Liver Treats for Dogs

Liver treats are an excellent reward. In fact, freeze-dried liver treats were originally created 30 years ago to replace raw liver treats, which were a favorite by obedience breeders. Freeze-dried liver provides your dog with all that great natural flavor without the hassle of carrying the raw liver—if your dog's digestive system can handle all that rich protein.

Liver Treat Pros

Most dogs love liver treats, which come in the chicken, lamb and beef variety. Beef is usually the most popular choice, most likely because of its strong smell. Anything your dog goes crazy about makes a great reward for good behavior or a special treat.

Liver treats come in several varieties, such as Pro Choice, Ranch Rewards and Tiny Tots, many of which come freeze-dried. These treats can be stored almost anywhere and will keep for a long time. Just make sure not to store them anywhere your dog can get them!

The freeze-dried liver pieces are simply freeze-dried pieces of liver, so there are no additives, corn, wheat or other harmful ingredients.

Liver Treat Cons

Even though dogs love liver treats, they shouldn't have too many. Liver treats are very rich, so giving more than 1 to 2 per day for a small dog, 3 to 4 for a medium dog and 5 to 6 for a large dog is discouraged, even by the manufacturer.

Liver treats are also expensive with 21-ounce tubs sometimes costing more than $50.

If your dog has any protein allergies, this will effect whether or not you can feed liver. Select a protein variety that your dog can tolerate. Since they are rich, some dogs may get diarrhea when they have them for the first time or if they've had too many.

Uses of Liver Treats

Many people like to give their dogs treats during training, but liver treats are not a good exclusive training treats since they are so rich and can't be given in large amounts.

Instead, liver treats make a good special reward. For example, if your dog does a perfect recall with distractions, reward with a liver treat. If he does a sit, that should be a less "special" reward. Mix your treat bag with special treats and average treats so that your dog is getting the best treats when he does the high level behaviors.

If your dog is fearful, use liver treats when you are introducing him to a new, scary situation, so he will associate that situation with his favorite treat.

Though liver treats come in large pieces, you can break those into smaller sizes to get more for your money. One large liver cube can be broken into five or six training treats, which makes them more reasonable as a reward. But you still might consider keeping a big cube in your training bag for that extra special behavior.

Liver treats make a great reward when training your dog or just for a special treat. Just use with caution to avoid giving your dog a stomach ache.