Without a doubt liver is nature’s 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.
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 filters them while storing valuable nutrients.
The primary functions of the liver are:
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 organic 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 poultry sources. A liver from a healthy animal should feel firm, not mushy.
While many cats and dogs really like liver, there are those that 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.
The liver plays a central role in overall health and is the largest organ in the body.
Include wholesome raw liver in your pet’s diet and improve:
Author - Jennifer Lee
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