favorite whole food supplement for dogs should be tripe. Not just any will do. Go green when it comes to this raw dog food; for health, vitality, digestion and even a better coat.
I don’t want to bore you with a list of contents so let’s do this more in story form (meaning my experience).
I’d always heard the green kind was a wonderful food to add to my dogs raw food diet but I couldn’t find any.
I found the bleached white variety at one grocery store but since I know that kills all the dog goodness and healing power, I passed.
I didn’t want to buy it canned or processed. I wanted the real stuff. Raw and ready to eat.
Then ...I found it. Nothing could have prepared me so let's start with ...
What the heck is tripe anyway? It’s the stomach of certain animals. Those who have four stomachs, or I guess more accurately it’s the four chamber stomach in animals such as cattle, deer, sheep and goats. Since these animals graze and swallow, then bring the food back up to chew after the first part of the stomach has worked to start breaking it down, can you imagine what’s in there?
Think enzymes, gastric juices, amino acids, essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6), acidophilus (my favorite probiotic) and lactic acid (as in kefir and yogurt). Throw in some protein, fat, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium and you’ve got an array of nutrients to improve and maintain health.
And what is the hardest thing the body has to do? Digest! Everything in this organ aides in digestion just as it did for the cow.
So, now you know why I was excited when I finally found some coarsely ground beef tripe; especially for my 14-year-old Bonz. I really paid attention to what he ate. I was so excited in fact, that I bought 30 pounds of the stuff in three frozen ten pound bags.
I thought I’d thaw it and serve. Uh-uh! While it was thawing in the kitchen sink along with some turkey and beef, I emailed my friend Sandra from Dog-Nutrition-Naturally.com and told her about my find. To my surprise she warned me to start with only ½ cup added to other raw meat in the dinner bowl and then wait a few days because all that nutritious goodness tends to clean out the system and I didn’t want it to get too clean too fast. (i.e. diarrhea).
As I passed through the kitchen I noticed it smelled like something had died in there (and not recently either). I wondered if the beef was bad or something. I picked up the beef and took a whiff. Nothing. I picked up the tripe and took a whiff and immediately wished I hadn’t.
I went outside for some fresh air and to make a plan of action. There was no way I was going to leave ten pounds of that stuff thawed out in my fridge.
Decision made, I put the still mostly frozen bag of green goodness into an additional bag and put it in the fridge to defrost slowly. I wondered what I would do if the dogs didn’t eat the stinky stuff.
Two days later at 5am I left Bonz sleeping. I opened the windows, turned on the kitchen exhaust fan; lined the countertop with wax paper; held my breath and divied it up into one pound bags. About half way through the process I realized Bonz was sitting in his spot with a very eager look on his face while excitedly wagging his tail. I put eight one pound bags in the freezer and gave Bonz a big spoonful. My dog was in heaven and I knew I was going to have to get used to the smell of this highly nutritious substance.
Don't let the smell deter you! I shared the story so you'd have fair warning and so you could laugh at me. Trust me, your dogs will think its wonderful. It's also good to know you should buy it in smaller packages than I did.
When I finally served it I was afraid it might make the house smell a bit but they ate it so fast it didn't have a chance. (Plus I use dog food dishes that can't absorb smells.)
Do add this "offal" to your dog’s diet if possible. You don’t have to feed a lot of it and you don’t have to feed it every day but a bit daily is awesome. Even three or four times a month is advantageous.
And last but not least, is it really green? Naw, not really. More of a brown color but maybe it has a green cast to it. Here, check it out for yourself. What color do you think it is?
It's been a few years since I wrote this page since it needed no updating but today I'm laughing. I've gotten so used to the smell of tripe I don't think about it. Don't get me wrong, it's still smelly stuff but it doesn't gag me; I have no trouble touching it and it's still adored by dogs everywhere.
In fact I get bigger pieces whenever I can because my Lulu takes her time chewing it. She should. I swear it's like trying to cut a car tire with a knife. Thought you might like to see what it looks like in more of its whole form. Here's pictures of both the outside and the inside.
Now you can see where all the enzymes, gastric juices, amino acids, essential fatty acids , probiotics and other healthy stuff sticks to when you see the actual surface right?