Image of dog with jar of beef kidney treats

Homemade Beef Kidney Treats for Dogs

Beef kidney is packed with great nutrients for your dog. Kidney is rich in protein, low in calories, and is an important part of your dog’s balanced diet.

Benefits of beef kidney

A one-ounce serving of beef kidney has approximately 30 calories and 5 grams of protein. It’s rich in many vitamins and minerals, most especially B12. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids and is a good source of iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

Beef kidney treats are good for the heart and act as an anti-inflammatory. If you have a dog with a heart condition or arthritis, kidney can be very beneficial.

The nitty gritty low down

When you purchase organ meat, know how the animal was raised that the organ is coming from. Whenever possible, select organs from a grass-fed animal that was raised humanely.

Once you have your beef kidney in hand, you might be wondering how to prepare it. Serving it raw has maximum nutrition, but many dogs are reluctant to eat raw kidney.

Kidney is very rich, and serving too much at one time could cause stomach upset. Go low and slow when starting to feed organ meats.

You will also want to prepare it in a way so that you can store what you are not going to use immediately.

How much beef kidney should you serve your dog?

Some sources suggest feeding organ meat as 10% of the diet and others go up to 25%. A good rule of thumb is to think about the animal the organ is coming from and what percentage of the body the organ makes up. Following the premise that eating a whole animal in its entirety is ideal, beef kidney should make up about 0.5% of the diet.

How to prepare beef kidney treats for dogs

Dehydrated beef kidney treats
  • Freeze fresh kidney for a few hours so it is easier to handle and slice.
  • Cut off as much fat as possible to help prevent spoilage.
  • Slice into 1/4 or 1/8″ medallions. A mandolin is helpful in getting thin slices.
  • Place on food dehydrator tray at 165 degrees
  • Dehydrate for 16-24 hours. You want most of the water to be removed from the organ so it snaps when you break it in half.
  • Allow cooling for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (If condensation occurs when you place in the container, it needs to be dehydrated a little longer). Dehydrated meat stays fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 months.
  • Serve as a treat in small amounts or as a topper on meals.
  • If your dog has a sensitive mouth or has had dental work done, such as a root canal, and the treat is too hard, grind with a mortar and pestle and give a pinch on top of meals.

Pan fried kidney treats

  • Clean the kidney removing as much fat as possible.
  • Slice into 1/4″ medallions or strips.
  • Chop 1 clove garlic.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp olive oil in a pan.
  • Add kidney and garlic and sear or cook to desired doneness.
  • Store the amount you will serve within 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store the remaining amount in a Ziplock freezer bag until ready to use.
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