Should I Give My Dog Raw or Cooked Liver?

Pieces of raw liver in a plate and on a cutting Board.

One of the things you should pay close attention to as a pet parent is your dogís diet. Since youíre responsible for their health and well-being, you need to make sure they are eating healthy and natural foods.

And for many pet owners, feeding their dog organ meat like animal livers is the best option.

In the wild, dogs are carnivores that eat all parts of the animal. So, feeding them liver is something their body can definitely handle. In fact, whether youíre looking for a healthy treat or something to add to your regular meals, the liver is a great option.

Still, how should you feed it to your dogs? Thereís a small debate in the community on whether you should feed your dog raw or cooked liver.

They can benefit from both these options, and in this article, weíll be getting into the details. That way, you can finally figure out the best way to feed liver to your dogs.

Is Liver a Good Food for Dogs?

Liver is a great option for dogs. As mentioned earlier, itís already a natural part of their diet and can offer a lot of health benefits.

To start, the liver contains a lot of iron and choline. These are two nutrients that are great for your dogís own liver. On top of that, the liver has a bunch of different vitamins and minerals that can greatly benefit their health.

So, if you want to transition your pet into a healthier and more natural diet, consult your veterinarian today.

And if youíd like to read more about the benefits of dog liver for dogs, Spot & Tango has a great guide on the subject.

What Is the Best Way to Feed Liver to Dogs?

While the liver is already a good option for dogs, you have to figure out the best way to feed it to them. This includes deciding on whether to give it to them raw or cooked.

Dogs can eat both raw and cooked liver, with each option having its own set of benefits. In fact, the jury is fairly divided when it comes to whether the raw or cooked liver is a better option for your canine companion.

So, the best way to feed liver to dogs is the method that fits your own petís tastes and preferences. Some dogs may prefer their organ meat raw, while other dogs may only be able to handle the food if it has been cooked.

In this section, weíll be looking at a couple of tips on finding the best way to feed liver to your dog.

Find the Right Liver

To start, you need the right type of liver for your pet. At your local butcherís shop, you can always ask the butcher whether or not they can sell you organ meats. Generally, beef and chicken liver is fairly accessible and a great option for most people.

With that said, you need to make sure the liver is fresh. That way, itís safe for your dog and wonít cause any gastrointestinal issues.

Feeding them Raw Liver

Some dogs may enjoy eating raw liver. The biggest benefit of feeding your dog raw liver is that they get all the nutrients in the meat. When out in the wild, dogs eat their meat raw, so their stomachs have evolved in a way that can handle raw meat and extract as many nutrients as possible.

With that said, this isnít for all pets. There are some dogs that may not be able to handle a raw diet that well. If youíre considering feeding your dog raw liver, itís best to consult your vet first. That way, you can form a proper transition plan to get your dogís stomach accustomed to raw meat.

Feeding them Cooked Liver

There is nothing wrong with feeding your dog cooked liver, either. For some pets, this could be a more palatable option if they arenít keen on the raw liver. Additionally, cooking the liver allows you to kill as much bacteria as possible, making it safer for your pet.

With that in mind, cooking the liver before serving it to your pet may also lead to you killing the nutrients inside. So, the liver might not offer as many benefits compared to if you feed it to your dog raw.

How To Cook Liver for Dogs

If you want to cook liver for your dogs, itís best to keep it natural and simple. Boiling it for around 15 minutes should be enough to kill the bacteria and maintain as many nutrients as possible. You can also find different recipes online that combine liver with barley and other ingredients to give your dog a fully balanced meal.


Some dogs can handle raw liver, and some dogs canít. So, itís always best to consult your veterinarian before adding anything new to their diet. That way, you can figure out which option is a better fit for your dogís palate and stomach.

However, both options are generally safe for your pet. Itís just that they offer a different set of benefits and drawbacks.