Raw green tripe might look and smell disgusting, but it’s a rich source of nutrients for dogs.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “What a load of tripe!” Though the word “tripe” is often used in a derogatory fashion, tripe itself certainly doesn’t deserve such treatment. In fact, you might be surprised to learn how nutritious it is – and how good it is for your canine companion.
Raw green tripe is the entire unprocessed stomach of a cud-chewing animal such as a cow or deer. In the wild, carnivorous animals prey on these herbivores. They will consume the entire animal, including the stomach and entrails. It has been a very important component of the carnivore’s diet for millennia. Though most humans regard it as unusual, it is actually more natural and beneficial for dogs than kibble.
Raw green tripe offers many advantages to dogs because of its balance of nutrients and the presence of beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
1. Raw green tripe has been nutritionally analyzed and found to have a desirable calcium:phosphorus ratio. The pH is acidic, the protein is 15.1%, and the fat is 11.7%. It also has the correct proportions of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
2. One of the best constituents of raw green tripe is lactobacillus acidophilus, a good intestinal bacteria that keep unwanted bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella and listeria from overpopulating and causing health problems. The balance of microflora in the gut is extremely important for maintaining good health. The intestines only contain enough food for a certain amount of bacteria, but by adding it to a dog’s diet, the population of good bacteria will outnumber the bad. These probiotics help keep his immune system in top shape. Think of it as the Activia for dogs.
3. Another beneficial component of raw green tripe is the digestive enzymes. The enzymes that help the ruminant digest his meal will give your dog the same benefits. Dogs do not naturally produce the enzyme needed to break down cellulose, so the nutrients found in raw vegetative matter are not readily available to them. It contains not only these enzymes, but in most cases, some pre-digested green matter as well. This combination of enzymes and nutrients provides dogs with a nutritional powerhouse they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
Picking a product
The variety found in your supermarket has been cleaned and bleached. It offers no nutritional benefits to your dog. The best form, by far, is raw green tripe.
- Some companies offer large pieces of fresh tripe that are very tough and abrasive. These help clean your dog’s teeth as well as provide him with needed nutrients. Large pieces are best fed outdoors, as they last rather a long time and are very “aromatic”!
- Raw tripe is also offered ground, either fresh or frozen. This form can be fed in a bowl and is consumed immediately.
- Freeze dried tripe is another option. The freeze-drying process makes it shelf stable while allowing it to retain its nutrients and enzymes. It’s usually made into nuggets or small patties. These are great training treats and also come in handy as a food topper for that picky eater.
- Canned green tripe is available for those who can’t find other forms in their area. This type is cooked in the can, so it doesn’t contain the beneficial bacteria or enzymes found in other forms, but it is still beneficial. Many independent pet retail stores are now carrying tripe in canned or frozen ground forms.
By offering your dog some raw green tripe, you know he’ll be getting the micronutrients and enzymes he is meant to consume. It gives a whole new meaning to a “load of tripe”!