked, raw, or freeze-dried, the liver has 23x more calcium, 1200x more Vitamin D, and 6x more iron than muscle meat of the same quantity.
The freeze-dried liver is a delicious treat you can give your pup as a reward for being obedient or incorporating it into your meal.
If you’ve never given your dog liver, you might want to know some essential health benefits it provides:
The liver contains more than 1/4th of protein that supplies all the necessary amino acids your dog needs. A dog’s body can indeed produce some of its amino acids, but the rest needs to come from food.
The liver contains proteins that support muscle growth, enhance metabolic rate, and prevent muscle loss. It also helps in weight loss because of the fewer calories compared to muscle meat.
Iron assists brain function, balances body temperature, and takes oxygen to the blood cells. It also improves dogs’ stamina, strength, and endurance.
This super-antioxidant supports the heart, reproductive organs, digestive system, and kidneys function in dogs. It can also improve your pup’s eyesight.
Zinc, Selenium, and Copper
Your dog needs these minerals to activate certain enzymes that help maintain a healthy coat, skin, bones, and joints. They also regulate brain function, energy production, and metabolism.
Folate (B Vitamins)
Vitamins B2 (Riboflavin), Folate (B9), and B12 are necessary for body cell functioning and growth. They prevent fatigue and anemia and help dogs control their physiological functions. B12 improves nerve and mental health by improving the brain nerves’ protective tissues.
The Potential Hazards Of Freeze-Dried Liver Treats
Let’s be clear about one thing- liver treats are absolutely fine for dogs when given in moderation unless your dog is specifically allergic to organ meats. However, too much of a good thing is indeed bad!
Also, some substances in freeze-dried liver treats might be harmless or beneficial in small quantities but toxic when given too frequently.
The liver contains many essential nutrients, including fat and amino acids. It also contains minerals and vitamins like A, C, D, and B complex, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, iron, pantothenic acid, and more.
The key function of the liver is blood detoxification and the production of amino acids and vitamins. It neutralizes many toxic chemicals from the environment and food seamlessly. Therefore, dog owners swear by freeze-dried liver treats when it comes to choosing healthy foods for their pups.
Liver treats gained traction in the past few decades because many people have tried to steer clear of processed junk foods for their dogs. Dehydrated liver has become a staple product in pet stores.
Unfortunately, it is causing a new issue that many uninformed dog owners are oblivious of- Vitamin A hypervitaminosis or liver poisoning in layman’s terms.
What Causes Hypervitaminosis A?
Feeding your dog large quantities of the liver can lead to this condition.
As mentioned earlier, the liver is very rich in vitamin A, which is beneficial in many ways when given in the right amount.
Vitamin A overdose can have adverse effects on your dog because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are hard to eliminate from the body compared to water-soluble vitamins.
Uncontrolled consumption of dehydrated liver treats or liver, in general, puts our furry friends at risk of hypervitaminosis A. Freeze-dried liver treats are especially harmful when taken in large amounts because they have 10x more vitamin A than cooked or raw liver.
Signs Of Hypervitaminosis A In Dogs
Vitamin A overdose can disturb your dog’s bone metabolism and decrease its production. It can lead to bone fractures, osteoporosis, joint calcification, and hypercalcemia (raised blood calcium level).
Your dog will also have difficulty absorbing vitamins- D, E, & K (fat-soluble). It can lead to night blindness, cell stress, osteomalacia, and hemorrhage.
Dogs require vitamin A and giving them supplements is fine. The problem arises when you give them in excessive amounts.
How To Prevent Your Dog Getting Hypervitaminosis A?
use treats sparingly… dogs love treats, and we humans love to treat them, too. However, any treat, including freeze-dried liver treats, is unhealthy when given in access.
Freeze-dried liver treats are tasty and highly nutritious. You’ll have no issue introducing it to your pup. But the problem lies in over-consumption. Although they are some of the best natural treats, you can give to your pup, ensure that you’re serving them only once a day.
How To Get The Best Freeze-Dried Liver Treats
No product is created equal. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the things to look out for while buying treats for your dog. You can ensure that you’re buying the best-quality freeze-dried liver treats by checking these:
Check the list of ingredients printed on the back of the pack to see if it doesn’t include anything that your dog doesn’t respond well to.
If your pup has medical conditions or certain food restrictions from the vet, it is crucial to know precisely what you’re getting from the store.
Dog foods and treats products, salt, or sugar are a BIG NO. Don’t buy them!
Skin Sensitivities and Allergies
If you plan to buy freeze-dried beef liver treats, see that it contains only that one ingredient you’re looking for. As per our experience, freeze-dried liver treats are God-sent even for dogs with food allergies or skin sensitivities.
If your dog doesn’t like beef, you should consider that buy chicken, duck, or goose liver treats. After all, what good are treats if your dog doesn’t like them?
Be conscious of the product packaging and expiry date. Avoid buying products with low-quality, cheap packaging, as moisture might seep inside them and spoil the food. Look for airtight/resealable packaging.
As long as you keep in mind these factors while buying freeze-dried liver treats for your dog, you can be sure that you’re giving them something healthy to snack on.
Are freeze-dried liver treats bad for dogs? No. It can only be toxic and dangerous if you’re over-feeding your dog with these treats.
The liver has lots of vitamin A, which is essential for many essential functions of the body but can also cause problems when taken in excess.
Feeding your pup a few pieces of freeze-dried liver treats will give health benefits. This dehydrated superfood contains many nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy.
Some dog owners shy away from serving organ meat for dinner. But liver is a tasty, healthy ingredient that dogs love. If you’re not treating your dog with freeze-dried liver treats, it’s missing out!