Dogs may not actually need treats but they enjoy receiving them and most dog owners enjoy giving them. Treats make training easier and healthy treats can actually be part of a well-balanced diet if they are rationed appropriately. Homemade liver treats that are made from hormone-free, fresh liver without added fat, sweeteners, artificial ingredients or ingredients that may be difficult to digest, are treats you can feel good about giving your dog -- in moderation of course.
Oven-Dehydrated Liver Treats
Slice beef liver or chicken livers into thin strips, approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Lay the slices on a rack. Leave approximately 1/2 inch of space between slices of meat to allow for proper air circulation. Place the rack on a cookie sheet with sides.
Cook the meat in a preheated 145 degree Fahrenheit oven for eight to 10 hours.
Remove the liver strips from the oven when they feel leathery, like jerky, without being brittle.
Leave the strips on the racks and allow them to cool completely. Place the cooled liver strips into storage bags or jars. Leave the storage containers open overnight to temper the dehydrated meat.
Check each slice of dried liver to see that it is still firm and leathery. If any pieces feel soft, you can repeat the dehydrating process or set them aside to feed to your dog right away. Properly dried liver strips should be put back into their storage containers and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to two months.
Easy Liver Cookies
Chop 1 lb. of liver into 1-inch cubes. Place it in a blender with a approximately 1/4 cup of water and puree into a paste.
Transfer the liver puree into a mixing bowl. Add the cornmeal, oats and rice. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
Drop the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet by the teaspoonful. Use the back of your spoon to lightly flatten the top and shape it into a cookie.
Bake in a preheated, 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the liver treats to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before placing them in a storage container. Store in the refrigerator.
Properly wash your hands, cutlery and cutting surface with hot, soapy water after handling raw liver. Do not allow raw slices of liver or juices to come in contact with cooked products.
Place fresh livers in the freezer for an hour or two before slicing, long enough for them to firm up without completely freezing. Slightly frozen livers are easier to slice into thin strips than completely thawed meat.
Prevent the liver cookie batter from sticking to your spoon while you are trying to drop or shape cookies by dipping it into a glass of water or sprinkling it lightly with cornmeal.
Items You Will Need
- 1 lb. beef or chicken livers
- Cooling rack
- Cookie sheet
- Storage containers
- 1 c. cornmeal
- 1 c. oats
- 1/2 c. cooked rice
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