Raw Feeding from A to Z – O
Organ Meat vs. Offal in Raw Feeding
Despite spending a year researching raw dog food, I honestly thought that I just needed to add AN organ to my dogs' diet and that organ was liver. Not only was this wrong, my dogs got diarrhea because liver is rich and I fed too much because I also thought I could eyeball their meal and figure out the 80/10/10.
Yep, I made many mistakes.
I feed my dogs a modified version of the BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) Model. When I was comparing BARF to Prey Model, I came to the conclusion that I wasn't okay with taking away muscle meat and increasing bone to add vegetables. So I create a model that works for my dogs.
- 80% muscle meat
- 10% bone
- 5% offal
- 5% liver
- vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, and supplements
When it comes to making raw dog food, the meats that we as humans identify as “organ meat” may fall into the muscle meat column.
|Organs Fed as Muscle Meat||Organs Fed as Offal||Other Cuts Fed as Muscle Meat|
Why We Feed Offal to Dogs
Organ meat (offal) are packed with nutrients and the least expensive part of my dogs' diet, so they never go without.
- Vitamins: A, B, D, E, and K
- Minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, iodine, potassium, sodium, selenium, and zinc
- Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA
Quality Sources for Offal
I thought the easiest source for offal was the local grocery store; I was wrong. Our store only carries liver. I've heard that you can get variety at an Asian Market, but I have yet to explore one thoroughly. So I order all of my ingredients through a local raw food co-op.
- pork kidneys
- green tripe/organ blend that contains liver, spleen, and pancreas*
- organ blend with liver and kidney*
- venison, pork, or turkey liver
* With the organ blends on the market (sold by GreenTripe.com and Columbia River Pet Foods) try and get the amount of each ingredient. If an amount isn't available, then I look at the order of the ingredients (the first ingredient is the most; the last is the least).
How I Feed Offal to My Dogs
My dogs eat a ground raw food diet; I grind enough offal to equate to 10% of the batch of raw that I'm making. Usually, I grind pork kidneys, turkey liver (because it's small), and mix it with an organ blend that contains pancreas and spleen.
I choose to add offal in the batch of raw dog food that I mix every other weekend. It's easier for me to feed offal to my dogs this way; otherwise, I worry that I'll forget.
How Much Offal I Feed to My Dogs
Offal is 5% of my dogs' raw diet, and half of that 5% is liver. I started low and worked my way up because organ meat is rich. To decide how much offal to add to my raw dog food, I do the following calculation:
Step One: calculate the bone
- 40 pounds of duck wings = 61% muscle meat and 39% bone
- 40 pounds of duck wings x 39% = 15.6 pounds of bone
Step Two: calculate the offal (this is easy)
- 15.6 pounds / 2 = 7.8 pounds of offal and 7.8 pounds of liver
Step Three: calculate the total amount of muscle, offal, and bone
- 15.60 pounds of bone / 10% = 156 pounds of total meat (muscle, offal, and bone)
Step Four: calculate the additional muscle meat needed
- 156 pounds x 80% = 124.8 pounds less 24.4 pounds (this is 61% of the duck wings) = 100.4 pounds of muscle meat
- To make up the 100.4 pounds, I add trim (muscle meat, no bones), gizzards, and hearts
Step Five: mix everything together and freeze
- I usually make seven days of meals every other week. I alternate this food with other proteins to provide variety: duck, venison, emu, rabbit, green beef tripe.