Without a doubt liver is nature’s perfect super-food and an essential part of a healthy raw diet for cats and dogs. You might think about adding into your own diet too. Native American’s recognized the nutritional value of liver. In times of abundance muscle meat that today is highly sought after, would be discarded for scavengers (including dogs ironically), while the organ meats were always consumed by the people.
Liver is nutrient dense, containing between 10 and 100 times higher nutrients than muscle meats and higher levels of micro-nutrients than what is found in many fruits and vegetables.
• An excellent source of high quality protein
• Contains all the essential amino acids
• A great source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
• Has all the B Vitamins in abundance, especially B12
• One of the best sources of folic acid
• Contains CoQ10, a nutrient that is crucial for energy production and heart function
• A highly usable source of iron
• Contains trace elements, such as copper, zinc & selenium
If we consider that the liver would comprise about 5% of the total consumable parts on average in most prey species, feeding liver as 5% of the total diet is recommended. For example, if a 50 lb dog is eating around 10 lbs of raw meat and bones per week, half a pound of his weekly intake should come from liver. Spread this portion out over a few days however, as feeding it in larger portions can cause diarrhea.
There is the mistaken belief that the liver stores toxins, and feeding it to your pet would be harmful. This is incorrect. The liver does not store toxins, it neutralizes them. In fact, the liver stores many valuable nutrients.
Primary liver functions:
• Metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
• Purifying and clearing waste products, toxins, and drugs
• Storing important nutrients (such as glycogen glucose, vitamins, and minerals)
• Metabolizing hormones, internally produced wastes, and foreign chemicals
According to a paper published by Dr. Ershoff “eating whole liver has been shown to counteract the damaging effects of massive doses of a long list of toxic chemicals including rat poison and other known mutagens”. This is not surprising, knowing that the liver is responsible for removing toxic substances from the blood. Is there any better way to enhance your pet’s detox ability than to consume raw liver? Probably not!
Select sources of liver than come from pasture raised animals as they will contain the highest levels of nutrients. The liver from Cows and other large ungulates such as Elk, Bison and Deer have more nutrients per pound than from poultry sources. A liver from a healthy animal should feel firm, not mushy.
While many cats and dogs really like liver, I also know that many will turn their nose up to it. So what can you do if your pet doesn’t like liver?
You can cut the liver into small pieces or puree and mix in with a favorite food. Lightly searing the outside can change the texture and smell which could be more appealing to your pet. If neither of these tactics works, you can also try feeding it frozen. Lastly you can dehydrate it and make liver treats. Also consider that the older the animal was that the liver came from, the stronger the flavor will be.
Include wholesome raw liver in your pet’s diet and improve the function of their liver
• The correction of hormonal imbalances
• Increased energy
• Improved immune function
• Better ability to detox chemicals, wastes, toxins and drugs
• Increased ability to metabolize food.