2 February 2015

Why you should only feed chicken liver to a dog in small amounts

I wanted to buy cheap meat to complement the food that my dog Away gets. I normally feed him a triangle shaped middle of the range priced German brand of kibble called Bosch, I believe that my dog's kibble is good value for money, it looks good and he likes it. I buy the 15kg large bag of kibble online for €30 at Zooplus, this works out at €2/kg.

 The reason why I decided to feed my dog chicken liver and not beef liver or chicken breast it is simply because chicken liver is the cheapest meat available at my local supermarket, it costs me less than €3/kg, not much more expensive than his kibble, although I have to cook the chicken too, using sunflower cooking oil, electricity and the cost of cleaning the frying pans with tear and wear should be taken into account too.

Cooked chiken liver cut to pieces
Chiken liver cut to pieces
Discounting time, the real cost of feeding chicken liver to my dog is €4/kg, a little cheaper than high end dog food like Eukanuba or Acana and this way I know that my dog gets 100% meat. I have now researched the subject and in between other sources, one qualified veterinarian, Dr. Mary Haines, mentions in her page that chicken liver should only be given in small amounts as a supplement to a dog and never make non dog foods more than 50% of a dog's main source of food to make sure that he has a balanced diet.

The Nest online magazine also said that chicken liver is perfect for underweight dogs like mine because it is very high in proteins and it contains vitamin A which is good for a healthy eyesight, the bad news are that chicken liver can life threatening for your dog if that is the only thing he eats!

I will sum up this post for you, chicken liver is good for your dog in small quantities but make sure that it is not all he eats and that he does not get a large quantities of it, and if your dog is overweight this is probably not a good food as he could become more obese with chicken liver without lots of exercise, but if your dog is growing or underweight chicken liver is an excellent good supplement for a healthy dog.

I should also comment about why I cook the chicken liver before giving it to my dog, I know a raw food diet for dogs has supporters but vets websites say that a raw diet for a dog can be bad for your dog, they cite concerns about bacteria in raw meat and having an unbalanced diet.

The vets explanation about why a raw diet is bad for a dog make sense to me, and at the end of the day any reputable kibble will have been designed by qualified dietitians. Dog food brands will sure cut all corners they can in their products to maximize profit but I'd like to believe that they will still try to balance the amount of proteins and fat as much as possible, even if the food isn't premium quality. If you trust science, stay away from raw diets for your dog.

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