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There can be much confusion over which class certain body parts fall into.
Is tripe offal or meat?
Is heart organ or muscle?
Is liver organ or offal?
Is lung meat or organ?
Remembering the suggested breakdown of this diet is:
10% organ meat
Organs can be identified as they secrete and include liver, kidney, spleen, testicles and brain.
Items which can be classed as muslce meats are stomach/tripe, tongue, heart, gizzard etc.
Then we have lung! It contains some organ tissue, does not secrete and includes a small amount of muscle - it falls into a grey area, but when deciding how much to feed it's best to go back to the prey model visualisation and imagine how much of the whole animal would be made up of its lungs.
In the grand scheme of things, the lungs would make up a small percentage of the animal's overall bodyweight, this should reflect in your choice of amount to feed. But as with everything, we strive to achieve a balance over time, I still wouldn't want to see a diet made up of more than 10% of lung over time as I can't imagine any animal, whose lungs weigh more than 10% of it's bodyweight - in fact it is probably much less than this.
Three essential elements of a great raw diet, here's why........
GREEN TRIPE~ it must be the unwashed variety, not the bleached white sort you will see at the butchers.
Tripe is a muscle meat, but also considered offal and should be fed as part of the 70-80% meat content in your dogs raw diet. To decide how much to feed as part of this percentage, we try to visualise the whole animal and estimate what proportion or percentage of it would be made up of its tripe, or stomach linings. I would take a guess at around 15-20% and would therefore feed tripe twice a week as part of a varied raw diet.
Grass eating animals, such as cows, sheep, buffalo, deer, goat etc., all have 4 stomach chambers, to help them digest the grass, which requires condsiderable breakdown; to assist them with this, their stomachs are bursting with a soup of digestive enzmes, gastic juices and amino acids.
Because the chambers contain all this 'power juice' and because lots of work has been done on the remaining partly digested food still attached to the tripe, your dog can benefit tremendously from this. He certainly wouldn't have the internal equipment necessary to eat grass and digest it efficiently himself, but as the work has been done for him and tripe is essentially meat, this is a perfect and valuable inclusion in any raw diet and most green tripe that you can source for your dog will come from lining of the 2nd stomach chamber and is known as honeycomb tripe because of its texture.
There is so much more to tripe than meat with just a bit of partly digested grass in it though!! .....................
Enzymes and beneficial bacteria present in the tripe will aid your dog's digestion in exactly the same way they aided the ruminent they came from, this is why tripe is a great help to many dogs swapping to a raw diet and it always the 2nd type of protein I would suggest being introduced to the newly swapped dog.
The more digestive enzymes a dog has, the less his system has to work to digest his dinner, and tripe is bursting with them.
Commercially fed dogs have very few digestive enzymes to help them as all commercial food is cooked at very high temperatures, destroying them. A lack of digestive enzymes can cause your dog to have a whole host of problems and also allows the build up of toxins. Green tripe will help to kick start the newly swapped dog's system with a nice new supply of digestive enzymes, these in turn will help him to digest the rest of his new diet.
If the tripe is fed whole in chunks then the enzymes also help to keep your dog's teeth clean, as does the action of chewing a lump as the texture is quite rubbery.
Tripe can be viewed as a probiotic, as it contains good amounts of the good lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
Calcium and Phosphorus Are present in green tripe in an almost 1:1 ratio, so in perfect balance. Around 8 other minerals are also present; Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.
Omega 3 Is also present in green tripe, and an 8 oz serving would contain around 13-15 mg of Omega 3
Essential fatty acids Linoleic and Linolenic are contained too.
Vitamins Are abundant in green tripe and include A, B complex, C, D & E
Green Tripe has a protein level of around 15% and is low in fat, it has a PH which is slightly acidic which aids digestion.
HEART is a vital organ, but it is also a muscle meat and as muscle meats go, alongside green tripe it is one of the most nutritious.
It also contains quite a lot of cholesterol, so don't go crazy with it.
Muscle meat can make up to 70-80% of the raw diet, but I wouldn't like to see more than 10% of this derived from heart if you are feeding it as a meat.
They contain : Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Copper, and are a very good source of Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron and Selenium
LIVER is without doubt the most nutritious of the organ meats and is non-negotiable in a raw diet as it contains good quantities of the essential vitamins and minerals your dog requires. IT SHOULD MAKE UP 5% of your dog's diet as a whole, it should not be overlooked.
It is much better to source organic liver if you can, this will not be expensive as you only need to include a little.
Many owners will report that their dogs are very reluctant to eat it, whilst others would eat far too much. It needs to make up such a small part of your dog's diet, that it can be well disguised and the best and easiest way is to chop the portion into a hundred tiny peices using scissors, then mixing it up very well in a favourite mince, or stuff a kong with the mince containing it, refreeze and serve frozen. Often it is the texture the dogs don't like, not the taste, but serving it frozen in a mince changes this texture.
A last resort is to cook it very lightly, but obviously cooking it will destroy some of the nutrients it contains.
So what's the low down liver?...........it contains a MASSIVE amount of vitamin A (one reason why you shouldn't feed more than the suggested amount, as too much vitamin A would be harmful as it is fat soluble and can be stored and reach toxic levels in the dog's body)
Here is a list of the vitamins contained in an average 1 oz (28 g) portion of beef liver:
Here are the Minerals that same average 1 oz (28 g) portion contains:
Finally, a 1 oz (28 g) portion also contains 2 mg of Omega 3 and 89 mg of Omega 6
Liver is a good sorce of protein, the same 1 oz (28 g) portion delivering around 5.7 grams of protein, it is low in fat, but also high in colesterol another reason to stick to the suggested feeding amounts.