Liver Treats (for Diabetic Pets)

About a year ago we were forced to make the decision to put down one of our family pets.  We hadn’t noticed the dog was drinking a lot of water.  Having several dogs, we don’t always know which one is drinking.  One Saturday night the dog went to bed seemingly fine.  He woke up the next morning completely blind.  We had the dogs on a diet as they were all a little overweight.  We had attributed his weight loss to the diet.  It had been decided we would put him back on regular food intake as he had lost a little too much weight while the other two dogs had only lost a little.

Monday morning came and we took Alex to see our family veterinarian.  Long story short; he had advanced kidney and liver problems as well as diabetes.  It would have cost several thousand dollars to nurse him back to health.  The vet gave him a less than 20% chance of getting well enough to not be in pain, and his sight was gone for good.  The decision was made to do what we, as his caretakers had promised to do.  We made the decision to end his suffering.

Here we are a year later.  Our other poodle, Charlie was suddenly drinking a lot of water.  He was eating sporadically.  As soon as we noted these symptoms we took him to the vet.  Fortunately we caught him before his body decided to go too haywire.  He had lost a couple of pounds which, honestly, he needed to lose.  He just shouldn’t have lost it so quickly.  Dr. Lee ran the whole battery of tests.  The tests came back showing his kidneys and liver are fine.  His pancreas is not behaving normally and his blood sugar tests were off the map.  Diabetes.  Unlike Alex (Charlie’s literal litter mate), we had caught it in time.  A proper diet, a proper feeding regimen and insulin and Charlie is back to almost normal.

Several things have changed around here.  Our schedules have been thrown into turmoil as the dog has to eat and have his shot at regular times.  No more waiting until it is convenient for us to get home to feed him.  No more people food (Table scraps), ever.  The poor dogs are huge McDonald french fry freaks.  Now they can’t have them.  They are used to having a treat or two a day, expecially when we lock them in their crates when we go out or to work.  Unfortunately, store bought treats are about the worst thing for dogs.  So these little guys we love so much are suddenly, after over a decade of habit not able to have all the extras they are used to.

I searched the internet and found a few chat rooms offering advice on treats and such for diabetic dogs.  None of them struck me, so I took what I learned and created this treat.

If you cut these treats in 13 rows by 13 rows you will get 169 treats of a gram or two each.  Why?  I do this because we have to remember, these animals have diabetes.  The veterinarian is going to create a dietary plan which, when combined with insulin, is a perfect balance for your dog.  A bigger dog may have bigger treats, but for my little guys they have to be small.  The dogs don’t really care how big they are.  Dogs are used to getting treats.  I don’t even think they taste them half of the time. Cut to this size, the treats are about 1 gr.  There is VERY little fat, an acceptable amount of cholesterol and, what diabetic animals need the most….  The treats are more than 78% protein.  Diabetes causes proteins to be absorbed too quickly.  This why there is usually marked weight loss.  The dog’s body starts to absorb it’s own proteins.  So a treat that is not fattening, very low in sodium, sugar, and is loaded is with protein will not harm the animal.

Of course, like anything else, these treats have to be given to the pet sparingly.  I limit my boys to no more than 2 or 3 a day.  I use them for the usual, get in the crate treat and nothing works better when bribing Charlie to take his needle than his knowledge that he will get a tasty liver treat afterwards.

The beauty of these treats is they are tasty for everyone, dogs, cats and HUMANS.  Okay, if you don’t like liver, forget it.  But if you do…… Well, they are bland as hell.  So I spiced up the recipe for humans, and boy did it turn out nice.

The recipe is simplicity in itself.

Liver Treats for Diabetic Dogs (And their human friends)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
See article above.
Course: Snack
Author: John Winslow
Doggie Version
  • 700-750 grams of beef or baby beef liver
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
Human Version
  • 700-750 gr Liver
  • 2 cup eggs or 1/4Extra Virgin Olive Oil if you want kosher
  • 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour or Matzo Meal if you want KOSHER
  • 1/4 cup of dry red wine or your favourite red wine
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Doggie Version
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a regular size cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper
  2. In a blender or food processor, finely chop (pretty much mulch) the liver
  3. Add the flour and 2 eggs to the liver goo and blend until it is all mixed
  4. Spread the mixture on the lined cookie sheet
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top is firm and the center is no longer pink or wet.
  6. Allow to cool until the CAKE is cool to the touch, turn onto a cutting surface and gently remove the waxed paper.
  7. Cut into 169 pieces (13x13 rows)
Human Version
  1. The prep is the same as above except I like the liver to still be a little pink in the centre, so I bake at 325 for about 17 minutes.
  2. After cooling and removing the parchment or waxed paper, cut these in 6 rows by 6 rows. This yeilds 36 squares about the size of a triscuit. Serve on low fat/low carb crackers (Matzo crakers) with a touch of hot mustard.