Organ meat in a Species Appropriate Diet for dogs
In all my posts I have categorically stated that it is extremely important to feed your pet a balanced, healthy and a nutritious diet. That’s why we recommend a species appropriate diet for your dog
It’s very important that we raw feeders pay very close attention to not only how much we’re feeding our pets, but also what we’re giving them. Remember that we control their health since their diet is in our hands.
Some of you might still think that if you’re feeding your pet a diet of meat and bones, that he is getting all the nutrition he needs. The truth is that only a diet of meat and bones will make your pet nutrition deficient.
Do you remember that we spoke, well, wrote, about how a wolf or a wild dog will eat almost all parts of its prey including organs, offal and the vegetation it gets from the stomach lining of the animal
? Well, today we are going to talk about just that: Organs
and why it’s important for your dogs to be fed organs as part of their species-appropriate diet.
Some raw feeders have expressed to me that they are confused about the differences between organ meat and Offal, another term that we’ve referenced in our previous blogs.
So what is Offal?
Well as per the Merriam – Webster dictionary, Offal is the waste or by-product of a process such as:
1: The belly, head, and shoulders of a hide.
2: The by-products of milling, used for stock feeds
3: The viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal which is used for consumption of just sale.
What are Organ Meats then?
Besides being a critical component of your dog’s diet, organ meats are loaded with almost all nutrients, vitamins and other healthy stuff that your dog needs.
To a regular guy, organs comprise of the Heart, gizzards, and even the tongue.
But are these enough to give your pet all the nutrition it needs?
Not really. Let me explain:
The above mentioned ‘organs’ are also known as Muscle Meat.
But for a raw feeder, a dog needs more than just that. It needs the most important secreting organs such as the liver
, the spleen
, the kidney, pancreas
, and the lungs
Organ meats are brimming with:
It’s important to mention here that like everything else, organ meats must be given in limited quantities as too much of anything is bad and can have adverse reactions on your pet. For instance, too much organ meat will/ might result in diarrhea so be careful.
- Vitamins A, D, K, E, B1, B2, B6, B12 and of course, folic acid.
- Copper, iron, magnesium, and iodine
Let’s look at Liver
It contains the following in good quantities:
Omega 3, Omega 6, Folacin ( which is nothing but folic acid also known as Vitamin B 9 and Vitamin B c), Vitamins A, E and K, most of the Vitamin B’s ( B1,2,5,6, 12).
is a good digestive; it also will keep your pets reproductive organs healthy and is a natural chemical or antioxidant.
is used to treat anemia which is a deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood or rather a decrease in red blood cells. Speaking of anemia, you will know that your dog is anemic if he is always tired. The liver contains an anti-fatigue property which is critical for your dog’s health.
: Very important to help your dog’s brain, function normally, and helps the nervous system. If your dog has a deficiency of Vitamin B12, he might suffer from depression, and tiredness, so it’s very important for your dog’s mental health.
: A deficiency of iron means that the blood cells in your dog’s body are not being supplied with enough oxygen. Iron is also critical for the formation of hemoglobin and the health of your dog’s brain, body temperature and muscles. An iron deficiency will negatively impact your dog’s immune system.
Ensure that you don’t overdo it with the liver though. Once a week is good or keep it at 5% of your pet’s diet.
Quite easy to get, chicken or beef heart is usually fed in a smaller amount along with a portion of liver. For one, the heart contains Taurine which is important for the function of the cardiovascular system, the retina and your dog’s central nervous system. Taurine is also essential for appropriate muscle functioning.
The heart also contains proteins, all forms of Vitamin B and again, iron. The heart is kind of almost the same as muscle meat; it’s a heavy muscle. It also contains zinc and phosphorous; elastin and collagen which is super for your dog’s joints.
Beef heart contains Selenium
. It is a trace mineral which helps maintain thyroid levels and acts against inflammation in dogs too. In fact, Selenium is used to treat dogs with cancer. It is also known to treat:
- skin issues,
- heart disease,
- bowel disease,
- rheumatoid arthritis, &
- reduce intervals of seizures
One of the most important nutrients that the heart contains is CoQ10 also known as Coenzyme Q10. This is extremely important if your cells have to function properly and for the rhythm of your heart.
: The kidneys provide some of the same benefits as the liver. They contain fatty acids important for the smooth functioning of the digestive system and in order to maintain a healthy coat. The kidneys are a good source of Vitamins E, K, A, Iron, Zinc and Vitamin B12.
So why is it important to feed your Organ Meats to your dog?
- Besides all the above mentioned benefits, Organ Meats are high in natural Vitamin D. If your pet is deficient in Vitamin D, he is susceptible to fractures, cancer, infectious diseases and also weakness and autoimmune diseases. So if your dog gets less sun, organ meats are a very good option & a critical part of your pet’s diet.
- Organ meats contain essential Omega-3 fats which are useful for.
- Dogs with osteoarthritis.
- They are important to maintain a healthy coat
- Keep fungal infections subdued and even away to a large extent.
- Keep the retina healthy.
Some things to keep in mind while feeding Organ Meat to your pets:
So to recap
- Keep it raw: Cooking Organ meat diminishes the nutritional value of the meat. Plus remember that in the wild he would have had to eat the meat raw and not cooked.
- Activity Levels: The more active your dog is, the higher the quantity of organ meat. However, if your dog is obese, reduce the amount of organ meat you feed him as it contains cholesterol.
- Make sure that the shop or butcher you’re buying the Organ meat from maintains high levels of hygiene. It’s important not only for him but for you too
- Handle the RAW meat with absolute care. ( For more information on how to handle RAW meat, you can read my blog) Make sure to wash your hands after handling Organ Meat.
- Organ meats are an essential part of your dog’s daily diet,
- Organ meats must form a max of 5% of his diet,
- Feed Organ meat raw &
- Use a variety of Organs for maximum benefits.
If you have any tips or questions for us, please do not hesitate to write to us and share your experiences too.