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June 8, 2021

I started ordering groceries online for parking-lot pick up long before the pandemic. Most of the time, the staff shoppers at our local grocery store do a good job getting me everything on the list. Sometimes, though, I get weird substitutions and don't realize it until I get home. It's a 45-minute drive each way from our place to the store, so going back to correct weird or missing items is a real pain. So, I make do or try to find something to do with what I get. Guess who ended up with pounds and pounds of LIVER recently? Rather that just giving the dogs cooked liver as a treat, I made up a liver dog treat recipe. Just winged it, and they turned out pretty well. See what you think. 


Totally Made-Up Liver Dog Treat Recipe


  • 1/2 pound of liver
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of corn oil


  1. Break / cut each piece of liver in half. (Mine was frozen. I didn't even thaw it out. Just broke it and tossed into boiling water.)
  2. Cook liver in boiling water for 20 minutes.
  3. Blitz the cooked liver in the food processor until paste like.
  4. Mix the cooked / blitzed liver with 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon corn oil. 
  5. Roll out to whatever thinness you like. Flour the surface and rolling pin. The dough is sticky. ** If it's just too sticky, knead in a bit more flour before your roll it out. 
  6. Cut out shapes with tiny cookie cutter or knife.
  7. Place liver dog treats on a parchment lined baking sheet so that they are not touching.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (longer if you want them to be crunchy).

Fair warning. Liver STINKS when you cook it. (ha ha)

2 pieces of frozen liver wrapped in clear plastic packaging

This is what the liver looks like from the store. Wrapped in 1/4 pound sheets.

food processor with bits of ground up cooked liver

This is how it broke up when I first started blitzing the cooked liver in the food processor.

food processor with cooked liver after being blitzed to a paste like consistency

Let the food processor run or keep pulsing it to a paste-like consistency.

cooked liver ground up into a paste inside a green bowl with a flat spatula nearby

This is how much paste I got from 1/2 pound of liver.

liver dog treats after being rolled and cut with a small goldfish cookie cutter

I probably could have rolled the dough out thinner, but they turned our more soft liver dog treat style that I like (rather than too crunchy).

I used a TINY goldfish cutter from when I made cheese goldfish crackers from scratch. No kidding. It's the smallest cutter I have, but you could certainly just roll out and cut the dough with a knife to make little square liver dog treats. 

How I'm Using the Liver Dog Treats

I do sometimes give each of the dogs 1 liver dog treat as a snack, but I'm also cutting them even smaller with a knife (these are soft-cookie consistency, so they don't crumble much) and using them for jackpot rewards when Clover and I do homework training for the online nosework we're taking. 

Speaking of nosework ...

Clover and I started taking online nosework classes in December 2020, upon retiring from agility classes (after 6 years) in the fall. We're in the second week of our fourth consecutive online nosework class now. 

The big news, though, is that I'm taking Clover to a Mock Odor Recognition Test (ORT) this weekend to see how she does in a trial-like environment. We'll test her on the first three odors -- birch, anise, and clove. We've been practicing regular searches around our house, outside, and on vehicles. Because so-called container searches (where dogs find the 1 box with odor in it from many identical boxes) are harder and more stressful, we're only doing one each day in preparation for the mock test. If it goes well, I might sign her up for an official ORT in late July. 

I'm allowing two hours to drive (each way) for this weekend's half-day event, but we're excited to go to a pal's new dog training facility in Loveland, Colorado. I'm making all kinds of lists to be sure I bring everything both of us will need, including our big reflective shade cloths since she'll be crated in the car -- windows down, shade cloths in place, fan going, and even her swamp cooler coat, if we need it. 

I hope that I'll see a distinct behavior change to show me which box has odor in it (since I won't know like I do in training), but sometimes her alert behavior is much more subtle. This video is from when we still left the boxes open a little. Clover now searches fully closed boxes. 

I love how she whips around when she finds the right box in this video. Sometimes, she just bumps the box with her nose and then looks at me. 

Wish us luck!

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

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