Can Dogs Eat Beef Liver

Can Dogs Eat Beef Liver?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

I can honestly say that beef liver can be a nice addition to our dogs’ diets. Our dogs can live healthier and happier lives by eating this food. It contains a lot of nutritional value.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Beef Liver?“.

If you’re like me you’re always looking for new ways to expand your dogs diet.

Can Dogs Eat Beef Liver

There is always the struggle between finding something they love also making sure that it will be good for their health.

I was recently considering adding beef liver to my dogs diet.

I have so many questions such as is it better to serve it cooked or raw?

Does it even make sense for them to eat it raw?

What are the benefits of giving my dog beef liver?

What could be the drawbacks?

It occurred to me that if I had all of these questions others might as well.

Therefore I decided to gather all the pertinent information I could find about beef liver in order to share it with you all while I decide whether to add it to my dogs diet. 

What is the nutritional value of beef liver?

My first step was to look at the nutritional value of beef liver based on a 100-gram serving size.

A portion of that size contains 5.2 grams of total fat of which 2.9 grams is saturated fat.

Additionally it contains 393 milligrams of cholesterol 401 milligrams of sodium and 5.1 grams of carbohydrates.

Beef liver contains zero dietary fiber and sugar.

Lastly it contains 29 grams of protein as well as 6 milligrams of calcium 6.5 milligrams of iron and 349 milligrams of potassium. 

Vitamins A B12 and copper are also abundant in beef liver.

What do these nutrients do for my dog?

Often if you’re like me you’ll look at nutrition labels to determine if the values represented are healthy.

However we must never forget that we are responsible for their well-being they can not tell us if something is too sweet.

How does beef livers nutritional value affect our dogs?

It is important to note that the size of our dogs varies so their nutritional requirements will also differ. 

A dogs diet should be rich in fats since they provide the energy they need on a daily basis.

In addition to providing insulation from the cold fat also provides cushioning to the body. Humans are hard to balance fat with too little or too much not being healthy. When it comes to generating energy saturated fat is particularly important.

Our dogs use cholesterol to build strong and healthy cells.

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and it even increases the risk of heart disease.

Salt is an important part of our dogs diet because it contains electrolytes that help with balance muscle and nerve function as well as blood pressure.

Dogs do not require carbohydrates in their diet which might surprise you.

Proteins and fats are the most important sources of nutrients for them.

We want to limit our intake of carbohydrates as much as possible but not all carbohydrates are bad.

Protein is one of the most important components of our dogs’ diets with them needing protein every day.

A dogs growth and development are supported by protein.

In addition to helping them use their energy efficiently it also helps them build lean muscles.

When dogs get too little protein in their diet they can actually become overweight because they cannot convert fat into energy.

In the same way as humans calcium also helps dogs with their bones keeping them strong and promoting bone growth.

We also need iron for our dogs’ diets because it helps their red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body to the different muscles.

The potassium in our dogs’ bodies helps them respond to electrical impulses from their brains through their hearts nerves and muscles.  

Among vitamins and minerals Vitamin A is used by our dogs to maintain their eyesight particularly at night. It also promotes healthy skin.

Maintaining their nervous system and promoting healthy brain functions is possible thanks to vitamin B12.

Also copper helps their bodies develop and maintain red blood cells and it improves the absorption of iron from their food. 

How much beef liver is good for my dog?

What is the right amount of beef liver to serve your dog? This is one of the most important questions. Though beef liver does have some nutritional value for our dogs too much of a good thing can cause problems. Depending on the daily requirements of our dogs we can estimate how much would be beneficial for them.

The amount of beef liver that large dogs can eat safely is four ounces a day or 114 grams. That was a little more than what we used for our nutritional assessment. For smaller dogs you may want to limit their intake to about 2 ounces or about 57 grams per day. There is a good balance here between getting the nutritional benefits of beef liver without giving them too much.

In addition four ounces (or two for smaller dogs) is likely not going to be enough to keep them satisfied throughout the day. While the beef liver can be an important part of their diet it should not be the only thing they consume. In addition to other foods they will consume throughout the day we want to ensure that its balanced. 

The protein needs of your dog are important to keep in mind. Approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of healthy weight is needed by your dog every day. As a result if your dog is supposed to weigh 50lbs we need to ensure that they are getting as close to 50 grams of protein a day as possible. We may need to increase or decrease the number of foods high in protein in their diet because of this. Although we do not want to have too much protein we also do not want too little.

How should I serve my dog beef liver? Cooked vs Raw  

In terms of introducing beef liver to our dogs’ diets what is the best method? Healthy dogs are actually able to consume beef liver raw! This is shocking to me. You might be concerned about the bacteria contained in the raw beef liver when giving it to your dog.

In the beef liver campylobacter is the most common type of bacteria. Campylobacter can cause a number of problems in humans including irritable bowel syndrome arthritis and even temporary paralysis.

In dogs campylobacter is naturally found in their intestines as it is in many other animals. Dogs are therefore capable of handling this bacteria safely. Our dogs are still susceptible to negative reactions if they come into contact with large quantities of campylobacter. Regarding beef liver the good news is that the quantities found are well below anything that would cause concern. 

You should know that if your dog is not used to eating raw foods they may go through a period of digestion disturbance with an upset stomach as their body adapts to the raw food. Its best to introduce a new food into your dogs diet gradually and a little at a time as you would with any other kind of food.

What if your dog isnot a fan of raw food? Should you cook it instead? Would that change its nutritional value? The beef liver can also be cooked for your dogs and having it cooked will not affect the nutrition of the food. While cooking it is important to note anything you may be adding to the food such as butter. When you cook beef liver you will want to make sure you take into account its nutritional value like its high-fat content before giving it to your dog. 

Where do I even get beef liver?

The liver of a cow is one of those things that are readily available but rarely noticed. As I searched my local grocery stores and butchers I found they all had fresh beef liver available next to the steaks I normally buy. Personally I would rather get it from the butcher but I also prefer to get my steaks from there as well. In any case I was pleasantly surprised by the reasonable price of beef liver and found that I could easily fit it into my budget. 

What about chicken liver?

You might be wondering why beef liver? Couldnot chicken liver do the job? Would it be as healthy for my dog? It is safe for your dog to eat chicken liver and it provides many of the same nutritional benefits as well.

It is important that everyone decide what is best for them and their pets but based on my research it seems that beef liver offers a bit more value than chicken liver. Beef liver contains more protein more fat more calcium etc. than chicken liver. Although it is not a significant difference it is still important to consider when deciding what to feed your dog. 


In light of the facts and research that I have accumulated I can honestly say that beef liver can be a nice addition to our dogs’ diets. Our dogs can live healthier and happier lives by eating this food. It contains a lot of nutritional value. I will be purchasing some beef liver from my local butcher for myself and my four-legged children to try. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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