One of the best things you can feed your dog
Tripe. Many people aren’t quite sure what it is. Still others KNOW what it is and refuse to acknowledge its existence – its just too gross for words they’ll be happy to tell you. In reality, it may be one of the best things you can give to your dog! To begin at the beginning – tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals such as cattle, deer, sheep and goats. Ruminants are in possession of a 4 chambered stomach – the rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum. The animal swallows barely chewed food which is slightly broken down in the rumen and reticulum and promptly sent back to the mouth for more chewing fun. It then passes through the reticulum and omasum and into the abomasum where it is further broken down by gastric juices, amino acids and digestive enzymes.
Essentially the digestive process of a ruminant is something like a fermentation process with good bacteria acting to aid in the digestion of the hay, grasses and grains. It is the abomasum that is used in the tripe you purchase for your pup.
Often green tripe is confused with white tripe which is tripe for human consumption. Tripe for humans is put through a cleaning process that effectively removes all of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that make it so good for your dog. After all of the stomach contents are taken out, it is washed and then bleached to give it the snowy white color you see in the package. It is easily purchased at grocery stores but it lacks the nutrients and good bacteria that make green tripe nearly the perfect food for your little carnivore.
Why is green tripe so good for your dog?
Due to the fermentation process and the way that the ruminant digests, the abomasum provides a food that is incredibly rich. Not only will it provide completely natural digestive enzymes to the dog but also vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids. The enzymes not only help digestion in the canine but are also said to have a substantial effect on the cleaning of your pup’s teeth. Tripe, boneless as it is, can be extremely helpful in maintaining a gorgeous set of white teeth in your dog. How wonderful is it to not have to get veterinary teeth cleaning under general anesthesia? Most raw fed dogs have never and will never have to go through such a process and tripe goes a long way towards making certain that fact remains true. Fatty acids are another benefit. All dogs need omega 3’s and omega 6’s in their diet – especially to maintain healthy skin and coat. The vitamins and amino acids are in large part what gives your dog energy and spunk – green tripe has those to spare. Many dog owners feed probiotics to their dogs to help with runny stools, upset tummies, and recovery and regeneration of good bacteria from depletion by prescribed antibiotics. Green tripe is an excellent source of probiotics due to the large numbers of helpful microorganisms contained within the digestive tract. Naturally occurring organisms are always preferable to man-made mixtures and nothing can be more natural than having them go straight from the source to the dog.
Green tripe is an incredibly gentle food. It is often the first thing that raw feeding breeders introduce puppies to – as young as 3-4 weeks old. Tripe is also indicated for dogs suffering from sensitive stomachs and maladies such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Used in conjunction with probiotics such as Fastrack, tripe can often ease the discomfort of dogs who are just not digesting their food well all without bombarding them with traditional medicines and chemicals.
Nature’s way of healing. Green tripe is also a spectacular food for dogs suffering from Chronic Renal Failure due to its low phosphorus levels and palatability. Many CRF dogs have been put on low or no protein diets and have, as a result, lost all interest in their food. It’s the odd dog that turns its nose up at a healthy serving of tripe and its perfect phosphorus/calcium ratio, mid-level protein levels and slightly acidic Ph makes it safe and effective for these dogs. Feeding a protein source such as tripe that is highly digestible is likely more beneficial to your CRF dog than the low protein, hard to digest prescription diets that so many turn to at this time.
So what about that smell???
Yes, raw green tripe STINKS. No question about it, no reason to try to hide it since the smell tells the tale. The smell varies from a slightly barnyard odor to a more pungent stink. Often it depends on what that particular cow or other ruminant was eating prior to slaughter. Sometimes it has almost a sweet undertone probably the result of cows munching alfalfa or sweet feed. Sometimes, its just plain awful. Either way it is just as good for your dog and to them, just as tasty. Many dogs prefer it the more odiferous it is – I mean we are talking about animals who roll in dead things and consider 3 day old road-kill a coveted prize. For the human it can be daunting and more than a little disgusting. While feeding whole large chunks is the preference of many, fresh ground frozen tripe is most certainly the easiest, least messy and least “smelly” way to go. Thaw it, plop it into their bowls and by the time you take a breath the dog has made it disappear. The wonder of it is that even though the smell might knock you for a loop, your faithful and loving canine will help you through by making it disappear quicker than you can take your next breath – dogs are incredibly helpful that way, always looking out for us! Now THAT is loyalty.
So we must weigh the benefits and the detriments to feeding our good friend raw green tripe. The benefits are easy - whiter teeth, improved skin and coat, healthier digestive system, improved eating habits for picky or sick dogs, less “dire rear”, more energy and a longer more active life. Now for the detriments …. well ….. let’s see …. maybe …. the smell? Wait, now that’s just a detriment for us humans since they actually LIKE the smell (crazy dogs) ….. So the answer is – GET OVER IT! They love it, its great for them, your dog will be healthier overall and what can be better than that? Honestly – your pup will make sure that you only have to smell it for a second anyway. Besides, a little smell isn’t going to make us overlook something that could be the best thing we ever fed our dogs are we? Of course not!