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Can Dogs Eat Chicken Liver? Is Chicken Liver Safe for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

can dogs eat chicken liver?

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

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Our dogs thrive on meat. They evolved to life mostly off of meat and animal products. Even though they’ve lived hundreds of years alongside humans, they still need to eat a diet that is high in meat to thrive.

However, not all meat is the same. Some is better for our pets than others. Plus, some types of animal products can be potentially dangerous, such as cooked bones.

Luckily, chicken liver is not only safe for our dogs but also fairly nutritious. It is packed fully of nutrients and vitamins, which can help your canine get all the nutrients they need to thrive. Plus, many dogs love the taste of liver.

That doesn’t mean you should always feed your pooch liver, though. While liver is appropriate for most canines, it should not make up the bulk of their diet.divider 9

What Does Chicken Liver Contain?

Yorkshire terrier eating from feeding bowl
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Chicken liver is full of all sorts of different vitamins and minerals. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, iron, zinc, and copper. All of these are required for our pups to live long and healthy lives. Because of this, chicken liver is a great treat for most pooches.

It is also high in fat and protein. These are the two main macronutrients that our pets need to thrive. Many pets may need extra fat in their diet, as many commercial pet foods are not very high in fat. If your pet needs some extra fat in its diet, this is a great way to add it in.

The Health Benefits of Chicken Liver for Dogs

Vitamin A is found plentifully in liver and is important for the eyes, skin, muscles, nerves, and digestion. It is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays a crucial role in bone mineral absorption and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus. It also helps to protect against autoimmune problems and infectious diseases.

Liver also contains quite a bit of folic acid and vitamin B. This can support mental and nerve health. It can provide your dog with extra energy and prevent anemia. It includes a lot of iron as well, which can provide similar benefits.

Copper and zinc can both support bone and joint health as well. They may also help your pooch with skin and coat problems.Divider 5

Too Much Chicken Liver Isn’t a Good Thing

There is such a thing as too much chicken liver, though. Your canine can get too much fat in their diet, which can cause some health problems. For example, fatty liver disease is caused by too much fat in your pet’s diet, as well as other factors.

Your pet can also get too much vitamin A. It is toxic at higher levels and can cause vitamin A toxicosis. This is usually caused by eating too much organ meat, as organ meat is very high in vitamin A in general. The most common symptom is the growth of new bone around the joints. This causes a type of arthritis, which can cause pain and stiffness.

In extreme cases, dogs may lose the ability to move their neck or other limbs. They may have trouble eating for this reason. This can lead to lameness and pain. Many dogs will begin to hide from their people, as petting and other physical contact can cause pain. Other problems include paralysis, bone fractures, and decreased liver function.

For this reason, you should generally be careful with giving your pooch too much liver. It is a great treat in small amounts, but should not make up a huge portion of your pet’s diet.

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Can You Feed Your Dog Chicken Liver Every Day?

dog in the kitchen
Image Credit: nozo_min, Shutterstock

It would depend on the dog’s diet, but since most diets cover your dog’s vitamin A requirements, it is best to avoid feeding liver every day. Instead, feed your dog only a little bit a few times a week. It is always a good idea to consult a veterinarian about the specifics of your dog’s dietary requirements and nutritional balance. Keep an eye on your pooch for symptoms of too much vitamin A, however.

Should You Cook Chicken Liver for Your Dog?

It depends on the chicken liver source, but it is generally safer to cook all chicken products, including the liver. Raw food isn’t necessarily a bad option, but you do run the risk of salmonellosis or food poisoning. After you cook the liver, you can mash the liver to make them easier to feed as well.

Divider 2Conclusion

There are many reasons to feed your pet liver. It is full of nutrients and vitamins to improve your pet’s overall health. They make very healthy treats. However, this is not a food that should comprise the majority of your dog’s diet. They contain too many vitamins in many cases. It is completely safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

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