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.
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I just made these liver treats and other than the smell was atrocious while drying the dogs are in heaven. Can I store these in a container on the counter or should they be refrigerated. I’m leery of putting them in the fridge because then it adds moisture. Anyway let me know.
Hi Jan, I just keep mine in a plastic container in the cupboard. If they are dried sufficiently, they will last for ages. I make a batch every fortnight. If you have made a lot and want to keep them for an extended period of time and are a bit worried then you can put half in a plastic container and freeze them. I wouldn’t put them in the fridge. Your dogs will be very happy 🙂
Thank you so much. The dogs are crazy for them. Jan
Jan, I have not met a dog that is not and it is good for them – there is no fat and dogs should eat a certain amount of offal. All the commercial treats are full of rubbish.
Glenda, your babies are gorgeous. Much whiter than my three, I must say!
And the recipe and hints for Liver Treats is wicked!! I am sooo totally going to make some.
All-round, I have to say I am impressed with this little ol’ blog of yours. Recipes and sharing are excellent. The three gorgeous bichons are the icing on the cake.
I look forward to your next post, as I have just subscribed 🙂
Thank you so much. You are so kind.
I think I tried this once but never thought to freeze it first, genius! I sometimes make ‘liver cake’ and end up with masses and give it to my dog walking friends for treats. Your dogs are beautiful 🙂
Hi Joanna. On behalf of Maggie, Lily and Jules, thankyou. Your Zeb is pretty handsome too.
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Hi Aly, So you made it. Not sure what the comment was going to be but thanks for visiting!!
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Lily, Jules and Maggie look so cute
Hi Sponge. Yes they are gorgeous and sweet natured.
The next project under Doggy things could be Dried Pigs Ears.
When i was in the Cotswolds a few years ago, in the pubs the bar staff had jars of these things sitting on the shelf with the bottles of alcohol. Which were freely given out to all the dogs who frequented the bar with their owners. And that was a quite a few.
I have thought about smoking pigs’ ears but I need a ready supply. If you find me a supply, I promise to give it a go.
Maggie is beautiful but then again,so are Lily and Jules…..posted by cousin Buddy.
Your mum should have taken some liver treats home today for you. No worries, next time you visit.
Maggie is so beautiful, clearly the top dog, what a queen.
I took so many photos trying to get a shot of one of them eating the liver. They were too quick for me. The liver was gone before I could get a shot. Maggie is the cover girl because it was the only photo I got with a dog and the liver together. They say never work with animals and children…