Dried liver dog treats

by | May 8, 2011 | 76 comments

The definitive training teat

This dog treat can’t be beat. This is what I use for treats when I’m walking all my dogs and there is a huge difference to how the pups respond to these homemade treats for dogs compared processed shop-bought stuff and if you do this you will see why they’re the best dog training treats you can get! It’s very cheap to buy liver from your local supermarket or butcher (much cheaper than branded treats and a whole lot better for your dog).  I’ve never known treats to go down so well with dogs.  I cannot emphasize enough how much your dog will love these, dogs that wouldn’t respond well before suddenly come running for dried liver . They are ideal for training and to get the attention of your dog and get control back when you are outside.

Cleaning the oven tray can be a pain after drying liver so cover with tin foil or use disposable foil trays.  Dried liver is gorgeous and has a nice smell, I even like eating it but it can make your clothes smell if you carry it in them so use a treat bag when out and about.  If you fancy an alternative liver recipe, try my liver cake recipe for dogs, a super dog treat.

treat bag

Get yourself a treat bag and you’re good to go!



A packet of liver (any liver will do).


packet of liver

Get yourself some liver. Any liver will do.

rinsing blood of liver

Rinse the blood of the liver

baking tray wrapped in tin foil

Wrap a baking tray in kitchen foil.

strips of liver on baking tray

Lay your liver on the tray. Preheat your oven to 150c (300f/Gas mark 2). Cook for 1½ - 2 hrs or until fully dry.

dried liver on baking tray

Two hours later and this is it now dried. There is no juices in the tray and liver is dry inside and out..

dicing liver

Cut into little squares and fridge what you will use in a few days and freeze the rest. See now why we're using kitchen foil?

dog wanting a liver treat

Flo you are getting some, don't worry!

How to store

As a general guide if meat protein is present in recipe then it will last around 3 to 5 days stored in a cool place.  If it has second class protein in it eg. cheese, lentils, eggs, etc, then they will store for about 10 days in a cool place. You can use cake tins lined with baking paper – greaseproof. If there is no meat or second class proteins present then it will last around 3 weeks before they go soft like human biscuits.

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jamie the dog walker

By Jamie Shanks

BDWS is owned and run by me, Jamie Shanks. I’ve been a professional dog walker since 2010. When I’m not walking dogs, I’m usually at home (like everyone else) entertaining my two dogs and attending to five hens and my vegetable garden.


  1. Brilliant idea and great high value training treats. Really cheap to buy liver but so expensive to buy ready made liver treats. Made with lamb and chicken liver so far and 7 month old puppy loves them. Got a batch in the oven now and she is going mad because of the smell!!

    • My daughter got me onto this we have a 9 week old German Shepard we where buying the dried liver treats but at $12 to $14 an average bag this is a awesome treat for our pup we try not to give him to much as you can see when he poops it’s very richly looking.
      Also I’m finding when cooked I’ll try to dry it out on a plate for a few hours then bag it then put it in the fridge I find it sticky should I put the plate in the liver in the fridge not bagged would it dry better thx.

    • Yeah it is a bit sticky, that’s why a treat bag is a must. Also liver is a natural laxative so just little amounts while pup so young.

  2. I soak thin sliced pigs liver overnight in lightly salted water.
    Next morning rinse well and dry
    Place on tray and leave in sun all day with a food net over it
    All 3 of my dogs love it as a treat

  3. How old a puppy can you give liver treats too

  4. Should it be really dry after the time in the oven, mine is quite juicey!

    • yeah it will be dry, you’ll defo notice it when you start cutting it up. sounds like you need to dry it a bit longer.

    • Can l freeze the liver after chopping up

    • Yip, freeze for whenever you need them. This is actually the best way to store them if more than a few days.


  6. I’m interested to try this for my dog. Just wondering how long they last without freezing?

  7. Would it be ok to use this for training my 17 week old German Shepherd pup or should i use something like chicken?

    • Best not to give young pups offal until they are a bit older and then introduce it gradually to not give them the squirts. Chicken is good though 🙂

  8. I have a four year old rescue border terrier, so a big learning curve for him. Going to give him dried liver treats as comeback treats. Got to keep him on a long lead as he clears off regardless of how many sauceage bits I give him. Don’t even give him full breakfast until we get back home, so hoping liver will work as I get fed up with waiting for him to return.

    • If dried liver doesn’t work, then no other food will.

  9. Training my 9 week old Border Terrier and was wondering how much of the dried Liver I can safely feed. Planning to use as a recall treat so will need to use often.
    Cheers, Angie

    • I think liver is a bit rich for pups, I’d wait a little bit first then start with just a small amount.

  10. Delighted to find this. The local butcher discards cow liver so, after a word with a friendly assistant I was given, free of charge (!), about three kilos. Prior to this I have been making liver cake treats with pigs liver and he adores them. With this quantity of Raw liver ,drying it in the oven is a much less labour intensive option. It’s in there now. So. I hope Max is similarly delighted with this alternative to liver cake. I’m wondering if, given the huge lumps, two hours might be required. Thanks for the recipe.!

    • That’s a fantastic find Leo, what amazing luck. I genuinely think you should enquire what other stuff they discard, like pig heads, chicken wings, offal etc

  11. How long will the tuna and liver last in the fridge? Also which liver would you recommend using please?

    Many thanks

    • Well because the liver has been dried under a low heat they should last a while in the fridge and forever in the freezer. You’ll just have to test to see how long, mine never last long enough. I use any liver, whatever is available. Supermarkets quite often sell chicken liver too in the freezer department, so I guess its just down to your own dogs preference but liver is liver and dogs just go crazy for it.

  12. Does anyone have any advice about a dog who is chronically licking and removing fur from front legs?
    Already on grain free diet.

  13. My 2 dogs a 12 year old Shitzu and a 7 month old Pomarianan both go wild for the liver treats, I wouldn’t worry how long you can keep them in the freezer, believe me they wont last that long. All I do is get the lambs liver they prefer that cut it in strips heat the oven to 160 for half an hour, then cut them into the sizes you want. My 2 sit by the oven watching them cook. Lambs liver here in Australia is dearer, but they seem to prefer it.

  14. Hi, I have heard something about freezing liver for a week before using to get rid of parasites or something. Is this recommended? buy it, freeze it for a week, defrost and then follow above recipe? How long can it be kept in fridge? can it be kept in airtight container instead to take for my dog when out walking them? sorry lots of questions 🙂

    • Its getting cooked as it dries so you dont need to feeze it beforehand unless you want to feed it raw. It stays in fridge for a good while cause it’s quite dry so lasts longer, not bone dry or anything. Once made I just bag it and freeze it.

  15. Hi great recipe thanks for the tips, just wondering when you feed rover the treats are you defrosting them or giving straight from the freezer?

  16. how long can I store these treats in the fridge?

  17. Thanks for the tips have a dog show tomorrow and forgot to get treats…..remembered i had liver in the freezer but making the bread is too much work so just popping them in the air fryer now for “roasting”

  18. Hi Jamie,

    I’m looking to start a dog walking, pet sitting business with my husband. So both of us need to be insured correct? Also, do you recommend joining the National Associatiom of Pet Sitting and Dog Walkers Association? They charge £299 for an accredited training course.

    • Hey

      Yeah, you both need insured. I get asked about Naps a lot. Tbh, I wouldnt bother, I could rant about naps and businesses like them but I wont. Noobs can do better they ar vurnerable to being exploited. A first aid certificate is good so look into that, befriend a behaviourist but that’s not essential.


  19. Could you please tell me how long these will keep for in the freezer, and how long they will last once defrosted?
    Are they suitable for puppies?
    Many thanks.

    • Hey Kate

      If you freeze once cooled down, they will last and last, pretty much forever since it’s gonna be fed to the dogs.

      For pups just little, teenie amounts, it’s quite rich – better once they get a bit older.

  20. Jamie,

    I have been told that you have to be careful about feeding too much liver as it is high in Vitamin D? Dogs apparently can’t process too much Vitamin D and it can be bad for them. I haven’t researched this but my informant is a vetinary nurse so probably knows a thing or two….

  21. Hi, sorry if sound daft but can I use this with a puppy (8wks)? I am getting our lil Jessie at the end of April (Labrador) and am looking for healthy treats as apposed to shop brought ones. I have been doing loads of research on dog food labels etc and it is quite shocking how much rubbish is in some of these treat/food. This sounds easy, cheap and by some of the comments healthier!

  22. Sounds brilliant max is on raw and wondered what to use as treat.Does heart work as well as liver

    • Hi Joan, yeah heart and kidney are other things you can try and Max will love.

  23. just thought i would comment and say my dog and cat loves these. they will both be sitting by kitchen door waiting or cat will be trying to get any small bits that might fall off counter while i cut them up

  24. It’s so good to know that any liver is suitable, I’d been told that pigs liver is a no no for dogs so I’ve been lightly frying lambs liver (so much more expensive not that it’s bothered me, my Beagle is worth it) in a ceramic pan negating the need for oil but have to fry pack in 3 or 4 batches. This is a FAR better idea and now I know pigs liver is fine I’ll save a bit too.
    Thank you so very much. I’ve also got a batch of the sardine oatcakes in the oven right now

    • Thanks Mike, hope your dog enjoys it!

  25. Hi Jamie – Thanks for this recipe. I made some last night and the lurcher who’s staying with me became v wide-eyed at the smells coming from the kitchen. She’s not that food-orientated but went bonkers for these treats. I took some to the park today and met up with the usual crew. I was mobbed! Lots of wet noses rifling through my pocket. No need to buy treats in future and I put plenty in the freezer too.

  26. Just been looking at your liver treats and they seem to be perfect for what i need. I have just started Raw feeding my dogs and a 100% meat treat is ideal for when we are out and about. You mentioned that you freeze your bite sized treat for when you need them, do you de-frost them before you give them to your dog or can they chomp on them frozen?

    • Hi Tabz

      Because they have been dried they hold little water so they are good to go frozen!

  27. Wow, so simple. Tucker is very interested in the oven right now. Fingers crossed this is the ‘eye popping’ treat we need for his training as he isn’t a food orientated dog.

    • Thanks Sam. How did it go down with Tucker?

  28. A simple and easy way to make treats. My teenage son says thanks. 😀
    ( BTW my dog likes them too !)

    • Hehe – Thanks Jim!

    • Thanks so much for this recipe Jamie – I’ve been raw feeding for a few months now and wondering what to do about treats….my daughter is just starting agility classes with our rescue lab so the need for healthy treats has skyrocketed! I’m putting the liver in the oven now…:)

    • Thanks Claire and let me know how your dog likes them. I think they are simplest and most effective treat out there!

    • Thanks Jim. 🙂

  29. Thanks for this I hate feeding my puppy treats with grain in so have been looking for home made treats as we are doing clicker training and I don’t want her getting fat. This sounds brilliant thanks.

  30. Thanks for the recipe- I was looking for this!

    What does it smell like? I notice people mentioning the smell…

    • Hi Justin. The smell’s not too bad, its a just liver smell. Some people just don’t like the idea of liver, so the smell of it is unappealing. But I like it and will nibble while I cut it into pieces.

  31. sorry that wasnt related to liver…

    • If dogs are in boot they wont need harnesses but will probably need something if in back seat. Thing is, some dogs will try to sit on your lap if they can. I have a dog gaurd behind front headrests but my own dog will be my backup as she wont let any dog in the front. She sits next to me on passenger seat! She defo makes like easier!

      You wont get a whole bunch of dogs in one go, they come one by one. If they puppy they can go straight in, if they not maybe keep them separate in car for first trip to see how they get on.

      I do leave dogs in car waiting, but never for long, never more than 5 mins. A quick rub down and I’m away.


  32. hi i am a new dog walking provider but
    having some problems with my own two dogs being aggressive to other dogs in our car…all cool once out on our walk but stress of journey freaking me out!

    • Hi Julie! I’d love to help and when I see my next dog behaviourist I will ask her about it. I have one dog that is not good with other dogs in the car. He is separated and the other dogs just ignore him, in fact he only growls if they look at him. He’s find outside.

      In meantime, keep your dogs separated from the other dogs and try distracting them with something like a pate filled kong. In fact you could try giving them a kong when you put a dog in the car and see if they learn to associate a dog in the vehicle as a good thing. Anyway, I’ll get back to you once I’ve spoke to my behaviourist – not sure when though, busy time of year at the moment.

    • Hi Jamie,

      I was wondering about transporting the dogs int he car. I am getting an estate but wondered if it was safe to have 3 dogs loose in the back. Obviously I will use a dog guard but do they all need harnesses? and also do dogs that have not met get on in the same vehicle generally? Do you have a procedure in them meeting up a few times before you try the car? Also when you drop the dogs back home and have to clean them do you leave the other dogs in the car waiting?

  33. Hi, what a great idea! What kind of liver do you use? I.e. lamb, pork, or beef? Does it make a difference?


    • Thanks Jo! I just use any liver, but Ox and Pig is cheapest!

  34. Hi Jamie

    Love the blog!!! https://bdws.co.uk/2011/06/01/how-to-become-a-dog-walker/

    I came across it whilst looking for ‘how much to charge as a dog walker?’. I’ve been asked to do some and although I love and have walked dogs, I’ve never ‘officially’ done it.

    Your website has been so helpful, loads of top tips and useful info. Thank you so much for being a ‘sharer and carer’!!

    Armed with info, I’m ready to answer and ask all the questions now!

    Come on then…Walkies!!

    • Thanks Esther!

      I’m more than happy to help anyone in anyway I can. I found it tough to begin with like many people so the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re starting is make things more difficult for themselves.

      These liver treats are great!

  35. Hi Jamie,

    Found your site the other day so thought I’d try out the liver treats. My French bulldog must have known they were for her as she sat waiting at the oven while they cooked. She absolutely loves them and you know the treats aren’t full of rubbish. Great recipes will be trying out some of the others.

    • Hi Sally! I think they’re probably the best treats you can get or make! So simple, easy and cheap!

  36. Hi Jamie

    I made the liver yesterday and my 2 dogs went daft for them. I gave some round to my friend as her dog isn’t a great eater but love the liver. 🙂

    • Hi Caroline! Yeah, it’s so much better and I’m glad you had the stomach to do it! I can buy two packs for just over a quid and that’ll give me more than enough treats for a whole weeks dog walking!

  37. Hi Jamie
    I stumbled across your website while looking around for dog food that I could make myself. Thank you for your amazing website. This is in the oven right now. I don’t like the smell but my dog does, she is sitting outside the kitchen door waiting for it to be ready!

    • Thanks Dee! Ah, you’ll get to like the smell or least tolerate it. Would love to hear how you dog likes it!

  38. I’ve heard of people making these before and always wanted to try it. But i was wondering how long as these good for once they are out of the freezer? Do you keep them in the fridge or just an airtight container?

    • In an airtight container in the fridge I’d say about a week, but I can’t really say cause I use them up so fast! When I make them I separate the batch into smaller amounts and then freeze for when I need them.

  39. Hi Jamie, Would you say that your dogs preferred this recipe over the Liver cake recipe? Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Karen. They are different treats for different occasions. The liver treats are ideal for training or for taking with you when out with the dog. The liver cake is more of a house treat or big reward after training. But as far as the dog is concerned they love them both just the same!

  40. Thanks for your amazing website. This is in the oven right now. I don’t like the smell but I bet the dogs who are coming to visit next week will be delighted.

    • Thanks Jackie for your comments! The smell is something you have to get used too, not as bad as kidney though! I’m certain your doggy guests will love it!

  41. What a fantastic idea! How long do you keep in freezer and do u defrost or give frozen?

    • Hi Pippa! If put in freezer once cooled then they will last pretty much forever! They only need an hour or so to defrost!

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