Ages ago, I was at my sister’s place and her husband was giving treats to his 2 and my 3 dogs. I had never seen such enthusiasm. Each was assertively demanding its share, even the most timid. I was intrigued as to what was having this effect on all 5 dogs. I asked him what it was. He showed me a packet – ‘Liver Treats’, it said. I checked out the ingredients. There was only one – liver.
Liver – well, that can’t be too hard, I thought. I took one out of the packet. It was just dried liver and the dogs were going psycho over it.
After a few trials and errors, I can now recreate the exact treat for substantially less than the price on the packet.
You could use lambs fry for this but beef liver is significantly cheaper. You can buy beef liver at Woolworths in their pet food section (I am sure you could get it cheaper but we haven’t tried.)
Freeze the liver. Take the liver out of the freezer about half an hour before you want to make the treats.
When the liver is slightly defrosted, slice it crossways into 2-3mm slices. Place it on a tray lined with baking paper. (It is important to use baking paper. The liver will stick to Glad Wrap and grease-proof paper.)
Dry the liver in a dehydrator for about 12 hours. The liver does not have to be crack dry but should be so dry that there is not much flexibility when you push down on it. You don’t want any moisture left because it will go mouldy.
If you don’t have a dehydrator but have an oven that will go down to a very low temperature (not more than 50 degrees Celsius) or works on fan alone, then that would do. Of course, the sun would work. I don’t know how you would go with the bugs, though. Also, a great place to dry things is in the back window of a car in summer but you would need a stronger constitution than mine to drive around with the smell of drying liver in your nostrils.
I bought about a kilogram of liver for $3.00 and this is how much dried liver I made. Much, much more than a packet of liver treats that will cost substantially more than $3.00.
I have not met a dog that does not love this. Even the most shy will come out of its hiding place and compete for a piece.
This photo was taken when Maus had some dried liver in her hand. It wasn’t meant to be an action shot but Lily and Jules would not stop wagging their tails long enough for me to take a still picture. Maggie is not a tail wagger but she was as keen as the other two as the cover photo confirms.