Dogs sometimes are unwilling to ingest organ meat. The texture or the smell could be the cause of this, sometimes it just takes a little extra help to get them to eat organs. Being as organs are an essential part of the raw diet and that your pet needs them to strive, we as owners have to find a way to get our fur-kids to eat them.
Here are some things you can try to help them get used to eating the organ meat. The best option is always raw, as cooking denatures the proteins.
Chop into small pieces and mix in – Cut liver/organ into tiny pieces and mix it in with the meal trying to hide the smell and texture of the organ. Preferably mixing it in with a ground meat that your dog is known to love. Another option you can try would be taking a larger piece of meat and cutting a slit into it and stuffing the organ inside.
Feed Frozen – Cut the liver/organ into smaller chunks and freeze. This technique will help hide texture and smell of the organ. Too much frozen meat can lower your dog’s body temperature, so you will want to limit the amount of frozen food you give them. As your dog progresses eating the organs, try offering less and less frozen until they eat them normally and unfrozen.
Sear the outsides – Get a pan scorching hot on the stove and throw the organ on the hot pan for just a few seconds, flip and after just a few seconds on the back side remove from heat. You can add seasoning (salt, pepper) to the organ to help with taste. This changes the texture and smell of the organs. You will want to make sure you don’t overcook, as cooking denatures the meat. As you go with no problems, try cooking less and less until you can feed raw without problems. Remember never to cook anything with bone in it.
Try Variety – Some dogs will refuse the organ of one animal while loving the same organ from a different animal. For example, if you try beef liver and the dog noses up to it, you could try turkey liver and the dog may love it. Try a variety of different animal sources to see where your dog stands on this.
Tough Love – Sometimes if all else fails the tough love approach is the only option. This option should only be used on healthy adult dogs that require no additional medicine with daily feeding. A healthy dog will not starve themselves, although they might try and “out stubborn you”, they will eat. Dogs have been known to hold out for days thinking they will get something better the next meal. There should be nothing but organ in the dog’s dish. After about 20 min or so when the dog doesn’t eat, take the bowl up and try again next meal offering nothing but the organs again. Continue until the dog eats the organs you have offered him/her. This option may be hard to do but after a few times of doing so your dog should get used to them and feeding raw organs should no longer be a problem.
Puppy’s that won’t eat organs – A stubborn puppy is harder to deal with and the tough love approach should not be used on a growing puppy. In this case dehydrated organs could be used. The organs do lose some nutritional value when dehydrated but it is an essential part of the diet and is better than nothing. Always work toward feeding raw.