These dog treats are a doddle to make and filled with fresh goodness. You won’t spend oodles on dodgy shop-bought ever again.
Makes: up to 60 treats depending on size
- 230g liver (roughly 1/2 pound or 1/4 kilo) – see Types of Liver footnote
- 3-5 large cloves of garlic (garlic is an excellent natural flea repellent)
- 1 large egg
- 130g raw vegetables – see Variations footnote
- 50g flour (gluten-free plain or regular plain)
- 50g porridge oats (use the cheap dusty ones; no need to splash out on whole rolled oats)
- A baking tray
- Baking/parchment paper to line tray
- Food processor
- Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Line your baking tray with parchment.
- Whizz all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, smoothing it with a spatula into a 1/2″ inch deep layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, and flip the cake over on the paper. Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- When the cake has fully cooled, slice it into bite-sized pieces. These will keep in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag or container for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Types of Liver
A) Ox [adult beef] liver is the cheapest, and it’s also the firmest and meatiest. But it seems to be available only in certain butchers, and not generally in UK supermarkets.
B) Next price-wise is pork liver, which is slightly less firm, but generally available and a good option.
C) Lamb’s liver is very soft (and also fairly expensive) – if you use lamb’s liver, add more oats and/or raw veg to maintain a good consistency.
D) Calves’ liver – well, if you can afford to buy calves’ liver for dog treats, good on you! Add more oats and/or raw veg as per lamb’s liver.
E) Chicken liver is really soft. It’s inexpensive, sure, but it requires a greater proportion of liver and a lot of oats+flour+veg to make it sturdy enough. I’d suggest 450g or so of chicken liver, with 250g oats + flour, and another 200g+ raw veg to make it sturdy enough.
More vegetables are always a good thing for any dog’s diet. Use raw carrot, courgette (zucchini), capiscums (bell peppers), peas, green beans, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and/or whatever you have in your larder. Onions are known to cause issues with some dogs, though, so don’t use those.
Contrary to myth, dogs do taste their food and don’t just ‘wolf’ it down. You can add bits of herb and/or spice – sage, thyme, pepper, basil, rosemary, oregano, etc. I’d hold back on adding salt, though, because it’s not necessary to add salt to a dog’s diet.
Best Ingredient Ratio
From my years of experience making these dog treats, the best ratio is equal liver to the combination of flour+oats+veg. But I’ve gone off-piste almost every time, and the results have always been wildly appreciated (dogs, eh?).