We’re always looking for ways to add to our dogs’ diets. That might mean healthy fruits and veg, supplements like probiotics or CBD oil, or just beneficial additions like eggs or sardines.
And one of our favorites, for a variety of reasons, is tripe for dogs.
If you haven’t heard of tripe, or have heard of it but have never fed it to your dogs, this article is for you! We’ve covered why it’s so great to add to your pup’s food bowl, along with several different ways to feed it.
What is Tripe?
Tripe is the muscle tissue that lines the stomach of a ruminant animal.
A ruminant animal is typically a grazing animal, and is classified by the number of stomach compartments it has, and by what plants it grazes on. Some ruminants have four stomach compartments and some have only three. Some graze on grass only, and some graze on grass, leaves and twigs. Examples of ruminant grazers include cows, goats, sheep, moose, deer, and bison.
You can often find tripe at your local grocer, but it’s likely been cleaned, scalded, or bleached. You don’t want that kind. The ‘cleaning’ process actually strips all the beneficial nutrients from the tripe. Instead, source out “green” tripe. Green tripe hasn’t been treated in this way, leaving those valuable vitamins and minerals intact.
Green doesn’t necessarily refer to tripe’s color. Instead, it refers more to the fact that it hasn’t been processed. Its actual color can vary from brown to grey, though sometimes there will be a greenish tint to it due to the grass or hay the animal has eaten.
The Benefits of Tripe for Dogs
Like other organ means (offal), tripe is considered a by-product, or what’s leftover after the muscle meat has been separated for human consumption. But don’t let that fool you. Despite the reputation of by-products as inferior, tripe (like other organ meats) provides a whole host of health benefits. In fact, they’re far more nutrient-dense than muscle meat.
And there are many (many) reasons to add tripe for dogs to the menu on a regular basis.
Not only is it an excellent source of calcium, it also soothes a sensitive or upset digestive system.
Plus, it contains:
- Digestive enzymes – these aid the digestive process by breaking down food and making nutrients more accessible
- Probiotics – beneficial bacteria that help support gut health (ie. lactobacillus acidophilus)
- Essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6 in a well balanced ratio
- Essential amino acids – the building blocks of muscle and tissue repair
- Many vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, copper, and vitamins B1 and B2
Ok, so it’s really good for your dog, but how do you feed it.
How to Add Tripe to Your Dog’s Diet
Now, we’ll start by saying that tripe doesn’t have the most appealing smell. Truthfully, it stinks. But hiding behind that smell are all those amazing nutritional benefits, so plug your nose! And while the pungent smell is off-putting to us, most dogs seem to be attracted to it.
TIP: Can’t handle the smell? Give it to your dog outside!
Green tripe for dogs comes in a variety of forms.
- Raw green tripe. Typically available as frozen or fresh green tripe. You can find this at your local abattoir, or speak to your butcher about whether they can source some for you. Just cut up the strips and replace some of your dog’s regular food with a few chewable slices, or give them as a treat.
- Ready-to-serve commercial tripe for dogs. Our local raw food store carries several different tripe “dinners” that you can spoon out and serve. Some are just tripe, and some feature other healthy ingredients like vegetables or kelp. Again, these are easy to add to your dog’s food, just follow the directions on the package.
- Freeze-dried green tripe. Freeze drying allows tripe to remain on store shelves for longer periods of time without losing its nutrients. Freeze-dried tripe typically comes as nuggets or mini patties. You might even find different kibbles which contain freeze-dried tripe.
- Canned tripe. A few different companies make canned green tripe specifically for pets, so this is another easy option!
- Tripe treats. These are an easy way to feed tripe. As mentioned, most dogs LOVE the smell, so these are great high-value treats for training.
In our house, we feed several different kinds. We like frozen pieces of just raw green tripe. The chewing is great for dental health. We also add a commercial tripe made for dogs that’s ground up, and we mix it in with their regular food a few times a week. We also buy beef tracheas stuffed with tripe as a treat in our regular raw bone rotation – so they get the benefits of the tripe AND the bone.
So, as we said, plug your dose and introduce your dog to tripe. Trust us, she’ll thank you!
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