Since canines are carnivores by nature, we can’t help but wonder: can dogs eat liver sausage?
Liver sausages are made for human consumption, so it can get tricky to know if it’s safe for dogs. The key here is knowing what the ingredients are and how they will affect your dog.
Please take note that while liver sausages may appear safe, they could pose health problems in some cases. Below, we discuss this dilemma and how safe liver sausages really are.
What are liver sausages?
Liver sausages or liverwursts are seasoned food items. It’s often made of ground animal liver blended with spices like black pepper, salt, mustard seed, and so on.
It’s a household favorite among Westerners, but the recipe varies per region. However, many pet owners are guilty of feeding liverwursts to their dogs, often using them to give pills to their dogs.
And why not, right? It’s tasty, smelly, and meat-based, which seems to be in line with a canine’s diet.
The previous statement has some truth to it. However, if you look at the bigger picture, the risks outweigh the benefits.
Are liver sausages safe for dogs?
Dogs always seem to want a piece of our food. Whether it’s the tasty bacon or the liverwurst or you’re chopping in the kitchen.
As a doting pet owner, you may be tempted to toss a slice or two. But before you indulge your dog, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
1. Liver sausages are rich in nutrients but not for dogs
Liverwursts or liver sausages are packed with minerals and vitamins. However, not in the sense that it can benefit your dog.
Most liverwursts sold in the United States are liver from calves and pigs. These same cuts are also used in dog food products, but only when raw and unprocessed.
Liver sausages are a two-edged sword. Sure, it has lots of nutrients, but its ingredients aren’t suitable for canines or any pet for that matter.
2. Liver sausages are high in fat
One of the most significant downsides of giving liver sausages to your dog is its fat content. Liverwursts are fatty and high in cholesterol.
This excessive fat content can contribute to a dog’s risk of developing obesity. Over time, obesity will lead to a slew of metabolic and systemic problems in your pet’s body.
Also, many liver sausages sold in supermarkets are rich in sodium. Too much salt is harmful to dogs, and excessive consumption can lead to dehydration and seizures.
3. Liver sausages may contain toxic ingredients to dogs
As I mentioned, liverwursts are prepared for human consumption. It has ingredients like onions, garlic, and other strong spices potentially poisonous for pets.
Moreover, there’s a condition called canine Heinz anemia. This health problem occurs when a dog consumes dehydrated or uncooked onions, often found on liverwurst products.
4. Liver sausages have high levels of Vitamin A
For humans, liverwursts are an excellent source of Vitamin A. However, this food item’s high Vitamin A content can be dangerous to dogs.
Feeding too much liver sausages to your pet can lead to Vitamin A overdose. While it requires a large serving to occur in most dogs, small breeds are at a higher risk.
5. Liver sausages aren’t advisable for puppies
While some puppies can digest liver sausages, others are more sensitive. This is why it’s best not to feed liverwursts to your pup, no matter what.
Also, if your adult dog has a history of food allergy or intolerance, it’s best not to give liver sausages at all. It would help if you considered giving other meat cuts instead.
6. Liver sausages will make your dog gassy
Some dogs can tolerate eating liver sausages, but with a high cost: smelly farts and stinky poop.
Take note that this change in your dog’s flatulence is indicative of a potential digestive problem. So while it may seem like the smell is the only problem, your dog could develop other issues later.
7. Liver sausages increase the risk of canine kidney disease
Your dog will be at high risk of developing kidney disease if you regularly feed it with liver sausages. This is because of the high sodium content.
Canines with already weak kidneys can easily succumb to kidney failure when fed with liverwursts daily. And even if your pet appears healthy, it’s not wise to make liver sausages a part of their diet.
What should I do if my dog ate liver sausages?
If your dog accidentally ate or you unknowingly gave liver sausages to your pet, waiting it out is the best course of action. Most dogs will exhibit signs of poisoning or stomach upset within 4 to 8 hours upon the ingestion of the food item.
Nevertheless, if your dog only ate a tiny piece, it shouldn’t be a major cause of concern.
However, if your dog raided the fridge and snacked on an entire sausage, you’re better off calling the veterinarian. The vet can advise you about the best course of action.
If your dog starts to vomit or have diarrhea after liver sausages, you should bring it to the vet within 24 hours. These two symptoms can cause severe dehydration, which is life-threatening.
Can I give raw liver to my dog?
Dogs fed with a raw diet are often served raw liver. It’s totally safe and nutritious, but you should ensure that the raw liver is fresh and not contaminated.
Overall, raw liver or any raw animal parts should only comprise 5 to 10% of your dog’s diet. Also, it’s wise to cycle raw liver sources like a calf, chicken, beef, pork, and so on.
But before you feed your dog any raw meat, it’s important to consult the veterinarian first. Raw liver isn’t suitable for all dogs, especially those with sensitive tummies and compromised kidneys.
Also, it’s essential to keep the raw liver frozen if you’re not going to serve it yet. Most importantly, you should only purchase small amounts at a time to ensure that your dog is eating fresh cuts.
Overall, raw liver is safer for dogs than liver sausages. Still, moderation is necessary to avoid any potential problems.
Which is better, chicken or beef liver?
Between beef and chicken liver, beef contains more nutrients. It has higher iron, zinc, and calcium levels, which is beneficial for dogs.
On the other hand, the chicken liver has higher concentrations of Vitamins A, B, and D. Chicken liver also has lower carbohydrates.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to settle on a single liver source. In fact, it’s encouraged to switch to various liver sources from time to time, so your dog won’t get tired of it easily.
What meats should I not give my dog?
Since canines are dominantly carnivorous, there’s a misconception that they can be fed just about any meat cut.
In general, you should never feed your dog raw fish meat. Raw fish is prone to parasites and contaminants that could easily upset your dog’s tummy.
In addition, you should be cautious when feeding raw eggs to your dog. This is relatively safe, but raw eggs are prone to contamination, which can lead to canine food poisoning.
You should also be aware of your dog’s allergies since protein sources like meat are common triggers.
Can dogs eat liver sausage? Since this food product is highly seasoned, it’s not safe for canines.
If you want to add protein or meat to your dog’s diet, you can give cooked chicken, beef, or pork instead. You can also serve raw liver, but make sure that it’s fresh and high-quality.
When in doubt, you can always consult your dog’s veterinarian for proper diet advice. Remember that proper food choices depend on your dog’s overall health.