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When I started feeding our dogs a raw food diet, one of the first things I learned was…
- I needed to add green beef tripe to their food.
- Green beef tripe is a superfood for dogs.
What I didn’t know was where to buy green beef tripe. There was tripe at the store, but it’s white because it’s been bleached. Turns out that green beef tripe will never be sold at the grocery store because it can’t be kept near human food.
What is Green Tripe?
Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals – cows, buffalo, sheep, deer, and goats – to name a few. These animals chew cud and have four chambers in their stomachs. This results in a ton of digestion happening and a lot of yummy (being sarcastic) amino acids, gastric fluids, and digestive juices to help them break everything down.
These amino acids, gastric fluids, and digestive juices (grossed out yet?) also help our dogs, making green beef tripe perfect for:
- Improving digestive health
- Better absorbing and utilizing the nutrients in food
- Cleaning and flossing teeth while strengthening jaws
- Increasing appetite (for dogs on medication, feeling under the weather, or picky about food)
And green beef tripe is an excellent source of calcium. That one surprised me, because it doesn’t look like it would be a source of calcium.
“In an analysis of a sample of green tripe by a Woodson-Tenant Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, it was discovered that the calcium:phosphorous ratio is 1:1, the overall pH is on the acidic side which is better for digestion, protein is 15.1, fat 11.7 and it contained the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic, in their recommended proportions. Also discovered, was the presence of Lactic Acid Bacteria. Lactic Acid Bacteria, also known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, is the good intestinal bacteria. It is the main ingredient in probiotics.” Source: GreenTripe.com
Green tripe does smell. After more than a year of adding it to our dogs’ diet, fresh green tripe smells like a barn to me; I don't mind it anymore. It’s not something I want thawing in the fridge next to my leftovers, but I don’t mind feeding the dogs in the house two or three times a week.
Not Everyone Loves Green Beef Tripe
There are dog lovers in the raw feeding community who don't believe that green tripe offers any benefit to dogs beyond being a muscle meat in a raw diet.
I can't confirm that green beef tripe benefits our dogs; I'm following the lead of our holistic veterinarian and nutritionist. I also treat green tripe as a marker to change proteins for our dogs. Our dogs love the smell and enjoy the taste (go figure).
Where I Buy Green Tripe for Our Dogs
Most of the green tripe I feed to our dogs comes from a local raw food co-op (CLICK to find a co-op in your area). I feed our dogs ground green tripe from Happy Tails, a farm located in the Pacific Northwest. I recently placed an order with GreenTripe.com (California company) for green beef tripe that is ground with trachea and gullet.
I made the switch, because “bovine trachea and gullet are the natural source for chondroitin sulfate. Bovine tracheal cartilage has also shown success in helping to isolate cancers, tumors, and other diseases by preventing their growth and spread. The fresh raw trachea and gullet are ground in with the tripe. This is an excellent product for all dogs, especially breeds known for hip/joint problems.” Source: GreenTripe.com
Other Sources for Green Tripe
Green Tripe for Dogs with a Beef Allergies
Although Rodrigo has a beef intolerance, he’s been able to digest green beef tripe without any issues. However, I’m not comfortable with beef being his only source of green tripe, so I add other ruminating proteins to his diet as well. The problem is that other options are harder to get.
I was adding canned sources to his diet for variety, but the more I learned about carrageenan gum, a common ingredient in canned pet food, the less I wanted to feed canned green tripe to my dogs.
Is Carrageenan Gum Safe for Dogs?
Carrageenan gum is a controversial ingredient used in canned pet food and human ice cream (among other things) as a thickening agent. In the raw community, some people believe that continued use of products that contain carrageenan gum will negatively impact a dog’s health.
“Animal studies have repeatedly shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors.” Source: TruthAboutPetFood.com
Rodrigo’s sensitive digestive system doesn’t do well with products that cause additional inflammation, so he now enjoys a green tripe, trachea, gullet blend offered by GreenTripe.com.
Why You Should Add Green Tripe to Your Dog’s Diet
Green tripe is a superfood that offers several benefits to all dogs. To repeat myself…
- Improves digestive health
- Helps the body better absorb and utilize the nutrients in food
- Improves dental health
- Increases appetite (for dogs on medication, feeling under the weather, or picky about food)
- It’s good for dogs of all ages (from puppies to seniors)
- Green tripe is a superfood
Although I wouldn’t limit my dogs’ diet to only green tripe, I’ve made it 10-20% of their diet.